|Windstar Cruise’s Star Pride
(in her former life)
On Monday, September 8, 2014, I am boarding the Star Pride for a seven day Black Sea cruise. Windstar Cruises has invited me to see what they’ve done to the Pride and how things have changed. It’s going to be different…but is that bad?
Before I get to the specifics, I want to talk about “The Cliff“. You’ve all heard the expression, “It’s all downhill from here“, well The Cliff is when something is so good, so spectacular, so incredible that when it goes way it is like suddenly falling off a cliff; like there is nothing that could replace it.
When word of the Seabourn triplets being sold came out to many it was like The Cliff. The intimate, personal, 208 guest “yachting” experience that was Seabourn would be gone forever. The number of times I heard, “I guess I will have to find another cruise line when the triplets go” is countless…as are the number of times people want me to forget they said that.
It is, personally, rather ironic that I am about to experience and review the new life of the Pride as she transforms from the Seabourn Pride to Windstar Cruise’s Star Pride. Why? Because I, personally, have been facing my own “The Cliff”.
|Gazing Over The Edge of “The Cliff”|
Over the past months I have been going through four (4) of what most would consider fairly traumatic life experiences: I am going through a divorce after 20+ years of marriage; my son has just headed off to Colorado for his first year in college; I am adjusting to being a single parent to my 15 year old daughter (though I pretty much have been a single parent to both of my children for years); and, I am transitioning out of the practice of law to focus solely on Goldring Travel. The Cliff? Nope.
I had another significant change: Through all of that stuff there have been wonderful new transformations of my life…and a wonderful person to go through the bumps and successes with. My approach is different. My perspective is different. My ability to enjoy is different. And, I think, all for the better. But it is a process.
For me “The Cliff” is what I face if I let go of any of that…or it lets go of me.
However, since gazing over “The Edge” is not my favorite thing (though taking a peek is unavoidable!), I prefer to know the potential for The Cliff is there, but not to focus on it.
So what does this have to do with the Star Pride and her sisters? Heck, this is not a therapy session, is it? It is simple: Seabourn needed to change its world and Windstar needed to change its world. Caught in the middle (one might say “fortunately”) are the three ships that had defined Seabourn for years.
While other ships were getting bigger and fancier the Seabourn mantra became, “It’s not the hardware (the ship), its the software (the people)” and those three ships sailed full on virtually every sailing. But then the luxury market really needed to provide more in the way of alternative dining venues, more and larger public spaces, faster ships so that more exotic ports could be visited, more modern galleys for more complex menus and the list goes on…while the triplets were potentially and seriously looking at The Cliff.
I mean who would have the vision and the money to transform these circa 1988-1996 small ships with no real balconies? Would they wind up like the incredibly popular but far too unique Radisson Diamond (I loved that ship!) ferrying Asian gamblers out to sea in smoke-filled casinos and little elegance…or worse? Oh The Cliff was very real.
|Artist’s Rendition of The Yacht Club.|