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This cruise line will now let you book a cabin in a crew area

Feb. 02, 2020
4 min read
This cruise line will now let you book a cabin in a crew area
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Call it the ultimate in behind-the-scenes access.

In what is believed to be a first, Windstar Cruises unveiled a new suite on one of its ships this week that's within a crew-only area.

The new Officer's Suite, found on the line's 342-passenger Wind Surf, is just behind the ship's bridge in a section of the vessel reserved for officer's quarters.

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Labeled "crew only," the area is home to cabins for the ship's captain, chief officer, hotel manager and chief engineer.

Windstar said it believed the new accommodation was the only one of its kind in the cruise industry. Personally, I don't recall seeing anything like it, either, in my many years writing about cruising. Cruise lines typically are very restrictive about access to crew areas on ships.

The new Officer's Suite on Windstar Cruises' 342-passenger Wind Surf is just behind the ship's bridge. Photo courtesy of Windstar Cruises.
The new Officer's Suite on Windstar Cruises' 342-passenger Wind Surf is just behind the ship's bridge. Photo courtesy of Windstar Cruises.

Among the perks of the new suite is the ability to walk right into the ship's bridge, which is just steps away. Windstar is one of a handful of major lines that has an open bridge policy. Sea Cloud Cruises, Quark Expeditions, Star Clippers and UnCruise Adventures are among other small ship and expedition lines with similar policies.

Under Windstar's open bridge policy, passengers can visit ship bridges and chat with officers while vessels are underway (access sometimes will be limited when ships are in the midst of tricky maneuvers).

The new Officer’s Suite is one of the bigger cabins on Wind Surf at 242 square feet. It has a bedroom, full bath with Jacuzzi tub and living room with a widescreen television.

It also has a bit of a nautical theme, with such maritime decor as a sextant, a Wind Surf print and a model of a sailing ship.

You can also grab a pair of binoculars from the room, in case you want to help the captain scan the horizon for obstacles.

Related: The best credit cards for booking cruises

Windstar ships have an "open bridge" policy that allows for passenger visits. Photo courtesy of Windstar Cruises.

“We [designed] this very unique suite with more of a nautical theme to reflect its exclusive location, tucked away just behind the bridge,” Windstar president John Delaney said in a statement accompanying the announcement.

The addition of the suite came during a recent overhaul of Wind Surf, a five-masted sailing ship. Wind Surf is one of three sailing ships operated by Windstar. The line specializes in small ships and also operates three motor vessels. The Wind Surf overhaul included a revamp of every single cabin and public space on the ship.

Planning a cruise for 2020? Our planning guide starts here:

Featured image by The 342-passenger Wind Surf. Photo courtesy of Windstar Cruises.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

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  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases