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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.

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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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  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
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  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
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  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023