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Windstar Cruises targets luxury travelers with more all-inclusive fares

Sept. 29, 2021
4 min read
Windstar Cruises targets luxury travelers with more all-inclusive fares
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Small-ship specialist Windstar Cruises is rolling out a new fare option for cruisers who hate paying for lots of little extras while on ships.

The new “All-In” package, as Windstar is calling it, will bring unlimited Wi-Fi; unlimited drinks such as beer, wine and cocktails; and included gratuities to those sailing on any of the line’s six vessels.

The package will cost a flat $79 per person per day on top of the line’s base fares, which don’t include Wi-Fi, drinks or gratuities.

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“You basically don’t have to feel like (you’re being) nickel-and-dimed, for those guests who want to purchase that sort of experience,” Chris Prelog, the president of Windstar Cruises, told TPG Wednesday in a one-on-one interview to discuss the new package and other new developments at the line.

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Prelog spoke with TPG at Seatrade Cruise Global, the cruise industry’s annual meetup in Miami.

Prelog suggested the new, more-inclusive package option was designed to give would-be Windstar customers more flexibility in how they arrange and experience their trips with the line.

“Some of our Windstar guest enjoy the a la carte experience Windstar offers,” Prelog said. “So we’re really coming around and saying, ‘What if we have both? How would we facilitate that?’”

By offering a more-all-inclusive option on pricing, Windstar can “tap into ... guests who are looking for a luxury experience with luxury amenities without perhaps the formality (of a traditional luxury line’s ships), because Windstar is a more casual brand. It’s a more relaxed atmosphere, and you don’t have to bring your jacket.”

Traditional luxury lines such as Crystal Cruises, Silversea Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises include most drinks, gratuities and Wi-Fi in their base fares. But their base fares traditionally have been higher than the base fares at Windstar.

The new All-In package at Windstar Cruises comes as the line is rebuilding and lengthening three of its six vessels to upgrade their offerings.

The overhaul of the three vessels, all motor ships, includes the addition of new eateries, true pools (which the ships haven’t had until now) and expanded sunning areas. The line also is completely revamping every bathroom on the vessels and installing new owner’s suites that are bigger than anything the ships ever has seen.

In all, the vessels -- Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride -- are receiving 50 new cabins that will expand their capacity from 212 to 312 passengers. The additions to the vessels are being accomplished by cutting them in half at a shipyard in Italy and spreading the two halves apart before sliding in new, pre-built sections.

Prelog suggested the changes to the new ships have made them more luxurious, allowing the line to market more to luxury travelers. The three ships are all-suite vessels.

“We will call (the three revamped vessels) our suite class or our suite ships, and they have luxury amenities,” he said.

Windstar Cruises also operates three sailing vessels -- Wind Surf, Wind Star and Wind Spirit -- that have are not being overhauled in the same way.

Two other lines that have added new, more all-inclusive fare options in the past year include Holland America and Celebrity Cruises. The latter brand a year ago unveiled what it is calling Always Included fares that include unlimited drinks (cocktails, wines by the glass, beer and sodas), unlimited Wi-Fi and daily gratuities.

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Featured image by Alberto Ferraro
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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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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  • 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