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Bye bye Wind Star casino

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We received an email from Windstar saying that they will remove the casino operations on Wind Star (effective 4 Nov) to increase public space on board. Probably that means adding the space to the lounge. The email doesn't mention the other ships so it isn't clear whether the change is going to be fleet wide. I didn't find anything on Windstar's website about the change.

 

We are happy with the change as we don't use the casino. It has seemed like others don't use it much either but perhaps I haven't been around at the right times.

 

Viking Ocean doesn't have casinos. I wonder if that was a factor in Windstar deciding it could remove it 

 

 

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Of the 22 cruises I have been on, 21 on the Sailing ships, one on the motor, rarely if ever do I see people gambling,  admittedly we go to bed early after dinner between 9-10, we pass by the casino at most 3 people. I always wondered why a casino was on board. I wonder if it is all ships. Happy Sailing  

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I believe that the casinos, like the spa operation, is contracted out but I don't know any details about the financial agreement and whether WS has any financial interest in the casino operations.

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The full 2019-2020 Windstar Atlas came out today.  I was surprised to see that all the deck plans for all six vessels no longer show any casinos, on any ship.  I checked with a few contacts in Seattle, after seeing that.  They are being removed over about the next 6 months.

 

Regarding the 2019-2020 Atlas:  The pdf version can be downloaded off the Windstar website today.  You can now also order printed copies from the same place on the website.  The Windstar printed brochures of the last few years, have some of the best graphics of any travel company's materials.  Get yourself a paper copy for your coffee table.  And there are some very interesting, new extended Star Collector itineraries listed.

Edited by Del Rio

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I also received an email that the casino will be removed for the same reason from the Star Pride effective early spring 2019. 

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NOOOO!!!  My husband and I love to play blackjack on these cruises and we have met many people that way. I even won a blackjack tournament. This is disappointing

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17 hours ago, 3kidslater said:

NOOOO!!!  My husband and I love to play blackjack on these cruises and we have met many people that way. I even won a blackjack tournament. This is disappointing

 

Go to the roll call for your cruise (or set one up it if doesn't exist) and invite others to join to for a "friendly game". Set an initial meet up point and time and see who appears.

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During the two weeks we sailed on the Surf the casino was very under-utilized.   There were some nights that no one was in there all night, most nights there might have been 4-6 people who wandered in, stayed for 30-60 minutes, and then left.  I don't think we ever saw more than 10 people in there, and most didn't stay all that long.  One of our friends who sailed with us enjoys gambling and visited the casino a couple of times, but said that with only two people playing, it just wasn't much fun. 

There were several times that they really could have used a lot more seating in the lounge, particularly on sea days when there was a special enrichment activity that was wildly popular and became standing room only.  

 

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Just left the Wind Star in Portimao, Portugal Nov 2018 before it hopped to Cadiz, Spain for two weeks of dry dock upgrades and repairs.  The ship's hull is being scraped and painted. The casino is in fact going away in favor of a coffee bar.  The sails are being replaced.  The carpets are being replaced.  The big skylight on the rear deck next to the hot tub is getting removed to make more space for tables and chairs.  My guess is that the lounge below will get some extra lighting once the skylight is gone.

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Just debarked Wind Surf yesterday and the casino ladies have put in for other jobs on WS although they are currently employed by a different company based in Mauritius.

All passengers were sent $5 match play coupons, we used ours on the roulette table and each of us walked away after one  spin with $10 cash profit after betting red one spin and black the other.

We nearly felt guilty after quitting while we were ahead. Nearly.

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My wife and I have been on 6 Windstar Cruises.  Was our fav.  But without a casino, what are our entertainment choices for the evening?   We are left with 1 - the lounge band.   

People have mentioned, and I’ve seen, that the casinos are usually vacant.  It’s because the casino staff provide absolutely no fun/excitement.  This is sad because it was so easily corrected.   No music, and sad, boring staff.... no fun.   They acted like it was their “job” to be dealers.   

Now, sadly, we will not be cruising on Windstar again.  But we liked the Windstar and now - can anyone help - what cruiseline do we switch to?   I’m having trouble finding a new cruiseline to be our favorite.  

Help.   

Ralph

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2 hours ago, LuvDCaribbean said:

My wife and I have been on 6 Windstar Cruises.  Was our fav.  But without a casino, what are our entertainment choices for the evening?   We are left with 1 - the lounge band.   

People have mentioned, and I’ve seen, that the casinos are usually vacant.  It’s because the casino staff provide absolutely no fun/excitement.  This is sad because it was so easily corrected.   No music, and sad, boring staff.... no fun.   They acted like it was their “job” to be dealers.   

Now, sadly, we will not be cruising on Windstar again.  But we liked the Windstar and now - can anyone help - what cruiseline do we switch to?   I’m having trouble finding a new cruiseline to be our favorite.  

Help.   

Ralph

 

Really? Because that sad little casino is gone? Grab a drink, go on deck, enjoy the breeze and meet some new friends. 

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3 hours ago, LuvDCaribbean said:

My wife and I have been on 6 Windstar Cruises.  Was our fav.  But without a casino, what are our entertainment choices for the evening?   We are left with 1 - the lounge band.   

People have mentioned, and I’ve seen, that the casinos are usually vacant.  It’s because the casino staff provide absolutely no fun/excitement.  This is sad because it was so easily corrected.   No music, and sad, boring staff.... no fun.   They acted like it was their “job” to be dealers.   

Now, sadly, we will not be cruising on Windstar again.  But we liked the Windstar and now - can anyone help - what cruiseline do we switch to?   I’m having trouble finding a new cruiseline to be our favorite.  

Help.   

Ralph

 

Don't know what to tell you:  the trend seems to be the other way, except on mega-ships that depend on casino revenue to makes ends meet.  Viking Ocean never had them.  Azamara is also eliminating them.  Luxury Yachts can't afford the crew space to staff them.

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Don’t they still have a small casino on Seabourn ships?  I’ve met some very friendly dealers onboard and the bar staff keep the drinks flowing 🍸😎

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1 hour ago, chefchick said:

Don’t they still have a small casino on Seabourn ships?  I’ve met some very friendly dealers onboard and the bar staff keep the drinks flowing 🍸😎

Nope - not on any of the ships.

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7 hours ago, chefchick said:

Don’t they still have a small casino on Seabourn ships?  I’ve met some very friendly dealers onboard and the bar staff keep the drinks flowing 🍸😎


Do you mean the former Seabourn ships that WS acquired years ago now?  The answer is “no” they’re gone. And that’s fine with me. 

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9 hours ago, chefchick said:

Don’t they still have a small casino on Seabourn ships?  I’ve met some very friendly dealers onboard and the bar staff keep the drinks flowing 🍸😎

 

Yes, apparently Seabourn has Casinos on their ships.  Happy sailing with them!

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Yes, apparently Seabourn has Casinos on their ships.  Happy sailing withthem!

 

This is what I was referring to.  Choice is what is best for the consumer.  Having a small, luxury ship with a casino works for some. WS chose to remove them and that works for others.  It’s all good.

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1 hour ago, chefchick said:

Yes, apparently Seabourn has Casinos on their ships.  Happy sailing withthem!

 

This is what I was referring to.  Choice is what is best for the consumer.  Having a small, luxury ship with a casino works for some. WS chose to remove them and that works for others.  It’s all good.

 

Exactly.  It's good that different companies have different business plans.  Looking at the deck plans for the enlarged Star trio, I wouldn't want to give up any of the public spaces for a casino.  Others have different priorities, so I'm glad there's a small-ship line that caters to them and allows Windstar to be Windstar.

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