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Posted (edited)

First let me say thank you for visiting us here at Cruise Critic. 

 

I'm a mostly mainstream line cruiser.  If I wanted to pick a luxe line, why would I pick Windstar (other than Oceania which I've sailed on once)?  What makes you different?

 

Thanks....

Edited by ACruiseGuy

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To add to the above excellent question, for the price of a Windstar cruise I can often get the "small ship" experience on Seabourn or even Regent (at times), both of which lines are more all-inclusive. For me, the lack of always having to sign a chit, yet having high quality liquor/wines included, is a big plus. Would Windstar consider that model?

 

Thanks for taking the time to respond to us avid cruisers.  

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I do not want to be on an all inclusive because we drink very little and I would hate to have to pay for alcohol   I do not dtink and my husband can not drink. I am max 2 drinks a day he us one. I vote for keeping it the way it is, the package system seems to be fair.  

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3 hours ago, Strenz said:

I do not want to be on an all inclusive because we drink very little and I would hate to have to pay for alcohol   I do not drink and my husband can not drink. I am max 2 drinks a day he us one. I vote for keeping it the way it is, the package system seems to be fair.  

 

I agree.  DW doesn't drink [even prefers table water to bottled], and I only drink wine at dinner and the very occasional G&T.  We're much better off if hard liquor is a la carte.  

 

Likewise on shore excursions: we don't like ship's excursions (overpriced, crowded, and waste too much time) – Cruise Critic roll calls let us plan exactly what we want to do and then share the cost among like-minded passengers.  

 

The one thing that Windstar could do that would improve the onboard experience is to include gratuities.  Passengers from non-tipping cultures would be so grateful - and even those of us from the US would be happy not to feel pressured by those who overtip!

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I agree with you about excursions. I am a researcher and I love art, history and to go off the beaten path.  If WS initiated all inclusive tours and alcohol we would end our relationship and that would be so sad for us because we have so loved traveling and vacationing with WS. I could not afford all inclusive prices then hire my own guides.   I have been on WS excursions and they have been very  good but I choose very carefully because  my interests are so different  than most people’s and I love the process of research. I would not impose my interests on others and I feel the same about the reverse. I think they should keep things the way they are:  offer different alcohol packages, offer tours but do not under any circumstances become all inclusive. Either way with gratuities is fine with me I have always extra tipped because the service on WS is so great I feel they deserve every cent  coming to them, We are not wealthy but we try to live our life in a generous, grateful manner.  Please WS do not become  all inclusive. Happy Sailing

 

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It appears that I kicked over a hornet's nest by simply asking the visiting executive guest a question. While I appreciate the perspective of the above two posters, if the line becomes more all-inclusive, yet roughly at the same price point, how does that interfere with their enjoyment of their cruise? As I noted, I can often find a cruise on Seabourn or even Regent (admittedly that is more challenging given the included business-class air and shore excursions) for about the same price as a cruise on Windstar. To return to the question of the first (original) poster, given that, what makes WS stand out? If I can have more inclusions for roughly the same costs, where is the "value-quotient" in WS? Convince me.

 

As to whether WS is interested in moving to a more inclusive model, why ever not? Seabourn does not include shore excursions, while Regent does. Yet the excursions on those two lines are nothing like the large, "follow the flag/umbrella" gong-show on the mass-market lines. I have arranged my own shore excursions, through my excellent travel advisor, so have enjoyed many a private tour. Yet, the tours on our last two Regent cruises, small groups, were also excellent for the price paid (far less, obviously, than is a private tour). 

 

As for the included air-fare, or generous air-credit on Regent, this allows us to travel biz class to far-a-way destinations, knowing that (if we do the included air) our pick ups and drop offs are all taken care of. It is often a good value, as is the included top-shelf liquor, available both on Regent and on Seabourn.

 

All I can say to the two other posters is, "don't knock it until you've tried it". For years my wife and I only cruised on one cruise line. We finally decided to branch out, and have enjoyed the different experiences and options. So, keep an open mind. I am certainly open to considering WS, but must be convinced the price-value quotient is present. It is also doubtful that I am the only potential customer who wants a more-inclusive model, and who dislikes signing chits. 

 

Happy cruising, on whatever model you prefer!  

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Because it can't become more inclusive at the same price point.  Somebody has to pay for the added costs – and by 'somebody' I mean 'everybody.'

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Again, I beg to differ: As I thought I had quite clearly stated in my two prior posts, I have price-compared (per diem, all in, including air-fare) as I am very price-sensitive. Hopefully not exemplifying Oscar Wilde ("a cynic is someone who knows the price of everything yet the value of nothing"), yet I have compared prices. Again, not all the time, and not on all itineraries, but I have taken SB and RSSC cruises for roughly the same price as WS. I guess it depends on supply and demand for particular cruises and itineraries. Yet indeed, it can be done. I have done it.

 

Given this real-world example, again my question is not to other cruisers or even to the learned host of this forum, but is (again, as I thought this was clear) to the visiting executive, Mr. Delaney: why should I try WS? Where is the value that you offer us potential customers? You already have your devotees. What do you intend to do to woo the rest of us?

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While I respect your math and opinion I agree with Jazzbeau   someone has to pay the add ons. For the prices I pay for WS, for the places I want to go, I have found Regent and Seabourn much more. I have to be price conscious. I have a friend  who  has traveled on other small ship lines fully inclusive  she found the tours upwards of 25-30 people that went to all the « regular «  tourist stops that simply is not us. She does not drink and was aggravated  she had to pay for other’s alcohol consumption.I also look at specific itineraries for I use WS for traveling and vacations ( Caribbean )  totally different for us. The price I get in January ( from NE have to get out ) has  always been reasonable for the Surf ( love the sails, have to have sails in the Caribbean ).  That is specific. My European travels are always reserved a year out because I have no airline status and I use miles to travel business ( no way I could afford to pay that and I have arthrites  which makes over night flying very uncomfortable ) So sometimes it is not price point for every time I go I price compare and WS with price, itineraries, size, type of ship wins. Everyone has needs why should there only be one way in the pricing. I am first To admit I love WS but pricing is also very important. I am glad you posted this question but it is also  good for people to speak up their needs it is not being close minded. Travel like almost everything is need driven so why should it be pricing of one for all. People should have choices on what they choose to buy and when. By having inclusive pricing you are excluding some. Makes no sense to me. Happy Sailing.

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On 10/3/2019 at 8:50 AM, ACruiseGuy said:

First let me say thank you for visiting us here at Cruise Critic. 

 

I'm a mostly mainstream line cruiser.  If I wanted to pick a luxe line, why would I pick Windstar (other than Oceania which I've sailed on once)?  What makes you different?

 

Thanks....

 

It’s my pleasure and I’m a big fan of Cruise Critic and all of the great information that gets shared here.  The biggest difference on Windstar is that we’re true small ship cruises with 340 or fewer guests. We typically don’t refer to ourselves as luxury because we’re a more casual experience and don’t have the formal nights or butlers that go along with that. Instead we have the best food at sea as the official cruise line of the James Beard Foundation, highly personalized intuitive service from the best crew at sea who will remember your name and preferences before the first day is over, and a very relaxed social ambiance with like-minded travelers who are travelers not tourists.

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Thanks for the many suggestions.  We also survey our guests three times a year and run various options by them like an all-inclusive option and work hard to offer what we hear from the majority of our guests.

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