Windstar Cruises is known for its Open Bridge policy, where guests can wander onto the bridge day or night and chat navigation and constellations. Now a new accommodation on a renovated ship lets them really feel like one of the crew.
The Officers’ Suite on the Wind Surf is located behind the bridge in an area labelled “Crew Only.” Within its 242-square-feet is a bedroom, full bath with Jacuzzi tub and a living room with a wide-screen TV. Nautically-appointed decor elements include a sextant, Wind Surf print, model of a J-class sailing ship and binoculars. It’s the only suite of its kind at sea - and the ultimate true cruise enthusiasts’ accommodation.
“Guests in this suite share exclusive company with the captain, chief officer, hotel manager and chief engineer, and it's the location that makes it like nothing in the industry,” says Windstar president John Delane. “I knew we needed to do something special for this suite and not just have it reserved for friends of the cruise line, so we decided to make it an official guest quarters you can actually book and give it more of a nautical theme to reflect its exclusive location tucked away just behind the bridge."
The Wind Surf, a five-masted schooner that is regarded as the largest commercial sailing ship in the world, went into dry dock last fall, during which time the entire ship was completely renovated. The outer hull was sandblasted and repainted, public areas were given a more social atmosphere and “living room” vibe, the lounge and bar were expanded and revamped, rooms were refreshed and a new state-of-the-art spa was created with new fitness equipment and treatments. But it’s the Officers’ Suite that’s most unique.
Pricing for the suite is dependent on the itinerary; on an upcoming Caribbean sailing, it is available starting at $3699 (€4358) per person based on double occupancy. And while you are gazing at the open seas from the cabin, enjoy a cup of Bridge Blend, an exclusive coffee from Fonté Coffee Roaster, which is based in Seattle just like the cruise line. Maybe you can even pop over to the bridge with your mug of joe and chat about conditions with the captain.