Windstar Cruises has rolled out an all-inclusive pricing option to elevate the brand to a more luxury cruise experience. While the cruise line has not eliminated its base cruise fare, Windstar’s All-Inclusive pricing offers the ultimate convenience, by providing the easiest (and cheapest) way to bundle the most popular onboard amenities.
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Why You Should Take Advantage of Windstar’s All-Inclusive Pricing Option
Why should you take advantage of Windstar’s All-Inclusive pricing option? Well, this new pricing offers a stress-free vacation that will also save you money. Now, that’s a win-win!
Windstar’s All-Inclusive pricing option includes three of the most popular add-ons, a drink package, unlimited WiFi, and gratuities, all wrapped into one low price. The best part is that this offer is available on all Star Plus Class yachts and Wind Class yachts.
For our Dreams of Tahiti cruise on the Star Breeze, the Cruise Only pricing started at $2,499 per guest. While the All-Inclusive pricing started at $3,052. This equates to a difference of $553 per person or just $79 per day. Yes, for just $79 per person, per day, you can enjoy unlimited drinks, unlimited WiFi, and all gratuities.
Now, with the majority of your onboard expenses paid up-front, you will have peace of mind; you won’t have to worry about the tab at the end of your cruise.
If you book the Cruise Only fare and decide later that you want this All-In Package, you can purchase once onboard. The onboard price is $89 per person, per day.
Of course, it’s your vacation and your choice. So, you can still choose to pay the base cruise fare and purchase any of these add-ons at a la carte prices.
“In an effort to be more in line with other luxury offerings in the cruise industry, particularly with the rollout of our newly transformed all-suite Star Plus Class yachts, we’re now giving the option of an all-inclusive price for all of our sailings,” said Windstar President Christopher Prelog.
“We didn’t want to take away the à la carte option from guests who enjoy going that way. We want our guests to have the choice based on their preference, what they need on board, and their general vacation philosophy.”
Cruise Only Fare Inclusions
For one set fare, a cruise vacation enables travelers to see multiple destinations while enjoying most of the onboard amenities. This Cruise Only Fare covers the cost of your stateroom for the duration of the trip, including daily service.
This base fare also includes all meals. On a Windstar cruise, guests can enjoy three meals a day included in the standard cruise fare. Additionally, there is no added cost for specialty dining or room service.
Further, there will be a number of onboard activities and nightly entertainment that will not cost anything. Signature to Windstar Cruises is the watersports platform. From right off the back of the ship, guests can enjoy complimentary use of watersports equipment and snorkel gear.
Finally, Windstar Cruises offers a selection of non-alcoholic drinks in this Cruise Only fare. Unlike most contemporary cruise lines, soda, specialty coffee & tea, bottled water, and zero-proof cocktails are included in this base fare.
While there is a lot included in this Cruise Only fare, there are some add-ons that will cost extra money.
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Windstar Cruises’ Beverage Packages
While all non-alcoholic beverages are complimentary, alcoholic beverages will cost extra.
Windstar Cruises offers two drink packages. The Topmast Discoveries Beer & Wine Package costs $49 per person, per day. The Captain’s Exclusive Beverage Package costs $59 per person, per day. For each of these beverage packages, there is an additional 15% beverage service charge.
The Topmast Discoveries Beer & Wine Package includes domestic and imported beer and 33 varieties of wine by the glass.
The Captain’s Exclusive Beverage package includes all domestic and imported beers, 33 varieties of wine/sparkling/champagne by the glass, PLUS cordials, liqueurs, apertifs, cocktails, and even mini bar items. Cocktails are based on house & select brands.
These beverage packages are sold per person and must be purchased in advance or during the first two days of your cruise. They must also be purchased for the full duration of the cruise.
Now, Windstar’s All-Inclusive pricing provides the same beverage selections as the Captain’s Exclusive Beverage package without the additional 15% service charge.
Thus, the Captain’s Exclusive beverage package will cost you $67.85 per day or $474.95 for a 7-day cruise. Whereas, the All-In package will cost you $79 per day or $553 for a 7-day cruise.
With all packages, you also save 30% on all bottles of wine with a retail value of up to $100.
Windstar Cruises’ Gratuities
Cruise gratuities are services charges that are not included in your standard cruise fare, similar to a hotel resort fee. These additional fees are a per person, per day dollar amount that are charged to all guests across all stateroom categories.
These charges serve as a means to reward the hard-working crew for the excellent service provided during your cruise vacation.
Of course, you can always tip special crew members above and beyond this required amount.
Windstar Cruises’ Hotel Service Charge is $14.50 per passenger, per day and is automatically added to each guest’s onboard account. This equates to $101.50 per person for a standard 7-day cruise.
When booking Windstar’s All-Inclusive pricing option, this $14.50 per day is included in the $79 per day fee.
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Windstar Cruises’ WiFi
You will need to purchase an internet package if you want to stay in touch with family and friends, as WiFi is not part of the cruise fare on Windstar Cruises.
Windstar offers three different internet plans. The Email Plan is $60 and gives you 200 MB of data to use during your cruise. This plan is best for checking email and doing very limited browsing. The Surfing Plan is $120 and gives you 500 MB of data to use for additional browsing and small file transfers, like posting pictures to social media.
The most inclusive WiFi package is the Unlimited Plan. For a 7-day cruise, this plan is $250 or roughly $35 per day. This plan gives you unlimited internet access without worrying about time or amount of data.
Of note, guests can use only one device at a time with all internet packages.
When booking Windstar’s All-Inclusive pricing option, the $35 per day for the Unlimited WiFi plan is included in the $79 per day fee.
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The Value of Windstar’s All-Inclusive Pricing
When you start to examine the prices of these cruise add-ons, you will see the value in Windstar’s All-Inclusive pricing.
Not only does this plan offer convenience, it provides a considerable value for guests who would ordinarily purchase these add-ons.
First, gratuities are mandatory for all guests. So, you will be charge $14.50 per day regardless of whether you book the Cruise Only fare or the All-Inclusive fare. Thus, take that $79 and substract the mandatory cost of gratuities, and that leaves you $64.50.
If you are like most modern day cruisers, you will want to stay connected during your cruise. So, you will likely purchase the $35 per day unlimited WiFi package. Now, deducting $35 from $64.50 leaves you just $29.50.
If you are still not sure if this plan makes sense for you, consider the average prices of alcoholic drinks onboard Windstar Cruises. Beer will cost you between $5.95 – $7.95, wine by the glass $8.00 – $11.00, and cocktails $8.75 – $11.50, plus 15% gratuity on each drink.
This means that you would need to drink more than 4 beers, 3 glasses of wine, or 3 cocktails per day to recognize the value in this package. Even if you aren’t a big drinker, this is pretty easy to do on a cruise.
While upgrading to Windstar’s All-Inclusive pricing is an individual decision, it is clearly a no-brainer if you were planning to purchase WiFi and a drink package anyway.
If you typically don’t purchase an internet package, it makes the decision a bit more difficult. This means that you would have to consume on average more than 6 alcoholic drinks a day to make the package a good value.
Of course, if you don’t drink alcohol at all, then this upgrade probably doesn’t make sense either. You would need to consume at least $30 in alcoholic beverages a day to make the All-Inclusive package “worth it”.
For us, since we typically purchase WiFi and a drink package anyway, upgrading to Windstar’s All-Inclusive pricing option provides the best of convenience and value!
Would you take advantage of Windstar’s All-Inclusive pricing option? Do you like the idea of a more all-inclusive cruise vacation? Drop us an anchor below to share what you love about Windstar Cruises.