Windstar maintains one of the lowest (1:1.5) staff-to-guest ratios at sea, so each crew member is personally invested in creating a memorable experience for the guests – and the guests, in turn, become invested in the crew.
On my cruise, I was genuinely excited to hear that my steward, Abdul, would soon be reunited with his 5-year-old son in their small village outside Jakarta. During a late-night quiz show in the Compass Rose lounge space, guests rooted for our DJ, William, who used his quick wit and British charm to create fun and familiarity. And Apple, a server in Veranda
restaurant, wowed the crowd at the crew talent show, belting out a Donna Summer song before joining her husband, Jorge, for a duet on Coldplay’s “Yellow.”
“The staff is happy to serve, and the guests are happy to be recognized,” says Cutter. “That’s a win-win for everybody.”
Windstar is always adding new destinations and itineraries to their offerings. The cruise line has been quick to recognize travel trends, and was one of the first companies to circumnavigate Iceland. They’ve increased their departures in of-the-moment Norway, and one of Cutter’s clients recently did a North Sea crossing that visited Greenland. Yale mentions the impressive, expanded Alaska offerings for 2019, including a new itinerary that combines an Inside Passage cruise with a Canadian Rockies rail journey aboard the Rocky Mountaineer and a scenic helicopter tour.
Cutter says that Windstar’s partnership with the James Beard Foundation has taken the onboard culinary experience “to the fine dining level.” Amphora restaurant menus feature dishes created by James Beard Award-nominated chefs, who also join top sommeliers on select voyages for onboard demos, special tasting dinners, and market tours. My Panama Canal cruise featured Pittsburgh-based chef Jamilka Borges, a nominee for the 2019 Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic award; later this year, chef Duskie Estes, a fierce competitor on Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef
, shows off her chops when Star Legend
hits culinary hot spots between Vancouver
, British Columbia, and San Diego
on a new epicurean-themed West Coast voyage.