Windstar Cruises' Star Breeze Inaugural Cruise - Part II - The Transformation of A Cruise Line - Travels Blogs

Windstar Cruises' Star Breeze Inaugural Cruise - Part II - The Transformation of A Cruise Line

I just returned from the Inaugural Cruise of the Windstar Star Breeze, which was quite enjoyable not only from the cruise product standpoint, but Windstar's highlighting its new philosophies including smaller ports and longer stays.  While I normally focus on the service, cuisine and ports as I experience them, in this particular instance they are actually secondary to the larger story.  
Windstar Cruises' Star Breeze in Portoferrario, Elba, ItalyThis Inaugural was, to my mind, more about the significant transformation coming to Windstar Cruises and less about the transformation of the Star Breeze (formerly the Seabourn Spirit) and all of the changes made to her.  There was a lot of thought as to what improvements to make to her and each one, at least to my mind, are excellent ideas that appear have been executed quite well.  
Raising the Flag on a New Windstar Cruises!First, some background!  Windstar Cruises' past has had a few identity and ownership crisis.  But that is no longer the case, with it now being owned by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, which also owns a number of entities ranging from the beautiful and luxurious Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado to national park lodges to train, bicycle and walking tour companies and more.  Clearly, as things progress I (and others) can see a synergy between these different travel-related companies. Things like a European biking tour combined with a Windstar cruise or a Broadmoor golfing-focused Windstar cruise come to mind. The owners of the Xanterra, billionaires Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Anschutz, were onboard, very friendly and had an agenda to let it be known there was more to the Inaugural than the christening of the Star Breeze:  Windstar Cruises wants it to be known that it is not stopping at the acquisition of the Seabourn triplets, but creating a 12 ship or more small ship cruise line in only a few years and making sure it gets the word out; not only about its new ships, but it?s future.
The Inauguration of the Star Breeze was beautiful.And with that is the beginning of Windstar Cruises beginning its transformation from a somewhat funky and fun boutique line where sails and being "180 Degrees From Ordinary" were its hallmarks to a small ship, near luxury, full fledged, cruise line.  And also, quite interestingly, while the Windstar Pride, Breeze and Legend were sold using the technique, "Its about the software; not the hardware", Windstar is making a huge investment in the hardware as it looks to the future.  
Remember the pool on the Seabourn Triplets"   It is gone!
In its place is a beautiful terrace area which expands the seating in the Veranda
and provides al fresco dining even during inclement weather.Why"  The answer is actually three-fold at least.  It is very difficult to make a profit with three small ships for a variety of reasons, so expansion works much to Windstar's fina...
Source: Goldring Travel

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