Windstar Cruises has launched a new program aimed at helping guests to book their next cruise vacation while onboard. The program will, however, assign the new booking to the travel agent of record on the guest’s current booking. Travel agents will receive full credit and commission for the new booking, Windstar said.
Windstar said that the new Onboard Cruise Consultant (OCC) program aims to help guests on cruise vacations plan future cruise experiences and to drive recognition of the benefits of supporting travel professionals. The first OCC will embark on Star Legend on its February 3 itinerary from Bangkok to Hong Kong. Within the next few months, three more OCC’s will join Star Breeze, Star Pride, and Wind Surf. These are the largest of Windstar’s fleet. The remaining two ships (both with just 148 guests each) will be evaluated for the program in the near future, the cruise line said.
Benefits of booking onboard with the OCC are:
- Reduced Deposit – The special reduced deposit is a real value and it is fully refundable based on the program’s guidelines. Reduced deposits start at $200 per booking compared to the normal deposit of 15 percent of cruise fare.
- 5 Percent Savings – Onboard/Welcome Home – Guests who have sailed are eligible for the 5 percent Onboard/Welcome Home new booking savings. This provides 5 percent off the cruise fare.
- 5 Percent Savings – Yacht Club Members – Current guests are automatically enrolled in Windstar Cruises’ “Yacht Club Member” program. Members are eligible for 5 percent off the cruise fare after promotional adjustments.
Windstar said that the program recognizes and supports travel agent bookings by assigning the new onboard booking to the travel agent of record on the guests’ current booking.
“Travel professionals are the ‘wind in our sails,’ so to speak, and we support them, with the OCC program as part of Windstar’s Star Promise to support and recognize travel professionals who help vacationers embark on the Windstar vacation experience,” the cruise line said in a statement announcing the new program.
When the initial booking of a guest is made by a travel professional, that agent will remain the agent of record for the new OCC booking, and the travel agent will receive full credit for the new booking (and full commission). An email from Windstar to the travel professional will confirm the booking with invoice and itinerary information and remind the travel agent to follow up with the guests upon their return home.
“This is one more example of Windstar’s commitment to travel agents and our guests,” said Windstar Cruises President John Delaney. “In addition to the obvious benefits, our guests will be offered the extra value of our Yacht Club Membership, which provides additional value, savings, and special courtesies.”
Windstar said the OCCs must all be seasoned cruise industry veterans; have impressive ship experience and tenure; possess knowledge of the ships and itineraries; and excel at guest interaction (both to provide better overall service and contribute to safety on board).