GENERAL CRUISE TERMS & CONDITIONS
GENERAL CRUISE TERMS & CONDITIONS
All itineraries, schedules, and ports are correct at time of publication but are subject to change without notice. “Windstar Cruises,” “Windstar,” “We,” and “Us” refer to Windstar Cruises Marshall Islands, LLC, a Limited Liability Company that owns and operates the cruise line known as Windstar Cruises. “You,” “passenger” and “guest” refer to persons travelling with Windstar and those in their care, such as minor children. Due to the small size and intimate nature of our yachts, Windstar Cruises is unable to accommodate children under eight (8) years of age. Guests under 21 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or chaperone in their stateroom or suite who is at least 25 years old; one adult (age 25 or older) chaperone is required for every five (5) people under 21.
Should you need to contact Windstar Cruises prior to cruising, use this address: Windstar Cruises, 2101 4th Avenue, Suite 210, Seattle, WA 98121, U.S.A.
PASSAGE CONTRACT: All cruises are provided subject to the terms of the Windstar Cruises Passage Contract, which can be found here, and which contains important, comprehensive additional terms governing your cruise with us including among other things limits on claims and liability, resolution of claims, etc.
CRUISE FARES: Your fare includes ocean transportation, stateroom or suite accommodations, and all meals and entertainment on board the ship. Not included, however, are items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, laundry, transfers prior to or after your cruise, or optional programs or activities. Shore excursions and airfare are available for an additional charge. All rates shown are per person based on double occupancy. Fares are published in U.S. dollars (USD).
Note: Third-person rates are available upon request. For further information on fares, nondiscountable amounts, taxes, and surcharges, please see below.
SINGLES: Single occupancy of a stateroom is generally 175% of the published per person stateroom cruise fare (200% of the Owner’s Suite, Suites, and Bridge Suites per person cruise fares) and is subject to availability.
WINDSTAR FARE PRICE ASSURANCE POLICY: Guests who purchase a cruise on Windstar will be eligible for reimbursement upon request if the fare published by Windstar for their specific departure and cabin class is reduced after they have made a booking and deposit, and if the request is received by Windstar at least 90 days prior to sailing. The reimbursement will be provided in the form of a shipboard credit, upgrade, fare reduction, or a future cruise credit. Windstar will determine the form of reimbursement, and the amount of reimbursement will be the difference between the fare actually paid by the guest and the published fare on WindstarCruises.com the day the request is received. Guests who select reimbursement will be eligible for any complimentary inclusive features (e.g., hotels, air, tours) associated with the new fare and will forfeit any complimentary inclusive features associated with the original fare. All requests for reimbursement must be made directly to Windstar Cruises at 866-851-4042 (during regular reservations hours) at least 90 days prior to sailing. Windstar’s new fare pricing assurance policy took effect August 15, 2018. Windstar reserves the right to modify or terminate this policy at any time for bookings not yet made. Policy does not apply to certain promotions or guests outside of the US or Canada.
RESERVATIONS AND PAYMENT: Windstar Cruises works with travel agencies worldwide to serve your needs. Reservations either made by or assigned to a travel professional must be managed by the agency of record. While Windstar is unable to provide specific booking information on agency bookings, we are happy to answer general questions. Alternatively, you may reserve your cruise directly with us if you prefer. Since accommodations are limited by the number of staterooms or suites on each ship, reservations should be made as early as possible. Payment for your Windstar cruise is to be made to the travel agency with which you made your reservation, or to Windstar Cruises directly. Travel documents will be issued when full payment has been received by Windstar Cruises. Refunds for cancelled or unused services will be made, less any applicable cancellation fees and charges. If you have reserved your cruise with your travel professional, please be aware that additional cancellation fees charged by the booking agency may apply.
DEPOSIT AND FINAL PAYMENT REQUIREMENTS: Deposit of 15% of cruise fare, hotel, and non-discountable amounts is required within three (3) days of booking to secure a reservation. Final payment is due prior to 90 days before departure date. Your travel documents are usually received approximately 60 days prior to departure. If booking directly with Windstar Cruises, send payments to Windstar Cruises, 2101 4th Avenue, Suite 210, Seattle, WA 98121, U.S.A. Payment is also welcome by American Express®, Discover Card®, Visa®, or MasterCard®. For faster processing, please include your confirmation number on your check. All charges are in USD. Windstar is not liable for any currency exchange rate or foreign exchange fee imposed by the bank or credit card company. Payment of the cruise deposit and Travel Protection Plan (if applicable) constitutes a binding of the Terms & Conditions and acceptance of the Passage Contract.
LATE BOOKING POLICY: On bookings within 45 days of departure, Windstar Cruises requires final payment (cashier’s check, electronic transfer of funds, or American Express®, Discover Card®, Visa®, or MasterCard®) before we can initiate the process of requesting hotel and/or air space; on bookings within 14 days of departure, we are unable to make air or hotel transfers or arrangements. Windstar Cruises will advise you of the status of the request within five (5) working days of receipt of final payment. If your request is confirmed, electronic tickets will be sent via email. If we are unable to confirm your late booking all monies paid will be refunded in full. Please note, changes or additions to the cruise package (i.e. transfers, special services, gifts, or onboard packages) cannot be made within seven (7) days of departure and should be arranged once you are on board the ship.
CANCELLATION POLICY: Each cruise booking cancelled before 120 days prior to initial departure will be subject to a $50 per person cancellation fee. A full refund (except for the amounts paid for air transportation, and the $50 per person fee) will be made for written cancellations received by Windstar Cruises at least 121 days prior to the date on which you are to commence travel by any mode of transportation booked through Windstar Cruises (air, sea, or land). Guests who cancel after that date for any reason, including medical or family reasons, are subject to the following cancellation fee schedule:
* 120-90 days before commencing travel – 15% of gross fare;
* 89-60 days before commencing travel – 35% of gross fare;
* 59-30 days before commencing travel – 50% of gross fare;
* 29-0 days before commencing travel – 100% of gross fare.
Given that the resale of cancelled space will likely result in a lost opportunity to sell other space, these fees are due regardless of resale. You agree that Windstar's losses in the event of your cancellation would be very difficult if not impossible to determine, and that the cancellation fees above are a fair and reasonable estimate of Windstar's losses. Windstar Cruises can only be responsible for refunding amounts actually received. Travel agencies may impose their own cancellation fees. Agency fees of any nature are a matter to be decided on solely by the agency and its customers. Windstar Cruises cruise tickets and Passage Contracts are non-transferable. Name changes and departure date changes are considered reservation cancellations/re-bookings and are subject to cancellation fees. Changes require the prior approval of Windstar Cruises and may not always be possible. Windstar Cruises cruise and accommodations cancellation policies do not apply to airline reservations. Airline reservations changes require the prior approval of airlines and may result in change fees or may not be possible.
CHANGE FEES: Changing your itinerary after reservations have been made can result in a loss of advantages gained by early planning. To cover administrative costs, a minimum charge of $50 per person will be assessed if you request a change in your travel arrangements less than 121 days prior to commencement of travel. This doesn’t apply to departure date changes made by Windstar Cruises. Change fees are not assessed for stateroom upgrades or for the addition of services unless air reservations are altered and/or travel documents must be reissued.
ADDITIONAL DEFINITIONS: "Ship” refers to the vessel that will provide the ocean transportation portion of the cruise. “Cruise” refers to the specific cruise purchased by you, and shall include periods during which you are embarking or disembarking the ship or are on shore while the ship is in port. “Initial Departure” means the time at which you first begin transit by any means of transport booked by us (including air transportation) for the purpose of taking the Cruise. “Windstar Air Package” refers to air transportation booked for you by Windstar Cruises to enable you to travel to and from your Cruise. “Windstar Land Package” includes any shore activity before or after the Cruise or ashore during the Cruise arranged for you by us in connection with your Cruise.
PROHIBITED ITEMS; DRUG & ALCOHOL RESTRICTIONS; BAGGAGE: The following are strictly prohibited on the ship and during all aspects of the Cruise, Windstar Land Package and shore excursions: radioactive materials, recreational and medicinal marijuana and other controlled substances under USA law (see United States DEA Drug Schedules at www.dea.gov/druginfo/ds.shtml) or any under any foreign jurisdiction the Ship enters (except lawfully obtained and transported prescription drugs other than marijuana), firearms, ammunition, weapons, fireworks, aerial drones, illicit or hazardous materials, hand irons, water heaters and candles. Passengers are allowed to bring aboard two (2) bottles of wine or champagne (750ml) per cabin for their enjoyment on board for a 7-day Cruise or three (3) bottles for an 8-day (or longer) Cruise. Passengers may consume these permitted outside beverages in public areas on the Ship, but a small corkage fee (approximately US$15 + 15% gratuity) will be applied to the passenger’s onboard account. All additional outside alcohol (meaning wine, beer and/or hard alcohol) including alcohol purchased at ports of call along the Cruise route, will be kept by the Ship’s purser and delivered to the passenger’s cabin the last evening of the Cruise. We will carry as baggage only your personal effects consisting of wearing apparel, toilet articles and similar items for your wearing, comfort or convenience during the Cruise and not belonging to or intended for use by any other person or for sale. For loading and unloading the Ship and other means of transportation, all baggage must be tendered for carriage in securely constructed and locked suitcases or trunks. All baggage must be able to be safely stowed in your cabin on the Ship. The only animals permitted to accompany you are recognized service dogs for passengers with disabilities; you are responsible for complying with governmental health, documentation and other requirements as to recognized service dogs.
We do not accept to carry as baggage or assume any liability for any loss of or damage to or delay of trade goods, household goods or furniture, perishable items, medicine, liquor, cash, credit or debit cards, jewelry, gems, gold, silver, precious metals, art, collectibles or similar valuables, securities, financial instruments, records or other valuable or business documents, computers, cellular telephones, cameras, hearing aids, electric wheelchairs, scooters, or other video or electronic equipment, binoculars, film, videotape, computer disks, audio disks, tapes, DVDs or CDs, or other articles specified in 46 U.S. Code Section 30503. These items should not be left unattended about the ship or your cabin, nor should they be left unattended on other vessels, railcars, taxis or other vehicles or in hotels, nor placed in luggage other than a bag that you carry with you. In addition, we do not assume any liability for any loss of or damage to carry-on baggage on the ship or on the other means of transportation or in hotels. The Ship and certain hotels may be equipped with cabin or room safes or safe-deposit boxes in the ship’s or hotel’s Front Office; using these facilities will not, however, increase our liability as provided in the Passage Contract.
NON-WINDSTAR CRUISES SERVICES; ITINERARY CHANGES: These include non-Windstar Cruises Services such as airlines and other off-ship transportation carriers, shore excursions (other than the limited number of shore excursions operated by Windstar), and accommodations. Non-Windstar Cruises Services are solely at your risk and subject to the terms or arrangements made by you. Windstar Cruises assumes no responsibility with respect to these non-Windstar Cruises Services including delay, injury, death or damage to property. Situations may arise that, in the opinion of Windstar Cruises, make it necessary for Windstar Cruises to cancel, advance, or postpone a scheduled departure, change itineraries or make substitutions involving ports of call, other travel components, vessels, or other modes of transportation. These situations may include, by way of example, concerns regarding weather conditions, issues involving safety matters, alternative business arrangements or charters resulting in the decision to withdraw a Cruise from public sale, or requirements of governmental authorities. If this should occur, Windstar Cruises does not assume responsibility or liability for any losses, inconvenience, or expenses incurred by guests as a result. Please see the Windstar Cruises Passage Contract for further details.
PASSENGER CONDITION & PASSENGERS WITH DISABILITIES: There are risks inherent to being aboard a ship. These include, by way of example, having to evacuate the Ship in case of emergency, having to move about on the ship during rough seas and lack of access to full medical services. For people who are pregnant, ill or who are mentally or physically disabled or impaired, these risks are more significant. For example: access to all parts of the ship, other means of transportation or to facilities on shore may be difficult or impossible for some passengers. In addition, medical evacuation during the Cruise, whether at sea, by tender, or by deviating from the scheduled itinerary, may create an increased risk of harm and may not be feasible for a variety of reasons. We reserve the right to determine, in our sole discretion exercised in good faith, whether and when a medical evacuation from the ship will occur. For safety reasons, passengers may not book or embark upon a Cruise if the passenger may reach or exceed the 24th week of pregnancy during the Cruise.
Guests who need assistance and/or have special requests, or need special facilities or equipment with regard to accommodation, seating or services required or their need to bring medical and mobility equipment, must notify Windstar immediately and where possible before concluding their booking. This is to ensure that everyone can be carried safely and in accordance with all applicable safety requirements and to ensure that Windstar can provide the necessary assistance and there are no issues relating to the design of the ship or port infrastructure and equipment – including port terminals – which may make it impossible to carry out the embarkation, disembarkation or carriage of guests in a safe or operationally feasible manner.
Windstar is not obliged to provide any assistance or meet special requests unless it has agreed to do so in writing. If a guest cannot be carried safely and in accordance with applicable safety requirements then Windstar can refuse to accept the guest or embarkation of a disabled person or person with reduced mobility on the grounds of safety. For these reasons, we require that if you have any special medical or physical or other requirements, these be brought to our attention immediately and, where possible, before booking the Cruise. Any prospective passenger with disabilities or special needs must complete a special request form here.
You may be asked questions in order to ensure your safety. In limited situations where you would be unable to satisfy certain specified safety and other criteria, even when provided with appropriate auxiliary aids and services, we reserve the right to refuse permission to participate in all or part of the Cruise.
There are no elevators on Wind Star and Wind Spirit nor were these ship originally constructed to be wheelchair accessible and do not have accessible cabins. As a result, these two ships may be unsuitable for people relying solely on mobility devices. Wind Surf, Star Pride, Star Legend, and Star Breeze are equipped with elevators, although some of the passenger common areas are not wheelchair accessible. Staterooms on Wind Surf are not wheelchair accessible. Four (4) suites on the all–suite ships (Star Breeze, Star Legend and Star Pride) provide limited access for wheelchairs. These cabins have a smaller Queen bed and there is reduced “wheel around” space in those cabins. Also note, there is no elevator access to board any of the ships. Certain ports require the ships to anchor; in this case guests must be ferried into port requiring guests to board a tender boat or rubber inflatable raft (“RIB”) from the ships while at sea. A list of ports where tenders or RIBs are used is available here. This list is not exhaustive.
Those passengers confined to wheelchairs must furnish their own slim or low profile size wheelchairs which are less than 27 inches wide. The ships’ wheelchairs are available for emergency use only. Larger, wider or motorized wheelchairs or scooters are generally too large to be accommodated on the ships. Wheelchairs may be difficult to accommodate in embarkation and disembarkation in certain ports and in tenders. The decision of the officer in charge of tender operations as to whether wheelchairs can be accommodated is final. For reasons of health and safety the crew are forbidden from carrying passengers or passengers in wheelchairs. Wheelchairs cannot be transported in RIBs. In limited situations where an individual with a disability would be unable to satisfy certain specified safety and other criteria, even when provided with appropriate auxiliary aids and services, we may find it necessary to ask the individual to make alternative travel arrangements.
Guests must be physically and emotionally fit to travel at the time of embarkation and certify that they have no medical or emotional condition that would endanger any other passengers. Windstar recommends that any guest who is not self-sufficient travel with a companion who shall take responsibility for any assistance needed during the Cruise and in case of emergency.
Windstar reserves the right to require any passenger to produce medical evidence of fitness to travel in order to assess whether that passenger can be carried safely in accordance with applicable international, US, or Canadian law.
Windstar reserves the right to refuse passage to anyone who has failed to notify it of their specific needs with regard to accommodation, seating or services required from Windstar or terminal operators, or their need to bring medical equipment, or to bring a recognized service dog on board the ship, or of any other known disabilities, or who in Windstar’s and/or the Master’s opinion is unfit or unable to travel, or anyone whose condition may constitute a danger to themselves or others onboard on the grounds of safety.
Animals and/or pets other than recognized service dogs are not allowed on board the ship under any circumstances without Windstar’s permission in writing. Recognized service dogs are permitted on board the ship if prior arrangements have been made at the time of booking. Companion animals and emotional support animals are not allowed on board the ship. Any such animals or pets brought on board without permission will be taken into custody and arrangements will be made for the animal to be landed at the next port of call at the passenger’s sole expense.
Recognized service dogs are subject to and must comply with national, international and EU Regulations regarding health, inoculations, training and travel. It is the passenger’s responsibility to have all necessary papers and clearances prior to the Cruise and to be satisfied that the service dog can be carried to the ports of embarkation and disembarkation and that the service dog is not prohibited from going ashore at the various ports of call.
Please see Windstar’s accessibility page for more information for guests with disabilities.
FARES, NON-DISCOUNTABLE AMOUNTS, TAXES, FEES, PORT EXPENSES, AND SURCHARGES: Windstar Cruises reserves the right not to honor any published prices that it determines were erroneous due to printing, electronic, or clerical error. Each Cruise fare includes a Non-Discountable Amount. That portion of the fare is both non-commissionable to travel professionals and not subject to reduction in the event of a percentage discount promotion, 2-for-1 promotion, or otherwise. If cost factors dictate the need for fare increases, Windstar Cruises may do so at any time prior to departure. Guests can cancel (without paying a cancellation fee) rather than accept a fare increase. Suggested onboard gratuities are extra.
Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses, as used by us, may include, without limitation, all or a portion of all fees, charges, tolls and taxes imposed on us by governmental or quasi-governmental authorities, as well as third party fees and charges arising from a vessel's presence in a harbor or port. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses may include U.S. Customs fees, head taxes, Panama Canal or other canal tolls, passenger facilities charges, dockage fees, wharfage fees, inspection fees, pilotage, air taxes, hotel or VAT taxes incurred as part of a land tour, immigration and naturalization fees, and Internal Revenue Service fees, as well as fees for navigation, berthing, stevedoring, baggage handling/storage and security services. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses may be assessed per passenger, per berth, per ton or per vessel. Assessments calculated on a per ton or per vessel basis will be spread over the number of passengers on the Ship. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses are subject to change (but will not change after assessment due to currency fluctuations) and we reserve the right to collect any increases in effect at the time of sailing even if the fare has already been paid in full. Windstar Cruises reserves the right to impose or pass through fuel surcharges, security surcharges, or similar incidental surcharges. No right of cancellation exists under these circumstances.
SHIPS OWNERSHIP AND REGISTRY: All Windstar Cruises Ships are registered in the Bahamas and owned by Windstar Cruises Marshall Islands, LLC. Yacht ownership and registry are subject to change.
TRANSFERS/PRE- & POST-CRUISE SERVICES: Services for Windstar Cruises cruise-only guests (individuals who do not purchase air transportation or cruise extensions from Windstar Cruises) begin with embarkation at the noted time in your Cruise documents. Any transfers, meals, and dayroom accommodations required prior to this time are the responsibility of the guest. Please make a note of this, as many international flights arrive several hours prior to the scheduled embarkation time. Guests may purchase a transfer from local airport to yacht for day of cruising and from yacht to local airport for day of disembarkation directly through Windstar Cruises Vacation Planning. Guests flying on dates other than the date of (dis)embarkation must arrange their own transfers unless the reason for the different date is because of the purchase of a cruise extension from Windstar Cruises. Transfers for these guests will be arranged between airport, hotel, and pier, as appropriate, so long as the transfer dates coincide with the dates of the services purchased from Windstar Cruises.
SHIPBOARD ACCOUNT AND CURRENCY EXCHANGE: Our cashless society is designed to make your life on board as simple as possible. When you board the Yacht, your account has already been activated and you may make purchases by simply showing your guest identification card and signing a receipt. On embarkation day, you will need to register your credit card (Visa®, Discover®, MasterCard®, or American Express®) in order to use your onboard account for shipboard purchases. We do not accept debit cards or prepaid cards. Your card will be pre-authorized for USD $60 per person for each day of your Cruise. At the end of your Cruise, you will receive a final statement, and your card will be charged only for the actual amount of your purchases.
Please inform your credit card issuer in advance that your card will be used on a Windstar Yacht. This will help prevent delays in obtaining pre-authorization on board. Products and services on board are in USD. Windstar is not liable for any foreign exchange fees imposed by your card issuer. There are no currency exchange services offered on board.
WINDSTAR AIR PACKAGE ARRANGEMENTS BY WINDSTAR CRUISES MARSHALL ISLANDS, LLC: If you are purchasing a Windstar Air Package, we will arrange for air transportation to the departure point of your Cruise and return air transportation from the termination point of your Cruise to the home city from which you departed. Due to the special fares and capacity controls we have with airlines, we retain the right to select carriers and determine routings. Some routings may involve travel to or from an airport other than in the city where the Ship embarks or disembarks. In those cases, motor coach transportation to and/or from the Ship will be provided. Flight schedules and/or availability may require overnight hotel accommodations either to join and/or to return from your Cruise. Due to airline schedules (and occasionally, lack of flight availability), travel between many major cities and your Cruise may require one (1) or more hotel overnights en route. If necessary, the cost of this hotel accommodation is not included in the airfare and is your responsibility. Hotels will be selected by Windstar Cruises and might not be at the port. You are responsible for meals and items of a personal nature.
SCHEDULE CHANGES; AIR DELAYS: We reserve the right to alter air flights as required by airline schedule changes. If tickets have already been issued, we will adjust your itinerary or air carrier, accordingly. In that event, we may ask you to return your tickets. Should you choose to alter your airline schedule in any way once your tickets have been issued, airline charges which result will be your responsibility. If our assistance is requested in changing airline arrangements within sixty (60) days of departure, an additional administrative charge will be levied in addition to any charges imposed by airlines. If your flights are delayed, refer to our Setting Sail booklet for instructions.
SEAT ASSIGNMENTS; SPECIAL SERVICES; FARES; LOST TICKETS; BAGGAGE CHARGES; AIR TAXES AND FEES: We cannot make or confirm seat assignments, special meals or other special services. Your travel agent may assist with these arrangements. If, however, airline fuel or other surcharges or additional governmental taxes or levies are imposed, we reserve the right to pass these through to you. Please keep your airline tickets in a safe place. Should they be lost, you will be responsible for their replacement. Each airline has its own baggage allowance policy. You are responsible for any excess baggage charges imposed by airlines. Air add-on costs quoted by Windstar Cruises will not include passenger facility charges, federal flight segment taxes for each flight segment (takeoff and landing), the September 11 security fee per passenger enplanement, international arrival and departure taxes assessed in foreign countries (the amount of which may be charged in the currency of the foreign country and is subject to change), or new taxes which may be enacted.
LIABILITY AND RELATIONSHIP WITH AIRLINES: We will use commercially reasonable efforts to arrange for your air transportation. If, however, due to any cause beyond our control, we are unable to arrange for air transportation (including, for example, because of capacity controls placed upon us by airlines due to the types of fares under which we book) or the air transportation we arrange is unavailable or otherwise fails to materialize, our sole liability will be limited to refunding the air add-on paid. Our relationship with airlines is that of an independent travel agent. We assume no liability for any acts or omissions of any airline including, without limitation, those involving cancellation of flights, schedule changes, re-routings, damage to or delay or loss of baggage, flight delays, equipment failures, accidents, pilot or other staff shortages, overbooking or computer errors. Accordingly, you will not have any right to claim or recover against us as a consequence of any act or omission of any airline. The liabilities and obligations of an airline to you, and your rights against an airline, are subject to any and all terms and conditions of the airline’s ticket and tariffs and any and all governmental laws and regulations bearing upon or otherwise relating to such rights, liabilities and obligations.
LIABILITY AND RELATIONSHIP WITH WINDSTAR LAND PACKAGE PROVIDERS: If, due to any cause beyond our control, we are unable to arrange for any Windstar Land Package or any desired portion thereof, our sole liability will be limited to refunding the Windstar Land Package add-on paid. Our relationship with providers of Windstar Land Package accommodations or services is that of an independent travel agent. We assume no liability for any acts or omissions of any Windstar Land Package provider or subcontractor including, without limitation, cancellation, damage to or delay or loss of baggage, delays (including any delay in rejoining the Ship or missing the sailing or any flight), equipment failures, accidents, staff shortages, overbooking or computer errors.
Windstar Cruises honors the Cruise Line Passenger Bill of Rights, which can be found here.
Information contained above is accurate at the time of publication and subject to change without notice.
Rev. June 5, 2019