Windstar Launches Beyond Ordinary Care Program with Key Changes Aboard

Chris Prelog, COO

When Windstar Cruises returns to service, the ships will have new HVAC systems, stringent cleaning and onboard protocols, and won’t operate at 100 percent occupancy, said Chris Prelog, COO, who oversaw the company’s holistic Beyond Ordinary Care program.

“We certainly won’t go to 100 occupancy and will have a set of suites set aside for isolation,” he said, in a phone interview with Cruise Industry News.

Occupancy percentages will be determined by regulations, Prelog said.

As for resuming service, the company will have the 148-guest Wind Spirit back in service in Tahiti on September 10, with the company’s five other ships following between late 2020 and next July. 

The big changes are coming on the HVAC side of the operation, with new installations across the fleet.

HEPA filters and UV-C lights will be installed. UV-C lights will provide an opportunity to “zap” the air with UV-C light (germicidal irradiation) before the air recirculates on the ship. When air passes the UV-C light, microbes such as bacteria and viruses not trapped in the HEPA filter will be destroyed, according to company literature. 

Wind Spirit

“And if you put a finer filter (HEPA) aboard you will need stronger motors and fans to push (the air),” Prelog said. “We are not just installing filters and lights, there is a whole lot more going on from the perspective on upgrading the HVAC systems.”

Embarkation will be staggered, but homeport hours won’t need to be adjusted due to Windstar’s small passenger contingent.

Omboard, there will be constant cleaning, additional protocols and more crew assigned to specific cleaning tasks.

The Seattle-based company will use EvaClean with PurTab for disinfecting surfaces via sprayers.

Without a full passenger load, Windstar will still carry a full crew count, making more crew available to help with cleaning, noted Prelog, who was named COO in February.

There will also be more medical staff aboard and a bigger HVAC engineering support squad, Prelog said, to monitor the HVAC plants and new air conditioning infrastructure.

Following the Wind Spirit, the Wind Surf plans to be back in operation on Nov. 29 in the Caribbean, while the Wind Star will debut in mid-January in Costa Rica.

Windstar’s Star-class trio are undergoing a major renovation adding additional suites, new restaurants, an expanded pool deck and other amenities during their ship stretches at Fincantieri in Palermo.

The Star Breeze will set sail on October 27 in the Mediterranean, the Star Legend on March 1, and the Star Pride on July 5 (2021).

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