As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations we caught up with Steve Simao, Windstar's Vice President of Sales. Steve joined the company in 2015 after many years at Carnival Corporation, where he headed up international sales at both Seabourn and Holland America Line, and we spoke to him at a very exciting time for Windstar...
Q: Describe your company in no more than 50 words...
A: Windstar's six yachts, loved for their intimate and personalised service and approach on board, bring you closer to each destination with in-depth exploration away from the crowds, to enjoy local, exotic cultures. The words 'surprise' and 'delight' could have been made for Windstar.
Q: What is your proudest moment as it relates to your company?
A: In 2018, we sailed the Star Legend through the Ballard Locks in Seattle onto Lake Union, becoming the largest cruise ship ever to do so. This was part of an employee recognition programme and in honour of Seattle being our home town. The locks were lined with locals as we passed through and our employees were the guests.
Q: Tell me something about yourself that most people don't know...
A: I took my first cruise at the age of 14 years, sailed through a hurricane with 70 foot waves, and got off the ship and said "When I grow up, I want to work in the cruise business!"
Q: Tell me what, in your opinion, is the one most significant thing that makes your cruise line different from its competitors?
A: Our mantra '180 Degrees from Ordinary' says it all. It sounds clichéd, but our friendly crew leverage our small size and always look for ways to surprise and delight our guests beyond expectations.
Q: What is the next big thing to come from your company?
By the end of 2021, we will have completed our US$250 million Star Plus Initiative, which will completely renovate and expand our Star Class fleet, adding two new restaurants, 50 new suites, as well as brand new engines to make the ships more environmentally friendly.
Q: Why do you love Mundy Cruising and what do you think is the secret of their 50 years of success?
A: I think like Windstar, Mundy's success is their ability to recognise each client as someone unique and special and to ensure that all of their needs are completely looked after in a very personal way.