Pulled the rug from under us!

Feb 6th, 2009, 02:28 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1
Pulled the rug from under us!

Over the years my wife and I have taken many happy cruises aboard the Windstar and Windsurf sailing vessels available through Windstar Cruises. We have been extremely happy with the small size of these beautiful sailing ships and the personal attention we experienced. Last year Windstar contacted us less than a week before our cruise in the Caribbean to inform us the cruise had been canceled as a result of the Sailing Ship having to go to Dry Dock for repairs. In consideration for the inconvenience, we were offered a sizable discount on a future cruise. That was acceptable to us considering the events that took place.

This year is quite the different story. I am guessing it has to do with the economy and poor customer relations. We booked a cruise on the Windstar leaving from Barcelona with final destination to Nice. At the time of the booking, we were told there were only two cabins left and to book as soon as possible. We booked the cruise and proceeded to make our final plans for our air and other destinations for before and after the cruise.

We made arrangements to fly into Madrid and spend a few days and then fly to Jerez with destination to Rota Spain. From there we were to fly to Barcelona where we would board the Windstar and spend the next 7 days eating and touring our way across the Mediterranean. After arriving in Nice, we would head to Italy to visit some friends in Pigna and do some local things such as going to the Friday market in Ventigmillia.

The phone rang..... it was American Express with a Windstar Representative on the line. I was being informed that Windstar had Chartered the ship I had reservations on. They would refund my Money and nothing else. When I commented they had lied to me about the number of remaining cabins... there was a dead silence. When I told them they were creating a huge problem for me, with this cruise being smack dab in the middle of our vacation, they had nothing to say. When I asked Sam (the representative with zero emotion) what they intended to do in the way of compensating me for having to change plans and parts of my air travel to fill in the blanks... the answer was nothing.

It did not matter that we were members of their "Foremast Club". Nothing seemed to matter. As it stands now, Windstar may consider reimbursing us for part of the added plane ticket charges to get us from Barcelona to Nice.

So much for giving a damn about their customers.
Photomanfirst is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 10:52 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 123
I really feel for you. The "old" Windstar had similar situations in which they chartered the whole ship, but their customer service was certainly different then. We stopped cruising them after the sale in 2007 and reports of changes. Your story doesn't bode well for our return.

At least you are "stranded" in a great area.
Golfergal is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 04:04 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,498
I am so sorry to hear about this. What has happened to CS and just plain civility in this world??? Do those who make these decisions even care anymore?
jacketwatch is online now  
Feb 11th, 2009, 10:47 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 136
Sorry to hear this. This is a great fear of mine. We hear of it way too often. I agree with Jacketwatch. I'm not sure people care. Do they take into consideration all that is involved with making plans of this nature? Apparently not. I remember reading about a family planning a reunion. Everybody involved had to get the same week off, make the plane reservations, hotel reservations, etc. only to be told that their cruise had been cancelled. What aggravation, let alone disappointment.
I can only hope it never happens to me.
kaleighsgram is offline  
Feb 12th, 2009, 12:42 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 6,189
So sorry to hear about Windstar Cruiselines. We also have sailed on Windspirit and Windsurf with great success.

It's sad to hear of their decline. We always planned to do the Windsurf Atlantic crossing from Lisbon to Barbados. possibly Nov. '09 or '10.

After several bad reviews, we may rethink this and check into The Royal Clipper(Star Clipper Line). We also have sailed with them succesfully.

My other choice would be Oceania. I'm heard good things about them, and they are just a bit larger. No huge cruise ships for us.
TPAYT is offline  
Feb 14th, 2009, 12:43 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 37
Wow. This is not good news. I'm so sorry.

I don't understand why Windstar wouldn't at least offer to rebook you on another date at a discount and assist with the fees associated with changing your flights.

You also mentioned Amex. Did you make these reservations through an American Express Travel Agency? If so, wasn't the agent of any help?

If this happened to me, I'd do two things: Contact my travel agent and let him/her know that the way things were left is unacceptable and you'd like them to work on your behalf to rebook the entire trip for different dates (if that's what you want).

I'd also contact Windstar's executive office in Seattle.

Diane Moore, executive vice president
Windstar Cruises
2101 4th Avenue Suite 1150
Seattle, WA 98121

Phone: (206) 292-9606

Try to keep your letter short but with all the pertinent details. Keep emotions out of it...except perhaps your great disappointment that your favorite cruise line is letting you down.

You'll need to decide what you want to accomplish with your letter. Do you want a discount on a different cruise date or are you just explaining how disappointed you are as a loyal Windstar customer? If you're asking for some compensation, be specific and spell out what would make you feel whole again.

I completely understand how upsetting these unexpected changes can be. This is happening more and more these days. I've got a trip to French Polynesia planned for this summer and the date of my outgoing flight has changed twice already!

Good luck with this and I hope you can make your original vacation work even without the Windstar portion.

Andrea
LuxuryCruiseBible is offline  
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