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Windstar Cruises-Value the dollar over Humankind!! BEWARE!!

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May 15th, 2018, 05:18 AM
  #1
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Windstar Cruises-Value the dollar over Humankind!! BEWARE!!

It was to be my Wife and I's 20 year Wedding Anniversary. We were so looking forward to the cruise, along with a stay in Barcelona and Lisbon on either end of the trip. About 1 month before our trip my Wife was diagnosed with a life threatening, rare disease called Aplastic Anemia (essentially bone marrow failure disease-your bone marrow produces your stem cells which in turn produce your red cells, white cells and platelets) and was ordered by her Doctor to not travel and to make arrangements for a bone marrow transplant, or consider other radical medical treatments.
When I informed Windstar Cruises, and also produced a signed note from her Doctor, I was told that nope, too late, we will refund your taxes but I am out the $7,000 plus I had already paid.
We were completely blind sided by this disease and Windstar's callous behavior towards our plight. It's bad enough that my Wife may lose her life, and at the least needs to undergo a chemo-like transplant. That's not enough to be burdened with. Windstar has to add to our misery by putting their profits before the humane treatment of its customers. Sad, and despicable.
To top it off, I am not even asking for a full refund. Just a full credit so that we can hopefully enjoy and celebrate our milestone wedding anniversary at a later date, assuming and once my Wife is well.
Seriously reconsider Windstar Cruise line.
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May 15th, 2018, 06:08 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Sorry this happened to you and your wife. Coming down with a serious illness is certainly stressful on all concerned but it is unfair to blame Winstar for your plight.

Windstar (like most, if not all, cruise lines and tour operators) has a "Cancellation Policy" which is published on their website and is provided to you at the time of booking. In fact, you have to "agree to it" before you can book your trip (you'll find the policy here: https://www.windstarcruises.com/terms-conditions/ ). I'm guessing in your case "about a month before the trip" was sometime within 29 days of your scheduled departure in which case the cancellation penalty is clearly stated as being 100% of the gross fare. The fact that you have a signed note from your wife's doctor is irrelevant as far as the policy and your contract with Windstar is concerned.

I'm also guessing that at the time of booking you declined to purchase their optional Travel Protection Plan nor did you purchase Trip Interruption/Travel Insurance from any third party vendors. Had you purchased the insurance you would have been reimbursed for all your out of pocket expenses.

This is a tough lesson but one that is often overlooked by many travelers.

Last edited by RoamsAround; May 15th, 2018 at 06:16 AM.
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May 16th, 2018, 04:48 AM
  #3
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And I'm "guessing" that you work for Windstar. I asked for insurance when I booked and thought it was incl in the down payment. I am not asking for a refund. I am asking for full credid and an extension,not to be robbed out of 7+k from a greedy company with no compassion for human life.
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May 16th, 2018, 07:43 AM
  #4
 
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You can "guess" the same thing about me, and you would be completely wrong, but I have the same take as RoamsAround. I am very sorry about your wife's health issues, but it is up to you to verify that you have insurance if you are going to spend a lot of money on a trip. I typically only take out medical and medical evacuation/repatriation insurance for my trips, but I travel independently. If i were taking an expensive cruise or tour I would also make sure I had cancellation and interruption insurance, bought early enough to cover pre-existing conditions.
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May 17th, 2018, 06:33 AM
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check the website elliott.org Chris Elliott is an ombudsman who helps people in your situation.
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May 17th, 2018, 09:21 AM
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You beat me to it -- I was going to suggest if anyone can help the OP, Christopher Elliott can.

However I sure hope he moderates his tone just a bit in the e-mail he sends
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May 17th, 2018, 04:35 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 261
I know a couple who have lost either their entire cost of trips or the most of the amount three times. They now make sure that they have trip insurance, and because of their experiences, so do we and our friends. Our rule of thumb is that if the amount lost would be disconcerting, we take insurance. Otherwise, we "self insure". Be aware though, that trip insurance does not cover all reasons for cancellation, despite the circumstances being dire.
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May 17th, 2018, 07:59 PM
  #8
 
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I also went to the Allianz website to find annual trip insurance as recommended by a friend. Sounds so reasonable that I will have to investigate more. Do they cover "pre-existing conditions" for example?
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May 18th, 2018, 01:33 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
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Originally Posted by shawn13 View Post
It was to be my Wife and I's 20 year Wedding Anniversary. We were so looking forward to the cruise, along with a stay in Barcelona and Lisbon on either end of the trip. About 1 month before our trip my Wife was diagnosed with a life threatening, rare disease called Aplastic Anemia (essentially bone marrow failure disease-your bone marrow produces your stem cells which in turn produce your red cells, white cells and platelets) and was ordered by her Doctor to not travel and to make arrangements for a bone marrow transplant, or consider other radical medical treatments.
When I informed Windstar Cruises, and also produced a signed note from her Doctor, I was told that nope, too late, we will refund your taxes but I am out the $7,000 plus I had already paid.
We were completely blind sided by this disease and Windstar's callous behavior towards our plight. It's bad enough that my Wife may lose her life, and at the least needs to undergo a chemo-like transplant. That's not enough to be burdened with. Windstar has to add to our misery by putting their profits before the humane treatment of its customers. Sad, and despicable.
To top it off, I am not even asking for a full refund. Just a full credit so that we can hopefully enjoy and celebrate our milestone wedding anniversary at a later date, assuming and once my Wife is well.
Seriously reconsider Windstar Cruise line.

Sorry to hear about the condition of your wife. I hope everything is fine by now. Regarding your cruise, I was thinking if you have signed an agreement with them about your booking. Maybe, there are existing conditions that you have overlooked.
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May 18th, 2018, 02:37 PM
  #10
 
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Posts: 12,871
I am very sorry to hear about your wife. Recently we had to cancel an expensive international trip due to a very serious illness and surgery. Our Travel Guard insurance reimbursed us for 100% within a month of applying for a refund. Documentation sent to the insurance company included a form filled out by the doctor. We buy travel insurance whenever we book a tour or cruise.
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May 18th, 2018, 09:32 PM
  #11
 
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Very sorry to hear about your wife illness and I hope she is doing well.

Next time get trip insurance. Most savvy travelers do.
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May 21st, 2018, 08:52 AM
  #12
 
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I am sorry your wife is ill. I hope she is progressing and feeling better.

You thought you had trip insurance. Do you have any correspondence about it? Usually when we book a trip/cruise a box is checked to decline or include the trip insurance.

We collected on our cruise trip insurance when my husband needed radiation treatments but we did not have it when I had pneumonia and we were delayed traveling to our winter rental by almost 3 weeks. The owner did not offer any refund for the weeks/days missed so we received nothing. A cancellation policy was in place but we did not meet the criteria for any refund. Live and Learn! Now I get insurance for any costly trip.
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May 26th, 2018, 02:47 PM
  #13
 
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I am very sorry to hear about your wife's illness and wish her all the best in her treatment.

Every cruise line that I know of has similar cancellation policies and will not refund nor credit in situations like this. That is why we get trip insurance for any trip where the cost is something we'd feel uncomfortable losing. You could certainly contact Chris Elliott - it can't hurt to try.
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