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About RemPuck

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Chicago - United States
  • Interests
    Travel, cooking and reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Galapagos, Panama Canal

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  1. We were supposed to be on a Breeze trip to Alaska in August. A few excursions sell out quickly (zodiac at the glaciers) so I pre-booked. About $1200 total for three excursions for 2 people. We had decent OBC but it could not be used until on board. Cruise was cancelled. Excursions rolled into “all monies paid to Windstar” and will be part of the FCC/refund. If we stick with the FCC, it’s part of the 125%, so it adds up. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  2. Update: per my TA, Windstar is now saying FCCs are taking about 10 weeks from the time of cancellation. Our trip was cancelled on April 1st... we’re looking at mid June for the first FCC. I don’t want to think about time to an actual refund if we ask for it then. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  3. Not quite cancellations, but close. We were to be on a Seward to Vancouver voyage in early August on the Breeze. Just before our final payment date, Windstar cancelled all of the Breeze's North America itineraries for the summer. We received notice on April 1 that the cruise was cancelled and we were automatically getting the 125% FCC for "all moneys paid" (which was a pretty hefty deposit plus some excursions purchased through Windstar). Feedback from our TA was that it would take "about a month" for the FCC to be issued. It's May 8th and nothing yet. Has anyone had a similar experience? We are still debating keeping the FCC or taking a refund (and per my understanding, I can't request the refund until I receive the FCC). Any similar experiences appreciated. RemPuck
  4. From their website: TRAVEL ADVISORY April 20, 2020 Due to the continued effects of COVID-19 on the world’s population and expanded travel restrictions enacted by multiple governments, Windstar Cruises is extending its temporary suspension of operations until June 30, 2020. Windstar will begin operating cruises aboard its yachts and small ships again in July 2020. The health and well-being of guests, crew, land-based employees and people in the communities we visit is always a top priority. For those guests with canceled cruises due to this extension, Windstar is offering a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) valued at 125% of all monies paid to Windstar Cruises on the booking. Guests will have until December 31, 2021 to book and sail with their FCC. Guests may also request to exchange the FCC for a refund of 100% of monies paid to Windstar Cruises on the canceled booking. Guests have until December 31, 2021 to request the refund. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  5. Our August 2020 Alaska trip was cancelled by Windstar due to a combination of Covid restrictions and ongoing delays with the stretch of Star Breeze. Fortunately this happened before final payment so all I have as a FCC with Windstar is my deposit and the amount I'd paid for some ship's excursions. I did not want to be in a situation where I'd made final payment and then had a significant sum with the line and a general uncertainty about the overall future for Windstar (and other lines). I do agree that being on a small ship is definitely better than being on the huge ships, and we really do want to cruise Windstar again. At this point, I'll keep my FCC on the books and watch for the world to change and settle and will hopefully book with them for summer 2021. Fingers crossed that they have the funding to stay viable.
  6. An interesting addendum.... When we booked our trip in August 2019, we initially included the Denali "cruise tour" at the advice of our TA. She recommended that we add the cruise-tour at the start so that we could take our time and figure out if we wanted/could do the pre-cruise portion independently. During the fall, I did my own research and created my own itinerary. In January, I formally cancelled the pre-cruise portion via Windstar and asked that any additional deposit I'd paid for the cruise tour just be added to my overall account. At the same time, I pre-booked three Windstar excursions: Zodiac rides on each of the 3 glacier days on the itinerary. From what I'd read of the 2019 season, these were often over booked and we really wanted to do them. As such, I paid over $1300 for the three excursions. Now with the trip being cancelled, my FCC is based on "all monies paid" to Windstar. This includes the additional deposit for the original cruise tour as well as the three excursions. My FCC is nearly the cost of a single full fare on the cruise! At this point, we're rolling this forward and do hope to do the trip in 2021. I've not yet figured out what I may be out with flight costs; even with waived fees, I will not be able to roll my 2020 tickets to 2021 given the airline restrictions. Windstar is very clear that they are not covering any non-Windstar costs. We hadn't taken insurance (and at this point, the cost of the insurance would have been beyond what we may be out). Will Windstar still be around in summer 2021?
  7. It's a quickie for sure:
  8. Or maybe I have a cruise? When I go "My Windstar" now that my cruise has been cancelled, I see that I am on a "Ghost Sailing" out of San Juan in April!
  9. We were on the August 2nd Alaska trip and got the letter as well. Final payment wasn’t due for a month so it’s only the deposit. We’ll likely take the FCC. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  10. Well, the decision was made for us. We received an email from Windstar confirming that the West Coast and Alaska Cruises for summer 2020 have all been cancelled. The Star Breeze will start its post-stretch voyages in the Mediterranean for August and September. They are offering 125% FCC for all money paid. We only have a deposit down so will likely take the FCC. We need to sail by December 31 2021. They are clearly stating that there’s no coverage for non-Windstar expenses. Refunds are also offered. Disappointed to get here but it’s not completely shocking. I’m definitely glad we didn’t have to make final payments. Stay safe everyone. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  11. As stated in the opening post, we are booked on the August 2nd Star Breeze Seward to Vancouver sailing. Feedback from my TA as recently as late last week was "all is still good. As of today, all the Star Breeze sailings through the summer have been changed to "Call for Availability" on the Windstar website. While the sailing ships all have available trips during the summer, NONE of the motor yachts have any listings. I think Windstar is essentially saying that there will not be a summer season on the motor yachts. Very disappointing if this is the case. But it would also be helpful to know that our trip in particular has been cancelled. At this point, I am going to hold off cancelling and wait for them to do it in hopes of getting some expenses covered for associated travel plans. Our final payment is in one month and i definitely WILL NOT be making final payment.
  12. @r&rd thanks for the explanation of the cancellation and FCC usage. Makes sense. @new_cruiser yes, an extra 30 days to make final payments would be nice. Some other lines are doing that. Challenging times all around. Stay safe and well.
  13. Thanks ridethetide. It’s interesting that you were able to roll your FCC to a summer 2021 cruise. I specifically asked my TA about this and she confirmed with Windstar that even if I waited until the last minute, I couldn’t use an FCC on an Alaska cruise in August 2021. We’ve got some thinking to do over the next 6 weeks.
  14. To follow up....I'd asked my TA for clarification around cancellation, use of FCCs (time limit), the Canadian restrictions and the overall state of Star Breeze's renovation. Below is pasted from an email reply from her: "If you want to cancel now, you will get a $50.00 per person FCC and the remaining amount would be issued as a refund to the original method of payment used. Once the Final Payment has been made and if you want to cancel later, you can do so, up to 15 days prior to sailing to cancel. The total amount paid will be issued as an FCC. This would include the deposit, which would normally fall under regular penalties of not being refunded, but instead Windstar will take the penalty amount and issue an FCC. Nothing will be refunded to a credit card. With this being said, you are correct, there are some cruise lines that are issuing FCC’s that you can book in one year and sail within two years. Windstar has advised us this is not the case with the FCC’s they will reissue. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. We did inquire about the Ship being behind in schedule and in dry dock. We were not able to obtain any information, and there has not been an notification or announcement regarding the matter. We further inquired about the maximum occupancy of 500 and if it can sail due to the Canadian restrictions of more than 500. We have been advised the ships maximum occupancy is 300 has been approved and able to sail with the new guidelines in place." So if nothing else, we may have learned that the Canadian regulation is around passenger occupancy rather than ship occupancy. I hope that the "approval" above is really from the Canadian authorities and not an assumption by Windstar. I know now that if I wait another 6 weeks (to final payment date) to cancel, the most I am will be "out" is my deposit which will be rolled into an FCC but I'll need to use that by actually sailing within a year. The one thing I'm concerned about is making final payment and then waiting (and waiting) through the summer with big question marks over everything. Most of my pre-paid expenses are refundable (flexible policies put in place since booking) and the airlines are being flexible with changes (and the flights were booked with miles and the reinstatement fees are not much). While I think it's likely we won't make final payment, I think we're leaning towards waiting through April to see how things progress.
  15. This is what I lean towards but I’d like to understand the FCC for the deposit. There’s still a lot of uncertainty and I don’t know if I want $12k tied up. A lot can change in 6 weeks ... the point when I really need to make a decision. This is what we’re already doing...I’m almost concerned about the empty bottles in the recycling bin! 🍷
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