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blueseas53

Concerned

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Some what concerned the travel agent I have used for 18 years of bookings and is a big name agency ranked in the top 50 in the US advised me not to put a deposit down with Windstar being they have financial troubles and may not be around. They advised me to hold off until first or second quarter financial reports are out for Windstar 2011. They will not book Windstar they say it is a high risk booking at this point in time. They are worried Windstar has limited financial capabilities and are worried Windstar does not having money available for contingencies. Windstar is surviving off $5,000,000.00 of revolving credit. I have taken Windstar in the past with out issues. I went online to the Windstar's corporate page Ambassador read financial reports did not look all that good for Windstar. Was surprised and shocked.

 

The question I am asking is should I hold off or reserve through another agency? I love Windstar taken 5 cruises over the years on them.

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The question I am asking is should I hold off or reserve through another agency? I love Windstar taken 5 cruises over the years on them.

 

There was a recent thread that had additional information that might be of use as well as suggestions to mitigate the risks if there is a problem.

 

For what its worth we've recently booked for next month.

 

Best of luck deciding,

Mands

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In these troubled times your travel agent is right to be concerned, however you can portectect yourself and get one of the best cruises at what recently has been very attractive pricing .

 

1. Pay any payment in a major credit card like American Express.....if Windstar fails to deliver your cruise you get 100 percent of your money back.

 

2. Do not buy a non refundable air ticket....pay a little extra for an unrestricted ticket, so you can cannel with a full refund.

 

3. You can buy travel insurance from a 3rd party to protect yourself.

 

Remove the fear and take advantage of some great rates and this top rated cruiseline.......I have 2 weeks booked and paid for (Amex) in Dec.

 

Will be booking 2 to 3 weeks in 2011.......great itineraries.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Happy cruising.

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.I admire your agents honesty and concern. Notice on home page here that Cruise West also is in trouble. I would heed the warning and go elsewhere now. There are so many wonderful cruise lines.

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Great news that the stock will not be delisted. I was on the Windsurf 8/22 and they were full..........the bad news for us is they need to be full at higher prices......so enjoy this 5 star cruise line while prices are low. I'm booked for 2 weeks in Dec. and plan to book at least 2 weeks in 2011. This is one great cruise experience.

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We have sailed Windstar ships four times, but this is a bit scary to hear. We were booked on Windjammer when it went under. The person who provided you with the tips for booking/insuring your trip is right on. We had a Windjammer cruise pulled out from under us and unlike too many, we got all our money back because we had put it all on Visa.

 

That said, should you decide to wait on Windstar, we would like to highly recommend Arabella. She is a three-masted schooner who sails out of Newport, on the Chesapeake and in the Caribbean. We just returned from sailing her in New England (Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, etc) and this was just so much good fun! Ship only holds 40, and there were only 23 on board, so it was kind of like a private yacht. Great crew, and a wonderful ship. We were so pleased that we booked a second cruise not 10 minutes after disembarkation. I can't review Arabella here because Cruise Critic for some reason doesn't have her on the list of ships. But I do encourage everyone who loves tall-ship cruising to check her out at cruisearabella.com. She is not a Windstar, closer to a Windjammer, and just a whole lot of fun. But do be warned: cabins are cozy: small, but well laid out.

 

I wish were on board Arabella again now............!!

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Great news that the stock will not be delisted. I was on the Windsurf 8/22 and they were full..........the bad news for us is they need to be full at higher prices......so enjoy this 5 star cruise line while prices are low. I'm booked for 2 weeks in Dec. and plan to book at least 2 weeks in 2011. This is one great cruise experience.

 

If you read the 8-K report, they will now be listed on the NASDAQ Capital market rather than the Global market. They only way they were able to maintain the NASDAQ listing was with a reverse 8:1 split. By doing this, they drove the price above $1 per share but still did not have the capital requirements to stay on the NASDAQ Global market board.

 

Bottom line, nothing has really changed. We all still need to take appropriate steps to ensure our deposits if things do not improve.

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Noticed on the other thread that Windstar has now posted some Specials for the winter Caribbean cruises.

 

I hope they provide some specials soon on the 2011 Med cruises. Have taken 5 Windstar cruises so far and want to book another - but the current quoted price is just too high when you compare the Windstar cost to other ships.

 

For example, Oceania has a 12 day Athens to Venice that runs about $4,100 (less than $350 per day) for an Ocean view room. For a balcony, it runs less than $5K (about $400 per day) per person.

 

Not that Oceania (about 700 passengers) and Windstar are the same but they are both upscale cruise lines and provide great service.

 

I think the main problem that Windstar has is that they only have the 3 small ships and they need to amortize all the management costs over the limited number of cabins. Just think of the costs for maintaining a head office and all the costs of arranging for ports etc. They should probably look at going back to being part of a larger cruise line where they will not have all the costs of a stand alone company.

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Looks bad for another Seattle based small specialty cruise line Cruise West is closed down. If a small specialty cruise line has troubles and attempts to reorganize and has issues getting investors or raising capital via stock and no other company wants to purchase them it's a given they have a hard challenge head of them with limited options. Remember HAL sold off Windstar. The new owner's Ambassador then folded one of the main capital generation entities it owned the riverboats which was still a small cruise line. Discounting to fill the cabin's does not generate the type of cash needed to stay afloat long term. As I stated before in my original post my concern is lack of capital for contingencies.

Last year one of Windstar ships had a accident while going through the Panama Canal and had to make repairs to the ship these type of issues or if bad weather or natural disaster hits and stuck plus issues relating to customer compensation. They did a technical stock share swap to keep them listed on the exchange but it did not change the financial's greatly nor did they get further working capital from it. These are challenging times economically for everyone.

 

As for my thoughts on booking I did hold off on my Mediterranean booking for now. But ended up booking a sailing based cruise on Star Clipper who is in great financial shape and is running fairly full ships. The TA I am taking had under 11 cabins left as of mid August out of 170 passengers not sure how that equates cabin math wise. I got a good price with 30% savings. Not like Windstar I understand more casual less luxury and food is soso but is a working sailing ship should be an adventure.

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If everyone buys into the fear about Windstar Cruises and books with other lines when Windstar will not exist in the future. Windstar is offering some great deals and some new itineraries for 2011, so I would recommend putting the fear aside and support this fantastic small ship cruise experience. That being said be smart and use a major credit card to protect your money. Credit card companies will refund your money if windstar fails to provide a cruise. Use REFUNDABLE air tickets or hotels also. Additionally you can purchase travel insurance to protect against financial failure.

 

I'm not going to give up on Windstar Cruises, so I'm booked on a back to back Caribbean in Dec. and am looking forward to booking 2 more weeks in 2011. The fares are compelling and the cruise is 5 star.

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If everyone buys into the fear about Windstar Cruises and books with other lines when Windstar will not exist in the future. Windstar is offering some great deals and some new itineraries for 2011, so I would recommend putting the fear aside and support this fantastic small ship cruise experience. That being said be smart and use a major credit card to protect your money. Credit card companies will refund your money if windstar fails to provide a cruise. Use REFUNDABLE air tickets or hotels also. Additionally you can purchase travel insurance to protect against financial failure.

 

I'm not going to give up on Windstar Cruises, so I'm booked on a back to back Caribbean in Dec. and am looking forward to booking 2 more weeks in 2011. The fares are compelling and the cruise is 5 star.

 

We are booked already for Oct 2011 for the 11 night Holy land itinerary. We may try to squeeze another one in next year, too. I agree that all of us Windstar veterans have to help them out in these tough times. I want to see them stay around.

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I totally agree. Windstar is a fantastic cruise line and I have two cruises booked for next summer - using my American Express card!

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My husband and I haven't been on windstar for a long time but our memories of our four trips (and the late great Wind Song) will stay with us forever. I happen to be a financial analyst and understand something about the situation at Windstar. I can't go into too much detail on a public forum as I am restricted by regulations as to what I can post, but I can say that the biggest worry I had about the future of Windstar was that the concerns expressed here would be a self-fulfilling prophecy. You are a unique group of passengers to recognize that and continue to book cruises far into the future. Please don't take this the wrong way: I am impressed with you all and wish you many happy sailings on these beautiful and wonderful ships.

 

....Now, if I can just figure out a way to keep the kids from wanting to come with us!

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If everyone buys into the fear about Windstar Cruises and books with other lines when Windstar will not exist in the future.

 

Agreed. We're just back from the Surf and while we were there made a booking on another future cruise. We love the ship and want to see her continue.

 

Here in Europe the situation regarding refunds if a company goes out of business are not as clear-cut as in North America so there's a small element of a gamble (which then becomes much greater once flights are booked as fully refundable tickets would be a massive markup) but so be it. If we want to see the line continue in the current format then we accept that we need to play our part in that.

 

For what it's worth the Surf is sailing almost full and has been for some weeks now. Of equal interest is that, on our cruise, a majority of passengers were new to the cruise line. They may have been enticed in by special offers but one hopes that they will have enjoyed themselves enough to book again. I understand that an encouraging number do not avail themselves of offers but pay full brochure price, all of which will help the bottom line.

 

Mands

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the holy land is one we are thinking about.....was the pricing good

 

Not really, but we did really want to do that itinerary, and how better than on Windstar?

 

Patty

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For what it's worth the Surf is sailing almost full and has been for some weeks now. Of equal interest is that, on our cruise, a majority of passengers were new to the cruise line. They may have been enticed in by special offers but one hopes that they will have enjoyed themselves enough to book again. I understand that an encouraging number do not avail themselves of offers but pay full brochure price, all of which will help the bottom line.

 

Mands

 

That sounds encouraging ...

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Lets show our support for this one of a kind company by booking a cruise in 2011....that's my plan.....I'm going to book at least 2

 

Happy sailing,

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I have been on 10 Windstar, on all the existing fleet and on the lovely Windsong as well, my first in the South Pacific. We all agree that the line is wonderful.

 

Why not book the cruise with a credit card (good protection) and get a refundable air ticket. If the line God forbid does not make it, have a cry and remember that you will surely go on lots of other cruises.

 

Here is a telling incident. I was on a transatlantic from Lisbon to St. Thomas in 2005, the Windsurf. The Hotel Mgr. was French. He answered many questions at a Q & A session in the main lounge one afternoon. He was asked by a cruiser about the effect that Carnival has on Windstar. I am sure that she was surprised by his answer. He said that if Windstar was independent at the time of 9/11, the line would have gone bankrupt due to the lack of cruise business after the event.

 

Lets home for the best.:)

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He said that if Windstar was independent at the time of 9/11, the line would have gone bankrupt due to the lack of cruise business after the event.

 

 

I understand the the Wind Song insurance payout made a huge difference to the bottom line in 2002 or 2003. Had it not been for those monies then they would have run at a loss in that period.

 

Mands

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Of course there is a great deal of difference between accounting income (profit/loss) and a company's cash reserves and ability to continue operating.

 

I agree with all the previous posters who say let's book a cruise (with a credit card and/or other insurance measures), hope for the best and support this cruise line.

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My husband and I haven't been on windstar for a long time but our memories of our four trips (and the late great Wind Song) will stay with us forever. I happen to be a financial analyst and understand something about the situation at Windstar. I can't go into too much detail on a public forum as I am restricted by regulations as to what I can post, but I can say that the biggest worry I had about the future of Windstar was that the concerns expressed here would be a self-fulfilling prophecy. You are a unique group of passengers to recognize that and continue to book cruises far into the future. Please don't take this the wrong way: I am impressed with you all and wish you many happy sailings on these beautiful and wonderful ships.

 

....Now, if I can just figure out a way to keep the kids from wanting to come with us!

 

I'm not a financial analyst but I am a CPA involved in working with/for troubled businesses and I totally agree. Rumors of a demise of a service business usually become self fulfilling prophesies if the company doesn't aggressively respond to them indirectly by stepped up promotional activity and/or product enhancements. in addition, companies in service businesses and who are experiencing financial difficulties need to have expert public relations advisers who can allay the concerns of the customer base.

 

Consumer protection laws and the protection policies of the credit card companies will usually fully protect the customers' rights. For those who are still concerned travel insurance plans usually include coverage for financial failures of service providers.

 

I agree that now is probably the best time for Windstar Cruiseline aficionados to book a Windstar cruise.

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I'm not a financial analyst but I am a CPA involved in working with/for troubled businesses and I totally agree. Rumors of a demise of a service business usually become self fulfilling prophesies if the company doesn't aggressively respond to them indirectly by stepped up promotional activity and/or product enhancements. in addition, companies in service businesses and who are experiencing financial difficulties need to have expert public relations advisers who can allay the concerns of the customer base.

 

Consumer protection laws and the protection policies of the credit card companies will usually fully protect the customers' rights. For those who are still concerned travel insurance plans usually include coverage for financial failures of service providers.

 

I agree that now is probably the best time for Windstar Cruiseline aficionados to book a Windstar cruise.

 

Walt, I agree completely with your statements about troubled companies needing to find some way to allay customer concerns. However, in the case of Windstar, they also need to find a way to be cost competitive with other cruise lines. With the current 2011 Med pricing, I think they are just too overpriced for what you get. Even the Surf itineraries are pricing out at about $500 per person per day. This is just too expensive compared to what you can get with Oceania or other great cruise lines. The problem, as I see it, is that Windstar has all the overhead that larger cruise lines have but they only have 3 small ships to amortize the costs over. If Windstar could go back to being part of a larger organization, it would give them a better marketing organization and the ability to decrease their allocated overhead costs.

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