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Windstar cancels all Star Pride Itineraries through April 9

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Airline policies vary. Our change fee was only $200 and we have 12 months to rebook. Since you can book almost 12 months before a flight that's actually a 24 month window before the rebooks flight.

 

 

That is highly unusual. IME, travel has to be within 12 months and not just rebooking. You are fortunate to have this much flexibility.

Agree with caviargal; I think you need to recheck about using your flight credit. The standard is that the credit must be used (new flights flown) by the one year anniversary date of when you first booked your tickets.

Edited by 6rugrats

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Thanks ChalupaMama for the update. Who is the Captain?

 

I can't recall the captain's name right now, but I can tell you he was Italian. Next cruise we'll be looking for a Scandinavian captain, I think.

 

Things are still pretty disorganized here, and communication has been a disaster. Everything we've been told has changed, sometimes multiple times. For us, this has been the most frustrating part.

 

We have been given 3 nights hotel with daily breakfast, plus dinner last night. They've got a company helping planning excursions for those who are interested. Other meals are proving challenging given the holidays, but the hotel concierge managed to hook us up with something. So we're making the best of it and we'll have great stories to tell.

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CHALUPAMAMA, Thanks for responding about the Captain. I know Captain Alan MacKay and happy to know he wasn't in command. It sounds like you are making the best of the situation. There is a lovely resort outside of San Jose called Xandari. It was designed and owned by an architect from Santa Barbara. It might be a lovely place for Christmas dinner. It's a beautiful property with nice views...part of a coffee plantation.

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You will have great stories to tell. Do you think the ship was badly damaged? Did the officers stay in board while the ship was towed? It must have taken awhile to offload everyone into the Legand.

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For those interested there is a Facebook posting linked from the WS Home page with 100 or so comments last time I checked. The Breeze pax are not happy for loss of their cruise with little compensation. Also interesting posts from pax on the current Pride as well as the xld 12/26.

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Good luck to all. The unexpected is always confusing. Thankfully nobody was injured. We always buy trip insurance, never through the cruise line or TA, and had to use it 2 years ago. Was grateful to not lose $6,000 on that trip. Sounds from WS press release they will make good on fares and add another cruise which seems fair from here. Hope the Pride gets fixed soon. Having holiday plans scrapped must be terribly frustrating but does happen.

 

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As far as damage, we were told by the guest relations manager that the hull had a watermelon sized hole and 4 smaller holes. She also implied that the captain was being detained by Panamanian authorities. The only officers we saw on the island were the doctor, bar manager, guest relations manager, and cruise director/activities manager (not sure his exact title). The bar manager, Richie, was by far the best at communication and understanding how to appropriately calm fraying nerves. I hope he gets some recognition from Windstar.

 

We spoke with some of the Star Breeze passengers. It seemed like they weren't getting great communication either. In some ways, the Breeze passengers are worse off than those from the Pride. At least we are now someplace where we can see the sights and continue enjoying our vacation. I know there are people on the Pride who will disagree with me on that, whose valuables weren't all returned, or who had medical issues that made 14 hours on Isla de Coiba very uncomfortable, but we're going to go with the flow and enjoy our free vacations.

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Just heard about this on the HAL section.

Glad that no passengers or crew were injured.

Thanks for the additional information about future cruises, flights, etc.

What I am confused about -- why are the Breeze passengers unhappy about the loss of their cruise when it was the Pride that had the accident? ( I don't belong to Facebook)

Edited by Krazy Kruizers

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Just heard about this on the HAL section.

 

 

Glad that no passengers or crew were injured.

 

 

Thanks for the additional information about future cruises, flights, etc.

 

 

What I am confused about -- why are the Breeze passengers unhappy about the loss of their cruise when it was the Pride that had the accident? ( I don't belong to Facebook)

 

 

It's my understanding that because the Breeze stopped to assist and took on many of the Pride passengers they lost most of their ports and ended up with pretty much a cruise of just sea days. I do believe that unless something has changed, Windstar owes the Breeze passengers pretty much what they are giving the Pride passengers.

 

They also need to make the Pride passengers whole for items left behind in cabins. This wasn't an act of God but rather human error, which makes Windstar financially culpable as a corporation for the actions of their agent, and consequences of those actions under their marine indemnification.

Edited by ducklite

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Just heard about this on the HAL section.

Glad that no passengers or crew were injured.

Thanks for the additional information about future cruises, flights, etc.

What I am confused about -- why are the Breeze passengers unhappy about the loss of their cruise when it was the Pride that had the accident? ( I don't belong to Facebook)

 

You can read the posts without being a Facebook member. Just click the link on the WS page. Has said in the previous reply the Breeze spent much of their itin helping with the Pride pax with was wonderful, except they lost their vacation.

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Let's assume that WS is making good to everyone. I'm sure passengers will get or have gotten their possessions by now. Ship didn't sink after all but I'm sure they needed time to go onboard and account for all things in an orderly manner. And I'm sure they will make a good offer to the Pride passengers. Let's give them a little breathing room here. There will be someone though who will not be satisfied as that's true even when there are no mishaps. Any news on how long repairs will take? They're heading into the height of their season down there so this could hurt. Hope not.

 

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According to the gccaptain website the engine room had several inches of water and it includes a picture that seems to show the ship listing a bit. They also say that as of Monday is hadn't yet left Coiba!

 

They also say that the 1/2 and 1/9 cruises have been canceled, but there's a posting from today on the WS Facebook page from someone on 1/2 saying that they still haven't heard anything. Breeze compensation is reported to be up to 75% off the base fare plus 75% off a rebooking.bone wondered what 1/2 and 1/9 will get.

 

An engine room flooded with we water can't be easy to fix, I'd think.

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According to the gcaptain website the engine room had several inches of water and it includes a picture that seems to show the ship listing a bit. They also say that as of Monday is hadn't yet left Coiba!

 

They also say that the 1/2 and 1/9 cruises have been canceled, but there's a posting from today on the WS Facebook page from someone on 1/2 saying that they still haven't heard anything. Breeze compensation is reported to be up to 75% off the base fare plus 75% off a rebooking. One wonders what 1/2 and 1/9 will get.

 

An engine room flooded with sea water can't be easy to fix, I'd think.

Edited by milepig

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I went over and read some updated news, apparently they are giving Breeze passengers a 75% refund, plus the same amount towards booking another cruise. Fair enough IMHO. The future Pride passengers with cancelled cruises are getting nothing but a full refund. With what I am understanding those who bought travel insurance through the cruise line only had the cruise insured and are out change fees, non-refundable hotels, etc.

 

This is a good example of why it is important to purchase travel insurance on your own--that way you cover the entire cost of the vacation. More importantly if you are only covered while on the cruise portion and have an injury or health problem in the days pre or post, the medical won't cover you. Pretty scary when you think about it.

 

I would be very upset about items not retrieved from my cabin--ID and credit cards and cash, jewelry, my camera gear, etc. If they are going to pack guests items, a member of security should go in and clear the safe into a plastic bag with a seal that shows if it has been broken, and sign across the seal to show who packed it. You would think this would be SOP.

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I do not know much about maritime law but I do know that it is international and very specific. Once on the Windstar on the way to the Panama Canal we saw a floating tanker. Captain Clark got on the loud speakers and told us we had to stop by law and wait until we had permission to leave because he had to get notification that the passengers were all safe, authorities knew about this ship, and help was on the way. This stop lasted about six hours. Afterwards he proceeded to give a very interesting short lecture of maritime law. The closest ships have to help in which case most likely the Star Breeze and the other ship were required to stop and rescue. The important issue everyone was safe and it appears that Windstar was generous. Not to demean the shortened vacation etc. for the passengers. This brings about the other issue of the importance of independent travel insurance, a ruined cruise also involves hotels, transportation, luggage, accidents etc. There are always those who are never satisfied and those who look at stuff happens as a big adventure with good stories. I hope the Pride is fixed soon so people can have great sailing experiences. Susanne

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Just FYI - our TA did great work and we're "almost" sorted for our replacement cruise. Everything is to my satisfaction, and WS made good on their promise, including the "price protection". The replacement airfare turned out to be less than the original, so with everything said and done we'll walk way from this with no loss on the original cruise, and about $4000K burning a hole in our pockets.

 

Also FYI, WS refunding everything we paid them, so people who talk about being out transfers etc. must have booked them on their own, not via WS.

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That is great news for you and bravo to WS. Have a great time on your new cruise. Susanne

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Good news indeed. So where are you going with your new found wealth? :)

 

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Good news indeed. So where are you going with your new found wealth? :)

 

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Spending some to upgrade cabin. The rest will go back in the trip fund.

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Class act Windstar.

 

As to booking on your own, I am not at all opposed to it. However those who do need to keep in mind that the insurance booked through the cruise line will not cover any independent bookings or medical coverage before or after embarkation debarkation. If you plan in booking airfare and pre-post independently, plan on buying your insurance independently as well to get full coverage.

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On the CC review page, there is an excellent review of the Star Pride incident, written by a passenger who was on board at the time. I believe it is worth reading:

 

http://http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=521326

 

Needless to say, we did not write it.

Shipwreck

 

Sail Date: December 2015 Destination: Panama Canal & Central America Embarkation: Colon (Cristobal)

By now, it is no longer news that the beautiful Star Pride hit a reef off the Isla de Coiba, Panama, on Tuesday, December 22 at about 6:15 a.m. I was aboard with my husband and two adult daughters when the ship hit the reef. There was a jolt and a tremor that ran through the ship, accompanied by the screech of metal. There was no communication from the bridge to the passengers. Given the emphasis on safety for which Windstar is known, we passengers were lulled into a false sense of security.

 

Our itinerary was to spend the day on the island, enjoying swimming, beach sports, and a barbecue. We left the ship at 9:00 a.m., wearing just our swimsuits and cover-ups, and leaving wallets, valuables and medications behind. Again, there had been no communication from the bridge to give us any sense of the seriousness of our situation. At 11:00, our tour leader Gonzalo informed us that the ship was damaged and that divers were being flown in by helicopter to assess the extent of the damage. We were told we could not return to the ship and that all electricity and water had been turned off as a precaution. Meanwhile, the ship developed a visible list to one side. Anxiety began to build among the passengers, which turned to frustration and concern as the afternoon progressed. Despite the growing unease, most passengers remained remarkably patient and understanding.

 

Meanwhile, we were treated well. Our chef and his crew provided a delicious barbecue (grilled fish, chicken, burgers, seafood mac’ and cheese, salad and delicious tropical fruits), working over very hot grills with outdoor temperatures in the mid-90’s. The housekeeping staff delivered medications from our cabins. However, the limited restroom facilities were overwhelmed by this time, filthy, and without water. It was several more hours before we heard from the bridge, while the ship developed a more pronounced list, and tension continued to build.

 

Finally, in the late afternoon, Gonzalo read a communique from the captain, advising us that the cruise was cancelled because the ship was no longer seaworthy. There were several holes in the hull, one described as “big as a watermelon,” which could not be repaired. We were told that our sister ship, Star Breeze, had diverted course to pick us up later that evening. We were informed that Windstar would refund the cost of the cruise and give a credit towards a future cruise. At this point, questions erupted from the passengers, who quite naturally were concerned about the loss of their possessions, valuables, and travel documents. Gonzalo and his colleague Fanny advised that the housekeeping staff would be going from room to room collecting clothing and valuables, to be returned to us. I want to commend Rich, the bar manager, for stepping in at this point with a calm and good-natured approach to this tense situation, culminating in his opening the bar with the humorous admonition, “But don’t drink me premium stuff!” Staff members Gonzalo, Fanny, Rich and Kristi all deserve commendation for the excellent way in which they handled the situation and diffused a potentially volatile situation.

 

The first ship to reach us was the French yacht, Tere Moana, which arrived at about 11:00 and took the first fifty passengers. The Star Breeze arrived about an hour later and took the remaining passengers. We were transferred by Zodiac pontoon and welcomed aboard at about 12:30 a.m. with a hot buffet dinner. Our hastily packed luggage arrived at about 3:00 a.m., though many people (including us) reported items missing. To our immense surprise and gratitude, we were assigned to suites, four persons each. (I had expected to sleep in one of the lounges.) The Star Breeze then diverted course to take us to Golfito, Costa Rica. We arrived at approximately 2:00 p.m. the next day. We were taken by 6-hour bus ride to the lavish Intercontinental Hotel in San Jose. A buffet dinner was waiting for us at the hotel upon our arrival, and we enjoyed a buffet breakfast in the morning. Windstar offered three free nights at the hotel, but my family left the next morning, psychologically ready to put this experience behind us.

 

My husband and I have used Windstar for enjoyable cruises to Greece, Turkey, and the Iberian Peninsula, and we have never had reason to complain about the safety and service aboard these beautiful yachts with their friendly and competent crews. However, I do believe the company failed us, in not providing immediate communication from the bridge about our situation. It was clear we hit something at 6:15 a.m. I believe the captain or first officer should have gone on the loudspeaker to suggest that, as a simple precaution, passengers pack a small bag with their valuables, travel documents, medications and a change of clothing, until the situation could be fully assessed. Most passengers were experienced world travelers, unlikely to panic at what would have been regarded as a reasonable precautionary measure.

 

Would we consider another Windstar cruise? Perhaps. This will depend on how company management handles its response to the situation. At this point, it appears the company is making good faith efforts to compensate us and to restore our confidence.

 

Published 12/27/15

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It's my understanding that because the Breeze stopped to assist and took on many of the Pride passengers they lost most of their ports and ended up with pretty much a cruise of just sea days. I do believe that unless something has changed, Windstar owes the Breeze passengers pretty much what they are giving the Pride passengers.

 

They also need to make the Pride passengers whole for items left behind in cabins. This wasn't an act of God but rather human error, which makes Windstar financially culpable as a corporation for the actions of their agent, and consequences of those actions under their marine indemnification.

 

You can read the posts without being a Facebook member. Just click the link on the WS page. Has said in the previous reply the Breeze spent much of their itin helping with the Pride pax with was wonderful, except they lost their vacation.

 

 

 

Thank you both very much for answering my question.

I had no idea that I could just go over to face book and information there without being a member.

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I would be very upset about items not retrieved from my cabin--ID and credit cards and cash, jewelry, my camera gear, etc. If they are going to pack guests items, a member of security should go in and clear the safe into a plastic bag with a seal that shows if it has been broken, and sign across the seal to show who packed it. You would think this would be SOP.

Our understanding is that cabin attendants packed items not in the safe, and the security staff opened the safes separately. Certainly, the items from the safes came over to the Breeze separately from the packed suitcases. The items from the safe were in ziplock bags with attached inventories. We had to sign stating we received them. The inventories seemed thoroughly done -- they had even opened my wristlet and included the cell phone that was in it on the inventory. Nothing was missing from our safe contents, but we did witness one lady telling a staff member that all of the cash was missing from her wallet.

 

Still missing items not in the safe though. No update from Windstar. I wish they'd just tell me I'm not getting them back so that I could go ahead and replace things I would rather not be without.

Edited by ChalupaMama

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