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Windstar cancels all Star Pride Itineraries through April 9

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I too was scheduled for the 12/26 cruise and received an email that I would receive a full refund along with a credit of 50% of the base price of my cruise to be used on a future sailing. My TA got a run-a-round about using the credit on the 1/16 Sea Breeze sailing ("our computers can't handle it yet"). Eventually, on 12/28 he received an email from Ellie White, Voyage Services Specialist at Windstar, stating that the money already paid would be placed on account, the new cruise (priced at $5058) would be deducted, and the $3500 credit would be later added to my account. I would then receive a refund of the price between the 2 trips plus the credit. On the basis of her email, I purchased new non-refundable airline tickets and reserved a non-refundable room at the Bristol Panama. Despite the hassle, we were clearly excited to make the arrangements.

 

Much to my surprise, my TA called on 1/4 to say that Windstar had reneged on the written agreement. Since the money was on account, the 1/16 sailing would represent a "re booking" rather than a new cruise and the credit could not be applied (I would have to use it on yet another cruise!). Furthermore, the price of $5058 would not be honored, since this was a promotional rate (which anyone could get so late) and I would have to pay the regular rate of $6024! Despite multiple calls to the Windstar hierarchy, no one would budge. I cancelled the trip and will be out hundreds of dollars because Windstar did not honor their written agreement. This is not reimbursable with travel insurance.

 

Is anyone familiar with a mechanism to sue this outfit or at least prevent them from doing business in the state of New York? I wish I had read prior Cruise Critic threads before booking this trip. Windstar is not a reputable company.

 

This has been my concern. My TA booked the 4/2 itin on the Breeze and WS demanded immediate payment as it was within the 90 day window.

After saying we aren't paying now, WS then applied the entire refund to that cruise even though it was less expensive and we're now getting the run around on the promised credit. WS seems to ignore our claim that the 4/2 cruise was a new booking using the credit and they still owe us the remainer of the refund IN CASH after they apply part of it to the new booking. I guess 4/2 will be my last trip with WS Unless this gets sorted. We are owed the difference in price between the two as well as the amount of our credit.

Edited by milepig

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How a company handles this sort of thing is a "window into their soul"... And the view ain't pretty.

 

We had a similar cruise cancellation from Regent, and they bent over backwards to calmly and happily provide us with a longer cruise and an upgrade to a 450 sqft suite, all for the original price of a standard cabin.

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I too was scheduled for the 12/26 cruise and received an email that I would receive a full refund along with a credit of 50% of the base price of my cruise to be used on a future sailing. My TA got a run-a-round about using the credit on the 1/16 Sea Breeze sailing ("our computers can't handle it yet"). Eventually, on 12/28 he received an email from Ellie White, Voyage Services Specialist at Windstar, stating that the money already paid would be placed on account, the new cruise (priced at $5058) would be deducted, and the $3500 credit would be later added to my account. I would then receive a refund of the price between the 2 trips plus the credit. On the basis of her email, I purchased new non-refundable airline tickets and reserved a non-refundable room at the Bristol Panama. Despite the hassle, we were clearly excited to make the arrangements.

 

Much to my surprise, my TA called on 1/4 to say that Windstar had reneged on the written agreement. Since the money was on account, the 1/16 sailing would represent a "re booking" rather than a new cruise and the credit could not be applied (I would have to use it on yet another cruise!). Furthermore, the price of $5058 would not be honored, since this was a promotional rate (which anyone could get so late) and I would have to pay the regular rate of $6024! Despite multiple calls to the Windstar hierarchy, no one would budge. I cancelled the trip and will be out hundreds of dollars because Windstar did not honor their written agreement. This is not reimbursable with travel insurance.

 

Is anyone familiar with a mechanism to sue this outfit or at least prevent them from doing business in the state of New York? I wish I had read prior Cruise Critic threads before booking this trip. Windstar is not a reputable company.

 

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You certainty could consult an attorney, but I suspect that amount of money involved would not make litigation worth your while. A class action suit might be possible?

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It does not surprise me that Windstar has told people one thing and then changed their tune later. They were doing that to the Star Pride folks from the very beginning.

 

I can't even get Windstar to return my phone calls or emails about my missing belongings. I was told by a reservations rep that they have only one person handling all of the refunds, etc due to the Star Pride incident. IMO, when something like this happens, people up the food chain need to realign resources and if that means those higher ups need to pitch in and make phone calls themselves, then they should be doing it. I'm not overly impressed. This is a real shame because up until the accident, we were very pleased with our first Windstar cruise. We wouldn't have held the accident against them when considering future travel plans, but we will certainly be taking the customer service fiascos into account.

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Thank goodness no one was hurt. I'm curious if the ship will actually be fixed - initial reports can change once they look at it more closely.

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You can always file a small claims action. Do not need a lawyer and WS can not bring a lawyer (at least in the state of Calif.).

 

 

Even small claims actions need to be filed in the proper venue. The fine print on the contract specifies the venue, and I' m guessing it's Kings County, WA.

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Wow! As someone very close to booking my first WS cruise, this has certainly given me pause. Not the accident but definitely the customer service issues. To renig, especially when something has been given in writing, is unacceptable.

 

So sorry for those getting lied to by WS!

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I have called multiple numbers at Windstar in order to find out where to address my complaints. Each time I am put on hold and then disconnected. Does anyone have the phone number or email of the president?

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I was wondering if anyone else has been inconvenienced by the running aground of Star Pride on 22nd December & the subsequent cancellations of cruises up to 9th January (the latest as I'm currently awareness got ACA)

 

We were due to join Star Pride on 9th January & were to fly out of the U.K. on Tuesday 5th January to Costa Rica only We got a call on New YearyEve from a friend who knew someone working on board telling us of the grounding.

 

A quick call to our tour operators ( who knew NOTHING) about it but who later confirmed that our cruise was indeed cancelled.

 

Frantic rebooking over the weekend meant we still left the UK on Tuesday but we're now joining Star Legend on a cruise we didn't want to be on & still not a word of apology or even acknowledgement of what's happened

 

Is anyone else out there in the same 'biat'v

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It sounds as if your tour operators let you down and I would look to them for responsibility in communication and rebooking. Not sure how things work in the UK. In the states if you had trip insurance you would have been covered. Maybe your contract with the tour operator didn't give you a choice. Wind Star is refunding or rebooking based on customer wishes so it sounds like a tour operator problem from what you have described. I'm sure you are disappointed but I will tell you that the Legend itinerary is very nice so if you are truly "stuck" with it, relax and enjoy. We were on her in December and had a lovely time.

 

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

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I was wondering if anyone else has been inconvenienced by the running aground of Star Pride on 22nd December & the subsequent cancellations of cruises up to 9th January (the latest as I'm currently awareness got ACA)

 

We were due to join Star Pride on 9th January & were to fly out of the U.K. on Tuesday 5th January to Costa Rica only We got a call on New YearyEve from a friend who knew someone working on board telling us of the grounding.

 

A quick call to our tour operators ( who knew NOTHING) about it but who later confirmed that our cruise was indeed cancelled.

 

Frantic rebooking over the weekend meant we still left the UK on Tuesday but we're now joining Star Legend on a cruise we didn't want to be on & still not a word of apology or even acknowledgement of what's happened

 

Is anyone else out there in the same 'biat'v

 

There's a long thread on this immediately below this one. Much information there.

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All these cruises are cancelled until April 9, 2016.

 

Didn't you have the option of cancelling, and getting a refund? Your tour operators (not sure what that is) certainly should have been aware of this situation, and been able to help you with this.

Edited by 6rugrats

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On January 6th, I received an email stating that my sailing starting on April 9th in Lisbon on the Star Pride had been canceled! I called the phone number provided and was offered a spot on the Star Legend departing on April 17th with the same itinerary. The letter stated that I would be refunded for "reasonable" re-booking or cancellation fees. When I asked how that would be handled and what about any other compensation for the numerous other hotel bookings and tours that I booked before and after the cruise, I was told that I needed to email their guest services department. I did so and I am still waiting to hear back from them 48 hours later. I sent another email to my vacation planner with Windstar and have not heard from her either. I am not overly impressed with the guest relations/customer service response from Windstar. Has anyone else had success in talking with anyone who can make a decision? I am starting to get the feeling that they would just like for me to go away and have no intention of doing the right thing and making a terrible situation better!

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You are not giving them much time to respond; you were just notified two days ago! I don't believe their office is open on the weekends. I would not assume they want to "get rid of you".

 

I have had one cruise booked with Windstar that was chartered. The next one was cancelled. The one booked after that had the ship and itinerary changed.

 

I did get my airline change fees reimbursed with a check. I also got a price protection on another cruise, kept my onboard credit and got additional credit, and got a discount on the next cruise booked.

 

However, I lost the OBC (which was substantial), and the credit and the discount because it eventually expired, I guess. I have another cruise booked for this spring. We'll see how that goes. So far, so good.

 

Did you not book tours that you could cancel without having to pay? Did you have nonrefundable hotel bookings? Do you have travel insurance that would cover any of this?

 

Assume you will have to provide Windstar with proof of any financial losses before they would consider reimbursing you for any of it. Maybe start getting your paperwork together, and send to them with a letter requesting reimbursement? If you have travel insurance though, I'd start with them and see if anything is covered.

Edited by 6rugrats

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Thanks for the quick reply. I believe that most of my bookings will be refunded especially if I re-book for another date. My travel insurance doesn't cover me since it was not a natural disaster and the cruise line has offered me another trip. It doesn't matter to them that it is at a different date but it does to me. My beef with Windstar is that they are not dealing with thousands of customers as they are only canceling four or five cruises (ship was already going in for some refurbishing for five weeks before returning to Europe). So they need to deal with less than 600 parties since the Star Pride ran aground on December 22nd. I would think that 18 days would be enough time to personally contact their customers as their email to me stated, "Our team will also be contacting you in the coming days to discuss your options". The Windstar vacation planning department is open on Saturdays, so maybe someone will call me before the end of the day. I may be somewhat impatient but I firmly believe that a responsive company should at least reply by email within 24 hours when they are dealing with a fairly big customer relations problem. The longer they wait - the bigger it gets!

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My TA told me today that the phone lines at Windstar are a mess; they are totally overloaded trying to rebook everyone and straighten this out. They are dealing with a lot of bookings. I am sure they will get it all done eventually.

 

Come back and post what happened.

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Did get through to Windstar tonight. Had a Vacation Planner email me a statement stating that Windstar will rate protect the 4/9/16 Star Pride sailing to the 4/17/16 Star Legend sailing (same itinerary). Additionally, Windstar will cover up to $500 per person in air change/cancel fees upon receipt. I asked that the guest services representative contact me when she returned on Monday.

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I was on the Star Pride sailing when the grounding happened. I've been trying for 2+ weeks to get a phone or email response and have heard nothing. I am still assuming (maybe naively) that I will get my refund check in the next week as promised and that it will be correct and include all monies paid, including a refund for shore excursions we never got to take. What I really want to know is if they have found my missing belongings and when they will be returned to me. I tried calling the reservations number just to get a live person, and was informed that there is only one person handling all of the customer relations for this. That is absolutely ridiculous.

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To those coming online recently who say "all will be fine".

 

Some of us have been dealing with this since 12/23 and have received nothing but form letters and run arounds. The news that they may cover airline change fees, for example, is nothing I've heard from WS. They reneged on their promise to me by charging my entire refund to the price of a less-expensive cruise that was meant to use my 50% off credit. I have yet to receive anything even closely resembling Terms and Conditions for what they will do for me.

 

Patience is rapidly being exhausted.

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I guess they have been taking customer service lessons from their national park lodging parent company....

 

"I asked that the guest services representative contact me when she returned on Monday." :eek::eek::eek:

 

Any decent company that cared about their customers would have all hands on deck, including senior management, 24/7 to resolve all these customer issues asap.

 

I wish I had not yet paid my final payment, we would switch to another line.

Edited by Ragnar Danneskjold

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