| Date Published: November 16, 2007 |
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Update: The Attorney General's office in Florida is welcoming consumers to call in complaints about Windjammer; call 866-966-7226 within Florida, 850-414-3990 from elsewhere. You can also file your information online.
(November 15) -- Looks like Windjammer Barefoot Cruises' big comeback has been set back -- again.
According to Cruise Critic member badgirl#1inaz, who was supposed to set sail this weekend aboard Legacy for its first cruise since the company all but imploded in September, the floundering line has axed the November 17, November 24 and December 3 voyages. This is not the first rash of cancellations either -- the cruise line originally said it would resume operating Legacy on November 3 but at the last minute canceled two weeks of sailings, pushing the restart date to November 17.
badgirl#1inaz received the bad news about her cruise via a letter from Operations Manager Danny Walsh (who has not responded to Cruise Critic's numerous e-mail and phone requests for information). The letter, posted on Cruise Critic's Windjammer forum as well as Windjammer's Web site, reads:
"We are extremely sorry to inform you that S/V Legacy will not sail the weeks of November 17, 24 and December 3, 2007 as we have hoped and as we have promised. There are just so many difficulties, obstacles and legal issues that stand in our path to continue with enough time for these cruises to sail. We truly apologize for the extreme short notice and for the inconvenience for lack of a better word. We are working quite often 16 hour days to get the ships home and the Legacy sailing.
"We are hoping that you will allow us to reschedule you on a very near future sail date. We are determined to continue to work for and provide you with a Windjammer cruise and nothing less. If you are unable to reschedule your cruise for a later date and decide to request a refund, please know, that in a short time, we will issue you a complete refund of your paid cruise fare."
The letter goes on to say that those unable to reschedule their cruise will receive a refund "in a short time"; however, Windjammer will not be able to cover any additional air or hotel charges incurred and associated with a rebooking. And if you request a refund for your cruise, you won't receive a refund on any air costs either -- unless you booked your flight with Windjammer.
We'll admit we're not surprised to hear that Windjammer is cancelling cruises yet again. Here's what did shock us: "I just got an email from firstname.lastname@example.org suggesting that I 'come out of the cold,'" member greeneg posts. "They offered cruises in January and February on the Legacy, payment in full at the time of booking (via PayPal, no less). Given the apparent present situation, I don't think that I'll go for it, although I do admire their chutzpah...."
It seems highly unethical for a cruise line to sell cruises it isn't prepared to deliver. What's your take? E-mail me at email@example.com; please put "Windjammer woes" in the subject line.
Stay tuned; we'll report new details as soon as we receive them.
--by Melissa Baldwin, Managing Editor
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