October 1, 2007
Windjammer -- Is it Over?
With its Web site out of service and ships reportedly stranded in the Caribbean and Central America, the future of Windjammer Barefoot Cruises remains in question.
There's no new news today, and Cruise Critic has not yet been able to reach a representative. "The rumor mill had it that there was going to be some sort of 'big' announcement regarding Windjammer this morning," greeneg posts on the Windjammer forum. "So far nothing ... Guess we'll find out eventually."
However, we have received several e-mails from readers sharing their thoughts on the situation -- particularly those booked on sailings. "We are working toward a resolution," writes Dave Skelly, "but so far a group of 10 of us scheduled to depart in March of 2008 have lost around $16,000. We are absolutely shocked and really not sure what to do. All of our credit cards have been notified, cases open, etc. but no refunds or credits have been issued. As your story indicates, we are also not able to reach anyone at the company, etc."
Karin, who was supposed to set sail yesterday from Costa Rica, had this to say: "Friday at noon, we learned via an e-mail from Windjammer that all cruises were cancelled this week, 'For the safety and security of our customers....' We were told that all transfers, name changes, travel insurance expenses would be forfeited. Needless to say, we are disputing the charges with our credit card.
"One of my friends had already started her itinerary when we found out, so she had to go ahead and fly to San Jose. She's going to rent a car in San Jose and drive to the coast and try to find a hotel on the beach. This last minute cancellation has definitely screwed us!"
Patty Naugle was also disappointed to learn late in the game that her cruise was kaput: "There were three of us couples scheduled to take a Windjammer cruise out of Costa Rica yesterday (September 30). We got an email on September 29 at 9:45 a.m. saying they were contacting us about an important change to our upcoming cruise. They were sorry to inform us that the Legacy would not sail the week of September 29, 2007 due to safety matters that cannot be ignored....
"Windjammer wrote that if we would reschedule -- they would give us another cruise free within two years."
We'll keep you posted.
--by Melissa Baldwin, Managing Editor