With no advance notice, Windjammer Barefoot Cruises cancelled all its sailings for the week of Oct. 29, and it looks like they're going to declare bankruptcy any day now.
That's a good reminder for those of us who like to sail on smaller "boutique" lines: Buy your travel insurance from a third-party source, NOT from the cruise line. The cruise line policies don't cover bankruptcy/default, so Windjammer's insurance literally won't be worth the paper it's written on. Third-party providers like Access America DO cover cruise line default in most cases, but you have to read the fine print to be sure that your particular cruise line is included.
For the big cruise lines, however, gays and lesbians are typically better off buying insurance directly from the cruise provider. Why? Because independent insurance policies allow cancellation for sickness or death of a spouse, but NOT a domestic partner. That means you still have to pay for your cruise even if your partner is in the hospital. Cruise line insurance policies won't specifically cover same-sex partners, but there's a loophole that's almost as good: They do offer a credit or refund (ranging from 75% to 90%) if you decide to cancel for ANY reason.
Hey, it's not equality, but for now we'll have to take what we can get.
There has been some serious issues with Windjammeer, they havent paid there crews in months not fuel for there ships. Passanger sailing last month showed up to find the crew on strike and the cruise wasnt sailing. Some people didnt even get a call from Windjammer to let them know it was canceled
Windjammer is in terrible shape. Ships not maintained or arrested, crews not paid. At this point no ships are maned fully or sailing. The Polly is in bad shape, the Mandalay has the nose part broken, the Legacy is in not such great shape either so I hear. The Yankee Clipper did get its drydock so it is supposed to be in reasonable shape, except it is arrested for money owed. The Flotilla (a web site for Jammers) came together and raised money to send the crew home and is now working to send the last few home from the Legacy.
Sad really, we found them great fun and met lots of real nice people too. The first sail we were the only gay couple on board, the second cruise, last year, had another gay couple as well as a single guy too. We would have booked more too. My partner loves to scuba and snorkel, so not sure about the big ships. Was thinking maybe Star Clipper...who knows.
I just finished reading your Windjammer series. To say that I am know freaked out is an understatement. We have booked a Costa Rica cruise on the Legacy through Source Events for mid February. It was not until late October that I started to find out what was going on with the cruise company. I spoke with Source, who assured me that they were in contact with the company and they were quite confident that investors were about to be secured and we should be sailing in February. He also assured me that their company holds the money in escrow, so we were not in danger of Windjammer taking our money and saying "so sorry".
After seeing the latest press release about the November cruises being canceled, and then reading your series, I sent Source an email this morning (Yes I called first and got voice mail). I asked them for their plan of action/deadline to decide on this cruise and when exactly they pay Windjammer.
Do you have any advise or suggestions to make sure we don't get screwed? I'm not concerned with the cruise cancelling as long as I get a refund, and have time to make alternate plans in Costa Rica. I'd really appreciate any help!!
I took one of the Windjammer nude crusies 18 months ago. The cruise included both the Legacy and the Polynesia. I was on the latter. The guys were great and I had fun but the management was abysmal. There was only one short period of daytime under sail. We spent too much time just going around St. Maarten. The price was higher than Windjammer regular prices. The quad cabin was freezing because there was no control on the air conditioner. Their record keeping was abysmal: hand-written receipts for charge account charges? If they are out of business it is from self inflicted wounds.
This is an email to advise you of an important update with your
Windjammer Barefoot Cruise. We regret to inform you that we have had
to cancel your cruise in January. You will be able to rebook your
cruise for a later date and those dates will be available based on a
30 day availability. We are in the middle of restructuring and we need
some more time then expected to get the New Windjammer in place. The
New Windjammer is going to be as you Old Salts remember it. As you may
know, we are running with a skeleton crew (compared to the recent
over-staffed office). We look forward to a jolly Windjammer, again,
and want everyone to have faith that we are doing the right thing and
support for the future Windjammer to come.
Rodraad - I got sick of waiting and called. Spoke to Craig. They are cancelling the cruise (this is only verbal so far). The alternatives are different dates/cruises. If you haven't heard from them yet, I'd call.