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  #1  
Old October 19th, 2007, 05:09 PM
josephburke josephburke is offline
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Default Open letter to friends of Windjammer

Open letter to Friends of Windjammer Barefoot Cruises



What family business has not suffered, once the second generation seeks to find its place? Mark its territory? implement its own personalities and tastes? Statistically the odds are not good that the business will succeed. But we are not talking about any business. Windjammer is special; read the boards, talk to frequent sailors, you can sense a personal attachment, a lure for a by gone era. The beautiful smile of a crew member, the smell of sticky buns at 6 AM, or the sun coming over the horizon on the Caribbean Sea. A strong breeze stretching the sails, such power yet such Grace. Each ship with her own rich history, her own character and the people who love them, each in their own way. Each who cruise over and over, have a different wonderful experience every time.

Windjammer is not perfect, almost every sailor has their adventure to tell, broken launches, bad storms, leaky pipes, drunken crew; but that is Windjammer, and when the launch is finally fixed, or the storm passes, somebody buys a round!

I am amazed at the amount of information which has been spread through the industry. The consumers run to “get our money back” the lack of management at Windjammer to reach out and show some appreciation and fight for something almost cultural in nature. Most of the information I am reading in the media is correct. Recent management did not stick to my father’s idea of what Windjammer should be. That was a mistake. It has almost cost us our business. Our opportunity to share Windjammer with future generations of sailors and our own families. Well mistakes stop now!

The legacy will be the first online, we will try to phase the other ships back in as soon as possible, probably after a few months. We are faced with probably the greatest challenge our family has ever faced. But returning Windjammer to its former glory and status is an incredibly simple task. Go back to what works! We are not Carnival and “the Eastern Caribbean is our backyard”

We need to simplify cruise fares and options and return to the most casual enjoyable and independent cruise a person can experience.
Previous management “tried to improve”, My father’s dream, what they did not realize is that it didn’t need to be improved. Ask the millions who follow us through thick and thin. I have been referred to as being the most “like my dad” yet being the youngest, I assumed Service positions in the company. We have experienced a necessary catharsis, cleansing, Windjammer is back down to an affordable staff, family style management and most importantly Capt. Burke’s idea of a Cruise line. Please call or write to find out more. Resrvations will be open on Monday.

Things got bad, but there’s a lot of peoplewho want the some thing you want…. Can we go on another Windjammer Cruise? The answer is “yes”

Joey Burke
Director, Windjammer Cruises (919) 954-6024

  #2  
Old October 19th, 2007, 05:38 PM
dellie323 dellie323 is offline
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Joey,

Thanks for your promising, encouraging, and uplifting post.

I encourage you to post it on the Flotilla (www.jammerbabe.com/flotilla).

We need some good vibes over there. Be forewarned, however, the nay-sayers and glass-is-empty folks will probably throw sticks and stones at your comments.

Sail often, sail free of worries.

My best to your dad.

dellie

  #3  
Old October 19th, 2007, 06:09 PM
Duke of URL Duke of URL is offline
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Joey, thanks so much for your candid message. Please know that there are many "old salts" who still have not heard the "fat lady sing" and are rooting for Windjammer (including the home office staff, the captains and the crew) to pull through this tough spot and return to its former, barefoot glory.

  #4  
Old October 19th, 2007, 07:18 PM
dodgerman dodgerman is offline
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Default Thank You Joey

Thank you for speaking with me today and letting me know of your plans to regroup and get the Windjammer Barefoot fleet up and going again. We are not going to cancel our cruises for the month of November, but will wait to hear from Windjammer to reschedule our four cruises to a later time when the ships are sailing again.

We have sailed with Windjammer since 1994 and we are looking forward to sailing with you again soon.

Thanks again,
Marshall and Randi

P.S. All you Windjammers out there don't jump ship yet. After speaking with Joey Burke today, I am convinced he is determined to keep his father's dream alive.

  #5  
Old October 19th, 2007, 08:41 PM
oracle oracle is offline
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Joey, what is going on? How is going to affect the employess? If you would like some suggestions let's talk..........

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  #6  
Old October 19th, 2007, 11:10 PM
WindjammerWench WindjammerWench is offline
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Default Open Letter to Joey Burke

With all due respect, I honestly think that this post of yours is extremely irresponsible and just shows how delusional the Burkes are. You are giving the Windjammer faithful false hope and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Where shall I begin. You say that Windjammer will be open for business on Monday? The company does not have any bank accounts and the credit card processor pulled the plug weeks ago. The ships do not have DOC certificates to sail.Travel insurance companies are no longer underwriting Windjammer. ARC pulled the plates so you can't sell air and most of the few remaining unpaid home office staff swore that today was to be their last. So will you be answering the phones on Monday?

Will you also be digging deep into your silk lined pockets to reimburse employees for three weeks in back wages, 401K contributions, health insurance premiums and Aflac? The Burkes stole from all of their employees not just the crew. Florida law does not protect employees, but the IRS does, maybe they will come after you guys and we will get our just deserves. Loyalty is one thing, stupidity... that's something we're ALL too familiar with.

Who are Windjammers current officers? Who appointed you director? What is Sticky Fingers Susan current position with WBC? Rumor has it that she's brokering another deal in NYC with the same trustees that turned down a number of other great deals. Michael Junior is suing everyone and hindered the sail of the Disco and Grace, preventing a cash infusion that would have saved the day months ago. Were the deals turned down because the Burkes were not making enough? Was the absolving of their crminal liabilities by selling the company not enough to help them finally sleep at night?

Where were you the last few months, when the crew members went without food, water and basic living needs. Public records in Raleigh show you're living pretty well. Any thought given to selling an acre or two to cover crew back wages?

The present state of Windjammer was not the result of poor management. It was the result of poor ownership. Please do not imply that any past or present employee had anything to do with the insolvency of Windjammer.

At least Captain Burke isn't around to witness this most despicable demise of his dream.

P.S. Is it really good form to refer to the crew as drunks?

  #7  
Old October 20th, 2007, 08:13 AM
L.A. Me L.A. Me is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josephburke View Post
Windjammer is not perfect, almost every sailor has their adventure to tell, broken launches, bad storms, leaky pipes, drunken crew; but that is Windjammer, and when the launch is finally fixed, or the storm passes, somebody buys a round!
How about the "customer" left at the dock with no ship in sight? I don't recall somebody offering to buy me a "round" after spending nearly 23 hours of traveling to Grenada and left to spend an additional $4000 on food and lodging..... LET ALONE returning a phone call as to my refund that was "promised" in 30 days!!

  #8  
Old October 20th, 2007, 10:06 AM
L.A. Me L.A. Me is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josephburke View Post

The consumers run to “get our money back” the lack of management at Windjammer to reach out and show some appreciation and fight for something almost cultural in nature.
I don't seem to understand this quote. Are you implying that us "stranded" consumers are whining that Windjammer Cruises defrauded us of thousands of dollars.......said to be paid to crew, etc.....(whom have yet to be fully paid) as well as f**ked up vacation plans that many of us had saved up for over many years, only to be dashed to the curb....????? Do you feel that a "cruise credit" (worth nothing at this point) is justified? Is a simple refund of only the cruise suffice? This seems to be all you are offering....and yet....I can't even get a refund??? NO RETURNED CALLS...NO ANSWERS!!!.. IF...and I say IF you are expecting to do business again.....I would expect a full refund for my cruise PLUS a cruise credit for ALL my inconvienences. AND would expect the same to all the other "INCONVIENIENCED" customers over the last few months. I will be posting daily (with a similar subject) until restitution has been made.

Last edited by L.A. Me; October 20th, 2007 at 10:09 AM.

  #9  
Old October 20th, 2007, 10:53 AM
josephburke josephburke is offline
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Default Negative responses

I am sorry if I didn't anticipate the amount of anger and negativity I received from LA ME or WINDJAMMER WENCH. I am only trying to get one of our ships back on line so we can reinvest income from the Legacy to get the rest of the ships up and running. My letter was , I guess, addressed more to those who want Windjammer to do well. Please don't misinterpret my intent. we have been cleared to sail the legacy and I was appointed a director last week by the trust to help get Windjammer back on its feet.

The credit card issue has been resolved as of Friday and we will be selling plane tickets after we put up the typical $15K bond required by all travel agents. I should have the ships DOC's downgraded to Non major conformities and get permission to sail while improving the SMS. I have my own internal auditor who has agreed to become part of the management flow chart and help keep the ships safe and tidy.

as far as being delusional, I assure you I'm not.

I guess I was being naive to think that everyone on this board or the others felt the way I do. anyway it sounds like this might be a disgruntled former employee or a family member who feels left out. these are the people Windjammer will be better off without. Personally, I am broke and run a horse farm. I sent $2000.00 to the agent in Aruba to keep the ship from being stripped over the weekend. but in terms of my family and "public records" being referred to, that's a little creepy. I hope your not a sociopath stalker.

anyway, my phone number is
listed. if you are still angry and want a current status please call. alot of the info you are posting has been resolved and we need positive feedback.

Thanks,
Joey

  #10  
Old October 20th, 2007, 11:35 AM
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Islandbear Islandbear is offline
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What are you doing to pay the back wages to the crew?

  #11  
Old October 20th, 2007, 11:38 AM
badgirl#1inaz badgirl#1inaz is offline
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Mr Burke:

Perhaps you would care to comment on the 12K investment I made in LeMer and what is the status? Perhaps you would care to comment on the many people that have investments in Sail5 and Sail10s? We have not even had the courtesy of a phone call, email or letter from WJBC?

I won't ask about other issues since others seem to have covered that here!!!! However, I would like to an answer on the thousands of $ I invested with your family and what are intentions to make that situation right?

You guesssed it - I am PISSED!

  #12  
Old October 20th, 2007, 11:54 AM
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BBQ Bill BBQ Bill is offline
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Mr Burke - we have been investigating the possibilty of taking a Windjammer cruise in February; however, after your obvious disrespect and lack of response to your stranded customers, as well as no attempt to provide the public with corroboration of your statements, we will following a different path. As a self-employeed business person, I am amazed at your immature, defensive behavior in your last post. Perhaps if you simply stuck to the facts, as opposed to your emotional opinions, you may have better results.

As my "handle" suggests, I am in the food service industry, so please do not accuse me of being a disgruntled employee or family member. Hopefully, you will take my comments to heart and reevaluate your approach with your customers.

William Hansen Sr.
Hudson WI
__________________
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  #13  
Old October 20th, 2007, 12:45 PM
TwinkieBGood TwinkieBGood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josephburke View Post
I guess I was being naive to think that everyone on this board or the others felt the way I do. Thanks,
Joey
HOW CAN YOU KNOW HOW WE FEEL?
I am fighting for a credit card refund because Windjammer took my money, canceled my cruise by an UNSIGNED late night email with 3 days notice, and has refused to process a refund. Plus, the email promised a refund or future sail, so my trip insurance is worthless and will not pay out.

I had nonrefundable airline tickets and pre-and post- cruise hotel reservations so I went anyway, and it cost me a lot for my alternate vacation at the last minute. I am not getting reimbursed for that. So it has cost me more than double!

My faith in Windjammer was demonstrated by the purchase of a SAIL5. Where is the company's commitment to its clients??? Why haven't I heard from Windjammer since I got my cancelation email? When I called the day after receiving it and was told I could NOT get a refund, I immediately sent a letter to Joanne asking for reconsideration. NO RESPONSE! I bought a SAIL5 in July and have never had an opportunity to use it! Where did my money go?

Kudos to you if you want to straighten things out. It will not be an easy job. I suggest you start by being upfront with your client base. Rumors are that your ships are in disrepair, your crew was sent home through former passenger's contributions after the home office told the (uunpaid) crew they were "on their own", some ships are or will be arrested for nonpayments, and you do not have certificates of compliance to sail. In September I was told firsthand by people in Grenada and Bequia that Windjammer owes them money for services rendered.

I would love the opportunity to talk with you about a refund. Was there really a phone number in your post? I am not calling the HO again to be on hold for 20 minutes listening to Amazing Grace or whatever. And for all my trouble and blood pressure boiling, a free sail would be nice if you really do succeed in pulling off a reincarnation of this company. If you are sincere, I wish you well. Just know that Windjammer has left a lot of people stranded on the docks with their pocketbooks raped.
Yankee Clipper Canceled Cruise 9/16/07

Last edited by TwinkieBGood; October 20th, 2007 at 12:54 PM.

  #14  
Old October 20th, 2007, 01:12 PM
beachlizard beachlizard is offline
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Default Actions speak volumes

Mr. Burke,

As we have been told that you were not part of the family managment that managed to mess up your father's dream, I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and the time to make all things right.

As a Sail 10 member ... with the majority of my cruises still unbooked, yes, I consider myself one of the creditors of WJBC. As a member of the Flotilla, I consider myself a supporter of all the good things WJBC stood for ... and then abandoned.

I hope you can understand the angst of the many posters who are taking you to task for the wrongs management has done to the crews, YOUR crews that is, your ships and your passengers. For months all of us have been holding our collective breath, waiting for timely word - even bad news - from management about cruises, about reservations, tours, etc. When nothing came and it was also obvious that managment was leaving our beloved crews to twist in the wind, Flotilla members came forward to provide day-to-day assistance. We hope, no expect that these wrongs done to the crewmembers will be set aright. That does mean that not only should all wages due be paid, but that provisions be set in place to make restitution of any and all tips and gratuities that were inappropriately withheld by home office.

I realize that this is going to take time ... and money ... and still more time. I'll wait ... and I will support your efforts to rekindle the WJBC flame ... so long as your actions and your words are based on truth, respect and honor.

We'll be watching ... and I, for one, offer you my best wishes going forward that you ARE able to get the fleet back in business.

  #15  
Old October 20th, 2007, 01:27 PM
wiley888 wiley888 is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by josephburke View Post
I am sorry if I didn't anticipate the amount of anger and negativity I received from LA ME or WINDJAMMER WENCH. I am only trying to get one of our ships back on line so we can reinvest income from the Legacy to get the rest of the ships up and running. My letter was , I guess, addressed more to those who want Windjammer to do well. Please don't misinterpret my intent. we have been cleared to sail the legacy and I was appointed a director last week by the trust to help get Windjammer back on its feet.

The credit card issue has been resolved as of Friday and we will be selling plane tickets after we put up the typical $15K bond required by all travel agents. I should have the ships DOC's downgraded to Non major conformities and get permission to sail while improving the SMS. I have my own internal auditor who has agreed to become part of the management flow chart and help keep the ships safe and tidy.

as far as being delusional, I assure you I'm not.

I guess I was being naive to think that everyone on this board or the others felt the way I do. anyway it sounds like this might be a disgruntled former employee or a family member who feels left out. these are the people Windjammer will be better off without. Personally, I am broke and run a horse farm. I sent $2000.00 to the agent in Aruba to keep the ship from being stripped over the weekend. but in terms of my family and "public records" being referred to, that's a little creepy. I hope your not a sociopath stalker.

anyway, my phone number is
listed. if you are still angry and want a current status please call. alot of the info you are posting has been resolved and we need positive feedback.

Thanks,
Joey
thats ok, joey, just keep toeing the wjho/burke family line. keep the nonperforming shannon and her naughty/nice list. tell us youre broke but can "turn the company around" (a neat trick if you can pull it off, but its a nice variation on the pity play).

keep in mind that while youre running this newest ploy to lengthen the time on cc deposits, winefrog will be sure to cover your back, yell at critics and shuffle the criticism away from prying eyes, and dellie and jimsaint will happily carry your water, 'coz theyre sure somethings in it for them. who knows, maybe you can ruin some other people's vacations and get some poor suckers to work again for free, as that seems to be a burke pastime these days.



anyways, a wj which is still in the hands of any of you 2d generation burkes is not something i'll care to patronize.

  #16  
Old October 20th, 2007, 01:57 PM
lainewinter lainewinter is offline
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I don't think this letter is meant to be hurtful, but it is.
Of course I want my money back, for two reasons. The first is that I was meant to get married and honeymoon on my trip in December, and I'd like to still get married and getting my money back would really make that possible. The second is that I already sent a large chunk of the money that I thought I'd get back from WJ to help crew members eat, get home, etc. I know that was my choice but I just figured I'd be getting a refund.
Sorry, I guess I'm just a big "consumer" jerk for wanting my money back.
Is it possible that I'm not understanding what he meant by that part of his email? Because I hope that is the case.

  #17  
Old October 20th, 2007, 03:29 PM
Cptn Colin Cptn Colin is offline
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Default Please lift the news blackout

Mr Burke,

You could go a long way to restoring customer confidence and keeping us on side Windjammer could lift the news blackout that has left so many Jammers frustrated and angry.

You say ,
The legacy will be the first online, we will try to phase the other ships back in as soon as possible, probably after a few months....

Does this mean the Yankee Clipper will not sail out of Grenada on 4th November ? Yes or No ? Its that simple.

Once we know we can then get on with our lives and activate plan B.

By the way, I hope you succeed,

Kind regard,

CC

  #18  
Old October 22nd, 2007, 04:09 PM
wiley888 wiley888 is offline
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joey, theres some stuff you need to address. you say that this was just from overextended credit - but that doesn't explain what happened to jerry cedar's money.

you say youre ditching the activities mates, dive mates, jj programs. so when can all those employees who gave your family a summer of free work expect to be paid? never?

you say youre going to start with the leg'y first. meantime, theres more than a couple hundred free cruises out there with a two year limit. each one of those cruises represents a passenger week of no revenue. how is a broke guy like you planning on overcoming that?


your company still hasnt seemed to return some old calls from art frommer and hasnt put the news releases on your own website. a real pr person would quit trying to communicate via message boards. it also cant be too expensive to update the shots.

  #19  
Old November 1st, 2007, 08:22 AM
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tuck tuck is offline
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Joey,
I'm not a "disgruntled former employee", just a disgruntled former Windjammer enthusiast (over 40 weeks on WJs since 1993!) who is still waiting for a refund for our canceled YC trips in October. I don't want a "make-up" cruise, as I have no intention of ever sailing with WBC again!
Your family's treatment of the crews, passengers and vendors has been truly despicable and such a company does not deserve to survive.

  #20  
Old November 3rd, 2007, 06:41 AM
lopezwithaz lopezwithaz is offline
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Angry Got out just in time

In August, we were thrilled to be able to book our first WJ to the West Indies. We planned to sail the 2nd week of January 2008. We booked the flight and put down our deposit. Then, in the beginning of October, someone tipped us to a press release on the WJ site. We panicked immediately but watched and waited. Now it's November and we've just been told that our sailing has been canceled! Thankfully we were not jilted out of our money like a lot of others were. Shame on WJ for leading us to believe that there wasn't a problem when they accepted our booking. I think you can still go on the website and see nothing wrong but I may be wrong about that. I don't go there any more. Thankfully we bought trip insurance, the first time ever, but now we have to go through the hassle of getting our money back. I've lost faith. Time for an all-inclusive vacation!

 

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