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Windstar changeS Dec Miami to Barbados


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Just notified that Windstar is canceling its Miami 10 Day Cruise booking inDecember and will be moving to Barbados. This follows notification of a change earlier today of our March booking with Windstar from San Juan to now departing from St Marten.  I am not surprised nor frustrated as given what’s happening with the CDC they obviously will need and will continue making big changes.  Makes you wonder what sort of things like this are being worked behind the curtain for every cruise line. 

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It appears that they are shifting away from US ports for the whole season. I just received notice that my Star Pride Trans-Atlantic in March has also been changed to leave from St. Maarten. 

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That's what happens when a government is unreasonable.  CDC has made it clear they don't want cruising to resume, so cruising is moving elsewhere where it is welcomed.  And lots of places are seeing this as a great opportunity to become homeports [which is a much more rewarding business than day visits].  The next step will be for airlines to pick up on this new business and add flights that feed these new homeports.

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Here's hoping Jazz! We chose a Caribbean Leeward Islands cruise in December due to its convenience of leaving from Puerto Rico, which is serviced by Southwest where we have plenty of points. Now they're leaving from St. Maarten instead, and that is quite a costly change in our airfare. We did get some more OBC (we accumulated some already from the cancellation of our December 2020 French Polynesia cruise), but we're trying to see what works. We're wondering about still flying into San Juan and then finding boat transport to St. Maarten.

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1 hour ago, Jojo Inferno said:

Here's hoping Jazz! We chose a Caribbean Leeward Islands cruise in December due to its convenience of leaving from Puerto Rico, which is serviced by Southwest where we have plenty of points. Now they're leaving from St. Maarten instead, and that is quite a costly change in our airfare. We did get some more OBC (we accumulated some already from the cancellation of our December 2020 French Polynesia cruise), but we're trying to see what works. We're wondering about still flying into San Juan and then finding boat transport to St. Maarten.

That's very creative thinking!  But make sure you have it lined up before you jump, because rome2rio shows the only way to fly from San Juan to St. Vincent is to go back to Miami!

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Bravo Windstar. No vaccine no go, keeps the passengers safe. WS, since 1999 safety first. It is irresponsible not to get a vaccine. WS is simply being responsible.

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Our Transatlantic from Lisbon on the Legend this Nov. has slightly changed, adding Tenerife along the way. We will not be coming in to Miami, but Barbados instead. The second part of our cruise is roundtrip Barbados with interesting ports, more so than the original cruise. Also, four days shorter than the original cruise. I wonder if our pricing will be the same as we got a very good rate on the original 25 day cruise. We booked through a large agency and I guess that our agent will be the one to deal directly with Windstar. They have also included more OBC because of this change. 
I can’t help but wonder if there will be more changes and if this cruise will actually take place. We have already booked air to Lisbon using ff miles. Now we will have to book air from Barbados home.

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We are booked on the Star Pride on the December 28 to Jan 8 New Years Cruise.We received an Email yesterday afternoon from Windstar changing San Juan port of embarkation and debarkation to St Maarten. The itinerary is the same with the exception of the first stop at St Thomas being changed to Little Bay, Montserrat. So I guess we will be in St Maarten with our old favorite....Windsurf. We decided to try the newly transformed and stretched Star Pride....hoping she is finished in time. Windstar did give us an additional ship board credit....very nice.  And I just changed our Delta reservation....at an increased fare to St Maarten.  Thank you Windstar for all of your hard work during these trying times. We can't wait to return!

 

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I understand why Windstar did this, but the difference in air fare would be a deal killer for me. RT MCI-SJU is $352, RT MCI-SXM is $630. 

 

I sailed Star Pride out of San Juan in Dec. 2018 and it was an easy journey to get there. Much harder to get to Saint Martin or Barbados.

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15 minutes ago, susiesan said:

I understand why Windstar did this, but the difference in air fare would be a deal killer for me. RT MCI-SJU is $352, RT MCI-SXM is $630. 

 

I sailed Star Pride out of San Juan in Dec. 2018 and it was an easy journey to get there. Much harder to get to Saint Martin or Barbados.

Susiesan....I understand. And the agent at Delta asked if the cruise line was paying the increase in fare. Ha Ha!  At this time Delta is not charging a change fee. But the cost is another $300. each added to our San Juan fare. We are fortunate to be in an area served by JFK and EWR. So, we can usually get non stop flights. 

We are just hoping that the virus abates, and we can all travel again on our favorite....Windstar.

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13 hours ago, Jojo Inferno said:

Here's hoping Jazz! We chose a Caribbean Leeward Islands cruise in December due to its convenience of leaving from Puerto Rico, which is serviced by Southwest where we have plenty of points. Now they're leaving from St. Maarten instead, and that is quite a costly change in our airfare. We did get some more OBC (we accumulated some already from the cancellation of our December 2020 French Polynesia cruise), but we're trying to see what works. We're wondering about still flying into San Juan and then finding boat transport to St. Maarten.

I have looked for that connection many times. Unfortunately, getting from SJU to SXM is tough.  Airfare to SJU is usually much cheaper than going to SXM.  This may be a deal changer for some.

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I remember some years ago, we flew to St Maarten from NYC changing planes in SJU. When we looked recently, there were no connections. However that was pre Covid. Those connections may return as we, hopefully return to normal.

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Posted (edited)

The best way to get fro

On 4/21/2021 at 11:56 PM, Jojo Inferno said:

 We're wondering about still flying into San Juan and then finding boat transport to St. Maarten.

There is no ferry service between San Juan and St. Maarten.  Any boat service would be by private boat and would take many hours and be pricey if you could even find it.  The best way is to fly.  But, fares in December are quite expensive for this routing, SJU-SXM.  It may be less expensive to just fly into SXM and avoid SJU altogether.

A tip for the future.  Nationwide offers a cruise policy that will pay you for port changes prior to departure.  If you purchase the Luxury Cruise Plan, it's a payment of $500 per person.  Note this policy is not available if you live in  FL, MN, MO, NH, NY, OR, PA, VA, or WA).

I had an itinerary change on the same cruise you are on a couple years ago, and received a $1500 payout for this policy when I filed a claim after returning home.

Edited by 6rugrats
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On 4/21/2021 at 8:56 PM, Jojo Inferno said:

Here's hoping Jazz! We chose a Caribbean Leeward Islands cruise in December due to its convenience of leaving from Puerto Rico, which is serviced by Southwest where we have plenty of points. Now they're leaving from St. Maarten instead, and that is quite a costly change in our airfare. We did get some more OBC (we accumulated some already from the cancellation of our December 2020 French Polynesia cruise), but we're trying to see what works. We're wondering about still flying into San Juan and then finding boat transport to St. Maarten.

We ran into the exact issue for our Nov 27 leeward islands cruise but fortunately we were easily able to change our American fights from SFO through MIA. We are also staying at the Holland House and have turned out to be more excited about Phillipsburg than we were about San Juan. 

 

I don't blame the cruise lines. The CDC is being ridiculous (and I am a medical person) and they are walking away from the US.

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On 4/23/2021 at 3:06 PM, zentraveler said:

I don't blame the cruise lines. The CDC is being ridiculous (and I am a medical person) and they are walking away from the US.

 

I am worried, that there will be permanent damage to the US cruise industry.  Besides the CDC setting a high bar, the cruise lines (most except carnival) have said Vaccine proof is required, but Governor of FL (and TX) has said he will not let that happen.  I am not sure how that will impact Windstar moving to MIami. Operating in the state, will mean they will have to follow FL state law.  For now the foreign Caribbean ports can't handle a full passenger load from an airport perspective, but that could change.  People might just decide is nicer to start in Nassau than stop there.

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I think the CDC doesn't want another documentary that follows The Last Cruise. If they approve cruising from US ports they are on the hook for anything bad that happens.  They're actually pretty smart letting it all play out somewhere else to see how it goes. As for our Florida governor, if I say what I think I shall be forever banned from this forum. Suffice to say I believe in vaccine "passports " aka also known as proof of being vaccinated.

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On 4/25/2021 at 5:12 PM, sb44 said:

As for our Florida governor,

You have first hand knowledge.  I have family down there trying to leave to leave Florida, but can't find work in another state to be able to leave.  When I post here - I am almost always NOT supporting ideas, but trying to share a full picture.  Gov. Desantis' actions regarding vaccine passports and the lawsuit to start Cruising will shape what happens for the cruise Industry (for good or bad - I will let you and the historians decide how good or bad it is)  I almost never share my personal opinion.  My opinion pretty much is inconsequential and worth less than 2 cents. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

This could all be avoided by a few steps.

1.  The CDC could require anyone cruising from a US Port show either proof of being fully vaccinated OR proof that they have had COVID and have sufficient antibodies.

 

2.  The CDC could require anyone cruising from a US port obtain travel insurance that covers a government ordered quarantine should the ship have COVID cases.

3.  Due to #1, the risk of anyone on board contracting COVID are very slim.

 

4.  Just like with airline passengers, the CDC can require a COVID test performed no more than 72 hours prior to returning to the US.  That testing could be performed on the ship 2-3 days prior to returning to port.  The CDC should waive that requirement for cruises lasting four days or less.
 

5.  If there was a positive case, the cruise line would then be responsible for setting up a "quarantine hotel" or space on a military base, etc. and the transportation of all passengers to the facility and then back to the port/airport at the end of the quarantine.  The cost of this to be borne by the passengers via their insurance.


While this might not work on the large ships, it is certainly viable on ships like Windstar and even the smaller Regent/Seabourn/Crystal/etc. ships.  I'll bet Disney could also easily do it on their classic ships.  They could do the PCR test on everyone the morning they arrive at their private island, fly the vials to a lab in Miami, and get results in 48 hours.

Edited by ducklite
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It will be interesting to see if Windstar continues its plans to move away from US ports.  The CDC has clear guidelines, with one of them being 95% of passengers vaccinated and 98% crew vaccinated for nearly immediate cruising.  No waiting period, and no test sailing.  The CDC's letter is interesting. It is worth a read. @sb44 , the letter turns the tables a bit on Gov. Desantis.  He is now creating the "extra hurdle" for cruising to resume with his no vaccine passport order.  It is his rule that could shut it down.

 

 

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