Windstar Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback
Windstar Cruises is a cruise ship line that operates a fleet of small luxury cruise ships. Its six yachts carry just 148 to 310 guests and cruise to 50 nations, calling at 150 ports throughout Europe, the South Pacific, the Caribbean, and Central America.
A letdown customer shares his experience on bbb.org, "My wife and I booked a cruise with Windstar back in December. We paid in full in February. Windstar has since canceled our cruise due to COVID. They are refusing to refund our money until at least June. They claim this is because they cannot process refunds right now, yet they are able to process payments. This makes no sense at all. It feels like they're trying to get an interest-free loan from us, rather than refunding our money for a product that they cannot deliver. My wife's business has been severely impacted by COVID, and we could really use the money back right now."
Former Employee - Vacation Planner says"Management in the call center was absolutely clueless. Most got to where they are because they were friends with the other managers. To my knowledge, none had training/education in business or business management and it shows in the chaotic way things are run. No proactive measures taken, only reactionary "putting out one fire at the time". Also, no people skills to speak of. Communication to the team was minimal and new information was kept under a tight lid but then presented in a way "as you know, this is happening". It was strange how some things were "open secrets" when there was no reason to keep it secretive at all. PTO was hard to get and call center works under a minute schedule (which makes sense since you need to have a enough people manning the phones at all times). It created a lot of resentment because management was super flaky and would call in whenever, with flimsiest excuses. One accused an employee for abusing their FMLA policy, and I think they got fired because of it, but then mysteriously had flareups and used FMLA on most Mondays themselves. One time my manager told me it's fine to call in if "you just don't feel like getting up today and that everyone has those days" and to come in later that day if you change your mind. I've never done this in my life, not only is it immoral but also has repercussions on other. My teammates would have had to work double time just because I was lazy/tired/hungover. To summarize, very unprofessional management which created undue problems and a very toxic workplace. Would not recommend to anyone."
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says"Management don’t care about their employee. No training and long hours"
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says"Poor management, rampant favoritism, questionable financial desicion-making, chasing the latest “shiny” thing at all costs. Gossip and water cooler chat is the only way to get information, because management discourages “taboo” conversations."
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says"Horrible culture and work environment stemming from two undertrained managers (the controller being one) the skills needed to do this job successfully were not taught in an efficient manner. No one knew what they were doing and why- they knew how because the “deadlines were deadlines” and the work needed to get done. No one was cross trained on each other’s position, therefore it is very hard to get time off approved- not to mention the work from home aspect. They must be living ages ago since they don’t allow their employees to work from home at all. It is a very unsupportive environment - the managers don’t have a clue since half the time they sit in each others offices with the doors closed and laugh and gossip which makes them again inaccessible for questions to be answered. I have never management act so unprofessionally in my career. Their employees aren’t people to them, and they don’t care the situations just as long as your work gets done. Missing appointments, vacations, family events - they don’t care- it’s about the workload. You would think HR would be stepping in at this point since they have had 75% turnover in 6 months. Or maybe that just goes to show how HR and the company support this culture. The disrespect, the lack of knowledge by management and the unsupportive training environment is enough to make anyone jump ship."
Current Employee - Call Center Representative says"Management is chaotic, heartless and clueless."
Former Employee - Accountant says"Very amateur company where most people just gossip all day long and live from paycheck to paycheck producing or contributing zero."
Former Employee - Vacation Planner says"Regarding the sales department / call center and my employment March 1 through the end of May, before I resigned: Supervisors and manager were friends. There is nobody to turn to if you need to speak with somebody other than your supervisor. You would have to go to HR, who would in turn speak with the manager, who would in turn (probably not) discipline the supervisors. I was lied to in the interview process about the high turnover rate already reported on glass door, as well as the ORCA card compensation, and the "average" pay check of their sales agents (by about $4,000 dollars per month, yikes). The turnover rate reported is very real. The interviewers told me the turnover rate on glass door was from before the new CEO Hans Berkholz, and that was a lie. Negative work environment. Leads are not helpful and supervisors refer you back and forth. A lot of frustration on the call center floor. Doesn't seem that any of the leads or supervisors really want to be there. Most of the time they are annoyed or at least portray so on the phone with agents. I was honest with my interviewers when I said I was not interested in pushing sales on people, and that I need to believe in a quality product to be able to sell it. They both reassured me I would do well in the position, and offered me the job. Though I had asked about the commission structure, they did NOT give me any information on it or tell me about the NGR... the total dollar amount of sales I HAD to hit in order to even receive ANY commissions, until two weeks in to training. Commission structure is completely dependent on customers pressing the right buttons on the recorded message before they talk to a human, and your conversion rate based on these buttons. They don't offer this information up front because it is a way for the company to keep their employee's money. They pay a small commission percentage and think of ways to take the money back. They enforce "E and O's", errors and omissions. They take money from your paycheck for mistakes made on bookings. Starting at $5..... up to $15. Again.. another way to keep the little percentage they are giving agents. $15 could be your entire commissions for one booking. Also know this is illegal unless they make you sign paperwork. They took money from my check for an "E and O" and I NEVER signed paperwork. I will be reporting them to Workplace Rights. There are quality people working on the sales floor at Windstar, but they are few and far in between. They hire very aggressive, possessive people. They require a personality test before interview. I'm not sure how I passed because I'm not aggressive at all. If you're still reading, there are no windows that open on the sales floor and the air is recirculated. There is a doggy daycare upstairs and some other agents who have allergies are constantly irritated at work. Not sure if it's connected (literally / figuratively). The dogs are in the elevators with you every day."
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee says"Parent company needs to realize the low pay increases might be within the living cost in Denver, but not in Seattle. Current HR department - complete mess - no HR experience at all. Constant errors in payroll, therefore crew is upset all the time. Terrible benefits and archaic vacation policy."
Vacation Planner says"Middle management / floor supervisors are a joke"
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee says"Windstar does not care about their employees - at all. Therefore, the company vibe here sucks. I don't know many of my colleagues who are not trying to leave the company. What they told me before I took the job and the actual job have been totally different. I have tried to be positive but it is hard to work in such an oppressive environment. The CEO is an arrogant. and not the kind of guy you want to work for. There is no inspiration here. I actually want to do my job well but these factors are totally de-motivating. It is a hard place to go into everyday - it is pretty depressing. When I read the other reviews here, I see I am not alone on this. I would not recommend this place to anyone."
Vacation Planner (Former Employee) says"I worked there through their bankruptcy, total disaster then they got new management and changed the the whole structure of the the customer service/sales department. Cutthroat sales that only cared about the bottom line. Never once got a raise in 2 1/2 years and they changed the commission structure and made it more difficult for anyone to make money unless you acted like a used car sales person. If that's your thing then by all means go for it. One thing they were really good about is that they had a great open door policy and were always willing to answer questions or talk to you about your concerns."
Sales Representative (Former Employee) says"One of the worst work environments I have ever encountered. Unprofessional and immature Human Resources members. Executives who are more concerned with getting written up in magazine articles than having integrity and protecting their employees and doing the right thing.Decent benefits and payLack of leadership and integrity, HR is unprofessional and hire staff from ships that are not qualified and are entitled."
Director, Marketing (Former Employee) says"Windstar Cruises has a decent product/service, but the management and owners of the company are stuck in the past. They believe its 1950 and that all of their customers are rich, conservative white Americans. They chew through senior management staff - and many they do hire are also trained in management through fiat. There's a lot of yelling and berating of employees. Everyone works by keeping their heads down. The owners (or overlords) of the company who also own several other travel companies squash any real innovation. They force antiquated systems onto the company. Managers often make up their numbers and there is zero transparency in the performance of the business. Everyone is notoriously underpaid - even by underpayment standards. Compared to similar jobs in the Seattle market, you can expect to make 30-50% less. Maybe location?Culture, management, pay, sincerity, honesty, ownership...to many to name."
Business Development Manager (Former Employee) says"Windstar crew deliver an outstanding onboard product. The Seattle leadership is another story. The owners would be better off whiping the slate clean and re-hire a team of industry professionals. Turnover is out of control but understandable.great productmanagement"
OPS (Former Employee) says"Very toxic workplace, most employees don't interact with each other due to a very cold and unfriendly atmosphere. New employees aren't introduced to the rest of the staff and treated like temps. The Management berates, insults and embarrasses employees instead of training them. Favoritism is rampant so you better know who to suck up to if you want to keep your job.NoneDangerous location, indifferent treatment towards new staff, Very poor internal communications, Executive Management not engaged with Managers nor Supervisors."
Anonymous (Current Employee) says"Terrible culture, leadership and no work/life balance. Great product though."
DBA, Business Analyst, Crystal Reports Writer (Former Employee) says"Windstar's mission statement and written company values look good on paper but not used in real life practice. They say that their employees are important to the company but raises, education and a healthy work life balance is below average.Employee CruisesUnrealistic deadlines and out of department cooperation."
Sales Representative (Former Employee) says"Lots of favoritism here, if you're friends with someone in the right position you can literally go to jail for doing meth and still have your job. While they get rid of great employees, that actually did their jobs efficiently and accurately WORST MANAGEMENT I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED"
Purchasing Agent (Former Employee) says"I was hired to be technical buyer and logistic specialist and ended up buying for the hotel side. This was a challenge as I did not have experience in hotel buying before but it was interesting and I learned a lot from my time there."
Senior Revenue Accountant (Former Employee) says"Management does not have the ideal communication to learn how to process the work for the duties assigned. An individual has to figure it out for themselves."
Corporate Chef (Former Employee) says"difficult company to work for after they came out of chapter 11 bancrupcy, new owner installed new management team with big ship background on the small cruise sailing ship company hence a lot of initiatives dis not work as expected. responsible for culinary crew recruitment, liasing with suppliers and prepare menus for different seasons, itinararies in Caribbean and Europe, loved the travel and adviseing /helping the onboard teams achieving targets, ratings, and talk to guests for feed-back where to improve the culinary product.free travel, freedom while onboardOff time not paid, no pension plan"
customer service (Former Employee) says"Employees friendly and easy to work with. Communication between management and non management employees minimal at best.Full Benefits and Sick time.Non-communicationbetween departents/management."
Administrative Assistant (Former Employee) says"It was ok place to work. Old building, old methods. There were kind people that worked there. Small cafeteria. Not the most thrilling but it seems like a stable place to work."
Restaurant Dining Manager (Current Employee) says"lots of wrong expectation ,professional not orientated, focus on the guest is lacking management focus is only on paperwork side not to the guest or staff members"
Senior Sales Agent (Former Employee) says"all the departments don't keep open doors of communication; and managers get upset we don't know things that were never presented to us. Many working parts / not working togethergood pay if you sellmicro managed"
Fleet Services & Purchasing Manager (Former Employee) says"Fun group and a great learning experience. It was a great opportunity. Wonderful itenerary. Great crew. Beautiful destinations. Fun itenerary. Delightful food."
Guest Service Manager (Current Employee) says"I love working on board and travelling and this is a great way to see the world and learn new things. Great company to work for. The crew is like family and all guest get called by name and at the end of teh voyage becomes like familyCrew is like Family we all work very well together"
Vacation Planner - Customer Service (Current Employee) says"It's a company that you can make good money at, while having the opportunity to travel. They could use a more competitive base wage, and benefits.Travel, Good Income PotentialSub-par benefits"
Vacation Planner (Current Employee) says"One of the most important things about a workplace, I think, is that managers and their employee alike should have the opportunity to evaluate each other. This was not possible at Windstar, and lends itself to micromanagement that was polarizing for many team members.no take home work.7 am Saturday shifts."
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Travel Weekly UK reports"Windstar Cruises cancels 2020 sailings over pandemic uncertainty"
Travel Agent reports"Disney, Windstar, Avalon, AmaWaterways Suspend, Postpone Cruises"