• Report: #991799

Complaint Review: Fine Food Wine Cruises

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  • Submitted: Sat, January 05, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, January 07, 2013

  • Reported By: Distressed cruiser — Atascadero California United States of America
Fine Food Wine Cruises
Www.finefoodwinecruise.com Atascadero, California United States of America

Fine Food Wine Cruises Ripped on cruisers Atascadero, California

*Consumer Comment: Jonathan Baltuch is a Cheat

*Consumer Comment: Where did the money go?

*General Comment: Fine Food & Wine at fault, not Tobin James

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We booked a cruise to Tahiti with the Tobin James Winery thru Fine Food wine Cruises and we just got an email today that they have only paid for half the cruise although we have all paid in full. Payment was either check or American Express so I am disputing my charges with AMEX. Not sure if they actually paid for our trip insurance, but I sure hope so....they sent a letter to Tobin James this week saying they were filing for bankruptcy next week!
There are about 300 people booked for this private cruise, so I sure hope the winery can work out something with the cruise directly and make this right for it's wine club members!!!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/05/2013 11:31 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Fine-Food-Wine-Cruises/Atascadero-California-93422/Fine-Food-Wine-Cruises-Ripped-on-cruisers-Atascadero-California-991799. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Jonathan Baltuch is a Cheat

AUTHOR: Tony - (United States of America)

You should all know that the owner of FineFoodandWineCruise.com is Jonathan Baltuch.  He is the one who got all our money and won't give it back.  He also owns ShoesOnlyTravel.net.  We gave him over $8,000 for a cruise with Merry Edwards Winery and he cancelled the cruise.  We even paid for Travel Guard Insurance but they say that they do not cover contract disputes.  Please in these complaints call out Jonathan Baltuch by name to ensure that any other companies his involved in or may become involved in do not take in other suckers.

Jonathan Baltuch should be investigated for fraud.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Where did the money go?

AUTHOR: Khillski - (USA)

The money Fine Food and Wine Cruise collected from Tobin James cruisers went to pay the debts they incurred on the other half sold cruises. Unlike Tobin James cruises which have basically sold out, FF&WC's last 5 cruises have had a occupancy rate of about 50%. They need over 65% just to break even. This has turned into a Ponzi scheme where the money collected for our cruise has been paid to cover the loses on the previous cruises. Tobin James is working with Paul Gauguin to try and salvage the cruise and they will keep everyone posted when they know something.
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#3 General Comment

Fine Food & Wine at fault, not Tobin James

AUTHOR: Cindy - (United States of America)

Fine Food and Wine Cruise took the last deposits from all of us in November, obviously knowing that they were unable to honor the contract with Paul Gauguin Cruise line. FFWC stated approximately 1/2 of the charter fee has been paid.  What did they do with that last deposit from over 300 people, whose final deposit was close to 40% of the cost of the cruise - or, close to two million dollars?!

I have also seen reports that FFWC cancelled another cruise with another winery in December. From the reports I have read, those people have lost their money spent for that cruise. Again, what happened to all that money?  FFWC claims it was a contract dispute which could be translated to mean they didn't pay Windstar either.

Tobin James Winery had three very successful, nearly sold out cruises through FFWC in 2011.  There was nothing to suggest this cruise would be otherwise. The owner is blaming the finances on other cruises they contracted that weren't sold out and lost money. That was not the case with us Tobin James Winery Club Members! We paid for this cruise and FFWC should honor their contract with us!

The future is not certain at this point. Tobin James is doing everything possible to make this happen. This cruise was 97% sold, so there are over 300 very angry consumers right now.  I imagine we will be a strong force to deal with should there be no refunds or no cruise.
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