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Hutchinj

Members
  • Content Count

    260
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About Hutchinj

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Orlando, FL
  • Interests
    Chevrolet Corvettes
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Carib, NCL, Disney, Paul Gauguin
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Our Next One! :)
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    https://www.********************/1023602917753758/

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  1. Couldn't agree with you more about the aft cabins. There's just something very special about them. Although I must admit the promise of a free upgrade to a deck 8 category B cabin was certainly enticing! It's a win-win either way. ;) Sorry you chose to cancel your cruise but well understand. PG made that choice for us by cancelling our July cruise. We've already made plans to visit FP next year (and even added a few extra days) but sadly opted against another cruise until the COVID-19 precautions are a thing of the past (if ever) so we can enjoy the picture-postcard-perfect South Pacific cruise we've dreamed of... sans masks! While I am certainly no fan of PG's new management team at Ponant, I have never had bad things to say about the PG ship itself or her wonderful crew.... despite the extreme personal attack I suffered from one of the most prolific posters to this Forum (who also maintains a popular page about PG/FP on another well known social media site). Pretty sad this person felt the need to lash out like that. <sigh> Like you, we look forward to the day we can cruise with PG and take full advantage of all she has to offer. For those that chose not to wait and cruise now despite COVID, we wish you all the best and hope you have a wonderful, memorable, and safe voyage.
  2. They offered us a 120% FCC which we also thought was fair but due to our particular situation (age, economy, finances, etc) we needed to insist on a refund which fortunately they now seem amenable to. Let me stress again that none of this recent strife (brought on by COVID-19) was the fault of the PG staff or crew. They were just caught up in the middle due to Ponant's initial attempt to refuse to honor the terms of their own passenger contract. Not PG's fault. I'm really happy for everyone who has managed to rebook a cruise and wish you smooth sailing in beautiful FP. We'll be waving at you from shore next year! 🙂
  3. Sorry for the duplicate post but wanted to be sure those pursuing refunds from PG/Ponant saw this: Only after some urging from my wonderful TA, I finally heard back from PG in regards to my request for refund from our cancelled July 4th cruise. Here's what they said: Your refund request has now been noted. The Covid19 pandemic is having an adverse effect on our economy, especially the hospitality and travel industries. We are doing our best to issue refunds, but due to the circumstances some delays should be expected, please allow up to 120 days for processing. So to their credit, it appears that PG is going to honor our refund request albeit after a wait of up to 6 months. Hate to wait that long but even so this is much preferred to filing a credit card dispute. Things are looking up (I think).
  4. Sorry for the duplicate post but wanted to be sure those pursuing refunds from PG/Ponant saw this: Only after some urging from my wonderful TA, I finally heard back from PG in regards to my request for refund from our cancelled July 4th cruise. Here's what they said: Your refund request has now been noted. The Covid19 pandemic is having an adverse effect on our economy, especially the hospitality and travel industries. We are doing our best to issue refunds, but due to the circumstances some delays should be expected, please allow up to 120 days for processing. So to their credit, it appears that PG is going to honor our refund request albeit after a wait of up to 6 months. Hate to wait that long but even so this is much preferred to filing a credit card dispute. Things are looking up (I think).
  5. Good call. Hopefully things will have settled down by then and even if not, it's still much easier to socially distance at land resorts vs any cruise ship. I'm sure you will have a wonderful time with your family! It's been over a week and I still have not heard back from PG in regards to my refund demand. I'm not surprised, unfortunately. So it looks like I'll have to file a dispute with my credit card company after all. Really a shame as this leaves such a bad impression on the Paul Gauguin and it certainly isn't the crew's fault. We still wish them all the best.
  6. As per the Tahiti Tourism Office announcement of June 5th, 2020, FP is once again open for business to international travelers effective July 15th: French Polynesia has had no active cases of COVID-19 since May 29th. The country’s authorities announced today the borders will be re-opening to international tourism in French Polynesia starting on July 15th, 2020. Timeline is as follows: July 15th, 2020: Quarantine measures will be completely lifted and French Polynesia’s borders will re-open to international tourism from all countries. There are several conditions, however, including a COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to departure and another 4 days after arrival, plus medical certificates and more. See the link, above, for details.
  7. We are already working with our TA to visit FP next August, with resort stays on Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora... no cruise ship. Pluses and minuses to that of course, but all in all I think it should allow for an even more relaxing itinerary. We have been assured no increase in resort prices as they usually do each year plus we're now able to add and additional day to our stays in Moorea & Bora Bora. Still haven't heard back from PG about our refund request. No surprise, though.
  8. I just heard from my TA that PG has now cancelled all sailings in July 2020. Not showing up on the PG website yet but that should be updated soon. And no surprise, their reservations department is saying you can't get a refund, only a credit. I will formally request a refund from them anyway and if (when) they refuse, I'll file a dispute with my credit card company. We've had their July 4th cruise booked for nearly 2 years now. Really is a shame since we wanted to do this cruise so badly. Would even consider risking it all and rebooking for a future cruise but no way I want to do business with a company that ignores their own contracts and treats their customers with such disdain. I do feel sorry for the PG crew, of course, as none of this is their fault. I certainly hope they can recover and get back to some semblance of normalcy. We will now plan to visit FP next year but it will be a land-based resort stay only. We're going to put cruising on the back burner until the industry gets itself sorted out. To everyone else, good luck and stay safe!
  9. Just got this today (May 28th) from my TA... “FYI, PG had meetings today and are continuing them tomorrow to evaluate if they can sail or not in July based on what the Government/Air Tahiti Nui are advising... they said they plan to have a final decision tomorrow or Monday at the latest.” So maybe we will know something soon. We can hope! Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  10. Here is the latest on the FP lockdown from the Tahiti Tourism office. The highlighted part seems to be a bit contradictory to the FP President's May 20th Announcement which stated ATN flights would resume July 1st (with restrictions). I guess the situation is still developing... https://tahititourisme.com/en-us/covid-19/ Lockdown lifted in French Polynesia starting from May 21, 2020 After two months of lockdown and following the improvement of the health situation, the authorities declared the end of lockdown in French Polynesia starting from May 21, 2020: Access to the territory for all non-residents of French Polynesia is still suspended (since March 18, 2020), until further notice. Commercial flights will be resumed following specific regulations which will be announced in 15 days. Domestic flights will start their operations from May 22nd, with Air Tahiti flights serving only 10 islands: Huahine, Raiatea, Bora Bora, Rangiroa, Tikehau, Fakarava, Rurutu, Tubuai, Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa. Sailing yachts which have been welcomed in overcrowded mooring areas must leave and resume their trip. All companies and administrations will resume their activities. Restaurants, bars and nightclubs will resume their activities under usual conditions.
  11. TBK... always the cheerleader. And a highly valued one, too. :) Have always enjoyed your posts and lovely photos! There is no question the first cruise after lifting the lockdown WILL be different from the past. Of course I’m sure the crew will do all they can to make it a good experience but within limits. Yes, it could be good. But it could also be very, very bad. It may be like old home week to you and others who have sailed with PG many times before. But for many of us newbies, this is likely a one-time bucket list trip that we cannot afford to replicate. We paid for a dream trip as advertised in the glossy brochures and videos. Social distancing, forced wearing of masks, limited activities, and other necessary restrictions will unfortunately water down, not enhance, the overall experience. We desperately want the PG cruise we have dreamed of and planned for 2 years in celebration of our 50th Anniversay. But allow me the liberty to be nervous about it. ;) Sent from my iPad using Forums
  12. https://www.pgcruises.com/travel-advisory Update: May 21, 2020 Ia Orana! We hope you and your family are safe and in good health during these unprecedented times. The safety and security of our guests and crew members has always been our top priority. The current global pandemic situation has led us to temporarily suspend the operation of voyages through the end of June 2020 aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin. We are in the process of personally notifying travel advisors and guests with affected sailings. We look forward to resuming our voyages in the future and continuing to offer our guests exceptional cruise experiences in Tahiti, French Polynesia, Fiji and the South Pacific. Māuruuru roa, Paul Gauguin Cruises
  13. Thanks for the update, Fedex. So PG has cancelled all cruises thru June. That still leaves our July 4th cruise in limbo. I gotta admit, my wife and I are not necessarily thrilled with the idea of serving as PG's guinea pigs for their first cruise after the lockdown is lifted. <sigh>
  14. Interesting. All the cruises from June 6th on are still listed as bookable on the PG website. Go figure. Good luck if you opt for a refund. They seem to be saying NO to that even if they cancel the cruise. You may need to file a dispute with your credit card company if it comes to that. And I recommend you double-check your Cancel for Any Reason policy very closely. Most of those still have a general exclusion for epidemics/pandemics. Your policy may be good but don't assume, confirm. Yesterday the FP President eased up on restrictions including non-residents but there is verbiage about medical clearance 72 hours before travel, a potential 14-day quarantine upon arrival, daily health monitoring, etc, etc that we have no details about yet. Hopefully that will be clarified very soon.
  15. Here is the English translation of the 5/20 FP announcement. I have no idea how the highlighted section will be implemented in regards to non-residents. There is no specific mention of cruise ships. This Wednesday, May 20, President Edouard Fritch announced the complete lifting of the containment, effective Thursday, May 21. All activities resume normally, with the exception of the sale of alcohol which remains subject to conditions. LGT • Posted on May 20, 2020 at 11:52 am, During a press briefing on Wednesday May 20, President Edouard Fritch announced the total deconfinement of Polynesia , starting tomorrow, Thursday May 21. " The virus is no longer circulating and all the cases detected are negative ." Everything resumes normally except the sale of alcohol The religious services can resume normally, the rallies , the practice of all sports and leagues . All primary schools resume normally on June 4 . In the meantime, the measures put in place remain in force. The colleges of the islands also resume normally from June 4. The student transportation will be replaced next week. The sailboats welcomed in excess in the mooring areas must continue their voyage. The bars and nightclubs resume their activities nominally. The parties and shows are allowed. Only the conditions for the sale of alcohol remain unchanged : Monday to Thursday until 6 p.m. Edouard Fritch welcomed a " return to normal life. Our efforts and sacrifices have paid off ." While recommending to continue the barrier gestures and physical distancing " until the discovery of a vaccine ". Air links to boost tourism Domestic air services resume on May 22. " I appeal to your patriotism , said Edouard Fritch, and to your love of the Country, to your solidarity, towards these small businesses of our islands, including Tahiti. " The President thus called to " consume local: consume your holidays in our islands, our fruits, our textiles ... " Air Tahiti Nui flights will resume from July 1st. 5,000 jobs are threatened in hotels. More than 19,000 workers will be weakened by " this unprecedented crisis ", announced President Edouard Fritch. The whole island of Bora Bora " is suffering [...] Our economy depends on external markets: vanilla, pearl, tourism," International tourism will resume according to a rigorous health protocol : negative test 72 hours before departure, fourteen on the territory in dedicated accommodation in the country or at home under strict conditions and new screening at the end. Daily health monitoring is organized by the State services with the possibility of checks by the police.Every non-compliance with the fortnight will be penalized.
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