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SWFLAOK

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About SWFLAOK

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Florida
  • Interests
    Traveling, Cooking
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Paul Gauguin, Regent
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    South Pacific

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  1. Yes, CC does have a river cruise board, and that's where this should have been posted. Just because there's not volume there isn't a reason to post it on a board for a cruise line that is totally unrelated, and therefore totally inappropriate.
  2. Yes. The Regent forum should be about Regent cruises so your post is inappropriate, and should be deleted. And Regent doesn't have river cruises, so that's the second reason that your post is inappropriate. However, I find it annoying that Cruise Critic doesn't really have a river cruise board that compares to the ocean cruise boards. Does anyone know why? Maybe you should ask them for a new forum for your post rather than randomly choosing Regent's forum to post it since We should be on our first river cruise today in the middle of a Viking Cruise. They contacted us a few months ago and offered us a one year delay on our cruise with our upgraded airfare, our pre and post stays, and the same cabin we had originally booked, with the same dates with no additional charge. They have already had our money for a long time now since there was a discount for paying in full. We still have their insurance if we cancel for any reason. We are still hoping to cruise next May, and we think it's likely that a vaccine will be available by then, and we'll get it as soon as it's available.
  3. Since no tourists are allowed to enter French Polynesia, and there is no interisland transit allowed within French Polynesia, who would be staying at the small resorts? The only possible guests would be those who already live on their island. The restaurants could be doing OK, since we have seen many locals at the restaurants on Moorea in the past, but I wouldn't expect many stays at hotels. Thailand and Indonesia (Bali) are still open to tourists coming from other countries, so they may still have some foreign tourism. Unfortunately some of it will be from China, which isn't something I would look forward to, having experienced it last December. But the big difference is that Thailand and Indonesia both have large populations that can travel within their own country when they feel comfortable to do so, and their country allows it. I think smaller hotels in Thailand and Indonesia will have a much easier time of it than in French Polynesia when it comes to tourism since they don't need to have tourists from other countries.
  4. Our PG cruise was cancelled by PG because of the closure of French Polynesian ports. Our cruise was from Fiji to Bali, but the ship was going to be stuck in Papeete for the foreseeable future. Since most other islands in the South Pacific that we would have stopped at were also closed to non-residents, it would not have been the cruise we wanted to take. I don't cruise to be on a ship. I cruise to see the ports of the world that the ship visits. With a large future cruise credit for an itinerary that we cannot take using that credit since it's not offered again in the timeframe we need, we are doing the best we can with our rebooking. We definitely expect to enjoy it if French Polynesia is accessible next year. While I'm not positive in my feelings for Ponant, I still hope for the PG being there in the future since I would love to go to French Polynesia one more time. If they go under, the huge financial loss we would experience from our cancelled cruise would not allow us to afford to go there again.
  5. Yes, thank you so much for trying to bankrupt Ponant. Forgive me if I don't support your effort since I'm stuck with a very large future cruise credit on PG for the cruise that was cancelled. That FCC would be lost thanks to your "effort". Why don't you sue your trip insurance company? Allianz is a US company, and doesn't cover much of anything unless you die or are hit by a car on your way to your cruise. It's very expensive and worthless. They amended their coverage for those who went on their cruise when they shouldn't have and contracted corona virus, which is obviously only a small number of people. Most of those passengers were likely covered for medical expenses by their home country, as they were in the US. I think I'm done with cruisecritic at this point, since it's really all criticism by people who have no interest in cruising again. And cruisecritic should be done with posters who are trying to bring down the cruise industry by demanding cash refunds in a time when cruise lines are struggling to survive. It's surprising how many people are booking cruises on upscale cruise lines and going to exotic places like the South Pacific, and are complaining about needing their money back. If you put Ponant out of business, you will not get your money back. If there's any money left to refund, it will be given to customers in France since that's where the company is based.
  6. Because you booked through a charter, you will have a harder time getting anything back from PG cruises (which is still a US based subsidiary), and Ponant (who wants nothing to do with PG cruises at this point). Since the drydock was cancelled, you still have a chance that your cruise could go. You need to track where the PG is, and if it isn't heading to Bali in time to make it to your May 20th sailing, then they need to refund something to your charter company. It will be painful to wait, but we were only offered a 10 percent cash refund for our Fiji to Bali cruise and decided to take a chance and go if it wasn't cancelled. Our cruise was cancelled shortly after that, and we got a 125 percent FCC and we rebooked for a cruise that we have done before, but it's better than nothing. Since you're going through a charter, you need to keep the pressure on them to make sure they get the best compensation possible from PG. On our PG cruise that didn't happen, we rebooked our flights back to the US several months ago to avoid Hong Kong since we knew that was unlikely to happen. We were reimbursed at the time by PG for our original flights. We were just reimbursed for the rebooked flights by Qantas which made us very happy since they had at first only offered us future flight credits that would have been hard for us to use. Hope you can get something out of this, and I encourage you to keep working on it. I don't expect to ever do the Fiji to Bali trip in the future, and it makes me sad. But if we can salvage anything out of it for a future trip that will still be enjoyable, it's something to still something to look forward to.
  7. We had bad vibes from the Ponant rep when he boarded the tender with us in the Cook Islands to travel with us to Fiji last September. But there were quite a few others on our cruise who were looking for Ponant cruises, especially to cold places, and the rep was really excited to speak to them about it. Those that engaged him were not from the US or Canada. I had a bad feeling about it, be we had already booked the Fiji to Bali cruise for a significant birthday, and had cleared the waitlist for it. We expected that cruise to be our last one on the PG. While we love the PG, and all of her crew members, the cost is a stretch for our budget, and we have done 3 previous cruises, as well as our original land based French Polynesia vacation 25 years ago. We wanted to experience new places, which is what we would have done on that cruise. I hope PG cruises can survive through this. The employees on the ship, as well as the office employees, are still the same as before Ponant bought them. I'm sure they wish they were still part of the Intercontinental Hotel Group, and so do I.
  8. Emdee, our reschedule from the Fiji to Bali cruise is for the Jan 21 reunion cruise. At this point, we wish we had rebooked for the December 2021 cruise instead since we don't feel confident about French Polynesia opening up again by then, but we're still looking forward to it. I don't think about any of the money being a loss. I only consider it an experience that I hoped to have, but didn't. No one is forcing me to pay any additional money for the lost experience. And anything that I can salvage from the cost of the lost experience, and use for another great cruise experience is something good. Hopefully we will both be on the Reunion cruise in January and have a great time, and maybe even meet. We're trying to stay safe in SW Florida, and hope you stay safe as well.
  9. So Regent is also only giving a FCC for cruises that they cancel? If that's the case we need to see if we can cancel ours Regent cruise for late next year and get our deposit back. Who knows when we can or cannot cruise in the future, and apparently only cruises booked from now on have their new Regent Assurance policy that they are currently advertising in their weekly brouchures. We cancelled our Silversea Panama Canal cruise for next January since Silversea offered us a full refund a few months ago. I was already doubting whether I wanted to do that cruise based on similar cruises that I was following on cruisecritic this year. Easter Island in February no longer seemed like a good idea, and the Caribbean can be pretty rough in January/February as well. I hate it when ports are cancelled, but going to Easter Island and not stopping there would be too disappointing for me. We did receive a full refund from them on our credit card, and then waited over 2 weeks for a check in the mail from our credit card company, and another week for the bank to clear the check from the credit card company. We also were allowed to reschedule a Viking River cruise from this year to next year at no additional cost. We had purchased their insurance, and they made the offer to reschedule before we felt very pressured to do so. That reschedule has gone smoothly so far, and I hope that continues. We respect both Silversea and Viking for their efforts.
  10. I'm not sure I understand this. Are you saying that you booked a PG cruise next year and paid a 5000 dollar deposit, and then booked a Regent cruise with a 40,000 deposit for the same time period? Those seem like very large deposits for cruises that are over a year away. Booking multiple cruises that far in the future because the cancellation fee is minimal doesn't seem like a very ethical thing to do. Maybe someone really wants to go on that cruise, and has save for a long time to take it, and can't book it because you've put a 200 dollar non-refundable "hold" on it by booking 2 cruises for the same time.
  11. We had the same problem for our April 11th cruise since we needed to fly from Florida to get to our PG provided flight to Fiji from LAX. We decided to wait until PG cancelled, and assumed that we would rent a car and drive to LAX if we needed to if there were no domestic flights available. But our cruise was cancelled, and we received 125 percent FCC which we will need to use for a cruise other than the one we wanted, but we can still use. Jet Blue gave us full credit into our Jet Blue account, which we hope to be able to use for our future PG cruise, or for other Jet Blue flights to other places to visit family. It's not ideal since we can't use our FCC to take a PG cruise that we wanted to take, but any PG cruise is better than having them go out of business and losing everything that we paid.
  12. Interestingly enough there have not been any additional travel advisories out of PG since the March 27th update. The ship did a loop out to sea and came back in recently. I wonder if they went to make water, or exchange the water for something else, or just limbered things up a bit to keep the bottom growth off. It is at least what 6500nm to Singapore from Papeete. Backing up from the 5/20 sailing date, and assuming 2 weeks for the drydock, that means they have roughly 22 days (not including Singapore to Bali return here) to get to Singapore. At 6500nm/22 that is about 300 nm/day or about 12 knots which is reasonable but, that is a 24x7 cruise. I don't know what the boat's range is and it is at least another 900-1000nm from Singapore to Bali where the BN cruise starts. Are things are looking kind of tight for the boat to cover all that ground and get the drydock done?
  13. The flight was not hypothetical since we did have e-tickets for it issued to us through our reservations made by PG cruises. I was actually trying to make other cruise critic readers on our cancelled cruise feel a little because the weather would likely have had a large effect on our enjoyment of it. Our cruise was cancelled back in March, around the time that the CDC said that no one should be taking cruises. We don't know when our flights were cancelled. They were definitely not cancelled at the time that our cruise was cancelled since PG cruises had to wait a while to hear from Fiji Airways on the cancellation reimbursement before they could tell us what our FCC was based on the flight they had included in the cruise, and our business class upgrade to it. And we still have only a ballpark figure for our FCC from PG cruises. I agree with you that no one should be doing any leisure travel to Fiji, or almost anywhere else at this point, especially places with few cases and limited hospital beds. There's no way I would have wanted to fly from LAX to Fiji, board the PG, and stop at Vanuatu where there were no cases of Covid-19, as well as other ports beyond that. We've been staying at home except for essentials since March 13, and have had no symptoms during that time, but flying from FLL to Fiji through LAX would have exposed us to the risk of bringing it to all of the areas beyond that. I would not have wanted to do that even if they hadn't closed their borders. I just wish Florida could do the same to protect its residents.
  14. You might have noticed that I started my post with "If not for Covid-19". So I was saying that if Covid-19 had never occurred, our flight would not have occurred. They did not have a repatriation flight from LAX that night, and waited until the storm passed for that flight. Why there are enough Fijians in the US at this point that they need flights home, I don't know. I wouldn't still be in the US if I were them. I also saw that flights from Hong Kong were arriving until the end of March, and flights from Singapore were arriving until the arrival of the cyclone. Maybe no one was onboard, or maybe it was Fijians that returning home after traveling to places with Covid-19. We lost a lot of money on this cruise, and we will not be able to replace it with the same itinerary on the PG. I was trying to point out that if this cruise had gone off as scheduled, it would not have gone well because of the cyclone. And we still would have wasted a lot of money because we would not have had the cruise we wanted, with Fiji hotels being damaged, and storm damage at our stops in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. I'm confident that our "insurance" would not have covered anything because it was caused by bad weather, just as it covers nothing for a pandemic. And Nadi airport is not closed down at all since there have been many international arrivals, as well as domestic arrivals and departures.
  15. If not for Covid-19 which caused our PG Fiji to Bali cruise to be cancelled, we would have been scheduled to land early this morning at Nadi in Fiji for 3 nights before boarding the Paul Gauguin. From what I could see on Flight Aware, our flight was cancelled and did not leave LAX, and may have been one of the Fiji Air planes that was sent to a safe airport for avoid the storm. There was much damage reported in the tourist area of Fiji, south of Lautoka which is we where supposed to stay. The storm already hit the Solomon Islands a few days ago and sank a ferry in high seas, and caused serious damage on the Northern Island of Vanuatu, which is where the PG was scheduled to stop on our cruise. Harold is now devastating Tonga before continuing on to the SE where it will hopefully miss the rest of the South Pacific Islands. This is very late in the cyclone season, and when I booked the Fiji to Bali cruise over a year ago, I didn't anticipate a major cyclone in that area, let alone a global pandemic. It looks like the PG took a sanitary cruise out to open water today and returned to the dock in Papeete. It will be interesting to see if they head for Singapore for dry dock or not, since they will have to avoid Harold by taking a route to the north rather than the route they would take otherwise if they want to avoid stormy conditions.
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