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Everything posted by SWFLAOK

  1. "RSSC Splendor (Panama Canal) - March 2020" Since this cruise was cancelled, I'm wondering if you received a cash refund for it from RSSC? Just curious since we often cruise RSSC when we're not going to the South Pacific, and we have one booked for next year. We're already worried about having to reschedule that cruise, and whether we would only get a FCC rather than getting our money back once we pay in full. How far out is your PG cruise? Have you already paid in full? As someone who has been on the PG 3 times in the last 2 years, and had our cruise cancelled this month, I would rather have them stay in business and keep all of the crew that we have come to know be still employed when we use our FCC which we found to be generous enough in these times.
  2. No, we just had to rebook our cruise on Paul Gauguin from April to next January. We have not been able to book airfare on our own, or through PG with Air Tahiti Nui. We were told that it's not currently available. If you have it booked, good for you. We might need to rebook further into the future.
  3. AIS shows that the PG is still docked in Papeete. Hopefully the staff and crew are still onboard, unless they've been able to send them home on flights to somewhere else safe. I'd rather be onboard the PG right now than in my condo tower is SW Florida, where everyday there are more people from the NYC metro area, and from Miami, coming to stay in the rental condos and those left empty by their friends and relatives who have gone further north to safer places such as Canada, Minnesota and Maine. The new arrivals don't do social distancing, have restarted water aerobics in the pool, and they get together for happy hour at the pool every afternoon.
  4. By the time cruise ships start cruising again, the new Abbott testing machine, which takes 5 to 11 minutes, with a simple nasal or throat swab, should be available at all ports. They were approved last week, an have already been deployed in some of the hardest hit areas in the US, including Washington state and NYC, so we should have some confidence in the test by then. I agree that testing for Covid-19 7 days before the cruise is worthless. I read today that in some places, health care workers have been tested daily with the existing kits, and confirmed that with someone who works in a hospital. I'm not sure how many kits are left for patients, but if the new machine works it should eliminate that problem.
  5. What hasn't changed is that before boarding a ship, you have to fill out a medical form, and sign it, making you legally responsible for your answers. This a requirement for international marine transit, and always has been, for many, many years. It doesn't just apply to cruise ships, and predates cruise lines. The ship needs to present this information to the next port, so the passenger needs to provide it on embarkation, and the ship needs to be able to stand by it. We took our boat to the Bahamas for many years and spent the winter there. On arrival in the first port in the Bahamas, we had to clear customs and immigration. We had to fill out a form that was obviously written for a larger vessel, asking many questions about the health of those onboard. It includes a question about any deaths that have occurred at sea since our last port, and their cause. This is the form that your cruise ship needs to provide before entering a port. They need the passengers to answer some of these questions (which include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. within the last 72 hours). And they need to attest that the information is correct by the time they reach the next port. This has nothing to do with any laws in the US. They don't apply to international travel by ship. Maritime laws have existed for a very long time, and take precedence over other laws when it comes to ships.
  6. I'll be controversial with you. On our back to back Singapore to Singapore, and Singapore to Sydney last December to mid January, we experienced the same with unfit/unwell passengers onboard. We overheard dialysis patients complaining that the line was so long in the morning that they didn't always make it to the dining room for breakfast. A woman who actually looked quite healthy, said that she had never had dialysis before, and her first time was onboard. Her doctor told her that cruise ships could handle it. I guess her doctor would have signed that form But they should not have been onboard. People onboard our ship had pneumonia, and coughed uncontrollably. They seemed to believe that it was not contagious. I don't know if the doctor onboard told them that, or if they had it before embarking and their doctor at home told them they could travel with it. They went to the dining room for meals, and coughed all over the tablecloth. Tablecloths aren't always changed between diners on Regent if it still looks clean. The condiments are almost never changed on a table between guests. We found it very scary while we were onboard, and a number of countries, including Singapore, were taking temperatures back in December. But it you stayed on the ship when they announced the requirements for going ashore, which the husband of a pneumonia patient admitted to us, then you could just stay onboard and spread your illness, especially if you don't stay in your cabin with room service. I've been a proponent for a while now of having separate cruises for the elderly, with more doctors, more assistance, and excursions that are accessible for the mobility impaired. They would need to pay for the extra assistance and medical care, but they would have a better chance to enjoy their destinations. Meanwhile, those of us who are still healthy and have no mobility issues can't enjoy our cruise. We're are in our mid 60's, and are having a hard time enjoying our excursions on Regent because of the mobility impaired. But the fact that so many of them were ill while onboard makes us afraid to take the extended cruise that we've reserved next year.
  7. Rangiroa and Raiatea are 2 of the few places we've never been in on the Paul Gauguin. Maybe next time.
  8. To all of those saying why not just use the credit on the card; the refund is for 2 segments of next year's world cruise, so it's a very significant amount for us. We are not going to be spending that amount of money in the next 3 or 4 months at least. For almost 2 weeks, we've been asked to self isolate, and expect that to be mandated for everyone in our county early next week. There's no place other than the grocery store to charge anything for an undetermined amount of time. We're losing a significant amount of money on another cruise, and have rebooked what's left of that as a cruise credit for a shorter cruise next year. We won't be making any additional travel plans until things stabilize, and we still have several chances of losing money on other non-cruise vacations through the summer. The other thing is that the credit card company already plans to refund what we received back from SS. But they can no longer tell us when they will do it. I don't want to start charging on that card, and then end up owing more to them during the next cycle because they finally give me the refund I requested. It's our only Mastercard, and didn't have trouble with a large refund on a Visa card. At this point, we would feel better having some cash on hand.
  9. We've stayed at the Intercontinental Tahiti quite a few times at the beginning and ending of cruises. I really like it. I felt a little sad that we wouldn't be staying there on our Fiji to Bali cruise. I love both pools, the view of Moorea, the great breakfast, and the lagoon. But now I have it to look forward to again next year. And we've always enjoyed our lunches on Motus, especially with Patrick's tour; lobster, champagne, and delicious Tahitian dishes like chicken and greens, and banana cassava pudding. We've experienced lunches on small islands in the Caribbean that were not always enjoyable, especially the time that rats came out of the brush to join us when the food was served. Thanks again for the pictures.
  10. Earlier this month, SS processed my refund request for a cancellation next year, much more quickly than I was told. I was very pleased with that. But I have been unable to get my credit card to give me anything other than a large negative balance. While I was originally told by the credit card company to call back when there are shorter wait times, I was able to get through early in the AM on Saturday. I was told at that time that I would have a refund check in 7 to 10 business days. The large negative balance is still there, so I called again. I am now told that because of the amount, they need permission from the special processing department to give me a refund of my negative credit balance. They have no time estimate as to when that will occur. But after that, it should take 7 to 10 business days. We might all want to read our contracts with our credit card companies to see what our options are when we are lucky enough to get a large refund back on our credit cards.
  11. Beautiful pictures as usual TDK. We stayed 3 nights post cruise at the IC a few years ago, and rented a car for the day. We drove around Tahiti and stopped at the Water Gardens. It was very peaceful, with some beautiful flowers, that you've captured much better than I did. We drove out to Tahiti Iti, as far as we could on both sides, as well as to the highest point of Tahiti Iti which has a spectacular view. I would love to take an excursion on the roads that you can't drive on to the far coast of Tahiti Iti, as well as to the top of the highest part of Tahiti, which we were afraid to try. We hung in until our Fiji to Bali trip was canceled, hoping that something would change for the better, and that we could still go. We were even expecting to be quarantined in Australia or LA on the way back, and were hoping it would be Sydney and not LA. We'll be booking another cruise with our FCC, and are looking forward to another PG cruise. We'll have some work to do to figure out how we can use air and hotel credits for Bali when we won't be going there, but we'll try to work out something. Currently, there's nothing open in Florida except for grocery stores, and they don't have much to sell. We're staying in our condo as much as possible as requested by our governor, so as soon as we hear what our flight and hotel credits are, we have plenty of time for planning. It's good to know that PG took care of those of you who were on board the last cruise to sail, and that you were able to get home safely in these hard times.
  12. Checking the calendar, it took 7 business days for our SS refund to show up on our credit card accounts.
  13. We put in our formal cancellation request on March 11th, so it was much faster than we expected. Getting a refund back from our credit cards is going to take a few more weeks, but we have been able to get them to answer us this weekend and start that process.
  14. While I was pessimistic about SS in my last post about getting our money back, today we received a credit on the credit card that we used for the down payment, as well as the one that we used to make the final payment. We were told it would take 1 to 3 billing cycles, and it was probably 1 (about 3 weeks). We received everything back that we had paid, except for our insurance. I doubt I will ever buy cruise insurance again since it has proven to be totally worthless. I'm hoping for the best for you with SS, and we will take a look at their cruises in the future, if we can still afford it. My 65th Birthday cruise was also a big splurge that we blew the budget for on another cruise line that we thought we could trust. Now I expect that I will be cooking something from the freezer at home, but if I have another birthday next year, then that's OK with me. And we will consider ourselves lucky if the cruise credit that other cruise line is giving us let's us pay for a much shorter cruise next year, rather than losing the entire cost of the trip. And more importantly, we hope that everyone can be safely cruising again next year.
  15. That's the same as our current experience with Paul Gauguin, and we understand the problems that all cruise lines are facing at this point. Airlines for domestic flights don't want to hear from us anytime soon for rebooking, and we can only cancel flights that close enough to do so online.
  16. We cancelled a SS cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Auckland next January about a month ago. We had paid for it in full last fall to get a 10% discount (and we could still afford to do that back then). We were told that it would take 2 or 3 billing cycles to get our money back, minus the 200 administrative fee (which can be used as a future cruise credit). We haven't seen it, and recently told it would still be 1 or 2 billing cycles. Our refund is much more then 14K. And we weren't offered a refund on our April 11 Paul Gauguin cruise from Fiji to Bali, and the FCC doesn't include the pre or post hotel and transfers, or the included airfare and our business class upgrade. They can't tell us if we will get a voucher or credit on those, but if we want to book another cruise, and use the cruise only credit being offered, we need to make a decision soon to find availability before the FCC expires. Our next Regent cruise is well over a year away, and the full payment isn't anytime soon, so we are trying not to worry about it at this time. Cruising shouldn't be this stressful. For any Regent return cruisers traveling on a cruise that you can no longer look forward to since you are pretty sure it isn't going to sail, and you can still do so without a significant penalty, then I would just rebook for a future cruise. That will let you look forward to it in the future, and give the cruise line a better chance of surviving. If you have never cruised before at all, or not on Regent, and are still out far enough to cancel with just a minimal administrative fee, I would do that. It gives you a chance to start over at a better time, and choose a cruise line and an itinerary with ports that have survived the covid-19 cruise vacation apocalypse.
  17. No, we cannot. And we don't really know what our future cruise credit is for our cancelled cruise which makes booking a future cruise harder. PG cruises has not been able to determine what the hotels and airlines are going to do for the reservations they booked along with our cruise. Is this all PG cruises fault? No, it's not. If they fail financially and can't provide a future cruise, then that's much worse than not being able to get a cash refund. Is it possible to speak to an airline or hotel chain at this point? We've tried for our other travel plans, and no, we can't do that either. We're just trying to stay calm and hope for the best. We had travel plans for all of April, and most of May, with 2 cruises part of that. All of that has fallen through. We suspect our more local plans in June will all fall through as well. We're hoping 2021 is a much better year than 2020.
  18. Oh...sorry, I thought the topic was "who is cancelling, and who is not". Maybe it was supposed to be just a poll with a yes or no answer, and not the reason why we chose to do that. Effective screening looks twice at those that have a better chance of bringing it onboard, and stops them from boarding, even if they don't like it. But I gave my additional reasons for cancelling, which added together, were the basis for our decision.
  19. We cancelled our 2 segments of next January's world cruise because we could still get a refund. At this point, we're trying to reschedule a different cruise that was cancelled to that timeframe since we don't want to lose all of our 40k on a cruiseline that won't give a refund, and won't tell us what they'll give us for a rebooking in the next 18 months, and has no equivalent cruise during that timeframe. But we had already cancelled the Silversea FLL to Auckland next year before we found out about the other cruiseline cancelling at the last minute. That was based on the experiences that those onboard posted this year when it came to Lima to French Polynesia and beyond. The weather was bad on the way there, and if I couldn't go ashore on Easter Island, while others who had flown there were picked up by tender, I may have jumped overboard and tried to swim ashore. Also, there have been way too many Silversea ships with coronavirus onboard. That's not acceptable going forward. It shows that just as with the Princess cruises, they're either not effecitively screening those who are boarding, not following effective isolation and cleaning procedures onboard, or they're allowing crew members to move between ships at a time when that is no longer an acceptable practice. We enjoyed our Silvesea experience on Silver Whisper a few years ago, and were looking forward to our next cruise, but we just couldn't do it.
  20. I'm sorry azdrydock, but this cancellation was required to keep the passengers safe since there are covid-19 cases in Papeete and Fakarava, and not any of the reasons you've listed. They finally realized that we had no chance of getting from Figi to Bali, and getting home on any airline, without being quarantined in Australia for 2 weeks, and possibly another 2 weeks in the US on return. Is that something you would like to experience? Do you think a cruise line should force us to take this cruise? If so, it's time for everyone to rethink taking any cruise. We're hoping that Ponant had the funds to continue since we have been offered no other choice, and if they don't have cash on hand to continue, then that will really stop us from ever booking a cruise again. While others thought Ponant was a good thing for Paul Gaugin, we never did. After meeting the Ponant rep who came onboard at Aitutaki in September, we were not confident about the future of the Paul Gauguin, and should have cancelled our April booking after that. There were many people onboard our last PG cruise who were interested in Ponant's other cruises, but PG cruisers aren't allowed to use our cruise credit on Ponant, so they seem to be trying to stay separate. We would have felt much more confident if IHG still owned the PG.
  21. We can't. It seems very wrong to us, but we are willing to use the future cruise credit. But we don't want it exclude the airfare to Fiji from LAX, or the pre and post hotels that they booked at exorbitant rates. They booked it, and they should be responsible for it, and add that to the future cruise credit for our rebooking.
  22. Yes, our April 11th cruise was cancelled. And we were not offered any refund unless we rebooked on a cruise with less value in the next 18 months. We were also warned that they cannot tell us if we will get any credit for airfare, or our pre and post hotels, which supposedly is out of their control. Here's the excerpt from the e-mail: "Fully aware of the complexity of the situation, the Company offers you a Future Cruise Credit* in the amount of your cruise fare paid, valid on a cruise departure in the next 18 months from the departure date of your cancelled cruise. You will be receiving your Future Cruise Credit in the mail in the next few weeks. *If the amount of the future cruise is lower than that of the original cruise, the difference will be refunded, or carried over to another booking. For any services booked by Paul Gauguin Cruises (i.e. flights and hotel programs), cancellation fees will be applied at the cost that travel partners will charge." Our cruise TA, that we always book through did not receive any notice of the cancellation.
  23. I was referred to Crew-center.com for info on Ponant cancellations, and tonight we received a cancellation notice for our April 11th Paul Gauguin cruise. While we would have loved our original Fiji to Bali itinerary, at this point we were only looking to rebook another PG cruise (or a Ponant cruise) without suffering a severe penalty. Hopefully those on Ponant hear the same news.
  24. I think that they could have anticipated that a cruise heading to Fiji, and then to Bali no longer had any other ports that they could expect to stop at. All of the small islands did not want to take a chance of having any cruise ship stop at their ports, bringing them something that they had no ability to handle. And as I was typing this, we were notified of the cancellation of our April 11th cruise. It's a future cruise credit, but we were only looking to rebook in the future without a penalty. Maybe I'll be able to sleep tonight. Thanks for the head's up Emdee. You've got a good source at that website.
  25. Thanks so much for that. I see it and am going to read it now.
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