Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community


  • Content Count

  • Joined

Everything posted by SWFLAOK

  1. I'll ask again, where did you hear this? At this point, the people who answer the phones at PG are not at all nice. I can attest to that based on my own experience this past week. They were quite clear that they will not be cancelling the next 2 cruises. When confronted with these cruises being repositioning cruises that they won't cancel because even a few passengers are better than no passengers, we were told that this was not a repositioning cruise. A person I will not name online told us very rudely that we were wrong, and that there were other cruises between our arrival in Bali, and the ship sailing to Singapore for drydock. We told here she was wrong. She told us that there was a charter from Bali to Fiji, and we said "Yes, we're aware of that charter, but it's after drydock in Singapore. It doesn't sail from Bali until May 20th, and our cruise ends on April 27th". After that, she no longer said anything rational, and we were tired of her attitude.
  2. Where did you see this? I couldn't find it on Ponant's website, and the only cancellation that I could find searching the internet was the cruise to New Zealand, which obviously can't proceed at this point.
  3. Given there are three cases in FP now with one on Fakarava, one has to wonder if it made it aboard the PG while they were there. Asking for a friend.
  4. Not sure what you're referring to in the US, but I think this is a political comment that doesn't belong on cruise critic.
  5. We had been planning to take a chance and go, but then we received a dire sounding e-mail from PG cruises on March 11th, that mentioned more lenient cancellation fees, and on the PG website we found this: March 12, 2020, Update We were informed overnight that the French State and French Polynesian authorities have decided to suspend all cruise calls in French Polynesia until April 11, 2020. We will be communicating throughout the day with our travel advisors and guests booked on affected sailings and will be sending out notices and updating our travel advisory as our plans are introduced. At 6 AM Pacific time on March 12 we were able to speak to a PG rep. She was not pleasant to deal with. Maybe she's not a morning person, but she told us we would get a future cruise credit for 90% of the cruise only fare, and it needed to be used by the end of 2021. She said the airfare and pre and post hotels were out of their hands, and there was no cruise credit for them. Our TA spoke to them today, and we offered to rebook for 2021 rather than cancel, but they're sticking to the no credit for airfare or hotels. We can't negotiate with the airline or hotels on our own since PG cruises booked them. They were booked at a much higher price than we could have booked them on our own. But we mistakenly thought that they would be handled as one package if we booked them through the cruiseline. In that March 12 update, there is this statement: "We will be communicating throughout the day with our travel advisors and guests booked on affected sailings and will be sending out notices and updating our travel advisory as our plans are introduced." Since neither we, nor our travel advisor has heard anything, we can only assume that only cruises prior to April 11th are affected, which would only be the current cruise, a cruise that I assume is a charter between the current cruise and the March 28th to Fiji, and the March 28th cruise itself that brings the ship to Fiji. If the March 28th cruise is affected, will it still end up in Fiji on March 28th?
  6. A total refund and 125% FCC for 2 year?. I' am totally appalled by that. We can't even rebook our April Fiji to Bali cruise for another cruise in 2021 without losing all of the money paid to PG for airfare and the pre and post hotels. Not that they gave us any bargain on either of those items as we could have booked them for much less than we were charged, and would have a chance to get some of our money back ourselves (or a future credit) by being able to deal with the airlines and hotels ourselves. If we cancelled instead or rebooking, we would lose another 10% off that, and still only receive a FCC that's only good through 2021, and not 2 years. Something is very wrong with this picture when we compare our offer to those currently onboard. We dont' even know how or if the ship will get to Fiji, and it's unlikely to stop at any port on it's 16 days to Bali. Bali has already had a tourist death, and the hotels have had tourists staying there who have had close contact with corona positive travelers (the family of the tourist who died, as well as travelers who flew to Bali sitting next to people who continued on to Australia and New Zealand and tested positive there). We will be boarding a similar flight from Bali through Australia back to the US, where we have a chance of being exposed. Our airline already has a list of flights on their website identifying flights with coronavirus positive passengers, and the row they sat in, and it's quite long. The PG passengers currently onboard are being well compensated, and the only risk of coronavirus they will have from the French Polynesia PM in Papeete, and at the airports they return home to (and they knew that risk when they left).
  7. Hopefully no one currently on board the PG picks up coronavirus while in Papeete. The French Polynesia MP picked it up in Paris from another MP, and brought it home to Papeete. I doubt she went there alone, or flew back on a private charter, so plenty of other people were exposed. It's ironic that they were so worried about the tourists, and that's not where it came from.
  8. We're booked on the cruise before dry dock, Fiji to Bali on April 11th. When we called yesterday morning, they offered us a future cruise credit minus 10% for late cancellation. We're also on the hook for our flight home since they refused to reroute us through Australia rather than Hong Kong on our way home. Hopefully the company who set up the charter will be able to get something out of them, or has some type of insurance coverage.
  9. BTW this little interesting tidbit popped up within the travel warning.... "For Fiji to Bali and Bali to Fiji sailings: Click here for information from the U.S. Embassy in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu." I take this to mean we will have to apply for visas instead of being processed on arrival. Not good.
  10. Here is the relevant part of the email we received precisely after the 31 day deadline. "We plan to operate the Fiji to Bali itinerary as close as possible to the original itinerary. It is a dynamic situation, and the Captain will make changes as necessary as we are notified of any updates from the ports. With all of this in mind, we have decided to adjust our payment and cancellation policies to offer guests more flexibility and greater assurance. If you prefer to cancel your booking completely, we will issue a Future Cruise Credit for the amount of the cancel fee, less any fees imposed by the airline/hotels. The Future Cruise Credit will be valid for cruises through 2021 aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin. Cancel fees amended to 10% (cruise only fare) for cancellations received 31 days prior to sailing. We will continue to update our Travel Advisory at this link: pgcruises.com/travel-advisory. Please monitor it for the latest updates. Thank you for sailing with us and we look forward to making your voyage with us most memorable for you. Sincerely,"
  11. Our next Regent cruise is not until fall of next year. But if we had one scheduled for this year, we would cancel it. We are in our 60's and we both work out regularly. We always walk the stairs rather than taking the elevator. We aren't bothered by warm temperatures, and we never find ourselves out of breath unless we're pushing ourselves to expect it. Neither of us has an underlying health issue. Our last cruise was a back to back, Singapore to Singapore, followed by Singapore to Sydney last December and January, and I'm sorry to say, but some of the people our age, and most of the people over 70 on those last 2 cruises were not people I would want to cruise with again. We overheard in the dining room a number of times, people complaining about how long they had to wait for kidney dialysis, which apparently has many patients in the early morning or late afternoon, and sometimes they are late for breakfast in the morning, or for happy hour in the afternoon. One woman said that she had never had dialysis before she boarded in Singapore, but her doctor diagnose her just before her cruise, and gave her a note that allowed the ship's doctor to perform it. I can't even imagine doing this myself, or Regent allowing it. But it does tell me that anyone will be allowed onboard with a note from their doctor, which is easily obtained. A man stopped at our table in the main dining room at lunch to ask us about our excursion. He had previously stopped at a table of 6 asking the same thing. Just as he had told the larger table, he told us that his wife had been diagnosed with viral pneumonia and didn't feel well enough to take the excursion..We extended our sympathy, and saw him walk to a table 2 away from ours where his wife was seated, and was coughing uncontrollably over the table. They appeared to be at least late 70's, and why they weren't put off the ship or quarantined, I don't know. But Regent needs to step up their game. When we were waiting to disembark in Sydney, we had to wait in the Theater for an excessive amount of time, as we did everyday waiting for excursions. The amount of uncontrollable coughing was unbelievable, and we eventually went upstairs trying to get away from it, and still had to move twice on the balcony to avoid it. No one made any attempt to cover their mouths, or aim away from others while they coughed. I understand why people want to go on a cruise, and why they don't want to cancel when they're old and sick. But if those who are very elderly, with underlying health problems, and take 30 minutes to walk slowly to the buses, and require strangers to help them up 3 steps to board the bus, and then cough at the front of the bus where they pass their illnesses onto the rest of us, then we'll let them support the cruise lines. We won't be OK with being onboard with people like this in the future.
  12. I'm not the Moderator, but this isn't the roll call list, it's the board, so you can post and ask what you want about corona virus. For those of you on cruises through the end of July, there's an update on the PG website today about policy updates. As you might have noticed, no one on the current cruise had anything to say about their cruise being a French Polynesia only itinerary, or what that cruise entails. Is this a non-disclosure situation, or just people onboard who don't really care that others were asking them about it. Maybe the ship has turned off the WiFi. But, I'll keep their lack of posting in mind before participating on this board in the future. For those of us who are unfortunate enough to be on the March 28 and June 11 sailings, we've decided that we're going unless we want to lose a lot of money. We would get a future cruise credit (minus a 10% penalty, and an unknown loss for airlines and hotels that they booked) that can only be used on the PG, and not other Ponant cruises.The only reason we booked this cruise was for the stops that we made between Fiji and Bali. Today's update says that the itinerary for the March 28 and April 11 sailings are unknown, but we can trust them to do their best, but that situation is fluid. Having kept track of the situation so far, the March 28 sailing will not stop in the Cook Islands since they have closed their ports until the end of April. Tonga is also closed and has been for some time, but having been there in September on PG to Fiji, it's no loss. Cruise ships should just avoid Tonga in the future. In the past few days, Fiji allowed a last minute stop by Silver Whisper on it's World Cruise, with last minute stops arranged at Suva, SavuSavu and Laveu Island before their scheduled stop in Laukota. Kudos to Silver Sea for arranging this, and for Fiji keeping their country safe enough for smallcruise ships to travel to. Silver Whisper was supposed to stop in the Cook Islands (and announced onboard that they would stop at Rarotonga instead of Atutaki, apparently not knowing that they were both part of the same country and under the same restrictions), and several very small islands in Tonga. They were not allowed to stop in these places despite having only spent port time in Papeete, Bora Bora, Moorea, and Pitcairn Island (population 50 with no airport), in the last 2 weeks. We hope to make it from Florida to Fiji where we have 3 nights at the Pullman. From there, we would be surprised if we stop anywhere on our way to Bali,but hope to spend a few nights at the IC, including a significant Birthday celebration. If we need to be quarantined in Bali, we have credit cards for that. We had a cruise scheduled on a different cruise line later in May. They reached out to us an offered the ability to reschedule within the next 2 years. There was no penalty for the cruise, and no penalty for airfare or the pre or post hotel. We rescheduled at no cost to us so we have no worries about getting home. According to today's update, the Captain is responsible for arranging alternate stops. That does not instill any confidence in me since that is not part of a Captain's job. I'm watching fo Silver Whisper stopping in an alternate port in Vanuatu. If they make it, we might. Papua New Guinea has no cases of corona virus, so they may not allow any crew shiip entry if that's still the case. Bali has had passengers with corona virus passing through their airport. So far, none of them stayed in Bali, and tourists who were on those flights have been quarantined. PG booked us through Hong Kong on the way back from Bali, and would not change it when we expressed concern about it. We had to book our own flights back through Sydney, and get a refund from PG. If we cancel and reschedule in the future, we could lose that entire business airfare, and that's a significant amount of money. We did purchase insurance for the trip, but it doesn't cover everything we would lose. If we were cruising in June or July on the PG, which might be a much better situation at that point, we could cancel and get a future cruise credit valid through 2021, without a penalty, and that's what we would do. Sorry for the long rant, but it's been very frustrating with no information from PG, or this board, and the cruise I looked forward to a year ago now keeps be awake at night.
  13. Not only does the Bahamas use floating dry docks, but our Navy does as well. This is a photo we took while passing through Norfolk Va. on our boat.
  14. Actually, a floating drydock does lift the ship out of the water. The old style graving drydock is like a lock, with a door that opens and closes. A floating drydock floats on top of the water. Chambers are filled with water to sink it, the ship pulls in on top of it, then the water is pumped out of the chambers, raising the drydock, and lifting the ship out of the water. They have 3 of these at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport. It's pretty spectacular to see a giant cruise ship out of the water.
  15. As I said, we're on the Fiji to Bali PG cruise so we fly to Fiji from LAX, and go west from there to Bali on the ship. We fly back to LAX from Bali via Sydney. French Polynesia is not part of this cruise.
  16. If our Fiji to Bali cruise on April 11th isn't cancelled, we plan to be on it. But if we had to fly to Tahiti with it's new policy, rather than Fiji, I would cancel. The last thing I want to do is go to a doctor's office right before I leave for a trip. Most people in a doctor's office are there because they're sick, and I would not want to be in a waiting room with sick people right before I board a plane for a long (and expensive) trip. If French Polynesia wants to screen people coming into the country, they should have medical personnel doing that in the airport as they board. It still won't be very accurate, but it's better than 5 days before. The verification of the history of where you've been, and who you've been in contact with that's most important since the incubation time is longer than 5 days.
  17. Just to clarify, drydock means the ship is lifted out of the water to give access to the bottom from dry land. Doing lifeboat/tender practice and water slide evacuations would be quite painful while a ship is in drydock. Lifting a cruise ship out of the water isn't something that every port has the ability to do, but many things on the interior can be done at a shipyard that doesn't have the ability to lift a large ship out of the water, and only crew would be onboard, not guests. My description of what the crew does after the passengers leave the ship and it heads to drydock is based on our conversations with several crew members who have done it in the past. Crew members who stay onboard work very hard on the upgrades that we all get to enjoy on future cruises.
  18. The only news we have heard is found here -> https://www.pgcruises.com/travel-advisory Our TA has no insight.
  19. I don't think there are drydock facilities in Bali for cruise ships, but maybe that's not really needed. In the past, drydock for the PG was in Singapore. After the passengers disembark in Bali, some crew members go home for vacation, and others stay onboard, prepping for drydock. They do things they never do normally, like rip up old carpeting. While in drydock, most of those crewmembers stay onboard, where the AC doesn't work well while not in the water, and they put in new carpeting, and furniture. While out of the water, other work is done on the bottom and props by the drydock facility. The question is whether they really need to go to drydock for what they need to do this year. The conversion of the aft cabins will be done by contractors who come onboard, but they wouldn't need to be out of the water for that. If they can delay any maintenance or repairs that require them to be out of the water, they may be able to wait for the drydock. At this point, Singapore isn't necessarily a good airport to come through, but Bali could soon have the same problem. If you can get onboard, you may have trouble getting off and returning home without being quarantined, so we're keeping that in mind if we're able to complete our Fiji to Bali cruise before drydock. We were originally booked by PG to come back to the US through Hong Kong, and we rebooked through Sydney.
  20. I was hoping that the latest update would address the Fiji to Bali situation on the way to drydock. Within the last week, 2 people have taken flights from Dubai to Bali, after visiting Iran. One tested positive when she reached New Zealand, and the other tested positive when he reached Melbourne. The government in Bali has already tracked down tourists seated near the first positive passenger. They are being "isolated" at their hotels, and told to "limit their activities". There are 3 hotels in Bali involved, but they weren't named. They are still working on locating tourists in Bali who sat near the second positive passenger. He transited the Bali airport on Feb 28. Maybe there will be another update this week.
  21. When you started out with your credentials, I was interested in continuing to read this, since you said you were an expert in HIV/AIDS and you shouldn't be questioned about your medical opinion because of your credentials. But once you said that you have no knowledge of SARS or MERS, which unlike HIV/AIDS, were caused by corona virus, and were quickly contained, I realized that you had no idea what you were talking about. And I do have past experience in microbiology and virology.
  22. I'm sorry but this just sounds like California is not doing a good job of detecting and containing the corona virus. It's an old woman in the same area as 2 previous people who returned from China and weren't sick when they returned, and the had corona virus. How much investigation was really done to see who the previous 2 cases could have spread it to. I'm sure they were out and about until they felt sick, and they most likely infected others. The rest of your post is totally political, and there's no place for that when it comes to stopping the spread of this virus. Test kits are certainly available in all states, and thinking that someone has come up with one of his own that doesn't need to be tested by the FDA before replacing the CDC's is naive. I saw a similar comment today from a news story in Washington that said that it takes 6 days to get a test result for corona virus. And Washington state doesn't report any of their corona virus cases to the CDC because health information is private. Maybe there are communication problems between the CDC and California and Washington. Other than China, Iran, and Italy, these 2 states seem to be the only ones who can't figure out where their corona virus is coming from.
  23. I'm not sure what you think about my idea doesn't ring true. The warmer climate that the PG cruises operate in at this time of year are detrimental to the virus spreading, and that's a good thing. Right now in China, it's cold and dry, just as it is in Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea. That's when viruses spread. Dried out noses and sinuses pick up viruses more easily, and being chilled depresses the immune system. High temperatures (mid 80's and higher) don't allow the virus to live for any length of time on surfaces, and humidity keeps noses working well as virus filters. All of the upcoming PG cruises are South of the equator, where it's summer. It's hot and humid, which will hopefully slow the spread of the virus. Singapore has been able to control their cases, despite them being a popular place for business travelers from China, bringing corona virus with them. It's always hot and humid in Singapore. We've paid 40K for our upcoming PG cruise since we added hotel stays on each end, upgraded to business air, and have to get to LA and back from Florida. If this was just a Society Islands cruise, I wouldn't be worried, but we really have no chance of doing this cruise again, since it's only been offered every 3 years. If this cruise sails, we'll be onboard, but spending the whole time onboard is not what we want to do since we'll never pass through these ports again. In addition, we have a European River cruise on Viking in mid May that we would not be allowed to board if we were quarantined in April. We have "cancel for any reason" on that cruise, but we booked and paid for that trip almost 2 years ago, and got the last suite onboard. Another 2 year wait might not work for us. We always bring a large supply of cold and flu medications, and I wipe down our airline seats, and every touchable surface in our cabin when we embark with Clorox wipes. There always seem to be a lot of people with respiratory problems on cruise ships (and we only take cruises on smaller ships). On this trip, if anyone is coughing uncontrollably, I will be calling them out, and then pointing them out.
  24. We were actually offered a "fam" upgrade on our first Regent cruise, and didn't know it until now. It was a cruise from Vancouver to Seward Alaska. It was offered through our TA on the morning that we were to embark. We had a Veranda Suite, and were offered a Penthouse Suite. We had already paid for our transfer to our hotel, which we also had paid for, and our luggage had already been taken by the hotel to the ship, with our room number tags on every piece. The location of the new suite was not available to us. We turned it down, and have never been offered an upgrade again. Now we know why. But, it we had been offered this in advance, we would have taken it.
  25. If you have a Sunday at sea, there will be caviar and champagne at breakfast, and there's no additional charge. We aren't caviar experts, but it seemed fine to me. And the champagne was good.
  • Create New...