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azdrydock

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  1. We have been on the Azamara R's. Other then decor and shower door there is little difference. Comedian devoted his entire routine to the bathroom. How does a heavy person get into the bathroom? .........One cheek at a time Why do they always stop in Greenwich? .......... To pick up some UK phone booths to change into bathrooms You don't need safety bars in the shower because it is impossible to fall. The Airlines love R cruisers because the never complain about the airplane bathrooms. When the ship docks everyone gets off to use the porto potty in the visitor center. They upgraded the shower line so you can now dry both socks at once. The audience sitting on the sides with an angle view are comfortable because they had practice sitting on the commode. They cancelled his second show that night and the next morning we saw him on the dock with his luggage waiting for a Taxi.
  2. Never said they they had much of a presence in US, in fact the contrary only said that it could hamper their expansion into the US. Never said they were a member of the CLIA. Never commented on Covid cases but I don't believe Viking, Azamara (both of which we met you on) or dozens of other lines had a reported case of Covid. Most cruise ships were not aware of Covid until the Princess incident and it now seems that Covid migrated to the Western Hemisphere as early as December 2019 so you can't say with any certainty that any cruise line never had a Covid positive passenger. Historically, unless life threatening, it would be diagnosed as a respiratory virus and left at. We were booked on Oceania for April 2020 and when cancelled we were given a choice of full refund or FCC + 25%..Oceania tightened up the their policies a few weeks later to FCC only on canceled cruises but after an outcry similar to this, they did issue cash refunds in specific cases. I have never sailed on PG or Ponat. PG was booked for June 2020 and we rescheduled for 2021. Since we cancelled I have no issues with an FCC only. Ponant was planned for summer of 2021. No embarrassment on my part. Ponant perceived behavior reflects on the cruise industry at the time it needs all of the help it can get.
  3. Currently many of the cruise and travel associations are lobbying Congress to open the ports and provide more assistance to the affected industries. There has not been overwhelming support from the public due to constant stories of cruise lines lying about pollution and emissions, accidents, virus outbreaks etc. When the pandemic broke out there there was a feeling that the cruise lines were not doing all they could to protect the passengers and their administration of cancellation and refund policies. Since then, the various associations pressured their members to clean up their acts. Most all of the cruise and airlines have softened their refund policies since March and are now willing to make the necessary adjustments to better protect passengers and crew. Although Ponant is a French company with little US presence, much of their bookings are through US and Canadian travel agents. If their behavior is threatening the associations efforts with Congress there can be pressure put on agencies not to book Ponant and resistance to Ponant from expanding into the US market. All of the above are my view of things with out research or fact checking.
  4. Wendy Sorry if I offended you, but I didn't consider it a typo or error, "Can anyone spell lawsuit" is a common phrase and I was just trying to be cute. Would you like some congressmen? We are no longer considering Ponant for next years summer cruise
  5. Wow... I thought covid-19 was the worst thing to hit the cruise Industry. We should not be directing our venom at anyone that supports Ponant's actions, he has a right to do so no matter his reasons. I will only comment on the suggestion that "If I was on a cancelled cruise I would still fly over and enjoy a land based vacation, take the FCC and look forward to another opportunity to enjoy paradise in the future". 5 weeks prior to a cruise many have booked non-refundable air and accommodations and made other commitments. This is not directly a Covid issue, it is simply a combination of greed and arrogance. Unfortunately actions like this reflect on the entire cruise industry and have been a thorn in CLIA's side trying to get support from congress. Most of the major cruise lines have recognized this and are starting to replace the words in their generic customer satisfaction statements with actions. Since the beginning of the pandemic the TA's have been catching a lot of flack about the contract and refund policy changes. At least one major agency will no longer recommend Ponant and will only book at customers insistence. When the industry starts to recover, the low hanging fruit (most likely to book) will be the loyalists and my guess is the PG loyalists will be looking elsewhere. BTW.... Class action law suit is tough to spell but an E-Mail to your congressmen in the next 5 weeks is easier. Copy the CLIA and Ponant.
  6. The public postings, similar to my previous post, are fueled by brokers not necessarily the owners. If there is interest in a ship the broker may then try to convince the owner to sell even though the owner never initiated the offer. Since selling a ship is a lengthy process, it may have been that Oceania planned on retiring the R's as the new ships were brought online. This eases the growth pains associated with increased staffing and resources. As far as which ship to start with, why not the one most likely to sell? In the past when a ship was sold it was announced several months in advance and there was plenty of time to change plans. When the HAL Prinsendam was sold to Phoenix Reisen a few years ago it was then leased back to HAL and I think only bookings close to a year from the announcement date were cancelled. We were on the Prinsendam about 6 months before the sale was announced and the crew already knew the ship was sold, I remember the Chief engineer being asked what was going to be done on the upcoming drydock and he replied they will do what is required for certification and what the new owners may want. We asked our housekeeper how long she had been working for HAL she said it was her 4th contract, all on the Prinsendam, and her next one will be a choice between HAL and the Prinsendam.
  7. This has been around prior to the virus and many of these ships have already been sold or scrapped. A large portion of the drydock (refurb) cost are mandatory inspections and required maintenance which would be required prior to sale so it does not necessarily reflect the owners desire to keep a ship. Another thing to keep in mind that an 'A' class ship with almost twice the pax and 1/3 lower operating cost then the "R"'s it makes sense to sell them in a potentially lean market for the next few years. The mid size ships seem to be selling well because they are affordable for the small specialty and charter companies. Larger ships are heading to the scrap yards. I think you will see a lot of bankruptcies before major mergers. Picking the bones of the bankrupt companies makes more sense then merging failing companies. #7 is Insignia
  8. Sorry if you thought I was serious but when your flight from MIA to LAX is is weather diverted to SFO and you are put on a next day flight to Papeete you might be looking for my competitors booth. Our PG cruise scheduled for this past June was rescheduled for early next spring and we just changed that to next July. If we are not comfortable with cruising in January we will cancel and take some non cruise trips. We have only been cruising for 5 years and already have 20 cruises with the shortest being 6 days. We have been to all 50 states and our previous passport, prior to cruising, had 40+ unique non business stamps. Over the past few years there were uncountable times that we said "wish we had more time... we should come back here ..... or we should visit some of the friends we made in foreign countries..." That may be the new norm for us in 2021. I am not giving up on cruising (three still booked in 2021) but the cancel threshold is very low.
  9. I'll be setting up a kiosk at LAX selling "official" Covid free certifications (tests optional) We will also have some "exempt from face coverings" certificates, I'll be next to the guy selling global SIM cards. We will be sponsoring Zoom cruises for those left behind. So on a serious note... What happens if you fail the ship re-boarding temperature check. Are you left at the dock to fend for your self? What about the 20 other people that were on the tour bus with you? Do they have to self quarantine for the remainder of the cruise? Acceptable risk and common sense aren't included in the guideline. No one is obligated to cruise and we might take a financial hit on cancellations but at some point you have to decide if cruising is really worth it.
  10. An interesting acquisition would be Paul Gaugin/Ponant. Lot's of signs of problems and customer unrest (visit the Paul Gaugin board on CC). same or slightly higher demographics, Viking has no or little South Pacific presence, euro and med routes are more complementary then competitive, expedition ships and new cruise ships are in scope with Vikings. More important neither company is public and that minimizes regulatory issues. Deal could be done over dinner with some fine wine.
  11. There was a TV story earlier today (don't remember the source) about nationalism and vaccines and the Oxford effort was quoted. The story essentially said that there is an outside chance it can be available in the EU in limited quantities by the end of the year but because of the US attitude that if it wasn't developed here by a major Pharm it can't be any good it is unlikely it will quickly gain US approval. The story went on to trace the approvals of HIV and SARS vaccines and the offhanded rejection of the South Korean test kits. The US Pharms are making expensive and high risk investments in development and manufacturing facilities. Oxford is teamed with a second tier US manufacturing company in Mass. so do you think the big boys will risk a vaccine on the US market before they can grab a piece of the pie? The story went on to show how US developed vaccines were treated the same way in other countries around the world.
  12. My deposit came through in 3 business days and remainder in about 6. Bank said there is a mandatory hold based on value and in some cases they have to verify transaction prior to posting. You can call the credit card number and they can tell you when it will post.
  13. Also booked same air in February and I rarely book that far in advance. We were supposed to go to Mexico next week and decided to cancel the Air last night. I carelessly canceled the Tahiti Air instead. According to the AA website if the flights were before April 1 there would be no cancellation charge and a credit would be issued that can be used on any flights this year. Instead I could be out up to $1500. We will probably be able to negotiate it down when we are ready to use it. My guess is they will be moving the free cancel up periodically.
  14. Numbers on the PG site have been consistent. I have checked several times since the end of February. One thing I noticed is the same cabins appear in both C and CC and D and DD. If you are using a third party site it is not unusual to see strange things. 166 total cabins also came from PG website. If you can only get FCC for cancelling I wouldn't do it unless I new exactly what I was doing with the FCC. If you wait it out things may improve or they may come up with a creative itinerary.
  15. Yes C category cabins Not all entertainers and cruise lines are created equal, some may be guaranteed a cabin of a certain class but more then likely they are assigned a staff cabin. If there are available guest cabins at sailing they get first choice. Under normal conditions this cruise is a hard sell. Because this is a post dry dock cruise, some are afraid the cruise may be delayed or there may be ongoing construction. I did a quick count of available cabins and came up with about 60 of 166 cabins.
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