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Candlesmith

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  • Posts

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  • Joined

About Me

  • Location
    Lahaina, Maui, Hawai’i
  • Interests
    Travel, scuba, water sports (boating, snorkel, whale watching, etc.) skiing, entertaining
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Viking, Regent, (no longer PaulGauguin)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Who can possibly decide?

Recent Profile Visitors

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  1. Thank you for that, Roz! I haven’t found a soul who is on our cruise and only a few others who have taken it, several years ago. We’re excited about going, apprehensive about whether it actually will, and curious about how the two experiences compare. I can imagine the difference in logistics between handling a medical emergency from a river as opposed to the middle of, even not very far out in, the sea! And I can appreciate the caution the industry might feel toward an oxygen-dependent passenger. But we’re discussing altitude intolerant people who need O2 to fly, have no underlying pulmonary (or cardiac) disease and want to stash their unneeded O2 while aboard! As is so widely and often obvious where Covid is concerned, somebody at the top needs to read the s-c-i-e-n-c-e!
  2. I’m So Sorry, MightyCruiseQueen, I didn’t think there was anything objectionable in the quote in the first place, or anything rude or particularly argumentative in my response. I actually didn’t check the thread closely because it was late, I was tired, & I posted with one foot in bed because my travel advisor asked me to Please dispel any inaccurate notions about this policy before rumors spread like wildfire. Doing so was my only goal; It is not the policy of Viking Cruises (Ocean or River) to deny POC users access to their cruises at this time. Thus it is not “industry-wide”. I do apologize for any offense!
  3. It isn’t “the cruise industry”, at least not at this point. A frantic phone call to my TA after reading this thread produced the reliable information that Viking has no such restriction on passengers who travel with a POC. (Whew!). Hopefully that will remain their policy through the fall when we are booked on their Amsterdam to Budapest River Cruise…..and beyond as we have three more cruises in the hopper. (There was no problem on our recent Micato Safari through Kenya, Tanzania & Zimbabwe & that actually required dragging my POC along for internal flights.) And, in defense of those who use a POC for flying; in my own case, I have absolutely no physical condition making me any more susceptible to a medical problem on a cruise than anyone else (& I have been exhaustively tested). I am merely altitude intolerant, possibly as a result of having lived at 7,500’ for over a decade & skied at high elevations since college.
  4. 😅😂 Except Baltimore....or maybe Minneapolis....or . . . . Life us tough for Conservatives these days. All over. Sign me, 35 years a Baltimorian
  5. “The CDC makes clear that it expects guests and crew, as well as port personnel, to wear masks in indoor and outdoor areas except for brief periods while eating and drinking and says that ‘removal of the mask for extended meal service or beverage consumption would constitute a violation of this Order.’ “ The implication is quite clear; you may not sit around a table - or bar, for that matter - enjoying food or drink at your leisure. You may grab a bite, take a sip, then mask up again. Anything else “would constitute a violation of this Order”! Oh.....and they’ll be watching, either in person or “remotely”! 🎶 Dum de dum dum 🎶
  6. I hope this pertains only to cruises which touch US ports? Assuming so....and why would our now utterly ridiculous, unscientific, full of itself, CDC have jurisdiction anywhere else....this merely means, at least to me, that US ports should be avoided at all costs! Have we hidden our vaccinated children away for the last fifty years lest they catch measles, mumps, diphtheria or whooping cough? Have we sent them to schools in masks to sit surrounded by plexiglass? NO! Vaccines are protective, you fools; that’s the point! The game is up; you are using the guise of a “deadly pandemic” (1.67% mortality rate in the US, I believe) to rule over and control a (heretofore) free American citizenry. People are starting to catch on and there’s rebellion in the air; removal of a mask for “extended eating” is a violation but you “don’t have to wear a mask in your own stateroom” ?! How much more of this nonsense do they really think educated adults - and that includes most of the cruising population - will stand for? If this country - or its leaders - continue to act like complete morons, the world will just go on around and without it/them. I certainly plan to!
  7. You can add my voice to the chorus of those royally . . . worked . . . over by PG/Ponant and their greedy, customer-unfriendly practices. We reserved a Category B stateroom on the March 28 Papeete-Fiji cruise that fell victim to Covid & was cancelled by PG Cruises. They refused us a refund though refunds were “being considered on a case by case basis”, and even though the cruise docs sent to us stated that it was their responsibility to REFUND in the event that THEY CANCELLED a cruise. No matter. Like Poolechick, we waited patiently until months had passed (the difference being that our travel advisor was wonderful!). Our fear that the company would go under, taking our money with it, finally drove us to file a dispute with our credit card company. I have written before about how PG lied to our card company, stating that they had already issued us a refund, knowing full well that the $540 PARTIAL REFUND on a $666 single post-cruise hotel night was not the refund in question! (! We cancelled the minute they revealed the outrageous price, but they kept $126 for their “trouble”.) The credit card company cancelled the credit on the basis of the....misinformation. We explained and they reinstated it. There was then another 90 day wait until our dispute, finally, was honored. Another $500, our original booking deposit, has never been disputed....or refunded. We had our travel advisor request that refund but, while PG had originally stated that they couldn’t refund our money only because we had filed a dispute, she was now told that, “NOTHING associated with that booking number will be considered for refund!” Such liars. We had a glorious time on our first Paul Gauguin cruise. HOWEVER.....it was no MORE glorious than our experience aboard VIKING, REGENT, or any other luxury line! Yes, there’s the French Polynesia vibe. But, merci beaucoup, I’ll get mine on any other cruise line - without the side dish of merde!
  8. Like America.....and the world. Be glad because you didn’t lose your shirts to a company that won’t refund your money after cancelling your cruise!! I’m happy you had fun.
  9. Losing $20,000 and having folks say, “Oh well” and continue to sing the praises of the miscreant cruise line does make one feel like a target and inclined to fire back. Sorry to offend, I believe I’ll take a break as well, likely a long one..
  10. Excellent on all points, Surfskier. Here is the language you refer to from PG’s ‘Passenger Carriage Contract’: ”Upon cancellation of a cruise the “Company’s only liability will be to refund to the Passenger the amount it has received for the ticket/Contract.“ Both ideas, contacting one’s Representatives in Congress, and bringing a class action lawsuit, are valid options in response to the company’s withholding of refunds. Not only should these actions be taken, but the six+ months interest that PG has earned demanded as well. While it may be insignificant on a case by case basis, Paul Gauguin/Ponant is making a veritable fortune from their unethical/illegal practices. Covid has, indeed brought out the very best, and the absolute worst of human behavior, uncovering what is at the very soul of each of us. A third possibility is contacting CLIO regarding this ongoing situation. While they are doubtless aware, a loud & vigorous outcry from multiple defrauded clients, and their travel advisors, might spur that body to exert some pressure on the miscreants.
  11. International tourists (alarabiya.net) Dubai will allow entry of international tourists starting from July 7. International tourists travelling by air to Dubai must ensure they meet all requirements for entry to the UAE. They should download the COVID-19 DXB app and register their details on it, since it facilitates easy coordination and communication with health authorities if they experience COVID-19 symptoms. They must fill a “Health Declaration Form” before travelling to confirm they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms. They should also ensure to have valid health insurance in order to be allowed to enter the country. *The airline has the right to refuse boarding if passengers display any coronavirus symptoms. International tourists must do a PCR test with a maximum validity of four days (96 hours) ahead of the date of departure. *They will be required to show proof of not being infected with the virus on arrival at Dubai airports. *If they cannot provide proof, they will undergo a PCR test at the airport. All arrivals will be subject to thermal screenings. If a traveler is suspected to have coronavirus symptoms, Dubai airports have the right to re-test to ensure the tourist is free of the virus. It is mandatory for tourists who test positive for coronavirus to register their details on the COVID-19 DXB app and isolate themselves at an institutional facility provided by the government for 14 days at their own expense. All positive COVID-19 cases should strictly adhere to the measures outlined by the COVID-19 Command and Control Centre. Actually, incoming visitors TO Dubai MUST have a PCR test within 96 hours of departure for Dubai. If they can’t prove a negative result they THEN get a rapid test at the airport as well. Interesting that they quarantine in a government facility at the travelers’ expense. SMART! Dubai doesn’t demand testing of any departing passengers.
  12. This is true. Another hitch, however, is the fact that there are still states that will not test because “I want to go to Tahiti” (or Hawai’i); Minnesota, California, by report. (I’m sure there are others that only test symptomatic individuals or contacts of known cases.) Not to terrify anyone with an upcoming trip (or get scolded, again, for drawing parallels between the islands of FP and Hawai’i) but Hawai’i is presently reconsidering it’s decision to waive the 14 day quarantine on August 1st if visitors have a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of departure. The spikes on the mainland US and the fact that just waiving the quarantine for inter island travel caused our numbers to skyrocket (from the 800’s to 1135 in under a month) have everyone here weighing the economic damage against the medical risks.
  13. In Hawai’i the language reads, “a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arriving”. That would seem to say, to me at least, that the test must be administered within 72 hours of arrival in Hawaï’i. My understanding is that (at present, at least) if (negative) test results haven’t yet been received on arrival, the visitors will have to quarantine until they are. Another test will be given at the airport as well and testing may be done on a random basis doing the stay. Since it’s testing 72 hours before arrival, it’s a moot point where the departure city is.
  14. Hawai’i, starting 1 August, will also require a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of departure to avoid a 14 day quarantine after arrival in the islands. However, we were speaking with friends in Minnesota today who also reported that it was impossible to get a test in that state without symptoms. “I want to go to Hawai’i” (or Alaska, or Tahiti) just won’t cut it. I’m not certain how many other states have this policy, but it certainly would be something you’d want to investigate before making travel plans . . . . especially on the likes of a cruise company as Ponant/Paul Gauguin which refuses to give refunds!
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