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Everything posted by The_Big_M

  1. Seems pretty accurate. People know what a cruise line does, and that it has spa and other workers on board, and the exemption was granted to operate cruises, which the government well knew were being sold there. And the exemption was granted by the Health department who are the responsible department for cancelling cruises due to the pandemic - which is a health matter. So Ponant had done nothing improper and all in line with the exemption that had been granted. The exemption given was to operate cruises with 100 passengers so was quite specific that it was not for anything less. Then another department rejected some of the necessary visas, all because it wasn't a good look politically, so the cruise line and people who'd booked got messed around. And due to a clause which has never been an issue before. Cruise line workers never have to be locally employed, as they operate offshore. They also medically had met all the necessary quarantine requirements so there was no actual, real issue. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/covid-19-coronavirus-cruise-ship-le-laperouse-refused-entry-to-nz-waters/4DUKPGP4RIKHO6WBS2RALIOA2Y/ Ponant Cruise Ship Refused Entry by New Zealand Authorities in U-Turn, Season Cancelled (cruisecritic.com.au) Even more damning, the Ponant cruises had been organised/chartered by Nathan Russ - who had also both arranged exemption and successfully operated cruises under that under another company Heritage Expeditions. So he was both familiar with the procedures and had successfully completed them. Clearly, this was a case of the government changing their minds after agreement and coming up with their own backdoor to prevent the cruises from operating despite the earlier agreement. But given they control the strings, a company getting into massive dispute with them is only going to make things worse for future business. So the company just has to suck it up to have an opportunity to operate in future. Says a lot about the government's character though.
  2. Safari videos auto dimming. - Apple Community Does this solution help? I've had no issues with dimming, but not using safari.
  3. Agree with the others above. You'll have a much better trip flying to Melbourne after arrival in Sydney. You can then choose if you want to rent a car or just take other tours in Melbourne. Also, don't forget we drive on the left side of the road here, so with the drive option, you'd also be adjusting to that on your very first day of arrival.
  4. Used to be freshly squeezed, but a few years back they got rid of the squeeze machines and replaced them with "premium" cartons. Not fresh any more.
  5. Yes, RCL got the good marketing for the free cruise - that they gave to those who won the prize and took it. While it's not your fault you can't go, it's also not their fault. And as per the terms, they're not obliged to then give you another prize. The only reason they handle those who paid differently is that they _have_ paid something. Otherwise they'd just be taking people's money without delivering the product, and in this situation are willing to allow alternative dates so that people don't feel they've taken their money without offering anything, and it affects many people. Here they haven't taken anything of yours. I can understand you're disappointed, but that's one of those unfortunate situations - the same as if you got a severe (non-covid) sickness in normal times a week before your cruise and were no longer able to take it.
  6. As with many scheduled cruises, these won't be going ahead in December. The government gave a 'high level guide' for recovery from covid. Cruises don't restart til phase 3, which requires 80% vaccination of 16+ year olds fully vaccinated, in every state as well as nationally. Given the vaccine 'hesitancy' above and lack of incentives, there's no way that will happen by December. For info, we're currently at 17% fully vaccinated overall. The best in the world, afaik, is Iceland at 75%.
  7. You'd think so, but that hasn't been the approach to date. They've had political success when they lock down from the rest of the world, to the extent Australians haven't been able to get home since it all began, so that's what the pollies are going with. Agree on a successful vaccination campaign, but driven by the above, there hasn't been much motivation by the populace for it since it began. Only now in some cities where there have been outbreaks has there been a rise - but once the virus gets under control again, the motivation will certainly drop again. And where there hasn't been an outbreak vaccination rates remain low. It's the old story of 'from necessity comes desire.' It's not anti-vaccine sentiment, just apathy and things had been fairly normal for those who don't want to travel, so people just see no need to, so don't.
  8. Thanks for your response. I don't think this is actually a disagreement either, just a matter of perspective. I'd agree with your statement regarding outbreak size especially in the US and other places - by that standard it's nothing. Locally though there are two factors making it viewed as very concerning: 1) it is growing rapidly; it hasn't plateaued so isn't under control yet 2) it is spreading in geography Also, as a sad aside, we did have our first death from this outbreak yesterday, a family member of someone who caught it from one of the spread locations. By local standards there are four factors that make it highly significant compared to the others you noted on the graph. 1) The first outbreak you mentioned was when nothing much was known about covid, no controls were in place and it just entered Australia unchecked. This is a very different situation to now and expectations are different. Many controls and preventative measures have been put in place since. 2) The second was also significant but if you change the state dropdown on that google graph you'll see it all occurred within Victoria. That state was locked down for 3 months due to it, and it is regarded poorly as mistakes were made that caused it. It is viewed as something that is not wanted nor expected to be repeated. States handle things differently and NSW's approach to date has been generally better in terms of management and handling than Victoria's. 3) This current outbreak involves the Delta strain, which didn't exist at the time of the other two outbreaks. This is seen as more contagious than the strain that existed for the previous outbreaks. 4) I'll raise you a local specific comparative graph 😉 Compare Australia's COVID outbreaks | COVID-19 Data (covid19data.com.au) In the first graph you'll see this outbreak (the blue line) already has more cases than any other aside from the Vic one (red line). In the second graph which shows growth you'll see its growth right now is greater than any other outbreak we have had at this number of days since it started. P.S. Not trying to have the last word, just give a local insight to the situation.
  9. But not sorry that people tried to dismiss the complaints and turn it back on the poster.
  10. As the saying goes, a pessimist is what an optimist calls a realist. In respect of the points above. 1) We're mid year, and that is all that's been achieved with priority categories for the most part, e.g. elderly, and emergency/transit workers and the like. Vaccines are still not available for the majority of the population and there is only a willingness by half the population to get vaccinated. While progress will improve over the course of the year, it's very unlikely that any mass level coverage of vaccination will arise before the end of the year - and this is a key precursor before they look at next stages where travel will open up. 2) The issue is we don't have a great need for Pfizer and many other countries have greated need than we do, hence the difficulty in getting it here. As said for 1, that will improve, but it will only happen later in the year. It's not available now so many can't even be vaccinated. 3) As with America and other places, looking at figures for the nation aren't helpful as outbreaks are in specific areas. Some places are compleetely free - but in Sydney there is an outbreak. And numbers are growing continually. Nobody is going to talk about moving to the next phases while that is the case. 4) That's true - but has no relevance to the topic of opening up for travel.
  11. They didn't cancel all those sailings. Only one ship was cancelled for the season.
  12. Yes, that's what they've done to date. The whole season is unlikely for reasons given.
  13. Very unlikely. They didn't last year, and unless there's a better use for those ships sitting idle, better to wait and see in case it opens up later. Worse, doing so would mean they have to refund all the bookings sooner than later which is worse financially.
  14. Not sure why you'd pedal that nonsense. It's true there are no documented cases of deaths from vaccinated people, but aside from the legitimate issue of holiday disruption from other cases coming down on your cruise, and the need for preventative measures onboard it's completely false to say "you don't have any worries." Vaccinated people have certainly gotten sick again from coronavirus - as searching out "true science" would tell you. And I don't see why anyone should be happy about taking unneeded risks getting coronavirus when they've already been responsible in getting vaccinated. Just to suit someone's political agenda, or boost a business' profits.
  15. Yes, they say it is: "When we return to service, the embarkation process will be different. To manage the flow of guests and follow new health and safety protocols, guests will request a set arrival time in advance. More details of the embarkation process will be provided before you sail."
  16. There are 6 on the panel. Celebrity even describe it on their page: Luxury Onboard Spa for the Perfect Spa Day | Celebrity Cruises Gwyneth is not part of the 6. However, Kiki Koroshetz from her group is, and she even appears in the video as with all the other members of the panel, as you'd expect of an equal representation of all of them. The only exception with 5 is one picture in the video when obviously the photo editor either accidentally dropped one, or maybe took an earlier edit before the 6th picture was available. And obviously the 'quiz' writer just watches the video, making questions up as they go from that. Unfortunately for anyone who read their other material or details who knew the right information, the quiz required the wrong answer.
  17. Don't you love when they get their own questions wrong?
  18. Agreed. A lot of speculators are buying based on reversion to what it was. Not realising there has been a lot of equity issued since, which devalues it. When shares start getting valued based on BAU operations rather than speculation the actual return achieved is likely to drive the share price down.
  19. Not really. In the current climate the business model is non-viable. If circumstances change as expected then it may be viable again. Hence it's purely speculative. However, just because it's thought positive now is not a guarantee for the future. Remember back in February last year when it was considered viable to continue as it was. What a furphy that was! Then in March when it just required slight changes. Again, wrong. Then in April when the outage would just be a few months. Again, wrong! And so on.
  20. It's conventional usage but incomplete in the post you quoted. Those not on the red list are asked to stay at home (no cost), whereas coming from countries on the red list have to stay in hotel quarantine which has a cost.
  21. As RickT said, it's basically a moot point. We've had the same here for almost a year... but there also hasn't been any cruising, or most travel for that matter. This isn't a permanent thing though and as the vaccine is rolled out, restrictions across the travel industry will relax, including this.
  22. I have to say I like his tagline: "It's not who you are underneath, it's what you do that defines you." How apt.
  23. Actually, at any time that's usually the way it's done. Visas aren't applied for till a month or so out, as staff are not committed earlier. Nobody plans out where staff are 6 months out for general staff. Conversely nobody is going to start sales only a month out; that's way too late as most people make bookings further out than that. You might want to check the next time sales open for a new flight route. You'll normally see that sales have opened before they even have regulatory approval! Because formalities and details take quite long to organise, whereas the general approach and plan is determined early. As the minister stated, he'd given the ship approval to enter for operations so everyone then starts their work sorting out all the other activities. I'd love to hear the operator's side of the story here, but that's almost certainly not going to happen. It would be very different from the government's announcement.
  24. Yes, I watched the conference. I don't think you are being fair. It has been well publicised that the ship was to operate sailings, including with press releases so it was known it was not for maintenance. And this was not the reason given either i.e. he did not say they did not have permission to operate in NZ - only about the visas. He actually said they applied for their initial visas on the 8th of January - this is a whole month before they were scheduled to operate, and 3 weeks ago now. The 21st was their 2nd application, after the first refusal. Of course if you were operating a business with the advice you were allowed to enter, you would retry to see if there is some mistake and not just give up. Why would they not keep coming? Yes, it is the responsibility but visas were not meant to be denied as a blanket ban as "non-essential" when you have been advised you can enter to operate sailings, so obviously are essential. As for Heritage Expedition sailing from Russia to operate there, you just said "the NZ government who have been very clear that our borders are closed" as justification then said that Heritage Expedition entered - in breach of that. So yes, it's well worth asking what the difference is, but clearly it is not because of "borders being closed." So visas are not a reason. How often does a politician/government admit a mistake? (The same is true for companies of course,) but the balance weighs against the government here, given he admitted they provided approval for the ship to enter, and it was declared all along it was to operate cruises, so this expectation was set by the government giving permission. Just like Heritage Expedition. Visas for individuals are also understood to be required as a given - but the expectation is declining would be only for individual issues e.g. certain citizenship, history, health issues - not as a blanket justification as "non-essential" when it has been known for months that the ship was intended to operate in NZ. It's unlikely we'll actually find out the truth to this story, as the cruise line would burn bridges with the government if they say anything negative while they try to resolve this. But applying for visas a month early, and getting the majority of them blanket banned means that wasn't the issue and it wasn't the company's fault in that respect.
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