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  1. Note the extra 100% FCC on these cancellations is specific to new bookings only per the stated policy.
  2. We were departing Saturday from San Diego for the Oosterdam. We received the cancellation notice from HAL, relatively quickly. They are handling this extremely well under the circumstances from my perspective. Dear Valued Guest: We are very sorry to inform you that your Oosterdam cruise departing March 14, 2020 has been cancelled. Increasingly, we have faced operational challenges in maintaining our scheduled itinerary in light of rapidly changing restrictions related to COVID-19. Given these quickly developing limitations and our inability to guarantee you the cruise experience you expect we have made the very difficult decision to cancel your cruise. Please accept our most sincere apologies. These extraordinary circumstances are beyond our control, and the decision was made with the deepest regret. We of course share your profound disappointment at this news and know you have been looking forward to your trip, and we are sorry we cannot provide the cruise vacation you expected. All guests will receive a full refund of their cruise fare, Holland America Line Flight Ease air, pre- and post-cruise hotel packages, prepaid shore excursions and other prepaid items, and taxes, fees, and port expenses. Your refund will be processed automatically via the method of payment used to pay for your cruise. As your cruise has been cancelled so close to departure, each guest will also receive a Future Cruise Credit equal to 100% of the base cruise fare paid on this voyage. The terms and conditions of this Future Cruise Credit appear below. If any portion of your travel was not booked through Holland America Line, other booking and cancellation conditions and policies may apply. Please consult with your Travel Advisor or Tour Operator for more information. We understand this cancellation may cause you to incur additional expenses, such as air change fees. Reimbursement of reasonable non-refundable expenses will be considered. A Change Fee Reimbursement Form is available at [webaddress]; please complete this form and submit it, along with any relevant receipts and documentation, for review by our corporate office. If you purchased a Cancellation Protection Plan or independent vacation travel insurance, please submit your claim through your carrier before submitting a reimbursement request. If you are already in San Diego or en route and booked your flights through Holland America Line’s Flight Ease® program you may contact us at (206) [xxx-xxxxx] for assistance with your return flights. Guests with independent travel arrangements should contact their travel advisor or airline directly.
  3. "At my request, effective midnight tonight, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and MSC have all agreed to suspend outbound cruises for thirty days. It is a great and important industry – it will be kept that way!" POTUS
  4. Orlando just reported to Travel Advisors that HAL have no plans at this time for any fleet wide decisions similar to Princess. They do not consider they have had any confirmed cases of COVID-19 and so do not have the same need to flush the brand as do Princess. They will look at individual ships and itineraries. In the meantime they will be changing their Short Term Cancel/Book with Confidence program to include 100% commission (base + override) payable to TA even if guests cancel, and to provide commission on the FCC rebookings.
  5. Yes me too, but for three passengers I was kind of hoping to see $300. I realize this is an unexpected bonus, but equally the HAL passenger contract explicitly advises guests to follow State Department advisories, and as we know the State Department has advised to not cruise at this time.
  6. We see an additional $100 for the first and second passenger but nothing for the third passenger in a cabin. I always find the $200 per cabin/$100 per passenger misleading as why should we automatically assume this caps in HAL's favor (presumably for single passengers). Every passenger including the third and fourth is making a choice in cruising at this time.
  7. Chapter 11 considerations? Just a thought as we consider cancelling a March cruise originating in US. We are past the 100% cancellation deadline and have private non CFAR insurance so under the new March 6 policy HAL would hold onto the full cash amount for cruise and flight-ease as a FCC. If CCL were to file Chapter 11 then in theory there is no guarantee that this FCC would be honored as we would be a creditor like any other. Our assessment is that seems medium risk of a Chapter 11 filing with continued operations based on current trend and size of their fleet, but very low risk of them implementing such a policy in those circumstances as most customers are repeat and even their largest creditors would not want to see minor creditors like us angry. At this point, we're inclined to go regardless as we upgraded our cabin as a contingency against quarantine, and believe it is equally likely that we will be COVID-+ve before the end of the year if we don't travel.
  8. If you use Google (gmail) as your email provider, it may automatically be flagged as spam. It was for us, just found it.
  9. Ditto. I do think getting this video out is important. Professor Iwata is now in contact with the BBC. While he alluded to it in the English language translation, I understand he was clearer in the Japanese language version that he thinks all the health workers on the ship will likely be spreading it when they return to their hospitals. Other direct quotes from his Twitter timeline (https://twitter.com/georgebest1969) on the subject of the Diamond Princess include: "Infection control is scattered, worse than in Africa" "I've been so appalled that I've been fainted, and I've never felt my infection risk so intensely in my 20+ year doctor life. When it came to fighting SARS in Beijing in the fight against Ebola in Africa, it was not so scary. I'm sorry for DMAT." "By the way, I was warned that the future of bureaucrats who invited me to join me was worried. That is wrong. It is not bad to invite, but a great person somewhere who drives out without permission is bad." (translated from Japanese language by Twitter) On his blog, he is also a bit more realistic. "Infection control may or may not work. The goal is to be 100% perfect. That's why the "itself" that did not work is inevitable. But it's best not to look away and pretend to be "good" because of the fact that it didn't work"
  10. I really don't know but I think the doctor in the video was suggesting that there should be some zones even just for the quarantine staff to consider a green zone where they don't do all the practices he describes of using cell phones, eating with their gloves still on, etc. and with presumably some sheeting to and from. I did see pictures of where they had taken over the MDR for prescription medication sorting and so there are at least some public areas of the ship that perhaps could be better controlled. Or tents on some of the open decks that are roped off? Again, I have no idea and don't wish to "manage in hindsight" but it seems such consideration could have been in Princess leadership or UK government (the flag bearer) to question too?
  11. For some reason the original video post was not showing in my current view of the boards, so thanks for reposting it otherwise I never would have seen it. In case it disappears again, here is the apparent whistleblower video link with alleged first hand knowledge of whats going on behind the scenes. Perhaps someone can archive it in case it is censored by Google. I get all the support for Princess management in a difficult situation, they can't control the quarantine, but I always thought under maritime law a Captain had absolute control of her/his ship, and so for example while they cant leave the dock or disembark, they could have hired and brought on board their own infection control expert and for example established red and green zones as the doctor suggests, or required informed consent to be verbal or electronic not written on paper that is carried from cabin to cabin. For there to be apparently no one on board that is an infectious disease control expert is astounding. Especially since they go out to sea every 2 to 3 days wouldn't they have more rights themselves under maritime law in terms of what happens on their ship?
  12. Tonights call by US State Dept and CDC primarily focused on the Princess ship (Diamond Princess) included some information on the returning Westerdam passengers from a US perspective. Obviously this is very limited compared to all nationalities on board but is consistent with many of the current numbers and whereabouts. Call transcript: https://www.state.gov/on-the-repatriation-of-u-s-citizens-from-the-princess-diamond-cruise-ship/ Highlights, as of Monday evening US time, Tuesday morning Cambodia: 92 American citizens remain on board the Westerdam Another 260 remain in hotels in Phnom Penh Roughly 300 American citizens have departed Cambodia, but only after testing by the Government of Cambodia’s Ministry of Health The one couple that remains in the hospital in Kuala Lumpur is the only individual as of writing that has tested positive coming off the Westerdam "Obviously, everyone is very concerned about the safety of all of the American citizens and all of the other passengers on the Westerdam, and every step is being taken on an international basis to collaborate on contact tracing and in staying in very close contact with the passengers of that ship" I have cross-posted information on the Princess ship to the Princess forum, so not mentioned here, but interesting nonetheless for discussion there.
  13. The transcript of the US State call debriefing the recent evacuation process. https://www.state.gov/on-the-repatriation-of-u-s-citizens-from-the-princess-diamond-cruise-ship/ Highlights of the call include: This evacuation has been preplanned between US and Japan for such scenarios over the last 18 months (!?) It was the NSC that actually gave the initial approval to evacuate (not State or CDC) The flow of air on these 747 cargo planes was used in carefully positioning crew, passengers and isolation pods The passengers were already considered "evacuees" when the +ve results were received as they had already departed the ship, so the process to keep them in the process (and boarded to the isolation units on the planes) was considered the best interpretation of the pre-planned protocol Sixty-one (61) US citizens remain on Diamond Princess The Japanese testing process is very attentive to and concerned about accuracy and detail, and hence quite slow
  14. I should mention that the reason why I try and follow these peer reviewed papers and not just rely on CDC/WHO statements is that we are now in a "containment stage" of a pandemic operation, and at least in the USA an executive order has been quietly issued by the military branch of the government (joint chiefs) initiating the largest scale pandemic preparation (Department of Defense Global Campaign plan for Pandemic Influenza and Infectious Diseases 3551-13) to date. As they state clearly, "in no way does the planning indicate a greater likelihood of an event developing", so just prudent planning, but the protocols in such cases are widely documented to be around communicating what is best overall for the long term population health, which may not be consistent with the actual facts. Hence why we might see the WHO president making what seem like ill-timed statements, ambassadors or prime ministers pursuing photo-ops over public health, or US State Dept ignoring the immediately prior determination and written promise of CDC in evacuation protocol for those 14 infected but asymptomatic.
  15. It seems this is very good news. The latest paper from the Imperial/WHO/MRC group (Paper #5 at https://www.imperial.ac.uk/mrc-global-infectious-disease-analysis/news--wuhan-coronavirus/ ) indicates that they see an epidemic doubling time of 7 days (how long it takes for the number of cases in a given epidemic to double) in the overall event and they model that 13.5% of those infected are what the media call "super-spreaders" and transmit at a rate 74x larger than the remaining infected individuals. It seemed an interesting paper that based all of their analysis on how the RNA is mutating in this virus across different patients which allows them to really trace its propagation over time, and the other good news was that it doesn't seem to be mutating any faster than any other similar virus, very slowly in fact in terms of changes per year. The paper included a few caveats and while just published the last sample was from Feb 3 so a while ago, but overall this 74x difference really could explain how Diamond Princess and Westerdam might end up very differently indeed. Anyway based on all this, a lay person like me might reason that the Diamond Princess had one or more super-spreaders and that even just based on this model there is as yet no evidence consistent with a super-spreader on Westerdam and its possible we might not see much more from this particular event now that the individual and the person closest to her has been isolated. We can hope and pray.
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