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Is Hong Kong safe?

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18 hours ago, gofloat said:

Airport closed again and subways attacked.  Is there any chance Celebrity will change a final destination port?  We leave in November and it certainly does not look like things are calming down.  I have not purchased my departure air ticket yet and wonder how long it takes Celebrity to make decisions when there is unrest.

 

If there are (and that´s a big IF with a turnaround port) any changes, they can be on short notice.
We have had that happen with Istanbul and seen it happen with Ashdod (Jerusalem).
 

Personally I am not worried. We have been to HK many times and would stick to the "safe" areas if possible. Until now most (not all) of the problems occured in the financial district (on HK Island). Worst case is that we would stay on board on the last day and travel straight to the airport after disembarkation. The airport is not frequently affected and even if it is, we´ll see what the airline comes up with. 

I am very pragmatic : I try not to worry about things I can´t change and which might or might not happen in 6 months.

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On 9/3/2019 at 4:20 AM, Miaminice said:

 

If there are (and that´s a big IF with a turnaround port) any changes, they can be on short notice.
We have had that happen with Istanbul and seen it happen with Ashdod (Jerusalem).
 

Personally I am not worried. We have been to HK many times and would stick to the "safe" areas if possible. Until now most (not all) of the problems occured in the financial district (on HK Island). Worst case is that we would stay on board on the last day and travel straight to the airport after disembarkation. The airport is not frequently affected and even if it is, we´ll see what the airline comes up with. 

I am very pragmatic : I try not to worry about things I can´t change and which might or might not happen in 6 months.

 

Unfortunately, the airport IS a target.  Even if the protesters can't get in the airport, they are targeting transit stations and roads to the airport.  We'll see what effect yesterday's concessions by Lam have.  Time will tell.  We are moving forward with our plans for next month.  I'll say we won't "worry" but we are getting prepared for alternate transportation.  We'll also spend a day in Macau.

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According to recent reports protesters will be out again this weekend blocking the roads and train to/from the airport on Saturday and to protest in front of US embassy on Sunday. They are not satisfied with only the propose extradition law withdrawn and want the other 4 demands.

We were in Hong Kong right before the turn over to China. Many residents were scared and some immigrated to  Canada, especially Vancouver.

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On 9/3/2019 at 4:20 AM, Miaminice said:

 

If there are (and that´s a big IF with a turnaround port) any changes, they can be on short notice.
We have had that happen with Istanbul and seen it happen with Ashdod (Jerusalem).
 

Personally I am not worried. We have been to HK many times and would stick to the "safe" areas if possible. Until now most (not all) of the problems occured in the financial district (on HK Island). Worst case is that we would stay on board on the last day and travel straight to the airport after disembarkation. The airport is not frequently affected and even if it is, we´ll see what the airline comes up with. 

I am very pragmatic : I try not to worry about things I can´t change and which might or might not happen in 6 months.

 

Yes, an MTR station was closed, temporarily, but it's important to remember that there are many ways to get around HK Island and Kowloon, which is where most of the sightseeing is and where people tend to concentrate, aside from going to see the giant buddha or Tai-O or Macau, etc. 

 

There are trams, buses, taxis, and the Star Ferry goes across the harbor, definitely great to do that ride at least once if not more. So if for some reason you can't use the MTR, there are alternatives. I used all of these during one lengthy visit and it was all excellent. I don't remember why I taxi and I did it only once, I don't usually take taxis but it wasn't a long ride and so it wasn't too expensive. 

 

I'm from NYC, there's always something going on here, often quite big, sometimes rather small; things go on as usual. What slows us down is work on the subway but they tend to only do that on nights or weekends, or the coming UN General Assembly but locals know to go around that. Occupy Wall Street was mostly peaceful downtown and lasted awhile, things kept going. Only once, for about five or six days was everything at an absolute and complete standstill, almost exactly now, 18 years ago. Otherwise, I was very young, the transit strike a long time ago but...they can't do that now and people always find a way. Plus, ride sharing, bike sharing, it's a different world. ☺️

 

Hong Kong is another big, busy city that keeps moving. The protests are obviously effective, but the city isn't stopping and is still safe to visit. 

 

 

Edited by Host Bonjour

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Just a FYI - for those with upcoming cruise(s) that embark and disembark in HKG (HKIA) over the next several months AND booked/planning to fly Cathay Pacific, the flagship airline based in HK with its key hub has announced - earlier this week - that a # of long haul oversea flights has been suspended, modified and/or adjusted due to reduced booking & drop in passenger (and, cargo) traffic due to the ongoing civil unrest ... with no apparent end in sight, not in the immediate future.

 

Please review your confirmed flights (especially if on CX or code-shared) and its scheduled, as well as possible change in aircraft configuration resulting in seat assignments being shuffled (i.e. no longer on that prized B773's bulkhead E+ seat)

 

Airport Authorities HK has been advising passengers on outbound (departing) flights to plan to arrive at the Lantau airport island up to 3 hours before scheduled departure ... this is especially true if it is over the weekend - despite the court issuing an injunction against gatherings & protests on/near/around the HKIA.  HK Police has stepped up its presence last weekend and this weekend to regain stricter control of attempts to disrupt and stall the transportation systems serving the airport - still, expect possible, wildcat style, unannounced efforts to block passengers from getting to/from the airport in the coming weeks.  

 

The indirect results last weekend has been partially accounted for by protesters (rioters) to go beyond peaceful, non-violent gatherings in hitting various & different MTR stations and train lines all over Kowloon, HK and N.T. at different times ... "be water" (fluid ... hit & run tactics to disrupt) resulting in local train & light rail services being shut down on short notice by MTR authorities whenever major/serious incidents are being called in or reported.  

 

Trying to be as neutral and objective as I can and should be, it is sad - troubling and personally, deeply disappointed at the scale & magnitude of these events with the labels of "freedom & democracy" in the calls to "liberate Hong Kong" and "direct election", etc.   Airside at the airport, security is tight and everyone is safe but landside, near the departure hall and downstairs outside in the arriving level - it is sometimes touch & go.  One of my BIL was on his way to Vietnam 2 weeks ago & could've been trapped - luckily, he was in transit only & did not stay in town - he is on his way back to the US shortly, flying Cathay Pacific and will be in transit overnight, due back in the US tomorrow ... should be getting a detailed update/briefing from him, as there are several of them traveling as a group.  

 

For the latest & current news, updates & local alerts - I recommend using the (English) SCMP online portal/news website - it is free (limited to XX number of articles per month) - to get a feel for yourself of what is going on and the sentiments on the protests.  When & if prompted, select the HK or local edition of the SCMP news to read or look up the news, decide & evaluate for yourself (keep in mind that news are sometimes biased and tilted) - https://www.scmp.com/hk 

 

There are other news sources, 3 or more live, 24/7 streaming news services that DW has been watching to keep up with what's going on, often in "real time" mode - in local/native language, not useful to English-only readers & to follow the news.  

 

If your trip/stop to and at HK is coming up soon (1 to4 or 5 months from now) - as a port stop, I do NOT see any strong reasons to not cruise or go visit, the ship is among the safest place to be  - it will be secured and worst case situation, I am sure that the cruiseline will decide last minute to skip the port stop and/or advise passengers to not go ashore, especially not for independent DIY excursion(s).  The shopping malls nearest to the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, including the MTR station/mall at Kowloon Bay & along that subway line has been hit by random protests, demonstrations & property destructions at the stations ... it is no longer confined to Central, Wan Chai or the infamous Prince Edward Station on Nathan Road - popular tourist sites familiar to just about any HK visitors.  

 

The risks are a bit higher, by no means deadly or dangerous but it will be unplesant & not a place that I think anyone wanted to be caught or trapped by - with these large gatherings - best to avoid, turn & walk away.  Police response & their presence has been stepped up and water cannon has been used, along with tear gas & pepper spray to disperse gathering crowds after repeated warnings to leave.  There's been talks of the PLA (mainland China's army being deployed or called in ... ) but authorities in Beijing still believe that the HK police force is capable and has the necessary means & resources to deal with these protests and demonstrations ... let's just wait & see.  

 

Pro-government/mainland locals or residents that are sometimes referred to as the silent majority, perhaps fearful of the "mob" like behaviors of the "black shirts" has been coming out with their counter-demonstrations in support of local authorities, calling for law & order ... resulting in clashes & fights among different camps, and police being accused of ...  It is a mess just trying to decode who is doing what, how & whether excessive force, lethal force or not were appropriate and unwarranted.  MTR authorities reported that the recent waves of vandalism and damages to nearly half of their stations & equipments, etc. are estimated to the upwards of $2 to 3 million USD alone, not counting the fare evasions (jumping the turnstiles - not using the Octopus Card) or the human "toll".)   Haven't seen the latest arrest figures, but police has given the cumulative count of those arrested to be somewhere over 1,200 over the last 3 months and close to/more than 1/3 of those charged with offenses are minors/teenagers age 15 and under.  

 

It's early Sunday (pre-dawn) morning already in HK now, police has denied and refused permission for one of the group of HK protest organizers to hold another major gathering on HK Island later today - the key question, we will learn & find out ater is what will happen ... it will likely be a repeat of what happened this Saturday already, police in riot gears moving in and making some arrests for those refused orders to leave or disperse, or as an indirect result of fights between opposing fractions. 

 

Nobody is sure of whether the HK government will invoke its special provisions to impose "emergency laws" similar to curfew ... some associating that with declaring martial laws (used previously by the colonia British government administration when it was running HK then, before 1997).  

 

Well, that's all for now on our end of watching the latest development. 

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We're flying to Hong Kong from Chicago in less than a month on Cathay Pacific. Just checked and no change to our flight. On the other hand, earlier this month United cancelled it's nonstop flights from Chicago due to slow reservations & rebooked pax on from Newark but you could request flying through San Francisco. 

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I'm on the same cruise as dabear and we are flying out in 26 days on Cathay Pacific from Boston.  I checked my flight after reading the post above and nothing has changed.  Our direct flight from Boston to Hong Kong is still good and and the plane is the same.  I do not mean to take advantage of the situation, but I was hoping for a cheap upgrade bid to business class, but Cathay is showing this as not available for our flight.  I do know that Premium Economy is  sold out.  We did arrange for private transportation as it's not worth it to risk airport express being down, but mainly because I don't want to navigate changes on MTR with a good deal of luggage before 6 am on a Sunday morning.  

Edited by hubofhockey

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2 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

I'm on the same cruise as dabear and we are flying out in 26 days on Cathay Pacific from Boston.  I checked my flight after reading the post above and nothing has changed.  Our direct flight from Boston to Hong Kong is still good and and the plane is the same.  I do not mean to take advantage of the situation, but I was hoping for a cheap upgrade bid to business class, but Cathay is showing this as not available for our flight.  I do know that Premium Economy is  sold out.  We did arrange for private transportation as it's not worth it to risk airport express being down, but mainly because I don't want to navigate changes on MTR with a good deal of luggage before 6 am on a Sunday morning.  

 

Interesting. We did purchase premium economy on CX and were also hoping to make a bid for business class. CX website indicates upgrade bidding to/from Hong Kong not available. I guess CX has enough business not to make upgrades available. See you soon Len.  Michael

Edited by dabear

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My husband is from Hong Kong but now holds a Canadian passport and we are retired in Cozumel, Mexico.

 

We were looking at a cruise to Japan out of Taiwan with a land visit to Hong Kong so he can renew his HK ID card.  The cruise got sold out before we could book so we thought about doing a land vacation.  Since my husband is Chinese, he has been watching the news from both sides and he decided that it wasn't safe enough so this will be our first time in years that we don't do our annual visit to Asia.

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