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Live from the 2020 Grand World Voyage


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28 minutes ago, bay guy said:

Instead of people being the "squeaky wheel" and interfering with the work of those trying to help them, it's time for a GREAT DEAL of patience. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the cruise line passengers end up having to stay in Australia for a couple of weeks, perhaps even more, before they are able to head home. I would hope that Australian immigration officials would be understanding in that regard.

 

I was the squeaky wheel a bit but I hope intelligently.  I did touch base with the US Consulate in Perth to make them aware of the situation (they were and had already been in contact with Cunard).  I'd rather have them bugging Cunard ONCE than 500 passengers bugging them, keeping them away from what should be their primary mission, working on flight reservations.  There's only so much effectiveness a person can have in working on reservations and talking to angry customers at the same time.

Cunard got out in front of the coronavirus situation very early and really did everything possible to make it safe to bring the voyage to a conclusion.  It's unfortunate but true that world events got too far out of control to make that possible and I think everyone was hopeful up to the last minute that they would succeed.  That it didn't and the cruise needed  to be cancelled immediately when the decision came did put them behind the curve in making plane reservations while other cruise lines announced the end of their voyages several days before the final disembarkation.  That was unfortunate.

I got an almost immediate response from the Consulate and a personal phone call a few hours later.  He said what I suspected, that patience would be necessary.

Right now I am torn between wanting to get out of Australia vs being very concerned about what I will find once I get home.

Roy

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34 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

I did touch base with the US Consulate in Perth to make them aware of the situation (they were and had already been in contact with Cunard).  I'd rather have them bugging Cunard ONCE than 500 passengers bugging them, keeping them away from what should be their primary mission, working on flight reservations.  There's only so much effectiveness a person can have in working on reservations and talking to angry customers at the same time.

Very wise approach, Roy. I applaud you taking a reasoned path to getting your situation straightened out. 

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Roy, I don't know you but you seem like a gentleman and sounds like you have a great deal of compassion and understanding regarding your situation and that of thousands of others in the same figurative boat. (no pun intended) I think one issue the cruise lines dealt with which delayed their planning was not being sure when or where their ships would be allowed to dock and disembark passengers. Amsterdam was supposed to stop in two or three other ports before it reached Fremantle, all of which were canceled, and HAL apparently didn't know if the ship would be allowed to dock and disembark in Fremantle.

 

Someone else on the Cruise Critic site has mentioned that a Celebrity ship was supposed to be allowed to dock and disembark passengers in Chile. Instead, the government has now said it may refuel and reprovision there but can't disembark passengers and the ship will now have to sail to San Diego to do so. Imagine if flights had been booked from Chile for those passengers and now had to be canceled and redone when Chile changed its mind.

 

At least Australia seems to have decided to use Fremantle as a disembarkation port for several ships over a period of time.

 

Safe travels to you.

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March 18, 2020

 

At Sea

 

As my mother used to say, “What a mell of a hess!” (she didn’t like to curse in front of me).  Today, many people found out that the flights they thought they had, were no more.  Qantas and Delta cancelled numerous flights between Australia and the US.  HAL finally stepped up and said they would help anyone who did not have a flight.  We received a letter about noon asking if we had a reservation, needed a reservation, or had HAL air and it needed to be returned by 5 pm.

 

The prices of the flights home have skyrocketed and the $1250 HAL is offering will not cover the cost of a seat in many cases.  One of my friends was quoted $6000 for business class.  I hope my travel insurance will cover the cost but that is something to worry about when I get home.

 

I still do not have a reservation but my travel agent is supposed to be working on it.  I will go see Steve and Wendy (who represent Cruise Specialists) again tomorrow morning to see if they know anything more.

 

All of us who made Project Linus blankets met at 9:45 for a group picture.  There was a huge number and Captain Mercer joined us.  There should be well over 400 blankets by Friday, the last day to turn them in.  The blankets were all laid out for everyone to come by and see.  I turned in my #8 (making a grand total of 14 with the ones I made at home) and the leftover yarn.

 

We had our last winding day at Sit and Stitch.  Judy (Lee)’s husband, Rich, help wind yarn for Sherita and Judy (Margaret).

 

In morning trivia we had 9 out of 15 but the winners had a whopping 14 correct.

1.Which constellation has a hunter with a club and a shield?

2.Jake the Jailbird and Officer Mallory are characters in which popular board game?

3.Toxicodendron Radicans or T-radicans are more commonly known as what?

4.Which opera singer was known as “La Stupenda”?

5.In a professional soccer game, how many referees are there?

 

Since I have no more Linus blankets to work on, I spent the time after trivia packing.  I am getting worried that all my stuff will fit in my suitcases (I may need to buy a box again).

 

In Arts and Crafts we made a scissors fob and even got a pair of stork scissors to go with it.

 

I packed some more before I changed for dinner since I was eating early at my other table tonight.

 

Afternoon trivia was called “World Wide History” and most of the questions were fairly easy.  We had 17 out of 19 but were edged out by a team with 18.

1.What is the modern name for Van Diemen’s Land?

2.What was the name of the first space shuttle in 1981?

3.Which English Queen reigned for 9 days?

4.How did Alexander the Great solve the puzzle of the Gordian Knot?

5.Which country admitted to blowing up Greenpeace’s “Rainbow Warrior” in 1985?

 

One of the traditions that had to be scrapped was the Medallion Ceremony.  Normally there is a get-together in The Mainstage and the people receiving 100, 300, 500, or 700-day medallions are called up and can get a picture with the captain.  Instead, this year the medallions were delivered yesterday and you could stop by and get your picture taken before 4 and 8 in the atrium.  I had mine taken (300 days) on the way to dinner.

 

Dinner was the Orange Dinner Party described as “a great opportunity to wear something abundantly orange and celebrate the Dutch Royal color, then, close the night with a near King’s Day Orange Party in the Crow’s Nest.”  There were a number of Dutch items on the menu.

 

The show tonight was Chantelle Delaney, a singer, songwriter, and guitarist.  I sat with Sherita downstairs (I almost always sit in the balcony) and the show was very good.  I skipped the party in the Crow’s Nest.

 

I am hoping for a longer night’s sleep tonight.  The last two mornings I woke up very early and could not get back to sleep because of the stress.  Hopefully, tomorrow I will get a flight.

 

Morning trivia

1.Orion

2.Monopoly

3.poison ivy

4.Joan Sutherland

5.one

 

Afternoon trivia

1.Tasmania

2.Columbia

3.Lady Jane Grey

4.cut it with a sword

5.France

 

Smooth sailing until next time!

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17 hours ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

"There have also been negative comments, threats.........................

 

Gotta love it! 🙄

From what I heard today, they were even throwing things.  I also heard there is now a member of security outside the Medical Center.

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I hope you can get a good sleep, and you are booked on some flights that head for home. 
That should take care of the stress. Please take a deep breath and believe that everything will work out for you. 

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17 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

Still happy that you are able to finish one more Linus blanket before the cruise ends.  Do you think you made the most this cruise?  Probably not because many of the people were not working on their own projects, too.

 

Corned Beef and spinach?  strange  They must have gotten a good deal on spinach.  It featured on tonight's menu, as well.

 

Your team is usually so close to winning at trivia.  We were known as "The Bridesmaids" two years ago.

 

Thanks for showing us a copy of the letter you all received.  

 

 

See responses above.

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Just now, RuthC said:

I hope you can get a good sleep, and you are booked on some flights that head for home. 
That should take care of the stress. Please take a deep breath and believe that everything will work out for you. 

 

Just now, puppycanducruise said:

Thanks for the update.

I hope you can get some rest. 

Good luck with arranging a flight.🤞

Thanks!  I know I will get home eventually.  This is definitely an adventure!

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54 minutes ago, Scrapnana said:

From what I heard today, they were even throwing things.  I also heard there is now a member of security outside the Medical Center.

 

Thanks for that info Ma'am! Sad, just very sad that people allow themselves to lose their composure like that. I have a feeling that there'll be some ugly scenes on disembarkation day in Freemantle and that the security team will be busy. I certainly hope they will not require the assistance of the Western Australia Police. All the best to you and a safe journey home! 

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Kathi, I am pleased that HAL has offered to help. I know this is not easy for them, but I could not understand why they would ever take their original position. 
 

It seemed so un-HAL like.

 

Hope your situation is resolved soon, and your journey home is as painless as possible.

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On 3/16/2020 at 9:23 AM, Scrapnana said:

Don't let this put you off world cruising.   It is a fabulous experience and this is a very rare (thankfully) incident.

It is not just what you have been through.  It is also a financial decision at this point.  This has just pointed out how uncertain things are.  Maybe 2021. 

Wishing you safe travels home. 

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Scrapnana - I would try my best to get in touch with your travel insurance NOW to see if they'll cover the airfare!!!  

 

Oh - a minor "nit" on the trivia:  Columbia was the first shuttle to be launched from a rocket.  Enterprise was really the first shuttle.  It was taken up to 25,000 ft. by it's 747, released and flown back to Edwards AFB.   Enterprise was unveiled in 1976,.

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It is being reported that Princess will allow passengers who cannot fly for medical reasons to stay on the Pacific Princess as it returns from Fremantle to Los Angeles.  The ship is scheduled to arrive in Fremantle on March 21, the day before the Amsterdam.  Since HAL and Princess are both owned by Carnival Corp., I wonder if any consideration is being given to allowing passengers from the Amsterdam who cannot fly for medical reasons to travel back to Los Angeles on the Princess ship.  

 

 

.

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Kathi, just out of curiosity, I checked Kayak for flights from Perth to Dallas and found most coach fares in the $700 range. Of course, if someone wants to travel business class, it's going to cost a lot. I've seen one way business class to Europe, even in low season, be $3000.

I know you won't fly to Dallas but just thought I'd use a major hub for comparison. Hopefully, your travel agent or HAL can find a reasonable flight schedule for you. Most of the schedules I saw were a minimum of 26 hours!

 

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7 hours ago, slidergirl said:

Scrapnana - I would try my best to get in touch with your travel insurance NOW to see if they'll cover the airfare!!!  

 

Oh - a minor "nit" on the trivia:  Columbia was the first shuttle to be launched from a rocket.  Enterprise was really the first shuttle.  It was taken up to 25,000 ft. by it's 747, released and flown back to Edwards AFB.   Enterprise was unveiled in 1976,.

We put Enterprise.  

 

I have to get home somehow and the and the prices are going up quickly for business class.  Some are now paying $9000 each.  I will be thrilled if I can get Premium Economy but at this point will settle for coach.

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4 minutes ago, Scrapnana said:

We put Enterprise.  

 

I have to get home somehow and the and the prices are going up quickly for business class.  Some are now paying $9000 each.  I will be thrilled if I can get Premium Economy but at this point will settle for coach.

I surfed through various cruising websites and to be honest I dont see an increase in prices. Its the other way around. The prices are going down because there is no demand at the moment. People either canceling or simply not booking cruises at the moment. Maybe those big world-cruises are safe at this point, but if you take the small ones - the situation has been drastically changing towards decreasing in prices

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2 hours ago, drsel said:

Sorry I didn't read all the comments, but how many ports and which ports were missed?

24 ports (7.5 weeks of cruising).

 

inside cabins started at about $22,000 per person double occupancy.

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Somehow, the maths doesn't make sense.

if a basic inside cabin on a 1 week Cruise costs $500, then the same cabin on an 7.5 week cruise should be $22000 ?

 

Even if they include

unlimited shore excursions at every port,

unlimited speciality dining,

unlimited alcohol

unlimited spa massages and beauty treatment,

Unlimited internet,

Unlimited photos,

it still doesn't add up to $22000

 

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15 minutes ago, drsel said:

Somehow, the maths doesn't make sense.

if a basic inside cabin on a 1 week Cruise costs $500, then the same cabin on an 7.5 week cruise should be $22000 ?

 

Even if they include

unlimited shore excursions at every port,

unlimited speciality dining,

unlimited alcohol

unlimited spa massages and beauty treatment,

Unlimited internet,

Unlimited photos,

it still doesn't add up to $22000

 

 

The world cruise was supposed to be about four months long.  It started in early January and had just passed the halfway mark when the cancellation was announced.

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