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HAL's Poor Response to Corona Virus


USN59-79
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Not sure who to believe.  Just got off the phone with my TA.  She called her contacts at HA and they told her:  no changes to the 2/15-2/29 Westerdam itinerary.  No plans to cancel.  Still time.  Will wait to decide what to do.

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NY Times report isn't fake news. It's what was true when they went to press. And the booklet that the Seabourn employee was ranting about was printed earlier. It was smart to print that, to have a  "company message" rather than letting staff speculate. It needs updating now, but when it "went to press" it was HAL's position on this. 

 

After Feb 1, where embarkation is Hong Kong, HAL is avoiding China by disembarking in Japan. For the Feb 1 itinerary, that's the only change they need to make, as there are no China ports on that one. For Feb 15, they appear to have got their embarkation and disembarkation ports sorted out. They're probably working on what to do about the missing China ports. In the meantime, yes, they could do a better job of keeping everyone up to date. (Where's that new Communications Director when they need him?)  If nothing else, tell the people on the phones to say "we're working on it and we'll know soon" rather than guess. 

 

As for cancellation, the "fine print" does say they can change ports. So you can look at it as HAL is saving the vacation by avoiding ports in a country with a growing epidemic. A country CDC and State say to avoid. If I had booked this wanting to go to China, yes, I'd be disappointed. But I would not want to go somewhere with such a large potential health risk. I don't know if I'd go or if I'd cancel. I'm glad I don't have to make that decision. 

 

There is no good reason for HAL to refund the Feb 1 cruise as most of it is unchanged. For the next cruises, the changes are major and HAL may bend to pressure to refund. For those who do keep the cruises, I hope HAL will help with the changes in airfare. That would be a good gesture/compensation. But airlines may already be waiving change fees, so HAL might not need to do that. 

 

If HAL isn't refunding, it's likely that their cancellation insurance won't pay people who choose to cancel. For those who have other travel insurance, call your insurance company NOW and find out what their position is. 

 

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6 minutes ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

HAL and Seabourn -- not cancelling China.

 

Absolutely Terrible!!

 

HAL isn't cancelling the cruise, but it's clear that they're avoiding China. They've already changed the Shanghai turnaround day to Japan. Give them time to sort out substitute ports. 

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31 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

NY Times report isn't fake news. It's what was true when they went to press. And the booklet that the Seabourn employee was ranting about was printed earlier. It was smart to print that, to have a  "company message" rather than letting staff speculate. It needs updating now, but when it "went to press" it was HAL's position on this. 

 

 

 

 

CORRECTION! I misunderstood the post with the long rants. I initially thought it was the Times article. But I followed the link to the Times article and it did not say anything about cruises. 

 

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2 minutes ago, eurolady said:

This should be sent out to all the news media...they have the resources to verify and there is a story here somewhere:

 

https://www.cruiselawnews.com/2020/01/articles/disease/coronavirus-celebrity-holland-america-line-and-seabourn-cruises-refuse-to-cancel-or-refund-cruises-to-china/

 

This has already been posted on this thread and it isn't up to date. HAL isn't cancelling cruises but they ARE working to change the itineraries. 

 

This website is run by a law firm. Are they trolling for customers?

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2 hours ago, Level six said:

 

How is it fake?  I am on that sailing and it is true. 

It is fake because it is not true.  I am on that sailing and HAL notified me by email that they will not go to Shanghai and they will go to Yokohama instead.

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We are on the Westerdam leaving Shanghai at febr. 29th. I am very curious when we will hear something from HAL and what the new itinerarie will be!! HAL Netherlands just told me we will hear tomorrow from HAL Seatlle.

 

Jan and Elly van den Boogaard

The Netherlands

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3 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

HAL and Seabourn -- not cancelling China.

 

Absolutely Terrible!!

Not really.  Not everyone holds the same caution.  I am sure there are as many or more people who have been looking forward to this cruise and would be very unhappy if their dream vacation was cancelled.  Cruises are often rerouted for weather, cultural events or whatever.   I went on a cruise for the World Heritage Sites and due to unexpected earthquakes, coups and elections all were closed, we still landed at the remote locations but lost our chance to visit the sites.  It happens, it is travel.  As I said very early in the thread those with health issues could likely get a doctor's note that they would be imperiled by the virus and file with their insurance company.

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4 hours ago, DeeniEncinitas said:

THIS IS DISGUSTING  !!!! Hal is only interested in the all mighty dollar and not IMO the interest of their crew or their passengers health and safety!! What the Hell.... I am so disappointed in HAL. 
I do not take these actions lightly and I might just be one individual who believes HAL is all about greed now. I truly believed 

they would of been one of the first cruise lines to step up and show they cared!

I pray HAL comes through and does the right thing for all the passengers and loyal crew!!!!!

Sorry, I just finally had to get this off my chest!

Denise😞
 

Should the cruise lines cancel all cruises during flu season? After all in the US flu each year results in 9-45 million cases, 140,000 to 810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 and 61,000 deaths each year.

 

So far according to NIH the outbreak appears to have similar transmission rates to the flu, its mortality rate at this time is high, but is probably impacted because the only known cases are mostly those that could be considered to be the worst cases and that many cases (the milder ones) do not get reported.

 

Basically it is similar to SARS and to the Bird Flu.  The good thing with this is that China is not trying to hide it like it did with SARS and more steps are being taken to limit transmission.  The cruise lines seem to actually be taking more aggressive action than they did with SARS with cruises going to mainland China already getting redirected to other ports. The biggest issue seems to be Hong Kong which is somewhat isolated from the mainland and not showing large numbers of cases.

 

The UK Foreign Office, which seems to be proactive in organizing evacuations from Wuhan for its citizens, excludes Hong Kong from its travel warnings. The US does not mention Hong Kong in its warning so unclear if it applies to Hong Kong or not.

 

If the situation changes to have increased risk in Hong Kong then I would expect cruise lines to make changes there as well.

Edited by npcl
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1 hour ago, USN59-79 said:

It is fake because it is not true.  I am on that sailing and HAL notified me by email that they will not go to Shanghai and they will go to Yokohama instead.

So it appears that they are making reasonable changes and avoiding mainland China.  Not unlike 2009 when due to swine flu in Mexico many cruises that were supposed to go to Mexico, instead turned into US coastal cruises. 

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16 minutes ago, npcl said:

So it appears that they are making reasonable changes and avoiding mainland China.  Not unlike 2009 when due to swine flu in Mexico many cruises that were supposed to go to Mexico, instead turned into US coastal cruises. 

 

You quoted Denise in your prior post there, #88, npcl.

Denise is a retired dentist, with probably a healthy respect for pathogens and public health.

Just sayin'.

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11 minutes ago, npcl said:

So it appears that they are making reasonable changes and avoiding mainland China.  Not unlike 2009 when due to swine flu in Mexico many cruises that were supposed to go to Mexico, instead turned into US coastal cruises. 

 

Yes. Some posts have seemed to imply that the lines should cancel all cruises in that part of the world, refund everyone's money, and keep the ships idle until the outbreak ends, which is neither likely nor reasonable. What is likely and, I think, reasonable, is to change itineraries as needed.

 

17 minutes ago, npcl said:

If the situation changes to have increased risk in Hong Kong then I would expect cruise lines to make changes there as well.

 

It's inevitable that passengers with upcoming bookings will feel anxiety and would be relieved to know what is actually going to happen, but changes in itineraries may have to be announced one at a time, cruise by cruise.

 

Changing an embarkation port is more complicated than changing a port of call: it's not just berthing that has to be arranged, but also provisioning (of fresh produce and dairy products, mostly). Because HAL has Yokohama departures, it has suppliers there, but the suppliers are not necessarily ready to provide everything for a 14-day cruise on a moment's notice. Nevertheless, passengers with air travel and land arrangements at embarkation and disembarkation ports would be helped by knowing sooner rather than later, to the extent that it's possible.

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13 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

 

You quoted Denise in your prior post there, #88, npcl.

Denise is a retired dentist, with probably a healthy respect for pathogens and public health.

Just sayin'.

And I consulted for the FDA for 15 years. Not that it matters. Only pointing out that the situation is not unique.  Very similar to other outbreaks such as SARS, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, etc.  While all should be taken seriously, more die each year from regular flu each year.

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3 minutes ago, npcl said:

And I consulted for the FDA for 15 years. Not that it matters. Only pointing out that the situation is not unique.  Very similar to other outbreaks such as SARS, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, etc.  While all should be taken seriously, more die each year from regular flu each year.

 

It's just so odd...seeing how very proactive China is being in this particular case.  It makes one wonder if there is more to it.

Well, time will tell.  

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12 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

 

It's just so odd...seeing how very proactive China is being in this particular case.  It makes one wonder if there is more to it.

Well, time will tell.  

Probably because of all of the reactions during previous outbreaks such as SARS when they tried to cover things up. Difficult to do this time in one of their major high tech manufacturing areas.

 

So far HALs response is similar to actions taken during previous events and proportionate to the level of risk.

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With all due respect to everyone’s concerns. My initial response was to the fact HAL had made no commitment to canceling it’s ports and the redirection of where they would begin debarkation and embarkation and actually avoiding the area completely. Yes now China is avoided but Japan can be also a problem. 
I due have knowledge with the pathogens with SARS, Bird flu,. Knowing these viruses are symptomatic it has the basic flu like symptoms. Now the problem is they are believing possibly this virus is asymptomatic where no symptoms prior to developing flu like symptoms! 
Right now as soon as a team from CDC can get involved with WHO to research and find out this viruses can be out there in what seems to be healthy people. 
 Having new passengers board in Japan could be rolling of the dice. I hope and pray for all countries that we can get control and maintain it.China is the hub.

Yes flu here in the US takes many lives a year. This one type of virus is new and hopefully a vaccine can be developed soon! Time will tell. The reason I was upset with HAL and wrote what I did was earlier I was on Crystal board and Crystal announced they were going to cancel 

their Asia cruises and rerouting them to protect passengers and crew!

When I went to HAL board at that time HAL was not cancelling.

May all of us have a good day and as I said Pray for our WHO and CDC. We have our dear friends who both work with the CDC our daughters GOD PARENTS and are concerned that the team going over to help can find a vaccine.

Denise😊

 

 

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1 hour ago, DeeniEncinitas said:

With all due respect to everyone’s concerns. My initial response was to the fact HAL had made no commitment to canceling it’s ports and the redirection of where they would begin debarkation and embarkation and actually avoiding the area completely. Yes now China is avoided but Japan can be also a problem. 
I due have knowledge with the pathogens with SARS, Bird flu,. Knowing these viruses are symptomatic it has the basic flu like symptoms. Now the problem is they are believing possibly this virus is asymptomatic where no symptoms prior to developing flu like symptoms! 
Right now as soon as a team from CDC can get involved with WHO to research and find out this viruses can be out there in what seems to be healthy people. 
 Having new passengers board in Japan could be rolling of the dice. I hope and pray for all countries that we can get control and maintain it.China is the hub.

Yes flu here in the US takes many lives a year. This one type of virus is new and hopefully a vaccine can be developed soon! Time will tell. The reason I was upset with HAL and wrote what I did was earlier I was on Crystal board and Crystal announced they were going to cancel 

their Asia cruises and rerouting them to protect passengers and crew!

When I went to HAL board at that time HAL was not cancelling.

May all of us have a good day and as I said Pray for our WHO and CDC. We have our dear friends who both work with the CDC our daughters GOD PARENTS and are concerned that the team going over to help can find a vaccine.

Denise😊

 

 

Lets see Japan has 7 cases US has 5.  Not sure why you consider Japan to be that much more of a risk.  On the other hand having worked with the the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare and having spent a fair amount of time in the country, I would say that Japan is probably better equipped than the US when it comes to isolating patients and responding to a communicable disease.  Japan is extremely proactive when it comes to checking travelers and taking action if they have any concerns at all. I would expect risk in Japan to be similar to the US.

 

On the other hand one is more likely to see future problems with places such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, etc.  Areas with heavy tourist traffic from China, dense population areas, with relatively poor population, limited health infrastructure.  Much more likely to see an issue with one or more of these in the next month or two.

 

Crystal might be a little more sensitive since they are owned by the Hong Kong based company.

Edited by npcl
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3 hours ago, MAVIP said:

 

 

A measured and very reasonable response given the CDC's  announcement.   A good reason to book air through HAL.    Thanks for posting.

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I just had a look at the February 15 roll call and evidently the new itinerary from HAL is a good one.  I can’t cut and paste to this thread as I’m on my phone, and I’m not very adept with it! But I hope everyone is going to be happy with the changes.

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1 hour ago, HokiePoq said:

 

 

A measured and very reasonable response given the CDC's  announcement.   A good reason to book air through HAL.    Thanks for posting.

 

Agree it was measured and reasonable.  Not proactive to keep the virus down, but reasonable.

 

I'm not clear on the airfare, though.  One poster mentioned that when she went to cancel, HAL had the airfare all wrapped into the booking, and so she lost all her money for both the cruise and the flight -- even though the airline was offering refunds for that route, had she booked it independently.  I bring this up because I've never thought of it before and it kind of woke me up.

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