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HAL's Poor Response to Corona Virus


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40 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

I think the problem lies in how we interpret that they will have a vaccine "produced".  It could be that the expert meant that they would have "a vaccine". But that doesn't mean having large quantities available for mass immunization. There are a number of steps that have to be followed. This link summarizes them well. It is not a fast process and there is little that can be done to speed it along.

 

(I work for a company that develops and manufactures vaccines.)

The timeline from testing through production is from 2009, do you know if the timeline is still the same or are there processes or technology now that can speed up some of the steps?

Edited by AlanF65
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1 hour ago, ellbelle said:

IMPORTANT NOTIFICATION:

We are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation and wish to reassure you that the risk to our guests and crew is low and our medical experts are coordinating closely with global health authorities.

As a precautionary measure, any guest who has traveled from or through mainland China within 14 days of the beginning of this cruise will be denied boarding.
This does not apply to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. If this applies to you or your client, please contact us at 1-800-577-1729 (North America) or your country?s office to provide proof of such travel and we will process a full

refund of all amounts paid to Holland America Line for this voyage.

In addition, all guests will be subject to pre-boarding health reporting and screening at cruise check-in, in addition to other precautions being taken.
The above is subject to change based on the interests of health and safety of our guests and crew and any other requirements imposed by local authorities.   

 

(I copied and pasted HAL's email above since the full post will not pop up in the link)

 

 

I feel sorry for the people who did some pre-cruise touring and now can't board. Good that HAL is refunding. Hope they're also helping people get home.

 

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1 hour ago, AlanF65 said:

The timeline from testing through production is from 2009, do you know if the timeline is still the same or are there processes or technology now that can speed up some of the steps?

the timeline she posted was for flu vaccine. A process that is well known and executed each year. Different tech is used for new viruses. One new method uses extracted DNA to generate an immune response and is grown in bacteria.

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2 hours ago, AlanF65 said:

The timeline from testing through production is from 2009, do you know if the timeline is still the same or are there processes or technology now that can speed up some of the steps?

 

Researchers constantly work to figure out how to respond quickly in the case of these evolving viruses. The goal is to develop a vaccine in time to have some impact on the spread of disease. So far (SARS, MERS), it wasn't really available in time. But each time the lessons learned before are applied to the new situation. 

 

As npcl points out, there are several types of vaccines, created with different technologies. I was just trying to illustrate that any vaccine has to go through certain steps to ensure safety and efficacy before it is widely available. In emergency situations, candidate vaccines are sometimes used on a limited basis to gather data.

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19 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

I think the problem lies in how we interpret that they will have a vaccine "produced".  It could be that the expert meant that they would have "a vaccine". But that doesn't mean having large quantities available for mass immunization. There are a number of steps that have to be followed. This link summarizes them well. It is not a fast process and there is little that can be done to speed it along.

 

(I work for a company that develops and manufactures vaccines.)

great they are working on a vaccine ...however this will  in no way help the current spread (epidemic) things don't work that fast...they may be able to build a hospital fast but vaccines are a long process...can be sped up but not that fast. 

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On 1/27/2020 at 5:13 PM, Level six said:

 

Is your insurance paying or are you just going to lose the $$$?

 

We were going on a month long trip around SE Asia after too, but all on our own.  So, that involved 10 flights, bus trips, hotels and some tours.  So, we will be losing that too.  I am sicken about this.

 

I have been on over 30 cruises and have never been treated this way by any cruise line.  I will remember how HAL handles this for a very long time.  I do a travel blog and believe me, my followers will hear about this.  

 

Just thinking here, but you could still do your SE Asia trip.  It doesn't include China, right?  You could see if you could get airline flights changed to get you to a starting point/ending point that doesn't involve China.  At least you wouldn't lose everything and still have a good vacation.  

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On 1/28/2020 at 8:34 AM, USN59-79 said:

Good example of "Fake Media"

 

You DO know that site is NOT a news site or Media site, but basically a blog disguised as "news".  That knowledge has been around for years.    "Fake Media" is what people say when they disagree with what truth is put out, preferring the "alternative truth" or "alternative facts."  Gotta know your sources before you throw around that term...

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Part of me thinks this is an issue of scale.  We have had people who have had cruise itinerary changed at the last minute due to a plethora of reasons.  For some, having a 7 day cruise in the Caribbean or Mexico or Northern Europe changed is a major deal as it was a cruise they saved and anticipated as a highlight for them in their lives, be it hurricanes, volcano eruptions, Zinka, Bird Flu.  Their disappointment is no less than what those having those changes to the China itinerary are facing.  Yet, I remember seeing posters here telling those folks to basically "suck it up", "ship happens" and "go with the flow."    Sure, people have put in thousands more for those China trips, but their treatment really should be no more than for those with "ruined" cruises elsewhere.    We need to have compassion for everyone affected by changes, regardless of how much they spent or how far they are traveling.

 

Those with the changed itineraries: Ship happens.  Go with the flow and enjoy the cruise.  We all know changes can happen and must accept them as part of the cruise experience.  Yes, it's going to be an issue to get plans changed, but you went in knowing full well that plans can go totally sideways.  Get working on getting things changed with flights, hotels.  Get on the roll calls and try to work as a group if you were trying to do tours (power in numbers).  Or, use this as an experience to venture out on your own in Japan.   Military families who are stationed in Japan do it all the time.   Your cruise isn't ruined, just changed.  I'm sorry and I can feel your pain if you were taking the cruise not for the cruise, but for the ports.  But, it is what it is, unfortunately.  

Edited by slidergirl
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2 hours ago, slidergirl said:

Part of me thinks this is an issue of scale.  We have had people who have had cruise itinerary changed at the last minute due to a plethora of reasons.  For some, having a 7 day cruise in the Caribbean or Mexico or Northern Europe changed is a major deal as it was a cruise they saved and anticipated as a highlight for them in their lives, be it hurricanes, volcano eruptions, Zinka, Bird Flu.  Their disappointment is no less than what those having those changes to the China itinerary are facing.  Yet, I remember seeing posters here telling those folks to basically "suck it up", "ship happens" and "go with the flow."    Sure, people have put in thousands more for those China trips, but their treatment really should be no more than for those with "ruined" cruises elsewhere.    We need to have compassion for everyone affected by changes, regardless of how much they spent or how far they are traveling.

 

Those with the changed itineraries: Ship happens.  Go with the flow and enjoy the cruise.  We all know changes can happen and must accept them as part of the cruise experience.  Yes, it's going to be an issue to get plans changed, but you went in knowing full well that plans can go totally sideways.  Get working on getting things changed with flights, hotels.  Get on the roll calls and try to work as a group if you were trying to do tours (power in numbers).  Or, use this as an experience to venture out on your own in Japan.   Military families who are stationed in Japan do it all the time.   Your cruise isn't ruined, just changed.  I'm sorry and I can feel your pain if you were taking the cruise not for the cruise, but for the ports.  But, it is what it is, unfortunately.  

Japan is a great place to get out an wander.  It is safe with excellent mass transit systems.

 

Spent a fair amount of time there meeting with the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare. Japanese cities have great mass transit.  You can set your watch to the second when it comes to their trains/subways.  Just do not plan on using them during rush hour unless you can deal with very very crowded cars (as in no room to move at all), especially going through Shinjuku station. Also be aware that Japan does not do street addresses like we are used to in the west. Instead of being sequential along a street they are assigned in more of block building number approach that takes a little getting used to.

Edited by npcl
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2 minutes ago, npcl said:

Those with the changed itineraries: Ship happens.  

 

that may be OK for you.

for others of us, traipsing around asia with the corona virus running rampant is just not appealing. yes, today japan is safe. but tomorrow??

maybe the virus will fizzle; maybe it will be a terrible pandemic.

i wish i had a crystal ball.

too many unknowns for us. 

if you feel comfortable traveling in asia, go for it.

i personally don't and i want a credit or a refund (yes, our TA is working on it).

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On 1/27/2020 at 10:21 AM, Viv0828 said:

... we bought cancellation insurance for all our cruises, we would have spent more than possibly eating the cost of this cruise.

to each their own. 

 

Very true.  People who are glad that they bought insurance or feel sorry for those who did not tend to forget that this is simply a cost issue.  How much is the insurance, how many cruises will you go on and how often does one fail to go one a cruise all need to be considered.  In many cases, one is better off self-insuring. 

 

If it is a once in a lifetime cruise in a Penthouse Suite, then buy the insurance.  If it is a common 7-10 day cruise, then don't bother.

 

igraf

 

 

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49 minutes ago, Viv0828 said:

 

that may be OK for you.

for others of us, traipsing around asia with the corona virus running rampant is just not appealing. yes, today japan is safe. but tomorrow??

maybe the virus will fizzle; maybe it will be a terrible pandemic.

i wish i had a crystal ball.

too many unknowns for us. 

if you feel comfortable traveling in asia, go for it.

i personally don't and i want a credit or a refund (yes, our TA is working on it).

Well, approximately 8,000 -10,000 (depending on the source) have died from the flu this season.  Do you go out and about?  

The CDC has said that the flu is more of a concern than the coronavirus.   I work in hospitality and have daily interactions and contact with people from around the world.  I'm of a certain age where flu/pneumonia is a concern.  But, I don't live in a bubble.  I have my yearly flu shot and I keep my pneumonia vaccination up to date.  And, I go on with life.   I was in the Caribbean on a land vacation during the Zika incident.  I took precautions as recommended and went on with it.  Now, if was was pregnant or planning on trying to become pregnant, I would certainly have heeded the CDC precautions and not gone.  

 

My friend and her family are currently in Japan as her husband serves in the Marines.  No special instructions have been issued. She takes her kids( 5 and 3) on daily adventures.  She takes what comes, even getting on the wrong train.  Some of us can do vacations like this, some can't.  We all do what we are comfortable with, I guess.  You rolled the dice and it looks like you lost.  HAL isn't responsible for giving you anything.  Your insurance for such a trip should have been the "cancel for any reason" type to handle something like this.  IMHO...

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23 minutes ago, igraf said:

People who are glad that they bought insurance or feel sorry for those who did not tend to forget that this is simply a cost issue.

 

to us it is not only a cost issue but a safety issue as well.

if i knew we would be OK, we would go.

don't love the new itinerary but i can deal with it.

it's the fear of what MIGHT happen that makes us hesitate.

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1 hour ago, igraf said:

If it is a once in a lifetime cruise in a Penthouse Suite, then buy the insurance.  If it is a common 7-10 day cruise, then don't bother.

 

igraf

 

 

This is how we view the insurance dilemma as well.   Never bought it for a 7-10 day cruise but definitely will be for our 15-17 day Panama Canal cruise is 2022 when we celebrate 30 years together. I see it as a personal decision that has to pencil out for your finances and like most here would never judge someone for their decision to purchase or not purchase it.  

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39 minutes ago, Level six said:

We always buy insurance, they are not paying for this.  

You can buy cancel for any reason insurance.  I understand for the average person the cost is off putting but nonetheless it is available 

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I am sailing the Westerdam Feb 29th to March 14 and am happy with the changes to Yokohama to Yokohama with no Manila or Kaoshing, Taiwan.  We did this same cruise last year and booked it again because we LOVED that cruise and this time there were a "few" changes.  Now there are a lot of changes.  More Japan which I am very happy about.  I'm not going to miss Hong Kong either as I've been there over a dozen times before.

 

I do not have insurance and Air Canada waived the fee for the change for the first flight from Toronto to Shanghai but not the second one home from Hong Kong.  That was because at that time (Tuesday night) they had not received an e-mail from head office saying flights to/from Hong Kong were banned (like they were for China).  We're out a total of $703 CDN for the two of us but the AC agent said to keep watching because if Air Canada DOES ever ban flights to Hong Kong; we could probably try to get those charges refunded.

 

Even if we don't....I am okay paying $350 more per person for this new itinerary.  At least we're not having 14 sea days.  LOL

 

After reading this whole thread....I think I may be one of the very few passengers that is okay with this change.  We never thought about cancelling as we also have an additional $553 CDN per person for our return flights to Toronto from Cancun and home to Cozumel.

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3 hours ago, igraf said:

 

Very true.  People who are glad that they bought insurance or feel sorry for those who did not tend to forget that this is simply a cost issue.  How much is the insurance, how many cruises will you go on and how often does one fail to go one a cruise all need to be considered.  In many cases, one is better off self-insuring. 

 

If it is a once in a lifetime cruise in a Penthouse Suite, then buy the insurance.  If it is a common 7-10 day cruise, then don't bother.

 

igraf

 

 

Unless you have cancel for any reason insurance, buying insurance might not help, most common travel policies do not cover disease outbreak in region as a covered reason.

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