Jump to content

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, iancal said:

We skipped Sihanoukville on our land tour of Cambodia in favor of Phu Quok, Vietnam.

 

All of our research indicated it was a dump, as did multiple people we met on our travels who had been there.

 

But IF those cruisers get to disembark I have no doubt that the will be thankful to be there....even if they have to pay for a visa.   Just the thought that an end is in sight will be wonderful for them.    For those  that are there for a few day USD, is the currency and the ATM’s dispense USD.

 

Yes, Sihanoukville is indeed a dump.  One saving grace:  The port has a great view of the outlying islands.  Another saving grace:  The Don Bosco school in the center of town is excellent and well worth a tour.

 

As iancal says, Westerdam passengers will no doubt be happy to disembark anywhere.  Sihanoukville doesn't offer much, but at least the passengers can get off the ship and start the long journey home. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, kathy49 said:

I would think the charter would take them to an airport where everyone can make connections home...doubt if separate charter to each country?

Correct, my mistake - see npcl’s post #623 on pp. for correct info..

Edited by sndral
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, DaveSJ711 said:

 

Yes, Sihanoukville is indeed a dump.  One saving grace:  The port has a great view of the outlying islands.  Another saving grace:  The Don Bosco school in the center of town is excellent and well worth a tour.

 

As iancal says, Westerdam passengers will no doubt be happy to disembark anywhere.  Sihanoukville doesn't offer much, but at least the passengers can get off the ship and start the long journey home. 

There are some nice sights outside of town. But yeah, it wasn't much. The market was OK. That's where they ran the ship's shuttle to. The troops of monkeys on the grounds of the Independence Hotel might be worth a look.

 

 

Edited by Wehwalt
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Wehwalt said:

There are some nice sights outside of town. But yeah, it wasn't much. The market was OK. That's where they ran the ship's shuttle to. The troops of monkeys on the grounds of the Independence Hotel might be worth a look.

 

 

i don't think these passengers are going to be interested in doing anything beyond getting on a bus and going to their flight.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Although we have no details, I would assume that passengers will not be permitted ashore except for being dispatched in groups directly to their charter flights.  I would expect the debarkation over a few days is being coordinated to dispatch by charter flight group.

Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, TampaMike said:
32 minutes ago, kathy49 said:

i don't think these passengers are going to be interested in doing anything beyond getting on a bus and going to their flight.

 

 

Upon arrival in Sihanoukville, will all Westerdam passengers disembark on the arrival day and fly out the same day?  I read that passengers could be in Sihanoukville for several days, not just the day of arrival.

If passengers do spend time in Sihanoukville, they may want to explore the city and the surrounding area if only to get out of the confining ship environment.  That's what I would do if I were in their situation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of good information here, and it does not make me confident that Westerdam will resume in Yokohama on Feb. 29.

 

 

Quarantined Cruise Passengers Have Many Questions. Japan Has Few Answers.
Critics say the government is making a coronavirus episode worse by not being more forthcoming.

By Motoko Rich and Ben Dooley
New York Times
Published Feb. 11, 2020
Updated Feb. 12, 2020, 5:09 p.m. ET


TOKYO — The 3,600 people aboard the Diamond Princess, locked down for more than a week and desperate for information, have been reduced to peering out windows as hazmat-suited workers take away the newest coronavirus patients and mysterious buses, their interiors shrouded by curtains, come and go from the port.

 

They have Wi-Fi, but it is spotty, and even if it were not, they might search in vain for information about their plight from tight-lipped Japanese authorities.

 

Experts in crisis management said the government was offering a textbook example of how not to handle a public health crisis.

 

“Repeatedly explain what is known, and what is unknown, and when people can get more information about what remains unknown,” said Dr. Hana Hayashi, a public health strategist at McCann Healthcare Worldwide Japan. “It sounds very simple, but by continuing to do this, people’s concerns will be reduced.”

 

With 174 of their number known to be infected — the most cases anywhere outside China — one of the biggest questions for those stuck on the Diamond Princess off Yokohama is: Why won’t Japan test everyone on board for the virus?

 

As of Tuesday, only 439 had been tested, and the Japanese authorities have sent mixed messages.

For days, officials have said the country simply does not have the ability to test everyone on the ship. But on Tuesday, as demands grew, Dr. Masami Sakoi, an assistant health minister, said at a news briefing that the health ministry was considering expanding its testing capacity.

 

Japan’s insistence that it is an issue of practicality has been met with some skepticism.

 

 Critics of the government’s handling of the outbreak say that officials simply are not explaining enough of their thinking as they face an epidemiological challenge with no easy playbook. The government’s communications strategy has undermined trust, and speculation has sometimes filled the void, including about whether there could be alternatives to keeping so many people locked inside a contaminated vessel.

 

“Here you have people locked down on a pseudo prison on a cruise ship,” said Kyle Cleveland, a professor of sociology at the Tokyo campus of Temple University who has studied Japan’s response to another crisis, the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns. “Is it really a matter of not having enough tests?”

 

In China, after all, where more than 44,000 people have been infected and deaths have surpassed 1,100, health officials are performing thousands of coronavirus tests a day. Unlike Japan, China has been confronting the outbreak since December, and has had time to produce test kits. Even so, it is contending with a shortage.

 

Some passengers say that if it were just a matter of logistics, Japan could look for outside help.

 

“I’d prefer if our countries pitch in and help test everyone,” said Vera Koslova-Fu, an Australian on the ship.

Still, there is far from universal agreement that Japan should test everyone on board the Diamond Princess, even if it could.

 

Olivia Lawe-Davies, a spokeswoman for the World Health Organization, said that its experts agreed with the way Japan was handling the quarantine.

 

“No country or entity has had to manage this novel coronavirus, for which there are still many unknowns, on an international conveyance with this many people,” she said. “The most important thing is to ensure that people who are ill receive proper treatment, which the Japanese authorities are doing.”

 

Some infectious disease experts questioned whether testing everyone on board would in fact be effective.

“In reality, people are in the incubation period right now,” said Mitsuyoshi Urashima, a professor of molecular epidemiology at Jikei University Hospital in Tokyo. “The tests are not absolutely always right.”

 

(Proof of that came from a different set of coronavirus patients on Tuesday. The health ministry announced that two Japanese citizens who had previously tested negative after leaving Wuhan, China, where the epidemic began, were now infected.)

 

The tests themselves pose their own obstacles.

 

They are not simple throat swabs, but instead require cells from hard-to-reach parts of the respiratory tract.

The simplest test, a nasopharyngeal swab, “is not surgery, but it comes close,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. “It’s an aggressive medical procedure.”

 

The alternative requires pumping saline solution deep into the lungs.

 

“You could not do it on healthy people by the thousands, or just go from cabin to cabin doing it,” Dr. Schaffner said. Both procedures are risky for the medical personnel doing them, because they can send the patient into a retching or coughing fit, spewing out virus.

 

And even then, he said, concerns would remain.

 

“I’m sure a lot of people on board think, ‘If I’m negative, I’m cleared,’” Dr. Schaffner said. “It’s not that — you could be positive tomorrow.”

 

Even if the tests are not scientifically warranted, some public health experts said, they might help calm anxious people on the ship.

“If it puts people’s minds at ease, it has merit,” said Eiji Kusumi, a doctor specializing in infectious diseases at Navitas Clinic in Tokyo. “We’re dealing with people who are operating out of emotion.”

 

One passenger, Sarah Arana, a 52-year-old medical social worker from Paso Robles, Calif., said, “I think it would provide peace of mind.”

 

Peace of mind has been hard to come by for many passengers, in no small part because of the Japanese government’s limited communications. Passengers isolated in their cabins have been checking their phones for news updates and social media posts, while their families back home are frantically pressing for information.

 

By failing to hold regular and timely news briefings and doling out cryptic information, the government “has made the problem seem much larger than it looks,” said Hiromi Murakami, an expert on health policy at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo.

 

“It’s mostly bureaucrats who have to deal with a lot of things, and they don’t know how to respond sometimes,” Ms. Murakami said. “They’re not used to dealing with questions. They don’t know how to answer them, and they think if they can’t answer them, what’s the purpose of having a press conference. So they avoid these situations.”

 

That may soon prove harder to do. Experts say the Diamond Princess may be only the beginning of Japan’s challenges with the coronavirus.

 

“Probably it’s a tiny portion of our problem in Japan,” said Hitoshi Oshitani, a professor of virology at Tohoku University. “If we have a few hundred cases in Japan and there are probably thousands of contacts around these few hundred, the numbers will increase every day.”

 

The government has been saying little. On Sunday and Monday, it waited hours to confirm that there were new infections on board, even as the captain of the Diamond Princess announced them to the ship. 

 

By Wednesday, Japanese officials moved more quickly to say that 39 additional passengers had tested positive and that a health ministry employee had also been diagnosed with the illness after administering a survey to those aboard the ship.

 

Still, rumors abound. Early Tuesday, Japanese news outlets reported that the health authorities were considering taking some elderly passengers off the ship, but officials refused to comment. Passengers on the ship could see that at least two buses, their windows covered in curtains, had pulled up to the port, and claims spread that some people were being allowed to leave.

 

In the absence of official communication, some have found their own way to communicate: Japanese passengers, who make up about half of the 2,666 guests on board, unfurled cloth signs off their balconies.

“Serious lack of medicine, lack of information,” read one.


 

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, DaveSJ711 said:

 

Upon arrival in Sihanoukville, will all Westerdam passengers disembark on the arrival day and fly out the same day?  I read that passengers could be in Sihanoukville for several days, not just the day of arrival.

If passengers do spend time in Sihanoukville, they may want to explore the city and the surrounding area if only to get out of the confining ship environment.  That's what I would do if I were in their situation.

I suspect that the bookings are slowing the process, and there's only so many they can do in a day.. 

 

I thought the boat ride in Ream National Park, near the airport, was worth seeing and at $40 for the boat, it's not bad. Here's some pictures I took. I see I took nothing of the town itself. 

IMG_1940.jpeg

IMG_1982.jpeg

IMG_2001.jpeg

IMG_2024.jpeg

Edited by Wehwalt
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, DaveSJ711 said:

Upon arrival in Sihanoukville, will all Westerdam passengers disembark on the arrival day and fly out the same day?

 

No, not according to HAL’s posts on FB and their website.

They are chartering planes to fly people home and I suspect that will take a few days.

At least, everyone knows they will be going home and if they want to touch dry land, they can 😉 

I think the passengers are happy to know they can land somewhere and fly out.

Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, DaveSJ711 said:

 

Upon arrival in Sihanoukville, will all Westerdam passengers disembark on the arrival day and fly out the same day?  I read that passengers could be in Sihanoukville for several days, not just the day of arrival.

If passengers do spend time in Sihanoukville, they may want to explore the city and the surrounding area if only to get out of the confining ship environment.  That's what I would do if I were in their situation.

 

However, we don't know what agreement Holland America has reached with Cambodia. It could be that passengers must remain on the ship until they are allowed off to go to the airport.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

However, we don't know what agreement Holland America has reached with Cambodia. It could be that passengers must remain on the ship until they are allowed off to go to the airport.

 

The announcement said they were free to go ashore. When I was there, HAL ran a shuttle into town because there is very little at the port. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

However, we don't know what agreement Holland America has reached with Cambodia. It could be that passengers must remain on the ship until they are allowed off to go to the airport.

 

 

Cambodia continues to welcome flights from China with open arms, so I doubt they'll restrict passenger movements.

https://thediplomat.com/2020/02/china-and-cambodia-love-in-the-time-of-coronavirus/

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

However, we don't know what agreement Holland America has reached with Cambodia. It could be that passengers must remain on the ship until they are allowed off to go to the airport.

 

 

Many are going to be there for a few days while they arrange flights.

 

HAL specifically posted the passengers were free to disembark and wander around.

 

And thanked Cambodia 😉 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't take anything for gospel until the I see pictures of the ship docked and the passengers getting off. 

 

Especially in light of the news out of China " Hubei province announces 14,840 new virus cases. They seem to say they've changed the way they diagnose official cases. Also announce 242 new deaths"

 

 

 

 

Edited by icat2000
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, icat2000 said:

I wouldn't take anything for gospel until the I see pictures of the ship docked and the passengers getting off. 

 

Especially in light of the news out of China " Hubei province announces 14,840 new virus cases. They seem to say they've changed the way they diagnose official cases. Also announce 242 new deaths"

 

Thanks Sarah...scary numbers.  Nothing coming out of Indonesia, virus must be there, I reckon the Indo Govt is concealing the stats.

 

 

 

Edited by NSWP
Link to post
Share on other sites

This is what my dad (who is on Westerdam) just said:

 

 we just heard from the captain to sit tight and be ready to go when we receive our individual travel information delivered to our room. We are just arriving in Cambodia.

Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Moparop said:

This is what my dad (who is on Westerdam) just said:

 

 we just heard from the captain to sit tight and be ready to go when we receive our individual travel information delivered to our room. We are just arriving in Cambodia.

Thanks for providing an update. Hopefully, they delay won't be too long for them. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Moparop said:

This is what my dad (who is on Westerdam) just said:

 

 we just heard from the captain to sit tight and be ready to go when we receive our individual travel information delivered to our room. We are just arriving in Cambodia.

Quoting myself here. Based on what HAL has said, my dad and I are trying to figure out to do with their flights from Bangkok to Seoul to home on Delta. Cancel? No show? Try to catch the connector in Seoul?

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Moparop said:

Quoting myself here. Based on what HAL has said, my dad and I are trying to figure out to do with their flights from Bangkok to Seoul to home on Delta. Cancel? No show? Try to catch the connector in Seoul?

 

I would ask HAL for more info about the charter to get you "home." Is it "home" as in the US or "home" as in your nearest airport?

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, sndral said:

If HAL is arranging chartered flights it will be different from a normal booking. Presumably the whole plane will be filled with Westerdam passengers flying to an airport in their home country. So who gets off the ship first will most likely depend on the logistics of arranging the chartered airplanes. Once the passengers arrive in their own countries via the chartered planes I assume they’ll be able to continue to their home airports via normal bookings. 

Many years ago the FAA shut down the airline I was flying the day before I was leaving Maui, the company I’d purchased my flight through had a lot of stranded passengers on Hawaiian holiday packages and they chartered a plane to get us all home.  It happened to be a Delta plane they chartered - I’ve had a fondness for Delta ever since. 

They’re not going to be chartering planes to a bunch of different countries. They’ll probably be flying them all to Phnom Penh for connections.

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, BarbarianPaul said:

They’re not going to be chartering planes to a bunch of different countries. They’ll probably be flying them all to Phnom Penh for connections.

No "probably" for flying them to Phnom Penh - that is mentioned in the blog post on the HAL site. It also states that they will further arrange for flights home, which I would take to mean the closest airport to your home (or the one you selected on your HAL website account)

Quote

 


Guests will disembark in Sihanoukville over the next few days and transfer via charter flights to Phnom Penh for forward travel home. Holland America Line will arrange and pay for all flights home, in addition to the full cruise refund and 100% future cruise credit already communicated.
 

 

bold added for emphasis

 

Edited by richwmn
Link to post
Share on other sites

Father Rob Waller has a FB page and has been posting while Onboard.   He has a couple of recent Posts with regards to Cambodia and also posted some pics!  They have “Gangway” signs out,  land in sight and Cambodian Immigration Officials and a Medical Team are Boarding the Ship for Clearance, etc.    He mentioned that when Captain announced they were going to Cambodia he also mentioned that HAL will be arranging all flights to get them home and at HAL’s expense.   They will be booked into the Class they originally had booked (Economy, Business, First), etc.  The Debark Process will take a few days.  

 

Thank you, Cambodia!  Kudos to HAL, too!  

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2020
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Q&A with Chris Prelog, President of Windstar Cruises!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...