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News on the Westerdam


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14 minutes ago, Mandalay1903 said:
18 minutes ago, Viv0828 said:

i think there are a lot of folks on that cruise who plan to cancel but are waiting and hoping HAL cancels first so they will receive a refund rather than FCC - JMHO.

A game of chicken...

 

YES! we did that with the sep 15 cruise. HAL kept urging us to take the FCC but we waited and waited till they finally cancelled.

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We have little interest in a FCC as we choose to cruise on many different lines.  When it comes to the 4/11 cruise, we would be very happy if it did happen.  But we simply want HAL to make a decision about the Asian cruises and make that decision soon.  If Japan is unwilling to open up its ports then HAL will have no choice but to cancel all the Asian cruises and relocate the Westy.  That sucks for both HAL and all the passengers, but without the Japanese ports there is no reason to keep the ship in the Far East.  If HAL cannot operate those cruises they would have little choice but to simply refund everyone's money unless some folks would be willing to accept a FCC.  But taking a 100 percent FCC makes little sense when compared to a refund.

 

Hank

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7 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

But taking a 100 percent FCC makes little sense when compared to a refund.

 

I totally agree and frankly the money should be refunded.

Do they want another Westerdam “Flying Dutchman” cruise to nowhere?  They refunded and gave 100% FCC not to mention some of the free alcohol, etc.

 

I think Japan has made it clear that they want their land quarantined and not visited in hopes there are no problems with the Olympics.  I’m not sure how that works when people fly in but...

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Agreed, they don’t need the further negative PR of another cruise to nowhere, not to mention the chance of a ship that is quarantined and the huge costs they would incur. 

 

Perhaps they are better to cut to cut the losses and make a decision like Celebrity has already done.  And perhaps Princess May also be moving a ship out of that market if marine traffic is accurate. 

 

Sometimes not knowing is much more difficult than just making a decision and dealing with it. 

Edited by bennybear
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15 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

We have little interest in a FCC as we choose to cruise on many different lines.  When it comes to the 4/11 cruise, we would be very happy if it did happen.  But we simply want HAL to make a decision about the Asian cruises and make that decision soon.  If Japan is unwilling to open up its ports then HAL will have no choice but to cancel all the Asian cruises and relocate the Westy.  That sucks for both HAL and all the passengers, but without the Japanese ports there is no reason to keep the ship in the Far East.  If HAL cannot operate those cruises they would have little choice but to simply refund everyone's money unless some folks would be willing to accept a FCC.  But taking a 100 percent FCC makes little sense when compared to a refund.

 

Hank

Its been my experience that if they cancel its either a refund or a 125% credit on anther cruise . They canceled Egypt the offer the gave to us was attractive enough to book a different cruise. They do not want to give up the money so they work hard to get you on a comparable .i noticed a cruise that has a couple of Israeli ports. Thats on our bucket list as well no Egypt though.

 

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5 hours ago, rafinmd said:

It's probably too late to make that happen.  What I would like to see them do in this and for many other occasions is create the certificates in an electronic (pdf) form that could be emailed to guests once they are back home.

 

Roy

Not sure exactly what HA would want to commemorate. Taking on 800 passengers in Hong Kong and increasing the risk of exposure to all the folks already onboard? Being turned away at every port? Having to disembark everyone in a dump?

 

Am certainly happy and relieved passengers are finally disembarking! But this situation is not going to go down as a high point in HA history.

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3 minutes ago, BarbarianPaul said:

Not sure exactly what HA would want to commemorate. Taking on 800 passengers in Hong Kong and increasing the risk of exposure to all the folks already onboard? Being turned away at every port? Having to disembark everyone in a dump?

 

Am certainly happy and relieved passengers are finally disembarking! But this situation is not going to go down as a high point in HA history.

 

Have you read the posts from the people who were actually on board?

They were in tears as were the crew at the farewell show.

I’ve heard nothing but accolades from those that have posted here and that I know and yes, there is definitely something to commemorate.  An experience many of us will never have (nor want to) and the fortitude of the passenger and the determination of the crew to make it as enjoyable as they could under the circumstances.

Your reference to Hong Kong consistently confuses me.  Planes were still flying to Hong Kong when the ship sailed.  Hong Kong was not under warning nor advisory.

At least everyone on the Westerdam was healthy, happy and not under quarantine like the Diamond Princess.  

 

I wish them all safe, smooth and comfortable travels home.

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1 hour ago, bennybear said:

Marine traffic is now showing the sapphire princess as heading to Anchorage?  

I looked at that and WOWZA!  What for, I wonder?  It's February!  So weird.

 

With that situation in mind I went to the Sapphire Princess roll call and found that they were supposed to sail today, 2/13/2020 and were only notified of their cancellation YESTERDAY.  Good Lord!  That would hurt!  My fingers are crossed big time that the same thing doesn't happen to the folks on the 2/29/2020 sailing of Westerdam.  Honestly, what Princess did was horrible, IMHO.

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54 minutes ago, BarbarianPaul said:

Not sure exactly what HA would want to commemorate. Taking on 800 passengers in Hong Kong and increasing the risk of exposure to all the folks already onboard? Being turned away at every port? Having to disembark everyone in a dump?

 

Am certainly happy and relieved passengers are finally disembarking! But this situation is not going to go down as a high point in HA history.

Is that really necessary to say?  The people of Cambodia welcomed the Westerdam when no one else in the region would. Calling their city a dump is not a very kind way to repay them for that.  I know a lot of people here in New England that would consider many other parts of the USA as “dumps“ but to call them out on a message board would not be very kind. 

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3 minutes ago, Bostonjetset said:

Is that really necessary to say?  The people of Cambodia welcomed the Westerdam when no one else in the region would. Calling their city a dump is not a very kind way to repay them for that.  I know a lot of people here in New England that would consider many other parts of the USA as “dumps“ but to call them out on a message board would not be very kind. 

I just saw a post on a FB group by Suzy Cue, of the President of Cambodia coming to greet the ship.  This is a very positive thing.  I'm so glad that he truly cares.

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46 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

Have you read the posts from the people who were actually on board?

They were in tears as were the crew at the farewell show.

I’ve heard nothing but accolades from those that have posted here and that I know and yes, there is definitely something to commemorate.  An experience many of us will never have (nor want to) and the fortitude of the passenger and the determination of the crew to make it as enjoyable as they could under the circumstances.

Your reference to Hong Kong consistently confuses me.  Planes were still flying to Hong Kong when the ship sailed.  Hong Kong was not under warning nor advisory.

At least everyone on the Westerdam was healthy, happy and not under quarantine like the Diamond Princess.  

 

I wish them all safe, smooth and comfortable travels home.

I wish everyone safe travels home, as well. And of course I’ve read several posts praising the crew. I’m sure they did a great job.

 

In terms of Hong Kong, when the Westerdam both debarked and brought aboard new passengers on Feb. 1, the city was in an officially declared state of emergency. The government had closed down virtually every public gathering place, including museums, various street markets, Ocean Park, Hong Kong Disneyland, every public New Years Celebration, etc. There was also a massive influx of mainland Chinese, all of whom could have been exposed to the virus. All that was public knowledge. 

 

Considering that you can never be too cautious with passenger safety, perhaps HA should have had the foresight, and courage, to bypass Hong Kong. Perhaps that’s asking too much. It might very well be, but I’m not sure. And I actually love the cruise line. My wife and I have had wonderful cruises with them, many grand adventures, and will continue to do so!
 

And, despite the positive posts, I’m sure there were plenty of passengers who were upset and angered by losing almost every port.

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12 minutes ago, Bostonjetset said:

Is that really necessary to say?  The people of Cambodia welcomed the Westerdam when no one else in the region would. Calling their city a dump is not a very kind way to repay them for that.  I know a lot of people here in New England that would consider many other parts of the USA as “dumps“ but to call them out on a message board would not be very kind. 

Good point, but have you been there? It’s awful. 

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15 minutes ago, Bostonjetset said:

Is that really necessary to say?  The people of Cambodia welcomed the Westerdam when no one else in the region would. Calling their city a dump is not a very kind way to repay them for that.  I know a lot of people here in New England that would consider many other parts of the USA as “dumps“ but to call them out on a message board would not be very kind. 

 

I was in Sihanoukville last November.  Physically speaking, it is a dump.  Every review I've read agrees.  Every person on our ship agreed.  You can't sugarcoat the place.

 

Now, this description isn't directed at the Cambodian people.  They were lovely and hospitable when we were there.  That's why I wasn't surprised when Cambodia stepped up and allowed the Westerdam to dock.  Kudos to all.  

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4 minutes ago, BarbarianPaul said:

Considering that you can never be too cautious with passenger safety, perhaps HA should have had the foresight, and courage, to bypass Hong Kong. Perhaps that’s asking too much. It might very well be, but I’m not sure. And I actually love the cruise line. My wife and I have had wonderful cruises with them, many grand adventures, and will continue to do so!
 

 

 

Hong Kong was considered separate from mainland China.  Air Canada and most airlines had ceased flying to China but were still flying to Hong Kong.

HAL did no different than those airlines at the time.  I will certainly fault HAL for certain things (like not cancelling the Feb. 29th cruise already and others) but in this case they went on info provided IMO and operated just as the airlines did.  the air lines will carry more of any infection to more places than a cruise ship will.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and, had China been more forthcoming there might have been a different outcome all together.  

China’s numbers are suspect and not wanting the international experts in makes one very suspicious as to the real original cause of the virus.

 

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1 hour ago, bennybear said:

Marine traffic is now showing the sapphire princess as heading to Anchorage?  

 

Nope - dropping anchor "Outside Port Limits"

Vessels calling at Singapore for bunkers often anchor “Outside Port Limits” (OPL) to avoid port charges and pilotage fees. ... Attempting to anchor at night is reported to be particularly hazardous. Vessels anchored in the Eastern and Western OPLs may experience tidal currents of up to 4 knots

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33 minutes ago, Bostonjetset said:

Is that really necessary to say?  The people of Cambodia welcomed the Westerdam when no one else in the region would. Calling their city a dump is not a very kind way to repay them for that.  I know a lot of people here in New England that would consider many other parts of the USA as “dumps“ but to call them out on a message board would not be very kind. 

You know I feel the same way, it breaks my heart that people are so ungrateful and be so unkind.  When push came to shove Cambodia was the only one to step up.  Kudos to Cambodia.  Beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder.  

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I think it's premature to judge whether passenger experience on the Westerdam was universally good.  My guess is that it was very mixed, depending on many things.  I doubt anyone would speak up while still in such a dependent position, but we may see reviews and hear interviews after all are safely home.

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54 minutes ago, BarbarianPaul said:

Good point, but have you been there? It’s awful. 

 

I have been there and it is not awful. It is like a number of other port cities I've been to around the world (cleaner than some) where the main sites are not to be found there but a distance away. Awful, no.

 

I've been there on a cruise where we were taken to Phnom Penh for an overnight. The drive there and back was long but very interesting. I've also been to Angkor Wat. The Cambodian people are genuinely friendly, open about their past problems, and engagingly optimistic about their future.

 

But hey, you do you. 

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42 minutes ago, BarbarianPaul said:

Good point, but have you been there? It’s awful. 

yes, I have been there and had a great time. If you are willing to see a country or port with your eyes and heart open to the experience you usually find the positives. I put together several minivans of cruisers that visited the Don Bosco Hotel School. We toured the local area, saw temples , the river and waterfall, a local ice cream shop that the hotel students run and then toured the school and had an amazing local lunch prepared by the students. Everyone loved their visit. The people were lovely.

 

It's easy to take shots at 3rd world countries for being dumps or dirty. Some of my best travel memories are from these lesser traveled places put down by so many on these boards. I'm personally tired of it.

 

I visited Yangon 4 or 5 years ago on the Volendam which got the same reaction from many on board. We had an amazing 2 1/2 days. We liked it so much we went back and spent 13 days touring the country

 We used the same guide that had been on our mini bus with a group of cc roll call members.

 

Please posters, if you dont like a port fine, but please stop referring to them as dumps, not everyone is as fortunate as you.

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