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I am waiting for posts from passengers who take the charter flights to the capital and then on towards home. 

 

I agree with scubadawg about the many ports off the beaten path being interesting. It's about the people and not always about architectural and scenic highlights. 

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Thank you, Scubadawg,

 

We have also been to this port in Cambodia and had a very enjoyable private all day tour.  This is a third world country and would you want to go through the things they  have had to endure  during the last decade.  I think not.  These people are trying to pick themselves up after some terrible times.  We admired them for the work they were doing and making a better country for themselves.  Instead of calling a place a "dump" be thankful for where you live.  

 

Thanks for the previous blog.  We looked at pictures that we took several years ago on our tour but did not know how to put them on CC.

 

Floridiana, we were on the 2018 Grand Asia together.  That was a great cruise with many happy memories.

Any future cruises planned?

Edited by S&B
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46 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

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.

 

we were there maybe 8 years ago. we hired a cabbie and we had a wonderful day. whatever floats your boat i guess.

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27 minutes ago, Floridiana said:

I am waiting for posts from passengers who take the charter flights to the capital and then on towards home. 

 

I agree with scubadawg about the many ports off the beaten path being interesting. It's about the people and not always about architectural and scenic highlights. 

 

Me, too.  I do like visiting places like that, but probably wouldn't select as a place to fly in and out of for my travels.  We'll probably hear lots of interesting stories.  One thing for sure -- the passengers on this cruise will never forget it.  It'll be a good dinner party story for years to come.

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2 hours 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.

if you had read that roll call prior to sailing there was much concern about HK..many were left wondering if the ship would said just 2 days prior...others were cancelling....they took a chance and it did not work in terms of ports. The good news is all are healthy and soon on their way home.

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2 hours ago, DaveSJ711 said:

 

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.  

Cambodia will benefit from the good will they extended, and the unexpected windfall from the money HAL is paying them.  It was a business decision by the country as much as it was based on hospitality.     

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The first Group of 116 Passengers have Debarked.  The Prime Minister arrived to Welcome them and gave a Speech.   Scarves are being given to all Onboard.   A very special and pretty awesome greeting for Captain Smit, Staff, Crew and all the Passengers!  A very warm Welcome!  

Edited by idiebabe
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22 minutes ago, Boatdrill said:

Cambodia will benefit from the good will they extended, and the unexpected windfall from the money HAL is paying them.  It was a business decision by the country as much as it was based on hospitality.     

 

I suspect a large amount of money was paid.  As others have mentioned, I hope the testing was thorough and accurate.  

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1 hour ago, S&B said:

Thank you, Scubadawg,

 

We have also been to this port in Cambodia and had a very enjoyable private all day tour.  This is a third world country and would you want to go through the things they  have had to endure  during the last decade.  I think not.  These people are trying to pick themselves up after some terrible times.  We admired them for the work they were doing and making a better country for themselves.  Instead of calling a place a "dump" be thankful for where you live.  

 

Thanks for the previous blog.  We looked at pictures that we took several years ago on our tour but did not know how to put them on CC.

 

Floridiana, we were on the 2018 Grand Asia together.  That was a great cruise with many happy memories.

Any future cruises planned?

 

You say you visited Sihanoukville several years ago.  The city has changed dramatically since then -- and not for the better.  In the not-so-distant past, i.e., before 2015, it had a reputation as a backwater port with fine beaches, backpacker hangouts, and a generally lazy approach to life.  Now it's awash with unfinished and decrepit buildings (mostly Chinese-funded hotels and casinos), mountains of trash everywhere, and torn-up roads throughout the city.  Read the recent Sihanoukville reviews on Tripadvisor and Cruise Critic to see what I mean.

 

None of this has anything to do with everyday Cambodians trying to make a better life for themselves.  It has everything to do with sweetheart and unregulated development deals that the Cambodian government cut with its very large neighbor to the north.  (China prohibits casino gambling except in Macau.)  Unfortunately, Sihanoukville is paying the price for these deals.  The anger that many residents feel toward the Chinese is palpable.

 

As I said earlier, the Cambodians we met in November were all lovely people.  I wish I could say that the city of Sihanoukville is similarly lovely -- but I can't.  It's a dump.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/04/asia/cambodia-chinese-investment-intl-hnk/index.html 

Edited by DaveSJ711
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5 hours ago, Viv0828 said:

 

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.

Check out the blog Princess cancels next two Sapphire Princess sailings.

Princess canceled the 2/13 cruise from Singapore on the Sapphire with about 24 hours notice. Passengers joining the 2/13 cruise had already flown to Singapore by the time the line canceled the cruise. Unconscionable!

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56 minutes ago, DaveSJ711 said:

 

You say you visited Sihanoukville several years ago.  The city has changed dramatically since then -- and not for the better.  In the not-so-distant past, i.e., before 2015, it had a reputation as a backwater port with fine beaches, backpacker hangouts, and a generally lazy approach to life.  Now it's awash with unfinished and decrepit buildings (mostly Chinese-funded hotels and casinos), mountains of trash everywhere, and torn-up roads throughout the city.  Read the recent Sihanoukville reviews on Tripadvisor and Cruise Critic to see what I mean.

 

None of this has anything to do with everyday Cambodians trying to make a better life for themselves.  It has everything to do with sweetheart and unregulated development deals that the Cambodian government cut with its very large neighbor to the north.  (China prohibits casino gambling except in Macau.)  Unfortunately, Sihanoukville is paying the price for these deals.  The anger that many residents feel toward the Chinese is palpable.

 

As I said earlier, the Cambodians we met in November were all lovely people.  I wish I could say that the city of Sihanoukville is similarly lovely -- but I can't.  It's a dump.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/04/asia/cambodia-chinese-investment-intl-hnk/index.html 

Dave—

Sadly, what you said is very true, and quite accurate. In an effort to get away from all the trash and construction dust last month, my wife and I took a tuktuk to local Independence Beach, which we were told was beautiful. It was! We were informed that we couldn’t swim, however, because the new hotel next door (one of the few whose construction was completed), was recently charged with dumping raw sewage into the water. 
 

All that said, this obviously is no reflection on the people.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Mandalay1903 said:

Check out the blog Princess cancels next two Sapphire Princess sailings.

Princess canceled the 2/13 cruise from Singapore on the Sapphire with about 24 hours notice. Passengers joining the 2/13 cruise had already flown to Singapore by the time the line canceled the cruise. Unconscionable!

 

It is just very, very upsetting watching how this is all playing out.  All my illusions are shattered.

BUT...we are making money from this fiasco.  Sure, we lost thousands cancelling our Westerdam cruise, but we are saving many thousands more by cancelling the several cruises we have booked.  Score!

 

And now I think I'll just look away.

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1 hour ago, Mandalay1903 said:

Princess canceled the 2/13 cruise from Singapore on the Sapphire with about 24 hours notice. Passengers joining the 2/13 cruise had already flown to Singapore by the time the line canceled the cruise. Unconscionable!

 

that is terrible. i certainly hope they refund cost of the cruise, round trip air fare, hotels before the trip and give a FCC. i just heard that singapore has the most coronavirus cases next to china (excepting the diamond princess). i certainly wouldn't want to be there now.

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2 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

Sure, we lost thousands cancelling our Westerdam cruise, but we are saving many thousands more by cancelling the several cruises we have booked.  Score!

 

And now I think I'll just look away.

 

don't blame you for a second.

we are trying to plan something to replace our 4 week cruise and 3 week trip to china but i almost feel uncomfortable leaving the usa. 

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1 hour ago, Viv0828 said:

 

don't blame you for a second.

we are trying to plan something to replace our 4 week cruise and 3 week trip to china but i almost feel uncomfortable leaving the usa. 

 We are doing a B2B cruises in April on Royal Princess from San Pedro  .The 1st cruise is a 7 night Mexican riviera cruise followed by the 7 night Coastal California cruise  .Thus you would only leave the USA for the first leg or you can just do the coastal Calif cruise which must also stop in Ensenada .just some ideas to replace your China trip 

Edited by mcrcruiser
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More than 100 passengers of the first group of Westerdam were flying from Sihanoukville arrives at Phnom Penh International Airport and prepares to go to their respective countries after hopping aboard a ship for more than 10 days.

Westerdam's 119 multinational tourists are preparing to check in to their countries.

Sihanoukville authorities told Fresh News today that 417 passengers aboard the WESTERDAM will leave Cambodia by plane to their respective countries.

The 417 passengers are divided into three airports, two of which fly to Phnom Penh International Airport and then fly to Singapore to continue their flights to their respective countries. The other flight was from Sihanoukville International Airport to their home country.

The departure of Westerdam's passengers to their country of origin is subject to the management of the ship's management. For all 417 passengers leaving today, they already have their tickets and the documents have already been prepared.

(google translate)

 

A lot of photos and a video

http://www.freshnewsasia.com/index.php/en/localnews/148338-2020-02-14-03-55-36.html

 

 

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13 hours ago, Taters said:

I do hope that your cruise can be salvaged.  We are booked on Westie's transpacific cruise scheduled to depart Yokohama on April 25th.  I can't imagine the stress you're feeling right now.  Best of luck to you!

 

We're on the same cruise.  But not living in the US or Canada, our plan is to spend a night in Vancouver after the cruise and then head to Seattle for a night before flying to Hawaii.  We then spend over a week in Honolulu after which we fly back to Sydney.  I'm confident things will settle by then but if HAL cancel all Japanese/Asia cruises, we'll be left with a large hole in our itinerary between Yokohama and Honolulu as it mightn't be worth flying to Canada or the US mainland for just a couple of nights.

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S&B,

That was a wonderful cruise around the Pacific, loved it!  Our next cruise is in a month to South America on a different line. 

 

We haven't been to Sihanoukville but to other parts of Cambodia on a  Mekong River cruise. I love those lightweight scarves the Cambodians gave to the Westerdam passengers. They call them kroma. I am so happy for the passengers of the Westerdam and particularly for the crew. They deserve a break on the ship without passengers for the next leg of their voyage. 

 

 

 

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