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The US Westerdam with 747 crew members will leave Cambodia on February 22

( VOVworld ) - 747 crew members will depart from the port of Preah Sihanouk on February 22, 2020.

Lu Kim Chhun, director general of the Sihanoukville port, confirmed that the plan was to depart Cambodia tomorrow but because the ship had to pump up to 700 tons of oil it would take until February 22. 2020.

The departure comes after more than 2,000 tourists aboard the ship landed in Cambodia to travel to their respective countries.

The last 233 of Westerdam's tourists traveled by bus from the Sihanoukville port to the Sokha Hotel in Phnom Penh on February 19, 2020 after they were not found positive for Covid-19 virus.

....

(edited google translate)

 

http://freshnewsasia.com/index.php/en/localnews/148959-2020-02-20-07-02-06.html

Edited by dado123456
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9 hours ago, T8NCruise said:

Regardless of who did what, right or wrong, the cruise industry as a whole is taking a huge hit, and it will take a very long time for them to recover from this. 

 

I agree. For instance, Windstar has just cancelled its Alaska to Asia cruises next fall to Asia, and will be rerouting down North America, across the southern Pacific to NZ and Australia. Those are 6 months in the future. 

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We have big disappointment with HAL. Our cruise on Westerdam initially was scheduled from Shanghai to Hong Kong and as the virus started they changed the embarkation/debarkation port to Yokohama, Japan. At that time our airline was ready to cancel tickets without cancellation fee, but HAL insisted us to change tickets to Japan and sent us a letter that they will reimburse $250 each passenger for change fee. We have changed our tickets and sent them reimbursement request. Today I received a letter that they refuse the reimbursement of the change fee and sending us to claim it with insurance and insurance do not reimburse for this cases. Why HAL don't follow the promises to reimburse the change fee? This is a big disappointment with the cruise line. I feel being screwed by the company. 

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Update: 2/20/2020 2 am Pacific Time
The Cambodian Ministry of Health has issued a statement confirming that all 747 crew on board Westerdam have tested negative for COVID-19. This in addition to the announcement yesterday that 781 guests in Cambodia tested negative and were cleared to begin their travels home. All testing was conducted by the Pasteur Institute in Phnom Penh.

Twenty-five crew members were originally scheduled to disembark the ship on Feb. 15 at the end of their work contracts. They will now begin their travels home. The rest of the crew will remain on Westerdam to continue their work contracts.

This completes the testing ordered by the Cambodian Ministry of Health related to Westerdam. It is anticipated the ship will remain alongside in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, for a few more days until its future itinerary is finalized. The next scheduled cruise on Feb. 29 was previously cancelled.

Holland America Line sincerely thanks Cambodia’s Honorable Prime Minister Hun, the Cambodian Ministry of Health and all those in Cambodia who have worked so hard to get our guests home and help clear our crew.

Our sincere gratitude also goes to the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia for all of its hard work and support. We also appreciate the embassies from several other nations that provided their vital assistance and our flag state of the Netherlands for its many efforts.

We would also like to thank the regional authorities from the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for their guidance.

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Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam plans to handle flights that have passengers onboard Westerdam

 

On the afternoon of February 20, the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control said that passengers on the Westerdam ship will move to go home. On the way home, there will be passengers transiting in Ho Chi Minh City.

Currently, Ho Chi Minh City has set up handling measures on flights with passengers from Westerdam with a time from the arrival of Sihanoukville less than 14 days, to ensure safety for the passengers traveling on the same trip.


Ho Chi Minh City has asked three airlines to share passengers' information with each other to capture the situation of passengers who book available tickets, then book another ticket to avoid the tracking and surveillance of diseases in accordance with the provisions of Vietnam.Currently, the route Phnom Penh - Ho Chi Minh City has 3 operating airlines are Vietnam Airlines, Qatar and K6. According to the latest information, only Qatar carriers will receive passengers from Westerdam. Information about the flights of passengers who have been aboard the Westerdam is due to the reservations. However, 3 days ago, all guests have canceled the flight.

Flights with passengers who have traveled aboard the Westerdam will be allocated seats suitable for health monitoring and to limit the infection of passengers. Ho Chi Minh City is also preparing an isolation plan if it detects passengers with suspected symptoms.

Airlines will provide a detailed list of all passengers,  information and destinations after arriving at Tan Son Nhat airport (including people on entry, connecting flights). Passengers will be approached to assess the health situation. All passengers will carry out medical clearance on board.

In addition, the International Health Quarantine Center will coordinate with the Ho Chi Minh City Center for Disease Control to inform passengers about the disease situation of COVID - 19 and the regulations of the Vietnamese Government for people on entry. to prevent disease. Passengers who have traveled aboard the Westerdam, and passengers traveling on board should comply with the guidelines and regulations of the Government of Vietnam to minimize the risk of COVID – 19 infection.

Depending on the specific situation, passengers traveling on these flights, when entering Vietnam, will be advised to monitor their health at home, home isolation or forced isolation. Cases of passengers not responding properly will be handled according to the laws of Vietnam.

(google translated)

 

https://www.phunuonline.com.vn/tphcm-len-phuong-an-xu-ly-chuyen-bay-co-khach-tung-di-tren-tau-westerdam-a1403812.html

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5 hours ago, a.maksimova said:

We have big disappointment with HAL. Our cruise on Westerdam initially was scheduled from Shanghai to Hong Kong and as the virus started they changed the embarkation/debarkation port to Yokohama, Japan. At that time our airline was ready to cancel tickets without cancellation fee, but HAL insisted us to change tickets to Japan and sent us a letter that they will reimburse $250 each passenger for change fee. We have changed our tickets and sent them reimbursement request. Today I received a letter that they refuse the reimbursement of the change fee and sending us to claim it with insurance and insurance do not reimburse for this cases. Why HAL don't follow the promises to reimburse the change fee? This is a big disappointment with the cruise line. I feel being screwed by the company. 

 

What is the date of your cruise?  They are making further decisions this week,   And I am wondering if yours will be cancelled.   I would have your Travel agent cal HAL again about this.  It seems things are changing quickly and I am hopeful they will reimburse you.  

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On 2/19/2020 at 1:31 AM, Wehwalt said:

Mr and Mrs Abel are positive for the virus after all, which they've conceded after speaking with an English-speaking doctor.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/feb/19/coronavirus-outbreak-updates-coronavirus-live-updates-hubei-deaths-china-wuhan-outbreak-japan-diamond-princess-china-business-death-toll-latest-news

 

I am glad that Cambodia's, and HAL's decision to allow passengers to leave the ship in Sihanoukville has been validated by the clearance of the remaining passengers. I wish them safe flights home.

Am relieved and thankful that the remaining passengers have all been cleared!

 

That said, I think that HAL was lucky and basically dodged a bullet. I don’t think there’s any possible way to validate the decision to disembark all the passengers without testing any of them, especially since one of them ultimately tested positive, and was allowed to wander freely around the ship.

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28 minutes ago, bennybear said:

 

What is the date of your cruise?  They are making further decisions this week,   And I am wondering if yours will be cancelled.   I would have your Travel agent cal HAL again about this.  It seems things are changing quickly and I am hopeful they will reimburse you.  

Our cruise was supposed to be on February, 29. Their e-mail refusing any reimbursement was a total shock for me, as well for my travel agent. I am still hoping it was some kind of a mistake. HAL promised to contact me. Didn’t hear from them yet...

 

15 minutes ago, bcummin said:

Sometimes it is customary to first submit a claim to insurance, so that the insurance denial will encourage HAL to reimburse the bill.  Good luck to you.

Barbara

Thank you!

Since we had bought our tickets to Japan when this whole mess with the virus already started, the insurance would be useless.

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I am trying to understand the situations between the Westerdam and the Diamond Princess.

Diamond Princess had COVID-19 that spread like wildfire during their "quarantine."

Only one Westerdam passenger has tested positive, and that was in Malaysia.

The simple explanation is that  either Holland America deserves far more credit than is being given, or the contagious virus was not onboard the Westerdam.  The truth may be more complex.

Barbara

 

(P.S. My heart is still questioning the double diagnosis in Malaysia.  It is certainly possible, but it does not fit my train of thought.  Hopefully the lady and her husband [pneumonia] are doing well in the hospital there.

And I am impressed that HAL President Orlando Ashford has been in Cambodia to talk with people and to juggle the changing situations.

The world needs to know so much more about this new virus.  The sooner the better.  Meanwhile, many people should self-quarantine, and many more should wear masks.)

Edited by bcummin
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9 minutes ago, bcummin said:

I am trying to understand the situations between the Westerdam and the Diamond Princess.

Diamond Princess had COVID-19 that spread like wildfire during their "quarantine."

Only one Westerdam passenger has tested positive, and that was in Malaysia.

The simple explanation is that  either Holland America deserves far more credit than is being given, or the contagious virus was not onboard the Westerdam.  But the truth may be more complex.

Barbara

 

(P.S. My heart is still questioning the diagnosis in Malaysia.

And my heart is thankful that HAL President Orlando Ashford has been in Cambodia)

I do agree the Malaysia case of the virus doesn’t make a lot of sense with how spreadable this is . 

 

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1 hour ago, a.maksimova said:

Our cruise was supposed to be on February, 29. Their e-mail refusing any reimbursement was a total shock for me, as well for my travel agent. I am still hoping it was some kind of a mistake. HAL promised to contact me. Didn’t hear from them yet...

 

Thank you!

Since we had bought our tickets to Japan when this whole mess with the virus already started, the insurance would be useless.p

 

On HALs website it states that the February 29 is cancelled and there will be full refunds.    They said that passengers were notified.  I would Call your TA again.  

EEFF3858-F82C-4506-8C2C-E40EE2019A66.png

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34 minutes ago, bennybear said:

 

On HALs website it states that the February 29 is cancelled and there will be full refunds.    They said that passengers were notified.  I would Call your TA again.  

EEFF3858-F82C-4506-8C2C-E40EE2019A66.png

This is exactly why I was so shocked! I contact my travel agent twice a day. I saw the e-mail from Hal myself. Quote 
“We appreciate you contacting us regarding a refund of your clients’ change fees, though we do have to inform you that we are not reimbursing the change fees for this voyage“.

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The issue of refunds is confusing.  On the roll calls, many say they have already seen money back on credit cards.  We have a small refund due, but it has not shown up yet.  Princess Cruises, also owned by Carnival, apparently put out this statement (according to Princess threads):   

 

"February 15, 2020 at 10:40PM PT

Updated Cancellation Policy

Guests booked on an Asia cancelled cruise, and have cancelled their booking on or after January 20, 2020, will receive details on a compensation package in the coming weeks."

 

 

This makes me wonder if HAL is considering something similar, figuring a compensation package for all Asia cancelled cruises, many of which are still to be announced.  HAL isn't the most organized organization at sea, but maybe things will come together in time.

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8 minutes ago, ilovhywd said:

Just received cancellation letter for April 25 cruise on the Westerdam.  Mixed emotions .....

I knew it was coming, but like you, my emotions are mixed.  I am sad, though I know that cancelling was the only real option.  I was hoping that they would announce a new cruise in it's place that we could go on, but that didn't happen.

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In the past hour we received an e-mail from HAL that our 4/11 thirty day cruise from Yokohama to Vancouver has been cancelled.  This was no surprise but its nice to have something official.  The long e-mail said that HAL was refunding the cruise fare and also air booked through HAL.  They also have offered a credit against a future cruise booking equal to 25 percent of the cruise fare payed for the cancelled cruise.  To get that credit one would have to book another HAL cruise within a year.  Since our cruise included the repo voyage back to Vancouver this seems to mean that HAL has finally cancelled all the Westy's Asian cruises for this Spring.

 

There was no mention about the immediate plans of the Westy.

 

Hank

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I think they sometimes have a problem with left hand and right hand coordination at HAL. I was on the February 29 cruise cancelled several days ago, but yesterday I received an email admonishing me to enter my flight information for the cruise!

Edited by Mike B Landlubber
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