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F-J's Magical Mystery Tour of Asia: a prologue


Flamin_June
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Hi Flaming June

Sorry you’ve had such a roller coaster ride.  We haven’t been notified of another change yet. I actually liked the new itinerary and for various reasons would be very happy to never see Yangon again. But.    We’ll wait and see....

One good thing - after  talking to Seabourn and our TA we are still having our stay in lovely Singapore and then flying out from there to Colombo on the 13th.

D

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 So glad F­_J you started a normal thread here, versus the “light my hair on fire” one. In keeping with your positive start:

 

We are on Sojourn, Perth – Auckland formerly Singapore – Sydney. A tropical itinerary now an autumn one.  We have to say, notwithstanding Seabourn will only give a FCC for the full amount of cruise fare versus a refund, they have for us handled the change to our entire satisfaction.

 

For those concerned about the 12 month use it or lose it approach, Seabourn did indicate they would be flexible with this.

 

This is the 2nd time we have used Flight Ease and I have to say in a situation like this … priceless. Whole new flight itinerary/no change in class with no additional cost to us. Not dealing with insurance claims and last minute bookings eliminated the stress factor.

 

We figure our not too shabby 25% FCC will go to a SE Asia itinerary next time.

 

Hope this helps a little with your go, no go decisions.  I realize the Ovation and Encore itineraries are quite different and those with independent travel face more challenges. I hope your communication with Seabourn has been as positive as we have had.

I also don’t think Singapore should have been cancelled. For Sojourn it had to be as the final segment Auckland - San Francisco would be impacted.

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It's on the website , if you look at Ovation cruises, the jouney map shows Colombo to Yangon to Hambantota to Cochin, Mumbai, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas and Dubai.Rather more interesting, varied and balanced with more sea days.Like I said - if this had been offered Sunday morning I would have hapilly taken it. Now its too late.

Maybe it's an earlier itinerary change that was abandoned?

Who knows?

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Thanks Cantara

I have to say Seabourn's response to our cancellation request was very good, better than I expected.

We are still friends.

For those interested in some historical context and perspective, there is a very intersting article in Wikipedia about the last official pandemic we had in 2009. I don't think I was aware there was a pandemic in 2009 ( mind you, 2009 was a very personally intense year, so I might have missed it). Just google 2009 pandemic. There is also a CDC page about it that will come up.

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Just now, Cantara24 said:

Maybe that cross the pacific segment, your original thought, would work? Plants will survive!! Talk to A!!

We intend to put our home on the market in April - may be moving and starting a whole new garden in May! I'd love to do a transpacific, but looks like 2021 is sold out.

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2 hours ago, Flamin_June said:

I have to say Seabourn's response to our cancellation request was very good, better than I expected.


so was ours better than I expected. Seabourn were very accommodating to everything I suggested. Changes just had to be approved but that seemed like a formality as most of what we wanted was not too outrageous. 

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11 minutes ago, ab21au said:


so was ours better than I expected. Seabourn were very accommodating to everything I suggested. Changes just had to be approved but that seemed like a formality as most of what we wanted was not too outrageous. 

 

Can I ask what, in general terms, you were asking for?  eg credit for your cancelled cruise applied to an existing future booking? on board credit?

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2 hours ago, cruising kirby said:

 

Can I ask what, in general terms, you were asking for?  eg credit for your cancelled cruise applied to an existing future booking? on board credit?

My wife works for Dr's and there is no way we could have gone to HK. Before SB cancelled our cruise we already had cancelled and received 100% cruise credit, hotel funds and excursions had already been refunded.  All we are out of pocket is an AMEX credit of $450 which AMEX gave us when airfares were booked through AMEX travel. We are hopefully now doing a cruise in the Mediterranean (virus depending) which we wanted to do at some stage anyway. Even the Travel Insurance was refunded (not by SB).

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6 hours ago, Flamin_June said:

It's on the website , if you look at Ovation cruises, the jouney map shows Colombo to Yangon to Hambantota to Cochin, Mumbai, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas and Dubai.Rather more interesting, varied and balanced with more sea days.Like I said - if this had been offered Sunday morning I would have hapilly taken it. Now its too late.

Maybe it's an earlier itinerary change that was abandoned?

Who knows?

I think "who knows?" is the best response. The site says one thing, well actually it shows one thing on the map, the list still says something completely different, the mails from Seabourn seem to say something different again and there's still 3 weeks to go. Honestly at this point you're probably better doing what you did and cancel than endure weeks more daily changes as the situation develops. 

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25 minutes ago, ab21au said:

My wife works for Dr's and there is no way we could have gone to HK. Before SB cancelled our cruise we already had cancelled and received 100% cruise credit, hotel funds and excursions had already been refunded.  All we are out of pocket is an AMEX credit of $450 which AMEX gave us when airfares were booked through AMEX travel. We are hopefully now doing a cruise in the Mediterranean (virus depending) which we wanted to do at some stage anyway. Even the Travel Insurance was refunded (not by SB).

That's a very good outcome under the circumstances.

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Yes, who knows???

 

the 42 day version is still showing the original itinerary.

 

It’s just wait and see for us We have plans in and afterAthens so as long as we get there It’ll be a positive result!

 

D

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7 hours ago, Flamin_June said:

We intend to put our home on the market in April - may be moving and starting a whole new garden in May! I'd love to do a transpacific, but looks like 2021 is sold out.

 

Flamin June - I’m sure you have done the sensible thing and I’m impressed by Seabourn’s response to this mess.  Personally I wouldn’t be going anywhere right now, especially not on a cruise ship.  Travel disruption is a near certainty and while the chances of catching this virus are still slim it’s the possibility of a two-week quarantine that puts me off. That said, we do quite fancy the 5 April Ovation sailing from Dubai to Athens and will wait and see.

 

As keen gardeners, I can quite understand your reluctance to leave your plants in the spring.  However, they will survive.  Personally I’m a bit disheartened right now as we have finally succumbed to the dreaded box blight, the coronavirus of the plant world.  At least we now have something in common with Prince Charles, Sir Roy Strong and Monty Don.  I’m trying to find a way of turning a catastrophe into an opportunity.  The ground-planted box will be cut right down; the potted box will be quarantined . . . mmm, where have I heard that before?

 

Finally, about your plans for a trans-Pacific on Seabourn.  This is an area I’ve been to many times, but always on expedition ships. If you want to enjoy the luxury of a Seabourn ship, the balmy weather, have lots of sea days, drop in on hectic cities like Port Vila and Suva and Disneyfied Bora Bora, then go ahead with Seabourn.  But if you want to see the real South Pacific, as Adela Quested might have said, then a big Seabourn ship is definitely not the way to go.  Find an expedition ship like Island Sky, Silver Explorer, L’Austral or Hanseatic Nature which all have stunning itineraries to amazingly remote places, landing you on zodiacs to far-flung communities still living a fairly traditional South Seas life plus dazzling atolls, world-class beaches, pristine coral reefs . . . that’s the Pacific I know and love.

 

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Thanks Fletcher

we have some box in our small front garden. I didn’t know there was a box blight epidemic going round - I hesitate to say ours is ok at the moment as it will probably the succumb before the day is out.

We had a taste of the Pacific you describe on Sojourn In late 2018. She did manage to call on some small remote places, and there were a number of Zodiac landings on deserted pristine beaches with magnificent coral and some very pretty fishes. One Zodiac trip back to the ship we had a couple of dolphins racing and leaping alongside us, no more than 20 yards away.

I started a blog then, but soon abandoned it as there was never any time to sit and write the thing. 
Hmmm.... I could post some retrospective photos, though they would not be relevant now,  although vicarious cruising may soon be the only thing on offer for all of us before too long.

Actually the photos aren’t great either as I was mostly too engrossed in the experience to reach for the camera.

I was going to finish this thread, but it seems to be going on for the time being. Could turn into the longest pre-cruise blog on record.

Many thanks to everyone who has offered advice,encouragement, opinions, information and chit-chat so far.

We have looked at some expedition type cruises and they remain on the cards, although we are quite attached to the SB style. There was a lovely looking jaunt around Papua and some of the remoter Indonesian islands, but the timing was all wrong. Australian outfit, don’t remember their name at the mo. 

Edited by Flamin_June
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Flamin_june, my only regret to you cancelling is you not needing to post and therefore me not being able to read your witty, humorous and well written posts any longer. 😀

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(blush) Thanks ab21au!

Though my previous post here was dashed off on the iPad and is not so well written.

I was going to sign off, but might keep this going with some observations about the mopping-up operation.

Fortunately I do not have a great deal of unpacking to do, but I do have a whole load of rather smart new clothes, designed to be worn on tropical evenings, which are unlikely to see much action. At least there is the incentive to try and maintain my new slimmed down waistsize....

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5 hours ago, Fletcher said:

And now it's left the Marina and is sailing up the Straits of Malacca.

Probably making her stately way to Colombo - or perhaps they are taking her out for a 'stroll around the park' to keep everything running smoothly.

 

At home there is a general air of mourning, though the cat seems a bit more cocky now the suitcases have been put away.

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21 minutes ago, Mulberry08 said:

Is there anyone on here still going on the 14th March Ovation from Sri Lanka?

We are still going and was wondering what Pre cruise hotel if any people have booked? Obviously not paying in advance again!!! 

 

We have Transit visas because when arriving on a cruise they are acceptable.  Now because we are arriving in Sri Lanka by plane we have to have Tourist visas. I cannot order them online because it says we already have valid visas. It would be great to arrive at Colombo and not be able to leave the airport!!!! not.

Lots of calls to Seabourn, TA, High commission here and to Sri Lanka.  I have been told to send an email. Stressed now.

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38 minutes ago, oceanviewer21 said:

We have Transit visas because when arriving on a cruise they are acceptable.  Now because we are arriving in Sri Lanka by plane we have to have Tourist visas. I cannot order them online because it says we already have valid visas. It would be great to arrive at Colombo and not be able to leave the airport!!!! not.

Lots of calls to Seabourn, TA, High commission here and to Sri Lanka.  I have been told to send an email. Stressed now.

I keep on having waves of I’m going and I'm Not going!

I'm more worried about getting home if something happens! 
looks like Arabia and Israel are going to have a big problem! 
my heart wants to go but my head is saying you fool!

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