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Seabiscuit68

French Polynesia COVID 19 Port Closures

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We're booked on Ponant Le Soleal Mar 20th Tahiti to Fiji cruise.  Due to COVID 19, 5 (Aitutaki, Palmerston, Apia, Matu Utu and  Alofi Island) of our 9 ports of calls are not permitting entry to cruise ships.  I've sent emails to Ponant but have heard nothing.  What is the likelihood of finding alternate ports?   It seems all islands from Bora Bora to Fiji are closed to cruise ships.  Will be very upset if our 13 day cruise ends end with 7 sea days!!  

 

We sent emails to Ponant but have not heard anything back.  There is a Paul Gauguin leaving Easter Island tomorrow to Tahiti.  Will be watching to see their itinerary changes. 

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16 hours ago, Seabiscuit68 said:

We're booked on Ponant Le Soleal Mar 20th Tahiti to Fiji cruise.  Due to COVID 19, 5 (Aitutaki, Palmerston, Apia, Matu Utu and  Alofi Island) of our 9 ports of calls are not permitting entry to cruise ships.  I've sent emails to Ponant but have heard nothing.  What is the likelihood of finding alternate ports?   It seems all islands from Bora Bora to Fiji are closed to cruise ships.  Will be very upset if our 13 day cruise ends end with 7 sea days!!  

 

We sent emails to Ponant but have not heard anything back.  There is a Paul Gauguin leaving Easter Island tomorrow to Tahiti.  Will be watching to see their itinerary changes. 


We’re booked on the Paul Gauguin “Society Islands, Cook Islands, Tonga & Fiji” cruise that leaves Pape’ete on March 28 & likewise has planned stops throughout French Polynesia in ports that have announced closure to cruise ships.  There WAS a Travel Advisory across the top of their website until today, (when it disappeared from our tablets and laptop!) but we have received nary an email from PG Cruises.  There hasn’t been one word from them about the fact that:

1. Several ports are now closed to cruise ships
2. They (PGC) now require a health questionnaire filled out and brought to embarkation.

Or even...

3. That FP is requiring a health certificate for boarding a plane to fly to the Pape’ete for    
           embarkation! 
 

I called Paul Gauguin Cruises this morning when the missing Travel Advisory meant I couldn’t even download their (required) Questionnaire.  The agent implied that they, and they alone, were responsible for French Polynesia extending the required date for the medical certificate to March 9 (from March 2) and that they were “working with the governments” of the various islands that have closed their ports to cruise ships.  The implication, of course, being . . . .  There was no answer to my query about plans - or cancellation/refunds - in the event that a significant number of ports did not agree to allow the ship to call.

 

Of note, Viking leads the industry with an extremely generous cancellation policy (right up to 24 hours before embarkation & for cruises booked until 4/30/2020) with two years to use vouchers.....and were the first to announce that they were doing so.  We have received an email for every cruise we have booked. Regent’s “Reassurance” is less generous (30 days before embarking and vouchers good for one year) but they’re out there with something. From Paul Gauguin, who tout themselves as “World’s Best”, nothing.

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5 hours ago, Candlesmith said:

. Regent’s “Reassurance” is less generous (30 days before embarking and vouchers good for one year) but they’re out there with something. From Paul Gauguin, who tout themselves as “World’s Best”, nothing.

Regent is now 48 hours before sailing, and good through 2022 (but must be booked within one year).

 

If you are flying Air Tahiti Nui, check the coronavirus notice on their website for info on the medical certificate to fly to Papeete--essentially you just need to complete a form and hand it to them, unless you've been in one the affected areas in the past 30 days.

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I always heard positive things about PG.  Unfortunately it seems Ponant's acquisition of PG has negatively impacted the company.

 

Ponant lack of action is astounding!!!  I called them yesterday to clarify their COIV-19 cancellation policy and it only relates to the countries you mention above.  They had the gall to tell me that nothing has changed on my March 20th cruise. I pointed out that the vast majority of ports on our itinerary are closed.  She had no response other than things are fluid.

 

 I also pointed out that they are one of the few cruise companies that have not softened their cancellation policies (every other cruise line that we have sailed with previously Crystal, Windstar, Seabourn, Silversea have). 

 

It is like they are not even watching the news.  Canada's chief public health officer is advising Canadians to avoid cruises.   The CDC is saying the same thing for individuals over 60.  Everyone needs to decide for themselves based on their health and risk, but Ponant should not be forcing us by refusing to let us postpone the cruise.   

 

 

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On 3/6/2020 at 6:38 PM, Seabiscuit68 said:

 It seems all islands from Bora Bora to Fiji are closed to cruise ships. 

Have you heard that Bora Bora is also closed to cruise ships?

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4 minutes ago, Seabiscuit68 said:

Bora Bora is still open.  Cook Islands, Samoa and Wallis & Futuna are closed.

 

Thanks very much 🙂

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On 3/7/2020 at 3:01 PM, Candlesmith said:


We’re booked on the Paul Gauguin “Society Islands, Cook Islands, Tonga & Fiji” cruise that leaves Pape’ete on March 28 & likewise has planned stops throughout French Polynesia in ports that have announced closure to cruise ships.  There WAS a Travel Advisory across the top of their website until today, (when it disappeared from our tablets and laptop!) but we have received nary an email from PG Cruises.  There hasn’t been one word from them about the fact that:

1. Several ports are now closed to cruise ships
2. They (PGC) now require a health questionnaire filled out and brought to embarkation.

Or even...

3. That FP is requiring a health certificate for boarding a plane to fly to the Pape’ete for    
           embarkation! 
 

I called Paul Gauguin Cruises this morning when the missing Travel Advisory meant I couldn’t even download their (required) Questionnaire.  The agent implied that they, and they alone, were responsible for French Polynesia extending the required date for the medical certificate to March 9 (from March 2) and that they were “working with the governments” of the various islands that have closed their ports to cruise ships.  The implication, of course, being . . . .  There was no answer to my query about plans - or cancellation/refunds - in the event that a significant number of ports did not agree to allow the ship to call.

 

Of note, Viking leads the industry with an extremely generous cancellation policy (right up to 24 hours before embarkation & for cruises booked until 4/30/2020) with two years to use vouchers.....and were the first to announce that they were doing so.  We have received an email for every cruise we have booked. Regent’s “Reassurance” is less generous (30 days before embarking and vouchers good for one year) but they’re out there with something. From Paul Gauguin, who tout themselves as “World’s Best”, nothing.

Candle Smith we are also on the march 28 sailing - we have a messenger group of you would like to join. Give me your FB name 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, cruisin' honeys said:

Candle Smith we are also on the march 28 sailing - we have a messenger group of you would like to join. Give me your FB name 

Great; I’d love to!  I’m Corky L. Smith on Fb. (American Flag and sunset as Profile photos). We will be two couples traveling.

Edited by Candlesmith
Capitalization

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Just a reminder to anyone cruising

On 3/8/2020 at 6:34 PM, Candlesmith said:

Great; I’d love to!  I’m Corky L. Smith on Fb. (American Flag and sunset as Profile photos). We will be two couples traveling.

Just an FYI for anyone who is cruising to Tahiti in the next little while. There are a lot of rumors on Cruise Critic about Tahiti. Be sure you ask whoever is providing information to give a source. I've gotten my panties in a bunch over some things that ended up being inaccurate. It's an evolving situation and new info needs to be examined closely.                                                    

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55 minutes ago, Petoonya said:

Just an FYI for anyone who is cruising to Tahiti in the next little while. There are a lot of rumors on Cruise Critic about Tahiti. Be sure you ask whoever is providing information to give a source.


Thank you for your concern, and advice, Petoonya. Everyone on the referenced site has been relying on Statements from the various governments for information, generally providing the link or copying it in its entirety.

 

The problem arises from trying to get any facts about - and definitely from - Paul Gauguin/Ponant.  They have proved amazingly resistant to disseminating any information whatsoever about what adaptations will be made to itineraries in view of the ports that are denying entry to cruise ships (e.g. Cook Is., Tonga, Samoa, others) and have also failed to announce whether they plan to allow cancellations or relax cancellation policies.  
 

It has been a nerve wracking week for passengers booked on Ponant or Paul Gauguin . . . especially those sailing soon . . . to sit around, with NO COMMUNICATION watching every other cruise company reach out to their clientele.  There is a lot of anger &  bitterness and this has been a huge HR faux pas on the part of Ponant (which owns Paul Gauguin).

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Candlesmith said:


Thank you for your concern, and advice, Petoonya. Everyone on the referenced site has been relying on Statements from the various governments for information, generally providing the link or copying it in its entirety.

 

The problem arises from trying to get any facts about - and definitely from - Paul Gauguin/Ponant.  They have proved amazingly resistant to disseminating any information whatsoever about what adaptations will be made to itineraries in view of the ports that are denying entry to cruise ships (e.g. Cook Is., Tonga, Samoa, others) and have also failed to announce whether they plan to allow cancellations or relax cancellation policies.  
 

It has been a nerve wracking week for passengers booked on Ponant or Paul Gauguin . . . especially those sailing soon . . . to sit around, with NO COMMUNICATION watching every other cruise company reach out to their clientele.  There is a lot of anger &  bitterness and this has been a huge HR faux pas on the part of Ponant (which owns Paul Gauguin).

 

I hope I can help you. I've been communicating with Tahitian Big Kahuna who is a bit of an authority on this board. He's currently on PG and leading a large group. So if you think he can hopefully answer some of your questions I can email him. His answers have been brief as I'm sure he's very busy. Their schedule has been modified but it looks great. They missed Rarotonga and Aitutaki. New itinerary is 2 nites Moorea, 2 nites Bora Bora, Huahine, Tahaa, Raiatea, Rangiroa and Fakarava with one sea day.

Don't know what your itinerary is but so far Tahiti is open if that helps. I can't share TBK's email without his say so obviously.

But happy to relay messages if you think he could help. Other ports outside of Tahiti I don't know about but I can verify most things Tahiti.

 

The reason I wrote the above post is because for the last few days I've been close to cancelling because of some of the posts I was looking it. And turned out they were untrue.

 

Oceania has been good about communication as has been my travel agent sorry to say. I hope that soon PG wisens up and appraises the situation for you. Best wishes. It's got to get better.

Edited by Petoonya

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20 hours ago, Petoonya said:

Just a reminder to anyone cruising

Just an FYI for anyone who is cruising to Tahiti in the next little while. There are a lot of rumors on Cruise Critic about Tahiti. Be sure you ask whoever is providing information to give a source. I've gotten my panties in a bunch over some things that ended up being inaccurate. It's an evolving situation and new info needs to be examined closely.                                                    

Hi are you on one of the upcoming cruise? we are on the march 28 sailing.

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1 minute ago, cruisin' honeys said:

Hi are you on one of the upcoming cruise? we are on the march 28 sailing.

Yes,

I'm on the April 14 Tahiti-Hawaii-SF portion. Hoping we all get to go!

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Petoonya said:

Yes,

I'm on the April 14 Tahiti-Hawaii-SF portion. Hoping we all get to go!

hmm on Paul Gauguin? April is the Fiji to Bali itinerary?

oh! I see , you are on Oceania - sorry, we have a FB messenger group for the PG upcoming sailings, If you are just going to Hawaii and FP you will be fine.  We have port closures on our itinerary that are a concern.

Edited by cruisin' honeys

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, cruisin' honeys said:

hmm on Paul Gauguin? April is the Fiji to Bali itinerary?

oh! I see , you are on Oceania - sorry, we have a FB messenger group for the PG upcoming sailings, If you are just going to Hawaii and FP you will be fine.  We have port closures on our itinerary that are a concern.

 

Sorry....yes on Oceania Regatta. Should have read the whole thread to see that many of you are on 3/28 PG. FP seems to be getting stickier every few days. They keep saying they are virus-free but how long will that last with flights daily with potential carriers? I'm in the camp that thinks it's overblown, yet giving much respect to the other camp, as it includes all six of my adult children.

 

Hawaii is talking about closing up to cruise ships altogether, so we're up against some stiff winds. We've been going to Hawaii twice a year for many years so ordinarily wouldn't bother me to miss it. But 18 sea days are more than my husband could take. So like everyone else we're playing it by ear and hoping for the best.

 

I've been in touch with Tahitian Big Kahuna who is on PG right now with a big group. If anyone has any questions for him I'm happy to pass them along. No Rarotonga or Aitutaki but added ports and nights in FP for them.

 

I read on the Oceania board that a fellow cruiser embarked on a 1200 passenger Oceania ship with only 400 people aboard today. Our 600 passenger Regatta 4/14 was nearly sold out a month ago and so far looks half full- bound to get worse. This is so damn sad....who would have imagined something like this a year ago?

 

Very best to you Cruisin' Honeys. With a name like that you must be a very lovable honey 😍

Nancy

 

 

Edited by Petoonya

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Does anyone know/understand how French Polynesia is for cruise ships coming from CA? People on my roll call seem to think we won't be able to go to Bora Bora because it is supposed to be our first stop and we now need to check in in Papeete before heading there. If we can change the order of our itinerary, I understood we would be fine. Maybe that is harder than I understand. Also, do we have to have a dr. certificate that we are healthy within the previous 5 days? That would be impossible. If anyone can help with my questions I would appreciate it. 

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yes this is true. I believe it is on the FP govt website, all ships must begin in PPT. Also yes, you need a doctors note dated no more that 5 days when you get on the plane to FP, but if you are sailing from CA I don't know how that works, maybe a doctor on board. BTW FP has its first case of coronavirus today.

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12 minutes ago, cruisin' honeys said:

BTW FP has its first case of coronavirus today.

 

Where did you hear/see this?  And on what island?

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3 minutes ago, vlthom said:

 

Where did you hear/see this?  And on what island?

French Polynesia has announced the first case of Covid-19 in Tahiti, the first confirmed case of the coronavirus across the Pacific Islands.

President Edouard Fritch, said that French Polynesian politician Maina Sage had been confirmed with the virus after returning from Paris on 7 March. Sage is resting at home in self-isolation in Papeete.

French Polynesia, which comprises more than 100 islands, the largest of which is Tahiti, is a French overseas collectivity. Sage is French Polynesia’s representative in the French National Assembly.

During her time in Paris, Sage served on a National Assembly commission with France’s culture minister Franck Riester, who has also been confined in France after contracting Covid-19.

Announcing the first confirmed case of the coronavirus in Tahiti, President Fritch reassured people about government plans for monitoring, testing and isolation. He stated, however: “I invite the population to avoid travel outside the country.”

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This in from one of the NCL Roll calls

 

 

This Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) described the Covid-19 epidemic as a global pandemic.

A first case of coronavirus is confirmed in French Polynesia.

French Polynesia is now in phase 1, with the activation of the ORSEC device and the HC Crisis PC, to curb the introduction of the virus into the territory.

It is essential to preserve all the resources of the Polynesian health system for the treatment on land of confirmed cases, and in dedicated hospital structures on the islands. The transport of passengers by cruise ship to French Polynesia, and in particular remote archipelagos, must therefore be subject to specific measures.

The authorities of the State and of French Polynesia have therefore decided to suspend cruise stopovers in French Polynesia. This decision takes effect immediately until April 11, 2020. This period may be reassessed or even renewed depending on the international situation.

Cruise ships currently sailing to the islands of French Polynesia must divert to the nearest international port of their choice.

The vessels at the head of the line currently present in territorial waters must reach the Port of Papeete without delay, where they will be authorized to disembark their passengers, to allow their repatriation to their respective countries. The ship's health check should bee forwarded to the authorities before docking.

On the other hand, no new passenger will be authorized to embark on one of these ships.

The technical details of the landing operations at Papeete will be communicated shortly by the shipping agents to their respective companies and by the Tahiti Cruise Club.

The methods of repatriation and accommodation of passengers will be coordinated with the Ministry of Tourism in conjunction with the airlines and hotel groups present in Tahiti.

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Reports are also that the Jewel has turned back to Figi 

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