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Catlover54

LIVE From the Seabourn Encore with PHOTOs, Sydney-Sydney 3/8-3/22/20

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Paulchili,  SB announced it is “voluntarily pausing  global operations for 30 days starting March 14 . . .. and that current voyages that are underway will end by March 22.” The word “voluntarily” is not defined, I.e., if it is due to liability and common sense concerns, or government pressure.

 


 

I am hoping the language “by March 22” means we will be able to complete our cruise, ( by the skin of our teeth),  which ends March 22, rather than abort it now, as long as Australian ports let us in. We will know soon.

 

“SEATTLE, March 13, 2020  Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury travel experience, announced that it will voluntarily pause global operations of its five cruise ships for 30 days, starting March 14. The decision is a voluntary response to the unpredictable circumstances evolving from the global spread of COVID-19 and in an abundance of caution.

“In this unprecedented situation, we feel a pause is necessary,” said Rick Meadows, president of Seabourn. “Through this action, it is our absolute intention to convey to our guests and the travel advisor community that we have the health and safety of all who travel with us as a top priority. Our pause should also reassure the hundreds of destinations we visit each year that we want to be responsible in our operations as we bring travelers into their communities each time we visit.” 

Current voyages that are underway will end by March 22. Seabourn will be communicating these changes with all booked guests and their travel advisors.”

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2 hours ago, artlee said:

Catlover, I am loving your report and especially pictures. Somehow my IPhone shots fall short of yours!! lol

Enjoy your cruise!!

art

 


Artlee, I am glad you and others are enjoying the pictures.

Most of the low light shots, like the kangaroos in the quite dark wildlife sanctuary,  are with an  iPhone 11 pro.

DH’s main camera is a NikonD500.

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Thecat123 and other Kiwis on board:  it looks like you might  have to self-isolate for 14 days upon your return to New Zealand from a cruise ship, per government order, unless it only means if you actually port in NZ on your way back.

 

This is on top of SB’s order for everyone having to leave the Encore 3/22 in Sydney even if booked further.
 

https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/cruise-ships-banned-all-overseas-arrivals-self-isolate

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4 hours ago, Catlover54 said:

Thecat123 and other Kiwis on board:  it looks like you might  have to self-isolate for 14 days upon your return to New Zealand from a cruise ship, per government order, unless it only means if you actually port in NZ on your way back.

Nothing to do with coming off a cruise ship or porting, anyone coming from overseas by any means is required to self-isolate for 2 weeks. 

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And the ban on cruise ships in NZ extends until the end of June. So this means Seabourn cannot operate the revised leg of the Sojourn world cruise from Auckland on April 28. Will they now revert back to the original embarkation port of Sydney?

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@Chairsin I think everyone needs to give this a few moments to get sorted out. I believe the world cruise, such as it was, is over. Perhaps some passengers will go home and come back, but I'd guess most probably won't. Seabourn has to figure out revised spring into summer itineraries, with much uncertainty about what areas they will or won't be able to sail to -- and how to get their ships, crews and supplies in proper places to begin the reboot of their entire operation. (And keep in mind that every other cruise line, with 100+ ships in limbo, is working on the same logistical issues, competing for the same berths, port loading facilities, local excursion operators, etc.) I think it's understandable that it will take a little while for anyone to get clarity about exactly how/when/where each ship will come back online. For passengers scheduled to cruise in mid-April and May, the uncertainty about whether they will be able to cruise, and if so, on what itinerary, and requiring what flights, is upsetting -- but there's no alternative but to wait a bit to see what plans Seabourn comes up with. And then, whether the progress of the virus as well as the local politics around the globe, allow those revised plans to go into effect.

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Cruiseej, very well stated. So much involved behind the scenes to schedule a cruise and make it happen.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Just saw on TV 2.40 PM aussie ban cruise ships missed when this is going to happen

Wonder if we can leave at Adelaide

Saw about having to stay home for !4 days. Who going to get our cat also shelves empty of food

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I think the ban applies to cruise ships from foreign waters.

I might be wrong, but that’s what I understand and would make sense. Mind you by the time I finish this post things may have changed again.

 

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We spent Saturday March 14, DAY 7, off the coast of Portland, unable  to dock due to winds that were 43 knots, when  only 25 knots or less are allowed for ships to dock.

 

One of the young Ventures crew pinch-hit on this unplanned sea day and gave a deliberately passionate and inflammatory talk about plastics he said up front would upset people.  He said he hoped the distress would inspire the guests in the audience to change their behaviour going forward. Based on audience reactions (including when he quoted Greta) I am not sure he succeeded, perhaps because the talk  seemed more appropriate for shocking 6th graders than for a SB audience already educated about plastics concerns ( e.g., see the SB thread about the water bottle controversy).  But he tried.

 

We then had a pleasant, refreshing culinary change for lunch at Sushi, the small Japanese restaurant ( no extra fee), which was not sushi ( sushi is at dinner). Offerings at lunch are bento box style chicken teriyaki, salmon ( excellent), vegetable, or dumplings, with sides of salad, miso soup, rice, and Japanese cucumber, plus either green tea ice cream or lemon sorbet. We had complimentary cold sake and available white wine to go with our meal, served by efficient Japanese waitresses. All food except the green tea ice cream was excellent and the venue was quite popular and crowded, so you need to come early on a sea day.

The smaller ships do not have this Japanese food venue.

 

A talk about “venom” followed, and no, it was not about CC posters who make direct or indirect political comments on the forums.  I don’t usually sit still for a long series of pictures that include snakes, but there was a lot of interesting material presented by a good speaker, so I just practiced  self-hypnosis and averting my gaze when the speaker showed the snakes.   So as not to have nightmares, I pretended a picture of a spitting cobra was really that of a fluffy purring adorable kitten, and it worked about as well as you can expect.

 

Dinner in MDR was a “chef’s menu”, presented on a paper  scroll which stayed on the table the whole evening.  We basically had a special entree choice between a big piece of fish or a big piece of lamb, preceded by a bland cauliflower soup and an excellent soft shell crab .  I liked the  fatty lamb, DH did not, but that did not stop him from helping me polish off most of a very nice bottle of wine we knew to order due to the prior day’s wine tasting.  The assistant sommelier Daniel now on board has been very helpful and enthusiastic.

 

My very nice chocolate mousse dessert:

 

BE2ADCA8-1995-4B47-8E33-2BE06B545968.thumb.jpeg.ec71299afa43956b33379451ecbf605e.jpeg

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DAY 8, March 15, anchored off Kangaroo Island and again not getting off!

 

We had a full day of animal viewing scheduled but once again, weather with waves and wind too intense to allow tendering stood in our way.The crew tried to check out alternatives for several hours, but still deemed the conditions not safe.

 

So this is the third port on this cruise that has been cancelled due to weather, and not due to Coronavirus ( so far).  This is of course much better than having our cruise completely cancelled, as some unhappy people on misc. cruise lines are having to deal with.

The captain said he tried to get us into Adelaide, our next port, sooner so we could have an overnight, but there was just no room.  Thus, we will remain anchored here until ready to sail for our originally scheduled morning Adelaide arrival.  DH, not used to so much down time,  is back to working online.  He is getting restless, however, as he is keen to get on land to take more pictures, instead of just looking at pictures of various Australian marsupials that were shown in another short-notice enrichment talk (no more snake fangs or plastic pieces in bird intestines). But on the bright side, we did learn that kangaroos have three vaginas and how each of them works, and why wombat poo is cube-shaped, which not everyone has an opportunity to do, so life is good, and so far I rate the cruise a solid 4 out of 5.

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1 hour ago, Joc123 said:

I think the ban applies to cruise ships from foreign waters.

I might be wrong, but that’s what I understand and would make sense. Mind you by the time I finish this post things may have changed again.

 


 

This announcement has some details but also has ambiguity — will SB Encore be considered a ship from “foreign” waters?  How far back will it go?

 

https://www.rte.ie/news/2020/0315/1123334-coronavirus-world/

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Earlier this evening the captain announced “good news” that the new Australian cruise ship decision about “foreign” waters ships will not preclude us from docking in Australia ( Adelaide, tomorrow), because the cruise started in Sydney, Australia, not foreign waters ( and we have not cruised to foreign countries, it has all been in Australia) . He said he will keep us posted on further developments. 
So far we have had no indication we will not be able to continue with our planned excursions for corona reasons, and then on to the end of the cruise in Sydney, absent new developments.  I hope the captain is correct.

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Welcome to Adelaide (if you make it 😜)

I do hope you are made to feel welcome and enjoy our city - the weather will be perfect for sightseeing.

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Seabourn is ending this cruise in Adelaide.  Captain let us know this morning of this.  So now folks are scrambling to find a way home.  Thankfully we booked flights and post cruise package through Seabourn so they are going to sort it out for us.  Saw lots of passengers leaving the ship this morning.  Apparently a number of folks decided yesterday to leave the ship and fly home today.

 

wild times!

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Actually many left the ship to go on excursions which were amazingly still running, us included. But we are coming back.

This was not announced until fifteen minutes or so after the termination was announced and DH had to scramble to get ready again

 

We also booked SB air so will see how they handle the rebooking!

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Catlover54 said:

Actually many left the ship to go on excursions which were amazingly still running, us included. But we are coming back.

This was not announced until fifteen minutes or so after the termination was announced and DH had to scramble to get ready again

 

We also booked SB air so will see how they handle the rebooking!

 

 

I assume that there will be no self-isolation for you and others disembarking. In Adelaide?

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No, we can fly home to the U. S. if we can get a flight, apparently because we are not just now  “ arriving” in Australia, i.e., have already been here In australia while on the cruise ( and several days before) as all ports have been Australia, no foreign ports. 
At least that is how personnel explained it yesterday  and why they let excursions run and with no temp taking or swabs. 
Anything can change at any time, however, as the logic is not always clear.

 

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A fabulous report , very disappointed your servers aren't up to scratch . We were last on the Encore Feb 2019 and we found the better servers and would naturally gravitate towards them , as an example we had two servers Miguel and Diamoind who knew my drink orders and would ask me if i wanted  Green Tea ( Heineken) or Golden Tea ( Rusty Nail) . They worked in different bars and also the Theatre so getting what i wanted was never an issue . Similarly we tended to try and get into Frederics section in the MDR as he knew our quirks and was very intuitive , so much so my wife would let him order for her based on his recommendations .  Miguel and myself in the photo below .  

20181125_165141.jpg

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Kowhairbob, I don’t think I saw Miguel on the ship, but good to know for the future ( assuming there will be one)!
 

AMediator, I hope your parents make it home o.k.

SB Flight-ease rebooked our flights back to U.S. at what looked like good times, ( leaving the Adelaide airport early afternoon) and we were finally set up to use the SB group transport to the airport at 9 ( there was a long line and confusion at SB Square and on the guest services line, on multiple fronts,  we received a lot of misinformation). But when I looked online to check in with Qantas and get seats  I saw the airline had meanwhile cancelled those rebooked flights and rerouted us, such that we needed to be at the Adelaide airport for a flight before 10 am!  SB did not tell us, so the ship still sent a disembarkation notice as if we would be on the 9am bus and our flights were on — though cancelled and we had to be there much earlier! So I am glad I saw it on my own before going to bed and oversleeping the flight.
We are sitting at the Adelaide airport now, the TV screen showing video of Kangaroo Island, which is sadly all we will see of it in the near future.

 

We will be flying to Brisbane and then have an eight hour layover before our long flight to the U.S., not great after getting up at 5am,  but at least we will get home ( hopefully) before airline travel is totally shut down.

 

Not many people are at the airport, and only  a few are in masks.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Catlover54 said:

SB Flight-ease rebooked our flights back to U.S. at what looked like good times, ( leaving the Adelaide airport early afternoon) and we were finally set up to use the SB group transport to the airport at 9 ( there was a long line and confusion at SB Square and on the guest services line, on multiple fronts,  we received a lot of misinformation). But when I looked online to check in with Qantas and get seats  I saw the airline had meanwhile cancelled those rebooked flights and rerouted us, such that we needed to be at the Adelaide airport for a flight before 10 am!  SB did not tell us, so the ship still sent a disembarkation notice as if we would be on the 9am bus and our flights were on — though cancelled and we had to be there much earlier! So I am glad I saw it on my own before going to bed and oversleeping the flight.

 

Wow Catlover.  Good catch on the changed flights!  I gotta wonder if SB FlightEase would have discovered it and advised you before it was too late.  And if not, then what?  Best wishes for a safe and uneventful journey home.

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45 minutes ago, Catlover54 said:

We will be flying to Brisbane and then have an eight hour layover before our long flight to the U.S

Is it on the recently opened Qantas route BNE - SFO? If so, that was the flight we were to take from SFO to SYD (via BNE) to board your 3/8 cruise before we cancelled.

Safe travels home.

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