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ALASKA ?????-Why are we NOT hearing from Princess!


cruising deacon
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When it was announced last week that Canada was not allowing any cruise ships until July 1, the whole world knew the news.  I wonder why by now (4 days later) that Princess hasn't said anything about Alaska cruises.  Until now I felt that Princess was trying to keep people informed, staying ahead of the curve, trying to be fair....but now that it impacts me, I have a different feeling.

 

Why in the world would the US give cruise lines a waiver to not have to stop at a foreign port?  If anything, the US would want to keep cruise ships out of the west coast ports too.  I would think that Princess would at least let those of us who have Alaska cruises booked know something ....... anything.  It is the 'unknown' that worries people.  Even in their March 13, 2020 advisory they said "Cruise with Confidence is extended to cruises sailing through July 31, 2020 (previously May 31, 2020)". 

 

Why NO real information from them since.  Do they think that keeping us in the dark is going to instill confidence?  I just checked online and Princess is still accepting bookings on our sailing, although the availability of balcony cabins has sky-rocketed in the past 4 days.  Currently on our sailing there are 72 balcony cabins available just in our section of the ship, I didn't bother to count any in the other four sections.  Looks to me like a lot of you are cancelling, and hoping for the best from Princess..It doesn't look to me like we are going to see that.

 

 

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I felt similar. I had a cruise that ended in France and France was closing down. I was also at the point where I was within 100% penalty rate if I waited another day to cancel. This was before Princess made announcements about the 60 day pause. I was frustrated because parts of Europe I was going to was getting worse by the day.

 

My guess is that ALL cruise lines are trying to figure out Alaska. Not just Princess. I think ALL cruise lines are trying to get a waiver for cruises that leave out of US ports to avoid Canadian ports. This requires government decisions (not just the cruise lines). Until they have answers, I don't think they have anything to announce.

 

Princess will do the right thing. I have learned this. Just have patience. I have a friend leaving June 6th on another line (HAL) and they have not heard a thing either. All lines going to Alaska are facing issues. 

Edited by Coral
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I'm frustrated too, but trying to remember that they are in middle of a complete systemwide shutdown, trying to get their ships to where they will stay for the next 60 days, arranging changed travel for all of their passengers (like the ones on the Coral that suddenly have to figure out how to get home from Argentina, not Fort Lauderdale). It's a huge undertaking. But I wish Princess had said something by now -- FWIW they aren't alone. Disney put out a statement, but it wasn't much "Sailings Departing from Canada -- On Friday, March 13, 2020, the Canadian government announced they will not allow any ship with more than 500 passengers to dock in any Canadian port from now until July 1, at the earliest.  . . . We are currently evaluating various options and have not made changes to any itineraries. Once a decision is made, we will reach out to Guests booked on these sailings. Given the higher than normal call volume at our Call Center, we ask that Guests and travel agents wait to contact us until after they receive an email from us."    So pretty much saying "we're aware of it, we'll let you know, but we're busy. Don't call us we'll call you".

 

EDIT - Even with the emergency declaration I don't see the U.S. granting waivers. Protecting cruise vacations at the potential risk of spreading coronavirus is not a look anybody wants to have right now. And where would they send the ships instead, Seattle? Seattle's as mess and I can't imagine the government wants to be seen as encouraging more and more people coming into and out of Seattle right now.

Edited by lderochi
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I agree that we need to hear something soon. We are due to sail from Vancouver on May 17th, returning on the 24th to Seattle. It also involved flights with a stopover each way (from Atlanta), and it's pretty obvious it's not going to happen. Even if it did, the trip is likely to be severely curtailed or modified.

 

Personally, I think that the whole season is likely to be cancelled anyway.

 

My take is that they cruise lines are waiting in hope of a reversal of fortune before succumbing to a cancellation. I don't see it coming and we have until Monday before moving into the 50/50 phase of cancellation. Right now we'd get all but $200 refunded to our CC with that $200 being issued as FCC. So, if nothing by the end of the week, I'll be calling to cancel withot waiting for Princess to act.

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13 minutes ago, lderochi said:

 

EDIT - Even with the emergency declaration I don't see the U.S. granting waivers. Protecting cruise vacations at the potential risk of spreading coronavirus is not a look anybody wants to have right now. And where would they send the ships instead, Seattle? Seattle's as mess and I can't imagine the government wants to be seen as encouraging more and more people coming into and out of Seattle right now.

I was thinking of waivers for ships leaving out of US ports and not having to go to Victoria. The cruises leaving out of Vancouver (or arriving) are an entirely different issue. Purely guessing though.

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Celebrity is also crickets on their Alaskan cruises (I'm booked), which leads to the references of waiving the PVSA.  Absolutely 100% NOT going to happen.  The PVSA is controlled by the Dept of Homeland Security, and can only be waived in matters of defense. 

 

The reality is clear.  There will be NO Alaskan cruises prior to July 1st, unless the Canadian Gov't amends their date.

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12 minutes ago, julia said:

Celebrity is also crickets on their Alaskan cruises (I'm booked), which leads to the references of waiving the PVSA.  Absolutely 100% NOT going to happen.  The PVSA is controlled by the Dept of Homeland Security, and can only be waived in matters of defense. 

 

The reality is clear.  There will be NO Alaskan cruises prior to July 1st, unless the Canadian Gov't amends their date.

There are so many times when ships can't dock in Victoria due to weather - paperwork is exchanged. This is what I was wondering would happen. Maybe you are right....

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What would you have Princess say? As of today, there will be no Alaska cruises until July 1. There are two ways that this could change. First Canada could move up or eliminate the July 1 date. Second, the US could waive the PVSA.  If there is even a small chance of one or both of these occurring, then Princess is probably negotiating with Canada and/or the US. 

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Well, the Prime Minister is getting a lot of grief in the press for leaving the border open to Americans so I don't really hold out much hope that Canada will move up or eliminate the July 1 date.    I suppose we could hope that everything blows over in a month (the virologists I listen to on TWIV think this will be a one to three year pandemic), but neither Princess nor the Canadians have any control over that.

 

(TWIV: This Week In Virology.)

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It’s not just Princess. Norwegian and Celebrity are still selling cruises to Alaska from Vancouver and with stops in Victoria. Since it’s 2 months away I would guess they are focusing on getting their crews home, parking their ships, and getting current sailings to port. 
 

Hopefully something is announced soon. 

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Anyone thinking that Alaska cruises might happen prior to Canada opening their ports is dreaming.

 

There is no benefit  to any of the cruise lines talking about anything in the future beyond the current shutdown periods. After all they are all in a cash crunch and any announcements are likely to trigger cancellations with more cash outflow.

 

There is no way that things will return to normal prior to July 1st, and probably not until well after that date.  Even if the peak in the US passes  by late April the virus will still be around and ports will be hesitant dealing with cruise ships.

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I don't know exactly what the PVSA says, in regards to what is considered docking in a foreign country. I do wonder, if the ship docks and no one gets off, does that satisfy the requirements?

 

Not optimal, however Canada would still get some docking fees, and the ship could continue on with the rest of the cruise, if it was a round trip from Seattle or a North/South bound.

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1 hour ago, Coral said:

I was thinking of waivers for ships leaving out of US ports and not having to go to Victoria. The cruises leaving out of Vancouver (or arriving) are an entirely different issue. Purely guessing though.

Yeah. So focused on my own cruise it’s easy to forget about the others affected! 

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20 minutes ago, lderochi said:

Yeah. So focused on my own cruise it’s easy to forget about the others affected! 

You are not alone. I get it.

 

I had booked a long cruise (26 nights) and it had a far worse cancellation rate chart compared to those who had booked my cruise as a B2B or just one of the two cruises. I felt my situation was different as I was facing 100% cancellation rate when others on my trip had a 50% cancellation rate.

Edited by Coral
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19 minutes ago, Eagle_and_hawk said:

I don't know exactly what the PVSA says, in regards to what is considered docking in a foreign country. I do wonder, if the ship docks and no one gets off, does that satisfy the requirements?

 

Not optimal, however Canada would still get some docking fees, and the ship could continue on with the rest of the cruise, if it was a round trip from Seattle or a North/South bound.

The likelihood Seattle is going let shiploads of newly infected passengers port in a few months is zero. I guess people in other parts of the country just don't get it what kind of problem we're having here now, or that Alaska has no interest in picking up this problem.  

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I also am pretty convinced that at the very least, the Alaska sailings before July 1st will most likely all be canceled.... or at least, redeployed (which is still canceled).  

I don't think any cruiseline is going to be willing to jump from the fire into the frying pan once they resume operations ... like a redo of the Diamond Princess, which is unlikely, or even anything similar to what happened on the Grand Princess.  

I'm also booked on an Alaskan cruise for later in the season and will just go with the flow.  I had my early April cruise on the Royal and their response was pretty much top notch.  I've seen others complain ...for some, it's just never enough ... but, I so far, they've been more generous and tried to tailor their policies based on their customer's needs.  It may have helped because I had an outstanding travel agent that kept me informed through every step of the way.  All cruiselines are scrambling right now and we may know more based on when the other ones start up again on their operations.  Most are due to deploy again a few weeks before Princess does, so that might tell us a lot.  

Right now, we have a 'shelter in place' order in the Bay Area ... so, not expecting things to just carry on as normal in the very near future.  I'm booking some little getaways, but nothing without a refundable option.  I will be disappointed if my next sailing later in the summer is also canceled as it was from an excellent move over offer so, that just doesn't translate to getting my money back ... but, I guess it is what it is ... so will just try to be patient and see what happens when operations resume and wish good luck to everybody!!  Happy sailing!!  

 

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I'm booked on a RT Seattle to Alaska on May 24th.  I'm sure it will be cancelled.  I wouldn't be surprised if Seattle closes its cruise ports.  It seems like it would be one of the worst ports to sail out of. 

I am surprised that Princess hasn't sent an email or issued a statement about the Canada closures.  Just a quick acknowledgement would be nice.  

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1 hour ago, nooptere said:

The likelihood Seattle is going let shiploads of newly infected passengers port in a few months is zero. I guess people in other parts of the country just don't get it what kind of problem we're having here now, or that Alaska has no interest in picking up this problem.  

 

Well, in theory that may just mean Seattle is one of the first to get over the virus since they were one of the first to get it in great numbers. We hear all kind of contradictory guesses about how long this will last. We've heard years, but on the other hand China seems to be mostly over it already. Though maybe things will flare up again when they try to go back to normal. New York Governor Cuomo recently said it's expected to peak in NY in about 45 days. I assume that number came from experts, but I also assume it's subject to wide variation in reality even if it's based on something reasonable.. (It'll come more quickly, with a higher peak, if the isolation strategy doesn't work well, and come later, with a lower peak if it does)

 

I doubt that Seattle is going to want cruises in a few months, but if you construe a few months to extend out until July I wouldn't rule it out as impossible either. (I conveniently ignored your "newly infected passengers" part. If they were truly infected, no port is going to want them now, in a few months, or in many months)

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It's probably just because they have too much on their plate at the moment, but on their website Princess is still selling cruises to Alaska. (I randomly selected the June 3 northbound out of Vancouver on Coral, and was able to get in as far as selecting a cabin, So I assume I could purchase it)

 

Like I say probably their just running behind, but you wouldn't think it would be that hard to pull some sailings from their website. It's obviously not sailing form Vancouver in June, so I can't imagine they're trying to salvage the cruise somehow.

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. Take three deep cleansing breaths and be patient. 

 

NONE of the cruise lines scheduled to sail to Alaska have pulled cruises from their websites or put a stop sell on them. Simply put, it is not their most pressing issue at the moment. May might as well be 20 years off at this point. The cruise lines are dealing with passengers who are on ships trying to get home, with figuring out where ships will go for the next few weeks while cruises are suspended, and when they might actually resume sailings. At this point I don't expect ANY information on ANY cruises beyond the 30 day (60 for Princess) voluntary suspension of sailings until at least 7-10 days before the end of the original suspension. Trying to project or guess what may or may not happen or not happen any further than that at this point is fruitless. 

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1 hour ago, lderochi said:

I don’t have any illusions about a May 27 cruise disembarking in Vancouver. I just wish Princess would pull the trigger so I can look at my options. 

Which is exactly why they are not.

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