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US State Department Issues Global Level 4 Health Advisory - DO NOT TRAVEL


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In an unprecedented move, the US State Department just issued the following Global Level 4 Health Advisory, warning against travel anywhere on the planet and urging those who are outside of the U.S. to return home.  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/travel-advisory-alert-global-level-4-health-advisory-issue.html

 

So when are the cruise lines going to start cancelling further out than mid-April (or May, in the case of Princess) and offer to refund our money?  There's no way the world is just going to magically fire back up in one day when Covid-19 is no longer a threat to humanity, which will likely not be until much later this year.  After spending the better part of our 31 day cruise that just ended yesterday in San Diego worrying about whether we'd be a "well" ship for the duration and regardless if we were, whether San Diego would even let us disembark there (thankfully we were and they did), we have NO desire to get back on a ship anytime soon.  People have enough to worry about at the moment (health, food, social isolation, daycare, jobs, finances …) to play the "will Seabourn cancel our cruise in May so we can get a refund vs. us cancelling 48 hours prior and only getting FCC and then having to think about rebooking something in the future because we don't want to lose many, MANY thousands of dollars by not booking something else but who knows what the future holds at the moment" game.  

 

 

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Seabourn will have no choice but to cancel all cruises in May as well. We know it, and they now it, but they will hang on to our money as long as possible. They will hope that we cancel for a FCC before they are forced to cancel and refund our money. Stay calm, we have  the winning hand. Don’t fold, stand firm and call their bluff. Just be patient and our refund will be forthcoming later. I have a med cruise booked on Ovation in May and will patiently shelter in place while I wait for my refund.

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This is sort of a rant and almost TLTR so I won't blame you if you skip it altogether...

 

I find it interesting that what was once a love affair between Seabourn and their customers is now morphing into a seriously adversarial relationship. 

 

Seabourn is trying to cope with an unprecedented financial disaster; there's no manual on how to survive the ramifications of this worldwide panic. They're stumbling along and making it up as circumstances and the knee-jerk reactions of mostly clueless politicians across the globe dictate. I'm not saying the governments are wrong, just that the decisions they've forced on all of us haven't been arrived at logically.

 

In any event, Seabourn is probably doing as well as they can to cope in a unique atmosphere of fear, misinformation, and emotional turmoil (not to mention the possibility of financial collapse). Their efforts and decisions may not be what many individual customers would like them to be but they don't have the advantage of being as smart as the average fearful, misinformed, and emotional client (that was sarcasm for those of you who missed it).

 

Give them a break, people. They know you're afraid, angry, and all the rest and they're not trying to make it worse. They're trying their best to keep on keepin' on.

 

Make your concerns known and try to suggest a few actions that consider the needs of both sides. Strident complaints and whining from a relatively affluent customer base on "issues" such as refunds versus FCC, OBC carry forward, and other relatively minor topics ain't helping. Seabourn needs to know and address those concerns but they need some help in the form of our underlying support.

 

Before you yell at me too loudly, consider the fact that Seabourn has made wrong decisions before but has, in every instance of which I'm aware, made it good. That's why we sail with them and what we expect on our next voyage. Don't sink the ship before you board.

 

Jus' sayin'...

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I understand your point and it’s well taken. I think most of us with upcoming cruises would agree that holding our payments and not issuing refunds on cruises that are clearly not happening is not how a good business that looks out for their customers behaves. Refunds would go a long way to making customers happy and winning them back in the future.

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Ka Honu, c’ mon man. Give me a break! This was to be my first Seabourn cruise for which I paid thousands of dollars for a cruise that has about the same chance now of sailing as a blizzard in Honolulu. So excuse me for pointing out the obvious with my “whining and strident complaints”. And if my thoughts are not in keeping with your vision of this “altruistic” cruise line, well then too bad, so sad. All I want from seabourn is my hard earned money back!

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Seabourn is hardly "altruistic" but they do tend to realize if you have a legitimate issue and discuss it with them (calmly and logically) that it is their interest to make it a win-win situation as often as they can.

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1 hour ago, Ka Honu said:

Seabourn is hardly "altruistic" but they do tend to realize if you have a legitimate issue and discuss it with them (calmly and logically) that it is their interest to make it a win-win situation as often as they can.

 

Sorry but in this case, I don't think ANY cruise line is going to care about a win-win situation, no matter how calmly and logically you present your case.  Big business just doesn't work that way.

 

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Ka Honu, it is hard to calmly and logically discuss anything with SB Seattle right now, given they do not timely answer communications, deflect, or have ( by default) given low level employees discretion to make things up. 
 

The longer SB continues their lack of proper communication with this Travel Advisory in place as it is, and the world as it ism the less confidence one can have in trusting them in the future, even if this turns out to also be true for other cruise lines,

.

Maybe communication will resume at Easter, given that Trump just said in his daily corona update today that he is hoping by Easter the U.S. can open up again (really — though  subject to a lot of health related things happening, of course, we can only hope though I doubt it will happen).  
Or maybe SB will start communicating more when they get confirmation of cruise and travel industry bailout loans, which Trump has referenced at least three times in speeches as something he hopes Congress will enact.

Or maybe they are trying to figure out with their lawyers what tactic to take that would be most likely to save their company, and hope we all just remain as patient as you, given most of us are older and really, really want to cruise because our knees and hearts won’t handle backpacking anymore.

 

I am not advocating cruise industry or other bailouts to rescue SB, because bailouts secures with more government debt can have unintended negative

consequences, just better communication by SB.  People tend to be more forgiving of business problems if they have the sense they are not being given runarounds, and have a sense that reality is being fairly processed.

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Catlover - It's NEVER a good time to discuss anything with Seabourn Seattle unless you have a high tolerance for stupidity and pain or an empowered contact there who owes you or your travel agent more than they can ever repay.

 

Having see the error of my approach (or at least the way I presented that approach) I shall retire from this discussion, return to my state- and city-imposed lockdown, and do what I do best (absolutely nothing, fueled with liberal doses of decent Scotch). Before I go, however, I will contact my excellent TA and instruct her to go into her most fearsome attack mode (which is well past "Shock and Awe") to sort all this out.

 

Aloha all.

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Damn my friend, I wish we could come and drink some good scotch w/ you but not to be given at the moment both our no travel situations.  No going to Hawaii for a couple of months and now we are locked down, including leaving our wonderful place effective tomorrow. 

 

I happen to agree with Ka Honu that these are extenuating times - and that the policies have morphed over time.  We were supposed to be on the Odyssey as I write this and were going to go despite the dire warnings - time will tell if they are valid or hysteria - and waited until the cruise was cancelled before we unpacked.  Since the cruise was cancelled we had the choice of a 125% FCC or 100% refund.  As I suspect many more cruises will be cancelled my advice is to wait until the last minute, if possible and it might not be for everyone, to cancel to get the refund if that is what you want.

 

That said I think ALL travel companies from airlines to cruise lines should allow for the rest of the year, at least given what we know and don't know, today the ability to cancel and get a 100% refund.  The airlines might pretend they are being nice by waiving cancel fees but none that I have seen are refunding your money, unlike Seabourn does of they cancel the cruise.  And all my flights have been cancelled. 

 

The cruise industry is in uncharted waters (pun intended) and Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald said that "the company is prepared for a cruising pause to last for the rest of the year, but he thinks the industry will come back stronger."

 

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7 hours ago, 2SailingNomads said:

were going to go despite the dire warnings - time will tell if they are valid or hysteria

When exactly will you know whether these warnings were valid or hysteria if not by now?

How much worse does this have to get for you to be valid?

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I don’t know who to believe. If you listen to Trump, everything is going nicely 10/10.   And then I watched the interview with the ICU nurse at the NYC hospital and they had already run out of all PPE. 

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1 hour ago, ab21au said:

I don’t know who to believe. If you listen to Trump, everything is going nicely 10/10.   And then I watched the interview with the ICU nurse at the NYC hospital and they had already run out of all PPE. 

From the articles and reports I have seen, the situation in NYC is quite dire.  One nurse has already died and they expect to approach capacity for ICU  (Intensive care) beds shortly.  The infection rate continues to rise.  

 

According to Gov. Cuomo of New York,  NYC is a precursor of what is to come for other areas of the United States.  

Edited by SLSD
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2 hours ago, ab21au said:

I don’t know who to believe. If you listen to Trump, everything is going nicely 10/10.   And then I watched the interview with the ICU nurse at the NYC hospital and they had already run out of all PPE. 

 

No matter what a person's political persuasion is, NOBODY should be taking health advice from a reality tv star and especially regarding the pandemic.  Opinions should be based on what the scientific and medical communities are saying.  Making a decision based on what Trump says would be like taking the advice of someone on Cruise Critic who tells you what vaccines you need for your cruise rather than speaking with your healthcare provider.  (IMHO, of course)

Edited by zelker
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5 minutes ago, zelker said:

 

No matter what a person's political persuasion is, NOBODY should be taking health advice from a reality tv star and especially regarding the pandemic.  Opinions should be based on what the scientific and medical communities are saying.  Making a decision based on what Trump says would be like taking the advice of someone on Cruise Critic who tells you what vaccines you need for your cruise rather than speaking with your healthcare provider.  (IMHO, of course)

Well said. 

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2 hours ago, ab21au said:

I don’t know who to believe. If you listen to Trump, everything is going nicely 10/10.

You can be forgiven as you don't live in US and are not forced to listen to him or be informed of his tweets daily. Since when does any person with an ounce of intelligence believe anything that he has said since he took office (or before).

Since he is so found of giving nicknames to all his "adversaries", they should give one to him - Don the Con.

 

33 minutes ago, zelker said:

No matter what a person's political persuasion is, NOBODY should be taking health advice from a reality tv star and especially regarding the pandemic.

What advice are you willing to accept from this person? How to file for bankruptcy? He has some expertise and prior experience in that field.

Edited by Paulchili
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17 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

What advice are you willing to accept from this person? How to file for bankruptcy? He has some expertise and prior experience in that field.

 

Absolutely none.  (was just replying to ab21au's comment specifically about the pandemic while trying to keep this apolitical)

Edited by zelker
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Paulchili, no one is “forcing” you to listen to President Trump. You can turn off the dang TV and not  read information about his tweets, if you choose. Free will!
 

I, however, choose to listen to and watch the full daily corona updates Trump gives on TV  ( not just read select and often biased snippets from the internet, New York Times, or Fox News) in addition to reading other sources, including medical and scientific  press.  Stuck in the house right now, and recently retired from a profession that would have had me on the front lines of risk  and might “invite” me to return if things get much worse,  I have a vested interest in informing myself about the good, the bad, the ugly, the ridiculous, and the unknown in relation to virus updates as best possible. 

 

ab21au, you are in Australia, which I understand is dealing now with a boom in new cases from the Ruby Princess disembarkation and your own economic mess from lack of tourism and shutdowns,  so you likely are not seeing the blow by blow 24/7 about what is going on in America. Lately the daily Trump TV shows are a mix, not at all 10/10 “all is great”, and mostly consist of updates on how many pieces of medical equipment different companies have pledged to supply or have already supplied ( a lot, though there are definitely still shortages in some places), how many people have been tested ( almost a million, but we need more), how the 2 trillion dollar economic bailout bill is going ( passed Congress finally,  despite holdups on, inter alia,   odd  things like whether or not D.C. should get millions for a new opera house, and *this includes travel industry bailouts* ), expressions of hope *but not promises* that the economy will “open up” by Easter, ( hope is important, but I think the churches will still be empty Easter Sunday), repeated self-praise for having shut down arrivals from China into the U.S. in January, generic praise for people he works with, and answering reporter questions in his usual ‘style.’

 

In all the “noise,”there are also some “signals”:  Dr. Fauci gives his general opinions, Dr. Deborah Brix gives even more interesting and specific updates from notes. Yesterday,  she said that the rate of medical admissions rise has slowed, many states in the U.S. barely have any cases, the case fatality rate in the U.S. is holding steady around a little over  1%, ( BTW locally we had a few more vulnerable nursing home patient deaths), and the ICU bed access situation in the U.S. is better than expected in part because elective surgeries have all been cancelled, etc.).  I will add that unlike in Italy, where some doctors said they are not letting people over 60 go on vents, we have more ICU beds and vents ( for now, at least ), and are getting more produced quickly  in case they are needed. What many places are most short on is PPE.

She also repeatedly encourages social distancing, hygiene etc., and I don’t think people, especially young invincible  partiers, can hear this enough.

 

All in, even with the bailouts, which will take time to dole out, I doubt anyone will be cruising again for a few months at least, as I doubt the Travel Advisory will be loosened enough anytime to allow airlines to stop cancelling flights and we won’t be able to test the entire population even with the new 45 minute or 10 minute tests, and a vaccine is way off in the future.  But perhaps SB might get the go ahead to start communicating more if Carnival knows it will get some funds.

Edited by Catlover54
Typo
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4 hours ago, Catlover54 said:

Paulchili, no one is “forcing” you to listen to President Trump. You can turn off the dang TV and not  read information about his tweets, if you choose. Free will!

I beg to differ.  Every American citizen should know what the president is saying---whether we think he is fit to be our executive branch leader--or not.  It's part of keeping up with important current events in this crisis.  This is not intended as a political comment, but intended to say--don't tell someone not to listen to the president.  We have that right--and the right to express our opinions--last time I checked.  

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SLSD, you are misinterpreting my comment,  Please reread Paulchili’s  comment, and your comment.   The issue he raised was that he is  * forced* to listen to Trump and read his Tweets.

My response is that no one is forced to listen to anything , it is a choice, and nowhere did I say we should not listen to what our president is saying.

  If anything, my whole post is devoted to commenting that one can learn a lot by listening to the daily news conferences, Trump and everyone else who talks there ( not just Trump), and other sources of information. 
 

Nor did I say that we do not have the right to express our opinion ( though please note CC has a right to restrict what opinions we express), I have no idea where you got that.

 

I would also like to add that just saying a comment is not meant to be political, (which CC has discouraged as it is against their posting guidelines but has not been enforcing lately) does not make it apolitical. 
 

This thread is now going off topic.  The  title is what  the U.S. state department has advised about travel, moved on to  some speculation about where this will go as our governments engage in their maneuvers, and now has moved to an attack on me, so I will withdraw.


 

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5 hours ago, Catlover54 said:

I, however, choose to listen to and watch the full daily corona updates Trump gives on TV  ( not just read select and often biased snippets from the internet, New York Times, or Fox News) in addition to reading other sources,

I do follow it all daily as well (except Fox). Trump's input on these daily briefings is more like a campaign rally for elections giving false rose colored facts & predictions while the experts have to carefully walk back his comments afterwards.

The problem is that I cannot trust what I hear from our President starting over a month ago when COVID was the new radical left hoax and then when he said we only have 15 cases that will be down to zero in no time to when he thought that it would go away "like magic"  and when he said 2 or 3 weeks ago that everybody who wants to be tested can do so - which is not true even today. Maybe you missed all that when you were on the cruise?

I watched the story of a poor man with all the symptoms of COVID in NYC who stood in line for 7  hours two days in the row (one day in the rain) and still was not able to get tested.

And I certainly don't think we should start acting like all is well by Easter.

Edited by Paulchili
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In AUS they do show Trump and co’s daily press conference which would have been entertaining if things were not so serious. DW works for Drs and a friend (a Dr in ICU on the Gold Coast) has been telling us for weeks of what she hopes will not happen but probably will (and we have been telling our family). 
 

What has been happening in AUS is basically people are selfish, many people only think of themselves, and not the broader picture. DW has to phone each patient not to bring “hangers on” (my words not hers) into the waiting room. Some people are outraged. Another example is no matter how many times people are told to social distance, we see airports crowded with Australian residents returning home.
 

4 people I heard were fined in NSW yesterday, one a lady who was not quarantining after returning from Bali. She was warned but didn’t and second time she was fined $1,000.

 

Our government are bringing AUS people back from wherever they are stuck and yet I heard an interview with a lady yesterday and all she could do was complain about how she was not allowed to go home to Toowoomba but was “holed up in Sydney”.  Well IMHO they should fly her back to Peru and she can be “holed up” there. 
 

That highlights our problem. 

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4 hours ago, ab21au said:


 

What has been happening in AUS is basically people are selfish, many people only think of themselves, and not the broader picture. 

\

It is the same in the United States.  I have been appalled. 

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9 hours ago, ab21au said:

"...What has been happening in AUS is basically people are selfish, many people only think of themselves, and not the broader picture...."

5 hours ago, SLSD said:

It is the same in the United States.  I have been appalled. 

Perfect example (as seen nationwide on the news channels) - the frolicking Spring-Break party-goers packing the beaches in Florida despite the social distancing and stay-at-home edicts.

 

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