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Question... Did anyone else use HAL's "Flight Ease" with their original booking of flights?

We did and I found it extremely frustrating that everyone was getting flights booked with help at the guest services desk and/or booking themselves, while Flight Ease folks were told Seattle was booking ours.  We received our flights Saturday night and were off the ship Sunday morning.  It was a bit nerve racking. 

 

Perth/Sydney/Honolulu/Atlanta 48 hours hotel door to off the airplane door with lots of layover time mixed into the hours.

Sheltering for 2 weeks or more depending on the curve data. 

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I think it's interesting to see how Carnival Corp handled it's different cruise lines in this matter. 

 

We were on the QM2 (Cunard).  Our ship's situation was different in that we were already in Fremantle when at 7:45 AM on March 15th the Captain came over the PA to tell us the world cruise was ending and we had to be off the ship by the end of the next day (16th).  We didn't get a multi-day warning to pack or prepare ourselves.

 

Cunard did everyone's flight arrangements.  You had until 2PM to get your preferences in (on the 15th), but we didn't get ours in until near 7PM but still received our flight arrangements by 11:30AM the next day (16th) and had to be off the ship between 2-4 PM. We flew out that night Perth/Sydney/LA/Boston.

 

If they couldn't get you flights out then you were put up in hotels.  There were some glitches with that I hear but I think it was eventually sorted out.

 

In addition, somewhere around 250-300 people were allowed to stay on for medical reasons.  They're on their way back to Southampton now. I don't know why HAL took such a hard line with that.  

 

I've been on a HAL world cruise, loved it and I like HAL as a cruise line but I think they handled things the worse of all the Carnival Corp lines, for what reason I don't know.  For those who are tech savvy like Pete this was not bad at all but for a lot of folks, maybe most folks, that must have been a nightmare.

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6 hours ago, Cruise NH said:

In addition, somewhere around 250-300 people were allowed to stay on for medical reasons.  They're on their way back to Southampton now. I don't know why HAL took such a hard line with that.

Cruise NH, these passengers are not home yet. Have you actually heard that everything is great onboard for them as they travel on a 'merchant ship'? Marinetraffic shows them off the coast of Durban SA, so they still have a long way to go. Stay safe.

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1 hour ago, colbe said:

Cruise NH, these passengers are not home yet. Have you actually heard that everything is great onboard for them as they travel on a 'merchant ship'? Marinetraffic shows them off the coast of Durban SA, so they still have a long way to go. Stay safe.

From my thread on my QM2 world cruise:

48 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

Now I'm really puzzled with the latest movements.  Repatriation Merchant Ship Queen Mary 2 was in port 3 days with no need to go to sea for water so her time at anchor shouldn't have required that.  I'm wondering if the authorities in Durban are trying to decide about letting her in but the pattern is strange.  The times on the screen shot are day:hour:minute in Universal time.  qm2durban1.thumb.JPG.0e26ad30cd3477878ae19971561d8518.JPG

 

Fortunately, QM2 refueled in Mauritius so she shouldn't have an immediate emergency.

 

Safarigal, your post made me regret that I hadn't gotten to afternoon tea while on board.

 

Roy

Those people are FAR from home and can expect even more delays with Cunard needing to negotiate for fuel.

 

Unfortunately, with the Amsterdam, Captain Johathan is reporting that his fuel is running low and saving as much as he can before filling up in Durban.  Imagine what people on the Amsterdam would have faced if they had been allowed  to continue and were facing such an uncertain prospect in Durban.

 

Roy

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, colbe said:

Cruise NH, these passengers are not home yet. Have you actually heard that everything is great onboard for them as they travel on a 'merchant ship'? Marinetraffic shows them off the coast of Durban SA, so they still have a long way to go. Stay safe.

 

I don't know where you got the impression that I thought things were great on the ship and I know they aren't home.  I went through the medical center process (I'm afraid of flying but went anyway) and they told us that public areas would be closed, dining options limited and that they really didn't know how the refueling would go.  They made it sound as dire as possible, still people chose to stay and I use the word 'chose' loosely as those who stayed could not fly for medical reasons.  

 

My only point in the original post was that different Carnival Corp cruise lines handled the same problem differently.

 

I met a lot of the folks still on the ship and they are in my thoughts everyday.  I wish them and the crew well.

Edited by Cruise NH

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13 hours ago, Cruise NH said:

 

 

In addition, somewhere around 250-300 people were allowed to stay on for medical reasons.  They're on their way back to Southampton now. I don't know why HAL took such a hard line with that.  

 

 

Based on this report, I am glad  to no longer be on the Amsterdam.   

 

Broward County commissioners were alarmed at the prospect of the Zaandam docking in Fort Lauderdale. One commissioner vowed to stop the ship, arguing there were not enough hospital beds and equipment to accommodate an influx of international passengers who started their vacation despite an international threat. Although no formal vote was taken, at least two other commissioners agreed.

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This is my next to the last post of this cruise blog.  In it I am critical of HAL, I hope in a constructive way.  I would be interested in your thoughts.  My final post will be a positive one reflecting 10 weeks of great cruising seeing parts of the world most people never see.  I have to end on a positive note because that's the way I feel.  That will come in a few days, now this.

 

https://www.rich.mcclear.net/2020/03/28/penultimate-thoughts/

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1 hour ago, Captain Ricky said:

This is my next to the last post of this cruise blog.  In it I am critical of HAL, I hope in a constructive way.  I would be interested in your thoughts.  My final post will be a positive one reflecting 10 weeks of great cruising seeing parts of the world most people never see.  I have to end on a positive note because that's the way I feel.  That will come in a few days, now this.

 

https://www.rich.mcclear.net/2020/03/28/penultimate-thoughts/


I agree with your write up.  I still am shocked there were no charter flights (like the Westerdam).  I think that alone would have significantly dialed back the stress.  We had so many flights cancelled I can’t keep up, four I think.  The $59 airport fee has to be one of the worst PR blunders of all time.  
 

Time will tell if and or when HAL will recover.  I am not convinced that CCL will avoid bankruptcy.  One thing they did get right was getting us all off the ship.  As I see the situations on the Zaandam (stay safe Amanda) and the Amsterdam’s ongoing journey, I am glad to be home.

 

Finally, my compliments to the Captain and crew, I I heard of trying to make chicken salad out of chicken ***** but this was that on steroids.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Captain Ricky said:

This is my next to the last post of this cruise blog.  In it I am critical of HAL, I hope in a constructive way.  I would be interested in your thoughts.  My final post will be a positive one reflecting 10 weeks of great cruising seeing parts of the world most people never see.  I have to end on a positive note because that's the way I feel.  That will come in a few days, now this.

 

https://www.rich.mcclear.net/2020/03/28/penultimate-thoughts/

Nicely done; this expresses my own thoughts and feelings about this unprecedented situation.

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Very nicely worded!  But one thought on flights home - many of us can tolerate short flights in economy but it is a different story completely when it comes to long international flights.  The limited reimbursement from HAL to get home from half way around the world kept us from booking a business flight but we will be “eating” the cost of a premium economy flight over the pacific.  Having just finished our flights coming home and paying a significant fare to get a premium economy seat for the flight over the Pacific I am now slowly recovering from painful back spasms (6th day) due to the stress and cramped space.  I am grateful that it did not spasm during the flight in that we would have been stuck somewhere from home. And we are very grateful to be home!  Will we cruise again? Definitely yes! Will we book through HAL for air - maybe? Will we book business class through HAL on a short flight - that’s the question I can’t answer right now.  We pray for all to be safe and healthy.  We pray for those who are still at sea.  We pray for those who have lost loved ones.  And on a final note - thanks to the MS Amsterdam crew and captain for an enjoyable and memorable half world cruise.  Day 6 of our 14 day self quarantine.  

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In Captain Ricky post above he quotes the original HAL corporate letter regarding people staying on board who have health issues...That verbiage is almost exactly what was read to us by our Captain on the QM2.  It's interesting that the actual (delayed) letter signed by the Amsterdam's Captain distributed to guests left that paragraph out.  Could it have been the Captain's decision?  I'm not saying he wouldn't have had good reason but the Amsterdam does seem to be the only ship not offering that option.

 

I agree with Captain Ricky in that excessive and perhaps needless stress was added to an already tough situation on the Amsterdam.  

 

As to the strange Durban approach by the QM2 talked about earlier...There is someone on the QM2 right now posting on occasion and they said high winds caused them to divert from Durban during their initial approach.  Hopefully they will be able to get in when the weather permits.  As always my thoughts are with my former shipmates in hopes they get home safe and sound.

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I am aware  Auckland is now closed for airline transit passengers from USA. My question us: were any other Amsterdam folks routed through Auckland on March 22?

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I believe that the Amsterdam cruisers should be treated by Seattle the same way all the other cruise lines that HAL owns have treated their passengers.

 

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8 hours ago, Captain Ricky said:

This is my next to the last post of this cruise blog.  In it I am critical of HAL, I hope in a constructive way.  I would be interested in your thoughts.  My final post will be a positive one reflecting 10 weeks of great cruising seeing parts of the world most people never see.  I have to end on a positive note because that's the way I feel.  That will come in a few days, now this.

 

https://www.rich.mcclear.net/2020/03/28/penultimate-thoughts/

Thank you for writing this.  I can appreciate that conditions were changing on a minute by minute basis in the US, but I cannot, for the life of me, understand why HAL left hundreds of people (most of advanced age) on the other side of world fend for their own air arrangements. On a good day making emergency air arrangements is stressful.   Throw in technology and connectivity issues and you are asking for trouble. 

 

I had a negative experience on HAL a few years back - rather inconsequential - but I was not super impressed by how they handled it.  They completely wasted hours of my time and came back with such a limited compensation it was laughable. I didn't care about the money; I resented my precious vacation time being wasted more. My husband and I have done land-only vacations for the last five years, in spite of previously loving HAL. We have a cruise booked for this Christmas/NY and I am not 100% sure I am thrilled about taking it. 

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6 hours ago, KirkNC said:


I agree with your write up.  I still am shocked there were no charter flights (like the Westerdam).  I think that alone would have significantly dialed back the stress.  We had so many flights cancelled I can’t keep up, four I think.  The $59 airport fee has to be one of the worst PR blunders of all time.  
 

Time will tell if and or when HAL will recover.  I am not convinced that CCL will avoid bankruptcy.  One thing they did get right was getting us all off the ship.  As I see the situations on the Zaandam (stay safe Amanda) and the Amsterdam’s ongoing journey, I am glad to be home.

 

Finally, my compliments to the Captain and crew, I I heard of trying to make chicken salad out of chicken ***** but this was that on steroids.

 

 

Was the $59 pp US ?

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4 minutes ago, 1884Vic said:

Thank you for writing this.  I can appreciate that conditions were changing on a minute by minute basis in the US, but I cannot, for the life of me, understand why HAL left hundreds of people (most of advanced age) on the other side of world fend for their own air arrangements. On a good day making emergency air arrangements is stressful.   Throw in technology and connectivity issues and you are asking for trouble. 

 

I had a negative experience on HAL a few years back - rather inconsequential - but I was not super impressed by how they handled it.  They completely wasted hours of my time and came back with such a limited compensation it was laughable. I didn't care about the money; I resented my precious vacation time being wasted more. My husband and I have done land-only vacations for the last five years, in spite of previously loving HAL. We have a cruise booked for this Christmas/NY and I am not 100% sure I am thrilled about taking it. 

Does HAL have a fully trained "Care Team"?  I have read of these teams flying in to assist in times of emergencies in the past.  For many people who do WC, the attraction is they don't need to fly. These people are not going to be skilled on arranging flights - working the system.   To compound matters, Perth is not a major international flight hub.  

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, MMDown Under said:

Does HAL have a fully trained "Care Team"?  I have read of these teams flying in to assist in times of emergencies in the past.  For many people who do WC, the attraction is they don't need to fly. These people are not going to be skilled on arranging flights - working the system.   To compound matters, Perth is not a major international flight hub.  

I don't know.  I know I am Monday morning quarterbacking, but I felt like they had a responsibility here and dropped it.  Maybe they did everything they could. Time will tell and I don't think they are a company who wishes to alienate their clientele. 

 

I keep thinking if this was my mother, would would she do?  She and my dad traveled all over the world until he passed two years ago.  I travel extensively as well. This past November we did a DIY trip for several weeks to Peru.  My husband picked up a parasite in Cusco.  We managed but it was stressful.   We also had a pretty great adventure into the Amazon for a week but got stranded in Iquitos for some time.  Iquitos is notorious for being the least "connected by roadways" city in the world.  We managed, and it was totally fine.  But I am 45, healthy, speak a little Spanish, and know how to use a tech device like I do a fork. 

 

Edited by 1884Vic

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2 minutes ago, 1884Vic said:

I don't know.  I know I am Monday morning quarterbacking, but I felt like they had a responsibility here and dropped it.  Maybe they did everything they could. Time will tell and I don't think they are a company who wishes to alienate their clientele. 

 

I keep thinking if this was my mother, would would she do?  She and my dad traveled all over the world until he passed two years ago.  I travel extensively as well. This past November we did a DIY trip for several weeks to Peru.  My husband picked up a parasite in Cusco.  We managed but it was stressful.   We also had a pretty great adventure into the Amazon for a week but got stranded in Iquitos for some time.  Iquitos is notorious for being the least "connected by roadways" city in the world.  We managed, and it was totally fine.  But I am 45, healthy, speak a little Spanish, and know how to use a tech device like I do a fork. 

 

I am not criticising HAL and am a fan of the Captain of Amsterdam.  I just thought if HAL had a fully trained Care Team, that would have taken the pressure off people at the local level. 

(I am a senior who has travelled the world my whole life independently - it is my passion.  However, I've now realised how vulnerable I could be overseas, esp in countries where English is not widely spoken.)  

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1 hour ago, MMDown Under said:

Was the $59 pp US ?


yes

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3 minutes ago, KirkNC said:


yes

$88.73 AUS PP is scandalous.  Whoever decides these charges is out of touch with the real world.  I would have thought at best the aim would be to cover costs, not to take advantage of people and make a profit.

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Here is the video from Orlando Ashford and Dr Tarling that was played on the Amsterdam's TV system after the world cruise was canceled. 

 

 

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A HUGE HEADS UP FOR EVERYONE REGARDING THE FCC OPTIONS WE ARE OFFERED:

 

I got an email from my TA who contacted HAL and put us down for the 50/ 50 option.
HAL told her that the FCC issued in this case has different time limits than we were told.

She was told the credits apply only to cruises booked before December 31, 2020, and that travel must be completed by December 31, 2021.  
This makes it ineligible for use on the 2022 GWV, and makes the 125% FCC option essentially useless for most.

So, she may be wrong, or the person she spoke with may be misinformed, or HAL may have changed the goalposts yet again. Any of these are possible.

Before you send in a choice, check and double check!

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16 hours ago, Captain Ricky said:

This is my next to the last post of this cruise blog.  In it I am critical of HAL, I hope in a constructive way.  I would be interested in your thoughts.  My final post will be a positive one reflecting 10 weeks of great cruising seeing parts of the world most people never see.  I have to end on a positive note because that's the way I feel.  That will come in a few days, now this.

 

https://www.rich.mcclear.net/2020/03/28/penultimate-thoughts/

 

Well put, both good and bad.

 

As a final ‘hit’ as we were leaving, after I was scanned out and heading down the gangway, David was stopped and sent to the front desk. I didn’t realize he was gone until I was out of the gangway tunnel and looked back. Henk and Hammish were gesturing for me to come back aboard. I couldn’t get back up the gangway because of the crowds coming down. 
Henk came off to escort me back. I thought David had had a heart attack, and I was panicking. Once aboard, Henk told me the problem was that we hadn’t settled our bill. We had a huge credit coming, and our card was on file. I ran up to deck 4, to the desk. David was there, with a girl who clearly hadn’t slept in a week and was no longer able to function. The system had lost our credit card info, and we had to fill out a form stating if we wanted our refund in cash or on our card. Then the system stalled and wouldn’t load our card information. Meanwhile, the debark window was closing.

Personally, I think this could have been handled remotely after the fact. HAL should not have put us, or her, through this!

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, Horizon chaser 1957 said:

A HUGE HEADS UP FOR EVERYONE REGARDING THE FCC OPTIONS WE ARE OFFERED:

 

I got an email from my TA who contacted HAL and put us down for the 50/ 50 option.
HAL told her that the FCC issued in this case has different time limits than we were told.

She was told the credits apply only to cruises booked before December 31, 2020, and that travel must be completed by December 31, 2021.  
This makes it ineligible for use on the 2022 GWV, and makes the 125% FCC option essentially useless for most.

So, she may be wrong, or the person she spoke with may be misinformed, or HAL may have changed the goalposts yet again. Any of these are possible.

Before you send in a choice, check and double check!

The original letter said cruises using the FCC must be booked by Dec 2021 not used by 2021.  Nevertheless, this needs to be clarified.    If they insist on travel being COMPLETED by 2021 - then more people with opt for the cashback option.   I would think that HAL wants to preserve cash now and FCC gives them a future sale with the onboard spend with less cash coming in later.  

 

 

Here is some clarification from the website - sounds like you can change your mind later.   Is your fare "used" once it is applied to a booking or "used" after the cruise is complete?

 

This is a clarification regarding the Option 1 Future Cruise Credit ("FCC"). If a guest elects Option 1 and does not use his/her FCC and wants a refund thereafter of the original base cruise fare paid, between June 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021, the guest can request Holland America Line to exchange the FCC for a refund of their base cruise fare paid. Refund will be issued within approximately 60 days from request date. Requests accepted via email to guestrelations@hollandamerica.com. In no situation shall a guest be entitled to a refund greater than the base cruise fare paid. Guests selecting Option 1 and requesting a refund as set forth herein will not be entitled to any other compensation/credit. Guests selecting Option 2 shall not be entitled to any additional refund (other than the initial refund as set forth in Option 2) at any time. All FCC’s expire on December 31, 2021 and are subject to published terms, conditions, and restrictions. Offer and its terms are subject to change.

Edited by The-Inside-Cabin

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