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2 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

I have been concerned that the Police Commissioner's (to me, crackpot) theory of "The kitchen worker done it" will become a fact in some people's minds. There is an example in The Weekend Australian in a column by Katrina Grace Kelly about life after COVID. She wrote:

Consider this; police now believe a kitchen worker with a virus on the Ruby Princess infected hundreds of people and to date, caused, 19 deaths. .. I won't be eating food prepared by anyone else for a very, very long time.

 

Even if the Inquiries conclude that a kitchen worker didn't take the virus on board, it will take a lot for the public perception to change. An unintended consequence of the Police Commissioner's theory could be some distrust of restaurants and take-away businesses.

This survey and the Police Commissioner's comment does concern me, we just finished watching the true story of Richard Jewel who discovered a bomb at the Atlantic Games in 1996, he was targeted as the bomber by the FBI, once the FBI thought it was him they never bothered to look for anyone else, and we all know that Richard Jewel was innocent.  Is the same going to happen here they are gunning for Princess so instead of looking at all the facts they become narrow-minded.

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An example of how a 'theory' becomes a 'fact'. An ABC article talks about life on board for the crew. Here is an extract

 

Self-isolation orders were imposed to stem any further spread of coronavirus after it was revealed by NSW Police that "someone who handles food" was the likely source of a deadly outbreak among passengers.

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-21/ruby-princess-set-to-leave-crew-coronavirus-fate-unclear/12165714

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When will the Ruby Princess leave Port Kembla. An extract from the ABC article referenced above:

 

The growing number of infections among crew left on board is delaying the ship's departure. It was supposed to leave on Sunday, but NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has flagged Thursday as a likely departure date.

 

He has spent weeks negotiating with foreign consulates to ensure the repatriation of crew from Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Britain. The crew on board come from around 50 countries, and those not flying from Australia will stay on the ship while it sails to the Philippines. Authorities have said the ship will not leave if there is a risk to people on board who might become gravely ill with the virus while at sea.

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I would like to ask BRANDEE and robncruise what reason was given on the Ruby Princess for cutting the cruise short. There have been a couple of different versions in reports:

 

One report says passengers were told there was bad weather.

 

The ABC report says: Passengers were told the cruise had to be shortened because of the changing global circumstances surrounding coronavirus — like forced quarantine periods and dwindling availability of international flights.

 

Or was it because Princess had announced a pause in cruising on 12th March. Cruises that extended beyond four or five days would be cut short, the date dependent on operational reasons.

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17 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

I would like to ask BRANDEE and robncruise what reason was given on the Ruby Princess for cutting the cruise short. There have been a couple of different versions in reports:

 

One report says passengers were told there was bad weather.

 

The ABC report says: Passengers were told the cruise had to be shortened because of the changing global circumstances surrounding coronavirus — like forced quarantine periods and dwindling availability of international flights.

 

Or was it because Princess had announced a pause in cruising on 12th March. Cruises that extended beyond four or five days would be cut short, the date dependent on operational reasons.

If we have all done cruises on this site the first thing we should all know is never believe anything you hear from other passengers. Rumours are rife around the ship and that is how it has always been. Can you imagine how hard it would be to run a ship with up to 2,000 or more passengers and different rumours about everything. I am glad we have two people from the cruise actually telling the truth and refusing to elaborate on things that are beyond their scope of knowledge or speculating.

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59 minutes ago, subaru94 said:

That's really disappointing so much for finding out the truth when the NSW Police Force don't ask the obvious question as it was the disembarkation that was the biggest question.  

Disembarkation was the biggest question, but passengers cannot answer it. They would not know what communications between the ship and authorities resulting in having the ship cleared.

 

I have read a few times where passengers claimed they were "rushed off the ship". I think it is more likely it was a normal disembarkation. Passengers know they are going home and their minds are already moving onto the next step - transport, flights or whatever. In an interview with the Crooners Bar piano player, he remarked that the ship was "empty by 11am". That is normal. Sometimes the passengers have all disembarked by 10.30. If he had said it was empty by 9.30, I would agree that passengers were rushed off. All gone by 11am - absolutely normal.

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4 minutes ago, DiamondFour said:

If we have all done cruises on this site the first thing we should all know is never believe anything you hear from other passengers. Rumours are rife around the ship and that is how it has always been. Can you imagine how hard it would be to run a ship with up to 2,000 or more passengers and different rumours about everything. I am glad we have two people from the cruise actually telling the truth and refusing to elaborate on things that are beyond their scope of knowledge or speculating.

I agree.

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4 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

Disembarkation was the biggest question, but passengers cannot answer it. They would not know what communications between the ship and authorities resulting in having the ship cleared.

 

I have read a few times where passengers claimed they were "rushed off the ship". I think it is more likely it was a normal disembarkation. Passengers know they are going home and their minds are already moving onto the next step - transport, flights or whatever. In an interview with the Crooners Bar piano player, he remarked that the ship was "empty by 11am". That is normal. Sometimes the passengers have all disembarked by 10.30. If he had said it was empty by 9.30, I would agree that passengers were rushed off. All gone by 11am - absolutely normal.

Even under normal circumstances it can seem they are rushing you off the ship, especially to first time cruisers who may have expectations of being able to stroll off at their convenience. Of course they have to have an efficient disembarkation process as they would normally have to get everything ready for the new embarkations.

 

We usually request a disembarkation time after 9am, leave our cabin just before 8am, have a leisurely breakfast in the MDR, then wait in one of the lounges until our group is called. By that time most of the scrum in the luggage collection hall has eased and the pick-up and drop-off area isn't too busy.

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23 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

I would like to ask BRANDEE and robncruise what reason was given on the Ruby Princess for cutting the cruise short. There have been a couple of different versions in reports:

 

One report says passengers were told there was bad weather.

 

The ABC report says: Passengers were told the cruise had to be shortened because of the changing global circumstances surrounding coronavirus — like forced quarantine periods and dwindling availability of international flights.

 

Or was it because Princess had announced a pause in cruising on 12th March. Cruises that extended beyond four or five days would be cut short, the date dependent on operational reasons.

Up until the night of Napier, we were going to finish the cruise around New Zealand and head back to Sydney for Saturday the 21.

 

Even though Princess had suspended travel, it took 24 hours for the Captain to tell us what was officially decided for our ship.    We were told that it was the decision that it would be easier to finish the cruise and disembark the passengers in Sydney than try to get everyone home from New Zealand.

 

That also meant that there were 74 transit passengers who were suppose to continue to Fiji cruse and we were told that our travel arrangements to get home on Mar 21 would be handled by the cruise line.  So we docked in Wellington and Napier.  

 

We were in the Princess theater for the late show 9:30pm the night of Napier..Sun Mar 15.  when the captain came over the loud speaker to tell us that we had to return to Sydney immediately due to Sydney closing the port as well as New Zealand closing their ports.

 

Why we made a complete turn and sailed south to cut across Cook's Strait??  and not go around the north of New Zealand I do not know.  We did hear that there was a cyclone in the waters a few days earlier. We had rough seas for two days and going 19 knots.  On the third day we were out of the Strait and slowed down to sail in Sydney at 1 am on Thursday.  The captain did tell us we were going to dock at 1 am but would not disembark until cleared by immigration.  Passengers were all scrambling to get flights and passenger service was discouraging everyone from booking earlier flights in expectation of being delayed similar to Mar 8th disembarkment.  My original new flight was at 10 am out of Sydney airport and the passenger service said it was way too earlier and got me another flight that left at 6 pm Thursday.

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Thanks for the information, BRANDEE. Maybe the delay in telling passengers exactly how the cruise would end, was because of the number of cruises Princess had to deal with and make docking arrangements for. I can see why they didn't end the cruise in NZ. They had to return to Sydney and it was simpler and cheaper to take everyone back there. In addition, some passengers might have medical reasons why they don't fly. By getting them back to Sydney where the cruise was due to end, they could take land transport to their homes.

 

From looking at a map, it appears a shorter distance to go through Cook Strait when sailing from Napier to Sydney, rather than going around the northern tip of NZ. If the ship was going to Brisbane, the northern option would be shorter, but every time we have been on a ship that goes that way, we have been surprised how long it takes to go from Auckland and around the top.

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8 hours ago, BRANDEE said:

My husband is a retired federal criminal investigator for the internal revenue service of the united states government (40yrs)...This is his opinion which happens to be the same as mine. Not a first but pretty close...

 

He read the questions on the survey, especially commenting on bold print questions that become smaller less highlighted questions and laughed his ass off.  He especially noted the bold print question..Do you have any photos or videos of the cruise? and when you click that line a smaller..lighter printed question..Did they capture anybody in isolation, ill or disembarking the cruise? He asked if we had a picture of the door of our neighbors..do not disturb sign .. for the two first days.  Maybe they had covid and were hiding out..we thought they were just tired from travel or honeymooners..

 

He actually doesn't want to answer..total waste of time..it is a one sided survey for the purpose of accusing one company over another..this survey should have no bias.  To consider this a criminal investigation all questions should be asked.  Without questions regarding our embarkation and disembarkation all the facts are not there. How 19 Australians died from the ship includes how did someone sick get on and how did someone sick get off..not just did they clean the salt and pepper shakers.

Correct me if I am wrong but I would imagine with the experience of your husband that his professional opinion would be something along the lines of if the investigation is not done correctly then the defence lawyers would have an easy job of getting any potential charges thrown out or dismissed?

 

It is my understanding that an investigation like this would need to examine ALL possible suspects including that the people making the allegations are lying in order to have a rock solid case that cannot be undone by a good defence legal team.

 

For example if it were a murder investigation the first person the investigators would turn to is the immediate family (even if they had nothing to do with it) this clears up any suspicion of them as they were thrown under the microscope and essentially cleared while at the same time as investigating other leads and suspects. This credits the investigators with impartiality and closes off the possibility for a good defence lawyer of bringing in other credible suspects that the investigators did not bother to look out.

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1 hour ago, BRANDEE said:

 

Why we made a complete turn and sailed south to cut across Cook's Strait??  and not go around the north of New Zealand I do not know. 

It's the shortest route from Napier. If you look at a map of NZ you'll see a large part of the North Island sticking out to the East. That's East Cape and it takes a full sea day to get around it to Tauranga, then would take at another 1-2 more sea days to reach to Cape Brett, the northernmost tip of NZ before crossing the Tasman Sea to Sydney. Going south you probably reached Cook Strait overnight and therefore started the Tasman crossing 2-3 days earlier.

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2 hours ago, DiamondFour said:

If we have all done cruises on this site the first thing we should all know is never believe anything you hear from other passengers. Rumours are rife around the ship and that is how it has always been. Can you imagine how hard it would be to run a ship with up to 2,000 or more passengers and different rumours about everything. I am glad we have two people from the cruise actually telling the truth and refusing to elaborate on things that are beyond their scope of knowledge or speculating.


That's a little ironic as you were a Diamond passenger in Japan and you expect us to believe your observations. 

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2 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

Disembarkation was the biggest question, but passengers cannot answer it. They would not know what communications between the ship and authorities resulting in having the ship cleared.

 

I have read a few times where passengers claimed they were "rushed off the ship". I think it is more likely it was a normal disembarkation. Passengers know they are going home and their minds are already moving onto the next step - transport, flights or whatever. In an interview with the Crooners Bar piano player, he remarked that the ship was "empty by 11am". That is normal. Sometimes the passengers have all disembarked by 10.30. If he had said it was empty by 9.30, I would agree that passengers were rushed off. All gone by 11am - absolutely normal.

I think BRANDEE said they felt rushed off and out. 

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1 hour ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

It's the shortest route from Napier. If you look at a map of NZ you'll see a large part of the North Island sticking out to the East. That's East Cape and it takes a full sea day to get around it to Tauranga, then would take at another 1-2 more sea days to reach to Cape Brett, the northernmost tip of NZ before crossing the Tasman Sea to Sydney. Going south you probably reached Cook Strait overnight and therefore started the Tasman crossing 2-3 days earlier.

The map on the ship didn't make the northern tip look like the longer way..but now I get. it.  It took one day to turn around at Napier and get to strait.  Then one day to get through the strait..that was much wider than I originally thought and  than one day after through the strait to get to Sydney.  The last day sailing was actually smoother than we all thought..thi nk the ship was sailing under 16 knots..not sure, but much slower than the first two days.

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12 minutes ago, Pushka said:

I think BRANDEE said they felt rushed off and out. 

Considering the passengers were pretty much being told not to book early flights home on Thursday, due to an expected delay in disembarkation for temperature taking..When the first off at 7 am started and by 10:15 am I was at the airport for a 6pm flight..yep..felt the government wanted me out of the country. After 30+ cruises, yes I have gotten off at times without too much delay..but whisking through getting my luggage, going through immigration, getting on a bus to airport..and getting through security at airport..all the while waiting for the health department to check us...felt like being "kicked out".

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2 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

Thanks for the information, BRANDEE. Maybe the delay in telling passengers exactly how the cruise would end, was because of the number of cruises Princess had to deal with and make docking arrangements for. I can see why they didn't end the cruise in NZ. They had to return to Sydney and it was simpler and cheaper to take everyone back there. In addition, some passengers might have medical reasons why they don't fly. By getting them back to Sydney where the cruise was due to end, they could take land transport to their homes.

 

From looking at a map, it appears a shorter distance to go through Cook Strait when sailing from Napier to Sydney, rather than going around the northern tip of NZ. If the ship was going to Brisbane, the northern option would be shorter, but every time we have been on a ship that goes that way, we have been surprised how long it takes to go from Auckland and around the top.

I figured it was better to bring the 1900 Australians home to Sydney than try to get everyone home from New Zealand..I'm sure Princess was waiting for permission from Sydney to do that..that is why it took 24 hours to get an answer..I do know a lot of passengers were all over passenger services..asking what to do..and I really felt bad for the staff..some passengers were down right nasty.  Going back to Sydney seemed the best and Australians were told to use Napier as last foreign port so self isolate only 10 more days.

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4 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

An example of how a 'theory' becomes a 'fact'. An ABC article talks about life on board for the crew. Here is an extract

 

Self-isolation orders were imposed to stem any further spread of coronavirus after it was revealed by NSW Police that "someone who handles food" was the likely source of a deadly outbreak among passengers.

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-21/ruby-princess-set-to-leave-crew-coronavirus-fate-unclear/12165714

 

Exactly. A lot of people do things just because they see or hear someone else/say do something initially, and then you get herd behaviour.

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3 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

Disembarkation was the biggest question, but passengers cannot answer it. They would not know what communications between the ship and authorities resulting in having the ship cleared.

 

I have read a few times where passengers claimed they were "rushed off the ship". I think it is more likely it was a normal disembarkation. Passengers know they are going home and their minds are already moving onto the next step - transport, flights or whatever. In an interview with the Crooners Bar piano player, he remarked that the ship was "empty by 11am". That is normal. Sometimes the passengers have all disembarked by 10.30. If he had said it was empty by 9.30, I would agree that passengers were rushed off. All gone by 11am - absolutely normal.

 

Even earlier. Regular departure recent cruises is out of cabin by 8 a.m., and off ship by 9 a.m.

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23 minutes ago, BRANDEE said:

Considering the passengers were pretty much being told not to book early flights home on Thursday, due to an expected delay in disembarkation for temperature taking..When the first off at 7 am started and by 10:15 am I was at the airport for a 6pm flight..yep..felt the government wanted me out of the country. After 30+ cruises, yes I have gotten off at times without too much delay..but whisking through getting my luggage, going through immigration, getting on a bus to airport..and getting through security at airport..all the while waiting for the health department to check us...felt like being "kicked out".

They usually start disembarkations at 7am so that's nothing unusual, then they just progress through the groups as fast as the luggage collection and biosecurity checks allow. Celebrity are the worst for rushed disembarkations, their groups can often be runnng 30 minutes ahead of the scheduled time by about 9am.

 

Interesting that you were told onboard before arrival to expect delays which means the Captain et al was expecting health checks and so on which, of course, were omitted by the NSW government.

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16 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

They usually start disembarkations at 7am so that's nothing unusual, then they just progress through the groups as fast as the luggage collection and biosecurity checks allow. Celebrity are the worst for rushed disembarkations, their groups can often be runnng 30 minutes ahead of the scheduled time by about 9am.

 

Interesting that you were told onboard before arrival to expect delays which means the Captain et al was expecting health checks and so on which, of course, were omitted by the NSW government.

You are right saying that disembarkation begins at 7...but when you are told by passenger service to book air travel later in afternoon, plus the cruise embarked on Mar 8 later due to testing of the previous cruise..the expectation was not to be rushed out.  We got on board at 6:30 Mar 8, due to testing of the cruise before us. Those passengers disembarked closer to noon.  Why wouldn't the health department check us too, since covid was now more of an issue in the country.

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39 minutes ago, The_Big_M said:

 

Even earlier. Regular departure recent cruises is out of cabin by 8 a.m., and off ship by 9 a.m.

But when you are being told that the health department is going to ..more than likely..check you..so do not book an early flight..it is not a normal departure.  It was a "bums rush off".  and a very quick ride to the airport where passengers sat for 4 to 10 hours waiting to leave.

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7 minutes ago, BRANDEE said:

But when you are being told that the health department is going to ..more than likely..check you..so do not book an early flight..it is not a normal departure.  It was a "bums rush off".  and a very quick ride to the airport where passengers sat for 4 to 10 hours waiting to leave.

It sounds like it was a normal disembarkation, where you had been told there would be delays for medical checking.

 

We disembarked from the Sea Princess on 8th March and were told to expect delays for medical checks. There were none.

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9 minutes ago, BRANDEE said:

You are right saying that disembarkation begins at 7...but when you are told by passenger service to book air travel later in afternoon, plus the cruise embarked on Mar 8 later due to testing of the previous cruise..the expectation was not to be rushed out.  We got on board at 6:30 Mar 8, due to testing of the cruise before us. Those passengers disembarked closer to noon.  Why wouldn't the health department check us too, since covid was now more of an issue in the country.

I agree with OzKiwiJJ that because passengers were told to plan travel for later in the day, the Captain fully expected that disembarkation would be delayed. It would make sense the reason would be that he thought that the passengers would have to have health checks and or wait for Covid19 tests on I’ll passengers and the results. 
 

It is quite bewildering that NSW Health and Border Force didn’t wait for the results. 
 

Leigh

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