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2 minutes ago, possum52 said:

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.

I agree. This confirms that the Captain fully expected medical checks on disembarkation. He and the ship's officers were probably surprised when the ship was cleared as normal.

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13 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.

But once the ship was given permission to disembark, the passengers would have to, they wouldn’t have had a choice. It is not unusual to have to wait hours for flights after a cruise. How did you get to the airport?

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, possum52 said:

But once the ship was given permission to disembark, the passengers would have to, they wouldn’t have had a choice. It is not unusual to have to wait hours for flights after a cruise. How did you get to the airport?

Once disembarkation started, passengers could delay for a short time, but if they waited too long, calls wold be made to leave. I can remember times having to wait at an airport seven or more hours for an international flight.

Edited by Aus Traveller
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25 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.

Yes, and that is why I'm concerned about the direction the so-called police investigation is taking. Onboard the ship there was the expectation that there would be delays due to health checks or whatever. Then suddenly it's a fairly normal disembarkation because it was decided by the health authorities, not the ship, that health checks weren't necessary. 

 

What actually happened on the ship as far as the spread of the virus was, sadly, unfortunate but given what is known about the virus it's probably about what could be expected if the virus was unwittingly brought onboard by a passenger. The numbers infected and length of the shortened cruise are actually very similar to the Diamond situation. 

 

Sometimes I'd just like to give our governments a good whack with a reality bat, followed by another whack from a "be honest and own up" bat! 

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4 minutes ago, possum52 said:

But once the ship was given permission to disembark, the passengers would have to, they wouldn’t have had a choice. It is not unusual to have to wait hours for flights after a cruise. How did you get to the airport?

As soon as you exited the port building, there were buses ready to take you to domestic or international terminals. I purchased a Princess transfer the night before but never used it..no one asked just grabbed my luggage when I said international and off to the airport. If you weren't there it is hard to explain the feeling of being rushed..After 30 + disembarkations..this was rushed.  Passengers on the bus were all in amazement at what just happened.  Everyone said..get off the ship..get out of the country.  Wow!!

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1 minute ago, BRANDEE said:

As soon as you exited the port building, there were buses ready to take you to domestic or international terminals. I purchased a Princess transfer the night before but never used it..no one asked just grabbed my luggage when I said international and off to the airport. If you weren't there it is hard to explain the feeling of being rushed..After 30 + disembarkations..this was rushed.  Passengers on the bus were all in amazement at what just happened.  Everyone said..get off the ship..get out of the country.  Wow!!

Thanks for explaining BRANDEE, now the question is who organised the coaches - the Govt or Princess?

 

Leigh

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16 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

I agree. This confirms that the Captain fully expected medical checks on disembarkation. He and the ship's officers were probably surprised when the ship was cleared as normal.

If on Mar 8th the captain reported sick people on board and the NSW health department checked them..of course, the captain expected the NSW Health department to check the passengers with flu.on Mar 19...but they did not...End of story..NSW health department guilty of neglect..there is the criminal case.  The rest is now bull....

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2 minutes ago, possum52 said:

Thanks for explaining BRANDEE, now the question is who organised the coaches - the Govt or Princess?

 

Leigh

I paid for Princess transfer, but still have my ticket..no one asked..just literally grabbed your luggage out of your hand and put it under the bus..we had to stand in a corner to be left alone so my brother could catch up with us so we would be together on the same bus..

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3 minutes ago, BRANDEE said:

I paid for Princess transfer, but still have my ticket..no one asked..just literally grabbed your luggage out of your hand and put it under the bus..we had to stand in a corner to be left alone so my brother could catch up with us so we would be together on the same bus..

Were all passengers heading to the airport loaded onto the coaches, or could you have taken the train or a taxi?

 

Leigh

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4 minutes ago, possum52 said:

Were all passengers heading to the airport loaded onto the coaches, or could you have taken the train or a taxi?

 

Leigh

I know that there were passengers who lived in Australia who were catching trains home, or buses or being picked up by family in cars... but no idea about any other way to get to airport..never investigated it, not knowing the city.  I was less that ten feet out of the building (port)before I was approached with the words international or domestic . Since I had a transfer, I didn't look to see if there was a taxi line further down the block..   Sorry I can not help you with an answer.

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21 minutes ago, BRANDEE said:

As soon as you exited the port building, there were buses ready to take you to domestic or international terminals. I purchased a Princess transfer the night before but never used it..no one asked just grabbed my luggage when I said international and off to the airport. If you weren't there it is hard to explain the feeling of being rushed..After 30 + disembarkations..this was rushed.  Passengers on the bus were all in amazement at what just happened.  Everyone said..get off the ship..get out of the country.  Wow!!

Agreed! That is definitely rushed! And you're the first person who has explained that so thanks, that makes comments by other people more understandable.

 

Was it a relatively normal disembarkation up to that point or did you also feel rushed:

- actually leaving the ship ie were they pushing the groups through faster that normal in your experience? Although even that often depends on how things are moving in the cruise terminal.

- picking up your luggage?

- going through biosecurity?

 

And, of course, there was no passport check although some people have said that's normal on a closed Australia/NZ loop. I've only done one way NZ-Sydney cruises and there were passport checks on those.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, BRANDEE said:

If on Mar 8th the captain reported sick people on board and the NSW health department checked them..of course, the captain expected the NSW Health department to check the passengers with flu.on Mar 19...but they did not...End of story..NSW health department guilty of neglect..there is the criminal case.  The rest is now bull....

You'll have no argument from me on that one!  😉

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1 minute ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

And, of course, there was no passport check although some people have said that's normal on a closed Australia/NZ loop. I've only done one way NZ-Sydney cruises and there were passport checks on those.

It is a long time since we have had passports checked on returning to Australia. Our last few cruises were to New Guinea, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand.

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3 minutes ago, BRANDEE said:

I know that there were passengers who lived in Australia who were catching trains home, or buses or being picked up by family in cars... but no idea about any other way to get to airport..never investigated it, not knowing the city.  I was less that ten feet out of the building (port)before I was approached with the words international or domestic . Since I had a transfer, I didn't look to see if there was a taxi line further down the block..   Sorry I can not help you with an answer.

The taxi rank is actually on the roof of the Overseas Passenger Terminal, you go up in elevators that are just outside the terminal entrance. 

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1 minute ago, Aus Traveller said:

It is a long time since we have had passports checked on returning to Australia. Our last few cruises were to New Guinea, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand.

We've had them on every all three Auckland to Sydney cruises, which makes sense as Australian passport control don't get to do a face-to-face when you embark the ship, but on round trips they do.

 

We also had a passport check at the end of a PNG cruise, but have never had them on the South Pacific cruises. And we had one after the 35 night Hawaii/Tahiti cruise.

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3 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

And, of course, there was no passport check although some people have said that's normal on a closed Australia/NZ loop. I've only done one way NZ-Sydney cruises and there were passport checks on those.

 

 

I have never had a passport check after a cruise that was round trip from Sydney just handed in the yellow card on the way out. I cruised end of February and no checks at all then coming home. We were questioned about our health twice during embarkation, had numerous emails prior to the cruise and lots of information in our rooms about COVID-19. Also noticed extra cleaning in the terminal. The cruise was on Ovation of the Seas.

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25 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

Agreed! That is definitely rushed! And you're the first person who has explained that so thanks, that makes comments by other people more understandable.

 

Was it a relatively normal disembarkation up to that point or did you also feel rushed:

- actually leaving the ship ie were they pushing the groups through faster that normal in your experience? Although even that often depends on how things are moving in the cruise terminal.

- picking up your luggage?

- going through biosecurity?

 

And, of course, there was no passport check although some people have said that's normal on a closed Australia/NZ loop. I've only done one way NZ-Sydney cruises and there were passport checks on those.

 

 

We went for breakfast at 6:45 then returned back to room for carry on and said bye to our room steward.  She was worried about how she was going to get home after the crew finished their 10 day quarantine on board (Napier was considered the last foreign port).  We were in the Club Fusion around  8 :15 sat 15 minutes and was called to leave..earlier than the suggested time on sheet..out the door right on to promenade deck where the crew was lined up with signs to wish us well..We all joked with them that they could not wait to get us off to start the party..After cleaning the ship..they all had 10 days to relax before heading home. Went through a line to hand our declaration paper, immigration gave a quick look at passport (first we were told to put away the passports, than told to take them out) and down stairs to luggage, out the door, on the bus , arrived at airport, waited to find out where our plane was leaving from, got the plane ticket and through airport security by 10:30.  Cup of coffee and muffin by 11am.  What was biosecurity..is that where they should have taken away the honey bought in Napier, instead of having it taken away at airport security?

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Only ever had my passport checked on returning home once and that was on Golden Princess last December on a round trip to NZ from Melbourne.

 

When we arrived in Auckland (last port) the ships computers were down.  600 Kiwis disembarked and 600 new Kiwis embarked while 1800 Aussies went ashore for the day.  They wrote our folio numbers down on bits of paper in no particular order as we went ashore and again wrote them down in no particular order as we came back on board. 

 

We were supposed to depart at 3.00pm - long way back to Melb.  However 2 hours later we were still there.  They then asked everyone to go to their cabins so we could be counted.  Then 30 minutes after the first announcements they came over in Chinese.  Needless to say some people were not where they should have been.

 

We left 3 hours late and it is my guess that they never reconciled their numbers and so couldn't provide Border Force with a cast iron guarantee as to who was on board or not.  Therefore we had to produce passports on arrival.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, BRANDEE said:

We went for breakfast at 6:45 then returned back to room for carry on and said bye to our room steward.  She was worried about how she was going to get home after the crew finished their 10 day quarantine on board (Napier was considered the last foreign port).  We were in the Club Fusion around  8 :15 sat 15 minutes and was called to leave..earlier than the suggested time on sheet..out the door right on to promenade deck where the crew was lined up with signs to wish us well..We all joked with them that they could not wait to get us off to start the party..After cleaning the ship..they all had 10 days to relax before heading home. Went through a line to hand our declaration paper, immigration gave a quick look at passport (first we were told to put away the passports, than told to take them out) and down stairs to luggage, out the door, on the bus , arrived at airport, waited to find out where our plane was leaving from, got the plane ticket and through airport security by 10:30.  Cup of coffee and muffin by 11am.  What was biosecurity..is that where they should have taken away the honey bought in Napier, instead of having it taken away at airport security?

 

Thanks, BRANDEE, that doesn't seem too different to the norm, apart from the crew lining up to farewell you. So you did actually have a quick passport check?

 

The declaration form you handed in just after leaving the ship - was that a health declaration or the standard arrivals card where you declare various things (including the honey)? If it was the latter that was unusual. That us usually taken right at the end after collecting your luggage. It's checked and then you are either waved on out the terminal or directed to have a chat with one of the biosecurity officers who usually have tables set up to the right of that part of the hall. You should have been directed there and your honey checked.

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12 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

 

Thanks, BRANDEE, that doesn't seem too different to the norm, apart from the crew lining up to farewell you. So you did actually have a quick passport check?

 

The declaration form you handed in just after leaving the ship - was that a health declaration or the standard arrivals card where you declare various things (including the honey)? If it was the latter that was unusual. That us usually taken right at the end after collecting your luggage. It's checked and then you are either waved on out the terminal or directed to have a chat with one of the biosecurity officers who usually have tables set up to the right of that part of the hall. You should have been directed there and your honey checked.

I might be wrong, but I also remember having my visa paper looked at at the immigration desk..but it was very quick.  We were on a line before luggage (actually pretty much after getting off) and a lot of us thought it was the temperature taking line..no when we got up to the top of the line they asked for paper that was in my passport book from when I arrived in Sydney..one per family paper that you fill out on plane.  Never asked what I purchased..my brother had the honey and they let him through..three jars that were sealed, but not in an additional plastic bag.  Security took it away at airport.  So we all bought more honey at airport..It was our only souveniers for family  lol  I have since used myself when sick..

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26 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

 

Thanks, BRANDEE, that doesn't seem too different to the norm, apart from the crew lining up to farewell you. So you did actually have a quick passport check?

 

The declaration form you handed in just after leaving the ship - was that a health declaration or the standard arrivals card where you declare various things (including the honey)? If it was the latter that was unusual. That us usually taken right at the end after collecting your luggage. It's checked and then you are either waved on out the terminal or directed to have a chat with one of the biosecurity officers who usually have tables set up to the right of that part of the hall. You should have been directed there and your honey checked.

I was going to say the same thing re the last thing you do before leaving the terminal is hand in your custom’s declaration. As BRANDEE had honey she would normally have been directed to the tables to have it checked. Interesting that passports were checked. 

Edited by possum52
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22 minutes ago, BRANDEE said:

I might be wrong, but I also remember having my visa paper looked at at the immigration desk..but it was very quick.  We were on a line before luggage (actually pretty much after getting off) and a lot of us thought it was the temperature taking line..no when we got up to the top of the line they asked for paper that was in my passport book from when I arrived in Sydney..one per family paper that you fill out on plane.  Never asked what I purchased..my brother had the honey and they let him through..three jars that were sealed, but not in an additional plastic bag.  Security took it away at airport.  So we all bought more honey at airport..It was our only souveniers for family  lol  I have since used myself when sick..

The incoming passport check we had in Sydney last year was also pretty quick. I can't recall whether they scanned our passports, probably and they also have all the info supplied by the ship.

 

Yes, airport security would have taken the honey as it would have been over 100ml per container. But, of course, the shops in the departure area have lots of honey to sell you at inflated prices! Grrrr! That always annoys me even though I can see the logic behind it.

 

Honey is one of those items that has to be checked if bringing it into Australia. I think they allow some commercial brands but you probably couldn't bring in honey from a small boutique honey producer. 

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2 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

The incoming passport check we had in Sydney last year was also pretty quick. I can't recall whether they scanned our passports, probably and they also have all the info supplied by the ship.

 

Yes, airport security would have taken the honey as it would have been over 100ml per container. But, of course, the shops in the departure area have lots of honey to sell you at inflated prices! Grrrr! That always annoys me even though I can see the logic behind it.

 

Honey is one of those items that has to be checked if bringing it into Australia. I think they allow some commercial brands but you probably couldn't bring in honey from a small boutique honey producer. 

Honey can be brought into Australia, but (from memory) not into Western Australia. The reason BRANDEE's honey was confiscated is the rule of no liquids or gels etc. over 100ml. If they had the honey in checked luggage, it would have been OK.

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37 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

Honey can be brought into Australia, but (from memory) not into Western Australia. The reason BRANDEE's honey was confiscated is the rule of no liquids or gels etc. over 100ml. If they had the honey in checked luggage, it would have been OK.

That is correct, if it was in your checked luggage it would have been fine. 
 

Leigh

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10 hours 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.

I agree with BRANDEES assessment   but these dates may help  a bit with the timeline  

11March  Fiordland   WHO  declares global pandemic

12 March Port Chalmers/ Dunedin   Princess announces a pause in operations  voyages underway  and extend beyond March 17 will be ended at the most convenient location for our guests    - made sense to disembark in Sydney.

14 March NZ PM announces no more cruise ship visits after 15 March ( but cruises currently in NZ waters were apparently able to continue)  I think it was this night the Captain gave us the "good news " that we were able to complete our cruise however a cautionery note was sounded was that ther was a major cyclone brewing in the north and that could impede our intended route.   My husband  - not travelling with me had been warning me from the 12 March that our journey to Bay of Islands could be doubtful      BUT on

15 March  Australia announces a cruise ship ban   and it is not clear whether our turnaround was because of the Australian cruise ban or the Princess operation pause or the storm ahead or all  combined.

I do however have to reiterate  that the disembarkation was not substantially different than I have experienced In   Sydney ( many times) Melbourne  Adelaide   Auckland and even Yokohama over the past few years.   The only difference was that the bus trip  was much much quicker than usual  - not rush hour traffic.   We did get to the airport early  in part because  the instructions for international travellers was clearly spelled out  - we were able to travel to the airport and stay there . Usually in non covid 19 times a passenger could have gone sightseeing  or done a disembarkation our but this was not an option. I ca assure people that when I have flown back to NZ  I have usually had to wait the whole day because the flights depart either too early to catch on arrival by ship . As it happens there was to have been a flight to NZ at 12.30 that day but it was cancelled so the only option was  a 5.30 flight.   So what happened to us all was not that unusual in my experience at Australian and New Zealand ports

 

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