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Ruby Princess police investigation


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As I think I've mentioned before I doubt that Princess phone reps had any clue that there would be risks from overseas passengers in the days leading up to the departure of that cruise. And remember, Australian Border Force had not banned visitors from the US, UK and Italy, only from China and a few other Asian countries. 

 

However by the time the cruise returned to Sydney it was recognised that the US, in particular, was a problem. I imagine the NSW authorities were informed of the nationalities of all the passengers and that should have rung alarm bells, although it is possible that NSW Health didn't have that info. 

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35 minutes ago, Pushka said:

When Princess were contacted prior to the cruise about safety risks, why did they not mention that 1/3 of the passengers weren't from Aus/NZ? We know why, don't we. 

 

I don't think it's what you are implying. Do you honestly think Princess had that much foresight in the days leading up to the cruise? I mean NSW Health and Border Force didn't, which is really their job. And why would Princess lie when it would have been so much easier to deny boarding of anyone who was not an Australian. It could have avoided all this bad publicity and class actions. It would have been so much cheaper for them to compensate any American or any European that they denied embarking.

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1 minute ago, christodan said:

 

I don't think it's what you are implying. Do you honestly think Princess had that much foresight in the days leading up to the cruise? I mean NSW Health and Border Force didn't, which is really their job. And why would Princess lie when it would have been so much easier to deny boarding of anyone who was not an Australian. It could have avoided all this bad publicity and class actions. It would have been so much cheaper for them to compensate any American or any European that they denied embarking.


They would never deny boarding to 1000 passengers. Princess didn't lie, they just weren't forthcoming about the passenger mix and which would likely have influenced a passenger as to the risk. 
 

By early March we knew we would not be risk going to Bali at end of March. We cancelled. So not wisdom in hindsight for us as we walked the talk. Why the cruise lines felt it would be safe? I have no idea. 

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4 minutes ago, Pushka said:

By early March we knew we would not be risk going to Bali at end of March. We cancelled. So not wisdom in hindsight for us as we walked the talk. Why the cruise lines felt it would be safe? I have no idea. 

 

I think many people would assume that Bali is higher risk than cruising from Sydney. I certainly don't think hygiene is one of Bali's strong points, so it really isn't using too much common sense in cancelling that. Not only that, but I wouldn't want to be sick in a Bali hospital, so I would think that many people would cancel a Bali holiday over  a cruise to NZ with first class facilities in case they did get sick. 

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1 hour ago, Pushka said:

What Princess did not say was that 1000 passengers were not Aussie/NZers but from overseas countries

Is this something you are making up or know for certain. Where is the reference to back up this statement as I would really like to see proof of this.

 

Are you suggesting that Customs, Immigration and Border Force did not do their job by registering the passengers leaving Australia?

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1 hour ago, DiamondFour said:

Is this something you are making up or know for certain. Where is the reference to back up this statement as I would really like to see proof of this.

 

Are you suggesting that Customs, Immigration and Border Force did not do their job by registering the passengers leaving Australia?


It has been referenced several times just in this thread. And here in the ABC news website

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-13/coronavirus-concerns-for-international-ruby-princess-passengers/12143544

 

Not sure what your last sentence means. Can't see the relevance. 

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1 hour ago, christodan said:

 

I think many people would assume that Bali is higher risk than cruising from Sydney. I certainly don't think hygiene is one of Bali's strong points, so it really isn't using too much common sense in cancelling that. Not only that, but I wouldn't want to be sick in a Bali hospital, so I would think that many people would cancel a Bali holiday over  a cruise to NZ with first class facilities in case they did get sick. 

Bali didn't have a higher alert than NZ did at the time, for Covid. 

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6 hours ago, DiamondFour said:

You are missing my point. By focusing on those silly questions, NSW Health could have been more direct and specific by asking questions about how many international guests flew in and joined the cruise and what they travel history and background was. By doing that they could establish if they came from a higher risk area and could have brought the virus onto the ship.

 

The questions by NSW Health were already found to be a weak point after their initial internal investigation and were tightened up the following week.

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2 hours ago, Pushka said:


Let me help you. Passengers who contacted Princess before the cruise were told it was a Low risk cruise as it was an Australian NZ itinerary and Covid was not currently prevalent in either. So as to reassure them they were safe from risk. What Princess did not say was that 1000 passengers were not Aussie/NZers but from overseas countries and which of course, raised the risk level substantially. Then someone here mentioned that Princess would not know the passenger mix prior to the cruise. Which of course, as you point out, we know wasn't true. 
 

When Princess were contacted prior to the cruise about safety risks, why did they not mention that 1/3 of the passengers weren't from Aus/NZ? We know why, don't we. 
 

And Diamond showed everyone weeks before that pre screening is totally useless. 

 

Yes we know why.

 

Because call centre agents don't have the manifest in front of them.

Because call centre agents aren't going to release personal information to others.

Because the manifest changes up til boarding and specific details of country of origin can vary then as passengers vary and check in details may not be completed.

Because giving country of origin details doesn't answer the question. Especially back then when Canadian and US passengers were welcome to visit the country, and there was no restriction by the government.

 

No conspiracy, as you imply.

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7 hours ago, The_Big_M said:

 

Yes we know why.

 

Because call centre agents don't have the manifest in front of them.

Because call centre agents aren't going to release personal information to others.

Because the manifest changes up til boarding and specific details of country of origin can vary then as passengers vary and check in details may not be completed.

Because giving country of origin details doesn't answer the question. Especially back then when Canadian and US passengers were welcome to visit the country, and there was no restriction by the government.

 

No conspiracy, as you imply.


So really trying to ascertain risk was a pointless exercise. Reassurances meaningless. 

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30 minutes ago, christodan said:

Not my point The perception is that Bali would be higher risk than NZ. 

 
Depends on your perspective. My perception. We have been to Bali many times. And on several cruises. After Princess Diamond my perception of cruises was that they were much more at risk than Bali and while in Feb we were still contemplating Bali, we had pretty much formed the opinion that cruises were out of bounds for some time. 

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10 hours ago, Pushka said:


Let me help you. Passengers who contacted Princess before the cruise were told it was a Low risk cruise as it was an Australian NZ itinerary and Covid was not currently prevalent in either. So as to reassure them they were safe from risk. What Princess did not say was that 1000 passengers were not Aussie/NZers but from overseas countries and which of course, raised the risk level substantially. Then someone here mentioned that Princess would not know the passenger mix prior to the cruise. Which of course, as you point out, we know wasn't true. 
 

When Princess were contacted prior to the cruise about safety risks, why did they not mention that 1/3 of the passengers weren't from Aus/NZ? We know why, don't we. 
 

And Diamond showed everyone weeks before that pre screening is totally useless. 

I don't agree with your argument. If I was going on that cruise and contacted Princess beforehand to ask if it was safe, it would not have occurred to me to ask what the passenger mix was. (We went on a cruise to NZ two weeks earlier and did not consider the passenger mix, only the fact that Australia and NZ were both fairly safe at the time.) I agree with the comment someone made, that the call centre staff would not have access to the passenger list so, even if someone asked what percentage of passengers would be coming from which country, they would not be able to answer it.

 

The answer that you suggest was given "it was a Low risk cruise as it was an Australian NZ itinerary and Covid was not currently prevalent in either" was exactly how we assessed our NZ cruise and how people at the time would have assessed the Ruby Princess cruise. The international situation was changing every day.

 

Another point - Princess didn't need to tell NSW Health and Border Force what the passenger mix was on board. These departments would already have had that information.

Edited by Aus Traveller
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10 minutes ago, Pushka said:


So really trying to ascertain risk was a pointless exercise. Reassurances meaningless. 

Exactly. That is why I think it would be a waste of time contacting either the cruise line call centre or a travel agent to ask if the cruise would be safe. What the h... did they expect the answer to be??? Why waste their time asking this question? I think the person who did that was very naive. If the cruise line thought it would not be safe, they would have cancelled the cruise. End of story.

Edited by Aus Traveller
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17 hours ago, The_Big_M said:

 

Aren't they just the standard questions for all arrivals?

 

Also, keep in mind not everyone is onboard for the whole cruise/14 days e.g. crew transfers, entertainers flying in from some other place and joining the ship mid cruise - as well as passenger arrivals/departures mid itinerary.

 

They should ask the question; people are having a go at them for not asking updated questions, so you shouldn't expect them to assume the above.

Entertainers probably changed over during the Ruby Princess cruise, but I doubt very much that new passengers joined part way through the itinerary. In my experience, that doesn't happen on a Princess NZ cruise.

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13 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

Exactly. That is why I think it would be a waste of time contacting either the cruise line call centre or a travel agent to ask if the cruise would be safe. What the h... did they expect the answer to be??? Why waste their time asking this question? I think the person who did that was very naive. If the cruise line thought it would not be safe, they would have cancelled the cruise. End of story.


Really? Covid is running around the world, people have died from Diamond Princess and which created world headlines for quite some days, and it's a waste of time for a newbie to call up and enquire about safety on her upcoming cruise especially for her aged mother?   
 

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7 minutes ago, Pushka said:


Really? Covid is running around the world, people have died from Diamond Princess and which created world headlines for quite some days, and it's a waste of time for a newbie to call up and enquire about safety on her upcoming cruise especially for her aged mother?   
 

Yes, in my opinion it was a waste of time for the person to call to ask if the cruise was safe and also it was a waste of the time for the person answering the call. Maybe if the person phoning could have asked the doctor on board, the answer might have been different, but she would have been speaking to someone who had no more knowledge of what was happening in the world at the time than the caller. The caller themselves could make the decision. I think I also read that the person who phoned Princess also asked her doctor. He said to go ahead with the cruise and they would not be at risk. I suggest that asking her doctor was a better course of action than phoning the cruise line call centre, but even so, the answer was simply reassurance that everything would be OK.

 

During March, the situation regarding COVID was changing rapidly. This is illustrated by the fact that even after NZ closed its port to new cruise ship visits and Princess announced a pause to cruising, the NSW Health Department still classified the Ruby Princess cruise as "low risk" even though there were a lot of people quarantined in their cabins with respiratory symptoms.

Edited by Aus Traveller
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Wow a lot of theories going around.

Let's see if I have this right. According to testimony already given, Ruby Princess reported a number of guests with "respiratory difficulty" and that they had tested negative for influenza. They have reported illness as required, they may suspect COVID 19 but they do not have the ability to test. As I said before now it's in NSW Health's court. I suspect the "international" passengers were shipped off asap so that NSW Health would not be stuck with a bunch of foreigners taking up resources if they are sick. Unfortunately they just punted the ball down field and some of those international passengers were sick and contagious and didn't know it. Oh well not NSW Health's problem anymore they're gone. In my skeptical mind it also looks like NSW health wanted to get the Australians from other States the heck out of NSW as well for the same reason. Just my opinion.

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13 minutes ago, Blackduck59 said:

Wow a lot of theories going around.

Let's see if I have this right. According to testimony already given, Ruby Princess reported a number of guests with "respiratory difficulty" and that they had tested negative for influenza. They have reported illness as required, they may suspect COVID 19 but they do not have the ability to test. As I said before now it's in NSW Health's court. I suspect the "international" passengers were shipped off asap so that NSW Health would not be stuck with a bunch of foreigners taking up resources if they are sick. Unfortunately they just punted the ball down field and some of those international passengers were sick and contagious and didn't know it. Oh well not NSW Health's problem anymore they're gone. In my skeptical mind it also looks like NSW health wanted to get the Australians from other States the heck out of NSW as well for the same reason. Just my opinion.


I reckon that's a pretty good summary!  
 

 

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32 minutes ago, Blackduck59 said:

Wow a lot of theories going around.

Let's see if I have this right. According to testimony already given, Ruby Princess reported a number of guests with "respiratory difficulty" and that they had tested negative for influenza. They have reported illness as required, they may suspect COVID 19 but they do not have the ability to test. As I said before now it's in NSW Health's court. I suspect the "international" passengers were shipped off asap so that NSW Health would not be stuck with a bunch of foreigners taking up resources if they are sick. Unfortunately they just punted the ball down field and some of those international passengers were sick and contagious and didn't know it. Oh well not NSW Health's problem anymore they're gone. In my skeptical mind it also looks like NSW health wanted to get the Australians from other States the heck out of NSW as well for the same reason. Just my opinion.

From what I have read (and experienced on other cruises) the disembarkation process from the Ruby went along as normal, except on this occasion, many staff were lined up to farewell the guests. I don't think there was any conscious effort to get the international guests out of the country or the interstate ones out of NSW. I feel you are 'crediting' NSW authorities with more thinking and organisation than was the case.🙂

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11 hours ago, Pushka said:


It has been referenced several times just in this thread. And here in the ABC news website

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-13/coronavirus-concerns-for-international-ruby-princess-passengers/12143544

 

Not sure what your last sentence means. Can't see the relevance. 

That is what you call fake news. Of course Australian officials knew exactly how many international guests were on that ship. Do you honestly believe we are living in some banana republic where international holidaymakers can just enter our country undocumented, board a cruise ship and the authorities not know about it? That is the biggest piece of fake journalism that has come out since the term fake news was invented.

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12 minutes ago, DiamondFour said:

That is what you call fake news. Of course Australian officials knew exactly how many international guests were on that ship. Do you honestly believe we are living in some banana republic where international holidaymakers can just enter our country undocumented, board a cruise ship and the authorities not know about it? That is the biggest piece of fake journalism that has come out since the term fake news was invented.


I think you missed the whole point. You asked me to clarify how many overseas passengers were on board. I posted an article that referenced that number from the abc Australian news site. Now you've gone on a bender about the stories in the article. 

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45 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

From what I have read (and experienced on other cruises) the disembarkation process from the Ruby went along as normal, except on this occasion, many staff were lined up to farewell the guests. I don't think there was any conscious effort to get the international guests out of the country or the interstate ones out of NSW. I feel you are 'crediting' NSW authorities with more thinking and organisation than was the case.🙂

I agree. Also any comments about rushed (or not) disembarkation are subjective. The normal disembarkation process is efficient. It has to be as, under normal circumstances, there would be a new load of passengers waiting to embark in a few hours. Efficient could be seen as rushed by newbies.

 

Also it depends on the mood and circumstances of each passenger. Are they champing at the bit to get to the airport, or to their hotel, or home to see their furbabies? Do they have a tour booked - was that even still possible? Certainly the 14 day self-isolation requirement would have changed things. Or are they squeezing every last minute out of their cruise, don't want to disembark, and so they feel they are being rushed off the ship. Or are they like us - replete from a hearty breakfast in the MDR, knowing there are more cruises booked and it's only a short Uber ride home, we amble off once our group is called - no hurry, no worry!

 

I've seen statements saying all passengers were off the ship by 11am - "really? That late?" is my reaction to that. Usually the ships are cleared by 10am.

 

Also every cruise terminal is different. When we disembarked from Ruby in December at the OPT it was extremely efficient. The best to date of the eight cruises we have done that disembarked there. 

 

The only odd note appears to be the airport transfer situation. Were they rushing them through because a lot of people had requested transfers and they needed to move the buses through quickly - the OPT has very little parking space for buses, it's a real problem. Or was it an attempt to get people away from the ship quickly as some people have implied, and if so at whose instigation?

 

There are too many factors, either subjective or unknown.

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1 hour ago, Blackduck59 said:

Wow a lot of theories going around.

Let's see if I have this right. According to testimony already given, Ruby Princess reported a number of guests with "respiratory difficulty" and that they had tested negative for influenza. They have reported illness as required, they may suspect COVID 19 but they do not have the ability to test. As I said before now it's in NSW Health's court. I suspect the "international" passengers were shipped off asap so that NSW Health would not be stuck with a bunch of foreigners taking up resources if they are sick. Unfortunately they just punted the ball down field and some of those international passengers were sick and contagious and didn't know it. Oh well not NSW Health's problem anymore they're gone. In my skeptical mind it also looks like NSW health wanted to get the Australians from other States the heck out of NSW as well for the same reason. Just my opinion.

I think it was more the case that incoming passengers, via ship or plan were required to self isolate for 14 days once they arrived home.  I mentioned before, I think NSW put on the buses to the airport (not Princess) because they wanted everyone who had flights to go direct to the airport and not wander around Sydney first.

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