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Cruise Activity Restarts in San Diego


igraf
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11 hours ago, Loreto said:

We are booked on the Nov. 6 sailing of the Zuiderdam .  Booked it while on the Nieuw Amsterdam/Alaska. Paid in full and then found out about the COVID test requirement which is impossible to get in the 3 day timeline.where I live.

 

My days of booking with HAL may be over.  We leave next month for a river cruise, and all that is required is a vaccination.

From another source:

 

Southern California Residents - Noticed this thread has not been updated in awhile, so thought I would share our testing experience as we are flying to Hawaii tomorrow. We live in Orange County, but were visiting San Diego during the 72 hour pre-testing period, so that added one extra point of complexity.

We took 2 sets of Walgreens PCR tests for the kids just in case the first test got delayed or lost in transit. Both sets of tests were free -- no out of pocket costs and just had to submit insurance information or specify no insurance during online registration.

- 1st set of tests at 71 hours before departure. Test taken 8/26 at 10am pacific at Walgreens (San Diego County). They send their tests to a local Labcorp processing lab in San Diego. Technician mentioned tests get picked up at 7pm daily by courier, so we could have done the test anytime prior to then. The tests results showed up on the Labcorp patient portal on 8/28 (2 days later). First child's test posted at 8/28 7am (pacific) and the 2nd Child's test posted at 8/28 10am (pacific).

- 2nd set of tests at 66 hours before departure. Test taken 8/26 3:30pm pacific at a different Walgreens store (San Diego County). This store (close to San Diego Airport) send their tests to Aegis processing lab on East Coast. Technician mentioned we just missed their pickup and test would not be picked up until following morning. As of 8/28 evening (12 hours prior to departure), still no test results for either child. Here's the message from the Aegis site "Sample XXXXXX has been received and testing is in progress. Please check back later for your report. Reports are typically available within 24 hours after receipt."

For us local Walgreens store that uses the Labcorp lab in San Diego delivered the fastest results (less than 48 hours) and gave us ample time to submit the necessary PDF files to the Safe Travels Website. The Walgreens store that used Aegis testing took us 1 extra day since we missed the cutoff time for same day pickup. Would recommend the Walgreens/Labcorp combo as it was fast, easy, and free! You can call the Walgreens pharmacy to check which lab they use and the cutoff time for same day pickup. If the Walgreens results did not show up in a timely manner, our backup plan was to visit City Health Urgent Care at Long Beach Airport (https://covidtesting.cityhealthuc.co...ons/long-beach). For $20 per person, you can get results within 2 hours by taking Abbott 
Rapid Molecular (NAAT) Test. Thankfully, we didn't have to go to this option.
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3 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

As we are scheduled to go over on October 2, I am very aware of the current issues.

Someday... soon... I hope we return to not having COVID being something we plan and monitor.  

Cheers!

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, LAFFNVEGAS said:

I personally do not know exact reason why the sudden canceling and changes of moving people from Zuiderdam to Koningsdam and canceling the first several Zuiderdam but I have a guess. It has nothing to do with getting crew to the ship, nor does it have anything to do with getting everyone vaccinated. It is  $$$$SALES$$$$. Neither of these ships are selling that great, prices have actually dropped in many categories. They started to get more cancellations than reservations once they announced passengers needed to be tested and wearing masks on board.

 

The other problem is that September is not a good time to visit the Mexican Riviera as the weather would likely be uncomfortably hot.

 

igraf

 

 

 

Edited by igraf
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14 hours ago, Loreto said:

We are booked on the Nov. 6 sailing of the Zuiderdam .  Booked it while on the Nieuw Amsterdam/Alaska. Paid in full and then found out about the COVID test requirement which is impossible to get in the 3 day timeline.where I live.

 

My days of booking with HAL may be over.  We leave next month for a river cruise, and all that is required is a vaccination.

 

 

One could travel to the embarkation city ahead of time to arrange for testing.  I would get the testing done at two different places with at least one being a paid-for premium service.   A lot of people spend one or two precruise nights in a hotel anyway.  Not as drastic as abandoning cruising and San Diego is a nice area to visit.

 

igraf

 

 

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1 hour ago, igraf said:

 

The other problem is that September is not a good time to visit the Mexican Riviera as the weather would likely be uncomfortably hot.

 

igraf

 

 

 

How is this any different than all the cruises that sail throughout the Caribbean in the summer/fall - and likely experience even hotter and more humid weather there than along the Mexican Riviera?  Personally I don't think that plays a part in slow bookings at all.

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13 minutes ago, zelker said:

How is this any different than all the cruises that sail throughout the Caribbean in the summer/fall - and likely experience even hotter and more humid weather there than along the Mexican Riviera?  Personally I don't think that plays a part in slow bookings at all.

I agree.  Plus the Eurodam in the Med in August!

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1 hour ago, zelker said:

How is this any different than all the cruises that sail throughout the Caribbean in the summer/fall - and likely experience even hotter and more humid weather there than along the Mexican Riviera?  Personally I don't think that plays a part in slow bookings at all.

 

I can assure you that Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta can be downright miserable on a hot and humid day.  The fact that it is also miserable elsewhere doesn't really make me want to go.  🙂

 

We have cruised to Mexico from San Diego later in the season several times without a problem.  My wife went separately on an early season cruise once that hit an El Nino event.  Not an experience that she wishes to repeat. Even the locals were complaining about the conditions. 

 

The point being that there is not a lot of "push" to get customers to purchase early season cruises to Mexico if there are other problems with the cruise.

 

igraf

 

 

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16 minutes ago, igraf said:

 

I can assure you that Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta can be downright miserable on a hot and humid day.  The fact that it is also miserable elsewhere doesn't really make me want to go.  🙂

 

We have cruised to Mexico from San Diego later in the season several times without a problem.  My wife went separately on an early season cruise once that hit an El Nino event.  Not an experience that she wishes to repeat. Even the locals were complaining about the conditions. 

 

The point being that there is not a lot of "push" to get customers to purchase early season cruises to Mexico if there are other problems with the cruise.

 

igraf

 

 

Relatives were in Cabo a week ago for a wedding and they said it was very hot and humid, miserable conditions.

 

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Ooh this is interesting news. We were planning on going to the Caribbean and east coast of Mexico on a different line in October but now with the Delta variant running rampant and Florida being kind of a hotspot we’re thinking of going closer to home on the konningsdam. Still don’t want to be in the first sailing though.

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7 minutes ago, DaveOKC said:

Relatives were in Cabo a week ago for a wedding and they said it was very hot and humid, miserable conditions.

 

We were in PV in very late October about 5 years ago. Mid 90s in temp, mid 80s in humidity.

 

Cabo and PV are anticipating a hurricane visit in the next couple of days.

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4 hours ago, igraf said:

 

The other problem is that September is not a good time to visit the Mexican Riviera as the weather would likely be uncomfortably hot.

 

igraf

 

 

 

Beside being hot and humid, it is hurricane season. Puerta Vallarta got hit with a lot of damage last night from Hurricane Nora. Lots of flooding, one of the major bridges  was torn away. PV is going to be a mess for quite a while.

https://www.vallartadaily.com/hurricane-nora-leaves-damage-in-puerto-vallarta/

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I am pleased to report that the Disney Wonder did in fact berth in San Diego today (Sept 2nd) as was previously scheduled.  A nice sight to see while I was driving to the airport this evening.  The San Diego cruise port is indeed coming back to life.

 

We will see when HAL ships show up in San Diego to prepare for their restart.

 

igraf

 

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On 8/29/2021 at 8:52 AM, igraf said:

 

The other problem is that September is not a good time to visit the Mexican Riviera as the weather would likely be uncomfortably hot.

 

igraf

 

 

 

 

Edited by Boatdrill
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I see that the Zuiderdam has joined the Disney Wonder in San Diego.  I will have to go down and have a look at the next opportunity.  Unfortunately, it appears that both lines have postponed passenger cruises until October.  Disney is still showing an October 1st departure, so that is not too bad if it holds.

 

igraf

 

 

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Disney Wonder is doing simulated cruises in Sept.  The dates are not firm yet, although she did return from Ensenada today with some Disney employees and their adult families who sailed on Friday.

 

The Zuiderdam is undergoing some maintenance, as is the Koningsdam in Ensenada and the Westerdam in Puerto Vallarta.

 

I was in Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas the week before last and the temperatures were not more than 86-87 degrees.  It was nearly perfect.

 

David

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The HAL Zuiderdam and Disney Wonder are docked together in San Diego today.  A couple weeks of delay, but late is better than never!  The Disney Wonder is boarding paying customers, while the Zuiderdam is preparing to restart soon.  I also attached a small photo of the new restaurant complex between the cruise ships and the Star of India.

 

igraf

 

Zuiderdam and Wonder.JPG

SD cruise port restaurants.JPG

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The Disney Wonder guests on September 20th and 22nd are Disney employees, contracted staff employees, and corporate executives.

 

None of those sailing were "paying" customers.

 

The first revenue cruise is October 1st.


David

Edited by DAllenTCY
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6 hours ago, igraf said:

The HAL Zuiderdam and Disney Wonder are docked together in San Diego today ... the Zuiderdam is preparing to restart soon.

 

Zuiderdam and Wonder.JPG

 

Actually the Zuiderdam’s first cruise isn’t until December 23rd, so still 3 months out.

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42 minutes ago, DAllenTCY said:

The Disney Wonder guests on September 20th and 22nd are Disney employees, contracted staff employees, and corporate executives.

 

None of those sailing were "paying" customers.

 

The first revenue cruise is October 1st.


David

 

OK.  That explains why it was somewhat quiet at the pier.  A guard told me that the Wonder was taking on passengers but that most got on earlier in the morning.  I did see a few people with suitcases crossing the gangway.

 

We have to take progress as it comes.  Very slowly.....

 

igraf

 

 

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37 minutes ago, zelker said:

Actually the Zuiderdam’s first cruise isn’t until December 23rd, so still 3 months out.

 

I guess it happens when it happens.  Even the current information on the HAL website is incorrect, unless Santa Barbara has reopened for cruise visits.  Disney was showing earlier cruises out of San Diego not too long ago.   Definitely a state of flux and I don't know how anyone could plan a vacation unless one lives in San Diego and can leave at a moment's notice. 

 

The San Diego port schedule is currently showing several cruise ships calling on San Diego between now and mid October (besides the two today).  Subject to change, of course.

 

DISNEY WONDER 09/27 unkn 09/27 unkn SAN DIEGO, US Berth B-1 INBOUND PASSENGERS ISPS METRO BS
KONINGSDAM 09/30 06:00 09/30 18:00 Berth B-2 PSH SSA NL
GRAND PRINCESS 10/01 06:30 10/01 22:00 LOS ANGELES, US Berth BDWY-2 INBOUND PASSENGERS PSH SSA BM
KONINGSDAM 10/02 unkn 10/05 unkn Berth B-4 INBOUND VESSEL STORES PSH SSA NL
NIEUW AMSTERDAM 10/06 05:30 10/06 17:00 SANTA BARBARA, US Berth B-2 INBOUND PASSENGERS PSH SSA NL
MAJESTIC PRINCESS 10/07 06:00 10/07 17:00 LOS ANGELES, US Berth B-4 INBOUND PASSENGERS PSH SSA GB
ZUIDERDAM 10/16 unkn 10/16 unkn

 

igraf

 

 

 

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Celebrity Millennium is scheduled for her first 8-day California Coastal cruise on October 11.  Since Santa Barbara closed, we now have a sea day.  She is transiting from Seattle without passengers to comply with the PVSA.  We are looking forward to it. 

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11 hours ago, BSinPNS said:

Celebrity Millennium is scheduled for her first 8-day California Coastal cruise on October 11.  Since Santa Barbara closed, we now have a sea day.  She is transiting from Seattle without passengers to comply with the PVSA.  We are looking forward to it. 

I guess they could have done a one way to Ensenada and bussed everyone to San Diego but something tells me that would not have been a sell out cruise.  

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On 8/28/2021 at 12:03 PM, LAFFNVEGAS said:

I personally do not know exact reason why the sudden canceling and changes of moving people from Zuiderdam to Koningsdam and canceling the first several Zuiderdam but I have a guess. It has nothing to do with getting crew to the ship, nor does it have anything to do with getting everyone vaccinated. It is  $$$$SALES$$$$. Neither of these ships are selling that great, prices have actually dropped in many categories. They started to get more cancellations than reservations once they announced passengers needed to be tested and wearing masks on board. The Delta Varient getting worse has not helped matters as well as the covid spread in Mexico getting worse. Recent Alaska sailings have sailed with less passengers than the very first sailing July 24th when that was to be the sailing with the least amount of passengers and they would take it up to 90%. That is not happening. HAL's only option was to hope those still booked that were wanting to sail on the Zuiderdam were willing to wait a few weeks and sail on the Koningsdam. Just a side note that in the past when HAL was doing the move overs they would close off the ship for new reservations so that canceled cruises could be moved to so they could easily process the move overs. This time this is not happening Koningsdam is open to book. HAL does not want to miss any opportunity to sell a cabin. Availability is wide open for those weeks in October.

 To add to the Mexican Riviera cruises ,we are able to sail in a handicap balcony on Carnival Panorama ,7 night  Mexican  Riviera  on a Carnival Casino rate if $584 flat  for both of us  in October 2021  . Although tempting we pass   one because of the 48 hour covid test window &  there is always the possibility of some one getting off in a Mexican port & bringing back the virus  as Asymtomatic   & infecting others  . Thus ,even though we are vaccinated  ,we are both 82 with underlying medical conditions & it is not worth the risk 

 Looking into the future  from a marketing perspective , the cruise lines really need to take additional steps & precautions  , One they need to test at the embarkation pier to guarantee no one gets on the ship that could get infected between the 48 hours &  boarding  .Then ,they  need to control the tours with ships tours only  to also stop on shore infections from occurring  . This virus  is going to be here for a very long time ,when you consider there are almost 8 billion people in the world & how long it may take to get people vaccinated   for herd immunity  .Then there is the  probability that the virus will mutate into  a new virus that could require  new vaccines not yet   available  .Could be very much like the yearly flu ;but ,more dangerous & require current vaccines   . 

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