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Everything posted by SargassoPirate

  1. Keep checking. I too filed with a my credit card company to let them slug it out with Princess. I am not confident that Princess has the cash reserves to pay all of the refunds that people are due, unless they run their new cruise bookings like Ponzi. Plus, they would probably like to cull off some of the herd of loyal cruisers and their benefits. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. We don't NEED to cruise, so the future of crusing for She Who Must Be Obeyed and me is a wait and see.
  2. There is a good documentary about Covid-19 on NetFlix. Narrated by JK Simmons, the Farmers Insurance guy. It explains a lot of the science about why Covid-19 spread so fast when compared to SARS, H1N1, and even ebola.
  3. With a vaccine in use worldwide. Why step foot on a ship until then and run the risk of closed ports or being quarantined on the ship?
  4. Here's an article that was carried in our local paper and is available to read online: https://apnews.com/cb9947b1bd563637b17b102456c2be8b Here is just a sample from the article: "Medical officials in Rio de Janeiro and at least four other major cities have warned that their hospital systems are on the verge of collapse, or already too overwhelmed to take any more patients. Health experts expect the number of infections in the country of 211 million people will be much higher than what has been reported because of insufficient, delayed testing. Meanwhile, President Jair Bolsonaro has shown no sign of wavering from his insistence that COVID-19 is a relatively minor disease and that broad social-distancing measures are not needed to stop it. He has said only Brazilians at high risk should be isolated. In Manaus, the biggest city in the Amazon, officials said a cemetery has been forced to dig mass graves because there have been so many deaths. Workers have been burying 100 corpses a day — triple the pre-virus average of burials."
  5. File with your credit card company now, let them slug it out with Princess, and then you can sit back and enjoyed house arrest, er, lockdown, er um, stay-at-home.
  6. Losing the down payment vs what I just went through in Australia and the Ruby Princess is a good tradeoff. I'm still waiting for a refund from Princess for the cruise they cancelled. Let's hope for a vaccine soon
  7. Tbay, it's a bucket list cruise for me as well and I had been watching the cruise for several years. I was scheduled to board the Ruby Princess on April 4, and ended up just barely being able to get home from Australia. It's the things beyond my control that have me worried - such as not being allowed to port or being stuck on the ship or having to disembark where I hadn't planned to. The more I think about this one, I'm about 99 percent sure I'll sit this one out. Plenty of time to make a final call before the final payment is due
  8. My intention was not to berate but to get them to think and make an informed intelligent decision. The only skin I have in this is a non-refundable deposit that I can walk away from when the time comes in order to stay healthy.
  9. I haven't cancelled yet, but I sent this to Holland America: "I know Holland America is monitoring the Covd-19 pandemic, but are you watching the situation in Brazil? The Volendam is scheduled to sail there in November, 2020. The government in Brazil is not supporting testing, physical distancing, and the use of personal protective equipment. A vaccine for Covid-19 is 12-18 months away from availability. Do you really want to take a shipload of people to Brazil in the absence of a vaccine and with conditions in Brazil that are getting worse by the day? Please consider conceling this cruise and redeploying the ship to a safer venue."
  10. Direct from the CDC website is a list of underlying medical conditions. The focus here is Covid-19, but the seasonal flu can add to the risk factor for these conditions. Also notice the disclaimer - If Not Well Controlled. COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Based on what we know now, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are: People 65 years and older People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including: People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma People who have serious heart conditions People who are immunocompromised Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher) People with diabetes People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis People with liver disease
  11. Very true, rwdtgb. While She Who Must Be Obeyed and I know how to keep ourselves safe through universal precautions, my trepidation about cruising too soon are things beyond our control such as what we expereinced in March. Ports closing to cruise ships. Cancelled flights. In-country travel restrictions. That's why we'll suspend international travel until there is a world-wide vaccine. It's time to spend some of our travel dollars in the good old USA anyway.
  12. Setting the temps to the highest setting is a knee-jerk overkill reaction. The Covid-19 virus is coated with a protein that is broken down with simple soap. Think about it, do you wash your hands in the hottest temperature that you can get out of the faucet? I will be happy if they stop pre-setting the Horizon Court tables with drinkware for anyone to handle and cough/sneeze on.
  13. If you are feeling nervous about actually receiving a cash refund, file a dispute with your credit card company. Then you'll have an advocate in your corner to slug it out with Princess. It'll put your mind at ease - at least it did for us.
  14. File a dispute with your credit card company and let them slug it out with Princess. One way or the other you'll get your money back. In the meantime, you'll get the amount credited to your credit card as a provisional credit - so don't spend it until something is settled. I started a credit card dispute last year for a hotel overcharge - charged for four nights instead of three. Mr. Patel and the hotel was no help. I filed a disput with the credit card company, they issued a provisional credit for the overcharge amount, and after 60 days of no response from the hotel they closed the dispute and issued a permanent refund.
  15. Good point, Wendy. Before all of this virus mess I put down a deposit on a 2022 world cruise. Fortunately, the final payment date is so far away that we'll either have a worldwide vaccine or it'll be the zombie apocalypse. Seriously though, I'm gambling my deposit that things will be back to normal by then.
  16. We were so impressed with the vendors that as soon as there is a wordlwide vaccine we will return to Australia and rebook with them. Vouchers are not as good as a full refund during uncertain times like these, but everyone I dealt with was wonderful and did what they could. A smile, even over the phone, goes a long way - along with the question I always fall back on - "What can you do for me?"
  17. If you look at the CDC list of people vulnerable to Covid-19, in addition to age it includes a host of underlying conditions including obesity, diabetes, COPD, and more. That would pretty much clear out the ship if they started trying to ban high risk passengers.
  18. Our April 4th sailing on the Ruby Princess was cancelled. We were already on land in Australia - more on that below. As soon as Princess offered their "deal" on refunds I applied. That was over a month ago. Not getting a good warm fuzzy feeling, last week I sent an email inquiry to the Captain's Club on the timeline for refunds. I received a phone call yesterday and the Princess agent said the refunds were being processed in order of sailing date and were expected to take another 30-60 days. I then started a dispute with my credit card company. I figured I'd let the credit card company and Princess slug it out. Personally, I think they are stalling. Australia - because of the cancelled Ruby Princess cruise, we were essentially stuck in Australia. After the cruise was cancelled, we booked flights home from Sydney on April 4 since that was when our land travels were set to terminate. As conditions in Australia changed and the states started to close their borders, we revised our land travels several times and ended up rebooking several legs of our trip in order to get to Sydney earlier than planned and catch the one daily flight from there to the US. Even with the rebookings and disruptions to our schedule, we never suffered a loss that would be compensable by our travel insurance. Why? As we cancelled, each company stepped up and issued refunds or vouchers for future travel without question and almost immediately. Those included: Great Souther Railway - vouchers for the full cost of the trip on The Indian Pacific even though we were able to complete one leg. Viator - immediate refunds on several tours in Perth, Adelaide, and Sydney Murray River Cruise - immediate refund Hawaiian Airlines - speedy refund American Airlines - voucher for balance of rebooked flights. Hilton Grand Vacations Club - immediate restoration of points and fees for cancelled booking So, why is Princess taking so long?
  19. I'd bet we'll see more handwashing than ever before. I'm like the TV character Monk about touching common surfaces and then washing my hands or sanitizing. In years past we have received strange looks from people for resanitizing our hands at the table after touching the chair to pull it in and the menu. And for sure in the buffet after touching common-use ladles and tongs. This virus is easily controlled by handwashing and keeping your hands away from your face. What we can't control is the people who don't wash their hands, spread it, and then impact our travel plans.
  20. We are not going to travel outside the U.S. until there is a vaccine for Covid-19 in use worldwide. We have cancelled our remaining cruises for 2020 and will consider our 2021 bookings as the final payment dates approach. Future cruise bookings and airline choices will depend on how we are treated with regards to the travel we have cancelled. They need us more than we need them, so we will wait and see. In the meantime, Viking Ocean has announced a very generous Risk Free booking guarantee for cruises booked through April 30. I feel confident about a late 2021 cruise we have booked with them.
  21. We are going to wait until there is a vaccine for Covid-19 in use worldwide before we travel outside the U.S. again, and who we travel with depends on how they handle what we have cancelled for the remainder of 2020. They need us more than we need them!
  22. With a final payment date approaching, I nosed around on Viking's website and found this: We understand that some of our guests might be hesitant about making a cruise reservation or traveling at this time. That is why Viking is offering a limited-time offer—the most flexible of any cruise line—so that you can plan your voyage with peace of mind. The Risk-Free Guarantee allows guests to change their cruise date up until 24 hours before their planned departure—and Viking will waive any fees. This offer covers all Viking reservations that are made by April 30, 2020. That means that if you reserved your cruise in 2019 or if you reserve a new cruise tomorrow, you will be covered, regardless of itinerary or departure date. Risk-Free Guarantee: How it Works To be covered by this guarantee, you must make a reservation by April 30, 2020. This guarantee is combinable with all other Viking offers available. When you are covered by the Risk-Free Guarantee you may change your cruise reservation with notification to Viking. Notification must be received as follows: For those with flights arranged by Viking, it must be received at least 24 hours prior to the time of flight departure. For those who arrange their own flights, it must be received at least 24 hours prior to the time of cruise embarkation or hotel check-in, whichever is first. Reservation changes will be reimbursed in the form of a Future Cruise Voucher in the amount of 100% of any fees incurred. Guests will have 24 months to select their new date and use their Future Cruise Voucher to make a new reservation on any river, ocean or expedition cruise.
  23. I saw the same practices on the Sky in February and complained to the buffet supervisor. He said it was company policy to preset the tables because it provides faster service. I was shamed here on CC for being anti-Princess. How's that policy working for you, Princess? Is it still OK to leave unused drinkware on the tables and wipe the table off with a used cloth napkin?
  24. We have cancelled our scheduled cruises through the end of the year - 2020. We were slated to board the ill fated Ruby Princess in Australia on April 4 and missed that one by a hair. We were anticipating the cruise back home after several weeks on land, but barely made it out of Australia to the US on one of the few remaining flights between Sydney and the US. We are able to keep ourselves safe by practicing frequent hand washing and sanitizing - thus breaking the most prevalent method of Covid-19 transmission - hand to mouth/face. But, too many people don't wash their hands and too many travel logistics are beyond our control. We have cruises booked through early 2022, but do not plan to leave the US or step on a cruise ship until there is a widespread vaccine and treatment for Covid-19. How about you? When will you be willing to chance it?
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