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tennisbeforewine

John and Diane's Latest Adventures - 2020

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17 minutes ago, tennisbeforewine said:

We know about the other cruise lines' decisions, but we also realize that we are as safe onboard this ship as we would be at home - probably more, and no one has to worry about people hoarding toilet paper (although I still don't understand that, since coronavirus is a respiratory disease).  If we have to return home mid-cruise we'll do so, but in the meantime we're certainly enjoying our current location.  In fact, my next activity is choosing what to wear for this evening's gala night.  

 

Thanks for your concerns and we'll keep you updated - except that you'll probably hear it before we do.

Good to hear for all of you on Amsterdam and we did have a friend that had been doing the World Cruise. Had to come back early the last two years and unfortunately no longer with us.  

 

Has now been announced from CLIA that all ocean going cruise lines will be voluntarily and temporarily suspending cruise ship operations from and to U.S. ports of call for 30 days effective 12:00 AM on March 14 Eastern time. Midnight tonight for those of us in the eastern time zone. Its all on the home page at cruising.org for CLIA. The 30 days will have come and gone by the time you are back into Ft. Lauderdale unless its extended.

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Sorry, for some reason I can’t get the link to work now. I’ll try to copy and paste from another post from this forum. 

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Holland America Line Announces a Voluntary and Temporary Pause of its Global Ship Operations for 30 Days 

Due to the continued port closures and travel restrictions surrounding COVID-19 and in an abundance of caution, Holland America Line has made the decision to voluntarily pause global cruise operations of its 14 ships for 30 days, impacting sailings scheduled to depart through April 14, 2020.

“These are unprecedented times, and while no guests or crew have tested positive for COVID-19 on any of our ships, we must take a leadership position as a global citizen and ensure that we are doing everything we can to help stabilize the situation,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We know this decision will be disappointing and also inconvenience guests currently in transit, and for that we sincerely apologize. All of us at Holland America Line are fully committed to supporting all our guests through this change.

“Holland America Line operates 14 ships on all seven continents and we thank all of our guests, travel advisor partners, employees and business partners for their support during this challenging time,” added Ashford. “We look forward to welcoming our guests back on board soon.”

Three cruises that were scheduled to depart this weekend are now cancelled. Booked guests and their travel advisors are in the process of being notified. Guests on these three cruises cancelled this weekend will receive a 100% refund and 100% Future Cruise Credit. 

The cancelled cruises are: 

• Oosterdam: originally scheduled to embark Saturday, March 14 in San Diego, California.
• Nieuw Amsterdam: originally scheduled to embark Saturday, March 14 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
• Koningsdam: originally scheduled to embark Sunday, March 15, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Any guests on back-to-back cruises beyond the dates above will now need to disembark the ship. 

Other voyages that are currently in progress are planned to debark as follows:

• Eurodam: March 18 in San Diego, California, as scheduled.
• Veendam: March 18 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
• Zuiderdam: March 18 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
• Maasdam: March 20 in Hilo, Hawaii. This is a change from the scheduled disembarkation in San Diego, California, on April 3.
• Zaandam: March 21 in San Antonio, Chile as scheduled.
• Volendam: March 22 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
• Amsterdam: March 24 in Freemantle, Australia. This is a change from the scheduled disembarkation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on May 12.
• Rotterdam: March 27 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.

Any guests on back-to-back cruises beyond the dates above will need to disembark.

Ships not currently in service due to previous cancellations are: Nieuw Statendam, Noordam and Westerdam. 

Guests who have booked their own air should first contact their airline to make ticket changes. Holland America Line will rebook all guests who purchased their air through the Flight Ease program and will endeavor to help others who booked their own air if they are encountering issues. 

Guests currently booked on cruises beyond this weekend that will now not be operating will receive a communication from Holland America Line in the coming days regarding their options.

To fully support guests on the cruises that were cancelled for this weekend and who are in transit, Holland America Line kindly requests that all those booked on cruises next week or later do not call reservations for assistance this weekend as hold times are expected to be very long. The line will be automatically working through the bookings of all impacted guests based on departure date and will send communications in the coming week regarding their options. We sincerely thank everyone for their patience and understanding.

Recognizing the vital role travel advisors play in the success of the cruise industry, Holland America Line will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the Future Cruise Credits when guests rebook. 

Holland America Line’s corporate employees remain working and will focus on supporting guests and travel advisors impacted by these changes and preparing for cruise operations to resume. As more details become known about future cruise itineraries, they will be communicated.

 

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NEWS BULLETIN:

 

THE WORLD CRUISE WILL BE TERMINATED IN FREMANTLE (FOR PERTH) AUSTRALIA ON MARCH 24.  THERE IS NO INFORMATION YET AS TO HOW WE'LL GET HOME, REFUNDS, CREDITS, ETC.  

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11 minutes ago, tennisbeforewine said:

NEWS BULLETIN:

 

THE WORLD CRUISE WILL BE TERMINATED IN FREMANTLE (FOR PERTH) AUSTRALIA ON MARCH 24.  THERE IS NO INFORMATION YET AS TO HOW WE'LL GET HOME, REFUNDS, CREDITS, ETC.  

 so sorry,  hope that you ( & everyone else on your cruise stays safe & healthy to cruise again someday soon.  

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 Sorry to hear that your trip is ending. Have very much enjoyed your posts. Safe travels home.

 

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I have been enjoying your adventures and I'm so sorry that your cruise is ending like this.

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I am so sorry your cruise is coming to such an unseemly end. I have enjoyed your posts, and your zest for doing something new at ports and enjoy the on board activities. It comes through in your writings. 
I hope you will be back to enjoy another World Cruise, and bring us along with your reports. 

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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

At Sea en route to Fremantle (for Perth), Australia

 

We thought we'd arrive in Fremantle on March 24, but because we were not allowed to stop at "in-transit" ports, we'll be arriving earlier than expected - on Sunday, March 22.  After waiting with bated breath (and in the middle of a lot of griping and moaning), Captain Jonathan came over the intercom with HAL's updated information for us on the cancelled cruise.  Here are the main points that he communicated:

  • If you have HAL air service (Flightease), you will be flown home.
  • If you don't have Flightease, you need to make your own travel arrangements.
  • If you had either four or unlimited baggage shipment, that will apply now.  Apparently the luggage will be tagged, left on the ship for the 28 or 29 days necessary to get back to Ft. Lauderdale, and then it will be shipped to our homes, for a total of nearly six weeks.  If you did not have a cabin category that included free luggage shipment, you may leave your suitcases and they will be shipped to you at FedEx rates.
  • Travel change expenses will be reimbursed up to $1250.00.  (I'm not quite sure what that covers)
  •  There will NOT be a 14-day quarantine period for disembarking passengers, since we have had medical clearance already.  This is John's favorite part.
  • For compensation, we have two choices:  1.  Based on the full fare you paid, you may have a 50% credit and a 50% future cruise credit.  2.  You may have a 125% future cruise credit.  So . . . if you paid $100,000 (just because it's an easy number to work with), you may choose between a $50,000 (credit card) credit and a $50,000 future cruise credit OR you may have a $125,000 future cruise credit.  Of course most people paid a lot less than that, but that's the way it works out.

Of course this was all over the intercom system while I took notes, and we haven't yet received it in writing, but I'm sure that will be here today or tomorrow.  

 

So . . . what are WE doing?  We'll stay one night at a Perth hotel, then fly to Sydney on the 23rd, where we'll stay for (probably) four nights before flying to Los Angeles and thence to San Luis Obispo.  We're just hanging out on the ship while a lot of people are packing and just staying in their rooms.  Since we only have five days left of our "128 day" cruise, we plan to enjoy them.  Tonight is Ginni's birthday dinner, which also includes Woody, whose birthday was yesterday as well as Will, who will have his actual birthday in two days.  Our travel agent is hosting a cocktail party tomorrow evening, which follows two separate free happy hours yesterday afternoon and evening.  Sometimes I feel like people think we're sailing on the Titanic and have to pack everything into the next five days.   

 

If there's any other news, I'll write about it, but it seems pretty calm here right now.   

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Happy to hear that you will be able to enjoy Australia a little longer and were able to make some lemonade out of the lemons you were given.  Cherie

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Posted (edited)

just saw this on HAL's Blog on FB . also on their regular HAL Blog

 

here's the latest HAL Blog Update for the Amsterdam.. 
https://www.facebook.com/HALCruises also at https://www.hollandamerica.com/blog/topics/news/holland-america-line-ship-disembarkation-update/?linkId=84518552
if you can't link then I copied/pasted for you.. GOOD LUCK to ALL my friends onboard

UPDATE - (March 17th 4pm PT/7pm ET)

Amsterdam: Now that the Grand Word Voyage is ending March 22 at Fremantle, Australia, we are fully aware and understand that some of our guests have concerns about air travel from Australia relative to their age and individual health situations. Our senior medical team both on board and at our headquarters are fully engaged in reviewing the circumstances of the very small number of guests that may require special assistance with their travel planning, in alignment with the International Transport Association (IATA) fitness standards for air travel.

Additionally, several Amsterdam guests requested to sail back to Ft. Lauderdale with the ship. Our team has thoroughly reviewed this option and made the determination that it is not safe for guests. The ship’s return path is remote, and countries and islands along the way are not currently accepting cruise ships. We have no way of predicting when they will open. The journey is estimated to take at least 30 days and will likely encounter additional challenges along the way with provisioning. Medical capabilities on the ship are limited and are primarily for stabilizing patients before getting them to the nearest shoreside medical facility for evaluation and treatment. In today’s environment we cannot be assured that we would have the ability to do this or be able to access medical support and life-saving services along the remote route.

We have advised guests to proceed with booking their flights home from Fremantle. Complimentary internet and phone service are available. Holland America Line will assist those guests who are having difficulty securing air arrangements on their own.

FOR A FULL UPDATE ON ALL SHIPS VISIT OUR BLOG >> https://www.hollandamerica.com/blog/topics/news/holland-america-line-ship-disembarkation-update/?linkId=84518552

 

 

Edited by Stakeout

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, tennisbeforewine said:

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

At Sea en route to Fremantle (for Perth), Australia

 

We thought we'd arrive in Fremantle on March 24, but because we were not allowed to stop at "in-transit" ports, we'll be arriving earlier than expected - on Sunday, March 22.  After waiting with bated breath (and in the middle of a lot of griping and moaning), Captain Jonathan came over the intercom with HAL's updated information for us on the cancelled cruise.  Here are the main points that he communicated:

  • If you have HAL air service (Flightease), you will be flown home.
  • If you don't have Flightease, you need to make your own travel arrangements.
  • If you had either four or unlimited baggage shipment, that will apply now.  Apparently the luggage will be tagged, left on the ship for the 28 or 29 days necessary to get back to Ft. Lauderdale, and then it will be shipped to our homes, for a total of nearly six weeks.  If you did not have a cabin category that included free luggage shipment, you may leave your suitcases and they will be shipped to you at FedEx rates.
  • Travel change expenses will be reimbursed up to $1250.00.  (I'm not quite sure what that covers)
  •  There will NOT be a 14-day quarantine period for disembarking passengers, since we have had medical clearance already.  This is John's favorite part.
  • For compensation, we have two choices:  1.  Based on the full fare you paid, you may have a 50% credit and a 50% future cruise credit.  2.  You may have a 125% future cruise credit.  So . . . if you paid $100,000 (just because it's an easy number to work with), you may choose between a $50,000 (credit card) credit and a $50,000 future cruise credit OR you may have a $125,000 future cruise credit.  Of course most people paid a lot less than that, but that's the way it works out.

Of course this was all over the intercom system while I took notes, and we haven't yet received it in writing, but I'm sure that will be here today or tomorrow.  

 

So . . . what are WE doing?  We'll stay one night at a Perth hotel, then fly to Sydney on the 23rd, where we'll stay for (probably) four nights before flying to Los Angeles and thence to San Luis Obispo.  We're just hanging out on the ship while a lot of people are packing and just staying in their rooms.  Since we only have five days left of our "128 day" cruise, we plan to enjoy them.  Tonight is Ginni's birthday dinner, which also includes Woody, whose birthday was yesterday as well as Will, who will have his actual birthday in two days.  Our travel agent is hosting a cocktail party tomorrow evening, which follows two separate free happy hours yesterday afternoon and evening.  Sometimes I feel like people think we're sailing on the Titanic and have to pack everything into the next five days.   

 

If there's any other news, I'll write about it, but it seems pretty calm here right now.   

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news - Virgin is suspending all international flights from 30/3 to 14/6 and reducing domestic capacity by 50%

Qantas has made some route changes to North America and is also reducing capacity. 

Hope you enjoy your brief stopover in Sydney and you are able to get flights home.  

Edited by MMDown Under

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1 hour ago, MMDown Under said:

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news - Virgin is suspending all international flights from 30/3 to 14/6 and reducing domestic capacity by 50%

Qantas has made some route changes to North America and is also reducing capacity. 

Hope you enjoy your brief stopover in Sydney and you are able to get flights home.  

 

We were on the QM2 and just arrived home in New Hampshire yesterday evening.  Cunard did everyone's flights for them regardless so that was convenient.  We flew from Syd to LAX on Virgin Australia, leaving the March 17th.  The agent told us the flight was overbooked although we were able to upgrade to economy X (more legroom).  It was packed!

 

Oh, by the way we were asked specific questions about what countries we've traveled from, Italy..China etc while in Australia but when we got to LAX, they didn't ask any specific questions they were more interested in if we bought anything while in Sydney.  Yikes.

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Delighted to hear you arrived home safely.  Economy X would have been a good investment on a packed flight.

Why am I not surprised!  In Victoria the latest infected cases are from the USA.

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1 hour ago, Cruise NH said:

 

We were on the QM2 and just arrived home in New Hampshire yesterday evening.  Cunard did everyone's flights for them regardless so that was convenient.  We flew from Syd to LAX on Virgin Australia, leaving the March 17th.  The agent told us the flight was overbooked although we were able to upgrade to economy X (more legroom).  It was packed!

 

Oh, by the way we were asked specific questions about what countries we've traveled from, Italy..China etc while in Australia but when we got to LAX, they didn't ask any specific questions they were more interested in if we bought anything while in Sydney.  Yikes.

 

Glad you are home safely.

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Saturday, March 21, 2020

Fremantle and Perth, Australia

 

Although we were scheduled to arrive in Fremantle on the 22nd, we actually arrived at 8:00 this morning (March 21).  We had booked the Doubletree Hotel in Perth for two nights, allowing one day as a "sea day" to hang around the pool, walk the neighborhood, and just relax.  

 

Well . . . . that wasn't quite what happened.  This morning, our VERY highly placed source told us that Fremantle would NOT allow any passengers to go to a hotel, but had to go directly to the airport for their flights.  That would mean that we would spend two more nights on the ship and go directly to the airport on the morning of the 23rd.  This information was not made public, and when I asked about it at the front desk, the officer there said, "I think you know more than we do."  Finally the announcement was made by the captain (because people really listen to him) that only those people going to the airport would be disembarked - and the groaning and complaining rose to a crescendo.  John was a nervous wreck, but my "What?  Me Worry?" attitude just made me look at tonight's menu and say, "Wow, there are all kinds of things I'd like for dinner."  

 

An hour later, the captain came on again and told us he had good news.  Apparently Canberra, the national capital, had overridden the earlier decision and we could not only leave the ship, but go to a hotel.  Within a half hour, we had our carry-ons in hand, walked off the ship and onto a bus headed for Perth.  One of the nicest things was that Captain Jonathan, who has become a good friend, was on the open area outside the bridge waving at us.  I blew him a kiss and he blew one back. 

 

Half an hour later, we arrived at one hotel, took a taxi to our hotel, and here we are, sitting at a sidewalk table of the hotel's bar, drinking a beer and a cider.  As much as I love the ship, this does have a very relaxed feeling, and this evening we're meeting one of John's former students/tennis players for dinner.  Tomorrow is a lovely free day, and mid-day Rich and Ginni will join us here.  

 

On the 23rd, we'll fly Virgin Australia (which is operating domestically) to Sydney, and on the 24th we head HOME!  We're on United Airlines non-stop to San Francisco, where our rental car will await us for the four-hour drive to home sweet home.  I've always believed that "everything will always work out for the best," and although we're not home yet, things are looking good.  

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1 hour ago, tennisbeforewine said:

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Fremantle and Perth, Australia

 

Although we were scheduled to arrive in Fremantle on the 22nd, we actually arrived at 8:00 this morning (March 21).  We had booked the Doubletree Hotel in Perth for two nights, allowing one day as a "sea day" to hang around the pool, walk the neighborhood, and just relax.  

 

Well . . . . that wasn't quite what happened.  This morning, our VERY highly placed source told us that Fremantle would NOT allow any passengers to go to a hotel, but had to go directly to the airport for their flights.  That would mean that we would spend two more nights on the ship and go directly to the airport on the morning of the 23rd.  This information was not made public, and when I asked about it at the front desk, the officer there said, "I think you know more than we do."  Finally the announcement was made by the captain (because people really listen to him) that only those people going to the airport would be disembarked - and the groaning and complaining rose to a crescendo.  John was a nervous wreck, but my "What?  Me Worry?" attitude just made me look at tonight's menu and say, "Wow, there are all kinds of things I'd like for dinner."  

 

An hour later, the captain came on again and told us he had good news.  Apparently Canberra, the national capital, had overridden the earlier decision and we could not only leave the ship, but go to a hotel.  Within a half hour, we had our carry-ons in hand, walked off the ship and onto a bus headed for Perth.  One of the nicest things was that Captain Jonathan, who has become a good friend, was on the open area outside the bridge waving at us.  I blew him a kiss and he blew one back. 

 

Half an hour later, we arrived at one hotel, took a taxi to our hotel, and here we are, sitting at a sidewalk table of the hotel's bar, drinking a beer and a cider.  As much as I love the ship, this does have a very relaxed feeling, and this evening we're meeting one of John's former students/tennis players for dinner.  Tomorrow is a lovely free day, and mid-day Rich and Ginni will join us here.  

 

On the 23rd, we'll fly Virgin Australia (which is operating domestically) to Sydney, and on the 24th we head HOME!  We're on United Airlines non-stop to San Francisco, where our rental car will await us for the four-hour drive to home sweet home.  I've always believed that "everything will always work out for the best," and although we're not home yet, things are looking good.  

Our thoughts & prayers go with you. A great attitude you have....Safe travels home! Bellairvideo

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Great start to your journey home.  Glad the rules were changed that you could go to your hotel and be closer to the airport.

 

Enjoy your day tomorrow.

 

Have a safe journey if we don't hear from you until you get home.

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Happy for you both that your plans have fallen into place. Have a great evening with John's former student. 
I tend to agree with you that things have a way of working out the way they are supposed to. 

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3 hours ago, tennisbeforewine said:

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Fremantle and Perth, Australia

 

Although we were scheduled to arrive in Fremantle on the 22nd, we actually arrived at 8:00 this morning (March 21).  We had booked the Doubletree Hotel in Perth for two nights, allowing one day as a "sea day" to hang around the pool, walk the neighborhood, and just relax.  

 

Well . . . . that wasn't quite what happened.  This morning, our VERY highly placed source told us that Fremantle would NOT allow any passengers to go to a hotel, but had to go directly to the airport for their flights.  That would mean that we would spend two more nights on the ship and go directly to the airport on the morning of the 23rd.  This information was not made public, and when I asked about it at the front desk, the officer there said, "I think you know more than we do."  Finally the announcement was made by the captain (because people really listen to him) that only those people going to the airport would be disembarked - and the groaning and complaining rose to a crescendo.  John was a nervous wreck, but my "What?  Me Worry?" attitude just made me look at tonight's menu and say, "Wow, there are all kinds of things I'd like for dinner."  

 

An hour later, the captain came on again and told us he had good news.  Apparently Canberra, the national capital, had overridden the earlier decision and we could not only leave the ship, but go to a hotel.  Within a half hour, we had our carry-ons in hand, walked off the ship and onto a bus headed for Perth.  One of the nicest things was that Captain Jonathan, who has become a good friend, was on the open area outside the bridge waving at us.  I blew him a kiss and he blew one back. 

 

Half an hour later, we arrived at one hotel, took a taxi to our hotel, and here we are, sitting at a sidewalk table of the hotel's bar, drinking a beer and a cider.  As much as I love the ship, this does have a very relaxed feeling, and this evening we're meeting one of John's former students/tennis players for dinner.  Tomorrow is a lovely free day, and mid-day Rich and Ginni will join us here.  

 

On the 23rd, we'll fly Virgin Australia (which is operating domestically) to Sydney, and on the 24th we head HOME!  We're on United Airlines non-stop to San Francisco, where our rental car will await us for the four-hour drive to home sweet home.  I've always believed that "everything will always work out for the best," and although we're not home yet, things are looking good.  

Have a safe trip home!

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You have a great attitude! I have enjoyed following you on your journey.  It is sad that it had to end prematurely but life is turned upside down for us all.  Good to hear that you were able to get off the ship and go to a hotel and that you have good flights booked.  Take care and let us know when you get home.  Will miss reading your posts!

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Thank you John and Diane for allowing us to travel with you on your cruise.  You are such a positive traveller.  Very much a glass half full person.

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