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News on the Westerdam

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Seeing cruise lines frequently make up certificates commemorating certain events (s/as crossing the Equator), maybe HAL should give the passengers (and crew) a "I Survived ….." certificate for this cruise!!😎  

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I would be intrested in seeing some of the routing back to the US if any passenger would care to post. We have traveled to Thailand several times - the route back to the US (Atl) is quite time consuming in best of circumstances.

 

Wishing all onboard a speedy trip home!

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1 hour ago, GeorgeCharlie said:

Seeing cruise lines frequently make up certificates commemorating certain events (s/as crossing the Equator), maybe HAL should give the passengers (and crew) a "I Survived ….." certificate for this cruise!!😎  

 

I hope they do too!  When our cruise last September was impacted by Hurricane Dorian, we received a map of our itinerary showing where we sailed to hide out in safety.  I thought of that when Victoriann posted the picture of the Westerdam's cruise to nowhere.  It makes an interesting memento of an unusual cruise.

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From what I have been reading, it sounds like passengers are not going to be getting off the ship for awhile, since they are waiting on test results from some of the sick passengers. 

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16 minutes ago, cruiserchuck said:

From what I have been reading, it sounds like passengers are not going to be getting off the ship for awhile, since they are waiting on test results from some of the sick passengers. 

 

It was announce a couple of hours ago that the sick passengers have all been cleared:

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

It was announce a couple of hours ago that the sick passengers have all been cleared:

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the update.  That is good news.

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16 hours ago, Moparop said:

Quoting myself here. Based on what HAL has said, my dad and I are trying to figure out to do with their flights from Bangkok to Seoul to home on Delta. Cancel? No show? Try to catch the connector in Seoul?

As long as HAL does not require passengers to turn in their existing tickets to get the HAL paid for ones (I doubt that they will but mention it as something to make sure of). I would just contact the airlines and see about seeing what credit one could get to be used on another trip.

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It's probably too late to make that happen.  What I would like to see them do in this and for many other occasions is create the certificates in an electronic (pdf) form that could be emailed to guests once they are back home.

 

Roy

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https://www.rte.ie/amp/1115064/

Passengers on board the Westerdam

Passengers on board the Westerdam

 

A US cruise ship blocked from several Asian ports over concerns that a passenger could have been infected with the new coronavirus has docked in Cambodia, as frustrated holidaymakers expressed hope their ordeal may soon be over.

The Westerdam was supposed to be taking its 1,455 passengers on a 14-day cruise around east Asia, beginning in Hong Kong on 1 February and disembarking on Saturday in Yokohama, Japan.

But the ship was turned away from Japan, Guam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand over fears of the novel coronavirus epidemic that has killed more than 1,300 people in China.

Cruise operator Holland America has insisted there are no cases of the SARS-like virus on board and Cambodia announced yesterday that the boat would be able to dock in Sihanoukville, on its southern coast.

By evening, the ship moved into the beach town's port, moving past the small fishing vessels that usually ply the waters.

As it slowly approached the pier, people onshore snapped selfies of themselves with the massive vessel.

The mood was equally buoyant on the boat.

"Thank you Cambodia! You believed in us when no one would!" tweeted passenger Lydia Miller.

 

But all passengers would have to remain onboard until flights have been arranged, said provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun.

"The arrangement of the planes to take them from (Sihanoukville) airport to Phnom Penh airport is under way," he said, explaining that three flights were scheduled for tomorrow.

Buses were lined up by the pier ready to transfer passengers to Sihanoukville's airport. Holland America has said they would foot the bill to return all guests.

Before the ship docked, doctors conducted health checks for the passengers.

The samples of 20 on board who were sick were sent to the Pasteur Institute in Phnom Penh to test for the virus, said transport minister Sun Chanthol.

Dr Michael Ryan of the World Health Organization today gave an update on the cruise ship quarantined in Japan, and the one docked in Cambodia.

He told the briefing: "Regarding the Diamond Princess cruise ship which is currently quarantined in Yokahoma, 218 passengers have tested positive for the virus, which does represent the largest cluster of Covid-19 cases outside of China.

"There are also negotiations under way to allow elderly patients to leave the ship, and that's currently being negotiated and discussed."

Referring to the Westerdam cruise ship docked in Cambodia, Dr Ryan said all people remain onboard as a "precautionary measure".

He said: "Cruise doctors and others on the ship have seen some people with very mild upper respiratory symptoms.

"While those tests are being completed, all of the people remain onboard, but that's been a purely precautionary measure at the moment."

Cambodian premier Hun Sen is a staunch Chinese ally and has been vocal in his support of Beijing's handling of the epidemic, even going so far as to visit China last week in a show of solidarity.

"The permission to dock is to stop the disease of fear that is happening around the world," he told state-affiliated media website Fresh News.

"We must help them when they asked us for help," he added.

Neighbouring Thailand, which blocked the Westerdam from docking in its eastern seaboard port, received two cruise liners in holiday resort town Phuket.

Both Seabourne Ovation and Quantum of the Seas were allowed to dock, and passengers to alight for roughly ten hours as part of the scheduled stop.

"They were all checked by their doctors on the ship, and we also examined them when they disembarked," Phuket governor Pakapong Tawipat told AFP.

He added that the passengers and the crew members "were not Chinese", and that Phuket was part of their regular routes, unlike the Westerdam.

Japan's premier Shinzo Abe expressed worries last week over a possible infection on the Westerdam, and said measures will be taken to "reject entries" for foreigners into the country.

Cambodia has one confirmed case of the virus.

 

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We have just received notification of our cabin allocation for the Feb 29th Cruise. No upgrade which tells me that the boat is quite full. 

 

Looks like it is going ahead. Not sure if this is just a computer generated email, still no confirmation of itinerary changes. This is strange as it is still going to Taiwan, yet they have a block on any one that has been there, not able to board the boat. 

 

Cabins still on sale on their web site, you are able to take them straight through to checkout. 

 

Really still not sure how I feel about this cruise. Still looking at cancelling. Thank goodness for travel insurance. 

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HAL's posting on their FB page about 1/2 hour ago:

 

Westerdam Update: The Cambodian Health Ministry has announced that the 20 samples taken onboard Westerdam have all been confirmed as negative for coronavirus by the Pasteur Laboratory in Phnom Penh. As stated in previous communications, there were never any suspected cases of coronavirus on board.

We sincerely thank all those in Cambodia who have demonstrated a willingness to welcome us with an open mind and make decisions based on facts.

“We also extend our deepest gratitude to President Trump, Cambodia’s Honorable Prime Minister Hun Sen, Canadian Foreign Minister Champagne, elected officials across the country and governments around the world for providing support and being effective allies in bringing our guests home,” said Stein Kruse, Group CEO, Holland America Group and Carnival UK. “We are pleased with the successful resolution of this challenging journey that was complicated by unfounded fears stemming from erroneous information with respect to the medical condition of Westerdam’s guests and crew. This has all been a terrible and unfortunate misunderstanding that has impacted 2,257 people on board and hundreds of others shoreside who have worked 24/7 to get our guests home.”

Cambodian authorities have granted clearance to Westerdam to begin disembarkation of guests the morning of Feb. 14, 2020, in Sihanoukville. Flight details are being communicated to guests as they are finalized, and it is expected that a full disembarkation will take a few days given the charter flight schedule. During this time, guests will remain comfortably on board with full service in operation.

In addition to homeward travel provided by Holland America Line, guests have received a 100% refund of their cruise fare, plus an additional 100% future cruise credit. We hope that guests on this voyage will join us again and sincerely thank them for the many compliments we have received for our crew and the acknowledgements that this situation was out of our control.

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Thank you for the update.

Good luck to everyone on the Westerdam.  I'm sure the crew deserves a big pat on the back.

Safe home everyone.

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18 hours ago, Moparop said:

Quoting myself here. Based on what HAL has said, my dad and I are trying to figure out to do with their flights from Bangkok to Seoul to home on Delta. Cancel? No show? Try to catch the connector in Seoul?

 

If you miss the flight from Bangkok, any later flights on the itinerary will be cancelled so you'll need to contact Delta about changing the ticket. Or if HAL is flying them all the way home, contact Delta and see if they will be willing to refund the ticket.

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54 minutes ago, dreamers25 said:

We have just received notification of our cabin allocation for the Feb 29th Cruise. No upgrade which tells me that the boat is quite full. 

 

Looks like it is going ahead. Not sure if this is just a computer generated email, still no confirmation of itinerary changes. This is strange as it is still going to Taiwan, yet they have a block on any one that has been there, not able to board the boat. 

 

Cabins still on sale on their web site, you are able to take them straight through to checkout. 

 

Really still not sure how I feel about this cruise. Still looking at cancelling. Thank goodness for travel insurance. 

I imagine that your cruise being allowed to depart from Yokohama will depend on whether they will once again allow cruise ships.  Diamond Princess' issues aren't helping at all.  They are reporting more and more CV every day, and it seems to be out of hand, as if the ship is one of the biggest breeders of the virus.  I feel truly sorry for those on board DP.

 

I do hope that your cruise can be salvaged.  We are booked on Westie's transpacific cruise scheduled to depart Yokohama on April 25th.  I can't imagine the stress you're feeling right now.  Best of luck to you!

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1 hour ago, dreamers25 said:

We have just received notification of our cabin allocation for the Feb 29th Cruise. No upgrade which tells me that the boat is quite full. 

 

Looks like it is going ahead. Not sure if this is just a computer generated email, still no confirmation of itinerary changes. This is strange as it is still going to Taiwan, yet they have a block on any one that has been there, not able to board the boat. 

 

Cabins still on sale on their web site, you are able to take them straight through to checkout. 

 

Really still not sure how I feel about this cruise. Still looking at cancelling. Thank goodness for travel insurance. 

 

This is interesting... We're also booked on the Feb 29th cruise and we kept getting an upgrade offer to either Neptune or Pinnacle suite. 3 offers so far. I asked my PCC if these offers are computer generated/automated email and he said no and they are being sent from the inventory department.

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I’m booked on February 29th, and I’ve also received multiple upgrade offers, including one yesterday. This morning I received a cabin assignment with a slight upgrade, I believe from VH to VF. It is academic for me, as I won’t be going. My expectation has been that HAL would have to cancel the cruise, but if not, I have the Platinum Insurance. 

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28 minutes ago, Mike B Landlubber said:

I’m booked on February 29th, and I’ve also received multiple upgrade offers, including one yesterday. This morning I received a cabin assignment with a slight upgrade, I believe from VH to VF. It is academic for me, as I won’t be going. My expectation has been that HAL would have to cancel the cruise, but if not, I have the Platinum Insurance. 

 

I will be very surprised if you cruise goes.

I think Japan will not be welcoming cruise ships.  They want to protect themselves for the Olympics and hopefully have this resolved.  JMO though.

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1 hour ago, Taters said:

I imagine that your cruise being allowed to depart from Yokohama will depend on whether they will once again allow cruise ships.  Diamond Princess' issues aren't helping at all.  They are reporting more and more CV every day, and it seems to be out of hand, as if the ship is one of the biggest breeders of the virus.  I feel truly sorry for those on board DP.

 

I do hope that your cruise can be salvaged.  We are booked on Westie's transpacific cruise scheduled to depart Yokohama on April 25th.  I can't imagine the stress you're feeling right now.  Best of luck to you!

Thank you, Taters, for the well wishes toward the 2/29 cruisers.

 

We're booked for 28 days from 2/29. It's my understanding at this point that ALL of the ports on both itineraries are still closed to international cruise ships.  PM Abe closed all of the Japan ports only one week ago and I'd be very surprised if he announced a reopening before the DP leaves port and it's passengers/crew complete their treatments. After all, Japan has an Olympics to worry about in a few months and they don't need more illnesses or bad press.

 

We elect to not receive cabin upgrade offers, and the only recent emails we got from HAL on our cruises are offers to cancel in exchange for a 100% FCC (they refund the port fees and taxes), or offers to stay on the cruise and receive some small OBC or FCC perks.  HAL has not yet rebooked our pre-cruise hotel or outbound air making the change from Shanghai to Yokohama.

 

I really wish they'd cancel these cruises because what we booked (healthy China, HK, Taiwan, Philippines) are nothing like what we're going to get if we go on the cruise (closed ports and possibly unknown destinations). We really like HAL, but it's time for HAL to either pull the plug on the March Asia cruises or announce some really great replacement itineraries. And given the port closings that we're hearing about all around the region (including New Caledonia, Tonga, etc.) I'm not sure that they can.

Edited by Mandalay1903

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4 minutes ago, Mandalay1903 said:

Thank you, Taters, for the well wishes toward the 2/29 cruisers.

 

We're booked for 28 days from 2/29. It's my understanding at this point that ALL of the ports on both itineraries are still closed to international cruise ships.  PM Abe closed all of the Japan ports only one week ago and I'd be very surprised if he announced a reopening before the DP leaves port and it's passengers/crew complete their treatments. After all, Japan has an Olympics to worry about in a few months and they don't need more illnesses or bad press.

 

We elect to not receive cabin upgrade offers, and the only recent emails we got from HAL on our cruises are offers to cancel in exchange for a 100% FCC (they refund the port fees and taxes), or offers to stay on the cruise and receive some small OBC or FCC perks.  HAL has not yet rebooked our pre-cruise hotel or outbound air making the change from Shanghai to Yokohama.

 

I really wish they'd cancel these cruises because what be booked (healthy China, HK, Taiwan, Philippines) are nothing like what we're going to get if we go on the cruise (closed ports and possibly unknown destinations). We really like HAL, but it's time for HAL to either pull the plug on the March Asia cruises or announce some really great replacement itineraries.

Your post is a bit depressing.  HAL is still selling berths on your cruise as thought everything is normal.  It is very interesting  that nobody has contacted you about changing your flights.  And assuming you booked via EZAIr we know that you would not normally be able to go into your own account and change your flights which likely do not even exist since many airlines have suspended or significantly reduced their flights into China.  We are really puzzled as to why HAL is waiting so long to either cancel all their Asian cruises or at least announce some kind of alternative.  

 

Hank

P.S.  We are booked on the 4/11 Westy cruise and have not received any kind of guidance from HAL.  They do have a special phone number listed on the web site, but one suspects that calling them would not get any answers other then "we are reviewing our options.

 

Hank

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15 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

Your post is a bit depressing.  HAL is still selling berths on your cruise as thought everything is normal.  It is very interesting  that nobody has contacted you about changing your flights.  And assuming you booked via EZAIr we know that you would not normally be able to go into your own account and change your flights which likely do not even exist since many airlines have suspended or significantly reduced their flights into China.  We are really puzzled as to why HAL is waiting so long to either cancel all their Asian cruises or at least announce some kind of alternative.  

 

Hank

P.S.  We are booked on the 4/11 Westy cruise and have not received any kind of guidance from HAL.  They do have a special phone number listed on the web site, but one suspects that calling them would not get any answers other then "we are reviewing our options.

 

Hank

I guess my post reflects our mood about the whole thing... 🙂  We booked through EZAir as we always do. And no, no one contacted us about the change. The Shanghai flight and hotel has been removed, but no replacements added.  We emailed and spoke to our PCC about this and she called the special number--but it's had no results.  That said, we're not too concerned about our missing air--and HAL doesn't seem to be too concerned either--maybe because they really don't know what embarkation city they should be flying us to!

 

Are any other CC bloggers booked on the 2/29 cruise with flights booked through HAL EZAir, or is it just us? 🤔

 

I don't mean to be too specific about the 2/29 cruise on this blog, but I think the future itinerary changes relate to Westerdam's travels through April and into May.

Edited by Mandalay1903

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Celebrity has cancelled all their Asia  cruises.  I think it is only a matter of time unfortunately.  

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3 hours ago, dreamers25 said:

We have just received notification of our cabin allocation for the Feb 29th Cruise. No upgrade which tells me that the boat is quite full. 

 

i think there are a lot of folks on that cruise who plan to cancel but are waiting and hoping HAL cancels first so they will receive a refund rather than FCC - JMHO.

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7 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

Your post is a bit depressing.  HAL is still selling berths on your cruise as thought everything is normal.  It is very interesting  that nobody has contacted you about changing your flights.  And assuming you booked via EZAIr we know that you would not normally be able to go into your own account and change your flights which likely do not even exist since many airlines have suspended or significantly reduced their flights into China.  We are really puzzled as to why HAL is waiting so long to either cancel all their Asian cruises or at least announce some kind of alternative.  

 

Hank

P.S.  We are booked on the 4/11 Westy cruise and have not received any kind of guidance from HAL.  They do have a special phone number listed on the web site, but one suspects that calling them would not get any answers other then "we are reviewing our options.

 

Hank

We are booked on that cruise as well. Holland America is really hoping to be able to have us with them. If Japan gives the Okay it will happen. If it cant be done it will be the fault of the Virus. I bought insurance on the cruise . Also on the flight i don't usually do that .I think it will take at least two more weeks before it is announced .Was really looking forward to it we were going all the way to Vancouver. Not sure if there will be a cruise we want to change to in April . Its really hard to be patient .

 

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