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News on the Westerdam

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2 hours ago, AllureOfVacation said:


 

There were around 240 passengers on the ship left, all were tested.

 

First the passengers were tested, then the crew.

 

Testing was done in the meeting rooms on deck 3. Everyone was called by stateroom numbers.

 

Before getting into the room, you were called by name and temperature was checked first.

 

In the room there were some chairs and you were instructed where to sit.

 

Test consisted of nasal and oral swabs.

 

We were very surprised how far such a swab can be put in your nose...not nice, but neccessary. Wow.



The workers from the institute that has done the test were fully covered in safety suits and gave some instructions like "head back". I can not tell you if it was a man or a woman that tested me because of the safety clothing.

 

The whole process was very efficient and went quickly. Your keycard was punched when you were done.
 

The test was done in the afternoon and we had results in 1 1/2 days.

 

 

When we went to Phnom Penh we passed the Institute building that has done the test

We spent a week with about 450+ passengers in a large luxury hotel in Phnom Penh and had the same test, probably conducted by the same health workers done on the 8th floor of the hotel.  The next day we received a health certificate with our name on it from the Cambodian Minister of Health stating that we were tested and found virus-free.  While in the early days there were a lot of unknowns and mistakes made, gradually it got better day by day; particularly after Mr Ashford arrived in Cambodia and took charge.

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10 hours ago, Two4Sea said:

I wrote about AIS destinations not being reliable in the last 2 paragraphs of https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2733283-ships-ais/ . As mentioned here KH KOS is the marine code for Sihanoukville. I suspect that MarineTraffic's computer has confused that with Kos Greece and entered the GR KGS code as well as drawn a route. It's only my guess but the literal AIS reading seems a stretch

 

Bill

It sure seems like the long way to Vancouver.  But who knows?

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10 hours ago, AllureOfVacation said:

We arrived home yesterday from our first HAL cruise.

 

we are glad we are home. Our flight was the one that stopped in Pakistan. We were on the plane for about 20h in total, so this was no fun, but we all made it.

 

The 18 days of our 14 days of the cruise were really an experience, and we enjoyed it. We talked to so many passengers who also enjoyed it.

 

We were one of those among the last 240 on the ship. So it was empty. On the last evening we were invited to the Pinnacle Grill, there were two seatings.

 

In our opinion HAL handled the situation very well. Some things were not so good for 100% of every individual (flights...), but quick solutions were needed.

 

we are proud to say that we were part of the cruise!

 

The crew was amazing! Outstanding! Their personal situation must have been very difficult (majority from the Philipines: denied entry to Manila).

 

It was nice to have some conversations with Orlando Ashford to let him know about the outstanding service of the crew.

 

We agree fully with your comments about our crew on the Westerdam and how HAL has handled the whole situation they did not put us into danger . Some of these developments while on board changed so fast and solutions had to be found  trying to get all of the guests home safely ! 

Thank you very much to the whole crew and all of the support staff .

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59 minutes ago, sailingdutchy said:

 

We agree fully with your comments about our crew on the Westerdam and how HAL has handled the whole situation they did not put us into danger . Some of these developments while on board changed so fast and solutions had to be found  trying to get all of the guests home safely ! 

Thank you very much to the whole crew and all of the support staff .


Hey,

 

you are the puzzle master from Crows Nest, I recognize you on the profile picture

 

We are the two Germans that were frequently up there supporting your puzzle process 😉

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57 minutes ago, AllureOfVacation said:


Hey,

 

you are the puzzle master from Crows Nest, I recognize you on the profile picture

 

We are the two Germans that were frequently up there supporting your puzzle process 😉

 

 

Good to hear that you are at home now , thank you for your nice comments  . Despite everything we had a good time , didn't we plus we have some stories to tell !  Greetings !

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Westerdam has sailed from Sihanoukville & is sailing at moderate speed on various headings in the Gulf of Thailand waiting orders I think.

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Thank you to USN59-79, AllureofVacation, and sailingdutchy for your reports.  It sounds like the delays in Cambodia were not cherished experiences but the crew of the Westerdam and the staff at the hotel made every effort to make you comfortable.  Welcome home.  Cherie

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7 hours ago, USN59-79 said:

We spent a week with about 450+ passengers in a large luxury hotel in Phnom Penh and had the same test, probably conducted by the same health workers done on the 8th floor of the hotel.  The next day we received a health certificate with our name on it from the Cambodian Minister of Health stating that we were tested and found virus-free.  While in the early days there were a lot of unknowns and mistakes made, gradually it got better day by day; particularly after Mr Ashford arrived in Cambodia and took charge.

 

While as much as I don’ t embrace some of the changes Mr. Ashford has made on HAL, I am very glad to hear that he took a leading role in this.

Thank you for this forthright report and I am so glad that all of you are healtthy.

Welcome home 😄 

You’ve certainly had an experience and a cruise to remember !!!!

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55 minutes ago, SeaDog-46 said:

Westerdam has returned to the same berth at Sihanoukville.

 

Probably went out to make fresh water.  The original  media articles said Westerdam would not be leaving Cambodia until the 22nd because it would take that long for such a large quantity of fuel.

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15 hours ago, bcummin said:

 From post #1304:  "This repeat detection test was performed to confirm that the COVID-19 case was cured and negative."

I find this Malaysian comment ("cured") to be confusing.  Maybe something was lost in the translation?

I want to believe the CDC that the Westerdam lady in Malaysia never did have COVD-19.  This muddies the waters.

 

 

 

From syesmar post # 1319 : I was so glad to hear the one initial positive case is now considered by the CDC to have never had the virus.

 

Seems to be two 'spins' going on here. Kuala Lumpur, where the lady was first tested positive, prefers to say she is now cured.

 

Hal on the other hand, perhaps after Legal advice, suggests she never had the virus. A question for any medics out there - could traces of the (now dead) virus, be present in her (numerous) tests ? Regards Paul.

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22 hours ago, Vict0riann said:

Captain Smit (I'm not sure which of the two HAL captains of the same name) must get a lot of the credit for keeping the passengers advised, and for steering the ship finally to port!

 

Captain Vincent Smit - wonderful.  I am not in the slightest surprised this team pulled it off so well. 

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Just now, SilvertoGold said:

 

Captain Vincent Smit - wonderful.  I am not in the slightest surprised this team pulled it off so well.   This is an A team, from the top down.

 

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9 hours ago, Cruising Is Bliss said:

 

Probably went out to make fresh water.  The original  media articles said Westerdam would not be leaving Cambodia until the 22nd because it would take that long for such a large quantity of fuel.

Yeah, but it is now Feb 24 in Cambodia and AIS is showing that the Westy has returned to Sihanoukville.  The mystery continues.

 

Hank

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@AllureOfVacation can you please share what happened on the TK flight that got diverted to Pakistan?

 

How long were you on the ground in Pakistan?  Did same crew operated both sectors?   What was communicated and how did they manage food after the diversion?

 

Refund for my Mar 14th Westerdam voyage just posted back to my Amex this morning.

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14 hours ago, MrSilversurf said:

From syesmar post # 1319 : I was so glad to hear the one initial positive case is now considered by the CDC to have never had the virus.

Seems to be two 'spins' going on here. Kuala Lumpur, where the lady was first tested positive, prefers to say she is now cured.

Hal on the other hand, perhaps after Legal advice, suggests she never had the virus. A question for any medics out there - could traces of the (now dead) virus, be present in her (numerous) tests ? Regards Paul.

 

Thanks so much to Wehwalt and to you for your thoughts on this.  Here is more:

https://www.bangkokpost.com/world/1863174/cambodia-casts-doubt-on-malaysias-virus-diagnosis-of-us-woman

I am thankful that so many Westerdam passengers have made it safely home and remain healthy.

Barbara

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As has been referenced a couple of other recent posts, CDC says the one suspect passenger never had Covid-19.  
 

Check out this article from USA TODAY:

CDC: Re-test confirms Westerdam cruise ship passenger 'never had coronavirus'

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/02/21/coronavirus-holland-america-ms-westerdam-cruise-passenger-cleared/4834124002/

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Well, things appear to be slowing down a bit with this thread so I took time this morning to reread it in its entirety.

 

To lighten things up, here are some partial quotes from it. Hope you enjoy.

 

“News on the Westerdam”

 

“I'll bet…”,   “I wonder if…”,  “I can't imagine…”,  “What about…”,  “What if…”,  “I suspect…”,  “I suppose…”,  “My own sensibilities tell me…”,  “I’m assuming…”,  “Although we have no details, I would assume…”,  “…my best guess is…”,    “I don't think…”,  “I think…”,  “I would think…”,  “I do not know if these are facts, but…”,  “I believe…”,  “I can’t believe…”,  “I don't believe…”,  “I want to believe…”,   “It would seem…”,  “I am almost positive…”,  “If only…”,  “You're right, but personally I still don't feel…”,  “If that is true…”,  “I do not understand…”,  “I never understood…”,  “I’ve given up trying to understand…”,  “I heard…”,  “I'm not sure…”,  “I am sure…”,  “In my opinion…”,  “My guess is…”,  “Maybe they should…”,  “It seems to me…”,  “I suspect…”,  “I would expect…”,  “I have no idea…”,  “But…”,  “I don’t see…”,  “Ideally…”,    “That is what I understand.”,  “My understanding is…”,  “One thing is for sure, I'm guessing…” <--(My personal favorite),  “It may be unlikely, but…”,  “This is what I heard…”,  “I would not be surprised if…”,  “Rumours say…”,  “For all we know…”,  “My new theory is that…”,  “I read somewhere that…”,  “Although it beats me why…”,  “Maybe…”,    “Just guessing…”,  “My crystal ball says…” (My second favorite)

 

Edited by ShipWalker

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On 2/23/2020 at 10:43 AM, SilvertoGold said:

 

Captain Vincent Smit - wonderful.  I am not in the slightest surprised this team pulled it off so well. 

 

Captain Vincent Smit went through a lot this last month he had to make lots of decisions for the best of all of us  he made over a dozen very important announcements of what was happening . Together with Seattle they were constantly negotiating and trying to find a solution for all of us to get home .

The captain also kept our spirits up and the spirits of the whole crew which is not easy . Almost half of the crew , the Philippinos  ,had been looking forward to see their family in Manilla and some of their family had made a long road trip to see their husband or wife who had been away from home so long , than at the last minute the doors were closed and we were not allowed to go to Manilla while we were already in their waters .

Also the crew had to put up with all of the guests being on board ship day in day out from Feb 1st ( Hong Kong ) to when we were able to leave the ship for home between Feb 14th and the last people leaving I believe on the 21st . In between those days  some of us went of the ship in Kaoshiung before that port was closed for the second day we were there . Their service was fantastic , very few complaints were heard .

 

The Guest Services desk was busy all day people asking questions and asking for help changing flights which we had to do about 4 times . Sometimes it became quite intense around there but the desk was helpless because we and they did not know when or where we would be able to land .

 

A big help was that HAL opened up the wifi channels to everyone and they also gave us telephone time to contact family or our travel agents .

 

In one word the captain and crew were just FANTASTIC !   HAL also made some very good decisions ! 

 

Tony and Martha Feenstra , sailingdutchy :classic_biggrin::classic_biggrin:

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2 hours ago, 2inSETexas said:

As has been referenced a couple of other recent posts, CDC says the one suspect passenger never had Covid-19.  
 

Check out this article from USA TODAY:

CDC: Re-test confirms Westerdam cruise ship passenger 'never had coronavirus'

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/02/21/coronavirus-holland-america-ms-westerdam-cruise-passenger-cleared/4834124002/

 

Now the article states CDC RETRACTED that statement.   So confusing!

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I must agree with you 100%, Tony & Martha.  Bob & I were able to leave Westerdam with the second group, on the 14th, and were on the afternoon flight to KL.  Our overnight stay was not pleasant, but we got along fine,  Most of us were on our way to our final destinations by the 16th.  We all have stories to tell and so appreciate everything the Captain & crew did for us, onboard.   My favorite expression was, "We know where we are, but we don't know where we're going!" 

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1 hour ago, bobpatj said:

Our overnight stay was not pleasant

 

 

Did you have to stay in the airport?

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