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busterfla

Island Princess heading to Asia

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The Crown arrived at Capetown and the Island is about 2 hours away as I write (11:30pm EST). I'm going to check with my friend tomorrow afternoon and see what is going on. I wish that they could go onshore without any COVID 19 threats, but that's not going to happen. So far no one has taken ill since they left Ft Lauderdale. It also looks like the remaining ships around the Bahamas have spread out due to the rough seas. The wind has died down here in Palm Beach County since noon time, but off & on rain continues. The Coral must have shut down it's transponder since it anchored off the east coast of Cuba, haven't seen it lately.

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Posted (edited)

Correction to the above comment. The Coral Princess is now north & west of Aruba, heading to Curacao. And the Island has arrived at Capetown SA.

Edited by busterfla

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Looks like as of 16 May; both Island and Crown are anchored off coast of Cape Town, SA

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Email from a crew member's spouse from Manila.  

Island Princess has 1,990 plus Filipino crew onboard and they are from Regal, Crown and Island Princess.  Life onboard is like being a passenger.  Their dinner is served in the Horizon Court at separate dining times for the three groups, and they must stay separate.  Their temperatures are taken twice a day, once at 9 am and then 6 pm.  They are allowed to use the gym and see movies in the Princess Theater.  The assigned Crew Bar is located on the outside deck with set hours and for open air, not in an enclosed area.  Casino is closed and no free internet.  They are expecting to arrived in Manila around the end of the month.  Then they will go into a Philippine Health Department for 14 day quarantine.  After they are released to go home, their Local City Government will make them do another 14 days self-quarantine again.  His contract ended in early March and he has not worked since.  It will take him 90 days to get home whereas when they fly, it's takes about 19 hours.  

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All Island P cruises up to Dec 20 are cancelled.  The Island is scheduled to do a Caribbean cruise starting Dec 20.  I wonder if at some point they would try to bring crew back the same way saving the cost of flights, if such along distant flight exist then. 

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Posted (edited)

Further news from my friend - The Island and the Crown were together at Capetown on Saturday and exchanged some crew members. The South African crew members were tested and allowed off. The Crown then left the port and the Island completed refueling and provisioning and left the berth to anchor out in the port bay. The Island is scheduled to leave in a few hours (Sunday) to transit to Port Elizabeth to allow more SA crew off and some crew from surrounding countries if they pass physicals. Once the Island finishes their business in Port Elizabeth they will begin transit to India, but as my friend said "subject to change at any time". Since I don't yet know the Indian port scheduled, I can only estimate two weeks transit (plus or minus a few days).

 

He said that life onboard is the same every day, no work to be done as the crew eats at the buffet and are responsible for clearing their own tray/plates, etc. The gym remains open, TV's have all the movies we are use to seeing, but by now they have seen almost all of them. I didn't have the heart to ask how many times has he seen the infamous U2 & Tina Turner concerts. He mostly hangs out with his friends or connects with his family. He said it's cold there, like Alaska. This is his first stop in Africa. Because of the inactivity he has gained 15 kilos in body weight (around 31 lbs). He's going to try and drop some of that before getting home. It seems like some parts of the ship are open, but most are not. He is single berthed in a balcony stateroom. I told him that from what we have read/heard  that new cruises may not happen until mid December or after New Years and he said that was correct. It seems that their Captain keeps them informed during his daily announcements (multiple). They know that Carnival Corporation has laid off a lot of shore staff and I told him that Princess was running with minimal staffing. He spirits remain good and longs to see his family. I'll pass on more as we connect and text.

Edited by busterfla

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9 minutes ago, busterfla said:

He spirits remain good and longs to see his family. I'll pass on more as we connect and text.

Please let him know that his land bound friends are in the same "boat".  Same thing every day.  I'm so happy to hear these updates and that they are healthy and headed home.  Again, thank you for sharing.

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I too am happy to get these daily updates about crew members. It is nice that they will eventually get home

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The Island remains in Cape Town bay, maybe awaiting the Rotterdam's arrival for transfers. The Crown is headed east past South Africa, no future/nest port called out. Looks like the Rotterdam could be in port in a few hours. Cape Town is six hours ahead of EST, so sunrise is coming up. I'll try again Monday mid day our time and see if he is available or can update me on the Island's plans

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Posted (edited)

AS of 18 May 7amL;  Rotterdam is just outside the port. Assume they will dock in a few hours;  

Edited by AF-1

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More info from the Island - Still docked in Cape Town was supposed to leave today (5-19), transit to Port Elizabeth to drop off the remaining SA crew and a few other nearby countries.

 

I also received a tentative schedule for the rest of the transit to Manila, so here we go:

5-19-20 - Sail from Cape Town

5-20 or 21-20 - Quick stop at Port Elizabeth to drop off SA crew

5-30-20 - Arrive @ Columbo, Sri Lanka

6-2-20 - Mumbai, India

6-9-20 - Port Kalang, Malaysia

6-13-20 - Manila, Philippines (begin 14 day quarantine)

All port stops shown as one day affairs.

 

He also said that they got word that all Filipino crew in Manila that have passed physical exams can begin to go home. No idea on any schedule for this ship wise. No idea if the Rotterdam is transferring crew back & forth with the Island, but it better happen real quick. As I write the Island is still docked and the Rotterdam remains out in the bay. I might find out more tomorrow.

He said that Princess has been taking good care of the Island crews and it sounds like they can use the ships internet w/o charge. He hears from other past passengers from time to time, helps boost his spirits. He also said that the typhoon that hit the Philippines caused thousands of homeless people, a major storm for the east side below Manila.

 

I'll update if I can catch him tomorrow.

Island transit.jpg

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On 4/26/2020 at 1:39 AM, caribill said:

 

By the time these crew members leave the Princess ships and the ships reposition to where they are supposed to resume itineraries in July, it will time to staff them again (at least the ones that are supposed to resuming crusing).

 

This really makes a July resume sound unlikely.

Crew members work on kind of a rotation. Something like six months on a contract, and then a break. So at any time, there would be many crew members on their extended "vacation" between contracts. So some were home when all this happened. Princess will not need to get ALL THESE crew members back before they can resume cruising.

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Looks like the Rotterdam is still sitting in the bay and Island is docked at the port

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Posted (edited)

The Island Princes bridge cam shows her bound for Mumbai, so she has left Cape Town.

Edited by R**T

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Just in from crew friend in Manila.   1879206763_ronisroutehome1.thumb.jpg.69885a09ba2490bbefa82a88e006e9e4.jpg

I & C So Africa  copy.jpg

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As of 2:30pm east coast time;  Island just left Port Elizabeth and Crown is just south of Madagascar

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Just check Marine Traffic for Manila Bay and it's getting crowded.  Twenty three ships anchored in Manila Bay and 6 more out in the South China Sea.  The infamous Diamond Princess is just 200 miles out and Pacific Princess is joining in and about only 140 miles.  Island and Crown Princess will eventually get there also.  That's a lot of cruise ships in one area and only guessing, there must be over 10,000 returning Filipino Crew onboard.   It's taking the Cruise Industry 2 to 3 months just to get the crew home, and what is it going to take to get them back to the ships, when the cruising resumes?   I'm starting to have second thoughts about my September cruises.  

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Just found this on Sea Princess Captain Tony Ruggero's twitter.  On May 4, while making fresh water in the South China Sea, he did a cruising track of the Sea Witch.  It's 37 miles wide, east to west and taking 241 nautical miles to complete.  It was thanking the waiting Filipino Crew members to be repatriated.  Cool Stuff................ 

Sea P-1.jpeg

Sea P-2.jpeg

Sea P-3.jpeg

Sea P-4.jpeg

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Impressive.....YEA Captain Tony!  Thanks for sharing this Gimer.

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That is pretty cool;  I guess that is a good way to pass the time

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Also to keep the crew sharp, while making fresh water.  Here's his May 9, Star shape tracking. 55118184_SeaPr-starlogocopy.thumb.jpg.07156c9501db63614eee2e830c3ed434.jpg

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Gimer;  that is so cool

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That is so cool. Great way to keep the navigation crew sharp and probably entertained too.

No new updates from the Island, I forget about the 7 hour time difference and we keep missing connections. On Friday I sent him a message around 2am his time and he must have gotten up early, he said hello at about 5am his time. I may try later tonight (night owl here) around midnight or 1am EST.

 

Cruisemapper.com has the Island off the southeast point of Madagascar, chugging along at 15 knots to the northeast, winds coming out of the north at about 14 knots, so they may be rolling a bit.

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Just check the Marine Traffic and Princess Cruise Line has 9 ships in Manila Bay and Island is still coming.  Unbelievable.

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Talked to my friend onboard the Island. At this moment it's still cold, cloudy and windy as they make their way to Colombo. But the good news is that at this time they will not be going to Mumbai as originally scheduled. They will disembark crew for India, Nepal & Mauritius there. From there it onward to Port Kelang Malaysia to disembark Indonesian, Malaysian & Singaporean crew members. A quick refuel stop is planned for Singapore and the on to Manila.

 

The ship remains 100% healthy at this time. They are going to step up temperature  checks to twice a day to get in line with quarantine requirements at the next ports.

 

Their present location is well to the east of Madagascar, about a week out of Colombo by my bad math, churning along at 16 knots.

 

That's all I got

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