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About Mercruiser

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    Spokane, Washington, USA
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    Azamara, Celebrity, Princess
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  1. Here is a very detailed article (in French) about the procedures for social distancing and hygiene on the Aranui and Ponant (formerly Paul Gauguin) ships. There is a lot of information here. You should read this if planning a FP cruise: https://www.tahiti-infos.com/La-croisiere-lutte-pour-survivre-a-grand-renfort-de-mesures-sanitaires_a195495.html "The cruise struggles to survive, with a lot of sanitary measures"
  2. Tahiti and Moorea are implementing a 9pm to 6am curfew. This is intended to reduce the transmission of Covid. https://www.tahiti-infos.com/Couvre-feu-Telechargez-les-attestations-de-deplacement_a195421.html The outbreak has become pretty severe recently.
  3. The Aranui is is the news again for Covid https://www.tahiti-infos.com/Nouveau-cas-Covid-a-bord-du-Aranui-5_a195267.html If this sounds familiar, they previously had a Covid problem around Sept 27.
  4. I have a daughter who is 3rd year medical school. She and here associates are risking their lives treating Covid patients. On the other extreme, I have extended-family, science-deniers that believe every wackadoodle conspiracy theory that comes across the Internet - and of course they resent wearing masks because it is all part of some conspiracy. It saddens me greatly to see my country, with one of the greatest records of scientific accomplishments, turning into a science-phobic society that would rather believe in myths and rumors.
  5. Looks like they took the scenic route to Tahaa.
  6. Wind Spirit is underway. She departed Papeete for who knows where: Tahaa or TAHARA Japan. Both are listed as destinations in the ship tracking website. I'll guess Tahaa is the correct one! See her progress here: https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/shipid:369611/zoom:10
  7. I am not saying these policies are right or wrong. Rather, I am saying they have crossed a threshold where I am not interested in cruising. I'll be taking land vacations for the foreseeable future.
  8. Here is a very detailed report on how Costa is handling cruise excursions and social distancing. https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/23627-what-it-s-like-to-cruise-with-costa-during-the-pandemic.html Here is the part relevant to this thread: "Land excursions that are independent of the cruise operator are not allowed." I will not be cruising if this is what it is going to be like. Unfortunately, cruising is the most vulnerable form of travel when it comes to being impacted by contagious disease, as we have seen for years with Noro.
  9. As you may have seen in my other thread, I've decided to switch from a FP cruise, to a resort vacation on Moorea and Bora Bora. As I mentioned in the original post, frequent guest/mile awards in FP have much better availability compared to normal times. I just booked two business class tickets on the overnight ATN flight using AA miles. Last time I did that, I had to book 330 days out. This time it is for February. There is also lots of economy and premium economy space on many days. I don't have any United miles, but their cash prices are amazingly low. SFO to PPT runs about $370 economy class. PPT to SFO is about $100 cheaper. The nice thing about United is that their one-way tickets are cheap. This is handy if you want to fly one-way on points and pay cash for the other direction. ATN requires a RT to get a decent rate. I also like that the SFO to PPT is a daytime flight. It's much easier for me to sit in a coach seat if it's a daytime flight. The IC Resort Tahiti and IC Le Moana Bora Bora seem to have very good award availability.
  10. Petoonya, Thanks for your kind words. Yes, I would like to go on a FP cruise. But I've been to several of the FP resorts before and I loved them. For 2021, I've got rooms booked at the Moorea Hilton, IC Thalasso Bora Bora, and Conrad Bora Bora - all on frequent guest points. It's way easier to book on points right now than ever before. So even though I am doing something different than a cruise, it should be wonderful.
  11. Back in June, I booked the Windstar Feb 11, 11-night cruise at an excellent price. We are approaching the 120 day cancellation penalty date, so I need to make a decision on whether to go ahead with this booking. https://www.windstarcruises.com/voyage-plan/faqs/#CancellationPolicy After weighing the pros and cons, I decided to cancel this booking. The cons are: 1) I don't want to put out any non-refundable money on a cruise right now. You are basically making an unsecured loan to the cruise line. You might get your money back, you might not. (Paul Gauguin clients are experiencing this, per the PG forum.) The promise of a FCC is of no interest to me. 2) The is a lot of uncertainty about the cruise experience itself. I had mentally adjusted to the idea of wearing a mask on the cruise. But the tipping point for me was the prospect of having to go only on ship-sponsored excursions. I don't know if Windstar will do this. But anything is a possibility right now. I will not cruise if I cannot explore ports on my own. My "Plan B" is to go to Bora Bora and Moorea and stay at a resort, for free, using hotel frequent guest points. I already have this booked. The advantage of this over a cruise is no money down and I can cancel a week ahead and still get my points back. My "Plan C" is the Pacific Princess Feb 8, 2022 FP cruise. I am booked on that. That might be far enough out for Covid to be under control. But even if it is, will Princess still operate this itinerary? The cruise lines are bleeding cash and the Pacific Princess is probably not very profitable to them compared the the mega ships.
  12. I have been too busy with work and other issues to spend any time on CC in the last several weeks. I'm catching up on cruise news now. Some interesting news items from Tahiti (translated from French): "Rapid Tests to reinforce travelers to Tahiti" https://www.tahiti-infos.com/Des-tests-rapides-en-renfort-pour-les-voyageurs-vers-Tahiti_a194978.html FP is considering allowing Paris to PPT passengers to take a rapid Covid test at the airport if their PCR test results are not available. Passengers would be required to prove they took the PCR test. The reason for this possible change is that PCR tests in France are taking 6-7 days for results, making it impossible to have test results within the required 3 days before boarding. There is no mention of applying this policy to passengers boarding at LAX or SFO. FP tourism collapses 82% https://www.tahiti-infos.com/La-frequentation-touristique-s-ecroule-de-82_a195013.html 4605 tourists disembarked in Tahiti this year, compared to 25000 last year. 3800 of these passengers are from France ("metropolitan" in the article), 750 from America, and 270 Europeans (other than France). (Note: It is not clear if these statistics are for the whole year or since flights resumed in July)
  13. Welcome back. We would all love to hear more about your month-long trip.
  14. News: Aranui 5 returns to Papeete, one day after departure, due to Covid outbreak. Cruise cancelled. In French: https://www.tahiti-infos.com/Faux-depart-pour-l-Aranui-apres-des-cas-Covid-dans-l-equipage_a194676.html
  15. Ok. I hadn't read the latest updates in "Paul Gauguin/Ponant Schedule Changes". Now I understand why the PG board has gone largely quiet.
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