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diplomats

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About diplomats

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Western North Carolina
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    Travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    holland america

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  1. Re previous post, just a quote from the AQSC.com "alert" page: "NEW CHANGE POLICY (for domestic reservations only)For all 2020 sailings, guests can cancel up to 24 hours before sailing. Reservation is subject to standard cancellation penalties and guests will receive a future cruise certificate for the penalty amount." Whlle FCC is not actual money. statement that cancellation would mean lost of "70%" of cruise fare does not seem consistent with stated policy; thus a strange statement from the cruise line office.
  2. In the current state of flux, I can imagine that AQSC gets daily conflicting information from the various entities that are involved in a single sailing. For one, I appreciate that they are hanging in until the inevitable happens and they must abort a scheduled cruise. I sent them an email on Friday suggesting that they compile a broadcast email list of all passengers still booked on 2020 cruises, and send out an email weekly or biweekly, with full rundown on status of authorizations, open ports, etc. Probably will not happen but would give those of us with bookings some relevant info on a regular basis. The August 7 update on the "alerts" page was the first change to that page since 30 June. Too long a delay in my opinion but better than no updates at all. Those of us that love cruising, whether river or oceans, had better staunch up our compassion and understanding or there will be no cruise lines to fulfill our desires. M
  3. LDV (actually not)in NC, Things as they were are likely never (or at least for the foreseeable future) to be as they will be when any cruising resumes. I did not see anyone wearing a face covering (i really dont like the word "mask") on our last AQSC cruise, not did the Coach Drivers make any effort to enforce "social distancing". Both will prevail when cruising resumes. We are not cavalier about COVID-19 but it is likely that those who are, such as the large groups of young adults in Florida, California, Texas, New York and South Carolina, are doing themselves and the country harm. If EVERYONE would take precautions, the pandemic would end. Alas, Americans are just not into precautions.
  4. AQSC website, especially the "alerts" tab, has been terribly inconsistent and often not in sync with positions taken by AQSC executives, especially John Waggoner. When I asked about the CDC extension of the "no sail" order, i got the following reply: "Given that the CDC just made their announcement last night our teams have not had a chance to discuss if this should affect us or not. Our upper management team will not meet till probably the next week or two and should this announcement affect us, all updates will be updated on our Alerts page." In an interview with CC staff writer, Waggoner said AQSC was bound by FDA not CDC regulations. Thus the current statement in AQSC "alerts" contradicts Waggoner. Perhaps a matter of left hand not knowing what right hand is doing. I am awaiting, much less than patiently, word on the fate of Countess sailing on September 20. I sympathize with AQSC situation but clients need advance warning of cancellations. We are anxious to go if the sailing makes. We feel confident we cn protect ourselves.
  5. I queried AQSC Friday morning regarding the new CDC order. The response was that management of AQSC had not yet determined if the order applied to AQSC sailings (remember, Waggoner has said in earlier interviews with CC that AQSC was governed by FDA not CDC) but would meet in the "next week or two" to make a decision which would be posted on the "alerts" section of AQSC website.
  6. The patchwork quilt of perks in 2020 made no sense to me from the beginning. One boat all inclusive, one with no hotels, wine and beer with dinner uncertain. I'm surprised the TAs did not rebel.
  7. Just a heads up. I do not want to promise what I cannot deliver, but I suggest anyone on an American Countess voyage in 2020 check with AQSC regarding a possible policy change regarding the pre cruise hotel night, especially if you have a separately booked arrangement.
  8. Re the last two postings, it does appear that the language in AQSC alerts has changed, dropping mention of 100% refund. Wonder if this is oversight or intentional??
  9. The AQSC alerts tab now contains some new information. American Empress suspension extended to 2 August. American Duchess to 17 August. Suspensions for American Queen and American Countess are unchanged, but have been at 8 August for some time now. Will any of the 2020 sailings happen?
  10. I hesitate to jump into the conversation about "Terms and Conditions" but once again I am confused by the discussion here and the information I find on the NCL website. As part of the "package" we have booked for next February, we have "Specialty Dining Package" for 2 events. I have read the T&C for "Specialty Dining Packages" and for each of the ala Carte venues and find no specific information about restrictions on ordering as described in several posts on this thread. Looking at the Menu tabs on the ala carte venue, the uncharges are clearly marked on certain items, e.g. "surf and turf" but there is no guidance on restrictions concerning appetizers, etc. Why am I confused??
  11. If there is still any interest in this topic, I am posting a Q and A with AQSC today (22 June) Question: I have read the posting on Pre-cruise screening including the questionnaire that will be required of all guests. As I understand the posting, there will be a medical representative conducting the pre-cruse screening, including unspecified health checks, who had ultimate authority to clear a passenger for boarding. Should that medical person determine a person should be denied boarding, for whatever reason including one that could not have been anticipated by the passenger before traveling to the embarkation point, who bears the travel cost incurred by the denied passenger? I ask because I am booked on an upcoming cruise and have no expectation that i could be denied boarding, but would like to know what liability i face should that happen. Thanks Response: Thank you for choosing American Queen Steamboat Company. In the event of denied boarding, you would make changes to your airline and then we would reimburse you that cost, and we would refund your voyage . You would just submit the original cost of airfare and change fees to us for reimbursement. We hope that doesn’t happen and that you enjoy your sailing. Best Regards,
  12. Having found a thread that is not about who is sailing when and when the refund if coming, I hope it is not totally out of line to ask a question that is not on topic. We have not sailed NCL for a long time but are booked on Breakaway in Feb 2021. Fingers crossed. The array of dining options on Breakaway is amazing and a bit overwhelming. Some reviewers, including the CC professional review, suggest booking all venues when advance booking is available pre cruise. But the NCL website indicates that advance booking is not offered for the MRD and complimentary venues. Which is it? Can MRD venues (like Savor and Taste and The Manhattan Room) be booked pre cruise or must they be booked onboard? Perhaps there was a policy change subsequent to the professional review. Again, sorry to be off topic, but this threat looks like a gold mine of NCL veterans. Marshall
  13. We were on Duchess last July and had no problem regulating cabin temperature to a comfortable level. Seem to remember that the public rooms, dining and entertainment, were a bit cool. Wife and also traveling companion wife both took shawls to those venues. I have looked at 233 on the deck plan and cannot imagine that paddlewheel noise would be an issue as the cabin is forward of the River Grill that is fairly expansive. On our trip, River Grill was rarely used in the evening and when used closed early; so again no noise. Duchess is an elegant boat and quite small as today's US river boats go. She is a pleasure.
  14. This is an excerpt from AQSC general FAQ page. American Queen® and American Empress® cruise fares cover almost everything during your voyage, including a hotel stay prior to embarking (excludes American Countess™ in 2020), dining and select beverages (soft drinks, coffee, filtered water and select beer and wine with dinner). On the American Duchess™ in 2020, an Unlimited Beverage Packages is included, as are prepaid gratuities. As Ericosmith stated above, the placement of the comma suggests that "select beverages" are included on all boats. I have not found that calls or emails to AQSC has been very helpful in eliciting information.
  15. To LDVin NC and uktog, I hope LDV is not correct about wine with dinner, I have not seen that in any of the literature, But he/she is correct about the pre cruise hotel stay at least for 2020, and that is a bummer especially for a cruise that physically starts in Red Wing. BUT, I have learned, since earlier posts, that AQSC will run a shuttle from the Radisson Blu Mall of America to the boat on embarkation day. I have managed to book into Radisson Blu for a very reasonable rate on the HOT site and have booked the shuttle. The stimulus for this change in my plans were the new health screening procedures that, according to AQSC, can ONLY be accomplished at the "pre cruise hotel" (which technically there is not one on American Countess this year), go figure! For uktog, I suggest you have someone in a similar situation but resident in US to question your situation on your behalf with AQSC head office in US. I would not think, in these times when cruise operators are struggling, they would want to make rescheduling more difficult or onerous. Could the UK TA be trying to get a windfall? Marshall
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