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About Catlover54

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    science, history, oceans, wine, fine dining, people-watching, politics, plinking
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Seabourn, Hapag-Lloyd

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  1. Steamboats, do you know why HL just cancelled the upcoming Antarctica cruises ?
  2. HL currently only allows residents of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland to board, following German regulations since Covid.
  3. Steamboats, that sounds like a good start to get cruising going again. Testing, and not just temperature checks, are important. I suspect most HL cruisers are either from big cities or their suburbs, so most potential customers have access to testing, or can travel to get it done, if motivated enough. A 200km drive is doable ( especially with your wonderful Autobahns 🙂 As I am now retired and have time for long trips ( which were supposed to be long cruises) , I would figure out how to find one of the testing centers in Germany if 1) Germany would let me in ( with a recent negative U.S. test) and 2) HL would let me board after retesting in Germany. Heck, I would even self-quarantine in a German hotel for two weeks if needed before a cruise! I have done my risk calculations from available sources -- I have an estimated 1% annual risk of death from everything that is wrong with my health at my age, and with my six risk factors, a max 1.5% risk of death if I get covid ( and that does not take into account my higher than average level of protection measures). I can tolerate those odds, some might not. I even currently live in a very nice place, on the northern California Pacific coast, but I still miss cruising. This is how much I miss HL.
  4. The website now says that as of September 15, a corona swab will be required before boarding , and can be done in 80 plus various German health centers they collaborate with, and will be included in the fare cost. Us foreigners from U.S. and elsewhere are apparently still out or luck ( I cannot even fly to Germany to visit an okd friend with cancer, much less board a cruise ship in Hamburg, even if I am testes corona negative pre-flight -- because things could instantky change).
  5. Covid has reduced us to giggles about SLSD writing googles instead of goggles. It boggles the mind.
  6. Why finally got our credit card refund for this cruise! Yay! My TA was very persistent in following up.
  7. About 10 days ago the HL website added a lot of detailed information about options for cruise refunds, rebooking, safety plans, thermal sensors on board, etc. They also sent me a new letter stating that due to popular demand, they added an option to apply deposit payments from cancelled cruises to a future cruise that is already booked ( which had not been offered before), plus 3% of the cruise cost OBC . One had to notify by June 1 if one wanted to do that. So, given Europe is opening up a lot, and U.S. is opening a bit too, and hopefully flights will again be allowed for non-essential travel to Europe and cruising could resume in the fall, I changed my mind, and instead of pursuing a refund, I asked them in an email to apply my substantial deposit from a month on the cancelled Europa cruises to our booking on the Hanseatic inspiration in October, Hamburg to Porto ( which includes 3 port stops for classical music concerts) plus the OBC. They just confirmed, with a new and updated payment receipt. If that is also cancelled, then again they will have to refund all deposits. I remain optimistic. I have no objection to wearing a mask on flights and in potentially crowded public areas. Despite my many risk factors for potentially not doing well if I were to get infected, the odds are looking a lot better now than they did a couple months ago, and frankly life has to be lived. Compared with Seabourn, which still has not sent a refund or even a confirming email almost three months out, HL has finally stepped up and is handling the corona situation much better.
  8. I decided to request a refund on my cancelled late May BTB cruises several weeks ago on an email, . After no response of any kind for two weeks, I reminded them on email of my request and that German law requires refund within 14 days. I got an apologetic reply, referencing the corona circumstances. They said it would ‘help them a lot’ if I were to take the future cruise credit instead. Meanwhile a bunch of catalogues appeared, but no refund. Hamburg, Kiel, and Travemuende ports are still closed.
  9. I still have not received an email from SB, and neither has my TA. She said last week when I asked for a copy of what she had that all she got was a “submitted” indication from the website, but it did not say what was submitted and she did not think to take a screen shot as she assumed I would get a direct confirming email. When DH and I were at the airport, after being prematurely disembarked, I saw this book for sale in the airport bookstore:
  10. Why not just book on the website to get things going?
  11. My BTB cruise that was to start late May was cancelled last week but I have not yet asked for a refund. I have not yet decided if I want a refund or 25% off a future cruise not already booked (if it sails before 4/30/21) I have until late May to decide, but as I also have an October 2020 cruise booked (not sure if that will sail, though I have hope ports will open by then) and May 2021 cruise booked, selections are limited for times in between, as I don't want to book anything more before October to avoid suspense in September. Last year when HL cancelled my Nature cruise, because the ship was not ready, it took over a month to get a refund, in good times and pre-merger. Based on comments above, I better decide quickly what I want to do if they are not communicating very well or timely, otherwise late May will come and go .
  12. Update: My TA updated me three days ago about her and her company (travel consortium) efforts to secure my refund (she started working on it five weeks ago, but SB was not answering repeated calls). She stated her company president was told that for us , they offer the following, which as far as I can tell is the same as what we got on board in the letter, but with the 6/1 deadline for refund requests added: [our names and booking #] "
  13. I got an email that my BTB May and June Europa cruises starting with the Ocean Sun are cancelled. The website, which had not been updated since April 7, now is updated to indicate everything is cancelled until at least mid June scheduled departures ( but of course given ports are closed it is unclear how even mid June will happen). There was an offer in my email for a 25% discount off a cruise by April 2021, 10% by September 2021, and 200 euro OBC. There was not a peep about a deposit refund option, but I know I am entitled to a full refund under German law. Now I get to call United to yet again postpone my old airline credit from spring 2019 when the Nature was not ready. Germany’s current entrance restrictions would not have let me in anyway unless I was a resident or in a special category.
  14. There has been no updating of their website corona information since April 7, either.
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