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Seabourn and the current issues surrounding the Corona Virus

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Thanks so much for going out of your way and finding this, but at this point I think I will try and take a fcc for the entire 42 night cruise.  I have NO interest whatsoever in the poor first leg itinerary, and as for the second, Qatar is banned from going into Dubai.  I really had wanted to go back to Myanmar one more time, but alas, that is not to be.

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We don’t mind the new itinerary as we’ve been to Phuket and Yangon before and weren’t planning anything ... BUT ... Colombo seems to be a very difficult place to get to without going through Singapore if you live in Perth. Much thinking to be done.

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Have just been informed that the Pacific leg of the world cruise on Sojourn will now depart from Auckland instead of Sydney. The date of departure of 29 April is unchanged. We have booked nine days in Australia prior to the cruise, so the change will mean curtailing this portion of the trip and purchasing additional flights from Australia to New Zealand. I am not at all sure from the communication with Seabourn whether they will pick up the costs of the additional flights, and cancellations in Australia. 

We are originating from Manchester, UK. 

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19 minutes ago, Nops said:

purchasing additional flights from Australia to New Zealand.

 

I do feel your pain as we are on this segment and have just had to sort out our flights. Luckily a few airlines fly between Sydney and Auckland ie Air New Zealand, Virgin, Qantas, Air Tahiti Nui and Jetstar so maybe you could still do your land portion and hopefully Seabourn will pay for the hop across.

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55 minutes ago, D999 said:

We don’t mind the new itinerary as we’ve been to Phuket and Yangon before and weren’t planning anything ... BUT ... Colombo seems to be a very difficult place to get to without going through Singapore if you live in Perth. Much thinking to be done.

yes it's difficult. Of course currently Singapore is not on the no-board list but it would be odd if they moved the start point away from here but still allowed people who've visited (or transited) to board in Columbo. This is partly why I thought they wouldn't do this but would just give the leg to Dubai up and start sailings again from there. 

They have actually added a few interesting ports in the middle east. I sort of hope they do this again in the future as that Singapore Dubai leg is pretty dull usually and they've improved the middle east part of it (at the expense of Burma), there are places on there I wouldn't mind visiting. 

It will of course be interesting to see what the world looks like in 3 weeks when this cruise actually departs. The explosion of cases in South Korea is very worrying, even though most of them are related, it's a lot of people and hard to expext that they haven't mingled with others around the country already. And I was surprised that Italy became the first European country to start showing a lot of cases. 

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18 minutes ago, rols said:

And I was surprised that Italy became the first European country to start showing a lot of cases. 

I was just reading about this Rols--and the fact that Italy is taking stringent measures to try to contain the virus.  I found this article saying that no one is allowed to enter or leave the outbreak areas.  Perhaps it's too soon to be concerned about the cruises going there in the spring?   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51602007

 

from the above article:  "

Mr Conte said it would now be forbidden to enter or leave the outbreak areas, unless special permission was granted. 

All school and sports activities have been suspended in those areas, including several Serie A football matches due to take place on Sunday.

Police, and if necessary the armed forces, will have the authority to ensure the regulations are enforced.

 

Edited by SLSD

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30 minutes ago, rols said:

 

They have actually added a few interesting ports in the middle east. I sort of hope they do this again in the future as that Singapore Dubai leg is pretty dull usually and they've improved the middle east part of it (at the expense of Burma), there are places on there I wouldn't mind visiting. 

 

I quite agree.  Burma is in my view not a cruise destination.  You need to stay at a nice hotel in Rangoon and then take a river cruise to Bagan, Mandalay and beyond.  I think the new itinerary is spectacular and must have taken an incredible amount of work from Seabourn's destination team - booking ports, booking buses, the whole show, just amazing the effort involved.

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1 hour ago, Fletcher said:

I quite agree.  Burma is in my view not a cruise destination.  You need to stay at a nice hotel in Rangoon and then take a river cruise to Bagan, Mandalay and beyond.  I think the new itinerary is spectacular and must have taken an incredible amount of work from Seabourn's destination team - booking ports, booking buses, the whole show, just amazing the effort involved.

Yes fletcher.  I must agree to being quite tempted as my arctic cruise this Friday is hanging in the balance for other reasons and that is shortly to be followed by Italy, which is not looking great for a while host of others! 

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2 hours ago, rols said:

I sort of hope they do this again in the future as that Singapore Dubai leg is pretty dull usually and they've improved the middle east part of it

 

 

I agree with this assessment. I have been to Oman twice and would love to have more time there with an overnight. We met the shopping with the chef group in the souk and that was interesting though we only stayed to by some top grade saffron. There are some places in the desert in Oman it would be great to visit with more time. We used a lovely guide Valentina to go out to explore the first time and I would use her again. Abu Dhabi, Doha and even smaller places in the Middle East if you are into good food are fascinating. 

 

The Indian ports we visited this December and I booked tours through Mumbai Magic in all three cities and we had a wonderful time. I will admit the Chennai face to face before leaving was frustrating, but it's their country so we have to respect it.

 

Julie

Edited by frantic36

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1 hour ago, Fletcher said:

I quite agree.  Burma is in my view not a cruise destination.  You need to stay at a nice hotel in Rangoon and then take a river cruise to Bagan, Mandalay and beyond.  I think the new itinerary is spectacular and must have taken an incredible amount of work from Seabourn's destination team - booking ports, booking buses, the whole show, just amazing the effort involved.

I was impressed by the addition of Abu Dhaubi - What else did you like? 

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3 minutes ago, jtslattery said:

I was impressed by the addition of Abu Dhaubi - What else did you like? 

The cruise was always going to Abu Dhabi in the shape of Sir Bani Yas Island.  The two other Emirates - Fujirah and RAK are quite different to Dubai.  We once did a lovely trip flying into Abu Dhabi, rented a car and drove all seven Emirates with a side-trip to Oman's wonderful Musandam Peninsula where we bought Iranian saffron.

 

On the new itinerary, I like the idea of Cochin and Goa in India - two wonderful places, especially Goa with its UNESCO-listed Portuguese heritage.  The original cruise just went to Bombay (Mumbai) but the extra ports makes the visa hassle worthwhile.

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19 minutes ago, galeforce9 said:

Yes fletcher.  I must agree to being quite tempted as my arctic cruise this Friday is hanging in the balance for other reasons and that is shortly to be followed by Italy, which is not looking great for a while host of others! 

 

Instead of a cruise we were on the verge of booking up a road trip to Europe with two weeks in the Italian Lakes.  Now a quarantine area.  Something tells me . . . stay at home, go to Chatsworth instead!

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Not the most ideal situation, but we’re willing to give it a go. However, at this late date we’re finding it difficult and cost prohibitive to change our airline tickets on Turkish airlines. We may look into just salvaging the Dubai to Athens leg , or just throwing in the towel.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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2 hours ago, Fletcher said:

I quite agree.  Burma is in my view not a cruise destination.  You need to stay at a nice hotel in Rangoon and then take a river cruise to Bagan, Mandalay and beyond.  I think the new itinerary is spectacular and must have taken an incredible amount of work from Seabourn's destination team - booking ports, booking buses, the whole show, just amazing the effort involved.

I totally agree and wonder why on earth Seabourn continues to visit the same ports on what they see as a repositioning cruise from Singapore to Athens when clearly there are some new places out there. If they had offered this itinerary .. we'd have taken it! 

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2 hours ago, SLSD said:

I was just reading about this Rols--and the fact that Italy is taking stringent measures to try to contain the virus.  I found this article saying that no one is allowed to enter or leave the outbreak areas.  Perhaps it's too soon to be concerned about the cruises going there in the spring?   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51602007

Everywhere the virus has made landfall has put stringent measures in place to stop it. Every country in Asia has put in place quite draconian measures to stem the spread and yet it's broken out badly in South Korea and Japan in the last few days. I totally trust every country will do whatever it takes to prevent spread. 

I applaud Italy's response but it's been a rapid rise in cases and if one is concerned about cruising in Asia right now, personally I'd be hard pressed to be any less concerned about cruising the med, or anywhere else, this year. We're not at pandemic stage yet but you have to think .. it's closer. 

That said if I were booked on a cruise tomorrow, I'd still get on it. 

 

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All this recent upheaval in the cruise industry in Asia has made me try to recall if similar mass cancelations and itinerary changes took place during the SARs outbreak in 2002.I was active on the CC boards back them but I really can’t recall a similar situation. Is my memory letting me down or was the cruise industry less affected by that outbreak?

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I’m on the Soujourn currently, and it seems most of the passengers are happy with the changes. Some don’t want to go the New Zealand etc, but my guess is given the offer to use a credit for another cruise this year, some are deciding its time to get off and book a new cruise etc. 
my take is simply that the world is changing every day, and if you like cruising, then book the best cruise you can find, and simply go with it. 
I was going to get off in Male, but decided to stay on to Perth, spend a few days in Melbourne and simply enjoy the new ports we’re going to vs worrying about missing out on the ones we’re not. 
 The virus is an unknown, as is trying to beat the cruise lines at a game they control, so good luck to everyone who wants to continue travelling, and for those who think they know how the virus game is going to work out, cancel your trip and wait for next year, it’s really the only choice you have. 
 

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It is disturbing to read about so many areas in northern Italy now having schools closed and mass gatherings cancelled, as SLSD cited, and it is still evolving. 
Apparently there was an elderly Chinese couple from China which arrived January 23 to tour Italy, and they got ill, but they still have not found patient zero for Italy.
 

I just picked up our final documents for Seabourn Encore out of Sydney. 

Does anyone know if  Australia has closed off travel into Australia to people from China, or only if they have a fever?  The long incubation period and long period of no symptoms is troubling, but it is encouraging that most people infected so far have either no symptoms or mild symptoms.

 

Though my cruise will likely go fine, ( it is just in Australia which has only had a couple documented cases)  I am taking along a lot of extra days of my medication in case we land up quarantined on the ship.

Hopefully by May, when I have Europe cruises planned, we will have a more coherent View of what is happening.

 

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We are currently booked on the final sector of the world cruise, Sydney (now Auckland) to San Francisco departing 29 April. We live in Australia so the amended embarkation port is more an inconvenience than a major problem. A bigger problem is trying to predict how this whole covid-19 outbreak will spread (and it will spread, the genie is out of the bottle) so we can expect more travel restrictions and the risk of quarantine almost anywhere.  Ships (and aircraft for that matter) are basically germ/virus factories and doctors I’ve spoken to say that any international travel should probably be avoided until this current outbreak is under control. It will eventually “burn itself out” as all these things do, but it’s impossible to predict when that might be.

 

At the moment Seabourn is offering refund/compensation/credits so we are seriously considering our options. We also have good insurance as backup. As things stand and without a crystal ball to help us, we’re probably going to stay home and put the $$$ towards another cruise later in the year when the situation should be much clearer and I suspect there will be some fabulous deals to be snapped up as the cruise companies try to lure their customers back.

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Yet another drawbridge raised...  (From CNBC):

 

3:48 pm: Austria halts train traffic with Italy

 

Austria has halted train traffic with its southern neighbor amid concern that two passengers on an in-bound train from Italy were infected with the coronavirus. Italy is grappling with the largest coronavirus outbreak outside of Asia, with more than 130 reported cases and three deaths.

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As I say, the genie is out of the bottle and it’s only a matter of time before cases pop up in the rest of Europe, and then worldwide. Not a good time to travel anywhere unless absolutely necessary. I have anecdotal evidence from reliable sources that as things stand, in some countries cases are being significantly under-reported for various reasons or not reported at all.  ZERO cases in Indonesia? Seriously??

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5 hours ago, Catlover54 said:

I just picked up our final documents for Seabourn Encore out of Sydney. 

Does anyone know if  Australia has closed off travel into Australia to people from China, or only if they have a fever?  

https://www.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_SG/travel-information/travel-preparation/travel-advisories/notice-regarding-travel-restrictions.html

 

I've been using this site for a general picture of restrictions and as you can see Australia is banning anyone who's been in mainland China in the past 14 days (plus anyone from the Diamond Princess). I think you'll find most countries are doing something similar at this point.

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26 minutes ago, RustyRollock said:

 ZERO cases in Indonesia? Seriously??

I think a lot of us in the region (and beyond) find this particularly hard to believe. Someone did the maths from arriving passengers over December and worked out there was only a .01% chance of fewer than 10 cases and that was a few weeks ago. It may be true that Indonesia hasn't confirmed a case yet, but if that's the case, either they have been once in a million years lucky, or they aren't really looking

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I can highly recommend the daily YouTube posts of Dr John Campbell, a UK MD who explains the whole covid-19 situation very clearly and in layman’s terms using reliable data.

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