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Heartfelttraveler

Tahiti Cruises Cancelled Through 2020

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Actually the Spirit spent the past few months on the north side of the island of Singapore not the Philippines. They obviously didn’t take advantage of that down time painting the ship but I’m confident that the crew will be energized to get the boat ship shape before any of us arrive

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Barrycat, if you see that Spirit is on the move let us know. It must be very expensive to hole up for 4 months in FP so I would assume Windstar is making arrangements to sail away to a less expensive place to dock and get repairs and maintenance done. Too bad she left Singapore, should have just stayed there for the duration until January (maybe).

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@Heartfelttraveler

So sorry about your cruise. Know that you and your friends were looking so forward to it. Know what it's like- Oceania Regatta FP was cancelled this spring just 2 weeks before sailing. It was a no brainer with COVID running rampant but it still stung. Seemed like you had such a good chance of sailing too 😞 Wonder if you rebooked something else?

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3 hours ago, Petoonya said:

@Heartfelttraveler

So sorry about your cruise. Know that you and your friends were looking so forward to it. Know what it's like- Oceania Regatta FP was cancelled this spring just 2 weeks before sailing. It was a no brainer with COVID running rampant but it still stung. Seemed like you had such a good chance of sailing too 😞 Wonder if you rebooked something else?

 

We are very sad that our October cruise was canceled.  We would like to rebook for October 2021.  With the 125% cruise credit, we would pay for the whole trip and still have $800 left over.  The big but is that they want us to pay $1372 deposit.  I am not willing to do that.  Our travel agent has asked Windstar to either expedite the cruise credit or allow us to book with zero deposit.  Waiting to hear from them.

 

I have been busy canceling all our ancillary bookings.  The only bugger is a VRBO who will only reimburse 50% if our almost $1000 deposit.  And they would not allow us to move the booking.  Not too happy about that.

 

Also, we had a replacement to our VISA card and one of the excursion operators is having a hard time refunding our money.  Ugh.

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@Heartfelttraveler

What a disappointment. And $1372 deposit is a heck of a lot, and isn't this for the 10 day cruise? Be sure to post the outcome of your WS request.

Bummer too with VRBO- that's a lot to be out. Hope that you'll be on the 10/2021 sailing.

Hope we're ALL on 2021 sailings.

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3 minutes ago, Petoonya said:

@Heartfelttraveler

What a disappointment. And $1372 deposit is a heck of a lot, and isn't this for the 10 day cruise? Be sure to post the outcome of your WS request.

Bummer too with VRBO- that's a lot to be out. Hope that you'll be on the 10/2021 sailing.

Hope we're ALL on 2021 sailings.


7 night.  It is for the Owner’s Suite.

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1 hour ago, Heartfelttraveler said:

Also, we had a replacement to our VISA card and one of the excursion operators is having a hard time refunding our money.  Ugh.

 

They should be able to refund it to your old number – refunds track over automatically.  [Only new charges don't work on the old number.]

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Encouraging 

Below is a statement made by the FP Minister of Health yesterday. It appears that they are headed in the right direction. Good news for all of us that are anxious to visit.

 

 

Finally, the latter indicated that the epidemic situation in French Polynesia was "at stage 3 and bordering on stage 4". Stage 4 being an "administrative" phaseallowing the High Commissioner to order "localized confinement" measures . 
 

Edited by Barrycat
Screw up

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Yesterday I posted what I thought was encouraging new on virus developments in Tahiti. Today I did more research and now I’m confused about what Is going on .
Over  the past number of days there has been a steady increase number of cases. Now only  in the mid 500’s With about half “cured” but still rising. In mid August the CDC issued a “avoid all nonessential travel warning” to French Polynesia and I’m not aware that it has been rescinded. Not to jump to conclusions but Susisan may be right, leave it to the French to reverse the confinement levels with the rest of the world, and they are saying that FP is headed in the wrong direction. 
if this continues to spread, Windstar May have been right to cancel 2020 cruises.

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It appears FP virus levels start at 1 which is the lowest and go up from there.  I do like that they post the number of cumulative cases, how many are cured, how many are currently hospitalized and how many are in the ICU and their average age. Note there have been no deaths.

Saturday Sept. 5 update:

Tahiti, September 5, 2020 - The Department of Health indicated on its site on Saturday morning that the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Polynesia now stood at 658, or 26 more than yesterday. The active cases are located in the urban communes of Tahiti, as well as in Bora Bora, Moorea and Raiatea. No additional details have been communicated since the epidemiological squares are published three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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Hawaii is having similar problem at the moment!!! The average age of people in hospital  in Tahiti is 52. Average age of positive case is 36. We are thinking of going back to Tahiti but not this year or the next.

Also in the news from British-Colombia. Cases are being found on ATN flight.

Air travel

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has identified three flights (two international and one domestic) with COVID-19.

 

Air travel

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has identified three flights (two international and one domestic) with COVID-19.

One was Air Tahiti Nui flight 68 from Tahiti to Vancouver on August 22 (affected rows not reported). Air Tahiti Nui flight 68 from Vancouver to Paris also on August 22 was also listed (affected rows not reported).

 

Edited by dandee2
added info

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@msears101 thanks for the tip on the luggage! I had done a bit of research, so knew it would be complicated, but your post swayed me further against trekking with it.

 

After much scrambling and further research, we decided to change our airfare and book the 10 night Polynesian Dream via Dream Yacht Charter in March 2021. Our embarkation coincides with my husband's 40th birthday which somehow made it seem like just the perfect celebration. Fingers crossed that the covid landscape looks different then than it does now.

 

We had paid for our December 2020 cruise in full in order to maximize points on the card, and we had planned to take it as a refund. That is until I somehow found myself looking at Windstar's 7-for-7 deals yesterday,  which resulted in us making an impulse booking for the Star Pride's December 18, 2021 embarkation! We weren't sure how soon we could catch another deal on a Polynesian Windstar cruise, and our appetites were already whetted for Windstar and there was the boost on the FCC. The biggest problem is deciding which one will be our honeymoon and which one is our "I survived 2020" treat.

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14 hours ago, Jojo Inferno said:

The biggest problem is deciding which one will be our honeymoon and which one is our "I survived 2020" treat.

 

That's what I call a real 'win-win' situation!

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We are re-booked for the October 14, 2021.  Windstar pushed the FCC and we now have some on board credit to spend.

Only one non Windstar vendor has not refunded our money.  I initiated a charge back with VISA today.

Still waiting for Sofitel Moorea to move our non-refundable reservation to next year.  It should not be a problem.

Good luck to all of you waiting for FCCs and refunds or moving your bookings.

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@Heartfelttraveler

Really good to hear that you've rebooked. Third time's the charm 🙂

 

Hate to say this but while a month ago I was feeling pretty low about chances for our Tahiti cruise 4/29/21, the latest events with Paul Gauguin make me feel a little more confident. Yet who knows what this COVID world will bring for 2021? It's a fine kettle of fish.

 

Regarding  getting the 72 hour PCR test ....I'd already booked my air from Portland to SFO  before the it was decided we'd need it.

Was expecting that Fr. Polynesia would only require the antigen test that  Emirates administers 2 hours prior to flight. Even United said that would be the way it would work back then. Silly me. Been wresting with the idea of pushing back my arrival in SF date by 2 days to be sure I can get the testing done in time. Stanford is close to SFO has a 48 hour turnarond time. My state doesn't offer that and no reason to think that might change. I'd change the air right now, but dh dislikes long vacations- wants to be home with the dogs after 2 weeks. We're already at 3 weeks and he'll moan and groan when he hears it'll be an extra 2 days now, so holding off changing air. Another unpredictable something.

 

Thanks for listening to my yammering.

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Yeah, that 72 hour test is going to problematic for us as well. We're driving to JFK, then flying to and spending a night in LA prior to the flight to PPT, so the "72 hours before international departure" will wind up being very difficult, if that requirement is still in place by May of 2021. I don't have the flexibility to arrive in LA any earlier than I already am.

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@ZukiniI've been monitoring the Tahiti board on Tripadvisor. I posed the question about where to get the test at SFO and got my answer quickly. There must be somewhere in NY that offers it guaranteed in 48 hours no? I've also heard that ATN has recommended a couple places that have 24 hour turnaround- can ask that on Tahiti board too. Like you I'm hoping that requirements will change by cruise time.

In case you don't have it....

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g309679-i1940-Tahiti_Society_Islands.html

 

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3 hours ago, Petoonya said:

@ZukiniI've been monitoring the Tahiti board on Tripadvisor. I posed the question about where to get the test at SFO and got my answer quickly. There must be somewhere in NY that offers it guaranteed in 48 hours no?

 

 

Yes, I'm aware.  I'm actually in Pennsylvania, and I'll only be in NYC to catch my flight on a Sunday, arriving in LA late Sunday night. My flight from LAX to PPT is late Monday afternoon, so I really don't have a window to get a test with a turn around that quickly in LA.  I'm pretty much stuck with whatever testing is going to be available in my home town.  To meet the 72 hours before international departure, I would need to get tested no earlier than 7pm Friday night.  That would be a nail-biter, as I'd hate to get on the transcontinental flight without knowing if I'll have the results before the international flight. Ugh. Just hoping things improve by then.  

 

Ironically, we would have been on our way to Tahiti this Thursday if COVID hadn't happened.

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It is not just that you have to have a negative test result of a particular test within 72 hours of boarding your flight to (SFO, LAX etc.) Tahiti.  The big BUT is that it has to be processed at an approved Lab.  I had to go through the list looking at each one to find labs in the Atlanta area.  Then call them to see where I could actually take the test.

 

https://tahititourisme.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/FDA-Approved-Tests-for-Travel-to-French-Polynesia-August-11-2020.pdf

 

We had plan A, B and C.

A.) Take the test at approved location in my immediate area that would give us an appointment.

B.) Pay a medical service to come to our home ($500 house call charge) and drop the test off at an approved lab.

C.) Fly to Los Angeles a day early, rent a car, take the test, stay overnight in a hotel or VRBO, waste a day the next day waiting to board our late night flight.

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@Heartfelttraveler, yes, so many variables to account for. I'm just trying to not even think about it until I get closer to final payment and see what the environment is at that time.  Who knows, maybe some of the near-instant tests will be available and approved for travel use by next spring.

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@Zukini,

I'm trying to think like you and just hope that the options are a little more user friendly when it comes around. My hope was that Stanford would be my best option out of SFO on a Tuesday but learned that they can no longer promise 48hours. But they will either bill your insurance or do it free is what they told me. At this point in time there is a place in SF that offers a guaranteed 48hr turnaround for $400pp.

 

I can do better flying down to LAX getting the test and staying with my kids.

 

But Zukini your flying schedule is precarious, and this cruise has to be a go for you. Ouch about your departure date that would have been Thursday!

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I am over 50% certain that even if Sprit does sail on Jan. 14 I won't be on it. There is no way possible to get a covid test done in Kansas City in time. My UA flight from SFO is on Tuesday so I would need to get tested on Saturday. None of the places that do optional covid testing are open on the weekend. I am not going to fly in early to SFO and stay 2 or 3 nights there just to get tested nor can I change my flights to get to PPT a few days earlier as I don't want to be there 5 days before the cruise.

 

Unless FP lightens up on the testing requirements we will be cancelling and not rebooking this cruise. We will go somewhere else that doesn't require testing to get into a country.  I would like to visit Tahiti again but it is not that important to me. I don't want to travel halfway around the world to have a substandard clinical vacation experience. I can wait a few years for things to normalize.

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Susiesan - When we were preparing to go on the October 15, 2020 seven night cruise, I opened up the list of approved labs on the Tahiti Tourism web site.  I opened each labs link to see where they were located.  I called the labs that were within 60 miles of our home in a rural area outside of Atlanta.  I told them what COVID-19 test was required and asked them if I could take the test at their lab, or what testing sites gave the test that would be processed at their lab.  They were very helpful and gave us our A & B plans.  Then I looked at the labs in the LA area and started calling them for our plan C.  (You could do this for SFO.)  The LA area lab that was about 30 minutes from the airport and has a 4 - 24 hour process time.  

 

We all have our tolerances for what we are willing to do to be able to travel.  To us, this would have been worth it.  I realize that many people do not want to take the chance, live with the mandated inconveniences, and/or reduced offerings.  That being said, with some research and perseverance it can be accomplished. 

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The complicated logistics of getting the required testing prior to embarkation combined with a likely requirement for face coverings on the ship makes this rather unappealing to me.  How can this be a relaxing vacation? I am booked for Alaska in July 2021, but will reconsider if masks are required on board.

 

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On 9/22/2020 at 5:08 PM, ridethetide said:

The complicated logistics of getting the required testing prior to embarkation combined with a likely requirement for face coverings on the ship makes this rather unappealing to me.  How can this be a relaxing vacation? I am booked for Alaska in July 2021, but will reconsider if masks are required on board.

 

I'm with you ridethetide. IF my January Wind Spirit cruise is a go and IF masks are required onboard I will cancel before final payment. No way am I going to sit on a plane for 8 hours with a mask or wear one on a cruise ship where I would be outside most of the time. No way will I wear a mask on a tender to shore or on a shore tour.

I have a Baltic cruise with Oceania booked for next August, postponed from this past June, and the same thing applies. Mask requirement = no go for me.

Edited by susiesan

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