Zaandam - July 11, 2020

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  • DeweySki
    DeweySki May 7, 2020 10:08 am

    Well, no surprise.  We are officially cancelled by HAL now.  In fact, ALL of Alaska, Europe and Canada and New England cruises for 2020 are cancelled.  I only have one more trip scheduled this year and that is in October.  Hopefully things will be okay by then!

     

  • DeweySki
    DeweySki May 5, 2020 12:55 pm

    Sorry to hear you ended up canceling, but it is not surprising and I fully expect our group will end up canceling as well.  I expect HAL to cancel since Carnival has now cancelled through end of July.  Since ours is a group cruise, we are all waiting for HAL to cancel so we get the most out of the cancellation package.  Hopefully they will just reschedule it for next summer.  Either way I will definitely be scheduling other cruises once it is safe to do so.  But it will be very interesting to see how cruising has changed.

     

    I am sorry we will not get a chance to meet.  But thanks to the internet we at least got a chance to meet and we can always stay friends through email.  My email is mrski@yahoo.com and I am happy to stay in touch.  If you are on Facebook, I am also there and I have my own travel page as well (TravelsWithDewey) where I post when I DO get to go somewhere.

     

    Hopefully if cruises DO get cancelled we can find something to do entertaining this summer.  Staying in is getting boring and depressing.  Although I have things to do to keep me busy, and I am really enjoying ZOOM meetings and parties and facebook live sessions and FaceTiming with friends and family.

     

    Keep in touch and most of all stay healthy!

     

    Hugs, Mitch

  • sevenseasnomad
    sevenseasnomad May 4, 2020 8:55 pm
    On 5/3/2020 at 8:39 AM, DeweySki said:

    With all the unplanned port calls for ships, it has to be a logistical nightmare for lines to try and plan to get ships in the right place at the right time when and if they are able to get back to a regular schedule.  Not to mention trying to get all the staff back in place AND trained to handle all the new procedures in such a manner that it will be a smooth and seemless effort to still make the voyage a special adventure for the passengers who expect to still be spoiled and pampered etc.

     

    I loved the video.  No wonder we are fans of HAL.  One of my favorite things to do on the last cruise on the Rotterdam through the Panama Canal was the dueling piano bar every night.  I am friends with both pianists on Facebook and have stayed in touch with them.  One of them has started doing LIVE Facebook shows every few days (has a new partner for these) and it has been fun to watch her play and sing again.  I can believe I am almost back on the ship again!

     

    I had to capture your last post because every time I hit the "reply to this topic" my last post with the video dropped into the reply box.  Not sure what's going on, but to avoid it happening again (after four times), I figured I'd use your quote in your last post.  It worked.

     

    Bad news.  Good news.  Bad news is that my friends decided to cancel.  Since my flights were in and out of Boston, I cancelled both weeks as I really wanted to be with them that first week.  Good news is that we rebooked for next year.  Sad that people on the HAL board are trying to say that the ships won't be sailing again until next summer.  I so badly wanted to post that if this were the case, none of us will ever be cruising Holland America again because they'll be in bankruptcy as will all cruise lines.  What are these people thinking?  Closing a business for a year?  Absurd.

     

    I feel terrible that we won't get to meet in person.  I was anticipating it so much.  Perhaps, you should consider moving to next year as well.  The only difference in the sailings is that next year I leave Boston on July 3rd, a day earlier, and leave Montreal July 10th, a day earlier.  

     

    We've all been looking at Canada's new COVID cases.  For about a week, the numbers looked so promising, less than 300-400 new cases a day.  Over the weekend, those numbers spiked to over 1600 one day and 2700 the next.  Someone on the boards who works for the Canadian Health Department said the country won't open the borders until those numbers go to almost zero internationally.  When I read that, I thought, "Give up.  No way will the entire world go to zero in 8 weeks."  Plus my friends feel that if Canada does open the ports June 30th  our July 4th sailing won't give Holland America time to prepare the ship for that first week.  It is cutting operations too close for comfort.  Rather than continue to fret about it, they wanted to cancel, which we've done.  We did get lots of goodies as part of rebooking including free drinks, paid gratuities, and specialty dining package.  We also moved from an obstructed cabin category in a less desirable location of the ship to unobstructed ocean view on the Upper Promenade Deck by the elevators and by the public doors leading out to the Promenade.  Much, much better location, not under any space that's going to disturb us.

     

    My friends also worried about the quality of the shore excursions.  Would we be limited to going places for fear of catching the virus, etc.?  All in all too many decisions on the part of other people to affect our cruise enjoyment.  Some people are saying they won't cruise again until there's a vaccine.  Good luck with that.  Despite having vaccines of a sort for flu, people who get those shots can contract the strain of flu going around that season.  With a virus, there's no guarantee it won't mutate, rendering whatever vaccine a person has been given ineffective.  A much better solution to this mess is a drug that can control the extent of damage the virus does to an individual, especially those in high risk groups. 

     

    Are you going to cancel too?  Will you hang on and see if the ship sails?  Will check back to read your thoughts.

  • DeweySki
    DeweySki May 3, 2020 12:39 pm

    With all the unplanned port calls for ships, it has to be a logistical nightmare for lines to try and plan to get ships in the right place at the right time when and if they are able to get back to a regular schedule.  Not to mention trying to get all the staff back in place AND trained to handle all the new procedures in such a manner that it will be a smooth and seemless effort to still make the voyage a special adventure for the passengers who expect to still be spoiled and pampered etc.

     

    I loved the video.  No wonder we are fans of HAL.  One of my favorite things to do on the last cruise on the Rotterdam through the Panama Canal was the dueling piano bar every night.  I am friends with both pianists on Facebook and have stayed in touch with them.  One of them has started doing LIVE Facebook shows every few days (has a new partner for these) and it has been fun to watch her play and sing again.  I can believe I am almost back on the ship again!

     

  • sevenseasnomad
    sevenseasnomad May 3, 2020 12:26 am

    How beautiful!  What a nice tribute!  I laughed when I read your social distancing comment about the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels.  I'm sure you've seen them perform at an air show, and yes, it does look like they're only inches apart from each other.  Very precise flying.   And loud!  Today, they flew over D.C., Baltimore, and Atlanta.  I know those first responders were as appreciative of such an honor as those in NYC and New Jersey.

     

    Have you heard that Vaandam and Nieuw Statendam are on their way to Rotterdam, where they'll disembark European crew whose contracts have expired?  Both ships are due in port on May 12th.  Since Nieuw Statendam will sail from Copenhagen and Amsterdam this summer, her sailing makes sense.  But Vaandam?  Not sure what the rationale is.  Copper John was saying on the boards today that it takes at least a week to get a ship prepared for passengers when the ship has sat for months without passengers.  Of course, Canada must open its ports (their numbers of new COVID-19 cases drop each day), and the CDC has to rescind its ban before Vaandam can do anything.  Lots of events have to occur in a relatively short time-span.  

     

    Have you seen this video from the Westerdam crew?  I cried and cried.  Those crew are the best.  Here's the link in case you didn't see it yet:    

     It's wonderful and explains a lot of the reasons we keep coming back to HAL.

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