– Avalon Myanmar – Myanmar River Cruise – April 2017
*Azamara Club Cruises – Azamara Journey – Singapore to Dubai (April 8, 2018)
* Azamara Quest – Southeast Asia and Japan (February 2015)
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Part I
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part II
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part III
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part IV
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Some Final Observations and Thoughts
– The Prologue to the Travelogue
– The Adventure Begins…With a Bump or Two
– Settling In Made Easy
– Luxury Touches Here, There and OK, Not, Everywhere…But There Are Lots of Them!
– Asian Flair Onboard and On Shore
– Private Tours, Israel and Conflicts in Perceptions and Perspective
Celebrity Equinox 2009 – Egypt…Impressive and Depressing
– Dining With the Captain and the Reidel Wine Seminar
– The Last Dinner (Tuscan Grille) and Disembarkation
– What Happens When A Class Act Meets Highly Discounted Cruise Fare
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part I
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part II
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part III
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part IV (Food & Wine!)
– Princess Cruises Doesn’t Treat You Like Royalty; Celebrity Cruises Does! Which is a Better Value for the Upscale Cruise Guest? Part I
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. -Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part II: The Standard Veranda Staterooms
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part III: Treating You Right From The Start
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part IV: The Wine Lists Speak Volumes (As Do The Beverage Packages)
Regent Seven Seas Voyager – August 2017
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part I
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part II (Getting There, The Stateroom and First Impressions)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part III (“You Can’t Teach Five Star Service” and Bonafacio, Corsica)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part IV (Calvi, Monaco, Portofino, Porto Azzurro…and Stale Bread)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part V (My Last Day…and How The Chef’s Team Makes It Happen)
I do not know how to fully express the outrage and anger throughout the cruise industry at the absolute irresponsible, profit-driven, conduct of Hurtigruten. What I can do is express mine not only for unbelievable damaging the cruise industry, but endangering the health of at least 387 passengers, 156 crew and who knows how many people they have come in contact with.
What has come out since my article earlier today: And Now: Frustrating Cruise News…Oh, and Wear a Mask! is that Hurtigruten, in violation of Norwegian law, did not quarantine 16 of the Filipino crew for 10 days before boarding the ship even though they came from outside the European Economic Area (EEC). Rather Hurtigruten had them immediately go to work on the Roald Amundsen (which includes the now 33 of the 36 COVID-19 infected crew being Filipino) and just not leave the ship for that period. Seriously! They just went to work and interacted with other crew and probably passengers.
In the Norwegian website VG’s article “The main union representative did not know that the Filipinos were not in quarantine: – I can not find words” the crew should have been quarantined in Norway in a hotel for 10 days and then have a negative COVID-19 test. That, obviously, does not mean put the crew in the same place, no less the cruise ship, with no restrictions as to interacting with others. That is not quarantine! What that is a way for Hurtigruten not to pay its crew for 10 days additional, avoid paying for hotel rooms and food for all of them over that period and, of course, squeeze in an extra cruise or two.
Hurtigruten’s CEO Daniel Skjeldam at least has admitted this much, “The quarantine provisions in question have not been complied with for 16 of the Philippine workers. It shouldn’t have happened, we’ve established new procedures to make sure it doesn’t happen again.” How this reckless conduct happened, knowing the potential consequences, is unconscionable. Stating, “I won’t do it again”, is not even close to an appropriate answer. And what the heck were the “old” procedures and who are the group of people that developed them, approved them, and then put them in place?
Add to that Hurtigruten’s protocol not requiring crew to wear masks at all times (heck not even when in contact with passengers if the health of the entirety of the crew wasn’t important enough) and Hurtigruten has given an excellent roadmap of incompetence and worse.
If that not enough: Hurtigruten was advised that a passenger on the prior sailing had since tested positive for COVID-19 by municipality superior in Hadsel and the FHI (Norwegian Institute for Public Health), but Hurtigruten did not do anything (no less shut down the next sailing to investigate) because it determined everything was under control. Just how Hurtigruten did that is not known and, honestly, factually could be nothing better than a farce and could possibly be a criminal act.
But it gets worse! Hurtigruten sent the two crew that were the worst off to the hospital, wait for it, wait for it: In a public taxi!
Repeating what I said in my earlier article, I am mortified (not too strong a word) that Hurtigruten would not have at least advised the passengers that four of the crew had been isolated for illness…even with a disclaimer that their symptoms are not consistent with COVID-19 disembark and, further, that they allowed those passengers to disembark rather than wait for those four crew members to be tested for COVID-19.
So what did Hurtigruten do correctly? Honestly I do not have a clue. Clearly their actions were the result of Idiocy, Arrogance and Greed.
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