Grand Princess to Disembark Guests in Oakland

Grand Princess
Grand Princess

According to officials, the Grand Princess will dock at a pier in Oakland on Monday to disembark guests in stages.

The disembarkation process will be specified by federal authorities and will take several days, according to an announcement made onboard the ship.

Guests who require acute medical treatment and hospitalization will be transported to health care facilities in California.

Following the screening procedures, California residents who don’t require medical care will go to a federally operated isolation facility within California for testing and isolation.

Residents from other states will be transported by the federal government to facilities in other states.

Crew, meanwhile, will stay on the ship where they will be treated.

Coronavirus: Grand Princess passengers confined to cabins

Image result for grand princess

Passengers on a Princess Cruises ship off the coast of California have been confined to their cabins following the death of a guest from coronavirus after a previous cruise.

Health tests were carried out yesterday on 45 passengers and crew on board Grand Princess with the results due today (Friday).

The US Coast Guard delivered sampling kits to the ship by helicopter.

Around 140 Britons are reported to be on the ship.

A spokesperson for the line said: “Princess Cruises can confirm there are 3,533 people currently onboard Grand Princess, including 2,422 guests and 1,111 teammates. In total, they represent 54 nationalities.

“Following guidelines received today from the US Centers of Disease Control, all guests have been asked to stay in their staterooms while test results are pending.

“Guests are receiving meal deliveries in their staterooms by room service, and additional television and movie options have been added to in-room programming.

“Guests have also been provided complimentary internet service to stay in contact with their family and loved ones, and the ship’s internet bandwidth has been increased.

“Immediate family members of guests onboard Grand Princess may call the appropriate number in their region to speak with family assistance representatives: US and Canada: +1 888-358-8055, International: +1 872-201-6779.”

The company stressed that there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus on board.

The line’s Diamond Princess was quarantined in Japan in early February for 27 days. Six of its passengers – including the first Briton – died after contracting the virus.

Meanwhile, Princess Cruises is changing its cancellation policy on a temporary basis for departures up to May 31.

The revised policy is being introduced “to assist passengers in making decisions regarding their cruise holidays during the evolving worldwide coronavirus situation”.

The details vary by departure date:

April 3 or earlier: Cancel up to 72 hours before sailing to receive a future cruise credit (FCC) for 100% of cancellation fees.

April 4-May 31: Cancel by March 31, 2020, and receive an FCC for 100% of cancellation fees.

Meanwhile, for cruises from June 1–June 30, the final payment moves to 60 days prior to sailing from 90 days.

Passengers that choose to keep their booking for departures between March 9 and May 31 will receive the following complimentary onboard spending money:

$100 per cabin for 3-day and 4-day cruises

$150 per cabin for 5-day cruises

$200 per cabin for 6-day and longer cruise

Seattle: Alaska Drives Demand


Quantum of the Seas in Seattle.

 While moving ahead with plans to build a third terminal, the Port of Seattle set another record last year with 1,210,000 passengers on 211 calls and is forecasting a further increase this year to 1,380,000 passengers on 225 calls.

“We are also extending our season starting as early as April 1 with the Grand Princess and closing on Oct. 19 with the Ruby Princess,” said Michael McLaughlin, director of cruise and maritime operations. “Norwegian Cruise Line will also bring a third ship, the Norwegian Sun, joining the Bliss and the Encore at Pier 66. The Sun will sail 11-day Alaska cruises.

“Next year, the new Norwegian Encore will replace the Joy,” he continued. “It is a good example of how Norwegian is keeping their newest and best products in the market.

“Also in 2021, Carnival will replace the Spirit with the larger Freedom.”

Last year marked Seattle’s 20th year as a cruise port, during which it has seen nearly 14 million passengers.

“What stands out over those two decades,” said McLaughlin, “is that even during the recession we continued to grow our market share year-over-year. There was some flattening out in Alaska when that head tax was put into place, but it had less effect on Seattle in that we had entered into berthing agreements with the brands where they needed to meet their annual guarantees. So when they decided to pull ships out of the market as a result of the taxation in Alaska, it had less effect on Seattle.

“Over the long run, the growth trend has been really positive.”

Having released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new terminal last summer, the port has announced three groups that were shortlisted. They were the so-called Cruise Industry Leaders Group, with Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, Carnival Corporation and SSA Marine, a Seattle-based stevedoring company; Global Ports Holding and Miami-based Civil & Building North America; and Ports America, teaming up with Jacobs Engineering Group, headquartered in Dallas.

With the goal of having the new terminal ready for the 2023 season, it means Seattle will have three cruise terminals and four berths: Terminal 46 with one berth; the Bell Street Terminal at Pier 66 with one berth, and the Smith Cove Terminal at Pier 91 with two berths.