I personally would not go. Not the skittish type but there is no sense in doing something that even the CDC is advising people not to do. As Mike said, check with your doctor and then follow his advise.
Did you get the insurance from Holland America or from a 3rd party company to cover cancellation fees? I would give HA a call and find out what they are doing in response to concerns about the SARS. You can't be the first person to call with questions about this problem especially since there is now a travel advisory for that area. Holland America doesn't want a ship full of really sick people any more then you want to be sick.
Also give your doctor a call and ask him/her for some advice.
Even if you do not get off the ship in Hong Kong, there may be others who do, and who could pick up an infection and bring it back aboard the ship. Be VERY conscientious about washing your hands and not touching your nose, eyes or mouth. Have a wonderful cruise!
That's right - probably taking the same precautions you would at home to prevent getting a cold or flu will help you out. Wash those hands! If you go, try not to worry too much - it's going to spread here eventually anyway, so there's not much anyone can do to avoid it - and enjoy!
Land Cruise, Britain and Belgium
Now posting as MichelleP.
I have friends in Washington State that are doing the Hong Kong to San Francisco leg. I was talking on the phone to her yesterday and she had been talking to her TA and 'according' to the TA..........HAL says they aren't changing the Port of Embarkation and all should be fine ?????
I am of two minds whether I should send them the link that mbuckellow listed. They don't read these boards.
They only fly into Hong Kong then board the ship. BUT, after reading these postings.......there are others that won't JUST be doing that !!!!!!
edited to correct the spelling of San Francisco. :-))
Thought you might be interested in this information. I found it on another cruise message board. You may need to call HAL if you have flight arrangements that are not in sync with the new routes. Have a great cruise.
Holland America Prinsendam's two Far East sailings this month (April 11 and 25) will now roundtrip from Osaka. The April 11 trip will stop in Nagasaki, Japan; Naha, Okinawa; Pusan, South Korea; Vladivostok, Russia; and Niigata, Japan.
The April 25th sailing, a repositioning cruise to San Francisco, will overnight in Osaka and then stop at Pusan, South Korea; Vladivostok and Petropavlosk, Russia; and Dutch Harbor, Kodiak, Sitka, and Ketchikan, Alaska.
I'm booked for the Hong Kong -San Francisco segment. HAL has just advised me that the itinerary has been changed. The cruise will now start in Osaka, then proceed to Pusan, Vladivostok, Petropavlosk, Dutch Harbor, Kodiak, Ketchican, and San Francisco. Since my primary interest was Hong Kong, Shanghai, Nagasaki and Osaka this change is totally unsatisfactory. My travel agent has been trying for several weeks to get a statement from HAL with regard to the SARS problem to no avail. Current discussions with HAL are leading nowhere. They are adamant the changes to the itinerary can not be considered as a cancellation. In my view, since over 50% of the cruise is entirely different, this is not the cruise I booked. I was fully prepared to go to Hong Kong as I feel this SARS thing, while serious, has been grossly overhyped by the media. I currently live in a country listed as off limits for travel because of SARS and I have no concerns whatsoever about travelling throughout the country.
I have been informed that I must cancel if I am not satisfied with the proposed cruise. This will cost me $2345.14 in penalties. I have the HAL cancellation plan.
BenO - My advice to you is not to take the chance - hopefully, the cruiseline will wisely decide to change the itinerary. I live outside of Toronto, Canada - one of the hotspots. We have over 125 cases here and have had 7 deaths. Each and every case has been traced to person to person contact with an infected person. Other than our hospitals, the general public is not at great risk. Toronto finally seems to be getting a handle on this thing, but our hospital precautions will likely go on for some time.
I hope that the USA stays fairly clear of this terrible virus and pray that none of the cruise ships have a case of SARS on board. I would hate to see the ramifications of this.
Bill, We were booked on the Osaka to Hong Kong Cruise leaving April 11. Because of the SARS HAL changed our itinerary also to go to Russia. This was unsatisfactory to us and we also got no satisfaction from HAL. We then contacted our Credit Card Co and sent them all the information regarding the cancellation of the China ports and told them we considered this a cancellation of our cruise. We have recently heard from our credit card co that our dispute has resulted in a full credit unless HAL can convince the credit card co otherwise. Hope this helps. Capt. Jon