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  1. We use www.TripInsuranceStore.com - and we also recommend that you CALL and discuss your particular concerns/needs. However, regarding what you posted, we've purchased (through TIS) policies from Travel Insured, and first... they *pay* their claims. Second, if you do start the coverage right when you make the *first* payment for your trip (deposit or whatever) within the deadline (10-21 days, depending upon state), then you'll have coverage for any pre-existing conditions, as long as you are "fit to travel" when you start the coverage. Indeed, earlier this year, we had an unfortunate last-minute cancellation due to elderly MIL's sudden illness, and TI paid. So we know the policy works as advertised, as long as one has the proper documentation, etc. We also get CFAR coverage, which we've never actually used, but it helps with peace of mind. In particular, with a very elderly relative, we had actually expected we might need it. That is, MIL really never complains, and always has said, "Go, go... enjoy your trip!!" But IF she ever said, "I don't really feel right", and we were about to go on a major trip, we'd probably want to use CFAR, because no physician would tell us "not to travel away from her" if that was her only "complaint". But *we* would not want to leave if she said something like that, etc. (But as it happened, she landed in the ER and then hospital, so it turned out not to be any vague concern of hers. The regular coverage paid; we didn't use the CFAR. But we still feel much better with it. Also, given the vagaries of global politics, *we* might decide that we didn't feel comfortable going someplace, even if there were no official "do not travel there" warnings. Again, we've never used CFAR for that, but we like knowing we'd have the coverage if *we* thought it important/prudent/etc.) Good luck with your travels and with your relative! GC
  2. Does this coverage exclude pre-existing conditions? Thanks! GC
  3. Yes, we've had sous vide preparations, and the first time it was like magic. We asked how it was so good, SO tender, and after that started looking for sous vide when available. But the meat does not taste RAW or have the consistency of RAW. Or ... none of the times we've had sous vide prep was it like that. GC
  4. Thanks for a bit of explanation about the difference! GC
  5. Travel insurance is quite different. Indeed, the traveler will have an obligation to mitigate the expenses of the insurer. This could include cancelling in a timely fashion, rather than simply neglecting to bother, while the cancellation penalty doubles, etc. (If one is unable to avoid this, that's different.) Also, if something is refundable, why should the insurer pay for it? They typically won't. Get the refund! The closest I can think of the situation with, say, home owner insurance as you describe, is that most policies that include pre-existing conditions and/or CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason) require that one insure ALL of the NON-REFUNDABLE PRE-PAID expenses. (Someone above mentioned a policy where this is not the case, so obviously not all do this. Ours do.) Otherwise one can usually insure a lesser amount if desired. GC
  6. ''I was concerned that the Maasdam was doing such a long cruise in Australia. The ship is not for those who are looking for a luxury experience. We just got off a 7 day Eurodam cruise to the Mexican Riviera....a totally different experience (loved it)!" [emphasis added] We fly out tomorrow for our first HAL cruise, which begins in a few days, on Noordam. It is more than a bit surprising to read the terminology used, about Maasdam *not* being for "those looking for a luxury experience", while Eurodam was "a totally different experience". Obviously, some ships - and some cruise lines - are "luxury", and some... not so much... But are the HAL ships supposed to be in such different categories? (If so, we were not aware of that.) We realize that there can be "bad experiences" - and genuinely bad experiences! - at any time. And the fact that OP has been a serious contributor here on CC for so long... that does make a difference, too, in terms of credibility of the description of their cruise. Somewhat separately, how does a commercial/restaurant kitchen serve RAW chicken or pork, on a ship or on land?? We are assuming (hoping?) that our Noordam cruise will be satisfactory or better, and realize that there will be aspects we thoroughly enjoy, and then perhaps some... not so much... But raw chicken/pork? Rotten food? It ALL must have truly been bad, or OP would not have left so many days early! We sure hope that HAL is reading here and USES this info to do some serious investigating about what is happening on Massdam (and perhaps other ships?), even if it is only "sporadic". Some 'issues' are just not okay, period. Thanks to OP and a few others who shared their experiences here. We feel that it is always better to have more information than less... and we hope that we have a wonderful "first HAL cruise"! GC
  7. Has anyone here participated in any level of non-professional flight simulations in Sydney, throughhttps://flightexperience.com/I really like to try to find some surprise for DH on each major trip, and especially if it's a birthday trip" which is what we have coming up very soon.He has zero experience with anything like this, but I'm quite sure he'd be thrilled... if it's something that is arranged well. (I'm considering the 90 minute experience, in case that matters in terms of experiences.)Any comments, good/bad/ugly/etc., would be appreciated. Many thanks!GC
  8. There is at least one policy (not sure if it's available in all states - Steve can answer that) where one can get that waiver as long as the insurance is started no later than within 24 hours of final payment (defined specifically). We usually insure the minimal deposit within that early window (~3 weeks in our state, for our Travel Insured policy) in part because we want the CFAR coverage, too. But we've also had another reason, and perhaps Steve could address this: IF we were to wait until just before that final payment date, then what if one of us developed some medical condition that required physician oversight/testing/meds at a time that would then be within the look-back period? Unless it was something serious, we'd most likely still want to take our trip, even if cancelling it before final payment did not incur hefty penalties (but especially if it did!). GC
  9. Yes, set it for no updates on a metered connection, and then make sure that whatever connection you are using is set to "metered", even if it isn't really. Then no updates unless you click to download them. GC
  10. It would be really outrageous to restrict it to *one* device, rather than "one at a time". One at a time means each of us can go on line, "one at a time", and then download files or email, then log off, and continue working, *while* the other then logs on to access email or whatever. If both need to download "stuff" to a single device... REALLY? We've got the package for Passengers 1,2, but what about the future!? GC
  11. We use Travel Insured, but never had the medevac, thank goodness. However, we have had several claims, and all were paid without lots of nonsense. We get it through www.TripInsuranceStore.com (no extra charge), and once, we needed to ask TIS if they could "help" TI get the claim processed. Next day, we heard from them GC
  12. Please read through the FlyerTalk link I posted above. According to some first hand accounts, some of the disturbances are now in Kowloon as well. People who are currently in Hong Kong have some differing views of the situation in Hong Kong. And it seems that allowing extra time to get to the airport will probably be prudent. GC
  13. It might be much worse than just what types of limits or primary/secondary/etc. IF it comes time to make final payment and thus start the travel insurance, then IF one of the parties is not fit to travel OR has recently had some sort of health problem, they may NOT be able to get the insurance at all, or not be able to get coverage for pre-existing conditions. Sure, one could not make that final payment, but by that time, many have already made other coordinated plans, including some that may involve not only disappointment, but lost payments. (And in some cases, the initial/earlier cruise payments, including substantial initial deposits, may be non-refundable.) GC
  14. We'll probably be dealing with our connecting flights in between your dates, and the uncertainty is because we have someone trying to find us another way home... but still with awards... Originally, we had that agent trying to find something a day or two earlier, and through HKIA would have been fine. (We had hoped to get back a bit sooner, but the flights we got are flights we were initially delighted to find available, as we already had paid for our cruise, which was an almost last minute decision. Flight preferences are a bit different now.) You might want to double check with your hotel about various logistics. That includes possible pickup at airport, and also transport to the dock. GC
  15. There is considerable discussion of the Hong Kong situation on FlyerTalk.com - https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hong-kong-macau/1974998-impacts-demonstrations-travel-19.html We are scheduled to have airline connections at HKIA in just about a month, so we are watching this carefully. Ordinarily, we'd have had time to head into the city for several hours, but given that transportation may be disrupted, and we have such a limited time, we'll pass. And we'll let our memories of our trip there 2 years ago... those can remain as our memories! There will be an election in about a week or two, so things might get a bit more tense before then ?? And hopefully a bit less tense a few days after that is over? But who knows? I can't believe it has gotten this bad. We are trying to find a Plan B for our trip home, so that we connect some other place, but we are dependent upon awards availability. (If things get *really* nasty, then if necessary, we'll just pay cash to get home, but I sure hope it doesn't come to that, as we need Business class/flat bed for our aging bodies for those lengths of flights.) I hope you are able to have a pleasant stay in Hong Kong, in addition to just the boarding/disembarking process! GC
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