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GeezerCouple

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Everything posted by GeezerCouple

  1. Are those little chocolate lava cakes no longer available in MDR at dinner? It wasn't clear from what you wrote; you used the past tense... I loved, loved, loved them, but I'm a world-class chocoholic! GC
  2. This thread is about oxygen concentrators, not oxygen tanks. I have not understood why there would be a limit on carrying one of these concentrators, especially if it isn't being used at the time. But why would even using one be forbidden? I didn't think they could concentrate oxygen so much that it could become flammable (or are they really such amazing devices!?). I was getting ready to ask our physician about using one when we vacation at altitude, as I've slowly had more and more difficulty in certain locations. (The wife of a friend could no longer go at all, so neither of them could attend a special conference each summer anymore. A shame. I was going to suggest she try something like a concentrator, but if they are starting to be disallowed...) Can anyone explain why oxygen concentrators are not allowed? Thanks. GC
  3. I'm not at all sure about what the cruise lines require. Our concern is more about international borders. But about that letter... perhaps at least in the future, when you *do* have an appointment with your physician or office, you could ask for letters like this for any equipment or specific meds so that you have it for future travel. When we submitted materials (by email/pdf) to Japan (who had some surprising requirements), that included some "older" materials: a letter dated a few years earlier, a copy of actual Rx scripts that were also old, and everything got approved, all in less than 24 hours. So in your case, I'd bring along whatever materials you do have: a prescription (or copy), perhaps a label from the little packet that the needles/syringes came in, like the label on a prescription bottle. (Needles/syringes are usually in a small ziploc-type plastic bag. Tiny vials of medicine are often put together into a large amber prescription bottle that has a label with my name/physician's name/etc., but each little vial has nothing other than the manufacturer's label.) However, I should add that we've never yet been seriously "challenged" such as in some countries with the most strict "drug" laws. We haven't gone to any of those countries, so it's an unknown, and not something I'm necessarily eager to "know". OTOH, we also assume that small quantities that are commensurate with the travel duration, with some appropriate documentation... we doubt that's what causes concern. AFAIK, the oddball draconian event with a tourist seems to involve unusually large quantities of seriously controlled substances, perhaps with sketchy explanations. And again, that's not a cruise line. I've mentioned some meds/etc., on the advance "special needs" forms from cruise lines, and nothing was ever mentioned again about it during the cruise. Never any questions when we were first arriving, etc. We just keep the same packet of docs (and a copy in the cloud, plus a copy with pdf attachments that we've each emailed to ourselves)... and the same stuff just sits there, waiting in a carry-on bag, etc. These days, there are so many people who carry needles/syringes with them, even counting only those requiring insulin (and there are many other injectable meds), that I'm not sure how big a deal it is, if there is nothing else "unusual". We just prefer to be prepared, which takes no extra effort once we've got those materials gathered. GC
  4. You might also want to post this on the CC Travel Insurance sub-forum: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/499-cruisetravel-insurance/ There is also another sub-forum (from the above sub-forum): https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/2500-qa-cruise-insurance-with-the-tripinsurancestorecom-june-2021/ We have always purchased third party insurance, since reading about this back in 2013. We have used www.TripInsuranceStore.com - and they've been wonderful helping us to get the right policies for our specific needs. (No additional charge for the travelers.) Our policies were through TIS with Travel Insured. And... we've had several claims, including a few large ones. All of them were paid without any nonsense. (Steve, owner of TIS, was also helpful a few times when we had a medical emergency, reminding us what documentation we'd need, etc. He runs the second sub-forum link above.) We just want to keep the insurance separate from the vendor (cruise line, hotel, etc.) so there is no conflict of interest in selling a particular type of coverage or with claims. We also want some types of coverage that may not be available through cruise line coverage. Finally, our policies always got us cash back, NOT some sort of "credit" that needed to be used with the same travel vendor, or within some sort of deadline, GC
  5. If you already have a relationship with a physician and that's who prescribes your meds and needles/etc., then can't you just phone the office and have them send or email a letter? GC
  6. Contact Steve at www.TripInsuranceStore.com He may have a good policy for you, but it can vary state to state, so what worked for us might not work for you. We found ourselves in this situation not too many years ago. We always used Travel Insured (and we've had several claims with them, all paid promptly). But there was one trip that we really didn't think we'd actually take. We reserved our preferred suite, etc., so we'd have it if we wanted it, but we didn't start the insurance. Ooops! And then, it turned out that we DID want to go after all, but we hadn't started the TI insurance. He found another policy that seemed fine, from what we thought of as a good name insurer. We didn't have a claim, so I can't speak to that aspect. But we had a policy that did not exclude pre-existing conditions. GC
  7. Absolutely terrific! You are a great "ad" for why there *should* be at least a few times for formal wear, for those who want to do so. I suspect that if there were more opportunities, more people might do it. And that's not just on ships! Bring your tux if you want, and wear it! 😉 (If you are on a Roll Call, mention it and perhaps a few others will join you.) And... really nice pose in the champagne shot. You look like a professional model in that one! GC
  8. On our most recent Oceania cruise a few years ago, DH decided to bring along a sport jacket as usual, but he decided that he had finally had it with ties (except for business). It was a Christmas/NYE cruise, and as the first big night approached, he was a bit sorry he didn't have even one tie. However... Oceania had left one of their gifts in our suite, and it had a very nice bright red ribbon on it. Yes, he made a lovely bow tie out of the ribbon. 😉 I thought that was terrific, and and it got smiles everywhere we went that evening. So he used it again for NYE, of course. GC
  9. For OP or anyone else thinking about something like this, please think very seriously about the "what if's". And the main "what if's" would seem to be... What if the supply doesn't arrive in time at a port (if one is arranging shipment) or what if there is some change in the itinerary and the port needs to be skipped? What are the consequences of missing that dose? Can one "catch up" waiting for the next regularly scheduled dose? Would you need to fly home relatively quickly? Just have good contingency plans. GC
  10. In addition, as soon as possible after boarding, ask to speak with someone about special dietary needs. (Depending upon your needs, they may want you to pre-select the next day's meals, or at least whatever part needs that special preparation, the evening before, so they can be sure to do it properly for your needs. So you'll want to make sure that the first evening meal is all set for you.) We've found that it is also helpful at each meal to tell the waitstaff immediately about whatever special dietary needs you have. If it is any type of allergy, then we also strongly recommend asking as each food item, course, or plate is presented, to make extra sure. We had no difficulties on our HAL cruise (or any other cruises), but we try to make it easy for things to go "right". We found that the dining staff were usually waiting for us to show up, which they can sometimes monitor when you "check in" to be seated, etc. (It's much easier these days with the computerized systems than in the past, when it was more difficult for wait staff and kitchen staff to know "where you are eating", etc.) GC
  11. "Is Haven worth the money?" That's like the elephant and the dime: "An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you want an elephant and if you have a dime." If you don't want the "extras" or you don't want to spend the money, then... ... the Haven is not a "good deal" for you. How much someone wants the "extras" of the Haven [there are varying "levels" of Haven accommodations, and they differ on a few ships, and there are differing prices] and how someone would otherwise want or need to use that amount of money... that matters a lot about whether the Haven would be "worth it" for them. GC
  12. As much as we tend to agree with hallasm and also truly value his comments, we don't agree about about one thing: the length of the RT. We did that a few years ago, and... we would have gladly done it again right then! The landscapes are often breathtaking. We just loved everything. And we weren't on one of the new ships (which didn't exist then, of course). We were on the Trollfjord, and really enjoyed it. (We love the name.) Maybe because we knew it was a "ferry", we were really surprised with how nice everything was. But it's "all about the scenery" and also the Northern Lights. NOTE: Those "lights" are not captured by the human eye as vividly as they are by cameras. We were VERY glad that we knew that in advance, so we weren't disappointed. We had carefully chosen "March", after looking at all sorts of reports, including weather and cloud cover in particular. We are especially glad that we chose the RT because even though March "tends to have" less cloud cover, we had it almost non-stop on the NB trip. Heading back on the SB, skies cleared, thank goodness. 🙂 Also about the timing, the ship could NOT go *into* the Trollfjord, although we did sort of peak into that narrow mouth. It would probably be a lot of fun to be able to go into it. At the least, see a video of that! (Apparently there are avalanche precautions that preclude sailing in during part of the year, alas.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trollfjord#/media/File:Mind_the_gap_Trollfjorden.jpg Do try to take that train from Oslo to Bergen. We had read so much about it. At the beginning of that train trip, although everything was very nice and pretty, we began to wonder if we were expecting too much... And then... and then... we got to the amazing part. It was other worldly. Going from Oslo to Bergen was the "right" direction, at least for us. The best came toward the end, starting with the very best, and then there were gorgeous scenes til the end at Bergen. (I'm not sure how much one would see of the peak viewing if it were during the dark...?) Likewise, IF someone were not doing a RT, we'd recommend NB. The scenery just keeps getting better and better. We had chosen March rather than October (we had judged those two months to be best chances for our interests), because we wanted to have as much snow as possible, so the end of winter rather the end of summer seemed to make more sense. And we also wanted to have "some daylight and some night". But it depends upon your personal schedule and also whether you want to see winter landscapes or not. Although we were curious about 24 hour nights or 24 hour days, we didn't time our trip for either of those. (We had done a Vancouver-Alaska cruise in June, and although it was indeed quite something how late the sun and sunlight stayed... that cruise never gets near the Arctic Circle, so no "midnight sun" or such.) We really do have a "repeat" on our "to do" travel list. It was indeed "that special" (for us), although we realize it will never be as magical as that first time... GC
  13. Hi again, We haven't (yet?) sailed to Antarctica. However, we always get our travel insurance from www.TripInsuranceStore.com, which we learned about here on CC almost 10 years ago now. They are a broker, and work with several "vetted" insurers, each of which has more than one type of policy (I think each does). Our policies have been with Travel Insured and we've had several claims, including a few large ones, for cruises and land trips. All have been paid without nonsense, and that's what counts, after all. We learned a LOT from Steve (owner) and his associates. They are incredibly patient, and answered many (!) "But what if X happens? What if Y happens!?" questions, including recently. It seems several trips continue to have various "peculiarities" such that I need to double check yet again... 😉 And Covid has just made things even more complicated. Here are links to CC's Travel Insurance sub-forums and to one that Steve himself handles (which includes questions that don't involve trips where he handles the insurance): https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/499-cruisetravel-insurance/ https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/2500-qa-cruise-insurance-with-the-tripinsurancestorecom-june-2021/ They don't "upsell". (In fact, one time, Steve actually talked me *out* of buying a policy, explaining - and mostly from his memory! - why he thought we didn't need it. He was correct, and we didn't buy a policy from him for that trip. That really surprised me, and very pleasantly!) Enjoy your trip! We'll be thinking about it. Do you care to share just which cruise it is, so we can "follow along"? GC
  14. That would help a bit with the finances (except for having *everyone* needing to get travel insurance all the time!?). However, I don't know about others, but if our cruise were to be delayed 24 hours, we'd probably like at least the option to continue with the rest of the cruise, especially if we have already left home, which is likely for any last minute changes. And for some cruises, we have land arrangements planned at the conclusion of the cruise. So... we'd need to return home, wait, and then head back out x days later? Doesn't sound good to me. Someone hasn't thought through this properly. Perhaps several people. GC
  15. Don't hesitate to ask them questions. We learned *so* much early on (after learning about travel insurance and TIS here on CC initially), by asking lots of questions. "What happens if...?" "But what about if ...?" They are very patient. And that no doubt helps them get the right types of coverage for their clients, so it works for us and for them, etc. And despite all of those "what if's", here we are several years later with yet more questions that are coming up about situations we hadn't thought about before. Sometimes, each trip seems to have something "new" about it, insurance wise. But it's been worthwhile, because none of our claims have been denied, so obviously TIS helped us get policies that worked for our needs, and that's what counts. GC
  16. I found this part, in the linked article, to be a bit strange: "... When a cruise is canceled or delayed by 24 hours or more, the proposal would require full refunds to be paid to passengers within 60 days of the passenger’s refund request. If a cruise is canceled or delayed by 24 hours or more due to government orders to stop sailing, cruise lines would get 180 days to return passengers’ money. ..." They are modeling this after airline refunds, per the article. Well, if a flight is delayed by 24 hours, that's usually more than the entire trip, even with connections. If a cruise is delayed by 24+ hours, okay... cover the cost of a hotel, give one day's refund maybe, but how is the rest of the cruise totally "gone"? And especially a long cruise...!? I can see this upping the costs of cruises by quite a lot. A relatively short delay could end up costing a cruise line a lot of money. GC
  17. We learned about TripInsuranceStore (and Steve) here on CC back in 2013. We've purchased quite a few policies, and had several claims, including a few large ones, all paid promptly. CALL him; don't just rely upon online summaries. The fine print can really matter here. GC
  18. [editing added] [See very first post of this subforum, above.] Are you aware that you are posting this in the sub-forum that gets specific help from the person who started this sub-forum: --------------------------- Hi, I'm Steve Dasseos and I started and own https://TripInsuranceStore.com. I also have a Wall Street Journal recommended Travel Insurance Blog at https://www.TripInsuranceStore.com/blog. I have over 520 pages between these two websites. If you live in the USA and have any questions about how travel insurance works, ask here. I also did a Q & A here on Cruise Critic for June 2020 at https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/2484-qa-cruise-insurance-w-steve-dasseos-of-the-tripinsurancestorecom-june-2020/ If you want specific information that requires personally identifiable or private information, neither CruiseCric nor myself want you to post that information on a public forum. instead, you may email me at steve@tripinsurancestore.com or fill out this form: https://tripinsurancestore.com/travel-insurance-email-contact-form/ I'm looking forward to helping you, Steve Dasseos --------------------------- That's why all of the above is here, "to help CC members get help..." And many of us here have indeed gotten terrific help from Steve and his associates. TripInsuranceStore is a travel insurance broker, and work with several insurers, each of which has a few different types of policies. (Fees are paid by the insurer; no extra cost to travelers.) We've purchased many policies from him, and we've also had several claims, including a few large ones. The policies we've had through TIS have been with Travel Insured. Steve helped us get policies that worked for our specific travel needs, and he's guided us about things like timing of deposits, etc. ALL claims have been paid without any nonsense, and that's what matters, in our minds. Our *only* association with TIS is that we are very satisfied clients; we have no other association with them. GC
  19. Is there sparkling water packaged in a similar way? GC
  20. Thanks so much. That is nice to know, and we hope that he is having a pleasant retirement. We LOVED our stay on Barbados. We sometimes use cruise visits to scope out some hotels/resorts for future visits, and Barbados was one of the places we did indeed return to for a land-based vacation. That water is AMAZING! Hopefully, we'll get back there someday. 🙂 Thanks again, GC
  21. We had to cancel a Med cruise a few years ago on very short notice (thank goodness we had our usual insurance, at least). That cruise had The.Best.Itinerary for us! A start in Barcelona. A stop so DH could finally get to Carcassonne. Several stops along the French Riviera at ports of specific interest to us. Monte Carlo (might have been an overnight! don't quite remember), Cinque Terre (where we had chartered a sailboat to do a sail-by as I don't do well on hills, etc.; at least others on our Roll Call still were able to enjoy that 🙂 ).... And on one of the O ships, our favorites. There hasn't been anything like it since. ☹️ Maybe someday... assuming we ever cruise again, sigh. GC
  22. Thanks. Too bad that we won't have a chance to run into him anymore. Actually, given the pandemic and travel cutbacks, I suppose quite a few people everywhere in the travel industry aren't/won't be "back"... GC
  23. It's quite a skill! There are some people, especially in the hospitality business (no surprise), who have the MOST AMAZING ability to remember faces and names for a phenomenal amount of time. I do *not* know how they do it. I'd have trouble an hour later. No, five minutes later sometimes! It really astonishes me sometimes, and it can also be embarrassing when someone like that recognizes me and I am totally clueless about who they are. However, it's impressive and it also does have a nice effect. GC
  24. Does anyone know if Hal Broome (sp?) is still with NCL? He was the Executive Housekeeper on one sailing of ours a few years ago, and he was a huge help with a significant problem (nothing that NCL did "wrong" - it was a very serious medical/allergy situation). We did get to see him on another ship about 2-3 years later, which was very nice. Thanks. GC
  25. Well, I answered my own question. We've just booked to take the kids and grands in 2023. Both little ones will still be under 11 then. We hope they'll enjoy some of the children's activities. Thanks. I hope you get to go! GC
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