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joeinsb

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  1. Thanks so much for the info. It's very helpful. We, too, plan to tip where it's appropriate, but if we can save some of the transportation costs, that will make up some of the difference in the cost. The ship we are considering is Splendor, which is the ship we would have been on, but it was canceled the day before we were to leave. That's why we are looking forward to finally sailing on that beautiful ship.
  2. With our FCC in hand from a cruise Regent had to cancel, we are looking at our first transatlantic cruise in fall 2021 and are considering a concierge suite, but they are considerably more expensive than the superior suite we normally book. We are trying to compare the costs if we booked a superior suite and our own hotel room, but I haven't been able to find out any information on a couple of issues. If we book a concierge suite and use the Regent air package, will Regent pick us up at the Barcelona airport and take us to their designated hotel, or will we be responsible for getting our own transportation from the airport to the hotel. I gather that with a concierge suiite, Regent will take us from the hotel to the ship and from the ship to the airport. Is that true? When Regent says porterage is included with the hotel, does that mean they will cover all porter tips when we check in and out of the hotel? I know there are other advantages to a concierge suite, such as early dining and shore excursion reservations, but those benefits don't really concern me. We have never had a problem getting what we want in those areas with our superior suite. Any thoughts that longtime Regent passengers have on the wisdom of booking a concierge suite would be greatly appreciated.
  3. Regarding the question about whether a doctor would be willing to sign such a form, two physicians have told me they would be unwilling to sign blanket "medically fit to travel" forms even if their patients are healthy because there are too many unknowns. I also think there are too many liability issues for doctors in such cases. One doctor said he was shocked that the Celebrity form specifically rules out people with conditions such as diabetes, cancer and HIV since many people who are being treated for those conditions travel all the time. I can understand taking drastic steps during this health crisis, but once it abates, I would hope this rule is dropped because I think seniors will have a very difficult time finding any doctor to sign such a form.
  4. I know it's hard to think about cruising right now, but I am facing a balance due date soon for a Regent cruise in the fall. We were scheduled to be on Splendor right now, but that cruise was canceled the day before we were to leave, so we would really like to take the next cruise if the health crisis has abated by then. My concern is the proposal from the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) to require all passengers 70 and older to submit a health form signed by their doctors declaring them to be "medically-fit-to-travel.'' I believe Norwegian, Celebrity and Princess went ahead and adopted such a rule earlier this month and printed actual forms that passengers needed to complete. When we were getting ready for our since-canceled cruise, Regent at that time was not requiring us to submit a physician's form, but one of the Cruise Critic posters on the Regent site said her travel agent told her that Regent would be imposing such a for all 70 and older passengers on future cruises. I have talked to my own doctor and a friend who is a doctor, and both of them said that they would never sign such a blanket "medically-fit-to-travel'' forms because there are too many unknowns in making such a definitive statement. My doctor friend said he didn't think I could ever find a physician willing to face the potential liability issues that could be involved with signing such a form. My own doctor said he would write a letter outlining the general results of my annual wellness physical, but he would not sign the form. In researching the various cruise line web sites this morning, Celebrity indicates they will at least for the time being keep the medical form requirement for passengers 70 and older once cruising resumes, but I could no longer find any reference to the physician form on the Norwegian and Princess sites, and there is still no form mentioned on the Regent site. They all say that they will be adopting more in-depth health questionnaires that all passengers will have to complete at the dock, and I am all for that plan. I just don't think it is fair to single out seniors when many of them are in better shape than younger passengers and require them to get a form signed by their doctor. As I recall Norwegian's form, which I can no longer find, was more of a general overall health statement, but the passenger's physical had to be completed within a week before the Norwegian cruise, which really seems impractical. I think Celebrity's "medically-fit-to-travel'' form, which is still on the company's web site, is particularly unfair. It flatly rules out passengers who have diabetes, HIV or cancer. My own doctor was shocked at that. He said many people, young and old, with serious health issues that are under control or are being treated travel all the time with no problems. I just worry that if the cruise industry sticks with the physician medical form, I won't be able to find any doctor to sign such a statement, and our cruising days will be over. Does anyone have any knowledge or insights into this issue? Do you think Regent will adopt such a policy, or do you think the medical form proposal will be dropped once the world's health situation improves? I am just trying to figure out if I should go ahead and make my final payment. Regent's "reassurance'' policy to offer full refunds no matter when a passenger cancels will not help me because the benefit applies only to cruises that start before Sept. 30, 2020. Our cruise would leave a few days after that.
  5. My wife and I are thinking about treating ourselves to a Haven suite to celebrate a special occasion. We would like to bring a couple of bottles of champagne on board to enjoy strictly in our stateroom. If I am reading Norwegian's alcohol policy correctly, there is no limit on the number of bottles we can take onto the ship, but we will be required to pay a per-bottle fee for them even if they will never leave our suite. Is that true? If so, how is that fee charged? Do they charge you when you go through security? How does that work since you haven't yet checked in with your crddit card. Do they confiscate the bottles and then give them back to you after you check in. We have never sailed on Norwegian, so I am just curious how the system works. I certainly don't want to inconvenience my fellow passengers by holding up the line at security while I am paying for a couple of bottles of champagne. Any insights would be appreciated.
  6. Thanks so much for the info. We were there in late Oct., so that was the Coast Guard inspection of the Bliss. It was an amazing line. I'm glad to know that was not an unusual situation.
  7. I am considering a Norwegian Haven suite. Recently when I went on a Celebrity cruise in Los Angeles, a Norwegian ship was docked nearby, and I have never seen such a long line ouside the terminal on the sidewalk. There were no lines on the sidewalk for the Celebrity ship, just manageable check-in lines inside the terminal. What gives with the very long line on the sidewalk outside the Norwegian terminal? Is there a separate terminal entrance for Haven guests, or is there simply a separate Haven check-in line once you get through that long line outside the terminal. Any insights on the Haven check-in issues would be appreciated.
  8. My wife and I will be sailing to Hawaii on Eclipse in late October. Depending on how the games go, the World Series may still be going on after we sail. If you have been on a cruise when the World Series was on, did the ship provide the broadcast? We have watched the Super Bowl on a cruise, but we have never been onnoard during the World Series.
  9. Viking Ocean's web site says the Silver Spirits beverage package excludes champagne. Are any sparkling wines, such as prosecco, included in the package?
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