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About Billthekid

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  1. Thanks 3rdGenCunarder and chengkp75 for the information. I found it very interesting and educational. Explains quite a bit. Thanks!
  2. It sounds like to me everybody on a HAL cruise is a "contract employee" except maybe the ships officers. All of the cabin, dining, bar personnel are on contact with who the contract is with I have no idea. Shop, casino, and entertainers are all on contracts. I guess the medical staff is on contact with an outside contractor. The work crew is probably on contact along with the purser's office personnel. So maybe 20 officers are working and being paid by HAL and the other 500-600 crew members are all contract personnel. And as such are individually liable for their actions and not HAL.
  3. I think they do a very good job and always been pleased with their efforts and results. They know what they are doing and I have visited them many times. Holland has switch from visiting doctors on a free cruise to a medical team of full time professionals as part of the crew. Which negates the provision that states; Similarly, and without limitation, all spa personnel, instructors, guest lecturers, entertainers and other service personnel shall be considered independent contractors who work directly for the Guest. " When you become sick at sea, your choices are limited and I am thankful there are professionals to help me. Unfortunately most personal health insurance does not cover the cost which comes out of your pocket unless you purchase a policy which covers you during travel away from home.
  4. The doctors time now cost $120 for new patient as of July, 2019. HAL's new profit center. My July visit had a total of $400 for supplies, and $775 for professional services like taking my oxygen level by finger and using a needle to draw blood. My previous medical center visit was $85 and no charge for BP or oxygen check.
  5. I have a great secondary coverage that up to this year always reimbursed the full amount incurred out of the US. At least 4-5 times without a problem and fast. I have medical travel insurance, but it is secondary. Medicare is primary. This year I am jumping through hoops all because of Medicare rule which states you are covered on a cruise if you are within six hours from a US port and the medical facility is a participating provider the odds of which are totally remote. So now I have to file with Medicare first, get rejected, secondary second which will reimburse the major portion, and travel insurance third for any residual. Since July I have only received $34 for a $900 bill incurred on a Holland Alaska cruise. We were in Glacier Bay and a sea day and not near a port. All this insurance and nothing to show for it, but frustration.
  6. I mentioned that Medicare has a rule which states you are covered on a cruise if you are within six hours of a port. I assume a US port, but the other half of the problem is the cruise line/ship was be a "Medicare provider" the odds of which are extremely remote. Ergo, although the Medicare provision is included the coverage, it will never be applied. Saying that Medicare did pay $34 of my $900 bill.
  7. On our Alaska Cruise on HAL in July I needed to go to the Medial Center one day and a follow-up the next day. I am on Medicare Part B and my secondary insurance covers me for medical overseas. Upon return I submitted my claim to my secondary insurance since I knew Medicare would not reimburse the claim. The med center bill was horrendous and included things like $15 for the finger check for my oxygen level which I had never heard of. But I digress. So right away my secondary bounces my claim back saying I have to file with Medicare first since I was on a cruise and Medicare covers cruises that are less then six hours from port. Here we are in Alaska, part of the United States, but in Glacier Bay with the nearest port more than six hours away, yet within the United States. The next day we are at sea more than 12 miles from land. So I am thinking Medicare will pay one visit and not the second visit. After 90 days Medicare pays a pittance of the claim and state the reason is the ship is not a Medicare participating provider. So now it is up to my secondary. I personally do not know of any cruise line that would be a participating provider. They could care less about processing medical claims because it is up to the individual. So why does Medicare have that six hour rule if none of the cruise lines are willing to participate? Strange. Side note: The medical center has now become a profit center for HAL
  8. We went to our local dollar store and bought some orange plastics/paper boutonnieres to wear in a button hole on our shirts. Wore to dinner and the Orange Party was held while we were eating so never did make it to the "party". Felt foolish with an orange flower sticking out of my shirt.
  9. We are on a Christmas cruise out of Buenos Aires 12/2019. We arrive at EZE and transfer to the cruise port and stay overnight on the ship. Plan to take taxi next day, BUT they take cash (Peso) only. So the question is will I be able to exchange USD for pesos at the cruise port either an exchange office or ATM? And/or will the ship have the capacity to exchange? At the airport there is reportedly an ATM bank machine and an exchange office but location is not well defined where I have googled. Any help?
  10. I am curious about several things. With all the data mining, surveys, research, has it concluded what cruisers want factually in a cruise? Did a friend, relative, neighbor tell them to take a cruise you will love it? What does Gen x, gen y, veterans want. I assume a great cruise for their money. Which is undefined and subject to personal taste. How many will return to the same cruise line or return to cruising at all. How many will get to be 4* or 5*? So what data points are the cruise lines looking to? And how long will the cruiser maintain that personal taste level. I am sure it changes over time and what their desires will be tomorrow. Cruise lines have to change with the times, make a profit, and provide what the cruiser wants.
  11. With apologies to LOVE HAL who started the Part 1 topic which was very interesting discussion which as always deteriorates into an off subject matters. I just want to add my 5 cents to the original discussion. Love HAL ended his initial discussion with this sentence: " My question is, if it is so bad, why complain so much? Why not just spend your travel dollars elsewhere? Or, is it just fun to complain?" The web site CRUISE CRITIC contains the word Critic which various dictionaries define as: Definition of critic: : one who expresses a reasoned opinion on any matter especially involving a judgment of its value, truth, righteousness, beauty, or technique :a person who expresses an unfavorable opinion of something. :A person who forms and expresses judgments of the merits, faults, value, or truth of a matter. So the members of Cruise Critic who presented various dislikes about what is happening to HAL are well in line with the what a critic is and may or may not spend their dollars elsewhere and/or comment/complain as they please.
  12. We live in Vegas and quit playing the tables years ago because the odds on BJ changed and minimums increased too much which busted our budget. We no longer visit downtown or the strip because the casinos charge for parking, which is unheard of in Vegas. Pay to play, out of the question. We only play the slots and consider our playing as "entertainment" expense. Our casinos are supervised and regulated. The ship casinos have no supervision what so ever.
  13. On our last cruise we noticed the Black Jack tables require a minimum $6 bet which is strange in the first place. The payout on getting a black jack is a poor 6-5 instead of 3-2. So I was thinking if I bet $6 and hit a black jack the pay out should be $13.20. Does the casino have $0.20 chips or do they pay in coins, or do they round down or (heaven forbid) round up? Does anyone know to satisfy my curiosity so I will be able to sleep tonight?
  14. My first cruise was in 1962. 10 days to Europe. There was no entertainment, no drinks, no dancing. Very crowded. No excursions, food was mediocre at best. Management would not listen and make improvements, but the price was right; zero. Did I mention it was a troop ship.
  15. For those who love to only unpack once and enjoy land tours, who enjoy complementary wine/beer with their meals, who enjoy reasonably pricing and small ships, river cruising just might be the answer. We have done the Normandy, Rhine, Danube, Eastern Europe, and Mekong Rivers. Want to do Africa some day. Loved every one of them and the experience we had. Always docked downtown and stepped off the boat. Bicycles were available and unlimited wine/beer served with meals. No formal nights, but County casual for dinner. Entertainment is from the local groups and changes with each town you are docked. Other nights crew humor shows, piano playing with dancing if desired. And there is a lot of competition to keep prices down low. Amenities are actually being added each trip. Something to think about.
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