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ccrain

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Everything posted by ccrain

  1. Just got back from Dinner at 22nd street landing with some of the roll call group. Fresh grilled swordfish...mmmm. On the expensive side, but this is Cali on the water. Nice to put some names with faces finally. Roll call started in May 2017 and we have over 300 CC members signed up. On the 11:30 shuttle in the morning to the port. Two ships in dock tomorrow, Star and Coral. Hopefully our luggage doesn't end up on the Star. That would not be good. First coffee klatch, with Holomoku's coffee mascot is scheduled to start at 0700 at the Deck 5 coffee bar area on the 20th. Meet and greet at 1000 in Explorer's. See you all there!
  2. BTW - Ask any questions, but I can't guarantee an answer right away. I will be composing updates off line and then simply pasting them in and I might not have time to read all the question posts. So I apologize up front. I'm not ignoring you! I'm just not reading all the questions! And sleeping, and eating and dancing and drinking...and...and...and... Hopefully others will pop in with answers as well. For what we are doing on the ship, the plans we've made, the cruise website is in my signature line below. It pretty much summarizes all the activities we have planned on-board, as well as all the private excursions we've collectively put together. Feel free to download or copy any of the information from the website for your own future cruises to the area. So we just had a great breakfast at the Doubletree and now its time to stroll around the marina area. One of our favorite things to do... Later!
  3. 09-18-2018 We have finally arrived in San Pedro to prepare to board the Coral Princess tomorrow on its 60 day Northern Pacific Circle Route that will take us from Alaska to Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, Guam and Hawaii. A pretty epic adventure on one of our favorite classes of ship. OCPD (Obsessive Cruise Planning Disorder) is one of my major ‘issues’. And this cruise was certainly no exception. The roll call was started in May of 2017 and for the past 15+ months all of us on the rolls have been planning and scheduling and thinking about this cruise. So hopefully, the internet gods willing, you will all get a little taste of the trip with us. I’m hoping that several of my fellow cruisers chip in and provide different perspectives on this cruise in this Live From. So let’s get the basics out of the way, shall we? We are Charles and Judy from Colorado Springs. Flew in yesterday because I could not stand one more day staring at a pile, and I mean a big pile, of suitcases. Originally planned to be in today, but that went away. We are staying at the Doubletree in San Pedro. I am a HHonors members and try to stay at Hiltons because I use points. The last time we stayed here I was disappointed. Not this time. The remodel is over with and its very nice. Not to mention the chef is pretty good and the food is tasty. A room upgrade to a suite didn’t hurt either. Now we have plenty of room to lay everything out as we re-pack from boarding. Speaking of re-packing, this was the most we’ve every packed since our first cruise in 2001! 4 checked, 2 carryons and a backpack that did NOT fit in the RJ overhead (I hate those Canadair 200’s!). With 48 pounds for each checked piece in the cart I am wheeling around the airport, having forsworn years ago the use of one, this cruise has proven to be a packing challenge with 3 seasons to pack for, a ship full of elites to delay laundry service, and 60 days of ‘stuff’ to consume. We did 61 days in the Med on the Ruby with only one checked and one carryon each several years ago! But the cameras are bigger, the pharmacopeia more extensive, the need for better quality shampoo, conditioner and body wash, and the number of vitamins and supplements in the pack took up almost all of one carry-on! Then there are the shoes! 5 pairs each! And my 14’s take up most of a suitcase all by themselves! Oh, I can hear it now – the gasped ‘5 pairs of shoes each!?!’ – so here is where OCPD comes into play. One pair of hikers, one pair of deck shoes, one pair of dance shoes. That’s the bare minimum. But for 60 days, shoes get wet one day and you have to have a spare for the next day while the one dries out. So we bring a combination shore/deck shoe as a spare. Dance shoes? Last cruise my dance sneaks/formal shoe soles tried to abandon ship. We ended up in the Victoria Market in Melbourne buying shoe goo as our supply of super glue, in our first aid kit for wounds, was insufficient to fix the problem. So now, for these longer cruises, I am bringing a complete spare set of dance/formal shoes. See what trouble OCPD can get you into? Spare this, spare that, pretty soon you are packed for survival at sea! And yes, there are even spare laces for the shoes as well. (They also double as sign holders for the Halloween costumes and for fire bow drills if we get stranded on a desert island with all of our luggage.) Of course the signs are laminated! What do you think we are? Amateurs? Then add 20# of candy for the crew, Halloween door decorations, rain gear, emergency rain gear, wipes of every type imaginable (body, hands, insect and unmentionables – indispensable in Asia), energy and electrolyte drink mixes and the electronics – oh don’t get me started on the electronics! Enough about packing. Let’s talk itinerary. Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Kodiak – 2 ports in Alaska we’ve never been to. Across the Northern Pacific, maybe the Bering Sea? Down to Kushiro, Yokohama, Osaka and Hiroshima Japan. Been to two of the ports, but this time we will do different things. Kyoto from Osaka, Yokohama itself instead of Tokyo, the fish market in Kushiro and Miyajima Island in Hiroshima. Then its Beijing, Incheon, Shanghai, Okinawa, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Been to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, but have not seen everything. Okinawa, Incheon and Taiwan are new to us. On to Vietnam and two new ports, Ha Long bay and Hue. In Phu My we will do Vung Tau and avoid the scooter chaos of Saigon. Over to Manila, Guam, Honolulu, Kauai and back to LA. Most ports have nice long port times. As in docking by early morning and leaving at night. Looking forward to having dinner in several ports. We have a mix of private excursions and DIY planned. One of our fellow organizers on this cruise (Pam of pamandcookie) organized a whole bunch of excursions. I took the easy way out and found a vendor in Vietnam to take care of everyone at all the ports. Then several other people jumped in with private excursions as well. Princess made a big mistake by pre-charging for excursions. That removed the final incentive, for me, to book with princess. DIY for us is a mix of public transport. We are going to try and do Kyoto from Osaka on the Shinkansen – gotta do that at least once. Miyajima via Hiroden and Ferry in Hiroshima. Yokohama via the Akai Kutsu bus. Okinawa via the monorail. Hong Kong to the Big Buddha via metro and Cable Car. For us it is about the journey. I was so tickled to learn, on the last cruise, how to navigate the metros of Sydney and Tokyo during our pre and post cruise stays. Kind of personal, minor victory. Yep, we got stuffed into a Ginza line car in Tokyo and loved it! So anyway, here we are, ready to get started and I’ll try and update this as we go around the Pacific. Get on-board! Let’s have some fun! Later!
  4. And a lot of the ports are late departures, like 2200. That makes a lot of extra time for night foodie runs, Osaka and Keelung, and not worrying too much about missing the ship. The Princess excursions are rather sparse, so there are a LOT of private excursions planned. We have over 300 CC members on the cruise and one of the most active roll calls since the 2015 28 Day Crown Tahiti run. The roll call is at: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2503755 The cruise website is in my signature line below. You can see the huge number of private tours planned. We will be doing a group Live From Thread and others will be doing blogs. After the cruise I should have my illustrated trip report completed before the 2019 WC and may even do a Video of the cruise as well. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Princess will start using the Coral, and Island, for long adventure type cruises. (Like the Island 60 day South American cruise and this one.) And as a replacement for the Sea/Sun in partial and total WC's. The 28 day Tahiti run has gotten so popular they are doing two of them a year and using a SuperGrand. While I have not been on the Pacific yet, the Coral still remains, IMHO, the most spacious of the ships in terms of 'crowdedness'. I was surprised that after years on Grands and SuperGrands, the Island, even after the butchering, still has a pretty low 'crowdedness' score - although the Universe Lounge was sorely missed.
  5. Not really. There are advantages and disadvantages on both side. I would pick based on preferred cabin type and deck location first. Then pick the side that has the least expensive rate! (We always pick Caribe deck balconies over everything else!)
  6. That's interesting. I didn't know you could do that...Do you call the insurance company direct or go through the agent like Squaremouth or Insuremytrip?
  7. that is the one thing that bothers me about nationwide - that term is just too legal beagle for me. And for cruises with various penalty times and amounts, who knows? I have simply insured the cost of the cruise, for which i have a receipt, because if I cancel at the last minute, I will just have to eat the airfare and other costs, but if I cancel within 2-3 weeks, I only have a 50% penalty or something like that and the difference will cover the airfare and other costs.
  8. The bold typeface is my highlighting the actual certificate words that are causing me concern or non-concern as the case may be...I have not edited them. And yes, the plain language is clear on the two that concern me - the effective date of medical coverage is the day you depart. The effective date of cancellation insurance is the date of purchase. Since the pre-existing condition language uses the same terminology - Effective Date - I can only conclude that there are essentially TWO pre-existing condition Effective Dates - one for cancellation, one for medical treatment. My concern with talking to a broker is that unless they can provide something in writing from the company, or themselves, anything they say is moot. This is purely a matter of contract law and even getting another lawyer's opinion on the matter would be pretty much a waste of money. So the bottom line for me is that I simply avoid those policies completely and go with policies that are clearer in their definition of Effective Date OR simply purchase policies that waive the pre-existing conditions even if I have to sacrifice Primary Coverage to do it.
  9. So of the five policies I picked from Insuremytrip, 3 of which I've actually purchased in the past, two are very clear that the pre-existing coverage look back is from the date of purchase. 1 policy is subject to interpretation - which of course is what lawyers want - and two are pretty clear in the plain text saying that the pre-existing look back for medical benefits on the trip actually starts from the day the trip starts. So having dealt with multiple lawyers and insurance companies over the past 10 years and knowing that each side will 'spin' the wording to benefit their client, I want travel insurance policies with the clearest wording to my advantage in the look back period issue. Just another point in making sure you READ the actual policy certificate and not count on the 'brochure' wording or even what people post on cruise critic! Including ME! And this doesn't even start to address the other issues of travel insurance like secondary benefits, "Usual and Customary", "suitable necessary medical treatment", etc. So far I've only had to deal with cancellations and not medical during a cruise. But as we all get older, and travel more often and for longer duration, the chances of a medical issue popping us becomes more and more likely.
  10. TripAssure: “Effective Date” means the date and time Your coverage begins, as indicated in Section IV, Coverage Provisions, When Coverage Begins and Ends. When Coverage Begins: Trip Cancellation: Coverage begins at 12:01 a.m. at Your location on the day after the date the required payment for this plan to cover Your Trip is received by TripAssure. This is Your “Effective Date” and time for Trip Cancellation. Trip Interruption and Missed Connection: Coverage begins when You depart on Your first scheduled Travel Arrangement (or if You must use an alternate travel arrangement after Your Scheduled Departure Date to reach Your Trip destination, on the Scheduled Departure Date) for Your Trip. This is Your “Effective Date” and time for Trip Interruption and Missed Connection. Travel Delay: Coverage begins after You have traveled 100 miles or more from home en route to join Your Trip. This is Your “Effective Date” and time for Travel Delay. All Other Coverages: Coverage begins when You depart on the first Travel Arrangement (or alternate travel arrangement if You must use an alternate Travel Arrangement to reach Your Trip destination) for Your Trip. This is Your “Effective Date” and time for all other coverages. “Pre-Existing Condition” means an illness, disease, or other condition during the 60 day period immediately prior to the Effective Date of Your coverage for which You or Your Traveling Companion, Business Partner or Family Member scheduled or booked to travel with You: 1) received or received a recommendation for a test, examination, or medical treatment; or 2) took or received a prescription for drugs or medicine. Item (2) of this definition does not apply to a condition which is treated or controlled solely through the taking of prescription drugs or medicine and remains treated or controlled without any adjustment or change in the required prescription throughout the 60 day period before Your coverage is effective under this plan.
  11. TravelSafe: SECTION III. Insuring Provisions Your Term of Coverage: For Trip Cancellation: Coverage begins on Your “Effective Date” which is at 12:01 a.m. on the date the appropriate cost for this policy for Your Trip is received and ends at the point and time of departure on Your Scheduled Departure Date. For Travel Delay: Coverage is in force while en route to and from and during the Trip. For all other coverages: All other benefits begin on 12:01 a.m. on Your Scheduled Departure Date. Coverage ends at the point and time of return on Your Scheduled Return Date. In the event the Scheduled Departure Date and/or the Scheduled Return Date are delayed, or the point and time of departure and/or point and time of return are changed because of circumstances over which neither the Travel Supplier nor You have control, Your term of coverage shall be automatically adjusted in accordance with the Travel Supplier’s notice to Us of the delay or change. “Pre-Existing Condition” means any injury, sickness or condition (including any condition from which death ensues) of You, Your Traveling Companion, or Your or Your Traveling Companion’s Family Member traveling with You which within the 60 day period prior to the effective date of Your Trip Cancellation coverage under the Policy: (a) manifested itself, became acute or exhibited symptoms which would have caused one to seek diagnosis, care or treatment; (b) required taking prescribed drugs or medicine, unless the condition for which the prescribed drug or medicine is taken remains controlled without any change in the required prescription; or © required medical treatment or treatment was recommended by a Legally Qualified Physician. My note - This one, while a bit obtuse, is at least reasonably clear.
  12. RoamRight: “Effective Date” means the date and time Your coverage begins, as indicated in Section IV-Coverage Provisions, When Coverage Begins and Ends. When Coverage Begins: Trip Cancellation, Optional Cancellation For Any Reason: Coverage begins at 12:01 a.m. at Your location on the day after the date the required premium for this policy to cover Your Trip is received by RoamRight. This is Your “Effective Date” and time for Trip Cancellation, Optional Cancellation For Any Reason. Trip Interruption and Missed Connection: Coverage begins when You depart on Your first scheduled Travel Arrangement (or if You must use an alternate travel arrangement after Your Scheduled Departure Date to reach Your Trip destination, on the Scheduled Departure Date) for Your Trip. This is Your “Effective Date” and time for Trip Interruption and Missed Connection. All Other Coverages: Coverage begins at 12:01 AM on the date when You depart on the first Travel Arrangement (or alternate travel arrangement if You must use an alternate Travel Arrangement to reach Your Trip destination) for Your Trip. This is Your “Effective Date” and time for all other coverages. “Pre-Existing Condition” means an illness, disease, or other condition during the 180 day period immediately prior to the Effective Date of Your coverage for which You or Your Traveling Companion, Business Partner or Family Member: 1) received or received a recommendation for a test, examination, or medical treatment; or 2) took or received a prescription for drugs or medicine. Item (2) of this definition does not apply to a condition which is treated or controlled solely through the taking of prescription drugs or medicine and remains treated or controlled without any adjustment or change in the required prescription throughout the 180 day period before Your coverage is effective under this policy.
  13. Nationwide: Effective Date means 12:01 A.M. local time, at Your location, on the day after the required premium for such coverage is received by the Company or its authorized representative. Pre-Existing Condition means an illness, disease, or other condition during the sixty (60) day period immediately prior to the Effective Date for which You, a Traveling Companion, or a Family Member booked to travel with You: 1) exhibited symptoms that would have caused one to seek care or treatment; or 2) received or received a recommendation for a test, examination, or medical treatment; or 3) took or received a prescription for drugs or medicine. Item (3) of this definition does not apply to a condition that is treated or controlled solely through the taking of prescription drugs or medicine and remains treated or controlled without any adjustment or change in the required prescription throughout the sixty (60) day period before the Effective Date. The Pre-Existing Conditions exclusion is waived if You (a) enroll in this Policy within final Trip payment; (b) purchase this Policy for the full cost of Your Trip; and © are medically able to travel on the Effective Date. My note - Nationwide is very straightforward in its definitions. Although they do have the added stipulation of purchasing the policy for the full cost of your Trip....
  14. No problem. Let me show you a couple of examples from the actual insurance certificates. Travelex: When Coverage Begins Trip Cancellation and Cancel for Any Reason coverage will be effective at 12:01 a.m. (Standard Time) on the date following payment to the Company of any required plan cost. Car Rental Collision coverage will take effect when the Insured signs the rental agreement and takes possession of the rental vehicle provided the required plan cost has been paid on or before the date the rental agreement has been signed. All other coverages will begin on the later of: (a) 12:01 a.m. (Standard Time) on the scheduled Departure Date shown on the travel documents; or (b) the date and time the Insured starts his/her Trip. (l) PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION EXCLUSION: The Company will not pay for any loss or expense incurred as the result of an Injury, Sickness or other condition (excluding any condition from which death ensues) of an Insured, Traveling Companion, Business Partner or Family Member which, within the 60 day period immediately preceding and including the Insured’s coverage effective date caused the individual to incur charges, receive medical treatment, consult a health professional or take prescription drugs.
  15. On the upcoming cruises we did not purchase insurance at time of booking. So in looking at lookback periods, I noticed something interesting. The lookback period effective date, in all policies I reviewed, is DIFFERENT from the cancellation period effective date. I looked at half a dozen major policies and the look back period for pre-existing effective date was the first day of travel NOT the date of purchase, which is the effective date for cancellation insurance. So basically on a cruise in which final payment is due 90 days prior to embarkation, the look-back period includes that future 90 days when you purchase on or around final payment. This means, basically, that if you have any condition discovered in that 90 days that might need treatment while on the cruise, you should cancel to avoid the potential argument over pre-existing. Yes, there are a couple of policies that offer the pre-existing waiver if you purchase on final payment, but they have other warts as well such as secondary medical and lower coverages. Just wondered if anyone else's interpretation of this is similar to mine?
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