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Ponant are Clowns

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I am age 61, Ponant is demanding my doctor fill out a medical form to to do a Transatlantic from Miami to Lisbon.  Will cost me $$$.  I advise staying away from this cruise line.

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I am 72 and Ponant has not asked for any medical certification.  Is there more to this story?

 

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It has nothing to do with age. Ponant has guests submit medical forms on certain cruises, as per their information outlined, and documented on the specific cruise.....for example, the Miami to Lisbon cruise states:

We remind you that all our ships have a doctor on board and medical facilities. However, these cannot, under any circumstances, be compared to any medical structure on land. Given the remote areas in which we will be sailing for a number of days, safety requirements mean that we are obliged to ask each passenger signing up for this program to provide us, no more than 45 days before departure, with a medical certificate from their GP, as well as the completed medical questionnaire received during registration.

 

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I have never cruised with Ponant.  They did not send one to my wife.  I have no medical conditions but I have never heard of such a requirement for a Trans Atlantic cruise.  It is a 5 page form asking all manner of confidential information which is none of their business.  This is not an expedition cruise but Miami to Lisbon. I am age 61 not age 91.

 

"Thank you for your interest in PONANT expedition cruises.

Please find attached a medical form that needs to be completed and signed by your doctor between 90 and 45 days before departure.

We kindly ask you to return this form to our medical department by attaching the completed form and replying to this email instead of sending the attachment in a new email.

If you have already submitted the form, we kindly ask you to disregard this email.

PONANT Medical Department."

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10 minutes ago, Cruseforme said:

It has nothing to do with age. Ponant has guests submit medical forms on certain cruises, as per their information outlined, and documented on the specific cruise.....for example, the Miami to Lisbon cruise states:

We remind you that all our ships have a doctor on board and medical facilities. However, these cannot, under any circumstances, be compared to any medical structure on land. Given the remote areas in which we will be sailing for a number of days, safety requirements mean that we are obliged to ask each passenger signing up for this program to provide us, no more than 45 days before departure, with a medical certificate from their GP, as well as the completed medical questionnaire received during registration.

 

 

This would apply to any cruise anywhere.  I believe they are not entitled to confidential medical information as a common carrier unless they have a good reason like someone is over age 90. Additionally, Miami to Nassau to Bermuda to Azores to Lisbon is about as basic cruise as you can get anywhere.  This is BS.

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Medical questionnaire

 PONANT Expedition Cruises or Ocean Cruises

You will soon set sail on an Expedition Cruise to remote regions, or on an Ocean Cruise, far from any land. Please be informed that there is no terrestrial medical infrastructure in the expedition regions. Therefore, although each ship has its own qualified doctor and nurse, and has a medical centre containing a stock of basic medicines and medical equipment, the medical treatment available is not comparable to that offered by a shore-based medical facility.

Our aim is to ensure your comfort and safety, which is why we ask you to complete the following confidential medical report, with your own doctor (GP), so that our onboard doctor is aware of your general state of health. 

We ask you to formally give permission for your GP and any specialists treating you to communicate with the company of doctors designated by PONANT about your state of health. This is in order to clarify any doubts or questions regarding your health or your physical condition, to ensure that you can enjoy your cruise in all safety.

Please note that these cruises are designed for people in good health. Passengers are not advised to take part in these cruises if they would find it hard to cope with lengthy periods of travel, for whatever reason, or if they have reduced mobility, have been operated on in the last 12 months, have a risk or a history of cardiac conditions or are taking restrictive medical treatments.

Consequently, we reserve the right to deny access to these cruises to any passenger considered by PONANT’s doctors or their own doctor to have a state of health incompatible with them.

We ask you to complete this questionnaire with your GP between 90 and 45 days before your cruise begins, and then to return it to the medical department designated by PONANT no later than 40 days before boarding. In addition, it is imperative that our medical department be informed in writing of any subsequent changes to your medical condition.

By email (preferably):

Please send your duly completed questionnaire, in PDF format only, to the following address: qm@medical.ponant.com stating in the subject of the email: the name of your ship and the date of boarding (e.g.: AUSTRAL 23 JAN 2017).

Or by post (please keep a copy): PONANT - Service Médical

Name of ship / Departure date (e.g.: AUSTRAL 23 JAN 2017)

408 Avenue du Prado - 13008 Marseille - France 

Please note that you are asked to bring an adequate supply of any medicines you regularly take with you aboard ship. In addition, all passengers should note that an evacuation for health reasons, where it is possible, is subject to weather conditions. It may take a number of days, may be very expensive, and will be paid for by the patient. It is therefore essential to take out medical and repatriation insurance with an adequate amount of coverage.  Thank you for your consideration,

PONANT – Medical department

Please fill in the following documents legibly, using a black or blue pen.

Last name / First name: 

Name of ship / Departure date: 

Section I: Sworn Statement

I, the undersigned, declare that I am in good general health. Any false declaration about my state of health could result in me being refused permission to board the ship by the captain, on the basis of the opinion of the onboard doctor.  If the PONANT medical service requests it, I hereby authorise my GP and/or my specialist to discuss my state of health with the doctor of the medical service designated by PONANT.

I am able to participate in the activities in the programme of this Expedition Cruise. I have read, understood and I accept all the general and particular terms and conditions of sale as well as the specific information published in the PONANT brochure corresponding to my cruise. In addition, I declare that I am able to function independently during the expedition, and should not hinder the normal workings of the expedition nor put the cruise at risk.

I have been informed that I will be far from any terrestrial medical services and infrastructure during the Ocean Voyages and Expedition Cruises, and I understand the importance of being able to function independently, being in good health and taking out suitable medical insurance.

I also confirm that I have not had any recent medical issues and that I have not been advised by my usual doctor of a physical condition, a disability of any nature or any other condition that could expose myself or my fellow passengers to danger during the cruise.

Should an illness or an accident occur that could put other passengers or myself in danger, I undertake to leave the ship if so requested by the Captain, at any designated port of call.

Have you taken out medical insurance:          YES                   NO  

Name of the Insurance Company (for assistance, repatriation and medical costs):

Policy number:

Insurance company contact telephone number (24/7):

Please write legibly the name and telephone number of someone to contact in case of an emergency:

Your relationship with this person:

Date:

PS: For any cruise that enters Russian territory, it is COMPULSORY to have taken out medical insurance in order to obtain your visa.

Section II : Medical questionnaire

This questionnaire should be filled in by your GP, 90 to 45 days before your departure.

The completed questionnaire must be returned to us no later than 40 days before boarding. Please provide your GP with this questionnaire and your itinerary.

Doctor,

Your patient is planning to participate in an Expedition cruise to an isolated/remote region.

The off-ship activities organised during Expedition Cruises can include certain risks and dangers of accidents and diseases, as a result of the remoteness of the regions, the local fauna or the climatic conditions. Any person taking part in these off-ship activities does so with full awareness of the potential dangers and at their own risk. Therefore, each passenger has to take personal responsibility for deciding to take part, with regard to their physical aptitude, their safety, behaviour and comfort.

In particular, passengers taking part in off-ship activities have to climb aboard and disembark from Zodiac dinghies and be capable of walking unaided on land on uneven and possibly slippery surfaces. 

Passengers should be in an adequate medical condition for this journey and our onboard doctor has to be fully informed about the state of health of each passenger. 

Or

Your patient is planning to take an Ocean Cruise, during which time the ship will be far from any sophisticated medical infrastructure.

Passengers have access to a doctor and modest medical facilities aboard our ships.

Although the Ocean Cruises do not require physical effort, passengers should be able to function independently and be in good general health. 

Passengers should be in an adequate medical condition for this journey and our onboard doctor has to be fully informed about the state of health of each passenger. 

We thank you in advance for answering the following questions about your patient:

Date of birth: Blood Group:

Height:                                                                                                  Weight:

Assessment of their general state of health:    

Assessment of their physical condition / endurance: 

Last name / First name: 

Name of ship / Departure date:

 

Section II: Medical questionnaire (continued)

1.         Is your patient up-to-date with their vaccinations (polio, tetanus, BCG, typhoid fever, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, etc.)?

2.         Does your patient suffer from any diseases or illnesses, physical or mental problems, disabilities or infirmities that require regular treatment? If yes, please give details of these conditions and the dates of the most recent examinations and tests.

3.         Does your patient suffer from any other conditions? If yes, please give details of these conditions and the dates of the most recent examinations and tests.

4.         Does your patient wear a prosthesis that could restrict their mobility? If yes, please give details.

5.         Does your patient have difficulty walking? Does your patient use a walking stick or sticks, or a wheelchair?

6.         Please give details of all medicines that your patient is currently prescribed (commercial or generic name and dosage). Please write legibly.

7.         Has your patient been hospitalised for a medical condition or to undergo a surgical operation in the last five years? If yes, please give details about the nature of the condition, the dates and the reasons.

8.         Does your patient suffer from cardiac, respiratory, neurological or other problems? Is your patient diabetic? Do they suffer from any other conditions? (Please provide details).

Please note: for any specific condition, the opinion of your specialist is required as well as that of your GP.

Page 4 of 5

All the medical information provided herein is held in the strictest confidence and will only be shared with authorised departments and the onboard doctor.

9.         Does your patient have any restrictions in terms of their food intake? Does your patient have allergies to certain foods or to certain medicines? If yes, please give details.

10.      Date of the patient’s last dental check-up:

11.      Is your patient pregnant? If yes, since when?

12.      Please describe the general physical condition of your patient.

13.      Please give your opinion on their aptitude (physical condition and endurance) to take part in this expedition and the activities planned during the cruise.

14.      Please describe any medical conditions as well as any medical or surgical history about which you think our onboard doctor should be informed.

Medical questionnaire

 PONANT Expedition Cruises or Ocean Cruises

You will soon set sail on an Expedition Cruise to remote regions, or on an Ocean Cruise, far from any land. Please be informed that there is no terrestrial medical infrastructure in the expedition regions. Therefore, although each ship has its own qualified doctor and nurse, and has a medical centre containing a stock of basic medicines and medical equipment, the medical treatment available is not comparable to that offered by a shore-based medical facility.

Our aim is to ensure your comfort and safety, which is why we ask you to complete the following confidential medical report, with your own doctor (GP), so that our onboard doctor is aware of your general state of health. 

We ask you to formally give permission for your GP and any specialists treating you to communicate with the company of doctors designated by PONANT about your state of health. This is in order to clarify any doubts or questions regarding your health or your physical condition, to ensure that you can enjoy your cruise in all safety.

Please note that these cruises are designed for people in good health. Passengers are not advised to take part in these cruises if they would find it hard to cope with lengthy periods of travel, for whatever reason, or if they have reduced mobility, have been operated on in the last 12 months, have a risk or a history of cardiac conditions or are taking restrictive medical treatments.

Consequently, we reserve the right to deny access to these cruises to any passenger considered by PONANT’s doctors or their own doctor to have a state of health incompatible with them.

We ask you to complete this questionnaire with your GP between 90 and 45 days before your cruise begins, and then to return it to the medical department designated by PONANT no later than 40 days before boarding. In addition, it is imperative that our medical department be informed in writing of any subsequent changes to your medical condition.

By email (preferably):

Please send your duly completed questionnaire, in PDF format only, to the following address: qm@medical.ponant.com stating in the subject of the email: the name of your ship and the date of boarding (e.g.: AUSTRAL 23 JAN 2017).

Or by post (please keep a copy): PONANT - Service Médical

Name of ship / Departure date (e.g.: AUSTRAL 23 JAN 2017)

408 Avenue du Prado - 13008 Marseille - France 

Please note that you are asked to bring an adequate supply of any medicines you regularly take with you aboard ship. In addition, all passengers should note that an evacuation for health reasons, where it is possible, is subject to weather conditions. It may take a number of days, may be very expensive, and will be paid for by the patient. It is therefore essential to take out medical and repatriation insurance with an adequate amount of coverage.  Thank you for your consideration,

PONANT – Medical department

Please fill in the following documents legibly, using a black or blue pen.

Last name / First name: 

Name of ship / Departure date: 

Section I: Sworn Statement

I, the undersigned, declare that I am in good general health. Any false declaration about my state of health could result in me being refused permission to board the ship by the captain, on the basis of the opinion of the onboard doctor.  If the PONANT medical service requests it, I hereby authorise my GP and/or my specialist to discuss my state of health with the doctor of the medical service designated by PONANT.

I am able to participate in the activities in the programme of this Expedition Cruise. I have read, understood and I accept all the general and particular terms and conditions of sale as well as the specific information published in the PONANT brochure corresponding to my cruise. In addition, I declare that I am able to function independently during the expedition, and should not hinder the normal workings of the expedition nor put the cruise at risk.

I have been informed that I will be far from any terrestrial medical services and infrastructure during the Ocean Voyages and Expedition Cruises, and I understand the importance of being able to function independently, being in good health and taking out suitable medical insurance.

I also confirm that I have not had any recent medical issues and that I have not been advised by my usual doctor of a physical condition, a disability of any nature or any other condition that could expose myself or my fellow passengers to danger during the cruise.

Should an illness or an accident occur that could put other passengers or myself in danger, I undertake to leave the ship if so requested by the Captain, at any designated port of call.

Have you taken out medical insurance:          YES                   NO  

Name of the Insurance Company (for assistance, repatriation and medical costs):

Policy number:

Insurance company contact telephone number (24/7):

Please write legibly the name and telephone number of someone to contact in case of an emergency:

Your relationship with this person:

Date:

PS: For any cruise that enters Russian territory, it is COMPULSORY to have taken out medical insurance in order to obtain your visa.

Section II : Medical questionnaire

This questionnaire should be filled in by your GP, 90 to 45 days before your departure.

The completed questionnaire must be returned to us no later than 40 days before boarding. Please provide your GP with this questionnaire and your itinerary.

Doctor,

Your patient is planning to participate in an Expedition cruise to an isolated/remote region.

The off-ship activities organised during Expedition Cruises can include certain risks and dangers of accidents and diseases, as a result of the remoteness of the regions, the local fauna or the climatic conditions. Any person taking part in these off-ship activities does so with full awareness of the potential dangers and at their own risk. Therefore, each passenger has to take personal responsibility for deciding to take part, with regard to their physical aptitude, their safety, behaviour and comfort.

In particular, passengers taking part in off-ship activities have to climb aboard and disembark from Zodiac dinghies and be capable of walking unaided on land on uneven and possibly slippery surfaces. 

Passengers should be in an adequate medical condition for this journey and our onboard doctor has to be fully informed about the state of health of each passenger. 

Or

Your patient is planning to take an Ocean Cruise, during which time the ship will be far from any sophisticated medical infrastructure.

Passengers have access to a doctor and modest medical facilities aboard our ships.

Although the Ocean Cruises do not require physical effort, passengers should be able to function independently and be in good general health. 

Passengers should be in an adequate medical condition for this journey and our onboard doctor has to be fully informed about the state of health of each passenger. 

We thank you in advance for answering the following questions about your patient:

Date of birth: Blood Group:

Height:                                                                                                  Weight:

Assessment of their general state of health:    

Assessment of their physical condition / endurance: 

Last name / First name: 

Name of ship / Departure date:

 

 

Section II: Medical questionnaire (continued)

1.         Is your patient up-to-date with their vaccinations (polio, tetanus, BCG, typhoid fever, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, etc.)?

2.         Does your patient suffer from any diseases or illnesses, physical or mental problems, disabilities or infirmities that require regular treatment? If yes, please give details of these conditions and the dates of the most recent examinations and tests.

3.         Does your patient suffer from any other conditions? If yes, please give details of these conditions and the dates of the most recent examinations and tests.

4.         Does your patient wear a prosthesis that could restrict their mobility? If yes, please give details.

5.         Does your patient have difficulty walking? Does your patient use a walking stick or sticks, or a wheelchair?

6.         Please give details of all medicines that your patient is currently prescribed (commercial or generic name and dosage). Please write legibly.

7.         Has your patient been hospitalised for a medical condition or to undergo a surgical operation in the last five years? If yes, please give details about the nature of the condition, the dates and the reasons.

8.         Does your patient suffer from cardiac, respiratory, neurological or other problems? Is your patient diabetic? Do they suffer from any other conditions? (Please provide details).

Please note: for any specific condition, the opinion of your specialist is required as well as that of your GP.

Page 4 of 5

All the medical information provided herein is held in the strictest confidence and will only be shared with authorised departments and the onboard doctor.

9.         Does your patient have any restrictions in terms of their food intake? Does your patient have allergies to certain foods or to certain medicines? If yes, please give details.

10.      Date of the patient’s last dental check-up:

11.      Is your patient pregnant? If yes, since when?

12.      Please describe the general physical condition of your patient.

13.      Please give your opinion on their aptitude (physical condition and endurance) to take part in this expedition and the activities planned during the cruise.

14.      Please describe any medical conditions as well as any medical or surgical history about which you think our onboard doctor should be informed.

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Thank you for posting this.  In this particular week of coronavirus cancellations and entire-cruise-ship-quarantines, I am glad that Ponant is taking such a proactive approach.  I didn't get such a form, but would be happy to fill one out.

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 I for one am not happy to pay a doctor to share my entire medical history with anyone because I am being singled out for reasons unknown to me.  If for example Cunard linedemanded complete medical histories for their passengers on Trans Atlantics they would be out of business tommorrow.  This has nothing to do with coronavirus, they are not asking if I have been to China, they are asking for every medication I take, every medical procedure I have ever had and the like.

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This is beginning to sound like the threads on the MSC forum where Americans complain that MSC is different from the US-owned cruise lines they are used to [like Carnival-owned Cunard].  If you are this unhappy this early in your cruise, you really should cancel.  Ponant is French – proudly French – and I get the feeling you will not be happy with any part of your cruise.

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I don't care if they are Martians, I should not have to pay a doctor $100 and take a half day off work for the honor of paying Ponant 5 figures for a simple Trans Atlantic cruise?  Also if no else has to fill out the 5 page medical form, what they are doing is called profiling and if done by a common carrier it is unlawful if they are sailing from US ports. 

Edited by resistk

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21 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

This is beginning to sound like the threads on the MSC forum where Americans complain that MSC is different from the US-owned cruise lines they are used to [like Carnival-owned Cunard].  If you are this unhappy this early in your cruise, you really should cancel.  Ponant is French – proudly French – and I get the feeling you will not be happy with any part of your cruise.

 

My point about Cunard is that their passengers are usually quite old and sometimes disabled, yet they do not ask for their complete medical histories.

Edited by resistk

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I will let you know.  Miami to Lisbon is a "Yacht cruise" not an "Expedition Cruise: something messed up in the Ponant back office in Marseille, my Terms and Conditions clearly state no medical questionnaire required unless it is an "Expedition Cruise"

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This is standard practice on Ponant, and I had to do the same thing (I'm only 38) for my ocean voyage with them in October 2019. It involved a very quick 15 minute visit with my GP, and he gladly completed the paperwork and sent it back. Cost me less than $100 from beginning to end. Surely, this isn't going to break the bank given the cost of any Ponant cruise. 

 

This is a precaution they choose to take so as to minimize the risk of inconveniencing others when a health condition severe enough to require diversion of the ship arises, thereby causing other passengers to miss flights when the ship does not arrive in home port on time. Keep in mind that these yachts are not QM2. They sail at a maximum speed of about 13-14 knots -- leaving very little room for error or opportunities to make up lost time. 

 

As a point of consideration for your belief that you are in perfect health, allow me to share a personal story from a transatlantic crossing aboard Oceania back in the early 2000s. While we were in the middle of the North Atlantic, a gentleman and his partner, who were only in their 30s, found themselves suddenly in the medical office with the partner in severe abdominal pain that he assumed was just seasickness or food poisoning in the days prior. Shipboard doctors quickly diagnosed him with an internal hemorrhage, but they lacked the operating equipment necessary to correct the medical condition. The ship had to turn north towards Bermuda, racing through an awful storm at maximum speed in a desperate attempt to get within helicopter range for a medical evacuation. We didn't make it in time, and the poor man died from internal blood loss. The doctor and nurses aboard the ship were devastated and took the loss quite personally, let alone the terrible grief endured by the surviving partner for the remaining week we had on the ship that he surely no longer wanted to be on. 

 

Surely, all of that would be worth avoiding in exchange for a quick visit to a doctor at home for an annual physical?

 

In terms of privacy, the EU has extraordinarily strict customer and medical privacy laws. Your information isn't being shared with anyone outside of their medical team. 

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Done 30 Transatlantics and no one but no one demands a medical clearence. However since they have my money I will have to waste half a day getting physical. I can understand an expedition cruise but not a simple TA stopping in Bermuda and Azores.  I doubt I would have booked if this was in my terms but mine only state an expedition cruise requires a physical.

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57 minutes ago, garykool81 said:

 

In terms of privacy, the EU has extraordinarily strict customer and medical privacy laws. Your information isn't being shared with anyone outside of their medical team. 

 

So they say.  Words on paper actionable in the court of Marseilles.

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A British GP working in our National Health Service has better things to do with their time.  

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On 2/4/2020 at 9:49 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:

Enjoy your cruise.  Over and out.

Amazing. We of course had to have medical forms completed with Ponant for Antarctica. If you can afford a Ponant cruise you certainly can afford their requirements. 

This guy just needs to get it over with and enjoy the French wines and chill out!

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Much of this, I think, is just Ponant being French. We had to bring medical certifications to dive with them in Belize. The only other place we’ve ever had to do this was in French Polynesia. 

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I had the same issue with Ponant for an upcoming cruise.  I called them, and was told that since my cruise is Not an “Expedition” type, the medical forms are not required.  They went on to say the forms were sent to me in error; I subsequently received an email from them verifying this.

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On 2/11/2020 at 11:29 AM, seaproponent said:

I had the same issue with Ponant for an upcoming cruise.  I called them, and was told that since my cruise is Not an “Expedition” type, the medical forms are not required.  They went on to say the forms were sent to me in error; I subsequently received an email from them verifying this.

 

They are insisting on the forms for the Trans Atlantic even though it is not my terms and conditions. 

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On 2/7/2020 at 7:31 PM, TrulyBlonde said:

Amazing. We of course had to have medical forms completed with Ponant for Antarctica. If you can afford a Ponant cruise you certainly can afford their requirements. 

This guy just needs to get it over with and enjoy the French wines and chill out!

 

That clearly isn't going to happen...

 

I was recently chatting with a very helpful CC poster about another small-ship cruise line.  He had taken many cruises with that line and enjoyed them, but one particular cruise was way below their normal standards so he lambasted it in an on-line review – and was promptly called by the managing director to inform him that he was banned for life from cruising with them again.  If Ponant reads this forum, I could foresee that happening here.

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22 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

That clearly isn't going to happen...

 

I was recently chatting with a very helpful CC poster about another small-ship cruise line.  He had taken many cruises with that line and enjoyed them, but one particular cruise was way below their normal standards so he lambasted it in an on-line review – and was promptly called by the managing director to inform him that he was banned for life from cruising with them again.  If Ponant reads this forum, I could foresee that happening here.

 

Ponant can't handle minor criticism about medical forms that no other cruise line asks for? Additionally, it would be a violation of the EU GDPR for them to access CrusiseCritic user data, on top of that, how would they know who was who? Cruise lines get criticized justly or unjustly all the time; I suspect they do not even care what is posted.  I am looking forward to my cruise, I am just miffed about the medical form policy because we will be 4 days at sea. I already went to my GP and had them out the form but likely will not do it again. Maybe in France medical care is free, in the US it is not.

Edited by resistk

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If I have broken some Cruise Critic rule, the posts can be deleted, doesn't bother me one bit. I don't think "clown" is deadly insult, it means "laughable."  But if I have offended anyone I beg your indulgence.

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53 minutes ago, resistk said:

If I have broken some Cruise Critic rule, the posts can be deleted, doesn't bother me one bit. I don't think "clown" is deadly insult, it means "laughable."  But if I have offended anyone I beg your indulgence.

 

No rules broken, but hyperbole in a title does tend to reduce the thread's credibility.  Especially this month when all cruise lines are struggling to deal with an unprecedented global epidemic.  Nobody knows what measures are worth it, or how much precaution is enough – and even measures that don't work scientifically can be valuable psychologically.  The RCL and NCL brands went beyond the CLIA recommendations and banned anyone with a Chinese, Hong Kong or Macau passport regardless of where in the world they live [RCL later backed down, but when I last checked the three NCL brands were still enforcing this] – hard to tell if this really makes anyone safer, but it does show that they are doing everything they can think of to keep their guests safe. 

 

We will be boarding Le Laperouse in New Zealand in about a month.  You can bet that I checked its sailing history to make sure that ship never went anywhere near China, but who knows who has sailed on her?  So if Ponant asked us to get medical certification, not only would we do it – we would feel protected by the requirement.  [But – full disclosure – since we have Medicare plus a secondary retiree plan, our US medical care is free...]

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