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helen haywood

Yikes! Over age 70 passengers need doctor’s note (Merged threads)

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Just being a devil's advocate for a moment, if your physician wouldn't sign the form, why on earth would you want to get on a cruise ship? In the time since this was first proposed in March, and I don't believe ever implemented as cruising stopped at roughly the same time it came online, the data supported (and still does) a higher fatality rate over either 65 or 70. But there are more people in the 50-65 age range, and therefore more people requiring intensive care for longer periods in those ages, and more absolute numbers of people dying in those age groups. If they actually implemented this, it would almost have to be for everyone.

 

I'm several years out of this demographic, but there's no way my physician would clear me to travel for at least the next 12-18 months. Or actually work in close proximity to large numbers of people. Getting on a cruise ship would be traveling against medical advice, which would probably void medical coverage on a travel insurance policy. The age in the original plan is just an easy thing to key on here.

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27 minutes ago, drakes2 said:

A doctors fit to travel documentation is not a requirement on Viking River cruises. I inquired yesterday.

Neither Viking River nor Viking Ocean cruises ever required a medical note for seniors.  Viking has never been a CLIA member which issued the medical directive in March.

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1 hour ago, markeb said:

J

I'm several years out of this demographic, but there's no way my physician would clear me to travel for at least the next 12-18 months. Or actually work in close proximity to large numbers of people. Getting on a cruise ship would be traveling against medical advice, which would probably void medical coverage on a travel insurance policy. The age in the original plan is just an easy thing to key on here.

My physician thinks I'm in excellent health.  However, he also thinks no one should cruise these days and is not about to sign a medical release for a cruise. He also claims that his medical association advised him not to sign any such form.

 

There is another issue at play here.  I don't know about the US but here in Canada we have a level 3 travel advisory against all non-essential international travel.  My travel medical insurance is invalid during a level 3 travel advisory.  Even if a physician signed a letter clearing us to take a cruise, our travel medical insurance would be invalid until the lifting of the advisory.

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2 hours ago, Fouremco said:

If you do a dummy booking on the Celebrity website, at no point is there any mention of this requirement. I haven't tried calling, but I suspect that if you phoned Celebrity to make a booking and didn't ask about the form, they wouldn't volunteer the information. While the information is on the website, you wouldn't know about the requirement unless you went looking for it.

 

As a matter of interest, who did you book with? I just checked the HAL site and there's no indication there that I could find of any requirement for a 70+ form anywhere on the site.

 

Princess.  I asked the agent to confirm with a supervisor and no such form exists for those over 70.  

 

If Celebrity keeps this requirement, they are going to be in deep trouble.  Just look at the 7 ships that have been ordered in the future.  Where are they going to get the people to occupy the rooms?  

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Thanks @keesar, it's easy to get the impression reading this thread that Celebrity was/is one of many lines with this requirement. 

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I am re posting a March 8, 2020  gentle reminder from  Laura and Cruise Critic Community Team....very well said!

 

 

 

Please Take Moment To Read....Remember Our Purpose

CC Help Jenn

By CC Help Jenn 
03/08/2020

 

The world has become a changing place; we're all stressed, worried and nothing makes sense any longer.  We've lost  jobs, the security of every day life, some experience health issues and yes, some have even lost friends and family.

 

For 25 years we've provided this haven for cruisers.  KEYWORD:  haven.    I'm asking that you all remember that.  This is our place to escape, connect with friends and to discuss your favorite form of travel -- cruising.

 

Don't bring politics into your posts.  Soften your "virtual" voice when you respond to others.  Re-read before you push the submit button.  Let's set an example for the rest of the travel world by displaying who we are!  Remember, we're all in this together.

 

Thank you for listening, and for your anticipated cooperation,

 

LauraS and the Cruise Critic Community Team

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21 hours ago, Fouremco said:

Where is the liability? The doctor is signing a form covering two things: that you don't suffer from any chronic illness which would make you susceptible to complications arising after infection, and that you are otherwise fit to cruise. The first item is a simple yes or no, you either have or don't have such a chronic illness. Doctors sign off forms with this type of question all the time. Are you fit to cruise? This is clearly more subjective, but as a doctor, providing an honest assessment of your physical well-being on the date the form is signed shouldn't be an issue IMO. 

 

DW and I no longer scuba dive, but when we did, getting a medical note was a routine requirement. We never had any doctor refuse to sign, although the risks associated with diving outweigh anything you might encounter on a cruise. As I said, I just don't see where the liability issue lies. If your doctor doesn't want to sign off because you have a chronic illness such as diabetes, I'd understand, or if there were some other medical issue that renders you unfit, I'd understand, but because of liability issues????

The potential liability is that the cruise lines have interjected the Doctor into the potential issue.  Can someone/some insurance company, etc sue the Doctor.  FOR SURE.  Will they win? Who knows!  There are costs and aggravations in just defending a lawsuit.  Guess too, that Medical Malpractice Ins might not cover this letter.  Lots of unknowns. 

 

I am not sure I would complete one of these forms till I was sure there was no future liability.  

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13 minutes ago, shipshape sam said:

The potential liability is that the cruise lines have interjected the Doctor into the potential issue.  Can someone/some insurance company, etc sue the Doctor.  FOR SURE.  Will they win? Who knows!  There are costs and aggravations in just defending a lawsuit.  Guess too, that Medical Malpractice Ins might not cover this letter.  Lots of unknowns. 

 

I am not sure I would complete one of these forms till I was sure there was no future liability.  

I suppose you are right, there's always the potential that someone or something might sue, but if that's the case, the doctor might as well close up the practise and go home. Is signing a prescription any less an invitation to be sued? 

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As I posted before my doctor will not sign because of the wording.....I just got off the phone with a Celebrity Resolution Specialist....she told me the form will be in use at least until the end of the year. As I have a scheduled cruise in November I asked what my options would be, because I will not be allowed to board... the only option will be FCC.....if the fit to travel note is still in effect 2021.....I will never be able to cruise...so they get to keep 8,000 of my money.......i guess I will find another doctor...lol

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2 minutes ago, llawrence said:

As I posted before my doctor will not sign because of the wording.....I just got off the phone with a Celebrity Resolution Specialist....she told me the form will be in use at least until the end of the year. As I have a scheduled cruise in November I asked what my options would be, because I will not be allowed to board... the only option will be FCC.....if the fit to travel note is still in effect 2021.....I will never be able to cruise...so they get to keep 8,000 of my money.......i guess I will find another doctor...lol

 

Maybe look at another cruise line rather than another doctor.

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The problem I see is the cruise line does not want to accept any additional costs for a sick passenger or for that sick passenger infecting someone else. If the doctor signed the note and the passenger gets sick, the cruise line would like to go after the doctor for any costs involved, thus it boils down to a primary cost issue. Yes, the cruise people say it is for our health, which is true to a point...the point is money.

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Would look at another line...even after 20 years of cruising Celebrity...but we already have a  November cruise booked .....don’t know how insurance will figure in.    We want to  go......gotcha3.   May have to do that.

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19 minutes ago, baldilocks said:

The problem I see is the cruise line does not want to accept any additional costs for a sick passenger or for that sick passenger infecting someone else. If the doctor signed the note and the passenger gets sick, the cruise line would like to go after the doctor for any costs involved, thus it boils down to a primary cost issue. Yes, the cruise people say it is for our health, which is true to a point...the point is money.

A doctor signifies that the 70+ passenger is fit to sail on the day the form is signed, which might be weeks before the cruise. The passenger is just as likely to catch the virus on the way to or during the cruise. The purpose of the form is to ensure that they don't have passengers aboard who, because of one or more chronic illnesses, are susceptible to complications should they come down with COVID-19.

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57 minutes ago, llawrence said:

As I posted before my doctor will not sign because of the wording.....I just got off the phone with a Celebrity Resolution Specialist....she told me the form will be in use at least until the end of the year. As I have a scheduled cruise in November I asked what my options would be, because I will not be allowed to board... the only option will be FCC.....if the fit to travel note is still in effect 2021.....I will never be able to cruise...so they get to keep 8,000 of my money.......i guess I will find another doctor...lol

 

No, they don't get to keep $8,000 of your money.  If your cruise isn't until November, you are still able to cancel because you are outside of the final payment date.  Why do they have so much of your money this far in advance?

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Apparently that is not the case.  We booked with FCC from a cancelled cruise....before the fit to cruise form was put in place....we can cancel for more FCC which may not help us.   We have cruised for 10 years with our existing controlled 
conditions...with no problems.....but Celebrity told me today , that slight high blood pressure  and type 2 pre diabetes will keep us from boarding.  

 

 

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18 minutes ago, llawrence said:

Apparently that is not the case.  We booked with FCC from a cancelled cruise....before the fit to cruise form was put in place....we can cancel for more FCC which may not help us.   We have cruised for 10 years with our existing controlled 
conditions...with no problems.....but Celebrity told me today , that slight high blood pressure  and type 2 pre diabetes will keep us from boarding.  

 

 

 

Hang in there.  I really think that form is going to have to go away or they will lose about half their cruising population.

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5 minutes ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

 

Hang in there.  I really think that form is going to have to go away or they will lose about half their cruising population.

Hope you are right. Have 3 non-refundable deposits 2 for October 2020 & 1 for December 2020. I know I can cancel now & lose $200 for each ($600) & remainder they will issue me a FCC for $1300 which will be useless for me if not able to board because of doctors note. Before I lose any $$$ I will contact my CC & see what they can do because these were all booked September 2019 & this requirement was not in effect. 

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Hope your right.......we want to cruise as all of you do.....I can’t believe Celebrity will keep the note in place....I think it smacks of discrimination for the 70 and older....younger people with chronic conditions are just as compromised as more mature individuals.

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, llawrence said:

Hope your right.......we want to cruise as all of you do.....I can’t believe Celebrity will keep the note in place....I think it smacks of discrimination for the 70 and older....younger people with chronic conditions are just as compromised as more mature individuals.

 

 

 

I have a bit of acid reflux is this considered a chronic condition? No other health issues. Not planning a cruise until September 2021 or vaccine available but just wondering?  

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1 hour ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

 

Hang in there.  I really think that form is going to have to go away or they will lose about half their cruising population.

 

With 7 ships coming on line in the foreseeable future, it would be financial suicide to continue to use that form.  Other lines are not using that type of form and I expect them to pick up some business from former Celebrity cruisers.  Where is Celebrity or RCCL going to get the money to pay for these ships and to maintain the existing fleet?  

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49 minutes ago, keesar said:

 

With 7 ships coming on line in the foreseeable future, it would be financial suicide to continue to use that form.  Other lines are not using that type of form and I expect them to pick up some business from former Celebrity cruisers.  Where is Celebrity or RCCL going to get the money to pay for these ships and to maintain the existing fleet?  

Azamara is a RCCL subsidiary and also requires the age discriminatory medical form which my physician will not sign.  I have an Azamara cruise booked for early 2021 and the final payment is due in September, 2020.   If Azamara does not abandon this unfair policy by September,  I will certainly cancel and book with another cruise line.

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4 hours ago, baldilocks said:

The problem I see is the cruise line does not want to accept any additional costs for a sick passenger or for that sick passenger infecting someone else. If the doctor signed the note and the passenger gets sick, the cruise line would like to go after the doctor for any costs involved, thus it boils down to a primary cost issue. Yes, the cruise people say it is for our health, which is true to a point...the point is money.

I do not agree.   No cruise line is going to sue physicians for signing such a document.  I am a retired attorney that once did personal injury cases.  Never did Medical Malpractice cases, but referred them to big firms.   Some states even have laws that allow defendants to sue those plaintiffs that file frivolous lawsuits against them.    

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As an attorney do you think it violates federal law by discriminating against adults 70 and over.?  I would think the cruise lines would need to have all passengers fill out a “fit ti cruise” letter. That would really cut into the cruise lines bottom line.

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6 minutes ago, llawrence said:

As an attorney do you think it violates federal law by discriminating against adults 70 and over.?  I would think the cruise lines would need to have all passengers fill out a “fit ti cruise” letter. That would really cut into the cruise lines bottom line.

 

Isn't age only a protected class when it comes to employment?  Don't think it legally applies here at all.

 

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I really don’t know...hoping someone knows....I think it will be challenged as it begins to affect more cruisers.   

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