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Azamara requiring letter/ form from physician...Bonnie.(merged)

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7 hours ago, suzyluvs2cruise said:

 

Well said. We have an Annual Policy that we have renewed each year for several years. I have read it and the claims I made were for cancellation due to covered Medical reasons. My current concern is an upcoming July 6 cruise to the British Isles on Pursuit. Will it even sail? and, if so, will a Dr's note be required. 

 

Any updates on how long your Stay at Home or Lockdown is appreciated. 

 

Well we are ten days in and we are now being warned the “lock in” could last three months and other measures (whatever they may be) may extend for up to a year. To be honest I don’t think they know. I’ve given up guessing! 

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What will happen, will happen when it happens.

I think there is no forecasting the rest of this year.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, nordski said:


Great comment!

 

Having had a few discussions with my own insurance company, I am very much aware that how I think the policy reads, and how they will actually interpret those words, may differ entirely. When the Great Iceland Volcano eruption closed air traffic, my insurer told me that the “volcano” clause in the policy dealt with a disruption at the destination area, not “on the way” to the destination.
 

 

I once half-humorously suggested to a lawyer friend, who was retiring, that there was at least a part time job helping people interpret cruise line and insurance policies.

 

Since I don’t feel competent in the area, I rely on an old rule that I encountered years ago on this Board. I never spend more on a cruise than I can afford to lose given that, despite my beliefs, insurance companies and cruise lines may have no actual legal requirement to reimburse me.


It’s the same strategy I use when buying company shares that are rated “speculative”.

Great comment and I love your insurance story! I used to represent corporate when consumers tried to defraud despite a clear and binding written contract, using a large credit card chargeback. Occasionally someone was successful despite my best efforts, in that these things eventually go to a National V/MC Arbitration, if they keep being appealed. This forum is consumer friendly but extremely slow moving and burdensome.

 

Assuming we are all good consumers at cruisecritic.com, the thing is you should know you are going to devote long term time and effort to this fight ... check the current possibly reasons stated at V/MC for building your argument(s) ... the final outcome will be based on V/MC regulation and not on local, state, or federal law.

Edited by GlobalMethod

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Just got email from Azamara detailing the requirement of doctor certifivation for people 70+.  We are 70+.  My spouse has medical conditions that would exclude us from cruising on Azamara and all RCL cruise lines. No doctor would rightfully sign that certification. Next, need to contact Azamara credit card to try to cash in acquired points and probably cancel the card. No sense using a credit card that only has rewards if you sail.  I understand why cruises have stopped sailing while the country is running scared from corona virus. If RCL continues to require the doctor certificate, we and many seniors will be excluded.  We may be over 70, but we are still able to travel. When the virus has passed and cruises start sailing again, we will travel. We will not be back on Azamara. 

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The requirement for a doctor to sign a form declaring those over 70 are fit to travel is something that was agreed with the US government by most of the major cruise companies  It is temporary during the pandemic, but who knows when (if) it will be removed. 

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I couldn't care less whether this doctor's letter requirement came from the government, from a trade association, from the insurance industry (all as speculated above) or from a burning bush. What I want to know is for people like me--meaning 70+ with underlying health conditions well controlled by medications, with an AZ cruise booked for later this year--what happens when our doctors won't sign the required letter? Can AZ possibly be intending to offer only FCC to passengers over 70 yo denied boarding because they lack a doctor's letter? How stupid would that be: AZ says you're not healthy enough to cruise with them this year, but get a year older with possible worsening of underlying conditions and then you'll be healthy enough for an AZ cruise. Or AZ might be thinking that the coronavirus will be gone from the Earth by the end of 2021, which would be record-breaking stupidity. 

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41 minutes ago, LakeSideKen said:

I couldn't care less whether this doctor's letter requirement came from the government, from a trade association, from the insurance industry (all as speculated above) or from a burning bush. What I want to know is for people like me--meaning 70+ with underlying health conditions well controlled by medications, with an AZ cruise booked for later this year--what happens when our doctors won't sign the required letter? Can AZ possibly be intending to offer only FCC to passengers over 70 yo denied boarding because they lack a doctor's letter? How stupid would that be: AZ says you're not healthy enough to cruise with them this year, but get a year older with possible worsening of underlying conditions and then you'll be healthy enough for an AZ cruise. Or AZ might be thinking that the coronavirus will be gone from the Earth by the end of 2021, which would be record-breaking stupidity. 

 

I was wrong to speculate that this was driven by insurance companies.  It was a request from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to the US government.   While only 13% of all cruise passengers are 70 or over, I'd bet that amount is at least doubled on Azamara.  

 

I am not so sure how much sense it makes to get on a cruise ship while this pandemic is still out there, no matter how old someone is.  Dead bodies are literally in the streets of Ecuador and Silversea (and Celebrity) is planning on commencing operations there in 40 days. How responsible is this industry acting?  If I didn't have a cruise booked that I will have to move, I'd take a couple of years off from cruising or at least until there is a vaccine out there.  I don't know if the 70+ letter requirement is good or bad, but I am checking out for at least a year.  Good luck.

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2 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

 

I was wrong to speculate that this was driven by insurance companies.  It was a request from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to the US government.   While only 13% of all cruise passengers are 70 or over, I'd bet that amount is at least doubled on Azamara.  

 

I am not so sure how much sense it makes to get on a cruise ship while this pandemic is still out there, no matter how old someone is.  Dead bodies are literally in the streets of Ecuador and Silversea (and Celebrity) is planning on commencing operations there in 40 days. How responsible is this industry acting?  If I didn't have a cruise booked that I will have to move, I'd take a couple of years off from cruising or at least until there is a vaccine out there.  I don't know if the 70+ letter requirement is good or bad, but I am checking out for at least a year.  Good luck.

 

Our Azamara cruise in July 6 British Isles. Paid in full before this pandemic hit. Both of us are 70+.  Like others we're just waiting to see what will happen as that's the only thing we can do now. Do I think the cruise will happen? I'll be surprised if it does. All we can do is wait and see and make our own decision as it gets close. Stay healthy everyone.  

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This letter is starting to metastasize across the other lines.  Since the letter does not certify that the bearer is virus free, and the underlying conditions are not communicable, it does nothing for the community health onboard.

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On 4/3/2020 at 11:48 AM, Redtravel said:

Just got email from Azamara detailing the requirement of doctor certifivation for people 70+.  We are 70+.  My spouse has medical conditions that would exclude us from cruising on Azamara and all RCL cruise lines. No doctor would rightfully sign that certification. Next, need to contact Azamara credit card to try to cash in acquired points and probably cancel the card. No sense using a credit card that only has rewards if you sail.  I understand why cruises have stopped sailing while the country is running scared from corona virus. If RCL continues to require the doctor certificate, we and many seniors will be excluded.  We may be over 70, but we are still able to travel. When the virus has passed and cruises start sailing again, we will travel. We will not be back on Azamara. 

Hello RedTravel, 

Please would you kindly send a screenshot of that 70+ email to our LoyaltyAmbassador@Azamara.com?

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41 minutes ago, BBMacLaird said:

Hello RedTravel, 

Please would you kindly send a screenshot of that 70+ email to our LoyaltyAmbassador@Azamara.com?

Sorry. I did not save the email. As a discoverer plus/elite plus, it made me feel excluded. We are not dead yet. When coved 19 is gone and life returns to normal, we will travel.  We will not travel on Azamara or any RCL subsidiary.  

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1 minute ago, Redtravel said:

Sorry. I did not save the email. As a discoverer plus/elite plus, it made me feel excluded. We are not dead yet. When coved 19 is gone and life returns to normal, we will travel.  We will not travel on Azamara or any RCL subsidiary.  

I am sorry you are leaving us. I hope you'll change your mind in the future.

 

We ask about the email because we are not sure what email you are talking about. 

Does anyone else reading this thread have a copy of the email s/he mentions?

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2 hours ago, BBMacLaird said:

I am sorry you are leaving us. I hope you'll change your mind in the future.

 

We ask about the email because we are not sure what email you are talking about. 

Does anyone else reading this thread have a copy of the email s/he mentions?

No email, Bonnie, but I see that the Azamara website has your Fit To Travel form hyperlinked under "Travel Advisory - 30 March."

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5 minutes ago, Ithikan said:

No email, Bonnie, but I see that the Azamara website has your Fit To Travel form hyperlinked under "Travel Advisory - 30 March."

True, it is the temporary policy. 
We are interested in the email the poster referenced. 

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Temporarily  nobody is sailing. When coved 19 is gone, we will review travel options. Nobody who has lived through being quarantined during this pandemic will be quick to cruise.  Cruise ships have demonstrated that they are easily infected. While many ships are void of infections, there are many that had coved 19 infected people. Travel will change.  For now, I stay in my house, fearful of contracting covid 19.  

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I'm a 70+ . . . I have three cruises (two on Azamara) scheduled between October and February. I'm going to continue to be optimistic about travel plans!

 

Jerry

 

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We have an Azamara cruise scheduled for March, 2021 and the final payment is due in October, 2020.  My physician acknowledges that I am certainly fit to travel but is not willing to sign the required letter.  If the policy does not change by September, I will cancel the cruise.  We normally travel with Viking and fortunately, Viking has no such age-discriminatory requirement.  My guess is that there will be a lot more Viking cruises in our future.

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Please correct me if I am mistaken, but I believe that the 70+ physician certification is something that all cruise line members (over 50 . . . https://cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-lines) of CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) are requiring. Viking is one of just a few of the major lines not a member of CLIA.

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7 hours ago, Rabo said:

Please correct me if I am mistaken, but I believe that the 70+ physician certification is something that all cruise line members (over 50 . . . https://cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-lines) of CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) are requiring. Viking is one of just a few of the major lines not a member of CLIA.

Sadly yes, this age discrimination applies across a number but not all cruiselines. 

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15 hours ago, Rabo said:

Please correct me if I am mistaken, but I believe that the 70+ physician certification is something that all cruise line members (over 50 . . . https://cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-lines) of CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) are requiring. Viking is one of just a few of the major lines not a member of CLIA.

These cruise lines belong to CLIA:

https://cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-lines

 

We have cruised on Viking as well as many cruise lines which are CLIA members.  I can't think of a single major cruise line other than Viking which does not belong to CLIA.  There are small cruise lines such as Paul Gauguin which do not belong to CLIA.  If anyone knows of a major cruise line which is not a CLIA member, it would be good to hear about it.

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I doubt if the draconian possibilities expressed in some of the comments above will come to fruition.  

 

There is a reasonable expectation that being healthy enough to cruise is a pre-requisite for embarking on any ship.  Lots of reasons to include safety, health and physical acuity.  Thirty years in the US Navy provides a good understanding that there are dangers at sea not experienced on land.

 

Hurtigruten, not a member of CLIA, requires a health certificate for all expedition passengers signed by a physician.  The certification provides the ship's doctor an expectation of the challenges some of the passengers may have on embarkation.  Its not age specific.  The ship's doctor retains a go/no go decision for the passenger.  Important in that expeditions, especially in places like Antarctica, can be out of reach of ashore medical facilities for 10 days or more.  Cruise ships, even the mega boats, are not medical centers and cannot treat serious accidents or illnesses.  They are designed to stabilize a patient and move him/her ashore at earliest opportunity.

 

I think this is a good policy even if born out of a pandemic.  Cruise ships are private, not public/government,  They can and should set standards for passengers, to include health and especially mobility standards.  My wife and I are both north of 75 and in good health, and enjoy sailing with Azamara (its like coming home).  

 

What is needed is a well designed form a physician's medical staff can complete from a patient's medical history and a physician can then endorse.  Should not be age specific.  Should provide a quick overview of whether a person is "cruise worthy," to include such things as mobility (climb into a life boat in emergency), controlled ailments with medications (listed), and mental acuity.  It should be sent to the ship's doctor or cruise line medical staff for acknowledgement that the prospective passenger's ailments are appropriately covered.  

 

Safer for all involved from the passenger him/herself, to fellow passengers, to crew.

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Hurtigruten requires that the physician sign the health certificate no more than two months before cruise departure.  This means clients need to make their final payments before they even know whether they can find a physician willing to sign the health certificate.  Let's hope that Hurtigruten offers a full refund to those unable to find a physician willing to sign the onerous ( and understandably so) health certificate.

 

Azamara has been one of our favourite cruise lines but we'll remain with Viking until CLIA removes the requirement of an age-discriminatory letter from a physician.

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On 3/28/2020 at 5:15 PM, uktog said:

I do not see this being asked for in the advisory issued by Viking.  Might be helpful to have a list of how needs it so those of us wanting to cruise but not able to have a letter signed by their GP because they do not sign letters worded like that.

My understanding is that this is a Cruise Lines International Association regulation and Viking is not a member of CLIA.

Most other cruise lines are, however. https://cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-lines

This is hopefully a "knee jerk reaction" and will not last or our cruising days are over unless we sail with Viking Ocean which incidentally cancelled our cruise for May 20th out of Venice. 

This requirement of having a doctor sign a letter for anyone over 70 is also a horrible show of ageism.   

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Posted (edited)

How many Americans have type 2 diabetes and for more five (5) years and their diabetes is under control by medications and diet?

 

Does this mean you cannot sail on a cruise ship?

 

Edited by cruise47

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