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About GeezerCouple

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  1. This isn't directly "insurance related", but this part of CC is probably where more members have had experience with cancelling cruises, including on short notice. When a cruise is cancelled after full penalty, meaning 100% is kept by the cruise line, do Travel Agents still get their commission? Our current TA has been wonderful over the few years we've known him, and he really goes over and above with help in many ways (and not just cruise-related). I'd *hate* to learn that he'd lose some or perhaps all of his commission. It seems that if the vendor is keeping ALL of "our" money, the regular/full commission should still be paid to the agent...? (This is with Oceania, in case there is any variability among the cruise lines.) Any travel agents here who can speak from experience, rather than guessing? Thanks. GC
  2. Thanks so much. Any idea about smoke drift downward in the evenings, although it's port intensive so we'll mostly be underway. But smoke scent can linger, and DH has asthma, and we both detest that "smoke smell". We'd be downsizing already from an O-ship PH, which to date is the smallest we've sailed on, so a "double downsize" at once... I was using this cruise to try downsizing by just one step, sort of. And we often enjoy dining ensuite (and not having the full regular Specialties is something else we'd miss a lot). I don't want to change too many things at once. Ah... apparently there's almost nothing else available at all... it's almost all wait listed. So that's moot anyway. We'd be way down on the wait list at this point. GC
  3. On a cruise we are considering, the only two PH suites remaining are right under that area and the space under a public restroom, just short of being under the fitness center. I was afraid my memory was correct (that's quite a change - ha!), and it might be because of the smoking area right above. The equiv PH on the port side are taken. Thoughts? Many thanks! GC
  4. Is the smoking area on Sirena on one side of the Waves Bar near the Pool? If so, is that the Port or Starboard side? Many thanks! GC
  5. Sure seems like it, as things seem to be planned. This is remarkably abrupt. Well... enjoy your trip! I feel very sorry for those who are too late to make changes, and paid for cruises precisely to visit Cuba. I suppose for anyone who has Cancel For Any Reason travel insurance, they could get a decent chunk of money back (or cruise credit, depending upon insurance type/vendor), but most people don't include that, even of those who get insurance. GC
  6. More info here: And it seems to be happening fast. GC
  7. Often, flying to Bermuda doesn't include high upfront totally non-refundable costs. We've had several land-only trips where we took out travel insurance. And sure enough, during one of those trips, I landed in hospital. Insurance covered almost a week of unplanned stay at the hotel we were supposed to spend only 2 nights at. (It happened to be a 5 star hotel, so at least DH was in luxury when he wasn't at my side!) We also had to change pre-paid, non-refundable train tickets, and arrange for different transportation means. That was our second largest travel insurance claim. (We *almost* called MedJetAssist that time, but just about as we decided, yup, let's get me home to "our" hospital, I turned the corner. And we were able to complete the last week of our trip, although I mostly sat around enjoying views, as I didn't have energy for much else.) But for trips where air fare can be refunded or changed for a modest fee, and hotels are "guaranteed" until day before arrival/etc., then the travel costs are less of an issue. -->> But someone can get sick anywhere, and THAT is the big exposure for most people if they don't have regular health insurance that covers overseas (that includes plain vanilla Medicare, which covers almost nothing outside the USA). GC
  8. This exchange caught me quite by surprise. To the CC member who objected to "being quoted", please note that many threads already have many posts, or will soon have them. It can be incredibly annoying - and at times totally confusing - to try to figure out what a subsequent poster is referring to if they do *not* include the previous comment. That previous comment could be posted up one or just a few posts, or it could be several pages back. Without the context, many posts - and sometimes most of a thread - would make little sense to read through, especially those that have continued over days (or weeks/months/etc.). The "quote" function is not like in academic research, or news reporting, where someone usually quoting for purposes far beyond "context". But yes, here on CC, quoting might *also* be to "support" or "disagree" with someone else's view (or discuss some information). Just think about a forum as active as CC, without any quoting for context...! GC
  9. Yup, violently allergic to bell peppers, to the point of ending up in the ER on occasion. But it's all GI, not anaphylaxis, thank goodness. If not the ER, then totally out of commission for sometimes several days... When we travel, we bring a little card with a picture of red, green, and yellow bell peppers, and the local language terminology for "allergy" and "NONE" (or something like that). I need to avoid "mystery red sauces", and anything where chopped pieces might be (meat loaf, stews). In better restaurants, nowadays chefs are more aware of true food allergies, and also, I suspect they are thinking of anaphylaxis... which is fine with me IF that helps them take it seriously. DH has on occasion been my "personal taster", when there is a question about fleshy red "something" (Is it tomato or bell pepper, etc.) But basically, ANY question, and I just don't eat <whatever>. There is invariably "something else" that is NOT questionable. With advance notice, the chefs on board will prepare something without bell peppers, but I just make SURE that I show up to eat it! Years ago, food prep folks didn't take this seriously enough. A highly publicized "food allergy" death in a local restaurant about 2 decades ago had a dramatic effect, and things locally changed very abruptly. (Alas, too late for a bride-to-be at her rehearsal dinner... That *was* an "anaphylaxis" problem.) GC
  10. NCL has had a license for GB already. Perhaps this is a renewal? Or is it for "more ships"? GC
  11. There are some groups that put together special Kosher cruises. It's fairly elaborate, AFAIK, and involves Koshering a section of the kitchen, and using proper cooking/serving/eating equipment. The group would sit at a separate section. Main point is that the food is freshly prepared, just like the "regular" (non-Kosher) meals. (Note: These are apparently different from some of the school-break groups that have reportedly had behavior problems.) GC
  12. If you have NCL insurance, so you really get "90% back", or a cruise credit, perhaps with a time limit? With most third party policies, it is actual cash back, to use as one sees fit, for another cruise with any line, any time, or for a land trip or whatever. But those CFAR coverages usually pay 75% cash back. GC
  13. Approx how much was needed? And how does one get a *large* sum of CASH when overseas, if even wire transfers aren't allowed? Does one have to open an account, get money wired in, and then withdraw cash? That doesn't sound like a quick process at all. And some insurers will help out with this, but the next-best they could do is a guarantee; the best would be a wire. They can't instantaneously have a pile of cash hand delivered the hospital/etc.? I guess I get it about a charge card, given there are ways to try to get those transactions reversed, so hospitals may have had bad experiences...? We had sort of assumed that our "high charge card limits" would be useful in such a case. ??? GC
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