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Carol From California

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Everything posted by Carol From California

  1. We did this cruise in February 2018. I agree on not wearing jeans when you go out on the landings. The waterproof boots you should buy or rent are Muck boots. You can buy them on Amazon or rent them. They are to your knees. Wear with one pair of wool waterproof socks and you will be fine. Remember you will walking through lots of penguin poop. These boots are perfect for that. Here is a link to the Silversea clothes supplier https://silversea.shiptoshoretraveler.com/packant, but we were able to find all online at a reasonable cost. We were fine with the recommended base layer, insulation layer, and then the outer layer which is the parka they provide. We thought collapsible trekking poles were great to have. Found them on Amazon. A neck gaiter was also great to have and we found them on Amazon too. Let me know if you have any questions.
  2. I logged in to my American Express account. I then looked up American Express Offers. There were 100. For Oceania it states: Spend $750+, get 22,500 Membership Rewards® Points. It expires 12-31-19. I use my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card to book my cruises because you get 3x reward points. You also get travel insurance by paying with the Sapphire card.
  3. That's why we have choices. If you want to be certain you can choose to pay for Medjet or similar coverage. I am willing to take the chance.
  4. Good point. If you want to be sure it's a US hospital then I would recommend you get the insurance elsewhere that does guaranty this. Out of curiosity what do you pay for a policy like that? Is it Medjet? What it says about the Global Assist Program is highlighted below. A medical evacuation may be provided at no cost to the Card Member or covered family member from point of illness or injury (when the Card Member or covered family member is under the care of a local medical service provider or facility) to a more appropriate medical facility or to a hospital near the person’s home as determined by the Premium Global Assist Hotline designated physician. The Premium Global Assist Hotline designated physician, in consultation with the local medical service provider or facility, will determine whether such transport is medically necessary and advisable. The event must be within the first 90 days of the trip and cannot be a pre-existing condition. A pre-existing condition is any sickness, illness, or injury that has manifested itself, become acute, or was being treated in the 60 day period immediately prior to the start of a trip. The person needing evacuation may need to complete a medical information release as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (a “HIPAA Release”), or provide authorization for next of kin to complete the release. Emergency transportation services in connection with the medical emergency may also be provided to a covered family member pursuant to the full Emergency Medical Transportation Assistance Terms and Conditions at the end of this document. Subject to additional important terms, conditions and exclusions. Please see full Terms and Conditions at the end of this document.
  5. This is the card I have and was referring to. https://card.americanexpress.com/d/platinum-
  6. I have the standard American Express Platinum card and it is covered with mine. I agree that you need to read the fine print.
  7. Here are the Global Assist benefits for the American Express Platinum card. I have the regular Platinum card, not the Delta card. https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/features-benefits/policies/global-assist-hotline/faq.html Here is what it says about Emergency Medical Transportation: 7. What is Emergency Medical Transportation Assistance? In the event that you or another covered family member (your spouse or domestic partner, dependent up to age 23, or age 26 if full-time student traveling on the same itinerary as the CardMember) becomes injured or suffers an illness which is not pre-existing while traveling on a trip less than 90 days, the Premium Global Assist Hotline medical department will assess your medical needs and coordinate your transportation. Emergency medical transportation may be provided at no cost to the Card Member or covered family member to the nearest appropriate medical facility as determined by the Premium Global Assist Hotline designated physician, from point of illness or injury, when the Card Member or covered family member is under the care of a local medical service provider or facility. In addition, the Premium Global Assist Hotline designated physician, in consultation with the local medical service provider or facility, must determine that such transport is medically necessary and advisable due to inadequacy of local facilities. The person needing transportation may need to complete a HIPAA Release, or provide authorization for next of kin to complete the release. Emergency transportation services in connection with the medical emergency may also be provided to a covered family member pursuant to the full Emergency Medical Transportation Assistance Terms and Conditions. Subject to additional important terms, conditions and exclusions. Please see full Terms and Conditions at americanexpress.com/GAterms.
  8. I know someone else who received the full benefit for having to cancel a cruise. He actually has BOTH Chase cards (Reserve and Preferred) so that the benefit amount is higher ($10,000 each per card). So that gave him $40,000 coverage and he received a full payout for having to cancel the cruise. I have had two medical claims (one for me and one for my husband) because we had to visit the ship doctor and we received reimbursement. There was a $50 deductible. This is way better than having to pay for travel insurance, and with the Am Ex Platinum card we have coverage for air evacuation with no limit.
  9. Chase Sapphire Reserve does have air evacuation coverage but it is limited to $100,000. I also have an American Express Platinum card which has no limit. You don't even have to pay for any portion of the trip with the American Express card to receive the benefit. See below....cut and pasted from article I read online. The Platinum Card from American Express In my opinion, the most generous emergency evacuation insurance lies in the Platinum family of cards. There’s no cost cap; benefits are extended to immediate family and children under 23 or under 26 if enrolled full-time in school; and you don’t even have to use the card to pay for the trip. You must be on a trip less than 90 days in length and at least 100 miles away from your residence. A Premium Global Assist (PGA) administrator must coordinate everything in order to not incur any cost. The benefit will also pay economy airfare for a minor under 16 to be returned home if left unattended, pay for an escort to accompany that minor if required to get them home, and get a family member to the place of treatment if hospitalization of more than 10 consecutive days is expected. Other American Express cards offer access to the Premium Global Assist Hotline, however anything they coordinate will be at your expense. Make sure you read the Amex benefits guide for your card carefully. Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card If at least a portion of your or an immediate family member’s trip was paid for with either of these cards, you’re eligible for up to $100,000 in emergency medical evacuation. (Note that the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card is no longer open for applications.) Your covered trip must be between five and 60 days, and be at least 100 miles from your residence. If you are hospitalized for more than eight days, the benefit administrator can arrange for a relative or friend to fly round-trip in economy to your location. You can also be reimbursed for the cost of an economy ticket home, if your original ticket cannot be used. In a worst-case situation, the benefit also pays up to $1,000 for the repatriation of your remains. Bottom Line I’d be perfectly happy to go through a lifetime of travels and never have to worry about either of these policies. That said, researching for this post has driven me to make sure my Amex Platinum is always in my wallet when I travel to provide peace of mind if I need to get to a hospital. Benefit guides are updated regularly, so make sure you don’t toss them in the trash when updates show up in the mail and read the online guides for the latest terms and conditions.
  10. You provided a link to the benefits from the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. It may be different from the Chase Sapphire Reserve benefits. I've attached that brochure. Chase Sapphire Reserve Insurance.pdf
  11. There is a 60-day lookback period from when you purchase your cruise. I think this means from when you first give your deposit. They are very helpful in answering questions, so call their toll-free number to ask. It also says that if you are taking a medication for a controlled condition during the 60-day period (for example high blood pressure), it is not considered treatment for an illness or disease.
  12. I think you may be talking about the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. It gives you coverage ($10,000 per person). You only have to pay "some portion" of the trip on the card. There are numerous advantages to this card, one being the travel insurance. Pre-existing conditions are not covered, so if you have any you may want to think about other coverage. The annual fee is $450 but you get $300 annual travel credit so it actually is only $150/year. It's easy to rack up points/miles too, as you get 3x points on all travel and all restaurants. Read more here: https://thepointsguy.com/guide/chase-sapphire-reserve-review/
  13. I too thank you for sharing these incredible photos. Quite amazing that you were able to just walk off the ship on to the ice. I can feel your excitement and I would have been giddy too! Also brought back wonderful memories of our Antarctica trip last year.
  14. Not who you asked but maybe I can help with some of your questions. A pair of thick wool socks is all we needed with the boots. Our feet never were cold and never got wet. First layer long underwear. We wore the capilene type. Over that fleece tops and thick pants or leggings that can tuck into the boots. You will need waterproof pants to put over the pants. The parka will keep you warm. Gloves, a knitted or fleece cap, and a fleece neck warmer... you can pull it up over your mouth... all are good to have. Also we used collapsible trekking poles. On Slversea it was only a 5 minute zodiac boat ride to the landings. Temps were in the 30's. Some people thought it was warm. They were from Canada.
  15. I assume there is no "cover" over the main breakfast/lunch area where the pool is? If so, yes I agree this is a very poor design for polar cruising. I'll be interested in knowing what they do about this.
  16. I don't think those are expedition ships are they? If they are I can't imagine being able to do two landings a day in Antarctica. The Silversea Cloud for example has a maximum of 200 passengers in Antarctica (even though it holds more) and I would imagine the Eclipse has the same situation.
  17. Regarding your comment on the number of passengers, in Antarctica they limit the number of passengers to 200 guests. At least this was the case on our Silversea Expedition cruise to Antarctica. Although the ship holds more than that, Antarctica limits the number of passengers on land at the same time to 100. We were able to get off the ship twice per day to do the landings. I assume this is the same situation for Scenic.
  18. Not the one you asked....but the Drake Passage is unpredictable. We went to Antarctica on another expedition cruise line (Silversea) in February, 2018. On the way down we had the Drake Lake and on the way back we had the Drake Shake. On Silversea all the furniture in the restaurants is chained down to keep it from sliding because it can get very rough. If you are prone to motion sickness (like me) it's best to pre-plan for the worst case scenario. Many on our cruise got very ill on the way back to Ushuaia. I have to use the "patch" for seasickness. It's the only thing that works for me. I had no problem whatsoever even with the very rough seas.
  19. We stayed in Reykjavik after the cruise on our own. We booked private tours with www.IcelandIntro.is. One day was the Premium Southern Iceland Mini-Bus Tour and another day was the Premium Golden Circle Mini-Bus Tour. Tour size was smaller. Tours were all day, but these two days were the absolute highlight of the entire trip! Iceland is beautiful and these two tours are a must! We saw spectacular waterfalls, magnificent scenery, a black sand beach, a farm, and incredible glacier. These tours are very long but so worth it!
  20. We went to Antarctica in 2018 with Silversea. They gave us the option to rent the boots in advance through Silversea's supplier (on their website)…..or you could purchase them and bring your own. We purchased ours. We are going to the Arctic next summer so will use them again. The boots that we purchased are the same boots (Bogs) that we could have rented. They are knee high, insulated and waterproof. The reason you need this type of boot is because you are going to be stepping out of a zodiac boat into the water when you walk ashore on the landings. For the people who rented them, they were on the ship in the cabin when you boarded. They had lots of them onboard so you could swap for the correct size if you pre-ordered the wrong size. The boots were tagged and stored in the area where you put them on and took them off, not in your cabin. As you returned to the ship from the landings you had to go through a sort of a "car wash machine" for your boots to scrub off the penguin guano. Then you had to disinfect them. I attached a photo that shows the zodiac boats at one of the landings. Boots with zippers or snaps don't seem like they would work. We wore the boots with one pair of thick wool socks and our feet were never cold. https://www.amazon.com/Bogs-Womens-Classic-Waterproof-Insulated/dp/B000TH8SV2/ref=sr_1_7?dchild=1&keywords=bogs+waterproof+boots+women&qid=1573875846&sr=8-7
  21. This is the same company that Silversea uses to purchase clothing for Antarctica. When we went to Antarctica with Silversea you could rent boots through this company and they would be on the ship in your cabin when you got on the ship. The ship had lots of extras in case the size you ordered did not fit. Maybe Scenic is providing them on the ship so there is no reason to order them? We actually bought our boots so we will be able to use them again next year in the Arctic with Scenic. We also bought trekking poles on Amazon. We found all the clothing items that we needed online for less money. We bought things at REI, Lands End, Eddie Bauer, LL Bean, Amazon and even Costco. I am not sure if you are in the US are not, but some of these stores are US stores.
  22. Can you provide the exact information in the email you received? It's confusing to me.
  23. We did not pack cotton for the reasons you mentioned. Fleece worked very well. When we went with Silversea we had a precise packing list as well as an online supplier you could order from, but we easily found the items on our own. We did not rent the boots on our Silversea expedition cruise so we own them and will use them in the Arctic next year on Scenic. The ones they recommend getting are the Bogs high waterproof insulated boots. They need to be the high ones so you can step in the water from the zodiacs on the landings. These were the exact boots that you could rent from the Silversea supplier. If you pre-ordered them they would be on the ship for you. Although we thought they would take up a lot of room in the suitcases, we stuffed them with socks and gloves, etc. so they did not really take up much space. We even packed collapsible trekking poles. They came in handy.
  24. Not the one you asked, but I did an expedition cruise to Antarctica and can tell you what to pack. Base Layer Long underwear: Breathable, light-weight or mid-weight tops and bottoms provide warmth without bulk. Capilene wicks, dries quickly, and is a great option if you are allergic to wool. I would suggest buying two sets. We bought some at Costco and some at Lands End. Insulation Layer Expedition stretch top and bottoms: This lightweight layer is worn over your base layer and under your waterproof outer layer. Warmth and flexibility are important for comfort when sitting in Zodiacs. Expedition stretch tops and bottoms are flexible. (We bought fleece tops at Lands End.) Try to find pants where the legs taper to fit into boots. Loft jacket, pullover or vest: The loft traps heat with remarkable efficiency, even when wet. It is feather light and compacts for easy packing. Loft garments are water repellent and windproof and double as outerwear in mild weather. Fleece is also an insulation layer option but it tends to bunch up when worn with layers. We brought vests and they were nice to have but we did not need them when we went out on the landings. The base layer, insulation layer, and with the provided jacket we were warm. Outer Layer Hooded parka: Windproof, waterproof and large enough to fit over layers. Provided by Scenic. Waterproof pants: Breathable and wide enough to fit over boots. Knee-high side zippers are preferred so you can get your boots on and off easily. Buy a size larger than your base layer to ensure you are comfortable sitting in the Zodiac with one or two layers under your pants. Rain jacket: Packable, lightweight, waterproof rain jacket. The fabric should be breathable so that moisture from your body can escape. Pack this piece in your hand luggage so that you have a windbreaker ready when you deplane. Footwear Boots: I am not sure if Scenic is providing the boots. On Silversea you could rent them or bring your own. We bought ours on Amazon. Flexible, pull-on boots with sturdy soles that are suitable for Antarctica (easy to clean penguin guano from the soles). As you will step into icy water during Zodiac landings, boots are essential and must be at least mid-calf high (12-15 inches / 30.5-38 cm in height). Hats, Gloves & Socks Hat: Fleece is excellent because it is lightweight and extremely warm. Wool is also recommended. A hat with a visor to shade your eyes and flaps to protect your ears, the best choice for Antarctica. Socks: Extra heavyweight socks made of wool or wool blend. If your boots are not insulated, you will need to wear two pairs of socks, sock liners and possibly foot warmers. If your boots are well insulated, (e.g. Zodiac Classic High Boots or rental boots) only one pair of socks is needed. If you are prone to cold feet, add sock liners and/or foot warmers. We were fine with one pair of wool socks and the boots. Sock liners: Thin sock liners, worn under your socks for extra warmth. Pack as many liners as you have socks. We did not need these. Neck gaiter: A practical and stylish way to protect your neck. Neck gaiters are more flexible than balaclavas and don't fly around like scarves. You can wear a neck gaiter around your neck or use it as a headband. For added warmth, wear two and pull one over your face to protect your mouth and nose. This was great to have. Also found on Amazon (fleece). Gloves: Windproof and waterproof ski gloves. Gloves that keep your hands warm are expensive but are absolutely necessary and a great investment. Select gloves that provide excellent warmth and durability. A breathable lining is a must. Glove liners: Recommended as they provide extra warmth on cold days. Some glove liners are wind-resistant and will protect your hands when you slip off your glove to take photos. Binoculars: Compact, high performance binoculars ensure you don’t miss a thing. A pair with at least 10X power and 25mm objective diameter is recommended for scenic and wildlife watching. Trekking poles: A lightweight, collapsible, walking staff (also called a trekking pole) provides a sense of security, increased balance, and confidence when walking on ice, snow and rugged terrain. (We used these. Bought them on Amazon) Seal-proof waterproof bags: Heavy-duty plastic to use to store your camera, film, binoculars and more in your backpack. Foot/Hand warmers: To put between your feet and your socks and to slip into your hands for extra warmth. (We brought these and did not use them).
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