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About rbslos18

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • Interests
    Cruising and Travel
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Any suggestions for a one-night pre-cruise hotel in Fort Lauderdale? It's for our December 2021 Panama Canal cruise. Planning this is keeping my sanity!! RB
  2. Given the circumstances, using a knowledgeable agent is essential. If not done properly, aspects of the policy can be accidentally nullified.
  3. Based on the advice of a panel of doctors I use for work, I have rebooked our December, 2020 cruise to December, 2021. Full Disclosure: I did not ask about earlier than December because of our work schedules. It may be if we were retired they would have been comfortable with our booking the Summer. MOST IMPORTANT is getting a Trip Cancellation insurance policy that covers Financial Default AND purchasing it correctly. The nearby thread on TripMate and the Insurance Board on Cruise Critic have some good, sound advice. Given what is at stake (a lot of money!), I would deal with Steve at tripnsurancestore.com. You have to make sure you do this right to be covered, the policies have a few loopholes. For example, you have to buy the cruise from a cruise travel agent. I hope you get to go. We have now deferred our 65th birthday celebration and will hopefully get to celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary. We all just have to be patient! Wear a mask! RB
  4. Thanks! You made my day! I was not overly impressed with the one small claim we had with Chase Sapphire Reserve. I prefer to have a one-stop primary policy and not deal with coordination of benefits. I use Steve Dasseos and agree he is very knowledgeable. In the past I have used the other insurance agents mentioned above. I just find Steve to be exceptional. I decided to leave Chase Sapphire Reserve last week and switch to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card which has very similar travel benefits. Our two cards were going to be over $500.00. If it were not for the pandemic it would be over $600.00. The main take-away on insurance is the importance of getting advice on a good policy. Some that are mentioned earlier have way too little medical and provide secondary coverage. (They pay after you file with your primary insurance.) Anyone who has filed a claim with a secondary policy knows it can be a huge hassle. In conclusion, we only purchase policies that have a minimum of $100,000 primary medical coverage and coverage for pre-existing illnesses. Be safe and wear your masks! RB
  5. Let's be honest. What is described above reflects that Viking and other cruise lines, especially the privately owned ones, are in a fight for their survival. Their situation has to be perilous. Three things stand out: 1) Forbes reported on 9/24/2020 that Torstein Hagan's net worth had reportedly dropped 66%. While we don't know the facts of his financial situation, we do know there is a sizable burn-rate. 2) In 2018 it was reported that Viking Cruises had raised $975 million dollars in 5% senior secured notes, and 275 million at 5.875%. Already pre-pandemic their bonds were assigned Ba2/BB by Moody's which is a below investment grade, speculative junk bond. 3) The junk bonds reportedly issued in 2020 have a crushing interest rate of 13% How will Viking continue to pay staff and meet expenses? Unlike a government, they cannot print money. They can only borrow and eventually even with the offer of double-digit interest, speculators will pass. That said, I still want to believe, with the help of a good insurance policy, that Viking will pull through. It has been a great cruise company with a first-class product. I hope it survives and is not bought out. They and we are in uncharted waters. Hoping and waiting for our December 2021 cruise has kept my sanity through the pandemic! RB
  6. Oops. The price was $8000 - $12000 for 2. I was wondering if insurance companies have a special policy for a world cruise or if it is the same policy. Sorry for the confusion. RB
  7. Is there a special insurance policy for a World cruise? The cost seems to be $12,000+ per person! Thanks RB
  8. I will not use any product that is covered by or uses TripMate to process claims. Three years ago, it took them took 5 months to process a very simple claim. They were not responsive and we came close to throwing in the towel and forgetting walking away from $375.00 claim. It got down to my feeling, I not going to let them win this battle of nerves. Read posts on TripMate on the CC Trip Insurance Board. Or easier, see its 1 star rating at the Consumer Affairs website and cringe. After dozens of cruises, I have learned to always buy insurance through a broker. I have found insurance rules more complex than one would expect. It’s not just buying the product, walking away and feeling insured. For example there are rules that impact what is covered if a cruise line goes bankrupt. A cruise purchased directly from Viking is treated differently by many insurance companies than if purchased from a cruise agent. I had no idea. Our requirements for an insurance policy are: 1) Primary insurance (you don’t file with your insurance, only the policy company which eliminates the coordination of benefits between your insurance (if primary) and your travel insurance (if secondary—ie pays after your primary plan pays). 2) We meticulously follow purchase rules so any pre-existing illnesses are fully covered. Ie we purchase the insurance 14-21 days, (depending on the policy),after making the deposit. There is no cost to follow this 3) We use Trip Insurance Store and only buy policies from companies they have a relationship with. They have a limited number of companies they have selected 4) We buy policies that allow us to re-use the insurance for a different cruise if we cancel and rebook within a year. EG when Viking cancelled our December cruise, our policy was reissued for the replacement cruise we purchased at no additional cost 5) We buy policies that allow us to pay incrementally as we pay for the cruise.SO with our December 2021 cruise we initially just paid for our deposit. We paid for the rest of the insurance when we made final payment. I have learned especially from the tales of woe on the CC Insurance Board, that purchasing insurance really requires guidance, even for a do-it-yourselves like me. I would read the Insurance Board (It has eye popping stories of woe) and use a knowledgeable broker. Three or four companies that are mentioned on the Insurance Board are great. RB
  9. Given the modern techniques used, it is doable if all goes well. If it would be a load off your mind and not push you to make decisions you might not ordinarily make, then delay. I had five of my seven cervical disks removed 11 years ago and went overseas two months later. It pushed me to work my hardest to recover. It was great for my sanity! I would use a doctor who specializes in this procedure and has done thousands. Make sure the hospital has a good safety rating. https://www.hospitalsafetygrade.org/ As to when I would do it, a lot depends on the COVID situation in your city. I would check what extra safety procedures the hospital out-patient department is observing. If the positivity rate is below one in your city, I would go for it. Best of luck! RB
  10. SM77--I am so glad you are healed and feeling better. I can only imagine how frightening it was to fall and need care....and the unknown. It seems the doctor made the right decision after-all. Had you returned home and learned that there was a break, the doctor's judgement would have been incorrect. On the positive side, you were spared unneeded radiation! RB
  11. Very true. There is hope, however, given the success of the NBA Bubble--not a single case.
  12. What part of town would you suggest for one night pre-cruise? Downtown, Airport, Dania Beach, Plantation And what is your go-to hotel in the area you prefer? Thanks RB
  13. The Hampton Inn Fort Lauderdale Airport North Cruise Port on SW 12th Ave
  14. Any comments on the Hampton Inn which has great reviews on TripAdvisor? RB
  15. Expect cancellations for the rest of the year and into 2021. Currently, many of us couldn’t board a ship without being quarantined 14 days. Once the flu season in the Fall adds another dimension, we will be in for a roller coaster ride. Even if there is a vaccine produced In record time (anyone taking bets there will be an announcement by hook or crook in the end of October!) billions of doses are needed worldwide. And the efficacy may not be 100%. How many times have you received the flu shot and still gotten the flu?! For mental health reasons(!), we just booked leg first leg of the World Cruise for December 2021. I am hopeful there will be cruising beginning next Summer. RB
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