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midwestchick

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

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It is looking like we will have to cancel our September cruises as well as our 2022 cruise now with Azamara.  I'm so sorry to read this is going to become a requirement.  As stated above by Lottie, this is ridiculous.  I doubt our GP would sign off on this letter for my husband.  He has diabetes and it is totally under control, but the letter would determine he could not go it sounds.  I'm very disappointed as Azamara has become our favorite line, but right now not so much.

 

Susan

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9 hours ago, Lottie A said:

OK, I have bitten my tongue and tried not to respond to this stupid requirement from Azamara of a physician’s letter to certify “fitness to travel” but now I have had enough. 

Two comments....firstly good luck in getting any doctor to provide you with one at this time of extreme pressure. We are all working ourselves to exhaustion looking after seriously ill and dying patients. Letters to cruise lines are not on our list of priorities right now. 

Secondly, anyone with even a moderate pre existing relapsing chronic health condition could not be deemed  “fit to travel” anyway. No doctor could predict when or whether a deterioration was likely. Someone with Cancer, Angina, COPD, Asthma, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Fatigue....they are just a very few examples of varying conditions that can fluctuate dramatically at any time, including on a cruise.
 

It doesn’t actually matter if you are over 70 or not. If you did have one of these health conditions you may be perfectly stable, yet your GP could not medically certify that would continue to be so on a cruise. 
 

Then there is the minefield of getting travel insurance....

 

Azamara need to reconsider this requirement now.

 

Sorry...rant over from a very tired GP who should be retired, but has gone back to work. I have an even more exhausted GP friend fast asleep on my sofa right now. He has been working 12-14 hour days for over 2 weeks. He won’t be writing any “fitness to cruise” letters either. 

God Bless You!  I didn’t consider your post as a rant. As a medical person, my heart goes out to all of you. I pray you all stay safe and free of this highly contagious virus.   Your list of pre-existing conditions is spot on. If they really want to be picky they could add to the list if you are such and such blood type you cannot sail because you are more at risk. I’ve heard several healthcare experts say certain blood types are more at risk for some reason.  Isn’t it strange Azamara will take our money any other time and allow us to sail.  Believe me...I’ve been on ships when pax have died as I’m sure many of us have. 
Our Governor wants all retired healthcare professionals to come out of retirement.  I have mixed emotions about this. I gave my all for many years and have no regrets and enjoyed everyday of my career. Now I cannot travel at leisure, but yet can be expected to expose myself and ultimately my husband to this virus?  We have self isolated and haven’t even seen our children and grandchildren.

Lottie....please rest as much as possible and eat as healthy as you can.  

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4 hours ago, Hulagirl said:

It is looking like we will have to cancel our September cruises as well as our 2022 cruise now with Azamara.  I'm so sorry to read this is going to become a requirement.  As stated above by Lottie, this is ridiculous.  I doubt our GP would sign off on this letter for my husband.  He has diabetes and it is totally under control, but the letter would determine he could not go it sounds.  I'm very disappointed as Azamara has become our favorite line, but right now not so much.

 

Susan

My husband has chronic bronchitis & wouldn’t get such a letter either. We have a cruise booked for October, and we’re hoping that Azamara will have dropped the requirement by then. We will make our decision about what to do when the final balance is due and we’re hoping they’ll extend that date.

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Even if you are a healthy 70 year old your general practitioner will not sign this letter. 

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If this letter becomes a requirement for the future the cruise lines can kiss goodbye to a large group of their clients, surely the must realise that.

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5 minutes ago, Bloodaxe said:

If this letter becomes a requirement for the future the cruise lines can kiss goodbye to a large group of their clients, surely the must realise that.

Maybe not a permanent requirement but my sense is for at least this year whatever cruising is happening.  Trouble is the letter is so US centric, doesn’t take account of how other health services work or what their doctors can and cannot do.  That’s why I asked had they checked it with UK experts. 

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I think that a lot of reasons pick a cruise holiday is for convenience and it opens up the world for less able people and people with controlled health conditions. If they only allowed young people with no pre existing health conditions the client base would be very small.

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I understand the requirement is not for Azamara only. Was it not part of an agreement of the cruise industry with the USA vicepresident to have less Coronavirus infected? Maybe I am wrong...

Ivi

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2 hours ago, travelberlin said:

I understand the requirement is not for Azamara only. Was it not part of an agreement of the cruise industry with the USA vicepresident to have less Coronavirus infected? Maybe I am wrong...

Ivi

I think you are right.

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3 hours ago, travelberlin said:

I understand the requirement is not for Azamara only. Was it not part of an agreement of the cruise industry with the USA vicepresident to have less Coronavirus infected? Maybe I am wrong...

Ivi

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.

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Just now, 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.

I think it was first a requirement for ships sailing from USA. I recall seeing something like that on the MSC forum. It could be that European cruiselines sailing from ports in Europe do not apply this requirement. But at the moment is difficult to clarify this issue. Let’s wait after the Coronavirus crisis calms down.

Ivi

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Well, if this  continues to be a condition for cruising with Azamara, we will be cancelling the 5 cruises we  have already planned and put down deposits for.  Azamara will lose the majority of its loyal customers like us.  I am over 70 plus  I have asthma and COPD, but it hasn't interfered with my sailings in the past. Guess I'll start looking at other cruise lines.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, 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.

This was proposed and agreed by the Cruise Lines International Association(CLIA). It’s members are shown here https://cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-lines. There are a lot of them, including P &O, Cunard, Oceania, Windstar, Virgin, Saga & many others.

Here’s an article about how this came about https://nypost.com/2020/03/12/leading-cruise-ship-group-wants-to-ban-passengers-under-70-without-doctors-note/

The letter is specific to COVID-19, so hopefully once this current pandemic is over (whenever that is) it will be discontinued.


(Sorry - just edited this as I realised what I’d written originally was rubbish - blooming predictive text!)

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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I can't believe cruise lines will survive with only healthy millenials and super-fit oldies over 70 like the 86-year-old man I recently read about still running marathons. One of the reasons people over 70 - which includes myself - and minor to middling chronic health problems for choosing cruises is the fact that it gives us the chance to still experience ship life, explore countries.

And there is a vast difference between someone with chronic issues like asthma or diabetes or higher blood pressure if doing perfectly well with medication, like my husband and I do and the lady we met numerous times last year onboard and who neither knew who she was and had to be led around by anyone who found her until she was back safely in her room...

Still - I hesitate to book two more Azamara cruises and a Celebrity cruise we have in mind for late 2020 and 2021 because of that dratted requirement. And as we have lost 2 cruises which were rightly cancelled because of CoVid-19 we have Future Cruise Credits to burn and really don't want to hang up in the bathroom as a reminder to what we have lost...

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This is probably driven more by insurance companies for the cruise lines as opposed to anything US driven.  Insurance risk knows no nationality.

 

It is interesting that the US, to this point, has excluded the cruise industry from the $2 trillion bailout unless they register as US corporations (and they would pay more in taxes and be subject to other employee protections).  Hiding under Panama, Bermuda, and Liberia flags worked nicely for the major players in the industry, but it may not now.  It will be interesting to see what they do.  

 

 

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Wow.  This really is a game changer.  I am pretty sure we will not be traveling in July...but we also have a cruise booked in November.  If we are not deemed fit to travel and we booked our air through Choice Air ( non refundable) , will they have to refund our air?  

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3 hours ago, nonrev1 said:

Wow.  This really is a game changer.  I am pretty sure we will not be traveling in July...but we also have a cruise booked in November.  If we are not deemed fit to travel and we booked our air through Choice Air ( non refundable) , will they have to refund our air?  

Did you purchase insurance?  If yes, it will cover you. 
 

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2 hours ago, midwestchick said:

Did you purchase insurance?  If yes, it will cover you. 
 

Depends on your policy.  Some companies won’t cover this.  We are checking with ours. 

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19 hours ago, nonrev1 said:

Wow.  This really is a game changer.  I am pretty sure we will not be traveling in July...but we also have a cruise booked in November.  If we are not deemed fit to travel and we booked our air through Choice Air ( non refundable) , will they have to refund our air?  

 

16 hours ago, midwestchick said:

Did you purchase insurance?  If yes, it will cover you. 
 

 

If Azamara cancels the cruise my understanding is they will refund you. I hope we know sooner, rather than later, if the British Isles cruise is going to be cancelled. 

 

I don't think insurance would cover if you cancel unless it was for a covered reason like illness, death etc. 

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Perhaps this should work the other way also. Cruise lines should have to produce a certificate of cleanliness and healthiness including in respect to cases of Noro Virus,  and if there were cases where people were ill on board what steps they have taken to clean the ship.

 

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11 hours ago, suzyluvs2cruise said:

 

 

If Azamara cancels the cruise my understanding is they will refund you. I hope we know sooner, rather than later, if the British Isles cruise is going to be cancelled. 

 

I don't think insurance would cover if you cancel unless it was for a covered reason like illness, death etc. 

I know from experience this is true.  I experienced it last summer....everything, including flights pre cruise hotels, etc., were refunded.  People have to be savvy when purchasing travel insurance.  Knowledgeable people shouldn’t have to check with their companies to see if a cancelation is covered.  That should be crystal clear before any traveler purchases insurance.

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Posted (edited)

I have a fully researched policy from a well known insurance company who has one of the highest trust pilot ratings in the UK.  Many have envied the cover I have enjoyed for instance when ports were missed last year we were paid out every time, even when substitute ports were made and we had no financial loss, it’s just how they are.

 

I say the above because I had posted travel insurance might not cover you and that is correct even with a very comprehensive policy and the small print requires expert interpretation from the company or if you are having a problem with a claim an independent insurance adviser. 
 

Firstly, did you actually check your policy covered you in event of pandemic before purchasing it?  I doubt if everyone honestly read every line and there are many policies that don’t cover you in that situation end of.  However some but not all companies regardless of this exclusion have been paying out on policies, but ceased to underwrite pandemic late January in new policies.  Renewals it depends on the company.  
 

I have three cruises to be taken in May, all still technically going. Currently so are the flights and I have hotels booked. If I were to cancel now none of the hotels/airport parking/ flights cost would be covered as it falls under the category disinclination to travel. No UK company offers insurance that allows us just to change our mind eg disinclination.  

Likewise if we cannot travel on a cruise that is sailing because we cannot obtain a doctors letter, that is denial of boarding. Again not covered unless the medical practitioner can write up some reason to advise not to travel based on underlying health conditions.  Whilst that might help you financially on the cruise you are cancelling it probably means you will struggle to get insured going forward unless it is a temporary condition ( is taken ill prior to cruising and cancelling for that reason) which the underpinning cruiseline letter is not designed to cover. 
 

So my original advice stands, discuss it with your travel insurer, just because one person is covered, you may not be.

 

 

Edited by Host Grandma Cruising

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The position is not as is stated above and I repeat my original comment (made by someone who assesses lecturers at degree level in Principles of Insurance)and therefore as a knowledgeable person. The only course of action at this time is to check with your insurance company to see what is covered, what waivers they have exceptionally put in place and given that pandemic is not covered on many policies what support they are providing in the circumstances.  There is no such thing as crystal clarity in the insurance industry today but it is sure going to give us great case study materials for this and elsewhere in the financial services industry.

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1 hour ago, uktog said:

The position is not as is stated above and I repeat my original comment (made by someone who assesses lecturers at degree level in Principles of Insurance)and therefore as a knowledgeable person. The only course of action at this time is to check with your insurance company to see what is covered, what waivers they have exceptionally put in place and given that pandemic is not covered on many policies what support they are providing in the circumstances.  There is no such thing as crystal clarity in the insurance industry today but it is sure going to give us great case study materials for this and elsewhere in the financial services industry.


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”.

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7 hours ago, uktog said:

The position is not as is stated above and I repeat my original comment (made by someone who assesses lecturers at degree level in Principles of Insurance)and therefore as a knowledgeable person. The only course of action at this time is to check with your insurance company to see what is covered, what waivers they have exceptionally put in place and given that pandemic is not covered on many policies what support they are providing in the circumstances.  There is no such thing as crystal clarity in the insurance industry today but it is sure going to give us great case study materials for this and elsewhere in the financial services industry.

 

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. 

 

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