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Azamara excursions with a maximum age 70 rule


Cruizer Diana
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My DH and I booked a fall cruise on Azamara in the Med and one in the Caribbean. We don’t usually do ship’s tours. But, since that is potentially the only excursions that will be allowed in the near future, I’ve been looking at the potential excursions. So far, I’ve found two basic cycling excursions and a short, basic snorkeling excursion that cite a maximum age of 70 and a minimum age of 12. I am fit and bicycle 20-30 miles in a day about 5 days a week. I’ve gone on numerous snorkeling trips with a strong current in the Caribbean, Hawaii, and French Polynesia. This is the first time I’ve encountered an age limit for such basic activities. It’s not like I’m swimming the English Channel or joining the Tour de France!

 

Do they think a 70-year old can only totter to the Panoramic Tour bus and back?

Is there a way to appeal this arbitrary rule?

I'd be glad to prove my physical fitness.

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Not had that age nwbtuon on AZAMARA but did on another line. We all fought it and won. The best boat I have been on in the carribbean.

 

since I snorkel I just sign up..waiting for them to tell me no.

 

would give up cruising first 

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Sadly despite what is posted here, Azamara will not wave the rule.  A companion who is very fit could not join DH on a bike tour.  This was the first time we realised he was over 70!  They will not make any exceptions. The tour operators are subject to strict rules imposed by Azamara.  As you say, the logic is flawed, but if you want to cycle, snorkel or zip line you need an independent tour. 

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2 hours ago, royallondon said:

I wonder if the age limit is set by the provider of the liability insurance Azamara would be required to take out for certain activities?

 

Regards

That’s what we were told which is why no exceptions can be made - and of course they know your age from your passport!   In fact the website won’t let you book an excursion if you are not age eligible 

Edited by uktog
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As "realistic" as all of us our concerning our physical abilities unfortunately some, like me, will not recognize that our fitness has indeed deteriorated with age. When younger I ran marathons and skied loppets, and part of me still dreams of doing so. Those remain dreams.

 

I have also been on less strenuous tours where part of the tour had to be amended after participants did not read the fine print as to the fitness level required. 

 

I think it is good to challenge those rules, but I am not certain as to what certification as to ability would suffice. 

 

On a more serious note, I wonder if royallondon isn't correct that insurance policies, based upon their tables, are the reason for the seemingly arbitrary age cutoff. The may be worried about more than simply holding up a tour group.

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Just now, nordski said:

As "realistic" as all of us our concerning our physical abilities unfortunately some, like me, will not recognize that our fitness has indeed deteriorated with age. When younger I ran marathons and skied loppets, and part of me still dreams of doing so. Those remain dreams.

 

I have also been on less strenuous tours where part of the tour had to be amended after participants did not read the fine print as to the fitness level required. 

 

I think it is good to challenge those rules, but I am not certain as to what certification as to ability would suffice. 

 

On a more serious note, I wonder if royallondon isn't correct that insurance policies, based upon their tables, are the reason for the seemingly arbitrary age cutoff. The may be worried about more than simply holding up a tour group.

 

Ahh, I see that the knowledgeable uktog has provided more specific information. 

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The over 70 age restriction isn’t unique to Azamara.  We have seen it imposed on other cruise lines for scuba, snorkeling, biking and excursion involving a lot of walking or climbing .  

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We were cruising with Azamara when they still had the folding bicycles.  And, we enjoyed several excursions before those bikes were jettisoned in favor of local tour suppliers.  Then, the age restrictions were imposed and we fought those (with Bonnie's help), only to have most of the bike tours cancelled - some, mid cruise.  So we then booked and enjoyed the local offerings - Cycle Gisborne! - having the best possible time even at my advanced age of 70.  If private tours are not available when we finally cruise again, well, we may rethink sailing.  Sigh.

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2 hours ago, nordski said:

When younger I ran marathons and skied loppets, and part of me still dreams of doing so. Those remain dreams.

I ran a couple of marathons too! Still dream of doing, but not to be I’m sure 🙁

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51 minutes ago, cruisestitch said:

In my experience, the age restrictions are put in place by the vendor who operates the shore excursion not by the cruise line.

Not always, we know in Valencia over 70s booked the same excursion direct with the provider

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17 hours ago, Cruizer Diana said:

 

My DH and I booked a fall cruise on Azamara in the Med and one in the Caribbean. We don’t usually do ship’s tours. But, since that is potentially the only excursions that will be allowed in the near future, I’ve been looking at the potential excursions. So far, I’ve found two basic cycling excursions and a short, basic snorkeling excursion that cite a maximum age of 70 and a minimum age of 12. I am fit and bicycle 20-30 miles in a day about 5 days a week. I’ve gone on numerous snorkeling trips with a strong current in the Caribbean, Hawaii, and French Polynesia. This is the first time I’ve encountered an age limit for such basic activities. It’s not like I’m swimming the English Channel or joining the Tour de France!

 

Do they think a 70-year old can only totter to the Panoramic Tour bus and back?

Is there a way to appeal this arbitrary rule?

I'd be glad to prove my physical fitness.

 

If the bubble requirement disappears, try to book the same tour directly w the tour operator.  They may not be bound by Azamara rules.

 

DON

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Azamara has set age limits on the shore excursions that are strenuous and require flexibility and a level of endurance. On the bike tours there's restrictions on the minimum age as well as the maximum age and a weight limit. I believe they have these restrictions to ensure the health of passengers so they can complete the entire cruise and I'm sure there's some level of liability. Not a big deal. All cruise lines have these restrictions on their shore excursions.

 

Tyler

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Good discussion and lots of valid points. 

If required to stay in the bubble, we will have very limited experiences in general, and more so if over 70.  

 

I understand the comment about changing the pace or destination of a bike tour because someone did not read the fine print. We were ride leaders for the Cascade Bike club (host of the famous 200-mile Seattle-to-Portland bike ride). Many times people chose to ride at a pace much slower than the advertised/posted pace. Sometimes we altered the planned ride, but most of the time we just gave the riders a map and told them that there were pre-requisites for the ride. If Azamara required people to agree to specific terms, then they could choose not to hold the ride leaders responsible for rejecting people who did not meet the stated requirements. I guess, as usual, those who choose to ignore requirements are the winners.

 

By the way, the snorkeling excursion in St Barts has a minimum age of 8. I doubt most 8 year olds will have superior swimming skills or judgement...

 

I have taken snorkeling excursions through Holland America (HAL), Celebrity, and Royal Caribbean and have never seen that limitation. (Celebrity or RCCL might now, but didn’t in the past.) They do require you to fill out a health/fitness questionnaire. As of today, this is what Holland America says about their “Catamaran Snorkel & Beach Getaway” in Aruba:  Guests with heart problems, epilepsy or asthma are not allowed to participate in snorkeling. Waiver must be signed and medical conditions disclosed.

 

Then, there is the HAL “Lagoon Cruise with Shark Ray Feeding & BBQ” in Bora Bora, where you swim/snorkel with black tip reef sharks. No maximum age indicated.

 

We were booked on a Crystal Danube/Rhine river cruise for July 2020, which was cancelled, due to covid. Before it was cancelled, I booked five bike tours; none of which indicated an age limit.

 

I agree that the insurance provider has probably insisted on the age limit, but I am surprised/dismayed that they would lock out a fair percentage of their passengers on the basis of age---when other cruise lines do not. In fact, of the five excursions offered in St Barts in December, two have the age 70 limitation. This is while HAL, who has just about the oldest passenger population in the industry, does not have an age limitation for snorkeling trips.

 

While we usually prefer to book private excursions, in many ports, the better vendors are locked into an exclusive contract with the cruise line. Many times we have been declined by a vendor because we are arriving on a ship (with an exclusive contract) or the cruise line has booked all/most of the available vendors. 

 

I’d hate this to be the reason to move to a different cruise line, but it is definitely something to consider in situations where the cruise line’s excursions are the only option.

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1 hour ago, tyler6597 said:

Azamara has set age limits on the shore excursions that are strenuous and require flexibility and a level of endurance. On the bike tours there's restrictions on the minimum age as well as the maximum age and a weight limit. I believe they have these restrictions to ensure the health of passengers so they can complete the entire cruise and I'm sure there's some level of liability. Not a big deal. All cruise lines have these restrictions on their shore excursions.

 

Tyler

 

You missed my point.  Sometimes the restrictions set by the cruise line are tighter than the restrictions that are set by the company that actually does the tour.  If the bubble rules are lifted, try figuring out what tour company is actually doing the tour or else find a tour company that does a similar tour and book it independently.  I have done this many times not because of age restrictions but just because I do not like to book any tours through the cruise lines.

 

I do understand Diana's point that for some smaller ports, the cruise lines book up all the available tours so you are either stuck with the cruise line tour or else you have to find alternative stuff to do.  That happened to me for a penguin tour at the Falklands.  I had to pay twice the going price for the penguin tour or else I wouldn't have seen the penguins.

 

DON

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A couple of years ago we were on an X cruise in the south Pacific islands. One stop was Mystery Island, so small that there were no private excursions available, only through the ship. We boarded a wood dinghy for a 3-stop snorkel along with 6 other people. One of the guys complained the whole way out about not being allowed on an excursion because of his age. He kept bragging that not only was he a lifeguard but he trained other lifeguards, etc., etc., etc. Eight people hopped into the water and within 5 minutes all but three got back in the boat because the water was "too choppy". There were three of us left in the water: me (65 and overweight but swim a couple of miles a week in a pool), my brother (a good swimmer) and a fellow from San Diego, who I presumed swims in the ocean. We looked at where we were in relation to the shore and just told the boat to go back so the others didn't have to sit there for an hour and watch us snorkel. The three of us and a guide snorkeled our way back to shore. 

 

All the cruise lines have these limits for liability reasons and they can't give everyone a physical for every excursion so there's an arbitrary cut-off, probably from the insurance company actuaries. What that experience taught me is that the other end of the calendar of life is just like the beginning - our health and abilities can change quickly and we don't realize it. If you realistically can do an activity, try to book a private excursion. Keep in mind that if something happens to you during the excursion, you will be affecting the excursion for the folks with you. Have fun, but stay safe.

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 I’m 71 now and didn’t know I went from a very active healthy adult to a wheel chair on my 70th.  I was booked on a Italy cruise which was cancelled that I had planned to celebrate my 70th so it appears o didn’t know I became old in a 24 hour period.  Happy to provide a doctors note, sign waiver, drop and do push-ups,  have them check my blood pressure, etc to prove I’m not at risk. No issue taking non-ship excursions if they are allowed which appears questionable.  Most people who know me think I’m 10 years younger then I am and in good condition. I also agree that a clear description of  the excursion physical requirements needs to be given. It is not the cruise line or excursion contractors responsibility to babysit someone who misrepresents their abilities 

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12 hours ago, nordski said:

 

 

I have also been on less strenuous tours where part of the tour had to be amended after participants did not read the fine print as to the fitness level required. 

 

 

 

This has unfortunately been a common occurrence on many tours I have taken.

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I turned 70 during Covid last year and did not realise there were age restrictions on some excursions.    I am a keen cyclist and ride 100-150 kms every week (generally 3 rides of around 50km).    This is another great reason to participate in the Cruise Critic Forum - one learns so much information from fellow cruisers.  

I will admit to being disappointed if my “new” age prohibits me from cycle excursions.   I have undertaken a number of great cycle excursions on previous cruises and as a fit and able rider did think this would continue when our cruising life resumes 🤞🤞🤞

 

I can see the other side of the coin having experienced it on earlier shore excursions - 1.   A European river cruise where a few unfit travellers slowed the walking tour group to a virtual stop and meant we missed a large part of the itinerary.  This  was some years ago prior to river cruises sorting their walking tours to Slow, Medium, Fast groups (or whatever categorisation they used).    2.  A cycle excursion where we had to stop regularly as a non fit/non regular rider was having heart palpitations.   We were all concerned for her health and there were no complaints from the riding group.   We just slowed right down and took a lot longer to complete the route.  She was fine.   

I guess my “new” age will lead me to seek independent tours if the age restriction kicks in.     But that may be long past Covid and when independent tours are again permitted. 

 

Rod

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I think if only ship excursions are allowed, they should seriously reduce the exorbitant rates they charge. I hesitate to say include them, because that would just increase cruise fares, and at some point, individual tours will be allowed.

Betsey

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1 hour ago, Mackdogmolly said:

I think if only ship excursions are allowed, they should seriously reduce the exorbitant rates they charge. I hesitate to say include them, because that would just increase cruise fares, and at some point, individual tours will be allowed.

Betsey

I totally agree!  And perhaps add some more variety to the options.

Liz

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10 hours ago, Aussie Cruise Nuts said:

I turned 70 during Covid last year and did not realise there were age restrictions on some excursions.    I am a keen cyclist and ride 100-150 kms every week (generally 3 rides of around 50km).    This is another great reason to participate in the Cruise Critic Forum - one learns so much information from fellow cruisers.  

I will admit to being disappointed if my “new” age prohibits me from cycle excursions.   I have undertaken a number of great cycle excursions on previous cruises and as a fit and able rider did think this would continue when our cruising life resumes 🤞🤞🤞

 

I

My experience is the same so the problem seems to be how to access what an individual  is capable of without discriminating based upon chronological age recognizing that some individuals are not realistic on their conditioning and capabilities. . On the river cruises I have been on they have done a very good job of providing different levels so that the fast group moves very well. Is seems there when multiple options are offered people are more likely to enjoy their excursion at their personal capability. 

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