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Azamara excursions with a maximum age 70 rule


Cruizer Diana
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My father, now 80, and currently on a soccer pitch in the pouring rain refereeing his fourth game of the weekend, was turned down from an excursion when he was 78 because of 10 uneven steps.  I kid you not.    There was nothing we could do about it.   It's shame that we are limited by a number and not by actual capability.    He doesn't even use the elevators on the ship.    On the other hand, we have been on excursions where people of an age several decades younger than him, struggled with getting on and off the bus or on uneven ground.      

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My belief is as long as I maintain my physical activity I hope to be going strong for many more years. My mother is 93 and teaches line dancing at a senior center.  I’m fine with going with off ship excursions so that I can bike, hike, swim and fully enjoy my future cruises.  As my cruise since the pandemic shut down is not till feb 2022 I’ll wait and see what the policy is before making further decisions. 

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We just returned from a 5N all inclusive resort vacation.  My DH went snorkeling twice and did 3 biking tours.  No one asked his age, but he has not been allowed to book snorkeling or biking tours both via cruises and in some ports  by trying to book direct with a tour operator since he turned 70.
 

It would be nice if everyone read the description and did a honest assessment of their capabilities and only book tours they are physically capable of doing without assistance from other passengers or the tour company staff.

 

A few years ago we where on a tour that clearly stated that one must be able to navigate along cobblestone streets, step up high 9” plus curbs or steps.  When we got to our destination there was a passenger in a wheelchair & her husband. The bus was , coincidentally equipped with a platform for wheelchairs.  Once in town and off the bus her husband got & her wheelchair  on to the cobblestone road.  He could not push her wheel chair on the cobblestone more than a few feet at  a time even with her trying to assist.  I think they spend the time in town having coffee.  
 

Time to board the  bus to return to port.  The Husband couldn’t lift her in her wheel chair up the curb so they could get back on the bus.  The tour company employee was not allowed to assist passengers (liability)  so we had a stalemate.  Wife crying, her husband screaming at the bus driver,  bus driver needs to leave & other passengers in the middle.  Ultimately my DH & 3 others lift her in her chair up a high curb, ship had to wait as we were late returning & one of the passengers who helped lift pulled a muscle. 


I don’t like arbitrary restrictions but I understand why they exist.
 

 

 

 

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Why was the couple allowed to board the bus in the first place? It  is not the cruise company responsibility to read the requirements of an excursion to the passenger. When did taking  personal responsibility for our poor decisions become irrelevant? 

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23 minutes ago, luv2travel90266 said:

Why was the couple allowed to board the bus in the first place?

  I have no idea, they were on the bus when we boarded.

 It  is not the cruise company responsibility to read the requirements of an excursion to the passenger.  A person who obviously is not able to meet the requirements shouldn't be allowed to participate and I think the cruise line has to step up and not allow this to happen.  

When did taking  personal responsibility for our poor decisions become irrelevant? 

That was my point.  That passenger made a poor decision and inconvenienced others.  However some of us were not willing to leave her and her husband, in a foreign country unable to speak the language and with no passport,, meds, etc.  The ship was  2 hours away.

 

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3 minutes ago, jelayne said:

 

I have been in a similar situation and it all depends who the Shore Excursion Manager is onboard and also whether anyone says anything to them after the excursion whether they take action.  It also depends who (if anyone) is acting as the ships escort on the tour and whether they feedback as they are supposed to.

In one case, we had a severely disabled lady whose husband insisted she was allowed off the coach first. She also had to have first access to the bathroom but because of an issue she had needed 15 minutes on a 20 minute stop in one of the two ladies toilets!.  On that trip, we had a very good ship escort and we were approached by the shore ex manager in the evening and he asked were there issues.  They met with the couple thereafter who were very unhappy when it was suggested they did not do some of the trips they had booked and were venting in bars to anyone who would listen but they seemed to have a view it was their right to be accommodated on everything.

 

We also went on a long trip with a lady who needed a lot of help and the escort who was from the onboard shop spent the time running around after them and setting up special things for them.  However they were 15 minutes late back to the bus which annoyed everyone and we had to miss a stop so we could make a ferry element of the trip.  We did notice the husband generously (and ostentatiously) tipped the guide and the ship's escort at the end of the trip (as they are entitled to do).  Two couples on the bus who we dined with the next day told us as the missed stop had been something that mattered a lot to them, they went to the shore excursion manager to feedback but were brushed off on the basis the escort had said the trip had gone well and so she wasn't going to do anything about it,

 

To me, and I have some limitations myself, I could never take part on a trip where I think I might impact on the overall progress of the tour.  I have in the past not selected trips fearing they were too strenuous only to find they would have been fine.  I have also done some light walking ones that were anything but light.  I feel the cruise line should have far better quality information about what the challenges might be, how long between bathroom stops etc etc.  And they should be at the buses just looking out for potential issues - a wheelchair heading out for a steep cobbled trip has to be a red flag.

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1 hour ago, uktog said:

I have been in a similar situation and it all depends who the Shore Excursion Manager is onboard and also whether anyone says anything to them after the excursion whether they take action.  It also depends who (if anyone) is acting as the ships escort on the tour and whether they feedback as they are supposed to.

In one case, we had a severely disabled lady whose husband insisted she was allowed off the coach first. She also had to have first access to the bathroom but because of an issue she had needed 15 minutes on a 20 minute stop in one of the two ladies toilets!.  On that trip, we had a very good ship escort and we were approached by the shore ex manager in the evening and he asked were there issues.  They met with the couple thereafter who were very unhappy when it was suggested they did not do some of the trips they had booked and were venting in bars to anyone who would listen but they seemed to have a view it was their right to be accommodated on everything.

 

We also went on a long trip with a lady who needed a lot of help and the escort who was from the onboard shop spent the time running around after them and setting up special things for them.  However they were 15 minutes late back to the bus which annoyed everyone and we had to miss a stop so we could make a ferry element of the trip.  We did notice the husband generously (and ostentatiously) tipped the guide and the ship's escort at the end of the trip (as they are entitled to do).  Two couples on the bus who we dined with the next day told us as the missed stop had been something that mattered a lot to them, they went to the shore excursion manager to feedback but were brushed off on the basis the escort had said the trip had gone well and so she wasn't going to do anything about it,

 

To me, and I have some limitations myself, I could never take part on a trip where I think I might impact on the overall progress of the tour.  I have in the past not selected trips fearing they were too strenuous only to find they would have been fine.  I have also done some light walking ones that were anything but light.  I feel the cruise line should have far better quality information about what the challenges might be, how long between bathroom stops etc etc.  And they should be at the buses just looking out for potential issues - a wheelchair heading out for a steep cobbled trip has to be a red flag.


I have patience for a first timer who is not familiar with issues, such as cobblestones, that one might encounter in Europe. But once they have experienced them….

 

Given the original focus on fitness levels, I will concede that perhaps the hardest one for me to assess correctly is my present strength. This becomes very evident when I volunteer to help some tour member and I realize that I am not really solving the problem.

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7 hours ago, nordski said:


I have patience for a first timer who is not familiar with issues, such as cobblestones, that one might encounter in Europe. But once they have experienced them….

 

Given the original focus on fitness levels, I will concede that perhaps the hardest one for me to assess correctly is my present strength. This becomes very evident when I volunteer to help some tour member and I realize that I am not really solving the problem.

I hear you! I think it is difficult to recognize that we do not have the abilities we once had.

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The new protocols have been published in Cruise Industry News. https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/24975-azamara-announces-health-and-safety-protocols-for-return-in-august.html

 

"Guests cruising in August and beyond can expect advanced screening protocols such as fully vaccinated crew and guests, enhanced sanitation measures, and enhanced medical services, according to the company.

 

Azamara noted it will continue to evaluate these protocols and update them as public health standards and the global situation evolves."

 

 

All guests will be required to be fully vaccinated two weeks prior to sailing, as an added layer of protection to keep guests and crew safe, in addition to providing a negative SARS-CoV-2 test result. Once aboard, complimentary COVID-19 testing and medical evaluations will be available.

 

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24 minutes ago, berkshireboy said:

The new protocols have been published in Cruise Industry News. https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/24975-azamara-announces-health-and-safety-protocols-for-return-in-august.html

 

"Guests cruising in August and beyond can expect advanced screening protocols such as fully vaccinated crew and guests, enhanced sanitation measures, and enhanced medical services, according to the company.

 

Azamara noted it will continue to evaluate these protocols and update them as public health standards and the global situation evolves."

 

 

All guests will be required to be fully vaccinated two weeks prior to sailing, as an added layer of protection to keep guests and crew safe, in addition to providing a negative SARS-CoV-2 test result. Once aboard, complimentary COVID-19 testing and medical evaluations will be available.

 

Well, that’s good news and bad news. Depending on what kind of test they will except, antigen vs PCR, I may exceed the usual 72 hour limit by the time I fly overseas and spend a couple of planned days in Athens before embarkation in November.

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3 hours ago, Mackdogmolly said:

Well, that’s good news and bad news. Depending on what kind of test they will except, antigen vs PCR, I may exceed the usual 72 hour limit by the time I fly overseas and spend a couple of planned days in Athens before embarkation in November.

The same applies to us for our November cruise from Dubai. We’re having 3 nights in Dubai before the cruise. The FAQs just talk about a ‘recent’ test, no set time is given. 

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3 hours ago, Mackdogmolly said:

Well, that’s good news and bad news. Depending on what kind of test they will except, antigen vs PCR, I may exceed the usual 72 hour limit by the time I fly overseas and spend a couple of planned days in Athens before embarkation in November.

For cruises departing outside the US we normally arrive in the embarkation port 3-4 days early .  I expect that we will have to have a 2nd test in the embarkation city in order to board.  While I didn't see what type of test Azamara will require, I doubt that it will be the rapid test.   We just returned to the US from Mexico and to enter the US we needed a nasal swab test.  Fortunately the resort offered the test at no cost and we had the results in about 12 hrs.

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16 minutes ago, jelayne said:

For cruises departing outside the US we normally arrive in the embarkation port 3-4 days early .  I expect that we will have to have a 2nd test in the embarkation city in order to board.  While I didn't see what type of test Azamara will require, I doubt that it will be the rapid test.   We just returned to the US from Mexico and to enter the US we needed a nasal swab test.  Fortunately the resort offered the test at no cost and we had the results in about 12 hrs.

I hope they will be more explicit. We may need one just to enter the embarkation city and if not, would have no idea how to get one once we have arrived.

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40 minutes ago, Mackdogmolly said:

I hope they will be more explicit. We may need one just to enter the embarkation city and if not, would have no idea how to get one once we have arrived.

Perhaps they will give us a list of approved site in the embarkation city?  I really liked what American Cruiselines (I think that is the group) are doing.  They added a hotel stay pre cruise, are testing everyone then and transport you to the ship the next day.

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At the terminal, we'll continue screening measures to ensure everyone boarding the cruise, or working at the terminal, is in good health. All guest documents, including the pre-arrival Health Questionnaire and a recent negative SARS-CoV-2rapid polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)test result, will be verified. Additionally, all guests, crew, visitors and port personnel will have their temperatures taken in the terminal by trained staff using touchless, handheld thermometers. Guests and crew members with temperatures of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater will undergo a secondary screening. The secondary screening is conducted by a third-party medical professional and determines if a person is eligible to sail.

Will I have to take a SARS-CoV-2 test before I cruise? We will be guided by the local Ministry of Health to determine if SARS-CoV-2 testing will be required for guests. Closer to your sail date, we’ll provide clear direction should testing be required. Please note many governments and certain airlines require proof of a negative SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test no more than three days before entry or flight departure.

I may well be wrong, but the way I see this is that the test used to fly/ enter the port city will be sufficient to board the ship, even if arrival is several days prior to sailing.

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13 hours ago, excitedofharpenden said:

They said that further onboard protocol detail would be released with the new itinerary info and that is due today. I'm presuming thai will include shorex. 

 

Phil 

 

If it did I missed it.  Whether a cruise length Azamara bubble will be required will determine whether we will sail Azamara, or not.  A bubble prohibition against independent exploration will be a deal killer for this traveller.

Edited by flyingshoes
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24 minutes ago, Rabo said:

 

Thanks for this.  These may be very useful to have in Africa.

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16 hours ago, Rabo said:

Currently these tests are not accepted for flying into the US.  A nasal swab test is required and depending upon where you have the test done the results can take a few hours to 2 days to receive

 

The problem with the self administered tests being used as proof of not having Covid is there is no way to k ow who took the test.  Buy a test have have a family member or friend take the test and you use the results.

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17 hours ago, laurieb said:

Please note many governments and certain airlines require proof of a negative SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test no more than three days before entry or flight departure.

That test costs $250 in my area. 🙁The non rapid tests are free but take 2-4 days to get results.

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The tests are not quite that expensive in our area, but results no sooner than 24 hrs.  That makes any pre cruise travel difficult..  if I get a test on Wednesday morning, get the results Thursday morning then fly to Europe arriving Friday morning I would have to board the ship Saturday or get another test.

 

We recently cancelled a land & cruise trip because among others issues we would have had to have 4 Covid tests (3 in Europe).  Spending our pre or post cruise time looking for test sites in foreign countries didn’t sound like a vacation.

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In the UK we are not allowed to use govt provided free PCR tests as ‘free to fly’ tests. We are told we must use a privately provided PCR test which cost anything from £80 to £120. Some of these are home tests, but often include being watched on video link doing the swabs. 
One problem we have is that we will be flying into Dubai which requires a paper certificate of a negative test taken within 72 hours. They don’t accept an app or other digital certificate. There is no private provider nearer that 50 miles from us and mostly the results take up to 2 days. We will be leaving home early in the morning the day we fly to Dubai, so I think it could be very tricky ensuring we have a paper certificate of a test done in the appropriate timescale

Edited by Grandma Cruising
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10 minutes ago, jelayne said:

The tests are not quite that expensive in our area, but results no sooner than 24 hrs.  That makes any pre cruise travel difficult..  if I get a test on Wednesday morning, get the results Thursday morning then fly to Europe arriving Friday morning I would have to board the ship Saturday or get another test.

 

We recently cancelled a land & cruise trip because among others issues we would have had to have 4 Covid tests (3 in Europe).  Spending our pre or post cruise time looking for test sites in foreign countries didn’t sound like a vacation.

At present Azamara haven’t given a timescale for the test, just use the phrase recent. Let’s hope they are generous with this timescale and accept a test taken for the purpose of entering the embarkation country.

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