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Azamara excursions with a maximum age 70 rule


Cruizer Diana
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I'm not sure whether it was this thread or another, but a poster recently mentioned American Cruise Lines (coincidentally our first introduction to cruising) providing a pre-cruise night and testing prior to boarding their cruises.

However, although I could find the above information yesterday, it seems to have been changed. The company does still offer a pre-cruise night along with some local exploration and transport to the ship, but no mention of testing.

It does appear that very recently the line now requires full vaccination prior to cruising, which has caught a number of people out at extremely short notice.

 

Regardless of the changes above, given the number of international travelers on ocean cruises, and the length of travel time from home country prior to boarding, one wonders whether as this problem becomes apparent to other cruise lines, they may also provide the same, or similar, even just letting cruisers know where they may be able to have a repeat test done in the embarkation city if a mandatory number of hours have elapsed since their pre-departure test. (ours would most likely have been at least 96 hours prior to embarkation)

 

** It seems several of us have deviated from the original topic, which only registered with me after posting in response to previous entries. So please accept my apologies.

Edited by Baynanno1
apology for deviation from subject
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I know the American Queen Steamboat river cruise company has included a pre hotel night and hop on buses for a number of years. They’ve restarted sailing in April and one feature is everyone gets tested (at the lines expense) in a room at the hotel just after hotel check in and are sent the results overnight. Seems to be working well and no reports of anyone being denied boarding due to a positive result.  From 1 July they insist all guests are fully vaccinated 

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Over 70 is not dead.   Guess Azamara doesn’t want my business.  If they offered a variety of excursions in different difficulty levels, older folks including me might sail on Azamara.  There are lots of other vacation options.   Next cruise, not Azamara

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7 hours ago, Redtravel said:

Over 70 is not dead.   Guess Azamara doesn’t want my business.  If they offered a variety of excursions in different difficulty levels, older folks including me might sail on Azamara.  There are lots of other vacation options.   Next cruise, not Azamara

They do.  It was only certain excursions (snorkeling etc)  that are restricted to under 70.  I agree with others ...if your over 70 and want to participate in more strenous excursions then arrange for a private tour.

Edited by Leo_On_Geo
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On 5/18/2021 at 4:09 AM, Leo_On_Geo said:

They do.  It was only certain excursions (snorkeling etc)  that are restricted to under 70.  I agree with others ...if your over 70 and want to participate in more strenous excursions then arrange for a private tour.

I'm the OP. I was prompted to start this thread because we are booked on a Caribbean cruise in November on Azamara. We visit St Barths on a SUNDAY. Only private charters can be arranged on Sunday in St Barths. We visited that island in 2011 on Azamara and found very few businesses open to cruisers and very little interest in taxi service to cruisers. We have friends who were refused taxi service to get back to the ship and had to walk on a very dangerous road for many miles in the hot sun.

 

We book private excursions 95% of the time on cruises, but sometimes the cruise line offers an opportunity you can't get on your own. We are scheduled to be at St Barths for 12 hours. At the time we booked, it appeared that we were to be limited to a cruise ship "bubble"/excursions. Among the exciting Azamara excursions on St Barths was a quick panoramic drive, a 1.5  hour sail on a catamaran, or a 2 hour snorkel excursion. The only interesting excursion was the snorkeling--- with the age limitation. By the way, snorkeling isn't scuba diving, which is an entirely different risk factor. 

 

Yes, we will figure something out, but if Azamara calls on a port on a Sunday, that shuts down on Sundays, and does not want cruiser business, the least they can do is offer some excursions that are more strenuous than boarding a bus or catamaran and sit quietly for two hours. 

 

And, yes, if allowed by the protocols, we will arrange for serious snorkeling excursions in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao--including our favorite three-stop snorkel in Aruba and a drift snorkel in Bonaire. Just hate to waste a 12-hour port call.

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I'm so glad I saw this thread. I like to take ship-sponsored snorkeling excursions for the ease and for the assurance of not being left behind if the excursion is late getting back. Since I'm 73, I guess I will not be sailing with Azamara (which I had been seriously considering right up until I read this thread). One of the main reasons I cruise in the tropics (Caribbean, South Pacific) is to snorkel.  Snorkeling is as strenuous as you want it to be. Personally, I'm what you might call a "dead body" snorkeler. I just float around on the surface scoping everything out. It's not strenuous. Arguably the hardest part is getting in and out of the boat, and that's not really that hard either. I find it kind of unbelievable that there's a 70 year age restriction for this activity.

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47 minutes ago, avalong said:

I'm so glad I saw this thread. I like to take ship-sponsored snorkeling excursions for the ease and for the assurance of not being left behind if the excursion is late getting back. Since I'm 73, I guess I will not be sailing with Azamara (which I had been seriously considering right up until I read this thread). One of the main reasons I cruise in the tropics (Caribbean, South Pacific) is to snorkel.  Snorkeling is as strenuous as you want it to be. Personally, I'm what you might call a "dead body" snorkeler. I just float around on the surface scoping everything out. It's not strenuous. Arguably the hardest part is getting in and out of the boat, and that's not really that hard either. I find it kind of unbelievable that there's a 70 year age restriction for this activity.

Azamara is not the only cruise line where we have found the 70 age restriction; not just for snorkeling but also for some biking,  kayaking and others excursions with a lot of stair climbing and heights.  We have also encountered private tour operators who have age restrictions, it is generally a requirement in order for the tour operator to maintain their insurance.  

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57 minutes ago, avalong said:

I'm so glad I saw this thread. I like to take ship-sponsored snorkeling excursions for the ease and for the assurance of not being left behind if the excursion is late getting back. Since I'm 73, I guess I will not be sailing with Azamara (which I had been seriously considering right up until I read this thread). One of the main reasons I cruise in the tropics (Caribbean, South Pacific) is to snorkel.  Snorkeling is as strenuous as you want it to be. Personally, I'm what you might call a "dead body" snorkeler. I just float around on the surface scoping everything out. It's not strenuous. Arguably the hardest part is getting in and out of the boat, and that's not really that hard either. I find it kind of unbelievable that there's a 70 year age restriction for this activity.

I was curious, so I checked the "Red Sea Snorkel Adventure" on my Nov. cruise.  There are no age restrictions listed.  I do see the age restrictions in the St. Bart's tour as you describe.  This suggest to me that it is the tour provider that determines the age restriction for their liability, and NOT Azamara.  

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2 minutes ago, jelayne said:

Azamara is not the only cruise line where we have found the 70 age restriction; not just for snorkeling but also for some biking,  kayaking and others excursions with a lot of stair climbing and heights.  We have also encountered private tour operators who have age restrictions, it is generally a requirement in order for the tour operator to maintain their insurance.  

Yes, some cruise lines do have a 70 age restriction. HAL (older average age than Azamara) does not offer bicycling, but do offer kayaking and snorkeling and only ask you to complete a health questionnaire to participate in those. They do often have a weight restriction on the kayaking. But, the day we are in St Barts, I can go on a scenic boat trip and swim from the boat (area is without the fish and coral I want to see) with no age restriction, but can't snorkel. I am also a "dead body" snorkeler (just like jelayne), as are 95-99% of all of the snorkelers I've seen over the many years I've snorkeled. Almost no-one on a ship's snorkeling excursion would actually dive under, hold their breath, and swim for a distance underwater. It's just a hypothetical risk. It just isn't more dangerous or strenuous than taking a swim from a boat.

 

I suspect Azamara's insurer is unnecessarily risk adverse. Perhaps they should require a swim test before getting into the water, because I suspect most of us old folks can swim better than the 10-12 year olds who are allowed to participate.

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38 minutes ago, Leo_On_Geo said:

I was curious, so I checked the "Red Sea Snorkel Adventure" on my Nov. cruise.  There are no age restrictions listed.  I do see the age restrictions in the St. Bart's tour as you describe.  This suggest to me that it is the tour provider that determines the age restriction for their liability, and NOT Azamara.  

You could be right on this. I couldn't find the provider's (most likely Plongee Caraibes Catamaran Blue Cat) page of limitations. I've just never encountered this situation before--ships' tour or private excursion. Sad that the provider they use has this limitation.

 

If so, my beef would be the lack of ship's tour options if we are required to stick with their excursions. Unless the protocols or tour offerings are changed before November, there will be very few options in all ports-especially in St Barths.

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20 minutes ago, Cruizer Diana said:

 

If so, my beef would be the lack of ship's tour options if we are required to stick with their excursions. Unless the protocols or tour offerings are changed before November, there will be very few options in all ports-especially in St Barths.

Sorry  for your dissappointment but again that may be out of Azamara's control.  Tour operators may have limited options on Sunday.  I know the dissappointment, but I have found that Sundays and even Saturdays are slow in many countries.  On  a Saturday in Thursday Island Australia, I got into town around 10 AM to explore only to learn the entire the town shut down at 1 PM. 

That said excursions are often added or dropped up until the port arrival.  If you contact Azamara ShoreEX perhaps they might be able to offer another suggestion. Also when you board you certainly would be able to get help arranging other options.

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3 hours ago, Leo_On_Geo said:

I was curious, so I checked the "Red Sea Snorkel Adventure" on my Nov. cruise.  There are no age restrictions listed.  I do see the age restrictions in the St. Bart's tour as you describe.  This suggest to me that it is the tour provider that determines the age restriction for their liability, and NOT Azamara.  

That's encouraging. I am deeply envious that you are snorkeling the Red Sea. It's supposed to be absolutely spectacular.

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Hypothetical, but having dealt with construction projects funded by the State and by the NY Archdiocese as well as my own personal ones, I know that these governmental group demand much more stringent insurance than I would think of asking for on my own projects.  That may be why the same provider can accommodate older guests on their private tours but not on their ship excursions.

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9 hours ago, avalong said:

That's encouraging. I am deeply envious that you are snorkeling the Red Sea. It's supposed to be absolutely spectacular.

Yes, and  I guarantee that  skorkeling will much less strenuous than the walk back from Petra I did  seven years ago.  No age restrictions there!

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I've been gazing into the future, and found a Quest sailing from Perth to Hong Kong in Feb., 2023.  And, I was delighted to see the bicycle excursion which is offered by Azamara from Hoi An.  No restrictions!  "Guests must know how to ride a bicycle."  All right, that's a go!  And then, I read "Unfold your lightweight bike and ride through the rustic village..."  

Those bicycles were jettisoned a few years ago, so, this excursion is doubtful.  I trust I'll still be biking around my neighborhood in two years time, and I expect the shore excursions for this sailing will be amended to reflect whatever restrictions persist.   

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  • 8 months later...

I am on the Adriatic coast cruise in April and was about to book the cycling excursion in Kotor but realised I cant as there is a maximum age limit of 65 and my partner is over that age. 65 is a very low bar on what is described as a moderately active excursion. I find it hard to understand.

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9 hours ago, mappyuk said:

I am on the Adriatic coast cruise in April and was about to book the cycling excursion in Kotor but realised I cant as there is a maximum age limit of 65 and my partner is over that age. 65 is a very low bar on what is described as a moderately active excursion. I find it hard to understand.

The age limitation on a cycling tour bothers my 75-year-old husband who cycles at least 6 out of 7 days a week an average of 20 miles each time on one of his 3 bikes.

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On 5/23/2021 at 2:28 AM, Cruizer Diana said:

I'm the OP. I was prompted to start this thread because we are booked on a Caribbean cruise in November on Azamara. We visit St Barths on a SUNDAY. Only private charters can be arranged on Sunday in St Barths. We visited that island in 2011 on Azamara and found very few businesses open to cruisers and very little interest in taxi service to cruisers. We have friends who were refused taxi service to get back to the ship and had to walk on a very dangerous road for many miles in the hot sun.

 

We book private excursions 95% of the time on cruises, but sometimes the cruise line offers an opportunity you can't get on your own. We are scheduled to be at St Barths for 12 hours. At the time we booked, it appeared that we were to be limited to a cruise ship "bubble"/excursions. Among the exciting Azamara excursions on St Barths was a quick panoramic drive, a 1.5  hour sail on a catamaran, or a 2 hour snorkel excursion. The only interesting excursion was the snorkeling--- with the age limitation. By the way, snorkeling isn't scuba diving, which is an entirely different risk factor. 

 

Yes, we will figure something out, but if Azamara calls on a port on a Sunday, that shuts down on Sundays, and does not want cruiser business, the least they can do is offer some excursions that are more strenuous than boarding a bus or catamaran and sit quietly for two hours. 

 

And, yes, if allowed by the protocols, we will arrange for serious snorkeling excursions in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao--including our favorite three-stop snorkel in Aruba and a drift snorkel in Bonaire. Just hate to waste a 12-hour port call.

With a 12 hour port call, for Azamara to only offer 1-2 hours excursions it's hardly the immersion experience that they promise cruising with them will give you. To call at a port that will offer only the basics to disembarking visitors on a Sunday is poor planning. And with a good number of their clientele on the more mature side, to offer activities that many can be excluded from (without alternatives just as appealing) it is sure to alienate some from doing extra cruises with them.

I am all for inclusivity and believe that the cruise line should do more if there are people who may have disabilities or minor health issues, to make sure they along with everyone else, gets to experience the best time. But our fellow cruisers also need to be, at times, less selfish. 

For those about to cruise, may you have an extremely enjoyable time.

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Also had the same issues on a Australia trip. I'm 72, do spinning classes 5 days a week. Still play singles tennis, hike, ski, etc. Snorkeling excursion had a limit of 65 years of age. There were independent excursions that had no issue. 

 

The other side of this is I have been on excursions where the patron was clearly unable to keep up with the group making it a poor experience for all. I don't know how they can screen these people out when they have unrealistic beliefs of their ability to participate in active excursions. Age is easy but is not meaningful when physical conditioning varies so widely.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Agree it’s a bit nuts. My partner is 76. I’m 63. He is WAY fitter than I. 

Edited by lahore
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I have been through the Bicycle Excursion Battles on Azamara, necessitating the engagement of then CBO Bonnie.  She intervened and we eventually were permitted to purchase (and enjoy) the bike tours, but there was a LOT of negotiating before mounting up.

Facing the same situation for our 2023 cruises.  I am considered too elderly or unfit to book these tours for the first of our B2B voyages, but the age proscription doesn't exist for the second cruise.  Happily, I've applied OBC to several bike tours and am looking forward to them.

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On 2/10/2022 at 7:44 PM, mappyuk said:

I am on the Adriatic coast cruise in April and was about to book the cycling excursion in Kotor but realised I cant as there is a maximum age limit of 65 and my partner is over that age. 65 is a very low bar on what is described as a moderately active excursion. I find it hard to understand.

Not sure if you know Kotor which is very compact and you can walk around it in 30 mins. Assume you were hoping to cycle outside the town itself?

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On 5/8/2021 at 12:46 AM, 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.

Re your last sentence, 20 press ups should do it! 

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There was no age limit on a volcano hike at Parque Nacional de Timanfaya, Lanzarote, but Shorex personnel did try to talk me out of it. I was closer to 72 than 71 at the time.

 

I did not cancel and appeared to be fitter than some younger people on the small group tour who did not cope very well with the somewhat challenging terrain, lagging well behind both ascending to and descending from the rim of a crater.

 

Unfortunately there is still a perception that age significantly decreases ability and fitness in all.

 

It would be interesting to know the reasoning behind the age limit on a bike tour.

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