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Everything posted by CDNPolar

  1. Very sorry for you to be experiencing this, and of course for you Dad to be going through this. What @iamtrustworthy said, but you should (IMO) be covered in the way you have described the chain of events. The one thing that I would suggest is that you will need doctor/hospital reports, letters, diagnosis, etc. Start to collect these kinds of things. At least keep track of the doctors that you have seen and the dates. What was the first symptom, was it a family doctor, what was the referral process, etc. Your insurance when you start the claim may ask for their specific forms to be completed by the doctor, or they may take reports signed by the doctor. We had to collect a lot of this information for a cancellation claim, and we also had to pay a few hundred dollars for some forms to be completed by the doctors. Our insurance claim started with - on the insurance company request - on a report from our family physician that first noticed an abnormality in blood work and then there were several doctors after that and they wanted an accounting of all the appointments and tests to the diagnosis.
  2. I personally think that a Caribbean cruise is a great way to start. That was my first cruise - Western Caribbean. As we were coming out of Covid and wanted desperately to cruise we did a Panama Canal partial crossing out of Ft. Lauderdale returning to Ft. Lauderdale. You probably won't see us on another Caribbean cruise soon but that is just preference for us. I am not saying that there is nothing to do or see with some Caribbean islands, but we in general are not "warm or hot weather people". We are just more focused on Europe and the APAC region now in our interests. Look carefully at the solo charges by cruise line. They can be massively different. Look also at the areas of some ships that are adult only and what the cost is for you to be able to stay in or access these areas. Some are premium fare for adult only areas. Exciting for you to be planning this. We are such "cruise people" and so many of our friends have never been on a cruise and for some reason very negatively doubtful that they would ever enjoy one.... but they have never tried one.
  3. I like "wild guesser" and will steal that... I just replace "Man" or "Woman" now with person because it works for every human on the planet unless one day we have people identifying as "non-human".
  4. True, but I have spent a lot of time there in restaurants, my Boss is South African (but now lives in UK) and I have picked up many terms from him including some in Afrikaans. I have a good friend that was in Canada but now is back in SA and never heard this from her and I am constantly asking her - what is that word.... what does that mean? Interesting. I love culture and the differences especially with language and what we call things. I think my most interesting education with that has been with the Aussies that I work with.
  5. I have not been in the practice of reading the PCC with every cruise booked. Silly me to not think that there could be a separate document version as time goes on and each booking is made. We receive the US Terms and Conditions document - I assume identical because the title of the document is actually "US Terms and Conditions" but we have a Canadian Addendum at the very bottom. I don't think that there are any specific "Canadian" differences anywhere else in the document. 33. CANADIANADDENDUM. a. Amendments-Residents of Canada. For residents of Canada, we may modify in whole or in part this Passenger Ticket Contract at any time. In the event this Passenger Ticket Contract is amended, suspended or changed, we will provide at least 30 days written notice before the amendment comes into effect, setting out the new clause, or the amended clause and how it read formerly, and the date on which the change will come into effect. You may refuse the amendment and rescind this Passenger Ticket Contract without cost, penalty or cancellation indemnity, by sending us notice to that effect no later than 30 days after the amendment comes into force, at the address or email address indicated in the notice. b. Carrier Liability, Choice of Law and Forum-Residents of Quebec. For individual residents of Quebec, our responsibility as the Carrier for death, injury, illness, damage, delay or other loss to person or property of any kind suffered by you or any of the other Passengers in your party shall be governed, in the first instance, by the Athens Convention, with protocols and amendments as adopted by Canada, and, as applicable, by those other and further limitations of liability set forth in the statutory maritime and general laws of Quebec and Canada, as the law governing this Passenger Ticket Contract. Any dispute arising out of or in connection with this Passenger Ticket Contract may be determined by the courts of the City of Montreal in the Province of Quebec.
  6. We just use Apple iPhone Notes and have a shared Note between us where we list the following: Then I have a separate Shared Note that I track every continent, country, and city visited, but this is not by cruise itinerary. These are always my goto for remembering what and when...
  7. Have been to SA and work with SA daily remotely. Have never heard this term. Frankly in the world of gender fluidity now, I have abandoned any other term other than "server" as that can cross any pronoun. That is typically what we call them in Canada.
  8. This was an interesting concept to me so I did some fast research yesterday. I am also talking Canada requirements so they could be different in the USA. 1) I would have to pass an exam first 2) If I wanted to be completely independent, there would be huge upfront costs which would negate my commissions for years based on our cruising frequency. 3) An agency would probably not bring me in just to book my own cruises, and even if they did, a portion of the commission would go to them. I am a few years - or less - from retirement and I thought what a great way to keep occupied. Study, take the exam, and be my own TA. The fact is that the cost to do so is not worth it and if this was so simple, then we would all do it.
  9. Welcome to Cruise Critic and WELCOME to Cruising! I hope you love it and hope that it is a great celebration for you! We may not be the norm, but we plan up to 2-3 years out. We map out the areas of the world that we want to see and then start to book as much as 18+ months out. Why 18+ months out? We cruise - so far - only on Viking River and Ocean. We also book the lowest category of cabin on a Viking River or Ocean ship because other than location of the cabin, all else is pretty much the same. To get these cabins, we have found that we must book as much as 18 months out. There is a lot of discussion on Cruise Critic about using a Travel Agent. I encourage you to search for and read these discussions. There are many. As someone new to cruising, you may want to find a TA that specializes in cruising that could help you. You may get a deal through them too. (Not all TA's have deals on fares or give credits on board). We book direct with the cruise line and then transfer to a TA to get the credit on board. We know what we are booking so we do the pre-work ourselves and book direct and then transfer. Good luck with this and be sure to ask lots of questions. Once you find a cruise line, port of departure, or ship you are interested in, start to read those forums and post your questions there for better insights. Our November River cruise this year was booked 14 months out. Our March 2025 cruise was booked 18 months out. We even have an April 2026 cruise booked at this point. I think your planning time also depends on what cruise line and where you want to go. Do you want a Caribbean cruise or a Mediterranean Cruise. Do you want a cruise around Japan? So much to choose from, but you will find some itineraries are booked out much further in advance than others.
  10. Exactly what @Host Jazzbeau says. Our friend travelling with her 18 year old Granddaughter tried several times pre-cruise to convince them that she should be able to buy it and Viking was just not "buying it". (Pun intended) Once she was onboard, they went to Guest Services together, the Granddaughter with ID in hand, and requested and exception to the policy. I believe that they brought in the Food and Beverage manager and he then allowed the purchase for our friend. This happened on embarkation day. Think you will be fine. I also think that there will be a note on your account that every server will see that your Sis is underage and not eligible for the SSBP because typically when you give your cabin number both are automatically assumed to be eligible.
  11. Not sure I would buy Viking stock. If the company goes the way we expect after the IPO we may not continue to sail with them. I think if I bought stock, I would want to be a loyal customer.
  12. Yeah - I agree with this scenario as you may choose NOT to book anything else... I also have found after many Viking cruises, having refunds, cancelations of things paid for, and vouchers, that the Viking accounting system is very "robotic" and strict. What we think would be a simple - give us an OBC - is not simple in Viking's accounting process. You seem to always have to wait for a process to happen.
  13. I think that 12 weeks is sufficient, or certainly hope it would be. Get all the paperwork in advance and have ALL the information that they will need so that you are not struggling to get that in that 12 week period. Then you can submit immediately on your return. We got our last 10 year Chinese Visa through the Bank of China in Canada. It was a simple process working with them and we could do it in person. You will likely have to do yours by mail which is why I suggest that you know and understand their application process and the information needed before you start. You don't want to find out that you are declined because something was missing on the application. You may be better to work through a service that will guide you. I found this service that has a page for TN. I don't know them nor endorse them, I just found them in a Google search. https://www.chinaentryvisa.com/en/visa/2615
  14. We just experienced based on another discussion somewhere that a US customer paid $600 USD pp and we are paying 799 CAD pp. Reasonable exchange US to CAD. We looked and now the cost to add this same pre-extension in CAD is $1,299.00 pp. We have not received any indication that the price went up on our invoice. Here is all I can find in the Passenger Contract that is sent with your invoice when you pay your deposit. . SURCHARGES. We reserve the right to, and you expressly agree we may, impose surcharges in addition to the Invoice Fare, based on our fuel costs, the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and other currencies, our cost of airfare, fees and taxes imposed upon us by governmental or quasi-governmental agencies, or other unforeseen circumstances, subject, in each case, to compliance with all applicable laws. These surcharges to the Invoice Fare may be imposed at our discretion in any amount and utilizing any methodology of our choosing. We agree to provide you with a written list of any surcharges to the Invoice Fare no later than 30 days before your date of embarkation, and you expressly agree to pay such surcharges before your date of embarkation. In the event that the total of all surcharges exceeds 5% of your Invoice Fare, then you may, within 7 days of our sending you a list of surcharges, elect to cancel your cruise, and we agree to apply no cancellation fees with respect to your cruise, including any Optional Shore Excursions you may have booked. Any cruise booked less than 30 days before the date of embarkation will not be subject to surcharge. Technically this could be a Surcharge? In my opinion, this is not a good business practice by Viking. On the pre-excursion we booked, we get: * 2 breakfasts * 1 day tour * Pick up from Airport * 2 nights hotel * Transportation to ship If they had a block of rooms at the hotel, I fail to see how the cost could have gone from $799 CAD pp to $1,299 CAD pp. If we got that increase in an invoice we would just cancel the pre-excursion. Reading the passenger contract opened my eyes to a few clauses that kind of surprised me. I have skimmed it before, but I am going to read and make notes now.
  15. I know that you are looking for @FlyerTalker to respond... We all want a deal and the best price or lowest miles possible, but when we book we select what we feel is the best deal that day, or we watch for a few days, but once we book, we don't look back. I never want to have remorse thinking that if I had waited I would have saved $$ or miles. I have a friend that constantly surfs all these sites looking for the best deal and he holds out so long he usually ends up paying more than the deal he could have had in the first search. He will only admit that quietly on the side....
  16. OMG! We will be flying out of Budapest in December! We will definitely look for this! Thanks for sharing. Crap, just remembered our flight is at 6:30am. Well, it might be open.
  17. Don't know about the Bon Voyage gift, but it would amaze me if Viking blocked that because you are sharing a cabin with your sister. We travel on Viking often with a friend that once travelled with her underage granddaughter and she was able to buy the SSBP but only after she boarded the ship and it was okay'd by a manger. You should be able to get the package if you want it but not until you are on the ship.
  18. Welcome to Cruise Critic! A few questions.... Where do you reside and what citizenship are you now? Personally I would contact your nearest Chinese Consulate and ask for their advice. There are many different methods of securing a Chinese Visa but some do require you to part with your current valid passport for weeks after submission. I think that our passports were gone for 6 weeks. Also note that the Chinese Visa is affixed in your physical passport and so if your passport is soon to expire, it can also be suggested to renew your passport before getting the Visa.
  19. In my interview for renewal, the US CBP questioned me about several ports that were cruise ship ports in the APAC region. I was surprised that they had all this information, because they were all cruise ship ports, but they did. My understanding is that disembark or not, you visited that country.
  20. First, I am not questioning your medical conditions and don't know your insurance policy language, but this is my experience. In the Canadian insurance policies anything that you are taking a medication for or are receiving treatment for could be considered a pre-existing condition no matter how long you have had the medical condition. In most cases diabetes is not one of these unless your diabetes is not well managed. For instance, if you are on a beta blocker for your heart, and you have been stable for 3 years with no issues, no medication changes, etc., then you are stable and good to go. No worries here. However if your doc changes the medication, or now is recommending a Holter Monitor even as a routine follow up test, this now changes you - in most insurance - to an unstable pre-existing condition and you must conform to the stability period of 3 months or 6 months after the test or the medication change. Even if you expect the Holter Monitor to deliver a stable outcome and it may well do, just the fact that this test was ordered changes your status from stable to unstable and you are now subject to satisfying the stability period again. This is how it is in the Canadian insurance companies and I believe that it is the same with American insurance too. Most folks don't recognize that even a reduction of medication dose, or a stoppage of medication changes that status from stable to unstable.
  21. I am pretty sure with Viking it is 60 days.
  22. Thank you @FlyerTalker as I have learned so much from your explanations. You have a great way of explaining these things in easy to understand terms. I work with a lot of online platforms (not travel related) that the pricing algorithms are so complicated that move with the time of day and the volume and the fees you are paying and so many elements that they are almost impossible to explain. This should be required reading for anyone using Viking Air in MVJ.
  23. Oh, and no offence to rubber lovers. I don’t discriminate any group and their likes.
  24. Lobster is good, no doubt, but I don't know that it is that amazing to me to get all excited about. I would be just as happy with any well cooked meal. For me lobster is a feast where you are not just having a tail cut in half, but you have a plastic tub of whole lobsters on a paper lined table, crackers, picks and all the tools, put on a bib and get down to business.
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