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joeinsb

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  1. Regarding the question about whether a doctor would be willing to sign such a form, two physicians have told me they would be unwilling to sign blanket "medically fit to travel" forms even if their patients are healthy because there are too many unknowns. I also think there are too many liability issues for doctors in such cases. One doctor said he was shocked that the Celebrity form specifically rules out people with conditions such as diabetes, cancer and HIV since many people who are being treated for those conditions travel all the time. I can understand taking drastic steps during this health crisis, but once it abates, I would hope this rule is dropped because I think seniors will have a very difficult time finding any doctor to sign such a form.
  2. I know it's hard to think about cruising right now, but I am facing a balance due date soon for a Regent cruise in the fall. We were scheduled to be on Splendor right now, but that cruise was canceled the day before we were to leave, so we would really like to take the next cruise if the health crisis has abated by then. My concern is the proposal from the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) to require all passengers 70 and older to submit a health form signed by their doctors declaring them to be "medically-fit-to-travel.'' I believe Norwegian, Celebrity and Princess went ahead and adopted such a rule earlier this month and printed actual forms that passengers needed to complete. When we were getting ready for our since-canceled cruise, Regent at that time was not requiring us to submit a physician's form, but one of the Cruise Critic posters on the Regent site said her travel agent told her that Regent would be imposing such a for all 70 and older passengers on future cruises. I have talked to my own doctor and a friend who is a doctor, and both of them said that they would never sign such a blanket "medically-fit-to-travel'' forms because there are too many unknowns in making such a definitive statement. My doctor friend said he didn't think I could ever find a physician willing to face the potential liability issues that could be involved with signing such a form. My own doctor said he would write a letter outlining the general results of my annual wellness physical, but he would not sign the form. In researching the various cruise line web sites this morning, Celebrity indicates they will at least for the time being keep the medical form requirement for passengers 70 and older once cruising resumes, but I could no longer find any reference to the physician form on the Norwegian and Princess sites, and there is still no form mentioned on the Regent site. They all say that they will be adopting more in-depth health questionnaires that all passengers will have to complete at the dock, and I am all for that plan. I just don't think it is fair to single out seniors when many of them are in better shape than younger passengers and require them to get a form signed by their doctor. As I recall Norwegian's form, which I can no longer find, was more of a general overall health statement, but the passenger's physical had to be completed within a week before the Norwegian cruise, which really seems impractical. I think Celebrity's "medically-fit-to-travel'' form, which is still on the company's web site, is particularly unfair. It flatly rules out passengers who have diabetes, HIV or cancer. My own doctor was shocked at that. He said many people, young and old, with serious health issues that are under control or are being treated travel all the time with no problems. I just worry that if the cruise industry sticks with the physician medical form, I won't be able to find any doctor to sign such a statement, and our cruising days will be over. Does anyone have any knowledge or insights into this issue? Do you think Regent will adopt such a policy, or do you think the medical form proposal will be dropped once the world's health situation improves? I am just trying to figure out if I should go ahead and make my final payment. Regent's "reassurance'' policy to offer full refunds no matter when a passenger cancels will not help me because the benefit applies only to cruises that start before Sept. 30, 2020. Our cruise would leave a few days after that.
  3. My wife and I are thinking about treating ourselves to a Haven suite to celebrate a special occasion. We would like to bring a couple of bottles of champagne on board to enjoy strictly in our stateroom. If I am reading Norwegian's alcohol policy correctly, there is no limit on the number of bottles we can take onto the ship, but we will be required to pay a per-bottle fee for them even if they will never leave our suite. Is that true? If so, how is that fee charged? Do they charge you when you go through security? How does that work since you haven't yet checked in with your crddit card. Do they confiscate the bottles and then give them back to you after you check in. We have never sailed on Norwegian, so I am just curious how the system works. I certainly don't want to inconvenience my fellow passengers by holding up the line at security while I am paying for a couple of bottles of champagne. Any insights would be appreciated.
  4. Thanks so much for the info. We were there in late Oct., so that was the Coast Guard inspection of the Bliss. It was an amazing line. I'm glad to know that was not an unusual situation.
  5. I am considering a Norwegian Haven suite. Recently when I went on a Celebrity cruise in Los Angeles, a Norwegian ship was docked nearby, and I have never seen such a long line ouside the terminal on the sidewalk. There were no lines on the sidewalk for the Celebrity ship, just manageable check-in lines inside the terminal. What gives with the very long line on the sidewalk outside the Norwegian terminal? Is there a separate terminal entrance for Haven guests, or is there simply a separate Haven check-in line once you get through that long line outside the terminal. Any insights on the Haven check-in issues would be appreciated.
  6. My wife and I will be sailing to Hawaii on Eclipse in late October. Depending on how the games go, the World Series may still be going on after we sail. If you have been on a cruise when the World Series was on, did the ship provide the broadcast? We have watched the Super Bowl on a cruise, but we have never been onnoard during the World Series.
  7. Viking Ocean's web site says the Silver Spirits beverage package excludes champagne. Are any sparkling wines, such as prosecco, included in the package?
  8. To celebrate our 50th anniversary, my wife and I are treating ourselves to back-to-back seven-day cruises in asky suite on Edge in March. One cruise does the eastern Caribbean, and the other the western route, so they are different cruises. I have read that Luminae rotates its menus every 14 days, but I would like to know if the restaurant will have the same seven-day series of menus on both of our cruises. We are trying to decide on which days we might want to try one of the specialty restaurants. Also, we wanted to try the special dinner on the edge on one evening on one of our two cruises. I have heard that dinner is offered only once on each cruise. Does anyone know which evening features that special dinner? I cannot find any info on the Celebrity web site or app on how to make reservations in advance for that dinner. Must reservations be made on board? Thanks for any information you all can share.
  9. Thanks to everyone for all of the excellent info you provided.
  10. We will be boarding Crystal Serenity in a couple of weeks, and it has been two years since we last sailed on that line, so I don't remember much about the wines they served (perhaps because Crystal is so generous with its wine service), but I would appreciate hearing any thoughts from recent Crystal cruisers on the complimentary wines and champagnes the cruise line is currently serving. We love champagne, and I'm curious what the "house" champagne is these days? We also do not much care for California chardonnays (we like the ones from France and Italy), and we are particularly fond of New Zealand sauvignon blancs, Austrian whites and Italian reds. Any insights on those types of wine? Even though we live in California, we rarely drink wines grown in our state, not because they aren't well made. It is because they have become very high in alcohol. When we first started drinking California wines 50 years ago, they generally were around 12.5 percent alcohol; now many of them are pushing 15 percent, and we find that they not only make you more inebriated, they totally overwhelm the food your eating with those very hot wines. As any math expert will tell you, the difference between a 12-percent wine and the 15-percent variety is about 25 percent more alcohol, not 3 percent higher. We met a California vintner on a cruise once, and when we asked him why the state's wines are so high in alcohol these days, he first said that was because of the California weather, but when we challenged that (we know alcohol content is not just based on weather, but on when you pick your grapes), he got a little testy and said, "Look you boomers aren't going to drink any more than you already do. We have to go after younger drinkers, and they want a glass of wine to have a very bold taste like a cocktail. We call it the Red Bull effect.'' Any information on Crystal's current complimentary wine list would be appreciated. I know we can just wait until we board the ship, but part of the fun of cruising for us is to enjoy the anticipation phase of the journey by thinking about what we plan to do on Serenity, and that includes lots of wining and dining.
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