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The new medically-fit-to travel forms for passengers 70 and older

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Posted (edited)

And what stops someone from filling it out themselves rather than potentially losing a $40K cruise?

 

I am not suggesting this as a course of action  but pointing out that without verification it is nothing more than a piece of paper.

Edited by Pcardad

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25 minutes ago, Pcardad said:

And what stops someone from filling it out themselves rather than potentially losing a $40K cruise?

 

I am not suggesting this as a course of action  but pointing out that without verification it is nothing more than a piece of paper.

You are correct and this is true in many cases.  They might realize this and require a statement on Doctor's stationary including the Doctor's license information but, that too can be spoofed.  No real good answer and keeping this requirement will be just another disaster for all cruise lines.

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It would be hard to find information more recent than the information sent to us this week about boarding our "almost cancelled" cruise in May. Doctor's note not mentioned at all - only the passenger filling out a health questionnaire.

 

 It seems as if this is a voluntary requirement rather than a mandated requirement.  Again, at least for Regent, the plan to submit doctor's notes/forms did not take effect.  We received a letter from Regent on 3/10 or 3/11 stating that it was going to be implemented (but our cruise was exempt).  All cruises were canceled on 3/13 - before it took effect.  

 

Since things change on a daily (or hourly) basis, I hope that passengers with upcoming cruises will continue to post the latest information put out by Regent.   It would be easy to believe that Regent I requiring these forms since there was not an official letter stating that this would not be the case.  

 

Obviously, it is difficult to know what to believe.  For now, my only source of information is from Regent through our TA.  For me, it is not helpful to know what other cruise lines are doing - unless is is mandated by CLIA.

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18 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

It would be hard to find information more recent than the information sent to us this week about boarding our "almost cancelled" cruise in May. Doctor's note not mentioned at all - only the passenger filling out a health questionnaire.

 

 It seems as if this is a voluntary requirement rather than a mandated requirement.  Again, at least for Regent, the plan to submit doctor's notes/forms did not take effect.  We received a letter from Regent on 3/10 or 3/11 stating that it was going to be implemented (but our cruise was exempt).  All cruises were canceled on 3/13 - before it took effect.  

 

Since things change on a daily (or hourly) basis, I hope that passengers with upcoming cruises will continue to post the latest information put out by Regent.   It would be easy to believe that Regent I requiring these forms since there was not an official letter stating that this would not be the case.  

 

Obviously, it is difficult to know what to believe.  For now, my only source of information is from Regent through our TA.  For me, it is not helpful to know what other cruise lines are doing - unless is is mandated by CLIA.

Well, yes, was mandated by CLIA in an agreement with the US Corona Task Board and Vice President Pence.  Only considering information from Regent or your TA can be extremely dangerous as these issues are universal and what occurs with one cruise line or CLIA will eventually be applicable to all cruise lines.

 

This was proposed and agreed by the Cruise Lines International Association(CLIA). It’s members are shown here https://cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-lines. There are a lot of them, including P &O, Cunard, Oceania, Windstar, Virgin, Saga & many others.

Here’s an article about how this came about https://nypost.com/2020/03/12/leading-cruise-ship-group-wants-to-ban-passengers-under-70-without-doctors-note/

The letter is specific to COVID-19, so hopefully once this current pandemic is over (whenever that is) it will be discontinued.

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2 hours ago, rallydave said:

Well, yes, was mandated by CLIA in an agreement with the US Corona Task Board and Vice President Pence.  Only considering information from Regent or your TA can be extremely dangerous as these issues are universal and what occurs with one cruise line or CLIA will eventually be applicable to all cruise lines.

 

This was proposed and agreed by the Cruise Lines International Association(CLIA). It’s members are shown here https://cruising.org/cruise-vacationer/cruise-lines. There are a lot of them, including P &O, Cunard, Oceania, Windstar, Virgin, Saga & many others.

Here’s an article about how this came about https://nypost.com/2020/03/12/leading-cruise-ship-group-wants-to-ban-passengers-under-70-without-doctors-note/

The letter is specific to COVID-19, so hopefully once this current pandemic is over (whenever that is) it will be discontinued.

 

Presumably the proposal was made by CLIA in order to avoid the cruise-lines being closed down completely.

In the event this proposal was obviously deemed to not go far enough as the following day CLIA cruise lines voluntarily* suspended cruise ship operations (from U.S. ports of call) for 30 days.

 

* I suspect the word 'voluntarily' is somewhat contrived. I wonder if CLIA's agreement was based on promises of Government support, which has not materialised?

 

In hindsight the timing of the suspension of operations by most ships was not a moment too soon; albeit the abruptness caused anguish and abortive travel for many customers.

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The New York Post article was dated prior to the cruise lines cancelling all cruises on March 13th.  This is what I mean about things changing quickly.   Regent's communication to us was this past week and it was specific about us (passengers) filling out a medical questionnaire prior to boarding.  Could it change again?  Obviously!  However, in the U.S., this is a discriminatory policy.   If cruise lines want to impose this restriction on everyone - there is no problem - you just cannot target seniors as they are a "protected" group.   

 

I am fairly certain that there is no way on earth that the government of the United States would promise anything to CLIA since they know that cruise lines are not eligible for bail-outs, etc.  However, the government could certainly have given substantial reasons (saving lives for instance) for shutting down cruise for 30 days.

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I could be quite controversial but I have seen this coming for a while now, irrespective of the covid-19 crisis. On some of our cruises at the muster drill you realise how unfit/ ill a number of passengers are.. They find not using the lifts a challenge in daylight, ship not listing or rolling and the stairs are difficult to negotiate.

Other medical conditions despite the doctor/ nurse being brilliant and the facilities on a small ship top class you realise how limited they are for a serious condition. I had the misfortune of being unwell on the Navigator 4 years ago was superbly treated but even 10 unwell would swamp their resources / possibility to cope.

Therefore ships maybe have to have a more rebust medical screening in place, even if this affects the 70's or older age group demographics of some of the passengers.

Post covid it will be a different world with different rules, if you are not fit to travel Regent will not take the risk.

 

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Posted (edited)

I think if you are "not fit to travel" Regent will introduce mitigating factors to allow you to cruise anyway or a substantial portion of their target market is gone. I suggest that those passengers (mobility issues as you mentioned) who travel with a caregiver are fine to travel in most circumstances. There is precedence for this with Regent already...specifically in allowing mobility-impaired guest to travel on certain excursions with a helper.

 

This is simply a hurdle that must be overcome when dealing with this age group. Instead of banning people, let's hope they look for ways to keep people traveling as long as they have the will to do so.

Edited by Pcardad

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13 minutes ago, GrJ Berkshire said:

 

Post covid it will be a different world with different rules, if you are not fit to travel Regent will not take the risk.

 

 

There has always been a risk with people sailing on Regent - men and women in their 50's have heart attacks onboard and had to be evacuated.  Regent and other luxury cruise lines may as well close their doors if they did not allow people over any particular age if someone determined that they were not "fit" to travel.  How would one define "fit to travel"?  Are you not fit to travel if you need to have oxygen with you?  How about those people in wheelchairs or that require walkers?  And, if you have had cancer, a heart attack, diabetes, or a plethora of other diseases, can they sail?

 

Sorry, but I could not disagree more strongly.  Unless there is another pandemic or a great number of people have a communicable disease, there will be no discriminatory rules for embarking on a Regent ship.

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5 hours ago, GrJ Berkshire said:

I could be quite controversial but I have seen this coming for a while now, irrespective of the covid-19 crisis. On some of our cruises at the muster drill you realise how unfit/ ill a number of passengers are.. They find not using the lifts a challenge in daylight, ship not listing or rolling and the stairs are difficult to negotiate.

Other medical conditions despite the doctor/ nurse being brilliant and the facilities on a small ship top class you realise how limited they are for a serious condition. I had the misfortune of being unwell on the Navigator 4 years ago was superbly treated but even 10 unwell would swamp their resources / possibility to cope.

Therefore ships maybe have to have a more rebust medical screening in place, even if this affects the 70's or older age group demographics of some of the passengers.

Post covid it will be a different world with different rules, if you are not fit to travel Regent will not take the risk.

 

I'll be controversial with you. On our back to back Singapore to Singapore, and Singapore to Sydney last December to mid January, we experienced the same with unfit/unwell passengers onboard. We overheard dialysis patients complaining that the line was so long in the morning that they didn't always make it to the dining room for breakfast. A woman who actually looked quite healthy, said that she had never had dialysis before, and her first time was onboard. Her doctor told her that cruise ships could handle it. I guess her doctor would have signed that form But they should not have been onboard.

People onboard our ship had pneumonia, and coughed uncontrollably. They seemed to believe that it was not contagious. I don't know if the doctor onboard told them that, or if they had it before embarking and their doctor at home told them they could travel with it. They went to the dining room for meals, and coughed all over the tablecloth. Tablecloths aren't always changed between diners on Regent if it still looks clean. The condiments are almost never changed on a table between guests.

We found it very scary while we were onboard, and a number of countries, including Singapore, were taking temperatures back in December.  But it you stayed on the ship when they announced the requirements for going ashore, which the husband of a pneumonia patient admitted to us, then you could just stay onboard and spread your illness, especially if you don't stay in your cabin with room service.

I've been a proponent for a while now of having separate cruises for the elderly, with more doctors, more assistance, and excursions that are accessible for the mobility impaired. They would need to pay for the extra assistance and medical care, but they would have a better chance to enjoy their destinations.

Meanwhile, those of us who are still healthy and have no mobility issues can't enjoy our cruise. We're are in our mid 60's, and are having a hard time enjoying our excursions on Regent because of the mobility impaired. But the fact that so many of them were ill while onboard makes us afraid to take the extended cruise that we've reserved next year.

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3 minutes ago, SWFLAOK said:

I'll be controversial with you. On our back to back Singapore to Singapore, and Singapore to Sydney last December to mid January, we experienced the same with unfit/unwell passengers onboard. We overheard dialysis patients complaining that the line was so long in the morning that they didn't always make it to the dining room for breakfast. A woman who actually looked quite healthy, said that she had never had dialysis before, and her first time was onboard. Her doctor told her that cruise ships could handle it. I guess her doctor would have signed that form But they should not have been onboard.

People onboard our ship had pneumonia, and coughed uncontrollably. They seemed to believe that it was not contagious. I don't know if the doctor onboard told them that, or if they had it before embarking and their doctor at home told them they could travel with it. They went to the dining room for meals, and coughed all over the tablecloth. Tablecloths aren't always changed between diners on Regent if it still looks clean. The condiments are almost never changed on a table between guests.

We found it very scary while we were onboard, and a number of countries, including Singapore, were taking temperatures back in December.  But it you stayed on the ship when they announced the requirements for going ashore, which the husband of a pneumonia patient admitted to us, then you could just stay onboard and spread your illness, especially if you don't stay in your cabin with room service.

I've been a proponent for a while now of having separate cruises for the elderly, with more doctors, more assistance, and excursions that are accessible for the mobility impaired. They would need to pay for the extra assistance and medical care, but they would have a better chance to enjoy their destinations.

Meanwhile, those of us who are still healthy and have no mobility issues can't enjoy our cruise. We're are in our mid 60's, and are having a hard time enjoying our excursions on Regent because of the mobility impaired. But the fact that so many of them were ill while onboard makes us afraid to take the extended cruise that we've reserved next year.

Equally early 60's and fit and well, on top of everything you post I endorse.

Also what happens in an emergency at sea, the stairs are steep but at night or if the ship was not upright, square ( probably the wrong nautical term ) how will they evacuate. The muster drill is undertaken in port without motion !!

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Travelcat, I believe you are correct.  Regent would lose a significant part of their business if they make customers over 70 years of age jump through hoops to cruise.  If I had to go to a doctor within 7 or 14 days of cruising, I think I'd just do something else.

 

Swaflack, your story of the cruiser with pneumonia is scary and, of course inexcusable.  But I disagree entirely about separate cruisers for the elderly, whatever age the cutoff may be.  I have had such a good time with people using walkers or scooters or whatever.  They knowingly assume some risk when they cruise.  Occasionally there have been issues on excursions, but generally, no big deal, in my experience.

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Posted (edited)

I cannot believe what I am reading and I cannot see Regent doing separate cruises for seniors (any more than I can see them doing separate cruises for children).  However, if some people do not wish to travel with seniors, there are other cruise lines for you.  No one should be on a Regent ship that is uncomfortable around seniors or disabled passengers. 

 

We have been on cruises with many people that became ill while onboard.  They were of all ages..  Colds, flu, pneumonia and other illnesses are not always age related.  In fact, how many people under 50 have had the pneumonia vaccinations?  Most seniors have and will not come down with it.  Based on the number of people that do not get the flu (or pneumonia) shots, perhaps that should be a requirement for boarding a Regent ship.

 

Thankfully, the United States does not allow age discrimination (for people over 40).  I tend to look at younger people (under 50 for the sake of this post) and want to ask them if they think that seniors walk with a limp, use a walker, or use a wheelchair want to be the way they are.  Of course not!!!  I did not understand the prejudice against people with disabilities until I had knee surgery and was not able to walk well for three months.  (Note:  knee/hip surgeries are increasing so much that many people in their 40's require complete knee replacements.)  I felt the stares, people feeling that I was walking too slowly, etc. (and I wasn't even sitting in the front of the bus or asking for special treatment).  

 

I feel sorry for people with no compassion for the disabled.  After all, what are the odds that people that are currently in great health will end up disabled in some way?  Karma is not a good thing so think before you sweep seniors aside - suggest that they spend more money on cruises and be on cruises that are separate from others.   

 

Edited by Travelcat2

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1 hour ago, Travelcat2 said:

I cannot believe what I am reading and I cannot see Regent doing separate cruises for seniors (any more than I can see them doing separate cruises for children).  However, if some people do not wish to travel with seniors, there are other cruise lines for you.  No one should be on a Regent ship that is uncomfortable around seniors or disabled passengers. 

 

We have been on cruises with many people that became ill while onboard.  They were of all ages..  Colds, flu, pneumonia and other illnesses are not always age related.  In fact, how many people under 50 have had the pneumonia vaccinations?  Most seniors have and will not come down with it.  Based on the number of people that do not get the flu (or pneumonia) shots, perhaps that should be a requirement for boarding a Regent ship.

 

Thankfully, the United States does not allow age discrimination (for people over 40).  I tend to look at younger people (under 50 for the sake of this post) and want to ask them if they think that seniors walk with a limp, use a walker, or use a wheelchair want to be the way they are.  Of course not!!!  I did not understand the prejudice against people with disabilities until I had knee surgery and was not able to walk well for three months.  (Note:  knee/hip surgeries are increasing so much that many people in their 40's require complete knee replacements.)  I felt the stares, people feeling that I was walking too slowly, etc. (and I wasn't even sitting in the front of the bus or asking for special treatment).  

 

I feel sorry for people with no compassion for the disabled.  After all, what are the odds that people that are currently in great health will end up disabled in some way?  Karma is not a good thing so think before you sweep seniors aside - suggest that they spend more money on cruises and be on cruises that are separate from others.   

 


As many of you know, I am a combination of all the special needs, previously discussed. I use a portable oxygen concentrator (10 years) and a scooter. I don’t think anyone has ever complained about it. And, we have made many friends over the years.
I go on tours, but am very conscious of my fellow travelers, waiting to get of the bus until others are off. It it is too big a walk, I remain on the bus. 
I take very good care of myself, health wise, and bring every medication I might need. If I feel ill, I remain in our suite and rest it out. Unfortunately, I see too many folks onboard, who are younger, and coughing everywhere. I won’t infect them, but they can infect me, and many people on the ship. My physician loves the fact that we travel all over the world. He says that’s what keeps me going strong!
We do a lot of cruising. And spend a great deal of money, only on Regent!
Shame on you for wanting to discard me!

It’s up to you to find another cruise line of your liking.

As long as Regent will accept me, with my special needs, I will continue to sail with them. 

Sheila

Jackie... thank you for defending folks like me!

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I too have found some of these posts rather off-putting.  Many of us here, if not most, are "seniors" by the fairly narrow definition of the term--over 65.  That doesn't make us elderly or doddering.  And although I agree that no one should be coughing unto the table cloth at dinner, not all people with chronic coughs have pneumonia, for goodness sake (and I can't imagine someone actually coming onboard with pneumonia!) 

 

Many people of my generation smoked.  And thus developed COPD, for example.  That kind of chronic cough is not indicative of pneumonia.  Just saying. 

 

I myself have had bypass surgery.  Although I'm currently healthy and active, that means I have heart disease.  On medication for cholesterol and high blood pressure.  At risk of all kinds of things.  If this means I can't cruise on Regent, then many people won't be able to either, and they will be out of business.  Period.

 

(I still am getting over figuring out that they do dialysis onboard Regent ships.  Can't imagine what that must cost...but given they do this, if they're otherwise healthy and free of complications, why not?)

 

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Due to owning our own business, unfortunately, we only can get away for one vacation per year - always on a Regent cruise, with pre and post cruise stays.

Two years ago, on Explorer, there was a very ill woman on board enjoying all that Regent offers, including open buffets, excursions, shows, activities, etc.  Sadly, her outward illness (throaty, deep, elongated cough, etc.) caused us to be extremely uncomfortable and not at ease.  Upon boarding our six passenger van for a paid Regent excursion, we heard the horrific cough and this woman was on our van!  For the entire one hour drive to our excursion, she coughed incessantly.  She did not even have water or cough drops with her; we gave her both.  Of course, the van driver could not do anything and we were in an area where we did not want to get off the van!  The point is this woman should not have been traveling on a cruise ship and in such a cramped space on this van; she was very ill.  We realize she paid for a cruise and wanted to travel; however, she was ill and put everyone on that ship in danger of becoming ill.  We did share this with Regent management on board more than once; however, she continued to eat, drink, and cough in the close proximity of possibly infecting many others, both staff and cruisers.

I am in hopes that for all future cruises, those relatively healthy cruisers will not be forced to be subjected to others so ill, and most likely contagious to cause healthy cruisers not to enjoy what they are equally entitled to enjoy.

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Hi Wendy,

Per Regent must follow HIPAA Privacy Rules.

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A non US cruise company, in international waters, has to follow a US law that applies to health care providers?

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Some activities in life are riskier than others...you know the risks when you sign up. It's not exactly a secret that you have a greater chance of getting sick on a cruise and Regent passengers tend to be older, sicker and able to afford longer trips during which they may catch something. If Regent refused to board anyone who wasn't in perfect (or even good) health then you could expect them to go out of business. $1,000 a night per person with little late-night entertainment is aimed at a specific market segment...and that comes with benefits and with liabilities.

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14 minutes ago, Wizpharm2 said:

A non US cruise company, in international waters, has to follow a US law that applies to health care providers?

Great question, we should have posed that when asking about the woman's illness,

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24 minutes ago, Pcardad said:

Some activities in life are riskier than others...you know the risks when you sign up. It's not exactly a secret that you have a greater chance of getting sick on a cruise and Regent passengers tend to be older, sicker and able to afford longer trips during which they may catch something. If Regent refused to board anyone who wasn't in perfect (or even good) health then you could expect them to go out of business. $1,000 a night per person with little late-night entertainment is aimed at a specific market segment...and that comes with benefits and with liabilities.

 

You are quite right!  And, as was pointed out earlier, some elderly people simply have a cough - this is not unusual.  Plus, when sailing during the winter, people get sick.  Some cruises have a lot of passengers coughing (and not only elderly people).  Regent does target older clientele - especially the Baby Boomer generation that is in their 60's and early 70's.  If that does not work for some people, there are premium cruise lines that seem to have a younger demographic.

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15 minutes ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

You are quite right!  And, as was pointed out earlier, some elderly people simply have a cough - this is not unusual.  Plus, when sailing during the winter, people get sick.  Some cruises have a lot of passengers coughing (and not only elderly people).  Regent does target older clientele - especially the Baby Boomer generation that is in their 60's and early 70's.  If that does not work for some people, there are premium cruise lines that seem to have a younger demographic.

Would you mind reposting the over-70 health letter....I don't see it in this thread and wanted to check something on it - thanks!

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1 minute ago, Pcardad said:

Would you mind reposting the over-70 health letter....I don't see it in this thread and wanted to check something on it - thanks!

 

I wish that I had posted it and I believe that I threw it away (along with all of the paperwork associated with our March 14th cruise - don't know what I was thinking when I did that)..  As I recall, it was a very short form - not a lot of detail.   Sorry that I couldn't help.

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