Over 70 doctors note

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Patina

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Dec 22, 2015
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Then Celebrity needs to tell us just that.. I just talked to a supervisor from Celebrity...same response...just FCC. No refund....does not matter if the fit to travel was not in place when you took the FCC. You still will be denied boarding and given more FCC.
Please follow my suggestion from post #5. Write to only one exec at a time, not all at once. Wait at least one week if not longer for a reply before moving to the next name on the list.
 
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Feb 24, 2018
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It can't hurt to run your concerns up the executive chain, but to summarize the points of several of my helpful fellow posters to pull them together and paint a full picture:

  • There are literally thousands of people in this situation on Cruise Critic across the cruise lines, because FCC is not uncommon and much of the demographic of cruisers is over 70 or has one traveling partner over 70. It is incredibly unlikely that individual exceptions for refunds will be made. The cruise lines do not have the hundreds of millions of dollars to cover it at this time.
  • This is not a Royal Caribbean policy, but an agreement between the US federal government and the cruise lines. While there is no indication that these waivers are a permanent requirement, Royal Caribbean can't tell you whether you will be able to use the FCC in the future when the requirement goes away because they don't know if or when it will, and it is not their decision.
  • At the same time, they don't owe you a refund because there is no indication that this is a permanent policy. Because of this, there is no proof that your FCC is any less valuable than it is always been. For now, this is a temporary policy imposed on them by a federal government.
  • Is this ambiguity a catch-22 put in place to assist the cruise lines at this time? You betcha.
  • I have read hundreds of pages of stories on CC recounting people's efforts to get these waivers signed by doctors. I think I may have seen one success. There is no pretense that people will be getting these signed and cruising.
This pandemic has hit cruising in a unique way and it will be one of the last industries to recover. While I hope you find success with self-advocacy, monitoring Cruise Critic to follow the progress of others in this situation may be your best path forward. In this situation, you are far less likely to see an individual exception and want to be aware of when a decision with a far-reaching impact is made (eg people with FCC extended on these dates or for people in this demographic are now eligible for a refund). This way, if it is not communicated well, you can be sure to take advantage of it.
 
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I understand what you are saying...but did the federal government really come down with this ruling...other cruise lines are not using this only Royal Carribbean. It was on a cruise association website as a suggestion to members, but I have heard it has been deleted. Would it not constitute a change in contract , that I would not have been in agreement with, because it came about after the FCC was given?.....
 
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Jan 30, 2018
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I follow the Princess forum on Cruise Critic and there is lots of discussion on this topic. I think this is a moving target - Princess has changed their advisories several times and no doubt will change again.

As others have said, November is a while away and things will change and (I hope) settle down somewhat. We have a cruise planned for then and we, too, have some of those "chronic conditions".

Also, a question: the OP mentions FCC, so I am wondering if the $8k s/he mentions is actual cash they have spent or it is credit they have from changed cruises or whatever. We have a bunch of FCC as a freebie from the cancellation of two spring cruises. Frankly, I don't much care about that and I would not expect to get money back if we don't use it because of this health policy or any other reason.

We do, however, want our refund for those cruises which is very long in coming.
 
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Our FCC is from cash we spent.....not from cruise given FCC. We gladly accepted the FCC knowing that we would be cruising in the future.....that was prior to the Doctors note requirement....we would not have accepted the FCC if the note was in place. We would have known we would be denied boarding.
 
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Neil Maley

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Our FCC is from cash we spent.....not from cruise given FCC. We gladly accepted the FCC knowing that we would be cruising in the future.....that was prior to the Doctors note requirement....we would not have accepted the FCC if the note was in place. We would have known we would be denied boarding.
I think you need to let this sit for now. Everything is very volatile and it’s too early to be concerned about November. We need to see if the government is even going to permit cruising in the near future. My understanding from conversations I’ve had with sales managers at the cruise lines was that this was put in place to appease the government into allowing ships to start sailing and my thoughts are that there is going to be a huge protest if this is left in place. Most cruisers, especially those for cruises of more then 7 days, are Seniors and it’s rare that they don’t have one of the conditions listed. I hope they are going to go with a letter that they are medically cleared to cruise if they require something and not that they are restricted by the CDC guidelines.
 
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I understand what you are saying...but did the federal government really come down with this ruling...other cruise lines are not using this only Royal Carribbean. It was on a cruise association website as a suggestion to members, but I have heard it has been deleted. Would it not constitute a change in contract , that I would not have been in agreement with, because it came about after the FCC was given?.....
Hi Lawrence, thanks for responding.
  • Yes, this was agreed to between the government and the CLIA (cruise association) on behalf of the cruise lines
  • Every cruise line with any stop in the US is using an almost identical waiver. It is not just Royal Caribbean
  • The "suggestion" on the CLIA website was the suggested format and wording for the waiver, not a suggestion to put it in place. It is still there, taking up most of the main page.
This is why I encourage you to follow developments closely by using a resource such as Cruise Critic, so that when a development is made that affects you, you are more likely to hear about it. While I wish you good luck with an individual self-advocacy attempt, and you certainly have nothing to lose, it is highly unlikely that an individual exception will be made in this situation where the reasons I explained here and in my first post.
 
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Thanks to both of you....I am an active member of cruisecritics......I am watching the situation carefully....I have tried to respond to questions asked as needed. I do want to thank the members here for your response.....it helps me put things in perspective.
 
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Neil Maley

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This is just my opinion but I believe when these were put into effect, it was to try to appease the government to allow cruising to continue (and possibly for stimulus money, which as we know they weren’t given unless they were registered in the US).

It’s my opinion that they can’t possibly sustain eliminating all these people from cruising. They are they cruisers that spend the most money and they would be cutting off their noses by adhering to this. I can see a letter saying someone 70 or over needs a letter saying they are healthy enough to travel but millions of cruisers under the age of 70 have these same conditions AND this disease is killing people under the age of 70 too so they would have to restrict EVERYONE with one of those conditions. And I think they will be forced to refund if you were already booked.

You can certainly start the complaint process by writing to the AG in Florida where Celebrity is located and letting them know that they have changed the terms and are refusing to refund IF the date gets closer and no changes have been made.
 

weihlac

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Jun 30, 2017
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This is just my opinion but I believe when these were put into effect, it was to try to appease the government to allow cruising to continue (and possibly for stimulus money, which as we know they weren’t given unless they were registered in the US).

It’s my opinion that they can’t possibly sustain eliminating all these people from cruising. They are they cruisers that spend the most money and they would be cutting off their noses by adhering to this. I can see a letter saying someone 70 or over needs a letter saying they are healthy enough to travel but millions of cruisers under the age of 70 have these same conditions AND this disease is killing people under the age of 70 too so they would have to restrict EVERYONE with one of those conditions. And I think they will be forced to refund if you were already booked.

You can certainly start the complaint process by writing to the AG in Florida where Celebrity is located and letting them know that they have changed the terms and are refusing to refund IF the date gets closer and no changes have been made.
Agree. The prevalence of high blood pressure alone would empty the cruise ships. As Neil noted, this is the demographic that has the time and funds to cruise.
Refusing boarding to people with hypertension, and then adding diabetes and other chronic conditions will make the cruise industry not viable.

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

  • During 2015–2016, the prevalence of hypertension was 29.0% and increased with age: age group 18–39, 7.5%; 40–59, 33.2%; and 60 and over, 63.1%.
 

mmb

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Jan 20, 2015
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I thought that as well, but they really can't have it both ways, in my opinion. I would fight to get a refund if it were me.
That is only right.
Enacting new rules means contract is null/void and money needs to be refunded.
No one should need to wait what could amount to years to use a credit.
Some people may agree to keep a credit if it could be transferred to other people without fees/undue stress.
 
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smd

Mar 14, 2018
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Out of curiosity, I looked at Royal Caribbean's financials as of December 31, 2019 (when things were still very good). At that time, they had about $572 million in cash and other short term assets that could convert to cash. Against this, they owed $3.4 BILLION to customers for deposits and $4.5 BILLION in other liabilities that were payable in 2020.

It appears cruise lines' business model is to use customer deposits as their working capital. And since they are incorporated in Liberia, they're not likely to be given any financial assistance by US and European governments.

It will be extremely difficult for them to refund these deposits in cash, regardless of how much people complain on CruiseCritic and Elliott.
 

Neil Maley

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Out of curiosity, I looked at Royal Caribbean's financials as of December 31, 2019 (when things were still very good). At that time, they had about $572 million in cash and other short term assets that could convert to cash. Against this, they owed $3.4 BILLION to customers for deposits and $4.5 BILLION in other liabilities that were payable in 2020.

It appears cruise lines' business model is to use customer deposits as their working capital. And since they are incorporated in Liberia, they're not likely to be given any financial assistance by US and European governments.

It will be extremely difficult for them to refund these deposits in cash, regardless of how much people complain on CruiseCritic and Elliott.
Every cruise line, airline and travel suppliers work the same way. That’s why refunds are taking so long.
 
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jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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This "Letter from your Doctor" in order to cruise is patently ridiculous. What doctor of sound mind is going to sign a blanket anything that says a patient over 70 is "fit to travel"? The cruise lines will come up with something to appease the lawmakers, the cruisers and the doctors. The requirement might serve to weed out someone who isn't going to live much more than another month, otherwise, it's useless. I have faith that the good members of CLIA will come up with something that works.
 
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This "Letter from your Doctor" in order to cruise is patently ridiculous. What doctor of sound mind is going to sign a blanket anything that says a patient over 70 is "fit to travel"? The cruise lines will come up with something to appease the lawmakers, the cruisers and the doctors. The requirement might serve to weed out someone who isn't going to live much more than another month, otherwise, it's useless. I have faith that the good members of CLIA will come up with something that works.
I had the opposite problem when I foolishly bought the airline's insurance for my elderly mother. Sure enough she became ill before the flight and could not board the flight. Submitted a claim and they sent me a form for the doctor to sign that the doctor would attest that taking the flight would most likely result in death of the patient. So this nonsense has been going around for years, just a new twist on it.
 

Neil Maley

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I had the opposite problem when I foolishly bought the airline's insurance for my elderly mother. Sure enough she became ill before the flight and could not board the flight. Submitted a claim and they sent me a form for the doctor to sign that the doctor would attest that taking the flight would most likely result in death of the patient. So this nonsense has been going around for years, just a new twist on it.
I’ve never seen an insurance form that required a doctor to say that taking a flight would result in the death of the patient if they became ill and we have helped many clients with claims.

The only claim forms I’ve seen asked what the condition was, what the treatment has been (and doctors records might be needed) and why they can’t fly. It’s to differentiate the client has a serious enough condition that they can’t travel and not something like allergies or a cold.

If the insurance companies form said otherwise, I’d like to see it.
 
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Carol Phillips

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My question would be what was the stated refund policy on the FCC when you first received it? Did it say it was non-refundable, non-transferable ... redeemable only for another FCC? I'd think whatever policy was stated on the FCC would trump any later rules. Just my 2¢ ...
 
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Apr 24, 2020
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Carol....FCC to my knowledge is never able to transfer to a refund...with us that was fine as we knew we would recruiise at a later date....but after we took the cruise credit Celebrity put into place the doctors note requirement......which prohibits us from cruising....if the note requirement was in place before we accepted FCC we would have gone the refund route or taken the cruise.
 
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One of my questions was does the doctors note requirement constitute a change to our original booking agreement....if it does is the original booking contract void.