Booked your dream cruise and excited to go? Remember to take out travel insurance for a cruise holiday.
A cruise is undeniably a great vacation option as it normally offers a relaxed itinerary with many opportunities to explore different places during the stops on the way. More often than not, the cost of a cruise is all-inclusive – accommodation, meals, drinks and entertainment on board and land excursions, plus top-notch full service all the way – except the assurance that you will be adequately compensated in the event that something goes wrong!
Many travelers have the “it will never happen to me” mentality and will forego purchasing suitable insurance. But let’s face it – it IS a reality that the “chill out” trip you may be looking forward to can easily turn into a nightmare! Here are some scenarios which we may think are unlikely to occur:
1. The cruise is cancelled or cut short.
Mechanical problems or inclement weather can crop up prior to or during the cruise. Although the cruise company is expected to at least give refunds, the amount may be insufficient to cover the inconvenience and other costs you may incur as a consequence.
A concrete example is the Celebrity Century Mediterranean cruise in October 2010 which had to drop off its guests in Villefranche, France just two days into the cruise because its rudder was damaged. It so happened that there was a transportation strike in the country during that time such that the guests had a hard time going home from there.
It is also possible that your cruise is cancelled just a couple of days before scheduled departure because of a threatening hurricane, at which time you may have already flown in to the port of call, spent on hotel accommodation, arrangements for home or baby (or even pet) sitting while away, filed a leave of absence from work several months prior which you cannot recall (worse if unpaid), etc.
2. A family member or you get ill making it impossible to push thru with your trip.
Many have experienced this and most get the heartbreaking news that the cruise line is unable to refund what they paid for the trip because of cancellation restrictions adhered to in the cruise contract.
3. You get sick during the trip.
An illness can strike when you’d least expect, and it can come while you are on a cruise. If it turns out real bad that you need to be hospitalized, costs of bringing you to the mainland (by helicopter, if out at sea) and medical care in a foreign country can be prohibitive.
4. Your baggage is lost or stolen.
It can happen to the best of us, however careful we get. Imagine being stranded at the disembarkation port without your personal belongings, specially your travel documents?
5. Your pre- or post-cruise flight is delayed or cancelled.
In the instance that your flight is delayed or cancelled making you miss the cruise embarkation, it is highly probable you will not get a refund for your cruise investment. If, on the other hand, your return flight is delayed or cancelled, you may incur unforeseen additional expenses and possibly miss opportunities back home.
If by chance any of these do happen, you will be grateful you spared extra money for coverage to protect your investment in the trip (which can be your lifetime savings). If nothing happens to spoil your holiday, then be thankful for the peace of mind knowing you are fully protected, enabling you to sit back, relax and just enjoy! Isn’t that what a vacation is for in the first place?
Oh, and do make sure to check the print on your cruise contract to know what are covered and what you will need to get protection for.
Alaska Cruise: Travis Wise via Flickr
Relaxing During Cruise: eGuide Travel via Flickr
Cancelled Departure: Gilad Raphaelli via Flickr
Lost Luggage Tag: Rick McCharles via Flickr
Happy Couple on Cruise: Clintus via Flickr