April 10, 2017

Cruise Travel Insurance: Should you buy cruise insurance? :: cruise tips

Cruise insurance: Should you buy cruise travel insurance for your trip on a Carnival Cruise or Royal Caribbean cruise?

 

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Travel insurance, like other types of insurance, is much about how much risk you are willing to take on.

So first, let’s be a bit pessimistic and think about some bad things that could happen during your cruise vacation and why you just might want to check how much insurance will cost for you and your cruise.

No matter what cruise line you’re sailing — Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Norwegian, Celebrity, Disney, or some other cruise ship — there are things that can go wrong during vacation.

Have a look here to see how much cruise insurance will cost you.

Things that could go wrong during a cruise vacation

– Unexpected extreme weather

Some travel insurance policies will cover expenses if you cancel your vacation due to extreme weather.

The key here is that it’s unexpected. This means that the travel insurance needs to be bought well in advance. It can’t be within a week or two of your cruise vacation and you go out and buy insurance because you see that there’s a possible tropical storm or hurricane in the making.

You may still want to get the cruise insurance for other reasons, but weather coverage for that storm likely shouldn’t be one of them. Not only that, but cruise lines will often try to find a reasonable substitute for any missed ports, although sometimes bad weather near a scheduled port may become a sea day.

Also note that it’s very unlikely that any cruise insurance policy will cover anything if your cruise changes course while you’re on the ship. This means that if your cruise has to change the itinerary and go to a different cruise port or skip a port altogether due to weather, it’s not covered. Such risks are just the hazards of cruising. 😉

What do cruise lines do if your cruise is cancelled because of a hurricane?

Keep in mind that there’s probably fine print when you book your cruise that the cruise line is under no obligation to refund your tickets if they have to cancel your cruise for safety reasons. (You don’t want to die sailing through a hurricane!)

That said, some cruise lines may give you a 100% refund, probably in the name of good PR! 😉

Here are examples of what some cruise lines did when they canceled Caribbean cruises because of Hurricane Irma that reached a category 5 hurricane.

Royal Caribbean cruise

This is what Royal Caribbean said here:

“We are very sorry for the impact this storm has had on your vacation and please know that we made the decision with the safety and comfort of our guests and crew in mind. The cruise fare and fees will be 100% refunded to the original form of payment, and we are also offering a 25% future cruise credit, based on the cruise fare, if a new cruise is booked in the next 30 days.”

Carnival cruise

This is what Carnival said here:

“We sincerely apologize for the disruption to your vacation plans. We will automatically process a full refund, including any pre-purchased Carnival Adventures, Fun Shop purchases and beverage packages. The refund will be processed to your original form of payment within three weeks.”

Remember that this refund by cruise lines wouldn’t cover any hotels and flights you book to catch your cruise, while it is possible that travel insurance covers that.

Check here what’s covered and how much insurance will cost you.

– Flight delays

If you’re flying to your cruise embarkation port, your problems could begin before you even make it on to your cruise ship.

Delays at another airport across the country can affect flights at your airport. This is because the plane you’re supposed to be flying on could be coming from a weather-impacted airport before arriving at your airport for your flight.

So even if it’s sunny and clear where you are, your flight could be delayed as a result of weather.

And if you’re cutting it close between your cruise departure time and the time you land at the airport, that delayed flight could cause you to miss your cruise. With certain coverage, cruise insurance can help cover costs to get you to the next cruise port so you can catch your cruise.

Flight delays are a possibility no matter when you fly. But in assessing whether you want travel insurance for possible flight delays, consider that flying in the winter can increase the chances of weather related flight delays because of the safety issues associated with snow and ice. And don’t forget to think about any airports you’ll be at for layovers.

This is also one reason it’s a good idea to get to your cruise port destination a day or two before your cruise starts so you don’t have to stress about not making it for your cruise!

– Lost baggage

Unfortunately, airlines lose bags. Although lost luggage seems to be much less of a problem today than it used to be.

Even so, bags can be lost. And while it may not be helpful when you’re on your cruise if your entire suitcase has gone missing, travel insurance can cover some of the costs of your missing luggage.

Fear of lost baggage is one reason many people opt to go carry-on only when flying to their cruise destination. So there’s no stress about whether or not your suitcase will arrive at your destination airport!

There is also an airline that has implemented a system that tracks checked bags with a chip in the luggage tag so your bag’s location can be known at all times. (That would be Delta, see here.)

On a related note, see how you can prevent lost luggage on a cruise ship!

– Tragedy or major change in life circumstances

You really don’t want to think about the worst things happening. But life happens. It may be a physically debilitating injury, it may be a serious illness, or it may even be death in the family. Or maybe it’s a job loss.

There are circumstances that can come up in life that may lead you to seriously consider canceling your long-awaited cruise vacation. With cruise insurance, that cancellation can hurt your wallet a little less.

– Medical emergency

When people are on vacation, whether on land or at sea, people sometimes drop their guard when it comes to their health.

There is a medical center on board cruise ships that are staffed with at least a doctor and a nurse, but in that rare occasion that onboard medical treatment isn’t enough, it might be necessary to get medical care on land. Cruise insurance can help with those costs.

– Shore excursions

If you’re planning on going on a shore excursion or two during your cruise, you certainly don’t want to have to deal with any of these excursion nightmares! Shore excursions are generally safe and there’s a good chance that you’ll have nothing but fun whether you’re swimming with stingrays in Grand Cayman or snorkeling at multiple spots jumping off a boat in Cozumel. But being more active during a cruise vacation that you normally would be at home means that the risk for having an accident does increase.

Not all travel insurance is the same

Remember that if you do decide to go with travel insurance, there are different coverage options. So in assessing which option is right for you and comparing the different cruise insurance coverage, consider which risks you are willing to take on and not have covered, and which you want that insurance for.

Use a credit card with travel insurance

Even if you decide to take a pass on the cruise insurance through a travel insurance company, there’s another way you could get some of your vacation expenses covered.

There are some travel-friendly credit cards that offer a limited amount of travel insurance if you make your vacation purchases with your credit card. This requires no additional travel insurance purchase. American Express cards and Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard are a couple examples of credit cards that come with travel insurance.

With this Barclaycard, there are no foreign transaction fees too, so if you make a purchase in the Caribbean during your cruise, you won’t get hit with an added fee. (When you travel internationally with most credit cards, you’ll get hit with something like a 3% foreign transaction fee of your purchase.)

These travel credit cards may not offer all the coverage you would want with cruise insurance, but can include things like baggage delays, trip cancellation or trip interruption, and accidents during your vacation. Still, it might put you at ease to get trip coverage specific to your vacation with the cruise insurance.

Travel credit cards also tend to have decent rewards programs too!

As always, read the terms and conditions if travel insurance of your particular card is a consideration in using a specific credit card.

Of course this doesn’t help you if you’ve already paid your cruise vacation expenses, but it could be something to keep in mind in the future.

And before you go off and get a travel credit card, check credit cards you currently have. Maybe you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise when you find out travel insurance is included!

Best debit card for travel

And on the topic of cards, have a look at the Charles Schwab checking account with debit card, here. This is an online checking account and possibly one of the best cards to travel with! Why? No ATM fees! Well, the ATM fees will be reimbursed, which is basically a card with no ATM fees!

This is another card that comes with no foreign transaction fees when you use the card internationally.

There’s also no minimum balance requirement and no monthly account fee, so you can just have the account available for when you travel without having to maintain it. This can work out well if you don’t want to use it for your everyday financial transactions.

The “catch” with opening a Charles Schwab checking account is that opening a checking account will also open a linked Charles Schwab investment account. But you don’t have to do anything with the investment account.

This all makes a Charles Schwab card a pretty good travel card. 🙂 Terms may change though, so be sure to read the fine print!

Cruise insurance: To risk it, or not to risk it?

Okay, back to travel insurance. So should you get it or not?

Here, we will say DON’T risk it, but ultimately, that risk is up to you! 😉

But no harm in checking how much it’ll cost you! Check the price here!

HAPPY CRUISING!

Cruise insurance quote with Allianz travel insurance

 

More cruise tips:

List of things to (maybe) pack for your cruise!
What NOT to pack for a cruise
How to prevent lost luggage on a cruise ship
Evening activities on a cruise
How to prevent seasickness
Bahamas: Things to do near Nassau cruise port
Puerto Rico: Things to do near San Juan cruise port
Tips for flying Southwest: Budget airline flying to U.S. cruise ports

Cruise tips on Pinterest: Follow the Cruise Travel board!

Best shoes for your active vacation

Hit search at the top for any of these items to get more variety on Amazon through these affiliate links!
- Walking: These types of hiking sandals. For walking in hot weather, they are more breathable than shoes, while still giving you necessary traction on the trails. Also see these travel sandals.
- Beach: These types of beach shoes. For beach walking, wading in the water, and rocky shorelines, they can prevent cuts from hidden rocks or when bumping into coral reef.

see more:
- What to wear hiking
- What to wear snorkeling
- What to wear on a cruise formal night

Best things to pack for active travel

- First-time snorkelers love full-face snorkeling masks.
- These UV protection shirts are a hit so you don't have to keep re-applying sunscreen and don't have to worry as much about getting sunburn!
- These types of small backpacks are perfect for a day out so you can carry essentials... and snacks!
- And these popular packing cubes can be a life-saver when you're traveling!

Don't get your valuables stolen when you travel

- On city excursions: This neck pouch that tons of people love. It makes it harder for money to be stolen, and RFID-blocking feature stops thieves from scanning your credit card info when they are close to you.
- At the beach: This type of pouch that you can easily take your wallet in the water with you, instead of leaving on the beach.