When planning a cruise, there are many factors to consider: which cruise line will you use (Carnival Cruises, Princess Cruises, etc.), what area of the globe will you to travel to, and how long will your cruise last. However, there are also practical factors to attend to when planning a cruise, and one of the major considerations is this: travel insurance for your cruise. Dealing with tedious things like insurance is perhaps one of the main reasons you want to take a vacation, but cruise travel insurance is important just the same. Why? Well…
Any number of things can go wrong while you’re on a cruise, and in fact many things can go wrong even before you leave. Travel insurance can cover both types of problems.
If you have problems before your cruise begins, you may have to cancel your vacation, and if you’ve invested a lot of money in your trip, this can be very unfortunate. While you may be able to recoup some of your costs if you have to cancel your trip, odds are you’ll still end up losing a lot of money (because of cancellation fees, for one). However, with the right kind of insurance package, you can protect yourself against this type of misfortune.
It might seem really unlikely that you’ll have to cancel your trip, but tons of things can go wrong that might force you to do this. First, you or a loved one might have a medical problem, and if it is at all serious, there is a good chance you’ll have to cancel your cruise. Second, extreme weather might flare up prior to your cruise (consider a hurricane in the Caribbean, one of the most common places to take a cruise), causing your entire trip to be ruined. The cruise line might offer some sort of refund if this were to occur, but this is far from a guarantee. A decent travel insurance plan would definitely have you covered. Third, the cruise line you book your vacation with may dissolve because of financial problems (like a bankruptcy), and in this case, you almost certainly won’t be getting your money back unless you have some sort of travel insurance. The point is that a host of uncontrollable problems might derail your trip, and without any coverage, you could be stuck paying a lot of money for a cruise you’ll never enjoy.
What could go wrong while you’re on the cruise? Again, a ton of things. Perhaps the most obvious problem a traveler may experience is illness or injury, and unless your regular health insurance covers you while traveling, you could end up paying exorbitant fees for medical attention. (For more on this topic, check out our article on travel medical insurance.) Another problem that may befall a traveler is an interruption mid-cruise, like if the ship has a mechanical problem that causes the rest of your voyage to be canceled. Of course, the cruise line would reimburse you for the ruined cruise, but the unexpected out-of-pocket expenses you’ll almost certainly incur while figuring out a way to get home will likely not be covered. Also, with travel insurance, you might have an easier time getting home – you’ll be dealing with your insurance provider while most other passengers are dealing with a cruise’s customer service department in crisis mode.
How much will this insurance cost? It depends on a few different factors – most notably, the cost of your cruise fare and your age (for medical reasons) – but you should be able to find a solid plan that covers a wide range of potential problems (we’ve only touched on a few things that may go wrong during your vacation) for somewhere in the range of $100 to $200, with the majority (at least as far as we’ve seen) on the lower end of this scale. Sure, it’s a bit of an investment, but your cruise will cost a lot more, and it is for exactly this reason that travel insurance makes sense.