By now, most travelers who follow the news about cruise ships have heard about the crane that came crashing down on the Oasis of the Seas. The Royal Caribbean ship was sitting in dry dock in Freeport when the accident occurred. Fortunately, no passengers were on the ship at the time, but eight workers were injured when the crane toppled and slammed into the deck of one of the world’s largest cruise ships.
Clearly, there was damage to the ship from the impact of the crane which has caused the cruise line to extend the dry dock visit for an additional three weeks. This delay in the maintenance and repairs has caused the cruise line to cancel the cruises booked for the 7th, 17th and 21st of April. Royal Caribbean management has promised that all passengers will receive a full refund as well as a credit for a future cruise. But the concern financially is centered around the passengers who are unable to get a refund on their airfare as these flights were to be within a few days or weeks. Sadly, this is the second time in 2019 that the Oasis of the Seas has been in the news as earlier this year Norovirus caused many passengers to become ill.
With the restrictions on cancelations, refunds, and credits being issued for canceled flights, many travelers are turning to travel insurance when booking even a short or less expensive vacation. Many times the airline will offer insurance like packages for a fully refundable flight, but that only covers the cost of the flight. Wise travelers are purchasing full trip insurance which covers the flight, hotel or resort accommodations as well as many other activities that are pre-booked and require prepayment.
In addition to cancelations by the airline or the resort, most trip insurance will also cover costs if a trip is canceled due to an illness or injury to a traveler prior to the trip. And in some cases, the insurance will also provide coverage for emergency evacuation or transportation home, if a traveler is injured or becomes ill while on vacation.
The unfortunate incident on the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas is a good reminder for travelers to consider what could happen and how accidents or even issues with the weather could impact their vacation and their ability to get a refund for a canceled trip.