NEW YORK – Wave Season, the period when cruise companies provide some of the most attractive deals of the year, is in full swing. As would-be cruisers book their dream vacations, TravelInsurance.com reminds anyone taking advantage of cruise bargains to remember to protect their purchases with a travel insurance plan.
“Taking a cruise can be one of the great travel experiences, whether it’s a magical cruise with the family or an elegant river cruise on the Danube,” said Stan Sandberg, co-founder of TravelInsurance.com. “However, planning cruise vacations calls for special considerations. Missed connections en route to the departure port, severe weather and on-board medical issues can sink a vacation.”
While many cruise lines offer some form of travel protection, comparing all available options can often improve cruisers’ coverage and save them money on their travel insurance. It’s very important to know what your cruise line’s protection plan includes, especially if you are purchasing airfare separately. Many cruise lines will not cover costs associated with a cruise departure because of a missed flight if you didn’t purchase the airfare through the cruise company, even if you purchased a cruise line cruise protection plan. TravelInsurance.com offers plans which cover all of the costs of a cruise vacation, including airfare, hotels, and the cruise itself.
Here are some ways travel insurance can protect cruise ship vacationers:
When You Need to Cancel the Trip Before It Even Starts
When booking a cruise many months ahead of time, it’s impossible to predict what might happen when you approach your departure date. Unforeseen circumstances such as a sudden illness can result in travellers needing to cancel their trip at the last minute. A travel insurance plan with trip cancellation can protect the financial loss of a cruise cancellation resulting from a wide range of unforeseeable events.
Weather or Other Delays Cause You to Miss a Connection
Cruise ships run on tight schedules, and they will not cover any missed departure time. The leading causes of missing a cruise ship include delayed flights and adverse weather conditions, either between home and the cruise departure ports, or at actual ports of call. Travel insurance (via Missed Connection coverage) can reimburse travellers for a set dollar amount to re-book travel to catch up with their cruise at the next port.
You Get Sick While On the Boat
If a traveler is injured or becomes sick, large vessels do offer medical facilities. However, they usually don’t have adequate personnel and equipment to treat serious wounds or illnesses. Some vacationers must return to land by medical evacuation, whether by helicopter directly from the ship or by plane from a port. This service costs tens of thousands of dollars, and your regular health insurance generally won’t cover this. If a traveller is forced to seek medical treatment in a foreign country, most health insurers and Medicare will not cover foreign medical treatment under standard coverage. A travel insurance plan can cover the costs of covered medical treatment and emergency evacuations, if required.
The most important thing to do after booking a cruise is to compare your options for cruise travel insurance.
“Most cruise companies will offer a single travel insurance policy choice to their customers,” continues Sandberg. “Many cruisers find that these plans can be more expensive and offer less coverage than those we offer on TravelInsurance.com, which is why comparing your options makes a lot of sense if you are going on a cruise.”
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