For the 20 million travelers who choose to go on a cruise each year, the experience is far and away smooth sailing.1
But when something goes awry on a cruise ship, from norovirus outbreaks to missing bags, things can go south quickly. Consequently, travel insurance is as essential to pack as your favorite bathing suit and smartphone charger.
Otherwise, here are some of the reasons and scenarios that make purchasing travel insurance such an important step for getting prepared for your big cruise vacation.
Think your cruise line will understand when you have to cancel your trip because of a family emergency? Probably not. They count on having their cabins filled when the ship leaves the dock, so most cruise lines are reluctant to give refunds.
Take Royal Caribbean, which is par for the course. For cruises up to four nights, you need to cancel 75 days or more prior to cruising. For cruises of five nights or longer, that window increases to 90 days. And if you cancel a cruise of any length within 30 days of your departure, your refund is the same: $0. 2
Cruise lines will try to sell you their own waiver, but if you read the fine print you'll see they only offer refunds when you cancel your trip for a limited list of covered reasons. And if you must cancel for another reason, cruise lines' plans generally offer credits worth 75 percent of the trip cost.
Don't lose your travel investment. Protect yourself with a travel insurance plan, one that allows you to cancel your trip for a wide range of covered reasons.
When you’re soaking in rays on the Lido Deck with a good book in one hand and a fresh mango smoothie in the other, the last thing on your mind might be a medical emergency. Even if you’re in perfect health, you can never predict when you might break an ankle, come down with the Flu or suffer a heart attack.
If you're treated on board, prepare to receive a hefty medical bill. Your regular health insurance likely won't cover you. Additionally, in the case of serious injury or illness, you don’t want to be caught in a scenario in which you need to be airlifted off the ship to a medical facility, and you’re left to pay for this out of pocket. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this can cost as much as $100,000 — a cost that may need to be paid in advance — and that’s for the medical evacuation alone.3
That's why travel insurance for cruises is more than a “nice to have;” it’s an essential. Allianz Global Assistance offers plans with both an Emergency Transportation and Emergency Medical benefit, in addition to benefits such as Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption and more.
Time and tide wait for no one. Neither do cruise ships. That's why missed flights and missing bags become big problems when you're beginning your cruise vacation. If your flight to Miami is canceled due to weather, causing you to miss embarkation, you're out of luck — and out that snorkeling excursion you were really looking forward to — unless you have travel insurance
Trip delay benefits can reimburse you for eligible hotel stays, meals and lost prepaid expenses if your trip is delayed by more the amount of time specified in your travel insurance plan for a covered reason. Missed connection benefits can reimburse you for the cost of transportation to your cruise's first port of call, where you can catch up with the ship. And Allianz Global Assistance's 24-hour hotline assistance can help you make the needed changes to your travel plan.
With the right travel insurance from Allianz Global Assistance, you don’t have to sweat unpredictable delays and missed connections. You’ll get there; in fact, just think of it as making a grand entrance.
In the middle of your Caribbean journey from Nassau to Port Lucaya, you get word that your mother has fallen seriously ill. You need to get home fast, but how can you do it without breaking the bank? This is when Allianz Global Assistance’s travel insurance is your best friend. Call the 24-hour assistance hotline, and a travel expert can help you make arrangements to fly home from the ship's next port of call. You can be reimbursed for up to 150 percent of the cost of the trip: both the unused portion of your cruise and the additional transportation costs for returning home early.
People take cruises to spend quality time with friends and family, to explore new regions of the world, and sometimes even to get from Point A to Point B. But the key attraction of cruises is to relax, to let go of life’s little worries and unwind without a care. That said, it’s tough to relax if you’re worried about bad weather, illness, lost luggage, missed flights, theft or international emergencies. A top-flight cruise travel insurance policy, such as the plans offered by Allianz Global Assistance, can offer recourse for the unexpected. Make sure you review your insurance plan carefully before you buy, because not all plans offer the same coverage.
When you’re putting together that lengthy to-do list to get ready for your vacation at sea, be sure to put travel insurance for cruises atop the list. There’s nothing you can pack that’s as versatile and critical to the enjoyment of your big boat trip. And if you’ve read enough right here to reach that same conclusion, start searching for the right travel insurance policy now. Bon voyage!