If, like many other travelers at this time of year, you’re thinking about booking a cruise vacation, then it’s also a good time for you to review travel insurance and the benefits it can offer to you during your trip. Cruising comes with a unique set of challenges that could potentially interfere with your carefully laid plans; fortunately, the right travel insurance policy will offer specific coverages that can help you get things back on track, financially and otherwise.
Unless you’re one of those lucky travelers who lives quite close to a port of call where you can just hop on your ship and start relaxing immediately, cruising is unique because it generally requires a fair bit of traveling before you really get to start your trip. Whether by plane or some other mode of transportation, anyone taking a cruise will need to get to the ship on time, or else risk being left behind — and missing out totally on what was supposed to be a wonderful experience. Beyond taking basic precautions, such as making sure to arrive in your cruise’s departure city no later than the day before you’re scheduled to board the ship, what can you do to avoid (literally) missing the boat? Travel insurance can’t stop your flights from being delayed or cancelled, and it can’t guarantee that you’ll be there to embark on time. What it can do is help you recover quickly from the disappointment and stress of a missed cruise departure, so you can move forward with your plans as much as possible.
The benefits of travel insurance in the case of a missed cruise connection actually start to become evident before you even reach the dock and realize that your ship is gone. If you’re delayed because of a late or cancelled flight, for example, most comprehensive travel insurance policies would offer you an array of benefits to help you with the associated costs — and headaches. While specific benefits and terms vary by policy, in most cases, a flight delay of more than 5 or 6 hours would entitle you to seek reimbursement for any food, lodgings, or reasonable incidental expenses you may have incurred while waiting for the plane to take off. Also, your travel insurance provider likely has a 24-7 assistance hotline, which you could call at any point in time to ask for assistance in getting seats on a different flight, researching other transportation options, or even finding lodgings for an overnight stay near the airport if necessary.
If your transportation doesn’t get you to the cruise as scheduled, and the ship sails without you, your travel insurance provider may then be able to assist you in making the arrangements necessary to pick up the cruise at the next feasible port of call, so you don’t have to miss out on the entire experience. You might also be able to file a claim for any additional expenses incurred as a result of making last-minute arrangements to meet the ship at another port. Also, if you had pre-paid for any particular experience as part of your vacation — for example, a snorkeling adventure with a local guide at one of the ports of call — and had to miss it due to the unexpected change in your itinerary, you may be able to recoup those expenses, depending on the terms of your individual policy.
Coverage for a missed connection resulting from travel delay is just one of the many travel insurance benefits that are worth exploring if you’re booking a cruise vacation. If you’d like more information about purchasing insurance for an upcoming cruise, or any other travel experience, make sure to speak with one of our licensed Customer Care experts at 800-487-4722.