Survey reveals top cruise destinations, concerns

InsureMyTrip, the nation’s largest travel insurance comparison site, today announced the results of its travel survey of 800 U.S. respondents.

19 comments

The poll reveals that a vast majority of cruisers have experienced some kind of travel disruption during a trip. The most common frustrations included cruise itinerary changes and medical issues. Health reasons also led the majority of travel insurance claims with travelers listing “medical care during a trip” as a top issue.

CRUISE WOES

The poll reveals that most cruise passengers have experienced a travel disruption during a trip. Tip: review sites like CruiseCritic can provide additional insight from travelers on cruise ship.

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MOST POPULAR CRUISE DESTINATIONS

Caribbean and Europe are nearly tied as the most popular cruise destination while 10% chose Alaska as a top place to visit. For deals to these destinations, check out sites like CruiseguruCruisemates or PopularCruising.com that list weekly deals.

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RIVER CRUISING GAINS SPEED

Seventy-seven percent of those polled have either been on a river cruise or would like to go on a river cruise. Twelve percent have no desire to go while 10% prefer larger cruise ships.

Ever wonder what a river cruise ship looks like?  Here’s a video of the suites onboard the Viking.

TOP TRAVEL INSURANCE NEEDS FOR CRUISERS

Travelers, who voluntarily participated in this survey, had all researched or purchased travel insurance within the past 24 months. Out of those polled, 19% had filed a travel insurance claim for a cruise-related issue. Here are the top reasons for filing a claim:

Medical care required during cruise
Medical issue forced trip cancellation
Bad weather forced delay or cancellation of cruise
Missed flight led to delay or cancellation of cruise
Items stolen or lost during trip

“These results show that the majority of cruisers will experience some kind of inconvenience that is out of their control,” said CEO Jim Grace of InsureMyTrip. “Cruisers also clearly share unique healthcare concerns during a voyage; with medical care resulting in the bulk of insurance claims. Despite these issues, most travelers appear to be pleased overall experience with their cruise experience and continue to book cruise vacations.”

MORE: Can you guess the first cruise ship to cross the Atlantic? Read more about cruise history.

Do you agree with the survey results? Sound off with a comment.

19 comments on “Survey reveals top cruise destinations, concerns”

  1. Traveling on cruise ships makes a vacation so memorable. So many places that you can go to and you don’t need to change transportation just to get to one point and another. River cruising, though limited in sites, can still be very enjoyable, and it’s wonderful that there are people who comment on this blog and share their wonderful cruise experience.

  2. We took the Viking river cruise from St Petersburg to Moscow and it couldn’t have been better. The food and service was fabulous. The only downside was the traffic in St. Petersburg–but you can’t blame Viking for that. We have another Viking river cruise scheduled for this fall from Budapest to Amsterdam.

  3. My wife and I did the Paris/Normandy Viking river cruise in October, and it was the best trip we’ve ever had. Great food, fabulous staff, enjoyable itinerary. We’d love to do another soon.

  4. We have taken several river cruises with Vantage, and they were wonderful.They aren’t quite as expensive as Viking but offer more included excursions and cultural connections. The last one we took was on the Douro River in Portugal. It was great. We’re going back to The Netherlands this year and taking a cruise on the canals and rivers.

  5. River cruises may look expensive on the surface, but if you check the details you will be surprised at how much is included in the price – most shore excursions, beverages, etc. But beware: U.S river cruises are much more expensive than those in Europe even factoring in the air fare to get halfway around the world! I’ve cruised with three different river cruise lines and thoroughly enjoyed them all. I’m surprised at the negative comments above about Viking – my St. Petersburg to Russia cruise was amazing in every way. In fact, my next cruise is also on Viking (Paris to the Normandy beaches).

    1. Thanks Mona for chiming in. That’s a great tip to review the ‘bang for your buck’ included on the trip. Have a great time in Paris on your next cruise! Please let us know how you make out — or take a few photos that we could share over here on the blog (e-mail: press@insuremytrip.com). We would love an insider perspective!

  6. We took a 21 day trip to China with Viking in 2008. It could not have been more perfect!!
    We were pampered, shown sights we could never do on our own, were wined and dined, had a fabulous guide with us 24/7, and every detail was taken care of. Iced wet towels for our face and hands upon our return to the ship, iced bottled water on the bus, free rain ponchos, beautiful new busses, and the newest , most luxurious ship on the Yangze.

    We will be doing all our river cruising with Viking in the future.

    1. Those iced wet towels sound refreshing! Do you remember D.F. what the name of the cruise ship you took (or if they still offer that tour)? We would love to check it out. We are working on an article about different river cruise options. Thanks for your feedback!

  7. I was on a Viking River Cruise this past summer in Russia. It was the worst travel experience that I, and my three travel companions have ever had. The food was horrific. Viking advertises a bathroom on their motor coaches, but the bathrooms were locked all 12 days of the cruise, despite reporting it to the program director and hotel manager. Viking also advertises the Viking Service Guarantee, but they don’t honor it. There were several other service issues that were not up to our expectations based on the cost of the cruise. I think the marketing department does a great job selling the cruise, but the cruise was a nightmare. Despite repeated attempts to resolve the situation with Viking, I have failed. Viking refuses to accept any responsibility for the terrible experience. I would strongly advise people to never travel with Viking.

    1. Thanks Clare for your comments about your experience in Russia. Despite the cruise, some of us in the office wanted your feedback on Russia as a cruise destination — curious what ports you liked or disliked the most?

      1. The four of us had been on a Baltic Oceania cruise and loved it. Oceania is our favorite cruise line, despite the small cabins and bathrooms, the food, service, ports, casual attire, and open seating for meals make Oceania tops for us. We have been to St. Petersburg twice and loved it. There is so much to see.

        River cruises offer tours that are included as well as some optional tours. I prefer private guides or optional tours. One of the negatives of the included tours was a city bus tour. We drove around the city, but the bus didn’t stop to let us go in any of the sights. We opted to spend the last day in St. Petersburg visiting the Faberge Museum, the Church of Our Savior of the Spilled Blood and St. Issac’s Cathedral. It is a shame not to see these three sights. We took the Behind the Scenes Tour of the Hermitage and I wouldn’t recommend it. We didn’t actually get to see any restoration being done. We walked through a warehouse to see items stored for repairs. I also would not recommend the included ballet in St. Petersburg. It is held in a theater that is not the Bolshoi and it is a ballet company for tourists. Do not miss Catherine’s Palace, Hermitage and Peterhof. When we had a private guide we were able to visit many more things in the same amount of time.

        Moscow was very interesting with many beautiful things to see. Must see attractions include: St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Diamond Fund, the Kremlin and the Kremlin Armory, the Bolshoi, Red Square.

        We booked the river cruise to see some of the interior of Russia, but we decided that we would have preferred to just go St. Petersburg and Moscow for more days. We saw a lot of pine trees. Mandrogi has an “artist colony” for cruise ships. It was a total waste of time. Kizhi was two large wooden churches that look great on the outside, but are rather small on the inside. At Kuzino we went to a school (waste of time) and a monastery. I could have easily skipped this port too. Yaroslavl and Uglich were larger towns and therefore had more to see. St. Petersburg and Moscow have offer so much that I recommend longer stays there. Be sure to see Moscow at night. Viking docked far away in St. Petersburg and Moscow. It took forever to get into the cities. Oceania docked very close to the city attractions. The traffic in both cities is very heavy. Trying to navigate the subway system in Cyrillic alphabet was impossible. I highly recommend a trip to both cities.

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