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Cruise Trips

Cruise Travel Insurance Considerations and Tips

Cadiz in Spain

Cadiz cruise port

Taking a cruise holiday has become more and more popular over the past several decade and this means a greater need also for more specialist insurance policies to accommodate this different type of holiday. Cruises have many unique attributes such as the fact that:

  • Some round the world cruises can last longer than a year.
  • Cruises often take in a number of countries, across different continents and often through dangerous waters (past pirate country).
  • Medical facilities on cruise ships are naturally (given the issue of space) much more limited than land based hospitals.
  • Crime can often be very low on the boats themselves but on land, during the excursions, cruise travellers can be targeted.

Cruise holiday insurance is designed to perfectly cater to the cruise traveller but you can also if you wish, often use a standard policy and more often than not be covered adequately. You will need to be very careful though to ensure you are covered for all countries you will encounter on your trip and to read the small print of your policy. Similar with any policy you buy, having the correct insurance will mean that every part of the trip will be correctly covered.

cruise ship

Travelling on the Ventura with P&O

Other Considerations

There are more unique things to consider when going on a cruise holiday that may also need to be covered against.  These include issues such as cabin confinement which is a situation where you may be confined your cabin due to medical reasons by the ships doctor, or for other unforeseen circumstances. Missed shore trips are also covered meaning that any trips or excursions are cancelled due to delays or docking problems can be claimed back. It will also repay costs of trips and excursions missed through illness or injury and also if a destination port is missed altogether due to time restrictions or weather conditions. Policies will also have options to cover costs incurred if baggage is lost or misplaced and is needed to be sent to either a destination on the trip or returned home.

Ventura with P&O

Dining at sea on Ventura cruise.

Specifics of Cruise Cover

It is important to note than not all these options are standard on all cruise insurance policies, with some only offering these services as optional extras or bolt on additions to their standard policies. It is important to have a policy that covers, at minimum, medical expenses up to £10 million and cancellations and delays up to £3000, however depending on the price of the trip can be up to £25,000. With regards to extra add-ons, cabin confinement pay outs are on average £100 for everyday stuck in the cabin and missing ports or excursions can be up to £500. It is also worth checking the company offers a 24 hour emergency help line to contact if any emergencies or issues do arise during your trip. Also check that your policy covers any activities you may want to take part in, either on board, or at the different destinations you are visiting. You can check your individual cruise lines advice such as the P&O cruise travel insurance advice on its Australian site.

What can go Wrong

Just like any holiday there are certain things that go wrong, from lost baggage through to holiday illnesses. The nature of a cruise though makes the things which can go wrong a little different from your typical beach or resort holiday. So how is a cruise holiday different in terms of what can go wrong?

1. Ports – Because you might be visiting many different ports, this opens up the possibility that you are experiencing a variety of different cultures in a short amount of time. The best advice is to leave any valuables you do not need, on the ship. Unless you need to for example, why not leave expensive jewellery and similar items onboard. In a city such as Barcelona, also take care to protect against pickpockets (particularly on Las Ramblas). I keep most of the bank notes in my sock and have smaller amounts in my wallet. If you are elderly and are concerned about navigating through new ports then you might be best off to use the organised tours which the cruise line offer.

2. Crime – As already briefly mentioned, crime onboard is really very rare compared to a resort. Most of the shop you might notice is on camera i.e. the hallways between decks and each room on the majority of cruise ships has a safe. The simple rule is to make sure you use the safe in your cabin.

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