Travelers planning a cruise pre-pay for excursions and onboard packages, but there is one unexpected expense that can quickly outweigh all the others, says leading travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth.
Medical bills on cruise ships can be a significant expense. According to Squaremouth Claims Director Brandi Morse, unavoidable shipboard expenses can cost two or three times more than the same bill in a hospital.
“We’ve seen medical conditions like an upper respiratory infection cost thousands of dollars to be diagnosed and treated on a cruise ship,” Morse said. “Cruise ships charge a lot for medical care, but travelers don’t always have the option to avoid them.”
In addition to treatment on board, some conditions require a medical evacuation. This typically costs between $50,000 and $100,000 from a cruise ship, Morse said, but can exceed $100,000 for travelers cruising to remote locations.
To prepare for these potential expenses, travelers should consider purchasing a travel insurance policy, especially if their primary health insurance does not provide coverage outside of the United States. Squaremouth recommends cruisers purchase a policy with at least $100,000 in Emergency Medical coverage and $250,000 in Medical Evacuation coverage. Depending on the traveler’s age, these policies can be less than $50 for a seven-night cruise.