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MarketWatch, Sept 12 2018 – Why trip insurance may not help if Hurricane Florence ruins your cruise vacation

MarketWatch, Sept 12 2018 – Why trip insurance may not help if Hurricane Florence ruins your cruise vacation

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Unhappy passengers are likely out of luck

Passengers on the Norwegian Dawn have been wondering whether they can get refunds, but they’re probably not eligible for one.

When a cruise ship changes its itinerary, passengers have very few avenues for recourse. “They’re not due anything,” said Stewart Chiron, a cruise industry expert. “Written in the passenger’s contract is the cruise line’s right to alter the itinerary for any reason with no compensation due to the passenger.”

A spokesperson for Norwegian pointed to the company’s guest ticket contract, which includes a clause regarding itinerary deviation. That clause specifies the carrier has the right to alter a vessel’s planned voyage and cancel a scheduled call “for any reason and at any time before, during or after sailing of the vessel.” The contract further clarifies that in doing so Norwegian is not liable for any losses incurred by the passengers.

“The safety and security of our guests and crew is always our top priority,” a spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line said in an email. “While we recognize these itinerary changes may be disappointing, our on board teams are prepared to ensure the best vacation experience possible given these weather related necessary changes.”

Tourists should not expect travel insurance to help them out if the ship still sets sail. “Because the cruise was not canceled outright and travelers still had the option to take the trip, unfortunately trip cancellation coverage would not be available,” said Steven Benna, a marketing specialist at travel insurance marketplace Squaremouth.

Read the full MarketWatch article online here: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-trip-insurance-may-not-help-if-hurricane-florence-ruins-your-cruise-vacation-2018-09-12