Carnival Cruise Line is one of the largest and most recognizable cruise lines in the world, carrying roughly 4 million passengers each year.
Whether you’ve already purchased a Carnival cruise, or are considering booking an ocean adventure in the near future, travel insurance is likely top of mind. Getting a policy for your cruise can provide financial protection if you need to cancel, as well as the peace of mind that you’re covered if things go wrong during your trip.
Below we’ll discuss the options available to you from Carnival Cruise Line themselves, as well as alternative options that may offer better travel insurance coverage at a lower price.
Should You Buy Insurance For Your Carnival Cruise?
In short, yes, getting a single-trip travel insurance policy that covers your upcoming cruise is highly recommended. While it’s easy to imagine yourself sailing away to paradise, the unfortunate truth is that things may not go exactly as planned. Flights can get delayed, luggage can get lost, and medical emergencies can happen.
Travel insurance offers protection from the unexpected, and provides financial reimbursement in the event that unforeseen events disrupt your cruise experience. The high costs associated with booking a cruise coupled with the potential for costly medical bills if you or someone in your group gets sick or injured during the trip makes a comprehensive cruise insurance policy a wise investment.
What to Look for in Cruise Insurance
Before diving into travel insurance options for your Carnival cruise, it helps to get an understanding of what a great cruise insurance policy actually covers. While every cruiser’s situation is unique, most travelers getting ready to set sail should look for a comprehensive policy that includes coverage for events that happen both before and during a cruise.
Top Cruise Insurance Benefits
Below are some of the key benefits to be mindful of when analyzing cruise travel insurance policies:
- Trip Cancellation: Full reimbursement if you need to cancel your cruise for a covered reason.
- Cancel For Any Reason: Option upgrade that offers partial reimbursement if you need to cancel for an uncovered reason.
- Trip Interruption: Reimbursement for unused trip costs if you need to leave your cruise early for a covered reason.
- Emergency Medical: Coverage for medical expenses including lab costs, hospital bills, and ambulance rides if you experience a medical emergency while traveling.
- Medical Evacuation: Reimbursement for emergency transportation services to the nearest adequate medical facility.
- Travel Delay: Reimbursement for food and lodging if your flight to the cruise port is delayed.
- Missed Connection: Coverage in the event a common carrier delay forces you to miss part of your cruise.
- Baggage Delay: Reimbursement for necessary purchases such as toiletries and clothes if your baggage is delayed.
- Baggage and Personal Item Loss: Reimbursement for personal items if your luggage is lost, stolen or damaged at any point during your cruise.
The above benefits are usually included in most comprehensive cruise insurance policies, though coverage limits will vary from one plan to the next.
An Overview of Carnival’s Travel Insurance Plan
Carnival Vacation Protection™, Carnival’s trip insurance plan offered to its passengers, is offered to customers when making a reservation, and can be added to their booking with a simple click.
Below we take a look at the plan, offered through a partnership with Aon Affinity and Nationwide Mutual Insurance, and assess its coverage and costs.
What Does Carnival Vacation Protection™ Cover?
Looking at the policy from a distance, it appears to have everything you might need from a cruise protection plan. We’ve outlined a few specific details below.
- Carnival Cancellation Coverage: According to the plan, passengers can be reimbursed for airfare and cruise costs if they need to cancel their cruise for a covered reason.
- Carnival ‘Any Reason Cruise Credits’ Coverage: The plan includes coverage that allows passengers to cancel for an uncovered reason and receive up to 75% of your cruise costs in the form of future cruise credit.
- Carnival Medical Coverage: According to the Carnival Vacation Protection™ plan, passengers get $10,000 in Emergency Medical and $30,000 in Medical Evacuation coverage. These numbers fall short of Squaremouth’s recommendations for cruisers of at least $100,000 in medical and $250,000 in medical evacuation benefits.
- Carnival Baggage Coverage: If bags are delayed more than 24 hours, travelers may receive up to $500 to purchase necessary items. If a passenger’s luggage is lost, stolen, or damaged, the plan will reimburse them up to $1,500.
How Much Does Carnival Cruise Travel Insurance Cost?
According to Carnival Cruise Lines, their Carnival Vacation Protection™ plan starts at just $49, but will vary depending on the cost of the cruise, age of passengers, and more. For the most part, a comprehensive plan like the one being offered is usually between 5-10% of the total trip cost, in this case that would be the cost of the cruise.
It’s also important to note that Carnival insurance only covers one passenger at a time, so if you want coverage for a whole family, you will need to purchase individual plans. This is different from travel insurance, where one policy can cover an entire group.
Other Ways to Get Cruise Insurance
The main thing to remember when considering cruise insurance for your upcoming voyage is that the policy doesn’t have to come from the cruise line itself. There are hundreds of providers and policies out there that offer coverage that could be adequate for your trip.
The best place to start would be a comparison engine, like Squaremouth, that allows you to see how policies compete on price and coverage. Squaremouth offers a ‘Cruise’ filter that narrows down search results to policies that offer coverage for cruisers for the lowest possible price.
Nowadays, many travel credit cards include travel insurance benefits as part of their annual fee. From Trip Cancellation to Baggage Delay, these cards offer protection against a wide range of travel disruptions. Keep in mind that very few credit cards offer medical coverage, so this would need to be found elsewhere.
From A Provider
Have a preferred travel insurance provider that you’ve used in the past for a different trip? Chances are that some of their policies will over protection for cruises. Keep in mind, there’s no significant difference in cost from buying straight from a insurance provider and from a comparison site. However, some travelers may have existing accounts set up with a travel insurance company that make purchasing from their site easier.