Recent Cruise Mishaps Have Travelers Concerned

Published by December 14, 2010

Travel insurance can help travelers when unforeseen events affect a vacation.  However, many travelers are concerned about booking a cruise in light of the recent news involving problems with cruises.  In the past several months, cruise passengers were robbed on tour in St. Kitts, had to be towed inland into Mexico and have been damaged by massive waves.  A recent article from USA Today discussed the recent troubles at sea and how it will affect future cruise bookings.

The image of cruising as a safe and comfortable way to travel has taken a bit of a hit in recent weeks due to a string of unusual events on ships, from the fire aboard the Carnival Splendor to the rocking of the Clelia II to the listing of Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas. But is it enough to cause people to stay away from vacations at sea? Longtime industry watcher Mike Driscoll of Cruise Week says that, at the very least, it’s making it harder for travel agents to convince the 80% of Americans who never have been on a cruise to give one a try.

“From a sales perspective, travel agents report this puts them in a defensive position selling to first timers,” Driscoll tells USA TODAY. “People tend to pick up on the negatives, and this type of situation may prove to be a prohibiting factor for someone on the fence.”

Driscoll says travel agents have a tough time explaining the rarity of such events to non-cruisers. “Agents sound like a shill if they blow off fears with, ‘well, this happens very occasionally’, as pictures on TV are worth a thousand words,” Driscoll notes. “As for those who would never take a cruise in the first place, it just plays into their fears about cruising.”

Travelers who have these types of concerns can find peace of mind with cancel for any reason coverage in travel insurance.  This allows travelers to cancel the trip without providing an explanation.  If a traveler books a cruise and gets cancel for any reason insurance, they can choose to not go on the trip up until two days before departure and recoup a majority of the travel expenses.  To get a policy with this coverage, buy it soon after the first trip payment is made because this benefit is only available for a short time.

Travel insurance that does not include cancel for any reason coverage will only reimburse a cancelled trip if it is for one of the covered reasons listed in the policy.  This can include mechanical breakdown, inclement weather or being the victim of assault.   Fear of travel, or concerns about a cruise are not a covered reasons under trip cancellation.  Always refer to the certificate of insurance for details.

Source:  Troubles at sea: Will it stop cruisers from booking trips this winter