USA Today Discusses Gulf Coast Tourism and the Oil Spill

Published by June 16, 2010

A recent article on USAToday.com gave advice to travlers considering a future cruise in the Gulf of Mexico.  Rich Tucker of Cruisedeals.com was quoted in the article with suggestions for travel planning, spending and travel insurance.  The following is an excerpt from the article with specific points of guidance.

— Don’t give up on cruises out of the Gulf Coast. Noting that there hasn’t been an impact on ships to date, Tucker stresses that even in the event that a port of call were adversely affected, cruise lines could alter their itineraries out of Gulf ports just as they do in the event of inclement weather.

— Consider visiting the New Orleans or Gulf Shores region a day or two before your cruise departs. It would seem counter-intuitive, given press reports of oil beginning to flow ashore at Gulf beaches, but Tucker notes adding a visit to the coastline to a cruise from the region will help the local economies that rely heavily on tourism.

“There are plenty of other recreational activities to choose from other than going to the beach, and you’ll get the satisfaction of helping boost their economy.”

— Purchase “cancel for any reason” travel insurance with your booking. Tucker says typical travel insurance does not cover the potential effects of oil spills, so if you’re on the verge of purchasing a cruise departing from the Gulf coast region, it might pay to pay up for pricier “cancel for any reason” insurance. While more expensive, “cancel for any reason” insurance will get you back a large percentage of your cruise fare if you decide to cancel your vacation down the road for any reason.

Tucker adds that cruisers who already have booked a voyage in the region without such insurance who have yet to make their final payment might consider canceling the reservation and rebooking with such insurance included.

“There are currently booked passengers who are getting close to making their final payment on their upcoming cruise and are hesitant about making the payment due to concerns that they may want to cancel their vacation as it gets closer,” he notes. “If you have already purchased a cruise and have not made your final payment yet, you may be able to cancel your existing cruise reservation with no penalty and immediately rebook the same cruise with the ‘cancel for any reason’ travel insurance.”

Cancel for any reason coverage is the best way to protect a vacation against man made disasters like the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Many plans only offer this option if the policy is purchased within a short amount of time from the initial trip deposit date, regardless of the final trip payment date.  This can be anywhere from 9 – 30 days, depending on the plan.  In order to use the coverage, the trip must be cancelled at least two days before departure.  Always refer to the certificate of insurance for details.