Every year, hundreds of thousands of people from the U.S. go on Caribbean cruises, which are divided primarily either Eastern Caribbean routes or Western Caribbean routes.
There are many cruise companies that operate cruises such as Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruise, Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, and many others.
Many of the Caribbean cruises operate from Florida at ports such as Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, or Cape Canaveral. Additionally, several cruises operate from Galveston, TX, or New Orleans, LA, as well.
There are many itineraries, and cruises vary from 3 days to 14+ days. However, the majority of the cruises are a week long. Eastern Caribbean cruises go to countries such as the Bahamas, St. Martin, the Virgin Islands, etc. Western Caribbean cruises go to countries like Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, etc. Many cruise lines also have their own private island that is used as one of the ports.
Even though a Caribbean cruise can be a fun and relaxing vacation, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. Therefore, purchasing Caribbean cruise travel insurance is highly recommended.
Even though some form of travel insurance or travel protection may be available through your credit card or through your cruise line, it is highly advisable to purchase it from a third-party insurance company through a travel insurance comparison website such as this.
A typical Caribbean cruise travel insurance policy may come with many features such as:
Trip Delay or Missed Connection
Baggage Delay or Loss
Emergency Medical Evacuation / Repatriation
Repatriation of Remains
Cruise companies typically require the full payment of the cruise cost in advance, and these payments are usually non-refundable. Just before going on a Caribbean cruise, if you get sick or injured (or if your family member passes away, or if you must attend a jury duty, or another unexpected incident occurs) and can’t go on the trip, you would lose all the prepaid money that you put toward your cruise, airline connections, and so on. However, the trip cancellation portion of travel insurance could help reimburse you up to the insured trip cost.
Travel insurance is primarily for you. Therefore, if there are multiple people traveling together, it is the best to purchase travel insurance for everyone for wider protection. In some circumstances, it may still be possible for a travel companion to get coverage when there is a covered reason for another person, but it may not always apply.
If you are relaxing on a beach in the Bahamas (one of the most popular ports for Caribbean cruises) and you learn that your father back home has passed away, you would need to get to the nearest airport and back home as soon as possible. Trip interruption coverage in travel insurance would help you pay for making additional travel arrangements, as well as reimburse you for the unused portion of the insured trip cost.
Going on a cruise typically involves taking one or two flights. If any of the flights are delayed, or if you are unable to reach the port in time due to any transportation issues, the cruise is not going to wait for you. Travel insurance can help cover the costs associated with trip delays or missed connection.
Another common scenario that may be covered under this benefit is that the cruise’s departure is delayed and can’t start sailing until the next day for whatever reason. In this case, you would need to find a hotel room for overnight stay, as well as meals for the evening and following morning. Trip delay insurance can help cover these costs.
Most people take a flight to their cruise’s point of departure, and it is possible that their baggage wouldn’t arrive with them either at all or in time to bring it with them on the cruise. While insurance coverage cannot necessarily pay to replace every single item in your baggage, it can help you pay for the necessary personal effects such as a new set of clothes or toiletries.
Your domestic health insurance may not provide any coverage outside your home country. Even if it does, it may be very limited or come with a significantly higher deductible, coinsurance, and out of pocket maximum.
It is possible that you may get sick on the cruise itself, whether from food poisoning, a stomach bug, or whatever else. You may also get injured on the cruise or at one of the ports while enjoying some leisure activities or just relaxing on the beach.
Travel insurance can help pay for such expenses, which can be very high in some cases.
Many people do shore excursions while on cruises. Therefore, make sure that your particular travel insurance plan will cover all the activities you plan to do or may possibly do. Parasailing in pristine waters in Sint Maarten is a lot of fun, but an accident may cost you $40,000. Some people may not have planned such activities in advance, but when they see everyone else doing it, they will want to join in. Therefore, confirming travel insurance coverage in advance for these kinds of activities is advisable.
Most cruise ships have onboard medical facilities that can treat minor ailments. However, they don’t have elaborate treatment options. Many of the Caribbean countries that are ports (stops) on a cruise don’t have excellent medical facilities, either.
Therefore, you may need to be evacuated from the cruise ship or from the hospital at the port to another location where adequate care can be given, such as Florida in the U.S. Such evacuation can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, most comprehensive travel insurance plans would cover this kind of expense.
Even though nothing may go wrong for you personally, the travel supplier such as the cruise line itself may be in financial default. If you have purchased travel protection from them, it is not going to cover such a problem. However, regular travel insurance from an insurance company would typically cover financial default, provided you purchased the insurance within a certain number of days of making the initial trip deposit and insured the entire trip cost.
In the unfortunate event that the insured were to pass away while on the trip, travel insurance can help pay for the repatriation of mortal remains.
Typically Excluded Benefits
Frequent-Flyer Reward Tickets
Unfortunately, travel insurance plans would not cover cancellations due to disease outbreaks, CDC or other foreign travel advisories, fear of travel, etc. Therefore, in order to get the best protection, you should consider cancel for any reason travel insurance. There are certain conditions that apply, such as that you will get only 75% of your insured trip cost back, and you have to cancel within at least 48 hours of your trip departure date. In order to get such insurance, you have to insure the entire trip cost and buy insurance within a certain number of days of the initial trip deposit date.
Many times, due to weather, sea conditions, or other reasons, some cruise itineraries change. Therefore, if you really wanted to be at the Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas while on your cruise but the itinerary gets changed, you will not get any benefits.
It is possible that during your entire cruise, it might rain every day and ruin your vacation fun. However, as long as there is a cruise, there won’t be any travel insurance benefits just because you could not enjoy it as much as you were hoping.
Of course, if a major weather event such as a hurricane were to cause your trip to be cancelled or interrupted, you might get the coverage for the same.
As you didn’t actually get paid for your airline ticket when you purchased it using frequent-flyer rewards, these are typically not insurable. However, some travel insurance plans would pay for you to redeposit your miles back into your account.