Your bags are packed, your passports are at the ready and you have your tickets in hand, all set for the trip of a lifetime sailing the high seas on a dream cruise.
But wait, there’s one last thing to check - have you bought travel insurance?
It is an easy little detail to forget, and a surprising number of people still travel without insurance. But a bigger concern is how many people head off with the wrong type of cover - especially on a cruise.
You might assume that one type of travel insurance is much like another, and if you already have an annual policy, you don’t have to think about it again. Sadly, this isn’t true. There are all sorts of reasons why you should take out specialised cruise travel insurance before jumping aboard.
Here, specialist over-50s provider Avanti Travel Insurance explain why.
Extra medical cover
If you fall sick or suffer an accident while out at sea on a cruise ship, getting treatment is not as simple as visiting a local doctor or hospital. The costs involved are accordingly far higher - way beyond what ordinary travel insurance policies will cover you for. It is therefore extremely important that you take out a cruise policy with this extra level of financial protection, otherwise falling ill at sea could prove to be a disaster financially.
Cruises are not just about the time spent on the boat, they are multi-leg trips with an itinerary of stop overs and excursions at various places. But these itineraries are prone to change - for example, if bad weather stops you departing one port at the allocated time, it has a knock-on effect for the rest of the trip. This can mean you missing out on paid excursions or accommodation bookings at the next port. Cruise insurance includes specific clauses covering you for such eventualities.
On a cruise, you do a lot of hopping on and off the ship, heading off to see the sights at one port or the next, moving from cabin to hotel and back again. This is where luggage, and expensive items like cameras and smartphones, can easily be misplaced, left behind or otherwise go missing. Cruise travel insurance provides extra protection on luggage, with many policies offering daily quotas for claims in recognition of the fact that you might need to claim more than once.
Missing the boat
It isn’t just luggage and valuable items that can easily be left behind when the ship sails from port. Passengers too often lose track of time, or otherwise get held up by some unforeseen event on shore, and miss embarkation. In most cases, the ship will wait until all passengers are accounted for. But you will probably be charged for the inconvenience caused and any changes to the itinerary that have to be made. Again, your cruise cover will have your back for this.
Cruises are rarely a cheap holiday option, and you will likely have made a considerable investment in booking to go on one. If, for whatever reason, you have to cancel at the last minute, you will lose the money you have paid - unless you have taken out cruise travel insurance. Most policies make special provision for cancellation cover, including if you have to cut short your trip and leave the cruise part way through.