A cruise vacation is supposed to be relaxing and fun, but there are a number of things that can go wrong when cruise ship passengers leave the ship and visit the various ports of call.
It’s important to remember that criminals and thieves are just as aware of the cruise ship docking as you are – and they may be better prepared to do a relaxed cruise traveler serious harm.
Unfortunately, when travelers are on vacation, they often leave their best safety strategies back home. A scan of recent headlines will give you a range of incidents where cruise travelers are robbed, killed, or injured in various cruise ship ports of call.
We’ll tell you how travel insurance can provide much-needed support during these travel emergencies.
In July of 2010, one young girl of 14 was shot and killed while on a bus tour in Puerto Rico. The bus passed through unexpected gunfire from two warring drug gangs. She was later pronounced dead at one of the island’s hospitals.
In this type of disaster, the young girl’s family is not likely to want to continue their cruise trip, so having trip interruption coverage (so they can abandon their cruise) and repatriation (to get their daughter’s body safely home) is likely what they would want to have with their trip insurance plan.
In June, 2007, multiple passengers who disembarked at Montego Bay were robbed while touring a banana plantation. The thieves took cash, credit cards, identification, passports, cameras and jewelry.
In this travel disaster, the travelers would be grateful if their travel insurance plan had identity theft coverage as well as help for replacing lost credit cards and passports. Unfortunately, their cash can never be replaced, and the cameras and jewelry would have to be covered under their homeowner’s protection for them to make a claim.
While in Belize in January of 2007, a heavy steel gate fell on a traveler fracturing her pelvis and causing severe scrapes and bruises. The traveler was taken to a local medical facility and treated for her injuries.
In this travel disaster, the traveler would like to have travel medical coverage with their trip insurance plan, so they wouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for their medical care. In this particular situation, the traveler would also be grateful for medical evacuation coverage to take her home after being treated in the hospital as she was ordered to remain completely immobile for several days before traveling home and the cruise ship wasn’t going to wait for her.
It’s important for travelers on cruise ships to remember that there is no place completely free of risk. Murders, rapes, diseases, and all manner of things can happen on a cruise ship just like it can back home. A cruise ship is really best thought of as a big floating city with very few police officers.
Therefore, you have to watch yourself: keep your valuables secure, don’t drink too much alcohol, keep a close eye on the kids – all the things you do back home to stay safe.
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and he believes travel insurance should be easier to understand. He started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.