Cruise Travel Insurance: Do You REALLY Need It?

Setting off on a cruise adventure is exciting, but it’s smart to think about the “what ifs.” Have you considered getting cruise travel insurance?

It might seem like just another step in your trip planning, but it’s actually a key part of making sure your vacation sails smoothly, no matter what comes up.

Cruise insurance can cover a lot of unexpected problems, like if you have to cancel your trip suddenly, miss your connection, lose your bags, face a medical issue, or even if you’re stuck at port longer than expected.

Having this insurance means you can relax and enjoy your journey with the comfort of knowing you’re protected.

It’s important to look at what could go wrong and decide how much coverage you need. This way, you can pick the right plan that fits just right for your cruise vacation.

A woman with a white hat looking at a cruise ship from behind, shot on a film camera, with high resolution photography, insanely detailed with fine details, isolated background, stock photo, professionally color graded, with a cinematic angle, hyper realistic in the style of a professional photographer

What Is Cruise Travel Insurance?

Cruise travel insurance is a specific type of travel coverage designed to cater to the unique needs of cruise travelers.

Your regular health or travel insurance might not cover all the potential issues you could encounter on a cruise ship or during international port stops.

Cruise insurance policies can include a blend of several types of coverage:

  • Trip Cancellation: You’ll be reimbursed for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses if you need to cancel your trip for a covered reason.
  • Trip Interruption: If your cruise is unexpectedly cut short, you can get compensation for the lost portion of the trip and sometimes for extra costs of returning home.
  • Medical Expenses: This covers the cost of medical treatment for illness or injuries sustained on the cruise.
  • Emergency Evacuation: In case you need to be evacuated from the ship for medical reasons, this ensures you’re covered for the expenses.

Benefits of Cruise Travel Insurance

Investing in cruise travel insurance is highly recommended and here’s why:

  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that unexpected events, from bad weather to medical emergencies, won’t spell disaster for your holiday finances can allow you to relax and enjoy your trip.
  • Financial Protection: In the case of cancellations or interruptions, you can safeguard against significant financial loss. With the high cost of cruises, this can be particularly valuable.
  • Medical Security: Should you require medical attention on board or at a port, your insurance can buffer you against the high costs that might not be covered by your regular health insurance, especially if you’re in international waters or countries.

Selecting the right cruise travel insurance policy means reading the fine print and understanding the specifics of what is covered.

Always check the exclusions and limitations to ensure that your policy fits your personal needs and the nature of your trip.

Do You Need Cruise Travel Insurance?

Yes, you should definitely consider getting cruise travel insurance for your sea adventures. Even though we all hope not to use it, cruise insurance acts as a vital safety net.

It covers unexpected incidents that could otherwise upset your plans, such as flight delays, illness, or lost luggage.

Regular travel insurance might not cover specific problems that can happen on a cruise, like missing a port of call or facing a medical emergency on board.

Cruise travel insurance is not mandatory, but it gives you peace of mind. Knowing you’re protected allows you to fully relax and enjoy your journey, free from worry about potential disruptions. It’s a small investment that can give you peace of mind.

Norwegian Jewel at Sea

What Does Cruise Insurance Cover?

Here’s what typical cruise insurance generally covers:

  1. Medical Coverage: If you need medical help for sickness or injuries during your cruise, your policy usually provides emergency medical assistance. However, coverage for pre-existing conditions might require additional terms.
  2. Trip Cancellation: This coverage reimburses you for pre-paid, non-refundable expenses if you have to cancel your cruise due to unexpected issues like illness or severe weather.
  3. Trip Interruption: Should you need to return home suddenly due to emergencies or sudden travel restrictions, this part of your policy helps cover the lost portions of your trip and any extra costs for urgent travel arrangements.
  4. Luggage and Baggage Protection: If your belongings are lost or damaged, your policy will likely help cover the costs, easing the frustration and financial burden.
  5. Emergency Evacuation: In severe cases requiring you to leave the ship urgently, such as a medical emergency, your insurance should cover these costs. This includes medical evacuations if detailed in your policy.
  6. Missing the Ship: If you’re late and miss the ship’s departure, cruise insurance typically covers the expenses of catching up to the ship at the next port.

Be aware that most cruise insurance policies do not cover extreme sports like parasailing or bungee jumping, and you may need additional coverage for these activities.

Activities like rock climbing and zip lining offered by the cruise might be covered, but always check your specific policy details.

It’s vital to review your insurance plan thoroughly to ensure you understand all the protections you have for a worry-free cruise.

How Much Does Cruise Insurance Cost?

The cost of cruise insurance can vary widely depending on several factors such as the length of your cruise, the destinations you’ll visit, the cost of the trip, and your age.

Generally, you can expect to pay about 4% to 10% of your total trip cost for cruise insurance.

For example, if your cruise costs $2,000, cruise insurance could be anywhere from $80 to $200.

It’s also important to consider that higher coverage limits and additional coverage options, like for pre-existing conditions or extreme sports, may increase the premium.

To get the best rate, it’s a good idea to compare quotes from different insurance providers.

What’s the Difference Between Travel Insurance Offered by a Cruise Line and Cruise Insurance?

The main difference between travel insurance offered by a cruise line and a standard cruise insurance policy you might purchase through an independent insurance company lies in the extent of coverage and flexibility.

Cruise line insurance tends to be more convenient as it can be booked directly with your cruise package, often making it seem like a straightforward choice.

However, it generally provides more limited coverage and can be less comprehensive compared to policies available through third-party insurers.

For instance, cruise line insurance might offer lower reimbursement rates for trip cancellations and may not include certain benefits like Cancel For Any Reason coverage or extensive medical insurance.

On the other hand, third-party cruise insurance usually offers a wider range of coverage options and higher limits.

These policies can be customized to include broader protections, such as higher medical coverage, coverage for pre-existing conditions, and more generous cancellation terms.

This makes independent insurance a potentially better choice for travelers looking for more thorough coverage and flexibility to tailor their policy to their specific needs.

A happy couple on the deck of their cruise ship, pointing at something in front of them. She smiles with her hand while his eyes look up to where he is looking. They both have short brown hair styled with highlights. The sun shines down from behind them, the sea stretches out below them and there is an ocean view ahead.

Do I Need Travel Medical Insurance For My Cruise?

Yes, it’s highly advisable to have travel medical insurance for your cruise. While on a cruise, accessing medical care can be costly, especially if you need specialized treatment or have to be evacuated to a hospital.

Most standard health insurance plans may not cover medical expenses incurred outside your home country, or they may offer limited coverage.

Travel medical insurance can help cover these costs, including medical emergencies, consultations, and even medical evacuation if necessary.

This ensures you’re not faced with significant out-of-pocket expenses should you need medical attention while at sea or in a foreign port.

Does Regular Medical Insurance Cover You While Cruising?

Regular medical insurance often provides limited or no coverage for medical expenses incurred outside of your home country, which includes being on a cruise.

Additionally, even within your country, many standard health plans may not cover medical services onboard a cruise ship, as these services are typically considered out-of-network.

This can lead to significant out-of-pocket expenses if you require medical attention during your cruise.

Therefore, purchasing travel medical insurance that specifically includes coverage for cruises can be crucial to ensure you’re adequately protected while traveling.

Does Cruise Insurance Cover Hurricanes?

Yes, cruise insurance generally covers disruptions caused by hurricanes, but the coverage specifics can depend on the timing and the terms of your policy.

If a hurricane impacts your cruise itinerary, such as causing a delay, cancellation, or necessary itinerary change, your insurance can help cover the associated costs.

However, it’s important to purchase the insurance well before a storm is forecasted or named, as most policies will not cover hurricane-related claims if the policy is bought after a storm has already been predicted or has become a known threat.

This kind of coverage helps protect your investment in situations where severe weather affects your planned departure or the cruise route itself.

Royal Caribbean view from above

Details of Coverage

The right policy can cover unforeseen incidents, from cancellations to medical emergencies, but not all policies are created equal…

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Your cruise travel insurance typically includes trip cancellation and interruption coverage. This protects you if you have to cancel your cruise last-minute due to an emergency, such as a sudden illness or a family bereavement.

If you have to cut your cruise short and return home early, interruption coverage can help reimburse the lost portion of your trip, as well as any additional costs for last-minute travel arrangements.

  • Cancellation: If you cancel your trip for a covered reason before departure, you can get a refund for non-refundable, pre-paid expenses.
  • Interruption: If you need to return home early, you might be compensated for the unused part of your cruise and extra transportation costs.

Medical Coverage

You’ll want to be sure that your insurance policy includes medical coverage for accidents or illnesses.

This aspect of the coverage can alleviate the financial stress if you need medical attention onboard or at a port of call.

  • Onboard Medical Issues: Coverage for doctor visits and medical treatments you may need while on the ship.
  • Port of Call Medical Needs: Similar coverage applies for medical services in the countries you visit.

Evacuation and Repatriation

In an emergency situation where you need to be evacuated from the ship or repatriated back to your home country, evacuation and repatriation coverage can be essential.

It can cover the expenses of medical evacuation by air or sea and repatriation of remains in the case of a fatality.

  • Medical Evacuation: Can cover the potentially high costs of emergency transport, such as a medical flight.
  • Repatriation: Assistance with return travel arrangements due to serious illness or in the event of a death.

Baggage and Personal Effects

Should your belongings be lost, stolen, or damaged during your cruise, baggage and personal effects coverage helps you replace or repair them.

  • Lost/Stolen Items: Reimbursement for the value of lost or stolen items.
  • Damaged Items: Coverage to repair or replace items damaged on your trip.

Delays and Missed Connections

Lastly, delays and missed connections coverage assists you financially if your travel is delayed, causing you to miss a cruise departure or a connecting flight.

  • Travel Delays: Compensation for additional accommodation and food expenses if your trip is delayed.
  • Missed Connections: Helps cover the cost of catching up to your cruise or arranging alternative transportation.

Make sure to review your policy’s details for specific covered reasons and the documentation needed to support a claim.

Additional Benefit

Adventure Sports Coverage

If your cruise vacation has a side of adrenaline, Adventure Sports Coverage can be your best mate. Should you decide to go scuba diving or windsurfing, it’s a safety net that catches you financially if an accident occurs. Here’s a quick look:

  • Activities Covered:
    • Scuba Diving (up to certain depths)
    • Windsurfing
    • Jet Skiing
    • Parasailing
  • What’s Included:
    • Medical Expenses: If you get injured, your policy can cover the medical bills.
    • Evacuation Costs: In severe cases, emergency evacuation may be needed, and that’s covered too.

Remember, to have this box ticked, you need to confirm its inclusion as it’s not a standard feature in all policies.

Cancel for Any Reason Add-On

Life is unpredictable, and sometimes you need to cancel your trip unexpectedly. That’s where the Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) Add-On steps in.

This flexible option offers you the liberty to back out from your cruise for any reason and still recoup a significant part of your investment. Take note of the specifics:

  • Reimbursement: Typically, you can recover 50-75% of your non-refundable trip costs.
  • Deadline: You usually have to add this perk within a set time window after making your first trip deposit.

Adding CFAR allows you to stay in control, giving peace of mind that your bases are covered, no matter what life throws at you. But make sure you understand the eligibility criteria and restrictions before you add it to your policy.


  • Essential Protection: Cruise insurance is crucial for handling unexpected issues like cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Policies generally include trip cancellation and interruption, medical expenses, emergency evacuation, baggage protection, and coverage for missing the ship.
  • Specialized for Cruises: Unlike regular travel insurance, cruise-specific policies cater to the unique needs of cruise trips, including specific coverage for activities and scenarios related to cruises.
  • Cost of Insurance: The price of cruise insurance typically ranges from 4% to 10% of your trip’s total cost, influenced by various factors including trip length, destination, and the traveler’s age.
  • Comparison with Cruise Line Insurance: Insurance offered by cruise lines is more convenient but often less comprehensive than third-party policies, which offer broader coverage and higher limits.
  • Medical and Emergency Needs: It’s highly recommended to have travel medical insurance as regular health plans may not cover medical care on cruises, especially in international waters or foreign ports.
  • Hurricane Coverage: Policies usually cover hurricane-related changes if the insurance is purchased before the storm is forecasted.
  • Flexibility and Peace of Mind: Investing in cruise travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind, allowing you to fully enjoy your cruise experience.

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