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For many travelers who choose to go on cruises, the experience is smooth sailing.

But when something goes awry on a cruise vacation, from missing bags to missing your port of call, things can go south quickly. That’s why travel insurance is essential to pack, along with your sunscreen, swimsuit and phone charger.

Here are five reasons why purchasing travel insurance is a crucial step when preparing for your big cruise vacation. But first, we’ll answer the number-one question cruise travelers have…

Is cruise insurance worth it?

Most cruises aren’t cheap. Even if you score a great deal on your fare, you still have to factor in taxes, fees, airfare, excursions, beverage packages and extras. For this reason, you might hesitate to spend money on insurance. “Is travel insurance really worth it for a cruise?” you wonder.

The answer is always yes. That’s because travel insurance is an affordable cost that can potentially protect you from huge costs: the cost of canceling your cruise, the cost of receiving emergency medical care when you’re overseas, the cost of a medical evacuation from the ship to a hospital, the cost of replacing your possessions if your baggage is delayed, and more.

If you’re having a hard time squeezing travel insurance into your cruise budget, consider buying a lower-cost plan, such as:

Just make sure that the plan you choose includes the key benefits you need. Not all plans are the same, and you should read your plan documents carefully so you understand what’s covered. Now, we’ll take an in-depth look at five reasons why cruise insurance is worth it.

1. Travel insurance for cruises can reimburse you in case of a last-minute cancellation.

Think your cruise line will understand when you have to cancel your trip because of a family emergency? Probably not. They count on having their cabins filled when the ship leaves the dock, so cruise lines are reluctant to give refunds.

Many cruise lines relaxed their cancellation policies during the pandemic, but have since tightened them up. A typical cruise cancellation policy may give you only a partial refund or credit if you cancel less than 75 days from your sailing date (or 90 days, for cruises of 5 nights or longer). And if you cancel a cruise of any length within 30 days of your departure, your refund is the same: $0. Discounted promotional fares may also have a no-refund policy.

Cruise lines will try to sell you their own trip cancellation coverage, but if you read the fine print you’ll see they only offer refunds when you cancel your trip for a limited list of covered reasons. If you must cancel for another reason, cruise lines’ plans generally offer credits worth 75 percent of the trip cost.

Don’t lose your travel investment. Protect yourself with a travel insurance plan that allows you to cancel your trip for a wide range of covered reasons.

2. Travel insurance for cruises can save the day during a medical emergency.

When you’re soaking in rays on the lido deck with a good book in one hand and a fresh mango smoothie in the other, a medical crisis is the last thing on your mind. But shipboard medical problems can get very serious — and very expensive — fast.

If you’re treated on board, prepare to receive a hefty medical bill from the cruise line. Your regular health insurance likely won’t cover you. Not even Medicare, which doesn’t cover health care services when the ship is more than 6 hours away from a U.S. port.1

Serious medical emergencies may require a medical evacuation, which can mean being airlifted off the ship to the nearest hospital. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this can cost as much as $100,000—and that’s for the medical evacuation alone.2 Once you arrive at the hospital, prepare to pay upfront for services rendered.

Emergency medical travel insurance for cruises can pay all these costs for a covered medical emergency, up to the limits of your plan. Not only that, but our 24-hour assistance team can monitor your care, update loved ones on your condition, bring a family member to your bedside if you’ll be hospitalized for a while, and arrange your transportation home. Worth it? Without a doubt.

3. Travel Insurance is there when you miss the boat—literally.

Time and tide wait for no one. Neither do cruise ships. That’s why missed flights and missing bags become big problems when you’re beginning your cruise vacation. If your flight to Miami is canceled due to weather, causing you to miss embarkation, you’re out of luck—unless you have travel insurance.

Travel delay benefits can reimburse you for eligible hotel stays, meals and lost prepaid expenses if you experience a covered trip delay. Trip interruption benefits can reimburse you for the cost of transportation to your cruise’s first port of call, where you can catch up with the ship. And 24-hour assistance can help you figure out what to do and how to make the needed changes to your travel plan.

With cruise travel insurance, you don’t have to sweat unexpected delays and missed connections. You’ll get there! Just think of it as making a grand entrance.

4. Sometimes you need travel insurance for cruises to help you deal with the unexpected.

In the middle of your Caribbean journey from Nassau to San Juan, you get word that your mother has fallen seriously ill. You need to get home fast, but how can you do it without breaking the bank? This is when Allianz Travel Insurance is your best friend. Call 24-hour assistance, and a travel expert can help you make arrangements to fly home from the ship’s next port of call. You can be reimbursed for up to 150 percent of the cost of the trip: both the unused portion of your cruise and the additional transportation costs for returning home early, if you must interrupt your trip for a covered reason.

5. Travel insurance for cruises helps you kick back and relax.

People take cruises to spend quality time with friends and family, to explore new regions of the world, and sometimes even to get from Point A to Point B. But the key attraction of cruises is to let go of life’s little worries and unwind without a care. It’s tough to relax if you’re worried about bad weather, illness, lost luggage, missed flights, theft or international emergencies. A top-flight cruise travel insurance policy, such as the plans offered by Allianz Travel Insurance, can offer recourse for the unexpected.

Planning a cruise vacation in the next few weeks or months? One last tip: To get the maximum value from your travel insurance plan, buy it early, ideally within 14 days of paying your trip deposit. The earlier you buy cruise insurance, the longer your coverage window and the sooner you’re protected.

Get a quote now, so you can protect your cruise ASAP. Bon voyage!

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