I am looking for some information on cruise cancellations because of weather related issues. With all the weather issues in the Atlantic and the predictions that the 2005 hurricane season will be quite active, would anyone recommend purchasing trip insurance? I have never purchased insurance on previous cruises (7 in all), but the current weather patterns are making me a bit nervous. My family and I are traveling on the Dawn on the October 9th sailing. Can anyone tell me about cancellations, changes of iteneraries or insurance?
It's extremely rare for them to out and out cancel a cruise because of weather. What happens more often is that they're either modify the itinerary (and sometimes comp you, though I don't think I've ever seen NCL do that) or shave days off the sailing (and this will have them comp you). If they go for an out-and-out cancellation, they'll give you your money back.
Should you purchase insurance? Heck yes. There are a million things that can go wrong beyond just the weather, and that's a pretty big investment not to protect.
I know most people who do the Dawn are New York locals, so this might not apply, but on the off chance that you're coming in from out of town, there are lots of good reasons to purchase the insurance, because if you're flying in and your plane makes it to JFK as the ship is pulling out of harbor, or if you get to New York and your luggage doesn't. There are lots of different policies out there that cover lots of different stuff. Check out www.insuremytrip.com, and you can compare all sorts of stuff.
Weather aside, another thing you need to keep in mind when opting out of travel insurance is the medical aspect of it. Even people in their 20s and 30s can have serious accidents in the Caribbean or wherever. The father to friend of mine had a heart attack while at sea. The father had to be air lifted to the nearest hospital. Understandably, his wife (no longer interested in staying on the ship and continuing with the cruise) wanted to be with him while he recovered. The air liftng alone ran in excess of $25,000, not to mention the hotel costs at a nearby hotel for his wife to stay while he was in the hospital, her out-of-pocket expeses, and a one-way return flight home for both when he was well enough to travel again.. Travel insurance paid every dime of this, and I can assure you that the entire family felt the extra money spent on the insurance for that trip was the best they every spent! DH and I have great medical insurance, but it doesn't cover air lifting or transportation from a foreign country back home, or any of the expenses of the non-injured spouse who needs to be with the spouse who's sick. Think about it.
For years I neither took it or recommended it to my cliants, now I wouldn't be without it. The only time we might not bother would be if we planned our cruise just a few weeks out and it was exceptionally inexpersive; we might take our chances. It is still a personal thing, but I think it is worth the extra cost. NMNita