|Posted on August 28, 2011 at 1:50 AM|
Last week, due to impending hurricane Irene, two cruise ships that home-ported in San Juan were ordered by port officials to depart several hours early, stranding hundreds of guests. Those that booked their flights through the cruise lines were put up in hotels and flown to their ship’s next port, but the vast majority had booked their own flights to save money.
But what about the others? While one cruise line chose to pay for hotels and airfare to the next port for all stranded guests (even though they were not required to do so), the other did not. So, here's why insurance and passports are so important.
Technically, a passport is not required if your ship sails round-trip from the same U.S. port, however we strongly advise all of our clients to travel with a passport because one is required for air travel between the U.S. and the Bahamas, Caribbean, Canada, and Mexico. As was the case in San Juan (a U.S. possession, so a passport wasn’t required), passengers without passports were not able to fly to their ship’s next port of call. Nor would they have been able to fly home from the Caribbean in the case of emergency.
Had the San Juan passengers purchased travel insurance, they would have been reimbursed under their policies for hotel accommodations and flights (either home or to the next port). Uninsured guests had to bear these unexpected additional costs themselves. In addition, travel insurance covers you for emergency medical expenses and evacuation, lost or delayed baggage, and trip cancellation and interruption.