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Anyone who is interested in travel insurance esp in regards to the NCL posting....

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Was surprised that the family who had lost 25K on the NCL cruise was not issued a refund since they had travel insurance, but the whole story wasn't told in the news (and I am NOT a fan of NCL!)  Called them and told them that the carrier was AON which is used by the Carnival owned lines, and knew that the policies do include trip cancellation for any reasons on both policies cruise lines sell, and he told me that insurance that the cruise lines sell DOES include cancellation for any reason but the family bought a Centex (not sure of spelling) which does not include trip cancellation just medical expenses and evacuation.  I often get flyers for them and the Centex ins. is like the free travel insurance you get on your credit card and also carry Allianz annual travel insurance plan but when I read the policy it only have trip cancellation for covered reasons, illness, etc. (went to Sth America last Nov. when they had demostrations and Allianz said civil unrest was not terrorisim and had no problems with the demos) so make sure you get either the cruise lines or a travel insurance plan elsewhere (it's cheaper) that has cancel for any reason. Surprised at the many people who don't ask questions about their policy. 

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this should follow up with my most recent post about the travel insurance thread but there are some important points to be made so I am starting another thread.


With the advent  of the internet people think, why use a travel agent, the airlines used selfbooking to get rid of travel agents.  If you are familiar with cruises and room locations (as I suppose most readers here are) you probably won't need them for advice, but since the business is very competitive many of them rebate part of their commission so you will get OBC or something extra the cruise line won't give you  (they may know the cruiseline's agent for travel agents very well also to get you some perks or upgrades) or there are some (one who has a well known grid) where they buy cabins in block and they can sell the cabins at any price the want since they and not the cruise line own the cabins.   


Also (most cruise lines won't tell you this) you can put it on a 24 hour courtesy hold and then pay and most travel agents will do that and in some cases extend the hold as much as they can even if it's final payment period. I am using one now affiliated with an airline just to get the extra airline miles and I hesitated about them because  in the past I booked them and there was a $25 service charge and because the agency's rules are no written quotes,  you must book at the first time you call so I stopped using them but when they had a good mileage special, when I explained to the last agent I talked to why I haven't used them for my last few cruises and she saw that I booked loong (sic) repositioning cruises and balcony cabins, she bent the rules and would give me a written quote AND hold the reservations if I needed to find a mate to travel etc.


The most important reason though to have a travel agent, is that they are there to protect you, they want to keep you as a client because if you are not happy with one line, you can still use them for another line, whilst the cruiseline is there to protect THEMselves.  The family who claimed to have lost $25K on their Asian cruise, booked through a warehouse club travel agency who may because of their low prices and booking online wouldn't go to bat for them but I maintain a personal relationship with my agents and if I had a problem like that, I would say to the agent, I am booking through you so you can help me with any problem I have and I'd like YOU to try to solve the problem first.   The problem with agencies that want you to self book (usually an online one) is that often you don't build up a relationship with one person, it goes to a call center who may not be allowed to work on your behalf and not being their personal customer have no incentive to do) or if they bought a policy (as I said in my post about travel insurance) NOT sold by the agent through the cruise line, which DID contain the cancellation policies, just can't help.  




That is why it's important to book with ONE agent, I used to hop around to whatever agencies offered the lowest fare (forgetting the online agencies who also had a loyalty tier but again, because of problems you might encounter as I had mentioned they might not be the best bet.)  If you get a lower fare they will try to pricematch it, if the fare goes down after you paid (and YOU have to monitor that, they will not as it's not in their interest) they may be able to help you get a refund or more likely an upgrade or OBC.  They are more likely to do this if you have been a longtime customer who books a lot of cruises with them, than a first time customer who booked a 4 day Bahamas cruise.


There are some cruises that were said to be sold out the online agencies claimed, talked to my personal travel agent who talked with the cruise line (who I tried to talk before and as also told was sold out) and there in fact were some cabins available so that's another reason. 


Edited by evag

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I have read some articles about that situation and came to the conclusion the family did not buy travel insurance that included cancellation insurance.  So, if they bought an NCL policy, it was likely that inexpensive one that can be purchased until the last minute but only covers medical emergencies.  (Perhaps Centex is the carrier, as suggested by OP).


Here is a link to an article I found informative: https://www.eturbonews.com/542190/coronavirus-victim-in-hawaii-fights-norwegian-cruise-line/


So, evidently though booking a long, expensive trip to a far away locale with fragile persons included in the booking, they still did not elect to buy travel insurance.  So many more ordinary events could have caused this family to cancel or interrupt the trip, yet they did not insure this risk (were they thinking they could get press coverage and shame companies into giving refunds disputes lack of insurance, therefore insurance is an unnecessary expense?). Had they elected the best NCL coverage, they would likely be in better stead now, but instead they assumed the risk upon themselves.


The Coronavirus situation is unusual, though not totally unprecedented.  There have been other scary epidemics that have causes people to feel unsafe.  There have been other scary world events that have caused people to feel unsafe traveling.  Personally, I do wish NCL had canceled the cruise and gotten the ship and crew out of the hot zone early, but they seem disinclined to do so.  I also wish that family had fully insured themselves with cancel for any reason coverage and would learn their lesson (they seem disinclined to learn from the experience, seeming to blaming companies rather than their failure to insure).


Some travel agents are obliged to try to sell the protection policy from their agency brand.  The agency makes $ from it, but it may not be the best choice for that traveler for that trip. The cruiseline designs a policy, but that too may not be the best for that traveler.  The traveler should know their needs.  With the internet it is much easier to research, read and buy policies yourself.  Nobody knows your needs better or cares more.

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7 hours ago, Iluvmykindle said:

So then one should have medical/evacuation insurance AND cancel for any reason insurance???



That is exactly what I have. All in the same policy, not two different ones. Stuff happens... 

Edited by Greenpea2

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We also get both medical and cancellation insurance. My wife has a small business and if an employee or two are out she will have to cover and the vacation is cancelled. Flight and cruise are refunded by the insurance. Actually used the medical before had someone in the group sick and used onboard medical ($$$). Submitted receipts and everything was reimbursed. READ THE FINE PRINT, you get what you pay for. Spend a few bucks more if you need the coverage.

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