Of course, I’m excited!
This is my first cruise so every step of preparation is new to me. I’ll admit that there is a bit more paperwork required than I realized. It’s not bad, really, you just have to actually read the information that is sent to you. Insurance is one of those items that I would have preferred to avoid. At first blush, it just seems like a waste of money to buy insurance for a trip. I mean, who expects to not go on the trip that they are so excited about? However, in researching trip insurance, I learned more about the situations that might arise. Consider sickness, for example. If I were to get ill aboard the ship and need hospitalization, I would have to be taken off the ship via helicopter. I have only one experience with a medical airlift and I learned that it costs $10,000 to $15,000 for ten-minute ride from one hospital to another. And, that was within the states! Just imagine that we are miles out in the ocean and the nearest helicopter has to come from the islands, and the nearest adequate hospital is on a different island. You can see how the costs would mount rather quickly.
Another scenario that might arise–which would be completely beyond our control–is a situation where an immediate family member is injured or hospitalized. We all know family comes first, so we would have to interrupt our cruise to return home. The cruise line can’t be expected to refund our money. Insurance would cover the cost of the cruise, airfare and a few incidentals related to the trip.
What if the airline cancels our flight and we miss embarkation? (First of all, prudence would dictate that we put a little cushion of time between when our flight arrives and when the boat departs.) But, aside from normal caution, situations do arise where an airline would cancel our flight and there are no more outbound flights available. We could potentially miss the beginning of the cruise. I have no idea what it costs to get a flight on short notice from the states to the Bahamas, but I’m guessing that it would not be cheap. Do I have the extra funds to cover that expense?
All in all, I still hated to purchase insurance. We could weather the basic costs of missing the cruise, even though it would be financially painful. But, the medical scenarios that might arise? I wasn’t so sure I wanted that kind of risk. Huge medical bills could bankrupt most families. So, we purchased insurance. For the two of us, a medium-coverage policy cost $375. Most policies cover trip interruption or cancellation adequately, but I was more interested in medical coverage for an emergency health problem and the necessary funds to cover a medically-necessary evacuation off the ship. By definition, insurance is one of those things that you hope you never need. Let’s pray we don’t have to use it!