What cruising wisdom has Irma taught us?

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#1
Westerville, OH USA
1,836 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
I'm learning from all of the posts. Besides the issue that fall IS hurricane season, what have we all been discovering. I'd like helpful comments on:

1. The positive and negatives of travel insurance.

2. When to hold and when to fold (waiting it out or cancel your cruise)

3. Other issues (is it morally right to vacation in a devasted area immediately after the event (ie. the idea that they need our tourist dollars a day after a hurricane), things we take for granted that won't be there if we travel/cruise, etc.(ie. Everyone's car/taxi/shuttle van was underwater), etc.

I learned from Superstorm Sandy that often the best advice is to get out early. After convincing my airline rep (who had NO idea that a storm was affecting travel in the USA- I suspect he was in India) that I should be put on an earlier to connecting flight to make my flight out of the USA, they relented since there were seats. We were among the last flights leaving the airport on the east coast as they prepared for shutdown. That is an eerie feeling. If I had waited for them to cancel the first leg of the flight, which they did eventually, I would have missed all my precruise days in Rome.
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#2
Minnesota
484 Posts
Joined Jan 2017
I think this will be best answered by those that have or are actually going through it right now. We should see if anyone comments in a few days.

Personally, I think we should all have travel insurance and I have no desire to do a Caribbean cruise from August to December.

Glad you were able to catch your flight out.
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#3
Georgia
8,707 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by Markanddonna
I'd like helpful comments on:

1. The positive and negatives of travel insurance.

2. When to hold and when to fold (waiting it out or cancel your cruise)

3. Other issues (is it morally right to vacation in a devasted area immediately after the event (ie. the idea that they need our tourist dollars a day after a hurricane), things we take for granted that won't be there if we travel/cruise, etc.(ie. Everyone's car/taxi/shuttle van was underwater), etc.
1. The only negative is its cost. At its core, in the long-run you'll do better financially without insurance than with. The problems with that are [a] we don't all make it to the long-run, and [b] in order for it to break your way you need to start out with the money you save by the end by not purchasing insurance. Assuming you don't have a time machine, that'll only work out for rich people; for the rest of us there's insurance.

2. Excellent arguments can be made for any decision, and so maybe that's the best lesson: It'll depend on your own personal criteria.

3. If I invite you into my home, please don't pity me for its simplicity; please don't pity me for its imperfections; and please don't begrudge me your company because I live more humbly than you do or my current circumstances of disadvantage are impossible to hide from you.

I have to say that one thing I've learned from Harvey and Irma is that there doesn't seem to be a way to have most everyone jump into the cruise industry with the knowledge you're talking about having gained. There seems to be a consistency with regard to the confusion, the lack of understanding of the contract conditions, the resistance the facts of the matter, etc. And let's be clear, that not an indictment of people who exhibit that confusion, lack of understanding or resistance, but rather a recognition that those are normal characteristics, albeit not ideal for those who have them or those who encounter them. The point of this is therefore to underscore how much benefit it would be if veterans could find more and better ways to spread the word so that access to the things you're learning is easier and more automatic and much less a matter of reactive learning - i.e., being upset or frustrated or disappointed and learning from that bad experience.
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#4
Michigan
6,836 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
We always get travel insurance. We have had to use it once already due to a death in the family. We are booked on NCL Escape on Sept 23 to Tortola, St. Thomas, and Nassau. This is like deja vu for us as we were booked on CCL Inspiration to Cozumel in Nov 2005, one month after Hurricane Wilma sat spinning over top of the island. This is a risk we know we are taking when we book cruises in the hurricane season...which is one of the reasons to have insurance. We were lucky enough to be one of the first ships back to Cozumel after Wilma. We saw the devastation and destruction and we saw the determination of the people to rebuild and survive.

I doubt we will be sailing to Tortola or St. Thomas in 2 weeks. It is not even certain if we will be able to cruise from Miami at all. I pray for the people who are and will be impacted by Irma and I hope for them to have that same determination to survive and succeed as we saw in Cozumel. If we don't sail I will be disappointed but not devastated. We will probably just use our time to go visit our son in ND and rebook this cruise next year. Making lemonade out of lemons. If we do sail, my guess is it will be to the Western Islands and we will relax and enjoy the trip. One thing I am not going to do is complain. I'll deal with life as it happens and pray for the safety of those that are directly impacted as they have it much worse than I can even imagine.
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#5
82,195 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by Markanddonna
I'm learning from all of the posts. Besides the issue that fall IS hurricane season, what have we all been discovering. I'd like helpful comments on:

1. The positive and negatives of travel insurance.

2. When to hold and when to fold (waiting it out or cancel your cruise)

3. Other issues (is it morally right to vacation in a devasted area immediately after the event (ie. the idea that they need our tourist dollars a day after a hurricane), things we take for granted that won't be there if we travel/cruise, etc.(ie. Everyone's car/taxi/shuttle van was underwater), etc.

I learned from Superstorm Sandy that often the best advice is to get out early. After convincing my airline rep (who had NO idea that a storm was affecting travel in the USA- I suspect he was in India) that I should be put on an earlier to connecting flight to make my flight out of the USA, they relented since there were seats. We were among the last flights leaving the airport on the east coast as they prepared for shutdown

I am in Boston, which is as East Coast as it gets. It is a beaufrfifuul days today and tgghre is no eason aifpoft would be prreparing to shutt down thatrr I know of.. That is an eerie feeling. If I had waited for them to cancel the first leg of the flight, which they did eventually, I would have missed all my precruise days in Rome.[/quote]

Enjoy Rome.It is impossible to not, IMO.

Here's something to add to learn from these horrid storms. Lets make it a point to study geography. What a bonus for people who travel to know to where they are travfeling.
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#6
Fredericksburg, va. USA
83,463 Posts
Joined May 2001
It teaches us that Mother Nature is bigger and badder than we ever thought. Your vacation , while maybe needed, and certainly wanted, is but a drop in the bucket of life. You wouldn't want to be in a hurricane, nor would you want to go to a devastated country on vacation. Stuff happens....it sucks. Life goes on.

The cruise line will offer you something if they cancel. Take it, and be grateful that you aren't in the midst of a storm like Irma.
#7
Western North Carolina
1,463 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
That it is safe to be on a cruise ship, even when a Category 5 is in the same region.

That the biggest source of concern, uncertainty, frustration and financial risk is the decision on whether or not to travel to the embarkation port in time for the scheduled embarkation and wondering whether or not the ship will be there also.

That this is nothing compared to the risks to those in the pathway.
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#8
Australia
46 Posts
Joined May 2012
Hi

Great Blog. Sums up lots of my feelings. I leave for USA from Australia on Tuesday. Spending week in Tennessee before arriving in Miami on 23/9/2017 for 14 days cruising ( B2B). I have full travel insurance. I can cancel the cruise and associated travel now or hold my nerve and see if by 23/9/2017 there is a alternative route which will be ok to travel. The big question remains whether Miami is affected as bad as expected and that flights into Fort lauderdale and Miami are even possible. Who to say that the Port of Miami is funcationable either.

Never any good at poker .... Holding my nerve is not my strong point......
#10
Western North Carolina
1,463 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by Bigmaan
Hi

Great Blog. Sums up lots of my feelings. I leave for USA from Australia on Tuesday. Spending week in Tennessee before arriving in Miami on 23/9/2017 for 14 days cruising ( B2B). I have full travel insurance. I can cancel the cruise and associated travel now or hold my nerve and see if by 23/9/2017 there is a alternative route which will be ok to travel. The big question remains whether Miami is affected as bad as expected and that flights into Fort lauderdale and Miami are even possible. Who to say that the Port of Miami is funcationable either.

Never any good at poker .... Holding my nerve is not my strong point......
Current predictions are that Irma's eye will be over the southwest of FL rather than the southeast, so things are looking a little better for Miami.
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Larry and my wife Nan

Equinox - S. Caribbean - 9/25/17

Millennium - B2B - Japan/China & SE Asia - 10/16&30/16
Silhouette - E. Caribbean - 12/6/15
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Brilliance of the Seas - Baltic - 7/14/13
Caribbean Princess - British Isles - 8/1/12
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#11
Cocoa Beach, FL
20,455 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Hurricanes don't always follow projections

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#12
Western PA
1,019 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
With a Caribbean cruise coming up in December, and all the uncertainty about the repair of ports, I am reminded that for me, a cruise is all about being on a ship at sea. I won't be at all disappointed if the ports are changed, or if we just sail around for 12 days.
Re travel insurance, we did get it for our first few cruises. Then I realized that for every five cruises, we had spent enough on insurance for a whole cruise, so we stopped. We have not bought it (or wished for it) since.
#13
Michigan
6,836 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by shipgeeks
With a Caribbean cruise coming up in December, and all the uncertainty about the repair of ports, I am reminded that for me, a cruise is all about being on a ship at sea. I won't be at all disappointed if the ports are changed, or if we just sail around for 12 days.
Re travel insurance, we did get it for our first few cruises. Then I realized that for every five cruises, we had spent enough on insurance for a whole cruise, so we stopped. We have not bought it (or wished for it) since.


Not sure where you were getting insurance but I've never had it cost 20% of my cruise. Usually it is between 5-10%. Having had to use it for a death in the family the day before a cruise, plus having many other times when we almost had to use it, that 5-10% is worth the peace of mind to us.


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#14
Georgia
8,707 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by Warm Breezes
Not sure where you were getting insurance but I've never had it cost 20% of my cruise.
I just fast-forwarded 15 years (beyond the age when we expect to be able to travel) and recomputed our insurance premium, and it still seemed to come in at about 10%. Cancel for Any reason would bump it up to 15%. I'm not sure how to get to 20%.
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#15
Westerville, OH USA
1,836 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
I only purchase enough insurance to cover the cruise and flight. Hotel and tours can usually be cancelled without a penalty. If I cancel the insurance for a specific booking, I can often apply it to a future sailing as long as there was not claim on the cancelled one.
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#16
Ontario
2,891 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by John&LaLa
Hurricanes don't always follow projections

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Very true. We have family and friends who have homes in Naples and Marco Island. They are up North but it looks like they will have a lot of clean up work this Fall and Winter.
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#17
United States
575 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
It is all personal decision.

But do so informed. READ your terms and conditions. READ the terms and conditions of the insurance.

Don't book in hurricane season if you have issues with the terms and conditions applicable.
#18
Kalmar, Sweden
1,074 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Originally posted by Markanddonna

3. Other issues (is it morally right to vacation in a devasted area immediately after the event (ie. the idea that they need our tourist dollars a day after a hurricane), things we take for granted that won't be there if we travel/cruise, etc.(ie. Everyone's car/taxi/shuttle van was underwater), etc.
After the tsunami in 2004 one of the biggest problems in Thailand and other places in Asia where tourism is one of the biggest income source was that the tourism didn't pick up again the months after the tsunami. Thailand is one of the biggest holiday destinations for Swedes during the winter, but a lot of people didn't go because they thought that it wouldn't be morally right to do so. But in the end the people of Thailand got another set back because of it.

The Caribbean Islands that have been hit by Irma will be needing the tourism to get back on their feet again.
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#19
Perth, Western Australia
304 Posts
Joined Sep 2014
Originally posted by shipgeeks
Re travel insurance, we did get it for our first few cruises. Then I realized that for every five cruises, we had spent enough on insurance for a whole cruise, so we stopped. We have not bought it (or wished for it) since.
Wow! In 2015 I had to cancel a long cruise and flights etc on the day I was meant to fly out. Got every cent of the approx $10,400 cost refunded and the insurance was around $200. Would never risk being without insurance.



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#20
I come from a land down under
22,692 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by bUU
1. <snip> At its core, in the long-run you'll do better financially without insurance than with. <snip>

.

That isn't true of everyone. Sure the entire pool of insured would as a group be better financially without than with. But there will be some within the group who are better off with than without.

Take health insurance (because I've got a great example) my mum and dad have paid in for probably 50+ years, my wife and I over 35 years, the four of us are way behind, we would have paid more in premiums than we got back. Then my daughter she was in for about six months, needed surgery that included implanting a device, it cost the insurer more than mum, dad, me, Mrs Gut, daughter and Mrs Gut's parents had ever paid in, plus compound interest on top.

Similar with travel insurance we get it every trip, never had a claim, a close friend had a stroke at sea, airlift, emergency treatment, airlift home, he was a winner. Well financially anyway.
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