We booked our 14 day Star Clipper cruise over a year ago and purchased trip insurance (Travel Guard) at that time, departing from Panama City. We booked our airfare to arrive the night before, with ship embarkation starting at 4:00 pm to as late as 9:00 pm.
Our current flights on Delta from Spokane to Panama City puts us in before 9:00 pm the night prior to embarkation. So, I thought all was good and we'd given ourselves more than enough lead time....... until I began seeing that one of the legs of our flight, from SLC to ATL, is consistently (78% of the time) extremely late - too late to make our connection to Panama.
I have looked for changes to our flights that would alleviate this problem, but cannot find any without having to leave an additional day early which is not feasible with my DH's work schedule. If we miss our connection, the only subsequent Delta flights would make us miss our embarkation.
I have found that there are a couple of flights that could get us into Panama City on other carriers, should the flight in question be late. That is, assuming that there are still seats available. We would certainly attempt to get on those flights. But, if we can't and we still miss embarkation?
My question with regard to our travel insurance is "if we miss our embarkation and sailing, are we required to make attempts to meet up with the our ship later in the cruise?" Or, can we simply cancel completely and make an insurance claim? The reason we would want to do this is that the first day of the trip is the Panama Canal transit which was the entire reason for booking this cruise. The rest of the cruise, while looking fun, is not the primary draw for us going on this trip.
If we miss our embarkation, the first port after the Panama Canal transit, is the San Blas Islands, then a day at sea, then Cartegna, Columbia. Neither of those places seems to be very conducive to wanting to fly into. Then there are 2 additional days at sea before Aruba (if we wait until Aruba, we've missed 1/2 the cruise and had to find something else to do for 7 days). Also, I can foresee a luggage fiasco under most of these scenarios, as well.
If we miss the Panama Canal part of the cruise, we'd actually prefer to just fly into Panama and do some land-based touring (and Canal touring), rather than run around and try to meet up with our ship. But, we'd need to make sure that our travel insurance would pay in that event and not deny our claim because we didn't meet back up with the cruise.
I've read through the Schedule of Benefits from Travel Guard and done lots of web searching and I've not found anything that addresses this type of situation specifically. I apologize for the length of this post, but wanted to give a full explanation to see if anyone here has had experience along these lines. Thank you to anyone who made it through this long post. I'm hoping that, by thinking through all the various "what-ifs", we'll avoid Murphy's Law and actually have everything go as planned.