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Markanddonna

What cruising wisdom has Irma taught us?

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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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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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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 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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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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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.

 

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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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.

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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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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......

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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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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.

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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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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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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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Hurricanes don't always follow projections

 

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Forums mobile app

 

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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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.

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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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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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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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One thing I have learned: you don't want to be on a Caribbean island during a hurricane. The stories coming out of St Marteen are frightening with robberies, assaults, etc. besides riding out the hurricane in a hotel. The hotel staff aren't going to help you: they probably went home.

 

The cruise ship will take you away from the danger, but those tourists who did land vacations are reporting frightening stories.

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We never did insurance when we were younger, but have been for the last 15 or so years. Good thing too; we've had to use it three times for severe health problems of elderly parents! We have so far been reimbursed for upwards of $18,000.00--a couple of those trips were long land and cruise tours, so pricey.

 

We've been fully reimbursed except, of course, for the cost of insurance.

 

Down to only one parent (fairly healthy, though she did break a hip at home while we were on our last cruise) , but now we are in our early 70's!

 

Frankly, although it would hurt, we could eat the cost of the cruise, hotels, airfare, etc. if we had to. What would really be devastating finanacially would be extensive medical problems/hospita stays/evacuation for one of us--we're healthy, but sudden illness or accidents can happen to anyone, even the young.

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And some people win the lottery, but most don't

 

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I had a friend in university who regularly bought lottery tickets with a bunch of his hometown buddies. I tried to explain the odds to him and told him he was wasting his money but he would not listen to the statistics and probabilities. He really didn't listen to my math after they won $1 million and his share was a cool $100 grand (tax free up here in Canada). 1 in a million or 1 in ten million are very low odds, but someone is still the 1.

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I learned that you must purchase insurance before a storm is named. So buy it the minute you make final payment.

 

 

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I decided that it is safer to travel to the Caribbean on a cruise ship versus a land based vacation. The scenes of the people trying to get off St. Maarten was terrible. And their stories of looting and robberies! Yikes.

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Take extra medications!

 

If you're the kind of person that will not want to go anywhere near a storm, make sure you get 'cancel for any reason' added to your insurance policy, and check what the requirements are to invoke it and how it pays out. Regular insurance won't always allow you to just cancel, it will only cover the extra expenses incurred as a result of the storm.

 

Don't travel during this time if you absolutely have to be back by a certain date. Or at least take a passport with you so that you can leave the ship early and fly back.

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I think I will now always book a Caribbean cruise the first week of September as a result of Irma, with insurance, of course. I live on the east coast of Florida 90 minutes from Port Canaveral. I was on the Sept. 3 Oasis of the Seas cruise. Due to Irma, the cruise was extended 3 extra days until September. 13. I am retired, so that was wonderful. I cruised on a lovely ship with lots of electricity, food, and good weather instead of hunkering down in a hurricane or trying to evacuate. We had secured our home just in case. Worked out well. But so sad for those who lost a lot in the storm.

 

 

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If you are booked on a cruise and a Hurricane is going to hit stay home even if you do not have insurance. Risking your life for a few thousand dollars is not worth it .

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If you are booked on a cruise and a Hurricane is going to hit stay home even if you do not have insurance. Risking your life for a few thousand dollars is not worth it .

 

 

 

No risk to my life at all in sailing. Cruise ships avoid hurricanes, period. They are not going to risk it. We were much safer on the ship. A lady who lives near me had a tree crash into her house 10 feet from where she was sound asleep during the hurricane. On the cruise we never had any bad weather at all.

 

 

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