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We want to book a cruise but are worried if we have to cancel. With aging parents and other family members , something may come up to make us have to cancel. Is trip insurance the only way to get a refund for a cancellation. We are interested in a Carnival cruise. Will cruiselines give you a refund if you cancel so many days before your trip. 

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It depends on the category of fare that you book under.  The terms are clearly stated on the website of each cruise line.  With Carnival, if you cancel BEFORE DATE OF FINAL PAYMENT you will get all of your money back..  UNLESS you book an Early Saver rate.  This one has different conditons.  After final payment, there is a sliding scale of refund that applies to all fares.  EM

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Each line has it's own policies. Some have refundable deposits which you get back if you cancel by a certain date, some have non-refundable deposits which you don't get back if you cancel by a certain date. After final payment you do not get anything back with the line we regularly sail with. Check with Carnival for their restrictions and purchase "cancel for any reason" trip insurance if you do decide to book something.

Edited by WisconsinFan

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12 minutes ago, Essiesmom said:

It depends on the category of fare that you book under.  The terms are clearly stated on the website of each cruise line.  With Carnival, if you cancel BEFORE DATE OF FINAL PAYMENT you will get all of your money back..  UNLESS you book an Early Saver rate.  This one has different conditons.  After final payment, there is a sliding scale of refund that applies to all fares.  EM

 

Would this be true also if you used a third party 

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As others have said it is cruise line dependent and you should confirm with your Travel Agent or Carnival for your options prior to booking. 
 

But in general, most cruise lines will offer both a refundable deposit and a non-refundable deposit option.  Usually the refundable option is offered with a higher stateroom fare than the non-refundable option.  But with the refundable option you receive all money deposited as long as the cancellation is made prior to the final payment date, which is generally 90 days prior to sailing. 

 

With the non-refundable option, if you cancel prior to final payment, many lines will retain your deposit for a future booking, less a change fee that is charged for the cancellation.  You would have to determine if the rate differential minus any change fee charged between the refundable and non-refundable rate (along with the held deposit funds) is worth it to you in making your booking choice.

 

Past final payment - regardless of booking options - there will be a scaled penalty timeline where cancellations made will incur a penalty of 25% - 100% of your fare depending on how close to your sailing date you cancel past final payment.

 

 

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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In your situation I would highly recommend getting insurance.  My suggestion would be to go through insuremytrip . com and compare policies for the one that fits your needs the best.  My advise comes based on having experienced your situation on multiple occasions and having to cancel 2x with insurance with a possible 3rd time coming up.  Praying we can sail in May on a cruise we booked over a year ago, but glad we have insured our trip because of continued issues with my mother who had a major stroke at the end of November.  The peace of mind knowing that you can cancel and reschedule later without losing your invested funds makes going through the difficult times much easier when they come up...and for us they seem to come up way too often.

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4 minutes ago, l8cruiser said:

 

Would this be true also if you used a third party 

The terms and conditions in booking through a Travel Agent (3rd party) would be the same as booking direct. 

 

As a word of advice, you need to confirm first if your TA also charges additional fees not charged by the cruise lines for originating, modifying, or cancelling a booking made through them.  Many do, and many do not.  IMO I would only book through those that do not.

 

The suggestion for cancel for any reason travel insurance is also a good one.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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11 minutes ago, leaveitallbehind said:

As others have said it is cruise line dependent and you should confirm with your Travel Agent or Carnival for your options prior to booking. 
 

But in general, most cruise lines will offer both a refundable deposit and a non-refundable deposit option.  Usually the non-refundable option is offered with a higher stateroom fare than the non-refundable option.  But with the refundable option you receive all money deposited as long as the cancellation is made prior to the final payment date, which is generally 90 days prior to sailing. 

 

With the non-refundable option, if you cancel prior to final payment, many lines will retain your deposit for a future booking, less a change fee that is charged for the cancellation.  You would have to determine if the rate differential minus any change fee charged between the refundable and non-refundable rate (along with the held deposit funds) is worth it to you in making your booking choice.

 

Past final payment - regardless of booking options - there will be a scaled penalty timeline where cancellations made will incur a penalty of 25% - 100% of your fare depending on how close to your sailing date you cancel past final payment.

 

 

 

Thank You 

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29 minutes ago, leaveitallbehind said:

The terms and conditions in booking through a Travel Agent (3rd party) would be the same as booking direct. 

 

As a word of advice, you need to confirm first if your TA also charges additional fees not charged by the cruise lines for originating, modifying, or cancelling a booking made through them.  Many do, and many do not.  IMO I would only book through those that do not.

 

The suggestion for cancel for any reason travel insurance is also a good one.

 

Very good information. Thank You

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33 minutes ago, Warm Breezes said:

In your situation I would highly recommend getting insurance.  My suggestion would be to go through insuremytrip . com and compare policies for the one that fits your needs the best.  My advise comes based on having experienced your situation on multiple occasions and having to cancel 2x with insurance with a possible 3rd time coming up.  Praying we can sail in May on a cruise we booked over a year ago, but glad we have insured our trip because of continued issues with my mother who had a major stroke at the end of November.  The peace of mind knowing that you can cancel and reschedule later without losing your invested funds makes going through the difficult times much easier when they come up...and for us they seem to come up way too often.

 

Thank You. Prayers for your mom. 

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Here is a link for the Travel Insurance section of CC:

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/499-cruisetravel-insurance/

 

We use a broker, www.TripInsuranceStore.com

 

and we have had excellent experiences with actual claims, which is what matters.

 

Call them; do NOT just depend upon the online summaries.  Fine print matters!

 

GC

Edited by GeezerCouple

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For others reading this thread, like everything, shop around.

 

For elderly travelers, the insurance through the cruise line may be thousands cheaper.  It will not be as good of coverage, but the other insurance may not be affordable.  My 87 yo parents were looking at almost 50% of the cruise fare for 3rd party insurance, versus less than 10% from the cruise line.

 

Check your personal insurance carrier.  My insurance company (USAA), has a deal with one of the specialty travel insurance companies for special rates and packages.  I have log into the USAA site, then it takes me to the other site, but a special section (also a special number for assistance).

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On 3/20/2019 at 7:40 AM, l8cruiser said:

We want to book a cruise but are worried if we have to cancel. With aging parents and other family members , something may come up to make us have to cancel. Is trip insurance the only way to get a refund for a cancellation. We are interested in a Carnival cruise. Will cruiselines give you a refund if you cancel so many days before your trip. 

I buy ins. From  an ins. company and never cruise line.  I also buy cancel for any reason ins.  AND CFR (cancel for any reason) pays 75% and NOT 100%.  There are other restrictions as well.  Read everything on cruise website and any quote you get from ins. Co.

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1 hour ago, CruiseGal999 said:

I buy ins. From  an ins. company and never cruise line.  I also buy cancel for any reason ins.  AND CFR (cancel for any reason) pays 75% and NOT 100%.  There are other restrictions as well.  Read everything on cruise website and any quote you get from ins. Co.

So in that case it would be worthwhile to look at refundable deposits (and their relative stateroom rates) v insurance as you would get back 100% for any cancellation reason prior to final payment v the incurred 25% penalty through the insurance.  The value with the insurance would be with post final payment cancellations. 

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23 hours ago, CruiseGal999 said:

I buy ins. From  an ins. company and never cruise line.  I also buy cancel for any reason ins.  AND CFR (cancel for any reason) pays 75% and NOT 100%.  There are other restrictions as well.  Read everything on cruise website and any quote you get from ins. Co.

 

When you buy insurance from the cruise line, you ARE buying from an insurance company.  Same with insurance from the airline.  

 

The cruise line just acts as a broker, just like Trip Insurance Store or Insure My Trip.

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24 minutes ago, SRF said:

 

When you buy insurance from the cruise line, you ARE buying from an insurance company.  Same with insurance from the airline.  

 

The cruise line just acts as a broker, just like Trip Insurance Store or Insure My Trip.

Yes I know that.  But independent ins. Co. Is usually much cheap er for better coverage.

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On 3/20/2019 at 10:00 AM, l8cruiser said:

 

Would this be true also if you used a third party 

Yes

 

It doesn't matter how you book, the penalties are the same.

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2 minutes ago, zqvol said:

Yes

 

It doesn't matter how you book, the penalties are the same.

 

The CRUISE LINE penalties are the same for all, as listed per their terms.  (It might differ by cabin/suite category, but again, it's the same for everyone in that category.)

 

But HOW one is reimbursed/compensated by the insurance can vary (possibly considerably) depending upon the type of insurance.  Some cruise-line insurance gives one some amount as a cruise credit, possibly within a time limit.  So one is forced to sail that line, and in that time period.

 

Most third-party insurers always provide cash compensation for losses, although again, the terms may vary by insurer and policy, and type of coverage.

 

One MUST read ALL the terms of your particular policy.

 

This is where a broker is very handy.  They can tell you the basic differences, and help you narrow it down quickly, depending upon your circumstances.  But you are responsible for being sure that you understand the exact terms.

 

GC

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To get "cancel for any reason", you generally have to book within 24-48 hours or thereabouts of booking your trip.  If that's what you want, MAKE SURE the policy includes that option...not all do!  Know what you're paying for!

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17 minutes ago, cb at sea said:

To get "cancel for any reason", you generally have to book within 24-48 hours or thereabouts of booking your trip.  If that's what you want, MAKE SURE the policy includes that option...not all do!  Know what you're paying for!

 

The policies that we get offer pre-existing condition coverage AND CFAR, as long as we book within 20 days of the first payment/deposit (in our state; apparently it can differ by state, and of course, by policy/insurer).

 

We must both be "fit to travel" on the day the insurance starts, so we typically do it that first day.  Otherwise, what IF... on day 19 one of us comes down with something serious such that we could not travel *then*... but still should be able to take the insured trip!  (Something like this did happen once, but we were able to cancel the insured trip at no penalty, and we then re-booked the same trip later.)


GC

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On 3/22/2019 at 10:24 AM, CruiseGal999 said:

Yes I know that.  But independent ins. Co. Is usually much cheap er for better coverage.

 

But not always.

 

You need to shop rates and coverage.

 

For the elderly, 3rd party insurance coverage can be MUCH higher, as they factor in age.  The insurance through the cruise line (or airline for air travel) is flat rate and can be MUCH cheaper.

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On 3/22/2019 at 8:24 AM, CruiseGal999 said:

Yes I know that.  But independent ins. Co. Is usually much cheap er for better coverage.

 

Unless you are past a certain age, since private insurance is age-rated.

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