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Is there too much risk in booking now for December 2020?


Meg.Shae
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My fiancé and I went on our first cruise this January and were hooked. Were watching these amazing prices and were very tempted to book another cruise. But theres a reason these prices are so good. We’re looking at one particular cruise in early December close to our anniversary. I’m hearing 3-4 months from some and then from other news outlets and doctors it could be more like a year to 18 months until its safe to really travel due to the wait times for the vaccine. I don’t want to miss out on these prices but I also want to make sure my fiancé and I stay safe as we live with older family members. I know its too far in advance to tell how things will be in December but I’d love some opinions on what I should do.

 

 

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We are in a time of so many unknowns and uncertainties.  What I would do if you decide to book is buy Cancel for Any Reason insurance for a cruise in December 2020.  I looked on Insuremytrip.com. I think, in your position, I would call them and ask if they are selling any plans for next December  that would allow you to cancel due to the virus. If they do, then find out what the cost is and decide if that is reasonable or not.  Here is what they say about the virus: 

If you are looking for trip cancellation coverage because you are concerned about the Coronavirus, you will now need to purchase a plan with an optional Cancel For Any Reason benefit selected since the travel warnings are now foreseen. This benefit is time-sensitive and has eligibility requirements, so not all travelers will qualify. Please be sure to read the plan details carefully before purchasing.

We are aware of the New York Governor's statement in regards to Cancel for Any Reason coverage. While we do offer plans through some of the insurance companies he noted, at this time we have not been provided with additional products to offer Cancel for Any Reason to NY residents.

To see only the plans that may have coverage for cancellation due to Coronavirus fears or related issues, choose "Comprehensive" under Plan Types list and then select "Cancel For Any Reason" in the Coverages list below.

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We are in a time of so many unknowns and uncertainties.  What I would do if you decide to book is buy Cancel for Any Reason insurance for a cruise in December 2020.  I looked on Insuremytrip.com. I think, in your position, I would call them and ask if they are selling any plans for next December  that would allow you to cancel due to the virus. If they do, then find out what the cost is and decide if that is reasonable or not.  Here is what they say about the virus: 

If you are looking for trip cancellation coverage because you are concerned about the Coronavirus, you will now need to purchase a plan with an optional Cancel For Any Reason benefit selected since the travel warnings are now foreseen. This benefit is time-sensitive and has eligibility requirements, so not all travelers will qualify. Please be sure to read the plan details carefully before purchasing.

We are aware of the New York Governor's statement in regards to Cancel for Any Reason coverage. While we do offer plans through some of the insurance companies he noted, at this time we have not been provided with additional products to offer Cancel for Any Reason to NY residents.

To see only the plans that may have coverage for cancellation due to Coronavirus fears or related issues, choose "Comprehensive" under Plan Types list and then select "Cancel For Any Reason" in the Coverages list below.


Thank You! I was unaware that a lot of these plans now have exceptions for this specific situation. I will call around tomorrow and see which one works for me and then hopefully book my trip! :)


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2 hours ago, Meg.Shae said:

 

My fiancé and I went on our first cruise this January and were hooked. Were watching these amazing prices and were very tempted to book another cruise. But theres a reason these prices are so good. We’re looking at one particular cruise in early December close to our anniversary. I’m hearing 3-4 months from some and then from other news outlets and doctors it could be more like a year to 18 months until its safe to really travel due to the wait times for the vaccine. I don’t want to miss out on these prices but I also want to make sure my fiancé and I stay safe as we live with older family members. I know its too far in advance to tell how things will be in December but I’d love some opinions on what I should do.

 

 

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No one really knows whether December 2020 will actually be sailing or even if they are sailing will it be safe to sail on them if you live with older family members.  However, if you book now with a refundable deposit, then you can defer your actual decision until right before final payment in early September when there may be more accurate information to base your decision on.

 

In my opinion, purchasing very expensive "cancel for any reason insurance" (usually with only 75% coverage of your potential losses} would not be a wise investment to merely extend your cruise decision time from early September to early December. 

 

Personally, I would ignore the 2020 "amazing prices" and look at booking a late 2021 or 2022 cruise that would probably sail after a vaccine will be available.  Booking a December 2020 now will merely add stress to your life even though there would be no financial risk up until the final payment date in September.  With the current crisis you do not need the additional stress of wondering what will happen to a December cruise.

 

Best wishes in your decisions.

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I agree. I was struggling with the same issue on a Dec 2020 cruise I saw because the cruise price and airfare were both so good. I finally decided to pass them up. Like someone said above, the chance of finding a vaccine by Dec is slim to none. I also don't want to get stuck with another FCC. Already have two from cruises that were recently cancelled and with the same expiry date by Dec 31, 2021.

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There is zero risk with booking a cruise for December 2020 if, as others have suggested, you book with a refundable deposit, as final payment for that booking typically won't be due until sometime in September.  Hopefully by then - which is 6 months from now - a much clearer picture of this situation will exist to drive any final decision.

 

And if you book through RCCL, Celebrity, or Princess and book any air required through them, the airfare requires no deposit, is flexible in terms of price decreases, changeable, and fully refundable, and will not be due for payment until final payment with the cruise.  And with these cruise lines you pick your flight schedule and class of service at rates that are equal to and sometimes lower than the airline's published rates. So zero risk with this as well.

 

I would not hesitate to book any cruise that far out under these booking options.

Edited by leaveitallbehind
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10 hours ago, Meg.Shae said:


Thank You! I was unaware that a lot of these plans now have exceptions for this specific situation. I will call around tomorrow and see which one works for me and then hopefully book my trip! 🙂


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Just be aware that if you cancel with no penalty (i.e. before the final payment date) that you will not be able to get a refund for the cost of the insurance. You might be able to get the provider to move the coverage to a later trip, which is something I am going through right now. We had a trip to Germany scheduled for April and rescheduled it to October. I have asked the provider to change the coverage dates and am awaiting their reply. If they say no then we'll have to purchase another policy. I would book now with a refundable deposit and just obtain a standard trip insurance plan.

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26 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

Just be aware that if you cancel with no penalty (i.e. before the final payment date) that you will not be able to get a refund for the cost of the insurance. You might be able to get the provider to move the coverage to a later trip, which is something I am going through right now. We had a trip to Germany scheduled for April and rescheduled it to October. I have asked the provider to change the coverage dates and am awaiting their reply. If they say no then we'll have to purchase another policy. I would book now with a refundable deposit and just obtain a standard trip insurance plan.

 

Regarding third party coverage, the other option is to wait until final payment to purchase the insurance.  Typically what would be sacrificed with doing this is cancel for any reason and/or prior existing conditions clauses, which usually require a purchase within 15-21 days of booking the cruise to be included.  However, depending on one's preferences and circumstances at the time of booking, this would be one way to minimize the risk of that cost.  And BTW, the only type of coverage that may allow a claim for voluntary cancellation due to CV concerns would be one with cancel for any reason included, which is usually rather expensive.  (And even that may vary).

 

As to the option of moving the coverage to a future cruise to preserve the premium, that is possible with many carriers.  In our case with our carrier, it must be transferred within 15 days of making the new booking to that new booking. It would be in the same $ coverage amount for the fare values and coverage limits as with the current policy, but your premium $ is preserved for that future use. We just did this as well for our canceled June Italy trip, which we moved to July '21.  But you would need to confirm if this is possible with your current carrier.  This would also be a good question to ask prior to purchasing coverage.

 

But as with any cruise under normal circumstances, trip insurance IMO should be simply viewed as a cost of that trip, the premium paid value of which is lost unless a claim is paid.

 

 

Edited by leaveitallbehind
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I have been a very avid traveler for over fifty years.  Life and travel always involve risks, and being an independent traveler we routinely take risks when we plan cruises and/or land trips.  We currently have a 16 day cruise booked in August, a 28 day cruise in October and a 14 day in Dec.  We also had a thirty day cruise in April, but that was cancelled by the cruise line.  Are we panicking?  No.  Are we cancelling?  No...or at least not yet.  What we are doing is carefully watching the situation and evaluating our options.  At this point we are not making any cancellation decisions until we are up against various financial deadlines.  Our August and October cruises also involve extensive independent land travel which makes everything more complicated.  But we are find with "risk" and just see it is one factor out of many.

 

Would we book a December cruise?  Yes, if the price was right.  But we would do it in a way that minimized our cost if we had to later cancel.  As to our own December cruise, we are now considering air options to get to and from that cruise.  Since that happens to be our least complicated  trip since it simply involves a cruise out of FL, we will probably delay booking non-refundable air until it is necessary.  Otherwise, we have no reason to change anything with that booking or even think about it until we get near the final payment date.

 

Hank

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It would seem very odd that this thing will last until December.  I realize that it seems to have a 6 week life in a certain area but each area may get hit at different times.

 

My guess is that by July/Aug (maybe sooner), we’ll be out of this quarantine and things will be back to normal .

 

But again it’s a guess

Edited by Luckiestmanonearth
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9 minutes ago, Luckiestmanonearth said:

It would seem very odd that this thing will last until December.  I realize that it seems to have a 6 week life in a certain area but each area may get hit at different times.

 

My guess is that by July/Aug (maybe sooner), we’ll be out of this quarantine and things will be back to normal .

 

But again it’s a guess

What?? You do not subscribe to the Easter turnaround now contemplated?

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Another option I don’t believe many people know about if you really want to carry CFAR after final payment. This method also applies to all the other coverage as well.

Within 15 days of the deposit, obtain whatever coverage you can get for the minimum premium for the policy you choose. For CFAR the policy will usually require you to cover the entire non-refundable costs. But you only need to lock in the policy early and can add to it as you incur non refundable costs.

At the time of final payment you can then decide whether to cover the full cost or not and you still have the medical coverage.

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10 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

What?? You do not subscribe to the Easter turnaround now contemplated?

 

Indeed Easter will not happen as Princess from the start suspended cruises until mid-May and now RCI and Celebrity have followed suit as of yesterday announcing suspension until May 13.  It seems likely that will be the trend with most.  Also Canada has banned all cruise ships from their ports of call until July 1, so clearly that market will be affected longer.

Edited by leaveitallbehind
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7 hours ago, 2wheelin said:

Another option I don’t believe many people know about if you really want to carry CFAR after final payment. This method also applies to all the other coverage as well.

Within 15 days of the deposit, obtain whatever coverage you can get for the minimum premium for the policy you choose. For CFAR the policy will usually require you to cover the entire non-refundable costs. But you only need to lock in the policy early and can add to it as you incur non refundable costs.

At the time of final payment you can then decide whether to cover the full cost or not and you still have the medical coverage.

While I don't disagree with this, I would add that it would be wise to check with your planned carrier on this prior to purchase as they may not all have the same guidelines in terms of fare coverage cost adjustments with final payment.

Edited by leaveitallbehind
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  • 8 months later...
On 3/25/2020 at 2:53 AM, Luckiestmanonearth said:

It would seem very odd that this thing will last until December.  I realize that it seems to have a 6 week life in a certain area but each area may get hit at different times.

 

My guess is that by July/Aug (maybe sooner), we’ll be out of this quarantine and things will be back to normal .

 

But again it’s a guess

 

It's interesting to go back a few months and see what was written about the virus then.

 

I probably agreed with this in March but now we know better!

 

 

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3 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

It's interesting to go back a few months and see what was written about the virus then.

 

I probably agreed with this in March but now we know better!

 

 

There was a lot of stuff posted back in March - about how COVID was not as serious as the flu, for one.   It has taken most of the COVID deniers months to finally give it up - although there still seem to be a few who are unthinkingly reluctant to take it seriously.

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