If you are planning to take a cruise in fall 2020, then you may be out of luck. Many cruise lines are pushing back their sailings into next year, 2021. Still, a few are keeping hope alive for fall cruising in 2020 and haven’t yet removed them from their schedules.
If you want to book a cruise for this year, then it’s important to fully review the cruise line’s cancellation policies and think about securing cruise ship insurance for your potential voyage. Read on to find out how to lower your risk as you plan your next cruise.
Is Anyone Sailing?
Many cruise lines, large and small, have taken all sailing off their schedule for the remainder of the year. Some, such as Princess Cruises, have the Caribbean other regions still on their itineraries for later in the year.
Whether or not sailings can occur this year depends on a number of factors. There are so many travel restrictions due to COVID-19 that bar many Americans from visiting ports around the world. And in the U.S., there is a ban on a cruise ship sailing in U.S. waters until the end of September.
While some cruise lines will offer limited sailings, if you choose to invest the money in going, then it’s important to understand a few things in order to protect yourself in case the cruise gets canceled – which is a possibility that anyone who wants to cruise in 2020 should prepare for.
Understand Cancellation Policies
Many people skip over the fine print when booking vacations, but in this case, you really should do your due diligence because the chances are greater than ever that your cruise will be canceled.
The good news is that cruise lines understand what is happening and are trying to make their policies as generous as possible to help navigate such a fluid situation.
If the cruise line cancels, then they (or your travel agent) will contact you. Some cruise lines offer a full refund while others are offering future cruise credit. Make sure you know what they will offer in case of cancellation before you book.
If there’s a possibility you want to cancel your cruise, then you need to read up on the fine print under that clause as well. Many cruise lines have replaced their postponement or cancellation penalties temporarily with more generous and flexible policies.
Understand the specific terms and conditions because you could find yourself in a position where you must cancel but will now face a penalty for doing so, even with better policies in place.
Know how long you have in advance of your cruise to cancel without penalty, too. These policies have also been updated by many cruise lines.
Look into Cruise Insurance
Cruise insurance is essential right now, so even if you’ve never gotten it before, you should. Even with more generous cancellation or postponement policies, you still have a lot to lose if you have to cancel your cruise. It also helps if something happens when you’re on your cruise, which is a possibility in the midst of a pandemic.
Cruise insurance helps to protect you if you must make a last-minute cancellation, if you have a medical emergency while on your cruise, helps you in case of missed connections, and if there’s a family emergency you must attend to in the middle of your cruise. With cruise insurance, you can actually enjoy your cruise and not worry about the details.
Everyone has to wait and see what happens with cruise line sailings in fall 2020, so be prepared if you book a cruise for anything.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2020 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2017, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019.