What you sign away when you book a cruise

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by rwoman, Jan 19, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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  2. mailbroad

    mailbroad Silver Member

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    Thanks.
    I have been on 10 cruises and will be on another in March... my advice... travel insurance... We have never taken a Carnival Cruise.
    My husband and I are planning to expand our mode of travel... so here I am on milepoint where the help is often and friendly... and a once and awhile glimpse where it is a little less friendly...
     
  3. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    welcome to MilePoint.

    i second that travel insurance advice, especially for cruising. and i don't recommend the cruise line insurance either b/c often it will not cover airfare issues (unless there is a premium version that i am not aware of.)

    recently i booked a cruise, airfare and insurance with the latter paying for itself b/c one traveler had to cancel due to work. airline ticket was not refundable (of course), so with insurance we can get that back. (the cruise fare had not been paid for completely so we were able to recoup that)
     
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  4. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    Where are you purchasing your travel insurance from?

    We are leaving for our 6th cruise in two weeks. We had our first cruise a little under 3 years ago and our HOOKED!
     
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  5. TheTravelAbstract

    TheTravelAbstract Silver Member

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    Sounds about the same for air travel but you have to spend 7 days trapped on it. Its like a moving Guantanamo Bay!

    But I have never been on a cruise and at 24 I am not sure when I will. Sometimes it looks like fun but other times I hate the thought of taking a ship everywhere.

    Any top cruises?
     
  6. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    I've only done carnival cruises so far. My wife's goal is to have sailed on every ship in the carnival fleet. My favorite thus far has been the 7 day to Cozumel, grand Cayman, and Montego Bay. In two weeks we do the Bahamas a few months later we are cruising to Belize city and isla rotan.
     
  7. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    i LOVE cruising, too.

    for cruising, i usually buy from Travel Guard. my TA's company sells them but ISTR that you can call them up or go online for policy quotes. they are easy to deal with and reliable, IMO.

    i do usually buy when i book the cruise, or at/near final payment. the former, usually due to not knowing my kids' schedules (we get snow here and never know how late into the year they will have to stay) as well as job issues (what if you can't get the vacation time you want for that cruise you booked a year out?) not to mention the health coverage.

    FWIW, travel insurance has always been a "may as well get it, you don't know if you will need it" thing for me. that is until last year, when i had a flight to London scheduled for a Wed, and my youngest totaled my car (he survived with minor injuries, the car did not) on a monday night. he was in the hospital up until the day i was due to leave. of course, i couldn't just go. the travel insurance people (access america this time b/c i booked it when i bought my airfare) were great. i got a full refund and do not regret the cost b/c it saved me $$$.
     
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  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I would recommend trying a different cruise line, just to see if you like them better.

    I have been on a Princess cruise and three Royal Carribean cruises. And then one Carnival cruise. Princess and RC seemed pretty similar in quality, but Carnival was inferior in my opinion.

    But what I really like is small ship cruises such as Lindblad Expeditions. More expensive and not as luxurious, but cruising around the Galapagos with 100 people and half a dozen zodiacs is more fun (for us) than cruising from LA to Cabo on the Fun Ship with 2500 of our closest friends ;)
     
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  9. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    cruising is not for everyone but my kids love it. (now 20 and 17) they prefer it to the family trips we have taken in the past which involved HOURS in a car or plane, only to be shuttled to places they were not interested in. on a cruise everyone can do their own thing, meet back up for dinner, and then go back to having fun. there is so much to do, or so little (like laying by the pool or reading).

    top cruises? that depends on what you consider top and what your budget is. ;)

    i am a Princess person, though i have been on Holland america and the mega Royal caribbean, Allure of the Seas. i just like Princess' loyalty program (it really is all about miles, points and free stuff). i also like that, to me, Princess seems to be a mix of the Holland America line and Carnival. one is a bit proper, the other is a bit more laid back partytime. Princess is right in the middle IMO.

    as for taking the ship everywhere, i like it. meaning you can see a different place each day but still have nice sea days to relax. it is better than driving/flying to one place for a few days, then repeating that for the next place. we did a family trip through Austria, into Germany, which my kids hated b/c we spent so much time trying to figure out where to eat, how to see what we wanted etc, all stuck in a car. Austria was lovely and there are some good things they speak of but overall, they hated not having any downtime. it was exhausting for everyone. i like not having to worry about where we are going to eat, or sleep or if we will get lost. LOL!

    i am fond of the Caribbean cruises. i have done Alaska several times, and Mexico once. it is what you make of it and there are ways to do it cheap. for me and the kid, we have decided that 7 days is not quite long enough b/c we would like having just one more day (or two) to get that feeling of "yup, we are ready to go home". YMMV
     
  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    How much was that trip insurance? I have never bought trip insurance for simple flights or even simple cruises (I did for the Galapagos trip as it was $$$). If I had to cancel a flight to LHR, I'd just eat the cost of the change fee. Recall that even the cheapest tickets are typically changeable for a fee.
     
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  11. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    i second what HaveMilesWillTravel said. i would like to have the chance to try small ship sailing. i just know that the mega ships are not my cuppa. i hated my time on the Allure of the Seas. it was TOO big, too noisy, too flashy just TOO everything. i hated the ship layout b/c of the location of the lifts. it felt like i was running a marathon just getting from venue to venue on the ship. it was like being in a mall at sea, with a carousel and water show. i can guess why this ship would be attractive to families but OTOH, i also think it would over stimulate the kids. just my opinion.

    i am trying to sail my way through every Princess ship. i totally understand your wife wanting to do that with Carnival. ;) my favorite Princess cruise, so far, is the Eastern Caribbean b/c you can have "extra" beach days if you so choose. with the itinerary of their private island, St. Thomas (shopping or beach), St. Martaan (ditto, easy water taxi to beach), then Grand Turks (which is just a big beach resort for free). i like the Southern Caribbean but it is port heavy, so it depends on what you vacation for.

    currently planning my next cruise, while i wait for my next cruise in March to get here. the kids are totally on board with whatever i choose as long as they get to go along. :D
     
  12. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    that trip insurance was $128. while i realize that is half of the change fee, i just couldn't lose the change fee plus the increased airfare cost b/c it was close in (less than 7 days, though it was more like 2 days before i could take another flight) i was able to get the refund for the full amount plus i found a better flight, more doable than what they were offering me b/c i wasn't tied to the original departure airport, plus it was cheaper in the end. i guess it is a YMMV issue. i still had to go to LHR but the delay was going to cost me close to $1K (between the $250 change fee and fare increase) so that $128 paid for itself. IMO

    someone once told me how to decide about buying trip insurance. if you can eat the full cost of the ticket or it is so cheap you won't miss it or you think you will be able to use the residual ticket amount minus change fee for another trip.

    when i go across the pond, i worry about health issues, lost baggage or having to cancel. all of those can be a huge cost. while i do not currently have health issues, you never know when you will have an accident or suddenly fall ill. not to mention getting caught/stuck by a volcano or earthquake or like that group of ladies stuck in the middle east during a gov't overthrow. it is just that little peace of mind to know you will be taken care of instead of having to pony up thousands of $$ before you can get back home. i don't have that kind of extra money hanging about. ;)
     
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  13. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    forgot to add:

    the cruise i am taking in March was booked in November, with final payment the end of Dec. one of the people who was supposed to go with us, had to cancel due to work before that final payment was made. i was able to still go on the cruise but his airfare was booked with miles and cash. i will be able to get the full value back on his ticket b/c we had insurance. otherwise we would have a less than $250 credit (that was what was left after the change fee) sitting around that we may not be able to use before the year is up.
     
  14. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    I really want to try a princess cruise but I hate that carnival keeps their past guest programs totally seperate. I'm a little half way to VIP with carnival and would need to start at 0 with princess. Can't wait for the express boarding and free laundry.

    The reason we picked carnival is because I am a ver picky eater and love that carnival's menus keep kids in mind so the food is simple. Plus they are the only full time cruise line in Galveston which is a short drive from home. I'm very excited the port of Galveston is growing, both princess and Disney plan to start porting out of Galveston.
     
  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    The frequent cruiser program is of little interest to me (*). The benefits are just not worth worrying about it IMO unless you cruise a lot (do I sound like Chris Elliott here?). I'd rather prefer the freedom of booking whatever cruise line has the trip that works best for me.

    (I think my third trip with Royal Caribbean netted me a solar-powered calculator that magically appeared in the cabin one evening... maybe there was a special VIP reception I could have gone to, I am not sure).
     
  16. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    does anyone have any recommendation for a relatively cheap short cruise which I can sample to see if I like cruises? My home airport is Chicago
     
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  17. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    re

    Where are you based out of?
     
  18. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    To me priority embarkation/debarkation is a major benefit. Waiting in line at the port is not fun. Plus priory tender can save a lot of time at ports that don't have a long pier (i.e. cayman and belieze)
     
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  19. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    I am in the Chicago area.
     
  20. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Only been on one cruise - Venice to Athens - and it was on Silversea - a small, higher level line. All inclusive except for excurions and, maybe, spa treatments. It was a new ship and their largest at 525 people. Doing a Baltic cruise with them in June on a smaller ship - 340 people. Prices include RT airfare or a credit for the type of people who frequent this board and want to use their miles.

    Obviously, we loved it - or we wouldn't be doing it again with them. No one on the ship knew the word, "no"! I would like to try a somewhat larger ship at some point but no interest right now in the mega-ships. We were told that the big ships have better entertainment but when you're from the NY area, it's hard to be impressed with entertainment!

    My business parter swears by Regent but altho they also include excursions, they are significantly more expensive. The same cruise on Regent was about $2,000 more per person - and that can buy one whole hell of a lot of excursions!

    But again, I have nothing to compare it to. And someone once told me that cruising is like sex - even when it's bad, it's good! (not counting the Costa tragedy, obviously)
     
  21. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Embarkation wait time hasn't been a problem for me so far. Maybe 5 mins in line max. Debarkation has always been based on the return flight time... and whether I sit in some lounge on the ship or at the airport doesn't really matter that much to me. Priority tender I could see as useful, but the one or two ports where we needed a tender (Cabo comes to mind) it wasn't a long wait either. In fact, I don't even recall any priority line. Maybe it wasn't a feature on that ship/line yet? I am sure the cruise lines will look at the airlines and offer more and more benefits to loyalty program members and *cough* affinity credit card holders.

    I was comparing Carnival to Royal Caribbean and Princess (actually now a subsidiary of Carnival, but wasn't when we were on it). And you are right, while I liked RC and Princess better, I still had a good time on Carnival. Just not *as* good as with the others. Get me out on the ocean on anything that floats and I am going to be thrilled.
     
  22. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    Just got back from my 11th cruise last Sunday. So far, we have been on 5 Carnival Cruises, One on Royal Caribbean, One on Princess, One on Celebrity, and 3 on MSC. Favorite has been Celebrity.

    Dangjr213, Loyalty points may not transfer between Carnival and Princess but Past Guest Prices do. (also make friends on the first day with someone who has sailed a couple of times on Princess and you may be able to finagle an invite to the Past Guest Party with free drinks)

    As to Travel insurance. It is as varied as Auto Insurance so it helps to know what you need.
    * Do you have Health Problems that may interfere with you actually making the trip? If so, be sure to get the travel insurance within 14 days of the first booking (not final payment) to get previous conditions covered.
    * Do you have ill relatives or a job that may force you to cancel the cruise? Then make sure that you have coverage that allows payment if you have to cancel for any reason.
    * What if you need medical care while on the cruise? (Most US insurance companies do NOT cover expenses occurring outside of the country) Make sure that the coverage includes medical.

    As to the last, on our cruise we were three hours out of Aruba heading home. There was a passenger with COPD that needed evacuation and the ship returned to Aruba. HOWEVER, the pax did not have Travel Insurance and in the US was covered by Medicare. So all expenses for medical care in Aruba went on the Credit Card. Not sure about the trip home. But I would expect that he will have to cover that too.

    You can compare and purchase Travel Insurance at Insuremytrip.com. They have all the major insurers on the site. Average price for basic insurance is about $70 per person. But you can go as high or as low as you feel comfortable.

    Mine for the last trip was a grand total of $155.
     
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  23. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    that is a very good reason to be cruising with Carnival. i started with Princess on the recommendation of my TA. she is also a friend who knows how i prefer things. i could do the same, sailing with Carnival out of Baltimore but haven't made the leap yet. the kids (teens) keep telling me they don't want to go on a booze cruise. LOL! (that is their impression, never having set foot on a Carnival ship, of that line.) i think Princess is adding a ship to its fleet or repositioning one to Galveston. they may be running specials to get people on board.

    i understand that call to achieve status for the perks. i am less than half way to Elite with Princess. the only reason i would consider trying another line is price but it still has to be with the Carnival company. i have stock with Carnival so i get extra OBC, as well as former Military OBC. ;)

    the food issue is one that is discussed a LOT over on another board. last cruise i took, i mostly ate in the buffet which was fine, simple food with enough choices to make everyone happy. i just hate the crowds who act like they haven't eaten for weeks before their cruise. haha!
     
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  24. Blue Skye
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    the reason i stuck with Princess was for the free internet on each cruise. LOL! dumb reason, i know, but worth it to me. i do like the priority lounge we get to wait in to disembark, too.
     
  25. Blue Skye
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    i would recommend waiting for a repositioning cruise on the west coast. they have 1 - 5 days cruises that often go for a good rate. i have been eyeing one that is Seattle to Vancouver, on Princess, for less than $80 before taxes, in the fall. though a very short cruise like that may not afford you the chance to experience sea days or a proper port day. there are also short cruises about of the east coast that go to Nassau, too. not sure on the pricing but i think those are 3 - 5 days with Carnival.

    priority tender is a good thing, if the port time is short and certain sights are popular but not offered via the ship excursion program. it is not necessary but nice to have.

    sadly, they have not really caught on IMO, not sure they will or want to. the ones out there seem a bit lame to me as for how much you have to spend to get a free or $$ off a cruise. i have also read several complaints about the cards posting correctly or the ability to use said "free" cruise perks.
    ditto!
     

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