Carefree Cruising


Dear Travel Agent,
Let me confess to you that I have many reasons to love cruises. I have taken quite a few and one of the best parts is to unpack, put my suitcase under the bed and be taken to places instead of “living” out of my luggage. I prefer not to pack almost every day, change hotels and move to other places just to have the pleasure of seeing different sights.
I wish that all countries and cities were surrounded by the sea so I could see the entire world without leaving the cruise! That would be awesome. Stopping few blocks from the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu or even Petra! That was my mood when I decided to go to Cuba on a cruise instead of by land. I had a blast on a cruise for 700 people, and felt like I was reunited with distant cousins during Thanksgiving or Christmas. We all had big smiles and there was kindness all around.
What a fun trip! Havana was a blast for 2 days, then on the sea for one day, and onto Cienfuegos. After leaving Cienfuegos, we all were excited to see Santiago de Cuba. We had a seminar onboard to learn about what we would see; visiting Fidel’s grave and so much more. But, by 9 in the evening we all heard from the captain that one person was so sick (actually we found out later there was a crew member who had a heart attack), we had to return to Cienfuegos, and would unfortunately miss visiting Santiago de Cuba.
Previously, on a Mediterranean cruise, we missed going to Morocco (the highlight of our cruise) because of concerns of security! We have all heard stories about the whole cruise having to be quarantined because of a bad virus or flu, or having to return to port early for other reasons.
Unfortunately, travel insurance will not cover the interruption of a cruise in many cases. Money will not be refunded for many different reasons. Despite all the great reasons we love to cruise, taking a land tour is more protected, and we can demand that tour companies fulfill their promises. Travel insurance would have offered better coverage for the parts of the trip we missed if we had been traveling by land, not sea.
Check into travel insurance that will best serve the types of tours you sell to your clients. Make sure you understand very well what is covered and what is not, and be sure to explain the limitations clearly to your clients. Explain to your cruising clients that a cruise line can cancel part of the itinerary if necessary, and that you, as their travel agent are not at fault, nor can you do anything about the cruise line’s decision.
We don’t have much control in the case of cruises, but for land tours, we have someone with whom to talk to about issues that arise.
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