New ‘cancel for any reason’ coverage added to all Carnival’s cruise insurance plans

One item about planning a cruise that many people disregard or don’t understand is whether or not to purchase travel insurance. I have learned, through personal experience, that you should almost always purchase travel insurance….unless you can afford to lose the money you have invested in your cruise.

But most travel insurance only covers trip cancellations for very specific reasons…and these don’t include your brother getting married that weekend or a new grandchild being born….

So I commend Carnival for updating its cruise insurance program to cover “cancellation for any reason.” Of course, this means that you have to buy their plan, rather than a plan offered by another company such as Travel Guard or Access America, and I am sure it adds a few dollars to the overall cost. But by including it in all plans I am sure they have spread the cost over thousands of people.

Here are the details:

Carnival Cruise Lines is introducing a “cancel for any reason” enhancement to its travel protection program, the Cruise Vacation Protection Plan.  The new feature will be included in all plan purchases for voyages departing on or after January 1, 2011.

With the new enhancement, those who purchase Carnival’s Cruise Vacation Protection Plan will be able to cancel their cruise — regardless of the reason — and receive a future cruise credit equal to 75 percent of cancellation charges, provided they notify Carnival prior to the ship’s departure. Those who cancel for a covered reason will receive 100 percent cash reimbursement.

The “cancel for any reason” feature further bolsters the line’s current vacation protection plan, which offers a package of benefits, ranging from trip cancellation/interruption, trip delay, emergency medical evacuation, medical, baggage loss and baggage delay. The program also provides a 24-hour emergency assistance hotline.  Last year, the plan was expanded to include severe weather watch/warning protection, as well as job loss protection.

“With the new ‘cancel for any reason’ enhancement, as well as the severe weather and job loss protection, our Cruise Vacation Protection Plan provides consumers with much-needed peace of mind knowing their vacation investment is protected regardless of the circumstances involved,” said Lynn Torrent, Carnival’s executive vice president of sales and guest services.

All plans purchased for voyages departing next year will be eligible for the “cancel for any reason” benefit, including those plans that were already purchased for an upcoming 2011 voyage.  The price of the plan remains unchanged.

Additional information on Carnival’s Vacation Protection Plan is available at www.carnival.com.

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for AllThingsCruise.com. She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.

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