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The Guide to Cruise Travel Insurance

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Table of Contents

Look to your credit cards, first

What to consider if you buy a separate cruise travel insurance policy, what cruise travel insurance doesn't cover, how to shop cruise travel insurance options, is cruise travel insurance necessary.

Travel insurance can save you when you’re in a pinch, and cruises are especially important to protect. Whether you experience a flight delay, your car breaks down or you get sick, having a backup plan that will cover the cost of your trip, or at least help you get there without extra expense, can be essential. It’s recommended to arrive one day before the departure of your cruise to allow for any delays because if you arrive late to the departure point, the ship may have already left.

If you find yourself stranded at the pier long after your cruise has left, or aren't able to get to the pier at all, cruise travel insurance can help. These are some of the best travel insurance options for cruises.

» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now

Many credit cards provide sufficient travel protection that can help you in the event of a delay or cancellation. It can even help if you arrive on time, but your bags do not. Other travel protections include helping if you need medical attention or evacuation during your trip, as well as insurance for a rental car if you decide to drive in one of the ports you visit.

Some of the popular credit card options that provide ample protections include:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card .

Chase Sapphire Reserve® .

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card . Terms apply.

United℠ Explorer Card .

You'll need to review the policy before the trip to decide if you need to purchase additional coverage.

» Learn more: What to know before buying travel insurance

If you don't have a credit card with coverage or you want to add more protection, it is wise to buy insurance as soon as possible after booking the cruise. Some companies require that you buy cruise insurance within two weeks of making the initial deposit, particularly if you're hoping for pre-existing medical coverage.

The longer you wait to buy cruise insurance, the higher the price may become.

Also, your own health insurance may not cover cruise travel or medical attention onboard a ship. Often, some personal insurance plans do not protect passengers once they have sailed more than six hours from any U.S. port. This may come as a surprise for those who thought they were protected, which is why it can be wise to purchase additional coverage for a cruise.

Since medical treatment on a ship may be more expensive, and evacuation at sea may require a helicopter or small boat, having emergency coverage can be essential.

If you’re still deciding on additional protection, consider these factors:

Destination: Is it remote or far from an airport or medical facility? How difficult will it be for you to find medical care or leave the ship?

Length of stay: How long will you be traveling? If it's only a few days, the probability that you will need coverage is less than if the trip were longer or farther from home.

Credit card protections: Read the fine print of your credit card benefits. If you used that card to pay for your travel, you may already have protection in the event of trip delay or cancellation, missing or lost luggage, medical reasons or weather issues.

Personal liability: Will you be engaging in activities that may make you responsible for someone else’s injury? Will you be renting a car or participating in activities like boating, biking or motorized water sports? If you may be held liable for someone else’s injury, insurance can help protect you.

As important as knowing how you will be protected, it is also paramount to know what is not included.

For example, if any injury or health issue is alcohol-related, it may not be covered. You might also want to know if natural disasters like a hurricane, terrorist incidents or bankruptcy by the cruise line are also covered. Sometimes, there are specific carve-outs for such situations.

Another important factor to consider is COVID-19 protection , as not all insurance plans include it. You will want to consider what happens if you get sick before the sailing or onboard since you may have to find accommodation if you are not able to travel for a period of time.

Some cruise insurance policies will cover itinerary changes. This means if you have your heart set on visiting a particular place, but it gets cut from the itinerary (a common occurrence due to weather conditions), you would receive some form of compensation. Not all plans include this, and for certain trips with a popular port (like visiting Alexandria, Egypt, to drive to the Pyramids), it may be wise to check if you are covered.

» Learn more: Should you insure your cruise?

There are many providers of travel insurance, and often, cruise companies will recommend a partner when making a reservation. Those are often best since the cruise line has a history of working with that company and has considered the intricacies of the various ports its ships are visiting. Still, policies vary.

If you want to buy a policy beyond what is already offered by your credit card, start with an aggregator site like Insure My Trip that compares several policies based on the criteria you choose. How long will you be gone? Where are you going? Do you have any pre-existing conditions? All of these things can affect the price of a policy that you purchase.

There are other respected insurance options like Travel Guard , which has policies specifically geared toward cruise trips. SafeCruise from VisitorsCoverage is another plan that is designed for cruise travel, and it includes an upgrade for a partial Cancel For Any Reason reimbursement.

Deciding if you want to protect your trip probably depends on your budget. If you can afford a worst-case scenario without protection, then maybe you won’t need to purchase travel insurance for cruises.

But for most travelers, having a backup plan in case anything goes wrong makes the trip that much more enjoyable.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024 :

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

1x-10x Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

1x-5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

1x-2x Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.

50,000 Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

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All Your Questions About Cruise Travel Insurance, Answered

Ocean view from cruise ship

Rarely does real life make its way into our fantasies of a dream vacation : palm trees swaying in the breeze, expertly plated meals served at whim, toes pointed toward the horizon on a sun-soaked day at sea. That vision doesn't factor in missed flights, lost bags, or medical mishaps. But life has a way of getting in the way, even when you’re trying to get away from it all. Add in an unexpected curveball like the coronavirus pandemic (and the disease it causes: COVID-19)—which has effectively wiped out cruising, for the near future, at least—and things get even more complicated.

In most instances, you can buy peace of mind in the form of a well-tailored cruise travel insurance policy, which industry experts say is nearly always a smart bet. Not only does coverage insure your financial investment in the case of a hiccup, but it can also help with access to quality medical care on the road, as well as reimbursement for any unforeseen expenses that may pop up in the face of such scenarios. In this primer on travel insurance for cruises, we break down everything you need to know so you can pick up a policy with ease—and then get back to planning your eventual lounge on the lido deck.

What does cruise travel insurance cover?

“A cruise vacation has so many moving parts, including the sheer number of destinations you visit, flights, and hotels bookings. Things can go wrong after you’ve made that final deposit, and without travel insurance, you’d likely lose that payment,” says Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief of cruise review and community site Cruise Critic .

While specific policies vary in their coverage—you’ll need to review the fine print carefully before you buy—most offer recourse for commonly encountered issues like the need to cancel a trip (for approved reasons like your traveling companion falling ill, or the involuntary loss of your job) or trip delays and interruptions. “If you miss your initial embarkation of a cruise due to a flight delay or a weather event, such as a hurricane or winter storm , travel insurance could help cover the costs of you getting to the next port of call, so you can join your cruise,” says James Page, senior vice president and chief administrative officer of AIG Travel, whose subsidiaries sell policies designed to cover cruisers.

Other potential problems might include the airline losing your checked bags , getting pickpocketed in port, the cruise line canceling your sailing due to weather or mechanical issues—or, as we’ve seen of late, due to not being able to run itineraries in areas affected by the coronavirus. While the cruise line would almost certainly pay out a refund in cases of cancellation or major itinerary changes, other prepaid expenses not purchased through the line directly, such as flights or hotel nights, would be on your dime without a qualifying policy in place. “The biggest tip is to make yourself aware of exactly what your plan will cover prior to purchasing,” McDaniel says.

Weather is not covered unless it results in the cancellation of or significant interruption to the cruise. McDaniel says that you won’t get a refund if the scheduled ports visited on a cruise itinerary are changed due to bad weather. “Skipped ports would not be covered by travel insurance,” she says, in cases of inclement weather.

How is the coronavirus affecting travel insurance?

When it comes to coronavirus , it’s important to know that circumstances like epidemics and pandemics are not typically listed as covered events under most standard cancellation policies. Also worth noting: Preemptively canceling a trip out of fear for your health and safety is never part of a standard policy. Accordingly, while some insurers honored claims associated with the onset of the epidemic, almost none are paying out trip cancellation claims for travel or policies booked after late January (with specific cutoff dates ranging between January 21 and January 27, according to travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth). This is owed to the rationale that once the outbreak became a known event, risk is assumed by the would-be travelers who book.

“However, there are now some providers who do not consider contracting the virus as foreseen, even during a global pandemic like the coronavirus outbreak,” says Kasara Barto, public relations manager for Squaremouth. “In this case, trip cancellation benefits can still apply if a traveler contracts the virus or is physically quarantined and unable to travel as planned."

Economic-woe scenarios, like having to cancel if you are laid off from your job, or if a travel supplier should declare bankruptcy, are typically covered under standard plans. Squaremouth notes, however, that coronavirus-prompted impacts like travel bans and border closures are not usually covered by standard policies, nor are cases of cruise lines canceling a scheduled sailing (in which case, the cruise companies themselves would be expected to pick up the tab for reimbursement, or to offer a voucher for future travel).

Because of these exclusions, industry experts advise that a “cancel for any reason” policy upgrade will offer some level of protection even if your reason for canceling is based on fear of travel alone. With this more expensive insurance, you must meet criteria like purchasing your policy within a set time frame (typically within 14 to 21 days of your initial trip deposit) and you must also cancel your trip at least two days in advance of departure.

Keep in mind, too, that down the road, in the post-coronavirus world, industry insiders forecast that new virus-related policy inclusions will become part of standard policies. “Similar to how the September 11 attacks led to terrorism coverage to be offered standard on most travel insurance policies, we anticipate that the COVID-19 pandemic will lead the travel insurance industry to offer more policies that include coverage for pandemics, which may cover things like CDC alerts, travel advisories, and stay-at-home orders,” Barto says.

Insurance and medical incidents

Beyond trip cancellation, medical incidents while traveling present another major need for coverage, since it’s unlikely that your regular health insurance covers such expenses abroad. Most ships have onboard doctors, but visiting them isn’t cheap nor is emergency medical evacuation in the case of more serious illnesses or injuries. “Without [insurance], your out-of-pocket costs could be astronomical,” McDaniel says.

11 Trips in Europe Everyone Should Add to Their Bucket List

Page of AIG Travel agrees. “Even a short weekend cruise could turn costly if a traveler has an accident or becomes ill, and requires emergency medical treatment or a medical evacuation from sea,” he says, pointing out that travelers are more prone to injury since they often take risks on vacations—like jet-skiing or hiking on unfamiliar terrain —that they might not take back home. “It’s important to ensure the policy you purchase covers the things you may need, such as pre-existing medical conditions or adventure activities,” Page says.

Specific to the coronavirus, should you contract the virus while cruising, “medical coverage availability will vary per travel insurance provider,” Barto says, noting that a half-dozen insurers were offering such medical coverage as of press time. “While some providers are still providing medical benefits for newly purchased policies, others are only covering medical expenses related to the coronavirus to insureds who bought a policy prior to the outbreak.” Coverage in regards to scenarios like being denied boarding (for registering a fever at port or having recently traveled to a high-risk destination for COVID-19, for instance) or being placed in mandatory quarantines likewise can vary by insurer.

Orlando —based travel agent Kelley Lord is an avid cruiser, with nearly 40 cruises under her belt, and she has taken out a policy for every one of them. It’s proven to be a smart strategy: In 2017 alone, her family had to cancel three separate cruises at the last minute, due to medical issues. “We had a 17-night, port-intensive cruise and Europe trip planned for early June that included expensive flights, prepaid excursions, hotels, and the cruise fare,” she says of one incident. “My husband tore up both of his knees in late May playing kickball at the company picnic and had to have double knee surgery. There was no way we could make the trip.” Thankfully, in that and the other two instances that followed that year, “we filed with our travel insurance and were able to recoup most of the cost of the trip,” she says.

A large cruise ship anchored near Cabo San Lucas Mexico

Where to buy cruise travel insurance

While cruise lines usually offer their own insurance policies, experts advise looking instead to an independent, third-party insurer. “Travel insurance policies from independent insurers tend to be more comprehensive than those you might purchase through a cruise line,” McDaniel says. “Cruise line insurance is usually secondary coverage, meaning you’ll first need to file through any private insurance policies [like homeowner’s or renter's] that you have before your travel insurance will kick in. This could mean needing to pay out-of-pocket to start.”

Adds Page: “The advantage of purchasing a comprehensive travel insurance policy through an insurance provider like Travel Guard is that the comprehensive plans may offer additional benefits, such as emergency medical evacuation, which may not be available under protection plans offered through cruise lines.”

In addition, cruise line insurance can be more limited than you might expect. “Travelers who purchase the cruise line’s policy can only insure expenses purchased directly through that cruise line," says Jenna Hummer, former director of public relations for Squaremouth. "Any outside airfare or expenses would be forfeited in the event of a cancellation.”

You can pick up a policy from your travel agent directly through a reputed individual insurance provider (like AIG Travel Guard or Allianz), or via an insurance comparison site that lets you compare plans from various insurers (like Squaremouth or InsureMyTrip).

How much does cruise travel insurance cost?

The cost of a standard policy is calculated as a percentage of your overall vacation expenses—generally anywhere from 5 to 10 percent of your total prepaid, nonrefundable trip cost, according to data provided by Squaremouth. “The premium varies by policy and provider, depending on three primary factors: total trip cost, age of travelers, and length of travel,” Hummer says. “Older travelers taking long, expensive cruises will most likely be paying more for the same policy as a younger traveler taking a cheaper trip.”

According to Squaremouth, “cancel for any reason” benefits will typically increase a policy’s premium by roughly 40 percent over the cost of a standard policy, and will only cover a portion (up to 75 percent) of the total trip cost’s reimbursement.

When to buy cruise travel insurance

Experts say to buy your travel insurance as soon as you’ve booked your cruise —that will give you the biggest window of protection should anything arise before you set sail. Hummer says that coverage for preexisting medical conditions is sometimes available at no additional cost from independent insurers—but only if you purchase that policy within 14 to 30 days of your first trip payment.

Remember that you can’t purchase a policy after an event transpires that leads to a claim (say, after you get into an accident and break your leg), but you can purchase standard insurance plans as late as 24 hours in advance of your scheduled departure. As noted before, "cancel for any reason" policies typically must be purchased within 14 to 21 days of your initial trip deposit.

Though you may never use the insurance you purchase, should an issue pop up, the investment can prove to be of great benefit, both economically and psychologically. Lord says, from experience, “You never know when you will need it, but if you do, you will be so grateful that you have it.”

This story was last published in March 2020. It has been updated with new information.

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  • Best overall
  • Best for affordability
  • Best for seniors
  • Best for expensive trips
  • Best for exotic locations
  • Why You Should Trust Us

Best Cruise Travel Insurance of July 2024: Top Coverage Tips for Cruises

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A cruise vacation can take much of the stress out of planning a vacation. With a pre-set itinerary on the high seas, you don't have to worry about how you're getting to your destination and what you're going to do there. However, an unexpected emergency can take the wind out of your sails and money out of your travel budget. So you'll want to ensure you have the best cruise insurance plan that won't leave you high and dry in an emergency.

Best Cruise Insurance Plans of 2024 Summary

  • Best overall: Nationwide Travel Insurance
  • Best for affordability: AXA Assistance USA
  • Best for seniors: Seven Corners Travel Insurance
  • Best for expensive trips: HTH Worldwide Travel Insurance
  • Best for exotic locations: World Nomads Travel Insurance

Top Cruise Travel Insurance Company Comparison

While booking a cruise takes off much of the pressure when coming up with itineraries, your trip can still encounter several hitches, which is where cruise travel comes in. The best cruise travel insurance will have high coverage limits on emergency medical evacuations, as sea to land evacuations can be expensive. They'll offer coverage for baggage delay, trip interruption, and it might be a good idea to have some adventure sports coverage if you plan on participating in any outdoor activities like snorkeling or scuba diving. 

Here are our picks for the best cruise travel insurance companies in 2024.

Best Cruise Insurance Overall

Nationwide travel insurance.

Nationwide is a long-standing and reputable brand within the insurance marketplace that offers cruise insurance plans with solid coverage and reasonable rates.

It has three cruise insurance options: Universal, Choice, and Luxury. The Nationwide Choice plan, for example, offers $100,000 in emergency medical coverage and $500,000 in emergency medical evacuation coverage.

The right plan for you depends on your budget and coverage needs. But each plan offers cruise-specific coverages like ship-based mechanical breakdowns, coverage for missed prepaid excursions if your cruise itinerary changes, and covered service disruptions aboard the cruise ship.

Read our Nationwide Travel Insurance review .

Best Cruise Insurance for Affordability

Axa assistance usa.

AXA offers three comprehensive coverage plans: Gold, Silver, and Platinum. Each of these plans offers coverage for issues like missed flights, medical emergencies, lost luggage, and more.

The highest-tier Platinum plan provides $250,000 in medical emergency coverage and $1 million in medical evacuation coverage. The baggage loss coverage is $3,000 per person, and their missed connection coverage is $1,500 per person for cruises and tours.

In addition, travelers can take advantage of AXA's concierge service, which provides an extensive network of international service providers. They'll be able to assist you with things like restaurant reservations and referrals, golf course information, and more. This service could come in handy if you're stopping at a variety of unfamiliar destinations during your cruise.

The coverage limits on AXA's policies are on the higher end compared to other providers. And you can buy coverage for a little as 4% of your trip cost depending on your age, travel destination, and state of residence.

Read our AXA Travel Insurance review .

Best Cruise Insurance for Seniors

Seven corners travel insurance.

Seven Corners Travel Insurance lets cruisers enjoy traveling in their golden years with the knowledge they're covered in the event of an accident or emergency. While other providers do offer coverage to those 80+ years old, Seven Corners is known for its affordable premiums while offering above-average medical expenses and medical evacuation coverage limits — two areas of travel insurance coverage that are even more important as we get older.

Seven Corners also offers the option of a pre-existing conditions waiver and CFAR insurance at an additional cost, plus "Trip Interruption for Any Reason" coverage, which you won't find on many policies.

You can choose between the Trip Protection Basic or Trip Protection Choice plans, with the higher-tier Choice plan costing more but providing more coverage.

Read our Seven Corners Travel Insurance review . 

Best Cruise Insurance for Expensive Trips

Hth worldwide travel insurance.

HTH Worldwide offers three levels of trip protection: TripProtector Economy, Classic, and Preferred. The higher the tier, the more coverage you'll get for things like baggage delays, trip delays & cancellations, and medical expenses. But their premiums remain reasonable even at the highest tier of coverage.

Not only does the HTH Worldwide Trip Protector Preferred plan offer higher-than-average medical emergency and evacuation coverage limits ($500,000 and $1 million, respectively), but you'll also get a baggage loss coverage limit of $2,000 per person and coverage for trip interruption of up to 200% of the trip cost. You also have the option to add CFAR coverage for an additional cost, as long as you purchase within 21 days of your initial trip deposit.

Read our HTH Worldwide Travel Insurance review .

Best Cruise Insurance for Exotic Locations

World nomads travel insurance.

World Nomads has been a top choice for comprehensive travel insurance for many years now. And it's a great option when it comes to cruise coverage, too.

Even the most basic Standard Plan comes with $100,000 in medical emergency coverage and $300,000 in emergency evacuation coverage. And you'll get higher coverage limits with their Premium Plan. Plus, unlike many other providers, World Nomads trip cancellation and emergency medical coverage include COVID-19-related issues.

What sets World Nomads apart from many other insurance companies is that its policies cover 200+ adventure sports. This can be important for adventurous cruisers who plan to take part in activities like jet skiing, scuba diving, or parasailing during their cruise. Additionally, World Nomads is one of the few travel insurance providers that sells policies to people who have already departed for their trip. However, you'll have to wait 72 hours before the policy kicks in.

Read our World Nomads Travel Insurance review .

Introduction to Cruise Insurance

Cruise insurance may offer unique coverage like missed port of call and medical evacuation coverage. You might not need the flight protections of a regular travel insurance plan if you're catching a cruise at a port near you, but medical and cancel for any reason coverage could be critical. The best travel insurance plans will provide flexibility to add coverage options to fit your travels needs.

Understanding the Basics of Cruise Insurance

At its core, cruise insurance is your financial lifeboat, designed to protect you from unforeseen events that could disrupt your sea voyage. Whether it's a sudden illness, adverse weather, or other unexpected occurrences, having the right insurance can make a world of difference.

Why Cruise Insurance is Important

Picture this: You're all set for your dream cruise, but a sudden family emergency means you can't set sail. Or worse, you fall ill in the middle of the ocean. Without cruise insurance, you're not just missing out on an adventure, but also facing potentially huge financial losses. That's why securing cruise insurance isn't just recommended; it's a crucial part of your cruise planning.

Types of Cruise Insurance Coverage

Cruise insurance isn't a one-size-fits-all life jacket. There are various types of coverage, each tailored to protect different aspects of your cruise experience.

Trip Cancellation and Interruption Coverage

This coverage is like your safety net, catching you financially if you need to cancel your trip last minute or cut it short due to emergencies, be it due to personal, health-related, or even certain work conflicts. Interruption coverage should also include coverage for missed stops on your cruise.

Medical Coverage

Being on a cruise shouldn't mean being adrift from medical care. Travel medical coverage ensures that if you fall ill or get injured, your medical expenses won't sink your finances. 

When you purchase travel medical insurance, be sure to note whether your coverage is primary or secondary. Secondary insurance means you'll need to file a claim with your primary insurance provider before filing with your travel insurance provider. 

Emergency Evacuation Coverage

In the rare case that you need to be evacuated from the ship due to a medical emergency or severe weather, this coverage ensures you're not left adrift in a sea of expenses. You'll want high coverage limits for emergency evacuation, as sea-to-land evacuations can be costly. 

Baggage and Personal Effects Coverage

Imagine reaching your dream destination only to find your luggage lost at sea. This coverage ensures that lost, stolen, or damaged baggage doesn't dampen your cruise experience. It'll reimburse you for any money you spent replacing items while traveling. 

Adventure Sports Coverage

Cruises often offer activities that can be classified as adventure sports, such as snorkeling and scuba diving. Medical treatment for injuries sustained while participating in these activities isn't normally covered under normal travel medical coverage. You'll want to ensure that your policy explicitly includes these policies or offers an add-on for adventure sports coverage. 

Tips for Buying Cruise Insurance

Securing the best cruise insurance isn't just about finding the best price; it's about ensuring it covers all your potential needs. 

When to Purchase Cruise Insurance

It's always best to purchase cruise insurance soon after placing the initial deposit on your cruise. The sooner you buy your insurance, the quicker your trip is protected against a sudden cancellation. Additionally, most travel insurance plans have optional riders you can add to your policy as long as you purchase your policy within a certain window.

For example, cancel for any reason coverage often needs to be purchased within a purchasing window, which can last anywhere between a few days to three weeks from your initial trip deposit. You can also get your pre-existing conditions covered under the same conditions. 

That said, most companies will let you buy travel insurance up until the day before your departure. There are some limited policies that you can purchase after you've left for your trip, such as Allianz OneTrip Emergency Medical  policy.

How to Find the Best Deals on Cruise Insurance

Keep a lookout for deals, but remember, the cheapest option isn't always the best. Balance cost with coverage, and ensure you're getting the protection you need at a price that doesn't rock your financial boat. A travel insurance comparison site like VisitorsCoverage and InsureMyTrip are good places to compare multiple quotes from all of the major carriers at once.

Why You Should Trust Us: How We Reviewed Cruise Insurance Plans

When comparing cruise travel insurance providers, we evaluated them based on the following criteria to come up with our list of top picks:

Customer Satisfaction

We look at ratings from JD Power and other industry giants to see where a company ranks in customer satisfaction. We also look at customer review sites like Trustpilot, SquareMouth , and InsureMyTrip to see what customers have to say, particularly about claims experience.

Policy Types

The most important part of any travel insurance company, we look at all the policies a company offers. While we looked at coverage limits, we also looked at options for multi-trip plans, travel medical insurance, and pre-existing condition coverage. We also considered policy flexibility and add ons that a company offers.

Average Premiums

We compare average premiums per trip. Some companies also offer annual plans, and we compare policies accordingly.

Claims Paid

How frequently do companies pay claims easily and quickly? We check customer reviews and other resources to see which companies honor policies most effectively.

We look at the company's overall behavior. Is it operating ethically? Companies can earn additional points for such behaviors.

You can read more about how Business Insider rates insurance here.

Best Cruise Travel Insurance FAQs

As a rule of thumb, you can expect to pay between 5% and 10% of your total trip cost for cruise insurance coverage. However, your premiums will vary depending on factors like your age, your travel destination, length of travel, and any add-ons. 

Cruise insurance typically covers trip cancellations, interruptions, medical emergencies, emergency evacuations, and lost or damaged baggage, though coverage can vary based on the policy

Your options for travel insurance is severely limited after your trip starts, but you still have a few options. World Nomads offers policies to people who have already departed on their cruise. However, once you buy coverage, you'll have to wait 72 hours before it kicks in.

The difference between traditional travel insurance and cruise insurance is that cruise insurance offers more specialized coverage, for situations such as missing a departure port and more coverage for medical evacuations, since it's more expensive to evacuate someone at sea than on land. 

Most cruise insurance includes coverage for missing a departure port, so you should be able to claim for a missed port. Just make sure you check the details of your policy before you file a claim and before you travel, so you know what compensation you're entitled to.

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Read our editorial standards .

Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they're subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

**Enrollment required.

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Cruise Travel Insurance

Customer Reviews

Cruises are a wonderful way to explore the world, with an array of entertainment options outside of your door and no need to pack and unpack while visiting numerous locations. There are many aspects of cruising that make it a very unique way to travel, which also implies that there are unforeseen circumstances that can occur only when cruising. So travel with peace of mind on your next cruise with Insure&Go’s tailored cruise travel insurance.

Insure&Go’s cruise cover is the ideal choice if you are planning or considering a cruise for your next trip. If you are a Cruise Guru, let Insure&Go help you find a tailored cruise travel insurance product that is comprehensive and inexpensive. In addition, you can book your travel cover up to 365 days in advance, which will cover you for cancellations (available in Silver and Gold Cover Levels only).

Are you ready to make the most of your cruise trip with Insure&Go?

Choose your cruising destination above or call us and get a quote in just seconds! Don’t forget, Cruise Travel Insurance will also cover you while you’re on land during your holiday.

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All pre-existing conditions considered

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Please be aware Medical expenses are not covered when you travel in Australia (onshore). This includes if you declare any pre-existing medical conditions.

*Price derived from a cruise trip of 5 days, Individual, age 40, to New Zealand, Pacific & Bali region. Cover for pre-existing medical may require an extra premium.

Cruise travel insurance: What it covers and why you need it

Gene Sloan

What does cruise travel insurance cover? And does it pay to buy cruise travel insurance?

The answer is not always clear-cut, as we'll discuss in this guide. But consider this: It's not always smooth seas when it comes to cruising. Even the best-laid plans for a cruise vacation can sometimes be thrown off course by an unexpected event.

You might need to cancel a cruise in advance due to the sudden onset of an illness, such as COVID-19 or the flu. Or, maybe you fall ill during the cruise and need emergency medical attention. Maybe your flight to your ship gets canceled, and you miss the vessel's departure. Or your ship is late arriving in port at the end of a voyage, and you miss your flight home.

In all of these situations, you might benefit from having cruise travel insurance — keyword "might."

Cruise insurance policies vary widely, and not every policy covers every type of mishap. That's why it always pays to read the fine print in a travel insurance policy before you purchase it to know what you're getting in advance.

It's also why you should read this introduction to everything you need to know about cruise insurance. It has many details, but the next time something unexpected happens on your cruise vacation, you'll be glad to be educated and covered by a comprehensive travel insurance policy.

What does travel insurance cover when you cruise?

The typical cruise insurance policy covers a wide range of circumstances that can go wrong in conjunction with a vacation at sea — both before and during the sailing.

For starters, policies often will reimburse you for the cost of canceling a cruise due to a last-minute crisis. They will also often cover costs related to an interruption of a cruise (maybe your ship breaks down, requiring you to fly home mid-voyage ). These two elements are known as trip-cancellation and trip-interruption insurance, and they are bundled into a typical travel insurance policy.

Some policies will also cover out-of-pocket costs related to a flight delay or cancellation that results in you missing your cruise departure (for instance, the cost of catching up to the ship at its next port). Expenses related to baggage delays and loss are often covered as well.

But perhaps most importantly, many travel insurance policies will cover medical expenses you incur while on a cruise. Some will even cover the cost of evacuating from a foreign destination if you are in the midst of a medical crisis.

Travel insurance giant Allianz Global Assistance reports that 53% of all cruise-related "billing reasons" for claims are because of illness for the insured person, while 14% are for an injury. Another 8% are for the illness of a family member, 4% for the death of a family member and 4% for the illness of a traveling companion, among other reasons.

insure & go cruise cover

Those percentages include illness and accidents that happen to cruisers just before a trip, making travel impossible. But, in many cases, such claims result from illness and injuries that occur during voyages.

"People often take risks during vacation that they might not take back home, whether riding a jet ski, zipping around on a motorized scooter in a city they don't know well or hiking unfamiliar terrain," James Page, senior vice president and chief administration officer of AIG Travel, told TPG .

Some policies also cover the financial default of a travel provider. In such cases, if your cruise line goes out of business before you sail, you could get all — or at least some — of your money back.

Cruise travel insurance policies don't cover everything. For instance, standard travel insurers generally will not reimburse you for the cost of a cruise you cancel due to worries about an outbreak of an illness. That's true even if a U.S. government agency such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues a recommendation that you don't cruise due to an illness outbreak, as it did during the COVID-19 pandemic .

If you want the ultimate flexibility to cancel for such a reason or any other, you'll want to look into a more expensive cancel for any reason travel insurance upgrade.

Related: Avoiding outbreaks isn't covered by most travel insurance policies

Where to find a cruise travel insurance policy

You can buy a travel insurance policy directly from your cruise line when booking your trip or through your travel agent (if you're using one, which often is a good idea when booking a cruise). You also can go directly to a third-party travel insurance provider or a travel-insurance aggregator site, such as InsureMyTrip or TravelInsurance . Your credit card might even give you some travel protections.

Here's what you need to know about each type of cruise travel insurance.

Third-party insurance companies

Third-party insurance companies that specialize in writing travel insurance include AIG Travel, Allianz Travel Insurance, Travelex Insurance and American Express Travel Insurance.

One reason to use a travel agent or a travel aggregator: They can help you find a policy that offers added coverage specific to cruising.

Related: The Points Guy's guide to the best travel insurance companies

"Many plans now offer benefits that will specifically appeal to cruise travelers, such as missed connection, missed port-of-call and cruise disablement coverage," Stan Sandberg, cofounder of TravelInsurance.com, said.

Missed connection coverage reimburses cruisers for a set dollar amount if they need to rebook travel to catch up with their cruise at the next port. Missed port-of-call coverage pays a benefit if the cruise ship misses a scheduled port of call due to weather, a natural disaster or a mechanical breakdown.

Cruise disablement coverage pays a benefit if the traveler is confined on a ship for more than five hours without power, food, water or restrooms.

As noted, policies vary widely. It's a good idea to compare plans and make sure the one you buy has the elements that are most important to you. One size doesn't fit all.

Credit cards with travel benefits

Some premium credit cards offer valuable travel protections comparable to what you might get from a standard travel insurance plan. For example, the travel insurance provided when you pay for travel with select cards can reimburse you for expenses if your baggage is damaged, you're stranded overnight due to a flight delay or cancellation, or you have to return home to handle a family medical emergency.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card, for example, offers trip delay reimbursement, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, emergency medical coverage and even medical evacuation coverage , among other benefits. And yes, cruise lines are considered common carriers just like airlines.

If you're planning to rely on a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or The Platinum Card® from American Express * (among others) for travel insurance, just be sure to recheck your card's benefits and limits carefully against regular travel insurance. You must pay for at least part — and sometimes all — of the trip with that credit card to take advantage of its protections.

*Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.

Related: The best credit cards for booking cruises

Find out if your credit card protection includes travel accident insurance or covers preexisting medical conditions, and figure out when it will pay you back. Other questions to ask: What are the coverage limits? Will you have to pay for a foreign hospital bill upfront and then seek reimbursement later?

Cruise lines

Cruise lines often ask consumers booking a cruise to buy the line's own protection at the time of purchase. If specifics about the coverage are lacking, always ask the line for details in advance, review coverage perks and limits; then, compare those to one or two independent travel insurance policies or your credit card's insurance benefits.

Related: A beginners guide to picking a cruise line

Cruise line travel insurance policies sometimes have quirks. Many cruise companies will only offer a travel voucher or credit for future use in the event of a covered cancellation, not an outright refund.

Also, financial default may not be a covered event in a cruise line-sold policy, but it's typically covered with plans from third-party travel insurance companies.

Cruise line policies also can be more restrictive.

"Cruise line insurance seems to have become better and has more widespread coverage than in the past, but it typically won't cover air or pre- and post-travel [arrangements] unless those elements are purchased through [the line]," said Debra Kerper, a Cruise Planners travel adviser from Carrollton, Texas, who books travel and sells private insurance. "This is when private insurance coverage becomes so very important."

How much does cruise insurance cost?

Expect to pay anywhere from 4% to 8% of your total prepaid, nonrefundable trip expenses for a travel insurance policy. That's a wide range, we know, but it reflects the wide range of products out there.

You'll also find some basic plans that cost even less than 4% of your trip expenses, while some super-premium plans that cover just about any conceivable issue can cost as much as 12% of your trip expenses.

Related: What's included in your cruise fare?

All reputable insurance companies will offer a "free-look period" during which you can receive a 100% refund on your premium. This allows you to review the policy you've selected and return it for any reason within the period allotted — usually for a small administration fee of less than $10.

insure & go cruise cover

Under normal circumstances, you don't need to purchase a so-called "cancel for any reason" add-on to your cruise travel insurance policy unless you really need the flexibility. The upgrades are significantly more expensive.

You can receive a quote and purchase a policy online in minutes with any credit card. Although you may think travel insurance should code as "travel" when paid on a credit card and thus be eligible for bonus points on certain cards, that isn't always the case. Your points earnings will depend on the individual underwriter's merchant code. When in doubt, expect the purchase to fall under the insurance category for earnings.

Should I buy travel insurance for a cruise?

Whether you buy travel insurance is a personal decision that will depend on many factors. Would you be willing to absorb the loss of canceling a cruise on short notice due to an illness or accident? Could you afford an evacuation flight from a far-off port if you suddenly became seriously ill? Only you can answer those sorts of questions.

Here are some things to consider as you make that decision.

You might not be covered by regular medical insurance while cruising

If you're a U.S. citizen traveling internationally (which will be the case for most cruises), you may find that most private medical insurance plans in the U.S. won't cover you.

Additionally, Original Medicare only covers people traveling outside U.S. borders in limited circumstances.

While certain Medicare Supplement Plans do have some foreign emergency medical benefits, not all do. Be sure to talk to your Medical Supplemental Plan provider to see if you're covered, what's covered, what the limits are and how the bill is paid.

Also note that, in some countries (particularly those in Central and South America), travelers may not be discharged from a hospital until their bill is paid in full.

Related: Trip wrecked: 7 ways to prepare for any kind of travel disaster

Plus, if you have a medical incident overseas, you could find yourself stuck in a shared hospital room without air conditioning or a private bathroom. The level of care may not be what you expect.

"For people traveling internationally, it's crucial to know beforehand where to go for any treatment … and how they're going to pay for that treatment," Page said.

Getting evacuated for a medical condition is expensive

Most airlines won't accept seriously ill passengers, those carrying bulky medical equipment or those requiring a full medical team.

Even a low-cost weekend getaway on a cruise to the Bahamas out of Miami can turn costly if you suffer a serious accident or illness requiring medical treatment or an emergency medical evacuation.

Related: Do cruise ships have doctors, nurses, medical centers or hospitals?

Being flown back to the U.S. from a far-flung overseas location in a private, medically equipped aircraft, with a professional medical team on board, can run between $70,000 and $180,000, according to Mike Hallman, president and CEO of Medjet, a medical transport membership company.

"Domestic transports, which we cover as well, can cost upwards of $30,000," Hallman said.

Without proof of medical evacuation coverage, foreign providers will also want that money upfront. Hallman said that regular travel insurance will typically get you to an acceptable overseas hospital and even to a higher-level care facility if "medically necessary." Alternatively, medical evacuation coverage means you can fly home to your own hospital, doctors and family — without claim forms, cost caps on transports or surprise bills.

The tandem approach — buying both travel insurance and a separate medevac transport membership — is a good option, Hallman said.

"We always recommend travel insurance, as it covers trip interruption, which is important, as well as medical coverage for the hospital and treatment costs," he said. "We pick up where they leave off."

You can't predict the weather

Cruising is a great way to explore multiple destinations in one trip. But it's good to remember that unexpected delays, interruptions or cancellations due to weather can happen during cruises, particularly during hurricane seasons in places such as the Caribbean and Asia (where hurricanes are called typhoons).

insure & go cruise cover

During a typical hurricane season (June 1 to Nov. 30), Allianz pays about 6,000 claims from customers whose travel plans in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and southeastern U.S. are affected by the storms, according to a spokesperson for Allianz Global Assistance USA.

If you're hoping to insure against a storm-related disaster, it's good to buy travel insurance as early as possible. Once a storm or hurricane is named, it's too late to buy travel insurance to cover it.

Of course, cruise lines will move ships away from a weather threat. When the port lineup is adjusted or the cruise shortened, the company will offer the guest an onboard credit, onboard gift or future cruise credit rather than any refund. It depends on the circumstances of that specific voyage. You won't be able to make a claim on your cruise travel insurance policy just for a minor itinerary change .

Related: Everything you need to know about cruising during hurricane season

Costs can mount quickly when things go wrong

Even if the cruise line does provide a full or partial refund or cruise credit for an itinerary change or some other interruption, travelers could have to swallow the cost of other travel elements not purchased through the line. That could include nonrefundable flights , prepaid resort or hotel nights, nonrefundable tour fees and more.

Travel insurance can cover those, plus help with flight delays or cancellations, baggage loss or theft.

If a winter storm causes you to miss your flight to where the ship is boarding , "travel insurance could help you get to the next port to join the cruise, so you don't miss your entire trip," Page said.

In fact, 13% of "billing reasons" for claims to Allianz are for common carrier delays (such as a flight delay), while weather and natural disaster-related claims account for about 3%.

The government probably won't bail you out

While cruise ships have medical facilities, they're usually not equipped to treat serious illnesses. If you experience a serious medical problem on a vessel, you may have to get off the ship in a foreign port to seek treatment at a hospital. In such a case, if you don't have medical evacuation insurance, you may then find yourself stranded in that port awaiting a medical evacuation.

Don't expect Uncle Sam to step in and help foot the bill.

The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs clearly states the importance of buying travel insurance.

"The U.S. government does not provide medical insurance for U.S. citizens overseas," the bureau says on the website. "We do not pay medical bills. You should purchase insurance before you travel."

insure & go cruise cover

You may need more assistance than you think

If you're injured or become severely ill during a cruise, especially in a foreign country, it may be difficult to access help without the assistance of trained professionals that comes with many insurance plans.

Many travel insurance companies provide around-the-clock assistance with locating overseas clinics and pharmacies, getting to a doctor or hospital, refilling lost or depleted prescriptions, assisting with up-front payments to hospitals, and arranging flight changes so you can get home.

Travel insurance companies also can arrange for an air ambulance, a nurse escort, oxygen and a lie-flat seat on a flight home if your medical condition warrants it.

You want to be careful if you have preexisting conditions

When you cruise, it's important to be fully covered, which means having comprehensive medical coverage that includes any preexisting conditions. Otherwise, if you head into a doctor's office overseas, have any tests completed, or visit an urgent care center or emergency room, you might not be covered.

Here, timing is extremely important. Cruisers seeking coverage of preexisting conditions, as well as cancel for any reason insurance, generally must book within seven to 21 days of the first payment they make for a trip. The timing varies by insurer.

Bottom line

Cruise insurance isn't for every traveler — or even for every sailing. It's not inexpensive. However, it can bring a lot of peace of mind if you're about to head out to sea. Do your homework, compare plans and always assess the risks.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

  • The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
  • 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
  • Top ways cruisers waste money
  • 12 best cruises for people who never want to grow up
  • The ultimate guide to what to pack for a cruise
  • Travel Insurance

The journalists on the editorial team at Forbes Advisor Australia base their research and opinions on objective, independent information-gathering.

When covering investment and personal finance stories, we aim to inform our readers rather than recommend specific financial product or asset classes. While we may highlight certain positives of a financial product or asset class, there is no guarantee that readers will benefit from the product or investment approach and may, in fact, make a loss if they acquire the product or adopt the approach.

To the extent any recommendations or statements of opinion or fact made in a story may constitute financial advice, they constitute general information and not personal financial advice in any form. As such, any recommendations or statements do not take into account the financial circumstances, investment objectives, tax implications, or any specific requirements of readers.

Readers of our stories should not act on any recommendation without first taking appropriate steps to verify the information in the stories consulting their independent financial adviser in order to ascertain whether the recommendation (if any) is appropriate, having regard to their investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs. Providing access to our stories should not be construed as investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any security or product, or to engage in or refrain from engaging in any transaction by Forbes Advisor Australia. In comparing various financial products and services, we are unable to compare every provider in the market so our rankings do not constitute a comprehensive review of a particular sector. While we do go to great lengths to ensure our ranking criteria matches the concerns of consumers, we cannot guarantee that every relevant feature of a financial product will be reviewed. We make every effort to provide accurate and up-to-date information. However, Forbes Advisor Australia cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of this website. Forbes Advisor Australia accepts no responsibility to update any person regarding any inaccuracy, omission or change in information in our stories or any other information made available to a person, nor any obligation to furnish the person with any further information.

InsureandGo Travel Insurance Review

Published: Mar 20, 2024, 9:26am

InsureandGo is a high-ranking travel insurance policy for Australians, well suited towards multi-generational families travelling together due to its maximum age limit of 100 and automatic cover for children under 18 years old travelling with parents or grandparents.

  • 10% discount online with the code Offer10. The company also regularly releases updated discount codes on its Facebook page
  • Very positive reviews online via ProductReview
  • No credit card fraud coverage
  • While the website states most pre-existing medical conditions are covered, an assessment is required

InsureandGo Travel Insurance

Table of Contents

About insureandgo travel insurance, what is and isn’t covered.

Featured Partners

Fast Cover Travel Insurance

On Fast Cover’s Secure Website

Medical cover

Unlimited, 24/7 Emergency Assistance


Unlimited, (Trip Disruption $50,000)

Key Features

25-Day Cooling Off Period, Australian Based Call Centre, 4.6 Star Product Review Rating

Cover-More Travel Insurance

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On Cover-more’s secure website

Unlimited, with a $2000 limit to dental

Yes, amount chosen by customer

Southern Cross Travel Insurance

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Medical Cover

Including medical treatment, doctors’ visits, prescribed medication, specialist treatment & medical transport costs

$2,500 with option to increase to unlimited

InsureandGo Australia was established in 2000 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Europ Assistance. It offers Australians different tiers of travel insurance–bare essentials, silver and gold–with all policies underwritten by Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company Limited.

InsureandGo is highly regarded by Australian travellers, receiving a score of 4.0 from 6,243 reviews on the leading consumer opinion site, ProductReview.

In the following review, Forbes Advisor has analysed InsureandGo’s Gold policy, as this is its most comprehensive policy available.

The InsureandGo Comprehensive Travel Insurance policy is available to all Australians up to the ripe old age of 100, with children up to 18 also included if they are travelling with parents or grandparents. (For cruise cover add-ons, Australians are only covered up to 79 years of age).

While InsureandGo won’t cover fraudulent credit card activity, it will cover credit card replacement. Additionally, there is personal liability cover up to $5 million and up to $8,000 for car hire excess cover.

There is unlimited cancellation cover with the InsureandGo Comprehensive Travel Insurance policy, however, there is no cover for missed connecting flights if the stopover on itinerary is less than six hours.

Lost Luggage

InsureandGo provides $15,000 in cover for lost luggage on its Gold policy. There are sub-limits that apply, including $3,000 for laptops, cameras, tablets, mobile phones and the like.

Customers can choose to increase cover limits for certain items if required.

Unlimited overseas medical expenses are included with InsureandGo travel insurance. This includes emergency surgery, ambulance costs or repatriation.

In regards to pre-existing medical conditions, the InsureandGo website claims that “most conditions” are covered by the policy. However, a medical assessment is required to determine whether cover will be provided, rather than being automatically included in the policy.

Is Dental Cover Included in Medical?

InsureandGo does not include dental in its unlimited medical cover, but it does still provide cover for emergency dental treatment up to the value of $500.

Does it Cover Me for Covid?

Yes, overseas medical expenses related to Covid-19 are covered. Cancellations or trip interruptions due to Covid are also covered for the policyholder and their travelling companions, up to the value of $5,000.

What about Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is included within the unlimited medical cover, with complications of pregnancy and childbirth also covered–but only until week 30 of the pregnancy for individual babies. For multiple babies (such as if you are pregnant with twins), InsureandGo will only provide cover until week 20.

What about Sports and Activities?

InsureandGo provides automatic cover for 90 different sports and activities, which are laid out within its product disclosure statemen t. There are additional activities that may be covered, but only if certain criteria are met.

The excess payable also varies from sport to sport, so it is essential for travellers looking to partake in sports and activities while abroad to carefully review the InsureandGo PDS.

Examples of activities that will not be covered under any circumstance by InsureandGo include cliff diving, paragliding, running with the bulls and more. InsureandGo states in its PDS that its list of excluded activities is “not a definitive list”, and rather is “intended to provide examples of sports and activities where cover is not available under this policy in any circumstances”.

To be covered for snow sports, travellers will need to purchase the additional snow sports cover.

Customer Service

InsureandGo provides 24/7 emergency assistance to its customers, providing peace of mind if you are overseas and are in need.

For general enquiries, InsureandGo has a non-emergency phone number as well as an email, both of which are monitored from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

The company states that it is currently in the process of upgrading its Claims Website, which means at the time of writing, customers need to submit claims via email after following the instructions online.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is there an insureandgo discount code.

No, at the time of writing, InsureandGo does not have any active discount codes. The InsureandGo website states that it often updates its promo codes via Facebook, so all prospective customers should check the InsureandGo Facebook page before purchasing a policy to see if a discount is available.

Who underwrites InsureandGo travel insurance?

InsureandGo is underwritten by Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company Limited.

Does InsureandGo offer domestic travel insurance?

Yes, just as it offers three levels of international travel insurance–bare essentials, silver and gold–InsureandGo also offers its customers domestic travel insurance with the same tiers.

InsureandGo also has policies for annual multi-trip insurance, cruise coverage and backpacker travel insurance.

What is InsureandGo Travel Insurance's telephone number?

InsureandGo provides 24/7 emergency assistance to its customers via +612 9333 3999.

For general enquiries, InsureandGo has a non-emergency phone number as well as an email, both of which are monitored from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. These are:

  • Phone (within Australia) : 1300 401 177
  • Phone (outside Australia): +612 7201 9532
  • Email: [email protected]

Where can I find InsureandGo's policy documents?

You can find all InsureandGo’s policy documents, also known as product disclosure statements (PDS), online here .

InsureandGo says the PDS’ available on their website are the most up-to-date documents.

“In order to download the PDS which is applicable to your policy based on the date of purchase, login into your account and you will find the exact document,” the website states.

Can I buy travel insurance with InsureandGo after booking?

Yes, you can purchase a policy via InsureandGo after you have already booked your holiday; however, it’s important you make sure the policy covers all activities you intend to partake in, and all the countries or areas you are visiting. It is recommended to take out an insurance policy immediately after booking a trip, rather than waiting until the last minute.

Does InsureandGo Travel Insurance have good reviews?

Yes, InsureandGo has been reviewed positively both by Forbes Advisor Australia and in public customer reviews.

On ProductReview, InsureandGo has received 4.0 stars from 6,243 customer reviews.

When choosing our pick of the best comprehensive travel insurance policies , InsureandGo came in fourth place, scoring 4.4 stars.

Sophie Venz is an experienced editor and features reporter, and has previously worked in the small business and start-up reporting space. Previously the Associate Editor of SmartCompany, Sophie has worked closely with finance experts and columnists around Australia and internationally.

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InsureandGo Review

Insureandgo travel insurance covers the basics well and a plan geared for cruises..

InsureandGo review

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

Although it does not cover the less likely trip emergencies, InsureandGo nonetheless covers the standard travel insurance needs well and is a choice worth considering if you're looking for bargain or cruise-specific options.

Offers cruise cover

Good basic coverage

Only covers UK, Ireland and Australian travelers


Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test .

InsureandGo is a UK-based travel insurance company that provides coverage for travelers living in the UK, Ireland and Australia. An online-only insurer, InsureandGo offers a wide range of coverage and in the UK will consider coverage for any medical conditions, includes children on annual policies for free, and covers up to 50 adventure activities. 

InsureandGo review: Plan options

InsureandGo travel insurance covers the basics for reimbursement should you have to cancel your trip or have a medical emergency during your travels. It also has a plan geared for cruises. While it lacks some of the features commonly found with the best travel insurance agencies, it is one of the cheapest we evaluated.

We priced out three different plans – a Mississippi river cruise, a vacation in France and an Antarctic adventure. In each case, InsureandGo's plans were significantly cheaper than most of the others in our lineup – sometimes hundreds of dollars below the average. In order to provide these less expensive plans, this trip insurance company does not cover some of the popular but less likely events that others insure, such as trip cancellation due to airline, tour company or cruise line insolvency. It also does not reimburse some of the smaller expenses, like change fees or lost prescriptions, and it lacks a concierge service that most travel insurance companies provide gratis.

InsureandGo review: Coverage

If you are more interested in the basic coverage, however, you may find it's a good deal. It compares well to other plans for how much it reimburses for cancellations, interruptions and delays, and is above average when it comes to lost luggage or baggage delays. It's one of the highest for covering medical expenses. In addition, it has cruise plans with extra coverage for missed departures and compensation for missed cruise days should illness confine you to your cabin.

This company does not provide concierge services, such as a hotline to call to get restaurant reservations, hotel recommendations or even help finding a lawyer. However, for medical emergencies, InsureandGo can locate a doctor for you. As with any insurance, the features, prices and terms vary by your need, so be sure to check the online contracts when you price out your specific plan. This agency does not reimburse lost mileage or cancellations due to default by the carrier. 

InsureandGo review: Making a claim

We found the procedures and rules for filing to be about average. The travel insurance agency is clear about what it requires, specifically noting proof in writing for any event that may lead to a claim. As with other travel insurance companies, you need to download the form, but the forms include a checklist of the required paperwork. If you have questions of an administrative nature, you need to call during business hours, but there is a 24/7 line to call if you have an emergency while on your trip.

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Should you choose InsureandGo?

While InsureandGo does not cover all the features of other higher-ranked travel insurances we reviewed, it nonetheless does a good job at covering the basics, with above-average compensation for medical needs and some extra considerations for cruises. The paperwork checklist on the claims form makes it easier to file a claim. It lacks some amenities like concierge service and a 24/7 line for non-emergency questions, but with one of the lowest rates of the insurances we reviewed, it's worth pricing out.

Noel has worked as a reporter and editor for many online and print publications including the Salt Lake Tribune and the Ogden Standard-Examiner, covering diverse beats like education, city development and politics. He also wrote and edited an online monthly magazine for the nutritional supplement company Max International. Noel has degrees from the University of Utah and Weber State University in psychology, English and creative writing and is passionate about writing in all its forms.

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Top 6 Best Cruise Insurance Plans of July 2024

Alex Carver Photo

Alex Carver is a writer and researcher based in Charlotte, N.C. A contributor to major news websites such as Automoblog and USA Today, she’s written content in sectors such as insurance, warranties, shipping, real estate and more.

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Kelly Larson is a senior editor with 14 years of experience creating and optimizing data-driven, reader-focused digital content. Kelly enjoys running and exploring the outdoors with his sons.

Key Takeaways

  • Based on the MarketWatch Guides industry-wide review of the travel insurance policies, Nationwide, Faye and Allianz offer the best cruise insurance.
  • Cruise insurance can help protect your vacation by reimbursing prepaid, nonrefundable expenses in unexpected situations such as emergency medical bills and costs related to baggage loss.
  • Our team evaluated 64 cruise plans to identify the top options for your next cruise. We score plans based on cruise-specific options, average cost, policy coverage, medical coverage and evacuation limits.

Faye Logo

Why Trust MarketWatch Guides

Our editorial team follows a comprehensive methodology for rating and reviewing travel insurance companies. Advertisers have no effect on our rankings.

Companies Reviewed

Quotes Collected

Rating Factors

The Best Cruise Insurance Plans for 2024

To determine the best cruise insurance options for our review, we collected several sample quotes, carefully examined policy and coverage details, and evaluated providers with specialized cruising plans. Our thorough research found that the following travel insurance companies provide the best cruise insurance plans in the industry.

Here are our top picks for the best cruise insurance companies:

  • Nationwide Travel Insurance: Luxury Cruise
  • Allianz Global Assistance: OneTrip Prime
  • AIG Travel Guard: Preferred Plan
  • Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection : WaveCare ®
  • Travelex Insurance : Travel Basic
  • Trawick International : Safe Travels Voyager

How We Picked the Best Cruise Insurance Companies

To recommend the best providers to our readers, we looked for the following factors when evaluating coverage options for cruise insurance:

  • Cruise-specific plan options: Our team sought out travel insurance providers that offer cruise-specific plans with coverages not found on standard policies, such as shipboard service disruption coverage, prepaid excursion reimbursement and more.
  • Medical coverage: This protection helps pay for medical care at a local facility if you’re injured on your cruise. Companies with more generous medical coverage limits ranked higher in our roundup.
  • Medical evacuation: We prioritized companies offering higher medical evacuation coverage, which can benefit you depending on how long and far you are from a port while on the cruise ship.
  • Coverage maximums: We considered whether a provider offered higher-value coverage options for travelers planning longer trips or opting for an all-inclusive luxury package.
  • Cost: We requested sample quotes from dozens of travel insurance providers and compared price and coverage options to determine the insurer offering the best values.

Nationwide Travel Insurance

Nationwide Travel Insurance

Why We Picked Nationwide for Cruise Insurance

After earning 4.6 out of 5 stars when rated using our travel insurance methodology, we chose Nationwide as one of the best cruise insurance options for these reasons:

  • Nationwide offers plans specifically for cruises with benefits such as shipboard service disruption, prepaid excursion reimbursement and missed connection benefits.
  • Cruise-specific policies include medical and non-medical evacuation coverage.
  • Nationwide covers up to 100% of your total trip costs for a covered cancellation and up to 150% of your total costs for trip interruption.

Pros and Cons

Allianz global assistance.

Allianz Global Assistance

Why We Picked Allianz for Cruise Insurance

Allianz earned 4.1 out of 5 stars when rated using our travel insurance methodology, and we chose it as one of the best cruise insurance options for these reasons:

  • Allianz extends free coverage for children 17 and under when you choose the OneTrip Prime plan, which can be ideal for families cruising together.
  • Epidemic coverage includes trip cancellation, interruption, travel delays, emergency medical care and emergency transportation.
  • Trip change protector coverage can reimburse you the fees or extra expenses incurred if you need to change your cruise itinerary for a reason listed in your policy.

AIG Travel Guard

AIG Travel Guard

Why We Picked AIG Travel Guard for Cruise Insurance

AIG Travel Guard earned 4.6 out of 5 stars when rated using our travel insurance methodology, and we chose it as one of the best cruise insurance options for these reasons:

  • If you or your traveling companion lose your life or limbs during your cruise, AIG Travel Guard offers non-flight accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage.
  • AIG’s Preferred Plan includes one free child aged 17 and under with each paying adult on your policy.
  •  You’ll find an array of policy add-ons with AIG such as CFAR coverage, adventure sports coverage, pet coverage and more that can offer you additional protection.

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection

Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection

Why We Picked Berkshire Hathaway for Cruise Insurance

Berkshire Hathaway earned 4.6 out of 5 stars when rated using our travel insurance methodology, landing a spot on our best cruise insurance due to the following:

  • WaveCare® covers up to 100% of your total trip costs for covered cancellations and 150% of your total trip costs for covered interruptions.
  • Berkshire Hathaway’s cruise-specific plan offers coverage beyond the norm, including cruise disablement, cruise diversion and river cruise diversion coverage.
  • WaveCare® provides coverage for emergency evacuation and repatriation up to $750,000.


Why We Picked Travelex for Cruise Insurance

Travelex earned 4.7 out of 5 stars when rated using our travel insurance methodology — the highest score out of all providers we’ve reviewed. It landed a spot on our best cruise insurance list for the following reasons:

  • Travelex offers some of the most affordable plans of the providers on our list, and allows parents to extend coverage to their children for a slightly higher rate.
  • Add-on coverages available through the Travel Basic plan include car rental collision coverage and flight accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D).
  • The Travel Basic policy has no deductible and is considered a primary coverage plan.

Trawick International

Trawick International

Why We Picked Trawick International for Cruise Insurance

We awarded AXA Assistance USA a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. We’ve included it on our list of the best cruise insurance providers for these reasons:

  • The Safe Travels Voyager plan, marketed as Trawick’s most popular cruise insurance coverage, includes 30 covered reasons for trip cancellation.
  • Trawick offers various optional add-on benefits, such as CFAR coverage, 24-hour AD&D, trip interruption for any reason (IFAR) coverage and more.
  • Trawick provides a stipend for a hospital companion to evacuate with you during a medical emergency.

What To Look For in Cruise Insurance

According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) 2023 State of the Cruise Industry Report , cruising continues to be one of the fastest-growing sectors of tourism, with a projected 36 million people choosing a cruise vacation in 2024. While purchasing travel insurance to cover your cruise vacation is a personal decision, there are some coverages to look for that can enhance your policy.

  • Travel medical insurance : If you’re worried about illnesses or potential injuries during your cruise, travel medical insurance covers medical expenses up to a maximum amount.
  • Emergency medical evacuation coverage : If you suffer a medical emergency and require transport to a hospital while at sea, emergency medical evacuation coverage can help cover expenses associated with transport.
  • Trip cancelation insurance : If you’d like to recoup any prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses if you need to cancel your trip, trip cancelation insurance can reimburse you if the event is covered under policy terms.
  • Trip interruption insurance : If your trip is cut short for a reason covered with your travel insurance policy, trip interruption coverage can provide reimbursement for any unused travel expenses.
  • Cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage : If you’re concerned about canceling your trip for a reason not listed under a policy’s coverage terms, consider cancel for any reason (CFAR) coverage , which allows you to cancel your trip for virtually any reason.

Travel medical insurance is especially worth considering if you’re cruising abroad, as domestic healthcare may provide limited to no coverage out of the country.

If you’re looking at plans explicitly marketed for cruises, you may find unique benefits like cruise diversion, disablement and prepaid excursion reimbursement. Other benefits to look for with a cruise insurance policy include travel delay coverage, baggage insurance and missed connection coverage. If you’re worried about coverage for pre-existing conditions or COVID-19, check if a plan offers these protections as you shop around.

Compare The Best Cruise Insurance Plans

See the table below for a direct comparison of our picks for the top cruise insurance plans, including average costs, our recommended plan and CFAR coverage amounts.

What Is Cruise Insurance and How Does It Work?

Cruise insurance is synonymous with travel insurance, and it can be any policy that offers the coverage you’re looking for to protect your trip expenses. While some providers offer plans marketed toward cruisegoers, many standard, comprehensive travel insurance policies provide coverages worth considering for cruise protection.

A cruise insurance policy works just like travel insurance. Your policy will cover you for the duration of your cruise and can cover a single person or a whole family. When a covered event occurs, you’ll file a claim with your chosen provider for reimbursement of expenses or financial losses. Note that all cruise insurance policies have exclusions, so read the fine print of your plan before you purchase it.

What Does Cruise Insurance Cover?

Depending on your choice of plan, cruise insurance can provide the following coverages:

Created with Sketch Beta. Medical expense coverage : Travel medical insurance can cover your medical bills if you get ill or injured on your cruise and need medical attention.

Created with Sketch Beta. Emergency medical evacuation coverage : Emergency medical evacuation coverage can provide transportation or evacuation to a medical facility from your cruise ship.

Created with Sketch Beta. Trip cancellation protection : Trip cancellation coverage can compensate you for non-refundable expenses if you cancel your trip for a reason covered by your policy.

Created with Sketch Beta. Trip interruption coverage : If you need to cut your cruise short, trip interruption coverage can provide reimbursement for any unused, non-refundable expenses.

Created with Sketch Beta. Trip delay protection : If your travel carrier delays your trip, you can receive reimbursement up to a set amount as outlined in your policy. 

Created with Sketch Beta. Baggage loss and delay coverage : If your baggage is damaged, stolen, missing or delayed during your trip, baggage loss and delay coverage can reimburse you for the items you packed in your luggage.

In addition, some cruise insurance plans offer coverages exclusively tailored to cruisegoers, such as cruise disablement coverage, prepaid excursion reimbursement, missed connection benefits and non-medical evacuation coverage. 

According to our research, you’ll also likely have access to a 24/7 hotline for travel emergencies — we’ve found this is a standard provision among travel insurance companies. If you’re looking for pre-existing condition coverage, many providers offer a waiver if you buy your coverage within a specific time frame from your initial trip deposit.

Is Cruise Insurance Required?

While cruise insurance isn’t typically legally required, it can be worth considering if you don’t want to risk your investment in your cruise booking. However, it’s best practice to check with your specific cruise line about any outstanding requirements around travel insurance. Even if travel insurance isn’t required, having coverages such as travel medical, trip interruption and trip cancellation cruise insurance can give you the peace of mind to enjoy your cruise fully.

When You Should Buy Cruise Insurance

If you plan on purchasing cruise insurance, it’s worth considering as soon as possible. For example, if you’d like emergency medical coverage through your cruise insurance policy to cover any pre-existing conditions, most travel insurance providers require you to purchase a policy within a certain number of days from when you make your first payment toward the cruise. You may not qualify for this waiver if you wait until the last minute to purchase your plan.

If your cruise is fast approaching and you’d still like to buy a policy, our research has found that some providers offer plans that can be purchased as late as 24 hours before your trip.

How Much Does Cruise Insurance Cost?

According to our analysis, the average cost of cruise insurance is $242. However, we found that the cost ranges from $81 to $500 and heavily depends on the total trip cost and age of the traveler.

The cost of cruise insurance can vary between customers. Your age, trip length, trip cost, plan type, number of travelers and destination all impact the overall premium you will pay. According to our research, trip cost, and age impact cost the most, with older travelers typically paying much more than younger travelers for the same trip.

The best way to determine what you will pay for your coverage is to get a quote. According to data from Berkshire Hathaway, you can expect to pay between 5% and 10% of your total cruise vacation price for insurance.

To help you get a better idea of what you might pay for cruise insurance, we requested multiple quotes from the providers in our review using various sample traveler profiles. The table below summarizes our findings:

To calculate costs, we collected quotes for each of the following trips and traveler profiles:

  • 70-year-old couple taking a $3,000, seven-day cruise in Mexico
  • 65-year-old taking a $1,200, five-day cruise in the Bahamas
  • 34-year-old couple taking a $6,000, seven-day cruise in Greece
  • 21-year-old taking a $900, five-day cruise in the Caribbean

How To Buy Cruise Insurance

You can purchase cruise insurance online and at your convenience. If you’d like to speak with a customer service representative about any questions or concerns about a policy, most travel insurance companies provide a phone number and contact information at the top of their website.

To start gathering quotes, head online to the quote portal of the company of your choice. For this example, we’ll walk you through getting a quote with Nationwide, our top pick for cruise insurance. We were asked to provide some trip details and personal information right away, such as our cruise line, destination, travel dates, total trip costs and more.

insure & go cruise cover

Once you’ve provided the information needed, you’ll be taken to your plan choices and their associated costs. Like many other cruise insurers, Nationwide offers a sample plan contract for you to read through, as well as coverage details to help you fully understand what’s covered or excluded with your policy.

insure & go cruise cover

After making your plan choice, you’ll need to provide more information on you and your traveling companions. From there, you’ll be able to finalize your purchase and be ready to cruise with protections in place that can help you navigate unexpected situations. While every cruise insurer’s purchasing process won’t look exactly the same, most follow the same format and will require the same information to purchase a policy.

Can You Buy Cancel For Any Reason Insurance for Cruises?

In short, yes, you can purchase travel insurance with cancel for any reason (CFAR) add-ons for a variety of travel insurance companies and plans. Cancel for any reason, coverage often time won’t cover the full value or price of your trip, but if you need to cancel for whatever reason, it is better to have some degree of coverage and get a partial refund than have to lose out on a trip and the monetary value behind it. Below is a list of CFAR coverage amounts for our recommended cruise travel insurance providers.

Is Cruise Insurance Worth It?

Determining whether cruise insurance is worth it is a personal decision. Cruises can get expensive quickly, so if you’re embarking on a 14-day international cruise that you’ve spent months saving up for, you may prefer to protect your investment. Spending a fraction of your total cruise expenses on insurance can help prevent you from forfeiting the entire cost of a non-refundable trip should the worst happen.

According to our 2024 travel insurance survey, of the 165 respondents who bought a policy for an upcoming cruise, 97% claim that travel insurance is worth it, with the majority citing peace of mind as the reason.

Angela Borden, a product marketing specialist at Seven Corners, noted that “When you’ve made a financial investment in your trip or need to protect your health when you travel, travel insurance is 100% worth it.” She also pointed out that coverage can help you recoup your expenses if the unexpected happens. 

“Travel insurance can also reimburse you if your belongings are lost, stolen, or damaged and you need to replace them during your trip,” she added. “Again, that’s a financial savings you would have missed out on if you didn’t have travel insurance.”

If you are unsure whether cruise insurance is worth it, we recommend getting a quote from our highlighted insurance providers before you set sail.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cruise Insurance

What should cruise insurance cover.

Cruise insurance should provide you with 100% coverage for trip cancellation and at least 100% trip interruption coverage. Your policy should also include baggage loss, trip delay coverage, medical care and emergency evacuations. 

When should I buy trip insurance for a cruise?

While your trip insurance cost might not increase if you buy a policy at the last minute, it’s best to buy coverage as soon as you make your initial trip deposit. Most insurance companies only allow you to add CFAR coverage a few days after you make your first trip payment. If you’re considering this insurance add-on, buy coverage as soon as possible. 

Do I need special insurance for a cruise?

Whether you need travel insurance specifically for cruises depends on the provider. While some travel insurance companies specify that policies provide coverage even if you’re on a cruise, others may exclude cruises from standard travel plans. For this reason, it’s best to check the terms of your coverage before purchasing a policy. 

Some companies, like Nationwide and Berkshire Hathaway, offer cruise-specific protection plans in addition to standalone travel insurance policies.  

What are the benefits of cruise insurance?

There are multiple benefits to investing in a cruise insurance policy. Cruise insurance provides you with money back for nonrefundable trip expenses, which can help you recoup a portion of your costs if you need to cancel at the last minute. Cruise insurance also provides protection when you’re on a boat and visiting international ports of call, with medical insurance coverage and compensation for travel expenses if you’re forced to evacuate during your vacation.

Does cruise insurance include COVID-19 coverage?

Travel insurance policy purchases have spiked since the COVID-19 pandemic. Most travel policies consider COVID-19 the same as any other illness, which means you may be entitled to use your insurance benefits if you’re hospitalized or cannot travel due to COVID-19. However, this also means that the fear of catching a new COVID strain will not entitle you to use your cruise insurance. 

If you’re concerned about the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on your vacation plan, consider upgrading to CFAR coverage.

More Travel Insurance Guides

  • Best COVID-19 travel insurance companies
  • Best travel insurance companies
  • Cheapest travel insurance
  • Best group travel insurance companies
  • Health insurance for visitors to USA
  • Best senior travel insurance
  • Best travel insurance for families
  • Best student travel insurance plans
  • Travel insurance for parents visiting the USA
  • Best travel medical insurance plans
  • How much does travel insurance cost?

If you have feedback or questions about this article, please email the MarketWatch Guides team at editors@marketwatchguides. com .

More Resources:

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Cruises are officially back on the cards and people are queuing up to get on board. here's how to make sure you're covered..



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Need to know

  • Most travel insurers cover cruises but there are some exclusions and fine print to be aware of
  • For example, you won't be able to claim for events that occur because you've had too much to drink
  • You need to make sure you declare your pre-existing medical conditions

With the restrictions on cruises finally lifted post-pandemic, the industry has bounced back in a big way this year and is more popular than ever.

But some people lost thousands of dollars on cancelled cruises during the COVID-19 travel bans and some cruise lines might not even let you on board without travel insurance.

So if you're planning a cruise, read on to discover how to choose the travel insurance policy that's best for you.

On this page:

Travel insurance for overseas cruises

Which travel insurers cover international cruises, what cruise travel insurance won't cover, do i need insurance for australian cruises, when to buy travel insurance for a cruise.

Most travel insurers cover international cruises that start and end in Australia, usually as an optional extra (we haven't looked at cover for cruises that start and/or end overseas). 

Some providers also offer tailored cruise travel insurance, which can give you access to additional inclusions that are unique to cruising and that may not be covered in standard policies, such as cover for missed ports, missed departures, or cabin confinement due to illness.

When choosing a policy, it's important to make sure the region you're visiting is covered and that it suits your needs and itinerary.

Check the policy age limit, as some policies cover you up to the age of 100 but others only cover you up to 69. 

It's also worth noting that if you want cancellation coverage in case a relative in Australia becomes ill or dies, the relative will also need to meet the age limit on the policy and satisfy the existing medical condition requirements.

Australian authorities no longer require people to prove they've had a COVID-19 vaccination in order to board, but it may be required for some destinations such as New Caledonia, and cruise ships are still a higher risk setting for diseases like gastroenteritis and respiratory infections, including influenza (flu) and COVID-19. So check if you have medical and cancellation cover for COVID-19 and other illnesses.

Existing medical conditions and pregnancy

As with other types of travel insurance, some pre-existing medical conditions may not be covered, and others will need to be disclosed in order to be covered. If in doubt, contact the insurer to discuss your needs.

It's also worth noting that pregnancy is considered an existing medical condition. Some insurance policies cover pregnancy up to 30 weeks, but most cruise lines won't allow you on board if you're more than 24 weeks pregnant.

Travel insurance and alcohol

Some people liken cruises to a floating RSL club, but the combination of alcohol and a seagoing vessel can cause accidents. 

In an Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) case, Phil* fell down a flight of stairs on a cruise ship and suffered a moderate brain injury, skull fracture and right lung contusion.

All travel insurers have a clause that excludes cover for claims resulting from a person being under the influence of alcohol

Phil said the area was not well lit and the steps would have been slippery, while his wife said he was walking steadily. He was taken to a hospital in Austria and a test showed that he had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.198%.

The insurer had an exclusion for "any conduct engaged in whilst under the influence or effect of alcohol or drugs", and AFCA sided with the insurer, determining that Phil's claim for expenses should be denied.

All travel insurers have a similar clause that excludes cover for claims resulting from a person being under the influence of alcohol.

* Not their real name. Policyholder names are not disclosed in AFCA case records.

Even if you book a cruise that won't be leaving Australian waters, you may still need travel insurance as shipboard medical expenses might not be covered by Medicare. Check that your travel insurance does cover medical costs – you may need international or cruise-specific insurance. Domestic travel or health insurance won't cut it.

Doctors working on cruise ships don't need Medicare provider numbers, so check with your cruise line if they have a Medicare doctor on board. If they don't, and they treat you, you can't claim on Medicare or your private health insurance, even though you never left Australia. 

Domestic travel insurance doesn't cover medical costs, so you'd need either international travel insurance (check that it covers domestic cruises) or special 'domestic cruise' insurance, which is available from a few select insurers.

Cruises are often booked well ahead of time, so you could be forgiven for forgetting or delaying the purchase of your travel insurance. But if your cruise is cancelled ahead of time and you don't yet have cover, you could lose your money. The earlier you buy the policy, the better.

On the flip side, there aren't many insurers that cover you more than a year out from starting your trip. If you book your trip more than a year out, shop around for a policy that will cover you.

Stock images:  Getty, unless otherwise stated.

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  • Cruise News

Passenger Gets Paid After Cruise Line Drops Luggage in the Water and Sails Away

Picture of Andrea Santillan

Andrea Santillan

  • July 15, 2024

Last week, a young woman garnered widespread attention after she shared that Celebrity Cruises accidentally dropped her luggage into the ocean. She stated that Celebrity failed to inform her about the incident, initially denying responsibility, and did not offer sufficient compensation.

The company eventually agreed to provide her with additional onboard credits, new luggage, complimentary spa services, and more.

Two images of a woman sharing her experience about losing her luggage on a cruise. The first image has her looking hopeful with the text

Dropped into The Ocean but Never Reported

A TikTok user with the handle “ throughlindseyslens ” shared the first video on July 5. Lindsey narrated how she boarded the vessel with her family and noticed that everyone’s baggage had been delivered except for hers.

While she waited for her bag, she received a call from the Port of Amsterdam, the port they had just left.

amsterdam cruise port

The representative informed her that there were no tags indicating where it was headed, only her tag that contained her contact information.

Realizing what it meant, Lyndsey told viewers, “No one reported that it was gone. If someone hadn’t found it floating in the ocean, I wouldn’t have even known that it was gone.”

The Colorado-based photographer became emotional as she contemplated what she lost: two weeks’ worth of clothes, her photography equipment, her medications and supplements, toiletries, and family jewelry.

Getting the Cruise Line to Take Notice

@throughlindseyslens Replying to @Erin Dunn update as of july 11th! #luggagelost #lostatsea #celebritycruises @Celebrity Cruises @Royal Caribbean ♬ original sound – linds | colorado photog

Lindsey’s biggest challenge was getting Celebrity to realize what happened and take responsibility for it. Though she spoke to several crew members, many didn’t believe her. They only provided $400 in onboard credits, a t-shirt, roll-on deodorant, toothpaste, two laundry vouchers, and a toothbrush. 

The young woman was dissatisfied with the few items she had been given and the lack of support. Through social media, Lindsey asked the vessel’s management, “ Why is your mistake my emergency? Because it shouldn’t be.” 

On July 9, Celebrity received the confirmation it was looking for from Amsterdam’s port authorities. “My bag has been confirmed to be in Amsterdam. It did have water damage. It did go into the ocean. At this point, I’ve just accepted that nothing can be salvaged,” she said in an update.

Three images show a passenger's suitcase wrapped in plastic, a woman with wet hair in a towel, and an opened suitcase filled with belongings. Text overlays mention flight issues and an update on July 11th.

By July 10, the cruise line’s Director of Guest Relations and Hotel Director had sat down with Lindsey. In addition to the few toiletries she had been given, Lindsey was offered:

  • $1,000 in onboard credits (can be encashed)
  • New Luggage
  • A free massage and facial
  • Two complimentary meals in the specialty dining room
  • A Wi-Fi upgrade with free Starlink calls
  • A complimentary shore excursion

The cruise line also replaced some of her medications.

Lyndsey’s update on July 13 was simple yet eloquent. Her post showed a picture of her missing luggage with the caption, “ She has arrived. “

Travel Insurance Covers Damaged and Lost Luggage

A person is writing the words

Lost and damaged luggage are among the many areas covered by travel insurance . Even if the cruise line agrees to compensate a passenger, an insurance policy offers peace of mind. It can reimburse the cash value of the luggage and its contents, pay for luggage repair, or cover the replacement cost by filing a claim and providing receipts.

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Cruise packing list: 56 essentials chosen by experts.

This cruise packing list includes all of the essentials – plus items you didn't know you needed.

Essentials to Pack for a Cruise

Downloadable Cruise Packing List

Packing for any trip takes some planning, but cruise vacations present a unique challenge – particularly due to limited stateroom storage space and sparse (or overpriced) options for purchasing accidentally forgotten items.

To help you decide what to pack for a cruise, we've curated a list of essentials recommended by cruise experts who regularly sail the high seas. Download the U.S. News Cruise Packing List pictured above to reference while you pack, and read on to learn more about the recommended items and where you can purchase them if needed.

  • For packing and planning
  • For travel and embarkation day
  • For the cabin
  • For the ship and shore excursions

Find your perfect cruise

Carry-on bag

Regardless of whether you bring checked luggage, you'll need some type of carry-on bag . Since checked bags need to go through security as they do at airports – and because you may need to wait for your stateroom to be ready, just like at a hotel – you'll want to be able to access any necessities pre-cruise. These might include a swimsuit, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat for the pools; medications; a bottle of water; and your smartphone, of course. You'll also want to keep your credit card , passport, and any other important documentation or valuables close by. A carry-on backpack works especially well since it can double as a day bag for shore excursions.

Checked bag

While you'll likely want to bring a checked bag, consider sharing one with your shipmate(s) to maximize stateroom storage space. Or, consider bringing medium-sized luggage, such as the The Medium by Away , for checking in.

Garment bag

Halfday The Garment Duffel in blue against white background.

Courtesy of Halfday

While many cruises are less formal these days, a garment bag can still be handy for keeping select garments wrinkle-free (since clothing irons are prohibited on cruise ships). Top-rated options include the The Garment Duffel by Halfday and the Briggs and Riley Baseline 22" Carry-On 2-Wheel Garment Bag , both of which double as traditional luggage. If you pack your luggage right, you can make this your only suitcase, in addition to a carry-on bag.

Packing cubes or vacuum-sealed bags

Packing cubes are one of the best ways to organize your belongings for travel – especially in a tight cruise ship cabin. Top-rated options include the Veken packing cubes on Amazon (usually priced around $20) and all of the Pack-It Sets by Eagle Creek. The Pack-It Starter Set is especially ideal for cruising since it includes a garment folder designed to minimize wrinkles in clothing. Some cruisers also swear by vacuum-sealed bags , even though they can be a bit more tedious to pack.

Carry-on caddy

Ashley Kosciolek, senior cruise writer at The Points Guy, recommends a carry-on caddy , particularly if you're flying to your embarkation point. "I have a fabric sleeve that slides down over the telescoping handle on my carry-on to provide pockets for my passport, phone, coffee – all the things I used to have to juggle during check-in."

Digital luggage scale

The compact Etekcity scale – approximately $10 on Amazon – can weigh bags up to 110 pounds and help you avoid overweight baggage fees. You can often find these scales at your local Marshalls and HomeGoods stores too.

Bungee cord

"Especially for travelling with the family, I use a bright-green bungee cord to strap multiple pieces of luggage together," says Aaron Saunders, senior editor at Cruise Critic. "It's a lifesaver when boarding trains or disembarking ships, particularly when you ' re maneuvering a stroller and a little one around, too."

Luggage tracker

Front and back of Apple AirTag against white background.

Courtesy of Apple

A luggage tracker isn't just useful for air travel. Attach one to your checked cruise luggage to see when it has arrived in your stateroom (or if it's stalled at security). Chris Gray Faust, executive editor at Cruise Critic, doesn't go anywhere without her Apple AirTag after her luggage got stuck in Vancouver for over a week last June. "My AirTag use has expanded beyond my checked luggage, too. I also have AirTags in my handbag, my carry-on, my keychain and my wallet."

Cruise insurance

Due to the unpredictable nature of travel, cruise insurance can be a wise purchase ahead of your voyage. Travel policies can cover unforeseen expenses such as trip interruptions and medical emergencies.

While a passport is often required for cruising, rules can vary depending where you're traveling. Determine whether you need a passport for your upcoming cruise ; if you do, triple-check that you have it packed the day of departure.

Credit cards and local currency

When cruising internationally, consider getting small amounts of each country's currency to have on hand in port. Depending where you go, some local markets may only accept their own country's currency, not U.S. dollars or credit cards. It's also nice to leave cash gratuities for cab drivers, tour guides or servers; in the European Union, 1- and 2-euro coins are convenient and appropriate tips. In ports with vendors that do accept credit cards, be sure to carry a Visa or Mastercard , as some shops and restaurants do not take American Express .

RFID wallet

It's important to protect your travel documents with an RFID wallet like the TIGARI Passport Holder or the ZOPPEN RFID Travel Passport Wallet , the latter of which can hold multiple passports for a family. "Thieves and hackers can steal your credit card information just by using skimming devices," explains Jill Schildhouse, a cruise expert and U.S. News contributor who always travels with her RFID wallet. "And because your wallet wasn't even touched, you won't know it happened until you see your credit card statement."


Pack more than enough of your prescription medications as well as any over-the-counter medicines you'll need, just in case you encounter an itinerary change or travel delay. While some travelers find it easiest to bring personal medicines in their prescription bottles, others find travel pill boxes to be especially helpful for organization. The Sukuos Weekly Pill Organizer is a well-rated option, with detachable boxes for each day as well as compartments for morning and evening medications.

Sheet masks

Since flying can be so drying for the skin, Faust likes to use sheet masks. "My first step the night before I board (because you should always fly in a day early) is to hydrate with a sheet mask (usually from a Korean brand like Ballon Blanc or FaceTory )," she says. "If I'm meeting up with a friend, I bring an extra sheet mask so our trip starts out feeling a bit like a spa day!"

Magnetic hooks

A surprising fact: Cruise ship cabin walls are made of metal, which means you can optimize your storage space by hanging some of your belongings on magnetic wall hooks. The hooks are perfect for holding bulky coats or boots if you're traveling to a colder climate. You can also use them for wet gear on expedition ships and adventure cruises, or for drying out bathing suits after days at the beach or pool. Purchase a set of magnetic hooks for less than $10 on Amazon.

Like hotels, cruise ships can only provide so many hangers. Bring a few extras from home or pick up a pack from your local dollar store. You might also try packable hangers .

Wrinkle release spray

Whether or not you bring a garment bag, a travel-size bottle of wrinkle release spray, such as Downy Wrinkle Releaser spray , is useful to have on board. If you combine a spritz or two with the steam from your shower, you should be able to smooth out some of the wrinkles in your clothing.

Laundry detergent

"If you don't want to pay for laundry service or spend precious time in the self-service laundry room, bring a small bottle of laundry detergent like Woolite to wash key items in the sink: underwear, bras, quick-dry hiking shorts, bathing suits, etc.," recommends Schildhouse. "Every cruise ship shower has a retractable clothesline you can extend to drape the clothes over while they dry. This can also help cut down on the number of items you need to pack."

Over-the-door organizers

Over-the-door organizers with clear or mesh pockets allow you to find your feminine hygiene products, makeup, jewelry and other small items quickly – without having to hunt through multiple drawers or a tight stateroom closet. It's a good idea to purchase a two-pack like this option by Simple Houseware Store (available on Amazon), since you can also use one to store shoes and maximize floor space.

Poo-Pourri bottle against white background.

Courtesy of Poo-Pourri

It goes without saying, but to say it anyway: A toilet spray like Poo-Pourri is a must for your cruise packing list. Any smell – pleasant or not – will travel quickly in small staterooms with small bathrooms. Buy a travel-size bottle to keep in your cabin.

Shampoo and conditioner

Cruise experts agree it's best to bring your own shampoo and conditioner in travel-size bottles, as most cruise ships don't provide separate shampoo and conditioner anymore; instead, they offer all-in-one dispensers. Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief at Cruise Critic, likes to pack her shampoo and conditioner in the popular Cadence Capsules , noting she also uses them for another essential: sunscreen. "These capsules are easy to fill, never leak and have clear labels, which you can customize," she says.

Wine or Champagne

Most major cruise lines allow each guest to bring one to two bottles of wine or Champagne on board, while some luxury cruise lines allow even more than that. Disney Cruise Line also gives guests the option to bring a six-pack of beer instead of wine or Champagne. Be sure to consult your cruise line's policies when packing for your trip.

If you plan to bring wine or Champagne, you'll likely need a corkscrew . While some cruise lines may prohibit corkscrews, others allow them on board; check your cruise line's policy before sailing. Bringing wine with a twistable cap may be a good alternative.

Portable humidifier

Cruise ship cabins can feel dry – especially in the colder months. A portable humidifier like the GENIANI Erie (around $25 on Amazon) can provide some relief. At about half a pound, this USB-powered device will fit neatly into your checked bag or carry-on luggage. The travel humidifier features two mist settings and has an automatic shut-off option, plus a night light to help you see around your cabin in the dark.

International travel adapter or converter

You'll likely need a travel adapter, since cruise lines homeported in international locales may have different electrical sockets and voltage strengths than you're used to in the U.S.

McDaniel recommends the OneWorld65 Travel Adapter . "I've used a lot of different travel adapters over the years, but this is my favorite. It charges up to six devices at once, has USB and mini-USB options, and works in over 200 countries," she says. "While many cruise ships have U.S. outlets, most usually also have European outlets. This adapter lets me take advantage of that outlet I'd otherwise ignore." She also notes that while cruise lines are getting better about having more outlets on their ships, it never feels like enough to keep your phone, camera battery, tablet, watch, headphones/earbuds and laptop charged (times two or more if you're traveling with others).

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Sound machine

Cruise experts agree a sound machine can be helpful for blocking out the sound of late-night partiers returning to their staterooms (or your snoring spouse). Schildhouse likes the LectroFan Micro 2 for cruising. "It plays non-looping white noise and doubles as a speaker to play tunes while you get ready for dinner."

Tech organizer

Open Bagsmart Electronics Organizer fills with cords against white background.

Courtesy of Bagsmart

A tech organizer like the BAGSMART electronics organizer case – available on Amazon for about $20 – can store all your cables, plugs, SD cards and earphones in one zippered, compact bag that will fit easily in your carry-on luggage. Despite its small size, it can also hold bulkier items like a small laptop charging cord.

First-aid kit

A first-aid kit is a good thing to have on hand no matter where you go. You can make your own using supplies you already have at home, or buy a premade first-aid kit on Amazon for about $20. While all cruise ships have medical facilities, it's useful to have these items with you on shore excursions, especially those involving active adventures.

Hand sanitizer

Regularly washing your hands and/or using hand sanitizer is essential to staying healthy while traveling, especially on a cruise ship. Stock up on a few travel-size bottles of hand sanitizer (less than $2 each at Walmart) ahead of your trip. If you're looking for something with less alcohol that's also less drying, check out Babyganics Alcohol-Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer .

If you're a parent, you know that your infant or toddler needs a very specific size – and in some cases brand – of diapers, which may very well be unavailable to you on your cruise ship or in the ports of call. Bring more than enough diapers to play it safe at sea.

Most cruise lines also require that non-toilet-trained infants and toddlers wear swim diapers in the children's water play areas. For the sake of sanitation, kids must be toilet-trained to use the pools on cruise ships.

Many cruisers like to personalize their cabin with stateroom door decor. Not only is it a fun tradition, but decorating the door can make it easier to locate your room, too. You can find lots of fun decor ideas on Pinterest as well as Amazon.

" Duct tape is a life-saver in many situations," says Kosciolek. "I primarily use it to attach my printed luggage tags, but it's also great for mending clothing issues on the fly and fixing broken luggage until you can get it back home."

"As a parent, I like to bring lanyards with sleeves so my kids can wear their keycards and not lose them," says Erica Silverstein, senior cruise editor at The Points Guy. "We hang them on the magnetic hooks I put on the wall, so they don't get lost in the cabin either."

Sea-Bands pack and bands in case against white background.

Courtesy of Sea-Band

If you're prone to (or think you may be prone to) motion sickness on cruise ships, put a pair of Sea-Bands on your cruise packing list. These soft wristbands use acupressure to prevent and minimize nausea and vomiting on board, and they are a reusable, drug-free alternative to traditional anti-nausea medications. You can purchase Sea-Bands on Amazon or at most drugstores.

If you need something a bit stronger than Sea-Bands (or to use in conjunction with them), Dramamine remains a tried-and-true solution for both preventing and treating sea sickness. Choose the Less Drowsy formula to avoid getting sleepy, and consider the chewable tablets (dye-free) if traveling with kids who are prone to queasiness. Many travelers like Bonine as a remedy for sea sickness as well.

Mix-and-match clothing

Pack a variety of mix-and-match items, also known as a capsule wardrobe, for your cruise. To do this, choose a base color – black or navy blue – for your wardrobe. Next, pack plain, neutral-colored items, then add a few patterned items to the mix. Remember to include a variety of styles (T-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, pants, shorts, dresses, rompers and jumpsuits) and also consider reversible clothing and outfits that can easily transition from day to night.

Sports jacket or blazer

Adam Coulter, executive editor of Cruise Critic UK and Australia, recommends packing a sports jacket or blazer. "While cruise lines are getting more casual, what happens if you get that last-minute invite to meet the captain, or there's a meet and mingle where you want to look put together? A jacket will always elevate your elegance (even if you're wearing a T-shirt underneath)," he says. If you're in need of a travel blazer, Bluffworks has some well-rated options; the Gramercy , in particular, gets great reviews.

Themed party attire

Some cruise lines host themed voyages or parties on select nights where passengers can dress up to participate in the fun. You'll want to review your cruise itinerary before you go so you're prepared for the festivities. Bring your buccaneer gear if you're sailing aboard Disney Cruise Line; ships host fun events like Pirate Nights, pirate-themed dinners and a "Pirates in the Caribbean" show. On "The Love Boat"-themed cruises offered by Princess Cruises , pack your platform boots, glittery dresses, bell-bottom pants and halter tops for the line's 1970s-inspired disco party on the deck. No matter the theme, you can't go wrong with a couple of cruise captain hats .

Travel wrap

A travel wrap is a versatile accessory that's useful for any trip – even more so on a cruise ship where it can get chilly when the sea breeze picks up. Available in nearly 10 different colors, J.Crew's Oversized Cashmere Wrap is a timeless staple, albeit a bit of an investment; for something less expensive but well rated, try this off-brand pashmina shawl on Amazon .

Packable jacket

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket in black against white background.

Courtesy of Patagonia

If you're cruising to a cold weather destination such as Alaska, you'll need something heavier than a travel wrap, but not so bulky that it requires additional luggage. Consider a packable jacket that folds easily and compactly; travel experts highly recommend the Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket .

Packable hat

If you're headed to the Caribbean or another warm weather destination, you'll want a beach hat to protect your scalp and face from the sun. This packable straw hat by FURTALK (available on Amazon for about $25) is a stylish women's option that features a broader brim and offers UPF 50 sun protection.

Comfortable walking shoes

Allbirds Wool Runners in pink against neutral background.

Courtesy of Allbirds

Even if you never step foot off the ship, there is still plenty of walking to do between bow and stern. Closed-toe shoes or sandals with straps are safer than flimsy flip-flops when boarding a slippery tender into port (if your ship can't dock directly). Check out our recommendations for the most comfortable walking shoes , which include the popular Allbirds Wool Runners and the ECCO Yucatan Sandals .

Water shoes

Depending on your scheduled shore excursions, you might also need a pair of water shoes. For something that's both functional and fashionable, Crocs' Classic Clogs are a good option. While not totally waterproof, the Native Jefferson is a water-friendly, versatile option.

Versatile heels

"Over the years, I've learned that the key to avoiding overpacking is to bring one neutral pair of low heels that match every single eveningwear outfit I've packed – from flowy pants to dresses," says Schildhouse. The Naturalizer Bristol Sandal is an ideal choice, with a cushioned footbed, a 2.5-inch heel, and great reviews. It's also available in a variety of colors.

Reusable water bottle

A reusable water bottle is useful for filling up at water and beverage stations on your cruise ship; it's also a necessity for shore excursions.

Bathing suit

Pack a couple of swimsuits for the pools, hot tubs and any shore excursions.

Swim cover-up

Another must-have for your cruise packing list is a swimsuit cover-up or two. These are great for wearing over your bathing suit during days at sea, as well as on excursions – especially if you're going on a Caribbean cruise . Amazon sells a variety of stylish, affordable cover-ups, and you can never go wrong with a classic white button-down shirt .

Dry bags are useful for shore excursions where you're likely to get wet but don't want the same to be true for your phone, camera and other precious items. "I use the Outdoor Research Unisex Dry Isolation Pack   and have never had so much as a drop of moisture enter it, which is important for me – it keeps my cameras, documents and important items from getting wet," says Saunders, adding that it functions as a great everyday backpack when it's not raining.

If you need more than one dry bag, cruise expert Brittany Chrusciel recommends the Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Bag Set . "Having these dry bags, in a variety of sizes, means I can bring all my gear along during a Zodiac cruise or snorkeling excursion without having to worry about it getting wet."

Waterproof phone case

A waterproof phone case is also essential, especially if you plan to take photos. The Hiearcool Waterproof Phone Pouches (available in a two-pack) come with a lanyard so you can both protect your phone and wear it around your neck. They are compatible with most smartphones.

"I like to bring collapsible pails, small shovels , inflatable beach toys, a floppy Frisbee or other things to entertain the kids on the beach if we're going to a private island or beach destination," says Silverstein. "If you can inflate your own inner tube, you don't need to rent a floating mat."

Beach towel

"Although cruise lines provide guests with towels to take off the ship on excursions, they are often bulky and sometimes small," explains Chrusciel. "The Surfer Towel folds up to nearly nothing, so it takes up almost no room in your suitcase and is super convenient to pack in a day bag. What's more, its quick-drying technology means that the lightweight fabric won't be soaking wet when you need to pack up for the day and head back to the ship."

Towel clips

"Even though giant plastic towel clips shaped like a flamingo are a bit cringey, they make it easy to find your spot in a sea of sun loungers," says Chrusciel. "They also solve a common cruise problem: keeping your towel securely fixed to your chair while reading or sunbathing."

Reef-safe sunscreen

Reef-safe sunscreen SPF 40 against white background.

Courtesy of Badger

When choosing a sunscreen, look for something that's reef-safe; not only are these sunscreens safer for the environment, but they're also better for you . The active ingredients in reef-safe sunscreens, also known as mineral sunscreens, are zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or a combination of both. Top-rated mineral sunscreen brands include Think , Badger and Raw Elements , all of which also sell lip balm with sunscreen (another essential at sea).

After-sun lotion

You'll want an extra dose of moisturizer if you've been basking in the sun. COOLA makes an after-sun body lotion that cools and hydrates the skin with aloe vera, agave and lavender oil. Previous buyers rave about this lotion, noting they appreciate that the scent isn't overpowering.

A good book

Sea days are the perfect time to kick back and relax with a book you've been meaning to read. Find an oceanfront lounge chair in a shaded area on the pool deck, or grab a cup of tea and settle into a quiet nook indoors. There's no need to pack more than one book, however, as many cruise ships have libraries.

What not to pack for a cruise

Power strip.

Many cruise lines do not permit power strips as they present a fire hazard, while others allow them as long as they are non-surge-protected. Instead of a power strip, purchase a portable charger such as this highly rated one by Anker , which can power up multiple devices at once. This can be especially useful for shore excursions. When packing for your cruise, also think about your luggage: If it has an included charging port, you may not even need to purchase an additional charging block.

Weapons and restraints

Firearms, handcuffs and the like are not permitted on cruise ships. This rule also includes toy guns on most cruise lines.

While most major cruise lines allow guests to pack a limited amount of wine or Champagne per person, they do not permit hard liquor. Of course, those of age can purchase cocktails at any of the bars on board.

Household appliances

Irons and steamers are not permitted on cruise ships, which is why the aforementioned garment bags, wrinkle release spray and packing cubes are recommended for keeping clothing tidy and neat. Coffee makers and mug warmers are also prohibited.

While you can technically bring you own, it's not necessary as hairdryers are available in every bathroom on most ships.

CBD and marijuana

CBD that's derived from hemp and contains 0.3% THC or less is legal at a federal level. However, each state interprets and enforces this law differently; for example, many states require a prescription for it. Due to the ambiguity of the laws, most cruise lines continue to ban CBD in any form.

Marijuana remains illegal under U.S. federal law, which means you cannot bring it on a cruise ship – even if you're legally able to purchase it in your home state for recreational or medical use.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

For the U.S. News Cruise Packing List, travel writers Gwen Pratesi and Amanda Norcross tapped leading industry experts for their cruise essentials. They regularly update this checklist with new and useful items to pack.

You might also be interested in:

  • The Best Cruise Lines
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Cruise expert suggests getting trip insurance in case a storm affects the ship.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A cruise expert suggests getting trip insurance in case a storm affects your ship.

High winds and large waves from Hurricane Beryl caused multiple cruise ships to reroute to avoid its path.

RELATED: Hurricane Beryl roars by Jamaica after killing at least 7 people in the southeast Caribbean

The storm left parts of the Caribbean, including Jamaica, with devastating damage.

Beryl is now expected to make landfall in the middle Texas coast overnight.

RELATED: Beryl bears down on Texas, where it’s expected to hit Monday and regain hurricane strength

Regan Moore, who lives in Jacksonville, said she still feels nervous about taking a cruise to the Bahamas next week.

“I will say you do have a little bit of anxiety if a storm comes out of nowhere and just decided to hit your ship and I’ve never been on a cruise,” Moore said.

Cruise ships have access to weather-tracking navigation systems to avoid potential storms overseas.

Cruise lines like Royal Caribbean have their own meteorologists tracking storms ahead of time.

Travel expert and owner of the Cruise Genius Scott Lara advised getting travel insurance for good measure.

“Trip insurance gives you that piece of mind in case you lose a bag, in case you miss a flight,” Lara said. “I just recommend that you do buy travel insurance with the option to cancel for any reason.”

Lara suggests calling immediately if you’re worried about sudden cancellations or if a storm will affect your ship.

“Call the cruise line, call your travel agent, they’re the ones who can keep you up to speed on that,” Lara said.

Moore said that’s what she’s been doing to calm her nerves.

“Just mostly keeping track of the weather, checking with the cruise line and checking with Fox World Travel and asking ‘hey is everything still good?’” Moore said.

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Opill approval means greater access to birth control pills. What else does it mean?

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The Food and Drug Administration this week approved the country’s first birth control pill to be sold to Americans over the counter without a prescription – 50 years after it first appeared on the market.

Experts say the FDA’s groundbreaking approval of the pill norgestrel, sold under the brand name Opill, will increase access to effective contraception for people who lack easy access to the health care system for a prescription.

“Women can already go to the drug store to buy spermicide and condoms, but those are just not as effective as birth control pills,” said Dr. Maria Sophocles, an obstetrics and gynecologist and the medical director of Women’s Healthcare of Princeton in New Jersey.

But over-the-counter approval of the progestin-only pill, commonly known as the “minipill,” also raises questions about cost, access and whether the move has the unintended consequence of reducing opportunities for sex education and reproductive care.

What is Opill?

Opill uses the synthetic hormone progestin to block sperm from the cervix, preventing pregnancy.

While most other birth control pills use progestin and estrogen, progestin-only pills like Opill are often recommended for people who can't take combination pills for health reasons.

Hormone-based pills, like Opill, have long been one of the most common forms of birth control nationwide and have been used by tens of millions of people since the 1960s.

Norgestrel was first approved in the U.S. in 1973 and marketed by Pfizer as the prescription product Ovrette until it was discontinued in 2005 as combination birth control pills with both estrogen and progestin became more popular. In 2015, HRA Pharma acquired norgestrel and rebranded it as Opill with the sole purpose of getting government approval to sell the pill over the counter.

The pill is currently sold without a prescription in the United Kingdom. Other contraceptive pills are available without prescription across much of the globe, including in South America, Asia and Africa.

Opill cost: Will insurance cover it?

HRA Pharma says Opill may be available to consumers in early 2024, but the company has yet to reveal how much it will cost.

Prescription birth control pills on the market range from $10 to $50 without insurance, depending on the type of pill and brand, said Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Insurance companies generally cover prescription birth control pills, but it’s unclear if they will cover over-the-counter products.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, one of the country’s largest health insurance networks, is leaving that decision to their 34 locally operated BCBS companies, according to company spokesperson Kelly Parsons.

It’s also unclear whether Opill will be covered by Medicaid, the government insurance program used by many low-income and disabled people, experts say. While some states cover certain over-the-counter products like emergency contraception, others don’t.

Patients who don’t have easy access to the health care system may benefit the most from over-the-counter birth control pills. But these same patients also tend to live in underserved communities and have lower income, so experts say affordability is key.

Sex education and sexually transmitted infections

The ability to get birth control pills without a prescription is not intended to replace regular doctor visits.

But some experts worry patients may be less inclined to get checkups if they no longer need refills for birth control, especially as data shows doctor appointment wait times have skyrocketed in recent years.

A 2022 survey by Merritt Hawkins , a physician search firm, found the average wait to see an OB/GYN increased from 23 days in 2004 to nearly 32 days in 2022. The longest wait time reported was a whopping 93 days in 2022.

Skipping a doctor’s visit may not only be detrimental to a person’s health but it could also be a missed opportunity to provide sexual health education – particularly among younger patients, Sophocles said.

It could contribute to already rising cases of sexually transmitted infections, as providers typically take the opportunity to test for such infections when they learn a patient is sexually active. Birth control pills do not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

Avoiding the doctor’s office could put patients at higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections and spreading them, Sophocles said. If left untreated, some sexually transmitted infections can lead to lifelong consequences, such as infertility.

“It’s the biggest opportunity cost that’s lost,” she said. Opill “is not a substitute to going to the clinic. You should still be seen by a clinician to have education and to know when to go.”

‘Is Opill right for you?’

While increasing access, adding Opill to the contraceptive toolkit relieves some of the stress surrounding contraception.

It means not having to scramble for or cram in a last-minute doctor’s appointment to secure pills before traveling. It means not risking an unwanted pregnancy if you run out before a refill, lose a pack or there’s a delay when changing providers.

It’s safe to temporarily switch to Opill from another progestin-only or combination birth control pill, Westhoff said, but it’s still important to consult a provider when choosing the right birth control.

For example, people with a history of breast cancer should not take the Opill, and those with abnormal vaginal bleeding should talk to a doctor first, experts say.

Opill “provides an option to be able to access this form of contraception, but it doesn’t replace the patient provider relationship,” said Dr. Asima Ahmad, chief medical officer and co-founder of Carrot Fertility, a global fertility platform.

Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT.

Health and patient safety coverage at USA TODAY is made possible in part by a grant from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare. The Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial input.


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  6. Cruise Travel Insurance: What You Need to Know

    Some companies require that you buy cruise insurance within two weeks of making the initial deposit, particularly if you're hoping for pre-existing medical coverage. 🤓 Nerdy Tip. The longer you ...

  7. Cruise Travel Insurance: What It Covers and Where to Buy It

    What does cruise travel insurance cover? "A cruise vacation has so many moving parts, including the sheer number of destinations you visit, flights, and hotels bookings.

  8. 8 travel insurance mistakes to avoid before your next cruise

    Carry a copy of your travel insurance card during your cruise, which will have a toll-free number if you need help. Enjoy your cruise. If you have a problem with a travel insurance company, cruise line, airline, car rental agency or hotel, send your request for help to [email protected], and I'll be happy to investigate. Planning a cruise?

  9. A Guide to Travel Insurance for Cruise Travelers

    Emergency evacuation = $500,000. Accidental death & dismemberment = $30,000. If you're between 35 and 59 years old and plan to insure a cruise fare of $1,599 per person, the cost of Travel Guard's ...

  10. Cruise Travel Insurance

    With our tailored Cruise Travel Insurance, cruisers get all the benefits of the Single Trip policy^, plus additional inclusions that are unique to cruising, such as reimbursements for certain necessary additional expenses due to a cruise delay. Our cruise insurance policy^ is available in three levels of cover; Bare Essentials, Silver and Gold ...

  11. Best Cruise Travel Insurance of July 2024

    Best Cruise Insurance Plans of 2024 Summary. Best overall: Nationwide Travel Insurance. Best for affordability: AXA Assistance USA. Best for seniors: Seven Corners Travel Insurance. Best for ...

  12. 5 Best Cruise Insurance Plans of July 2024

    Best cruise insurance. Best for cruise-specific plan: Nationwide Travel Insurance. Best for affordable coverage: AXA Travel Insurance. Best for adventure excursions: World Nomads. Best for pre ...

  13. Cruise Travel Insurance

    Insure&Go's cruise cover is the ideal choice if you are planning or considering a cruise for your next trip. If you are a Cruise Guru, let Insure&Go help you find a tailored cruise travel insurance product that is comprehensive and inexpensive. In addition, you can book your travel cover up to 365 days in advance, which will cover you for ...

  14. Cruise travel insurance: What it covers and why you need it

    Travel insurance can cost between 4% and 12% of your overall trip cost. HOLLAND AMERICA LINE. Under normal circumstances, you don't need to purchase a so-called "cancel for any reason" add-on to your cruise travel insurance policy unless you really need the flexibility. The upgrades are significantly more expensive.

  15. Annual travel insurance

    All our yearly holiday insurance policies include: Medical and hospital expenses cover. Cover for cancellation of your trip. Over 100 sports and activities covered (see your policy wording for a full list of activities) Personal belongings and baggage cover. Personal money, passports and travel documents cover. Accommodation cover.

  16. Best cruise travel insurance plans of July 2024

    Pros. One of the cheapest cruise travel insurance plans in our rating. Top-notch medical evacuation coverage of $1 million. Provides a rare $150,000 in non-medical evacuation coverage. Very good ...

  17. InsureandGo Travel Insurance Review: Pros and Cons

    InsureandGo is a high-ranking travel insurance policy for Australians, well suited towards multi-generational families travelling together due to its maximum age limit of 100 and automatic cover ...

  18. InsureandGo Review

    InsureandGo travel insurance covers the basics for reimbursement should you have to cancel your trip or have a medical emergency during your travels. It also has a plan geared for cruises. While it lacks some of the features commonly found with the best travel insurance agencies, it is one of the cheapest we evaluated.

  19. Why you should consider cruise travel insurance

    4 reasons to consider cruise insurance. Cruise insurance can be affordable while still protecting you through unforeseen situations that can crop up during your trip. Here are some reasons to consider getting cruise insurance: 1. Emergency medical expenses. Plans that provide coverage for medical expenses can help pay the cost of your care ...

  20. The Best Cruise Insurance Plans of July 2024

    Here are our top picks for the best cruise insurance companies: Nationwide Travel Insurance: Luxury Cruise. Allianz Global Assistance: OneTrip Prime. AIG Travel Guard: Preferred Plan. Berkshire ...

  21. Which travel insurers cover you for cruises?

    What cruise travel insurance won't cover. Check the policy age limit, as some policies cover you up to the age of 100 but others only cover you up to 69. It's also worth noting that if you want cancellation coverage in case a relative in Australia becomes ill or dies, the relative will also need to meet the age limit on the policy and satisfy ...

  22. Best cruise insurance 2024

    Cruise insurance is a specific type of travel insurance policy that covers accidents, injuries and other potential mishaps that could occur during a cruise holiday. Bear in mind that the European Health Insurance Card (Ehic) and new Global Health Insurance Card (Ghic) won't cover the cost of a rescue from a cruise ship , so relying on them ...

  23. Best cruise insurance plans in 2024

    Cruise travel insurance can help cover the unexpected costs if you have to unexpectedly join late or cut your trip short. We found HTH Travel Insurance's TripProtector Preferred plan is the best ...

  24. Compare Cruise Travel Insurance Quotes

    Cruise-specific insurance includes cover for things such as cabin confinement due to illness or bad weather, itinerary changes, airlifts to hospital, missed ports and unused excursions. If you tell us you're going on a cruise, we'll only show you travel insurance quotes that contain cruise cover. Before making your choice, check the policy ...

  25. Passenger Gets Paid After Cruise Line Drops Luggage in ...

    Travel Insurance Covers Damaged and Lost Luggage. Travel Insurance. Lost and damaged luggage are among the many areas covered by travel insurance. Even if the cruise line agrees to compensate a ...

  26. Cruise Packing List: 56 Essentials Chosen by Experts

    Due to the unpredictable nature of travel, cruise insurance can be a wise purchase ahead of your voyage. Travel policies can cover unforeseen expenses such as trip interruptions and medical ...

  27. Cruise expert suggests getting trip insurance in case a ...

    Travel expert and owner of the Cruise Genius Scott Lara advised getting travel insurance for good measure. "Trip insurance gives you that piece of mind in case you lose a bag, in case you miss a ...

  28. Amazon Prime Day offers cruise and travel deals 2024

    Amazon Prime Day Travel Deals include Carnival Cruises offered at a 40% discount. There are more than 500 trips on offer, ranging from 3- and 4-day cruises to Mexico and The Bahamas to 7 days in ...

  29. How Tropical Depression Beryl could impact Vrbo, Airbnb booking

    Tropical Depression Beryl has snarled plenty of travel plans this week, with thousands of flights canceled and cruise lines rerouting itineraries. And if you have a vacation rental booked, you may ...

  30. Opill cost, coverage: Over-the-counter birth control pill explained

    Prescription birth control pills on the market range from $10 to $50 without insurance, depending on the type of pill and brand, said Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, professor of obstetrics and gynecology ...