Category Archives: Cruise Travel insurance

Insider Secrets: Cruise Liners – Travel Tips from the Experts

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Want to get more bang for your buck on a cruise? Here are our favourite tips for saving money, making the most of hospitality services, and planning where and when to spend your holiday cash on board. We’ve even thrown in some insider insight extras about what it’s really like on a cruise ship!

 

  1. You don’t have to stick to one starter, one main, and one desert in the main dining hall – passengers are free to order whatever dishes they wish from each of the menus, and as much as they want! Nice if you prefer a few starters and a desert over a main meal, or just can’t make your mind up between dishes!

 

  1. Meals in the main dining area are usually planned in advance – ask if you can see the upcoming menu so you know which night you’d rather book a table at one of the other on-board restaurants.

 

  1. Don’t like what’s on the menu? Ask if a different dish is available – ordering off-menu is even possible in the main dining hall.

 

  1. Thrifty travellers will be pleased to know that some cruise liners don’t mind passengers bringing a couple of bottles of wine or champagne on board (although you will have to pay corkage if you plan to have it in an on-board restaurant). There is also a reasonable allowance for non-alcoholic drinks – which can end up saving a few precious pounds.

 

  1. If sea-sickness strikes, room service is usually on hand to help out, no need to try and get to the on-board pharmacy, just give them a call and they’ll come to your room with required remedies. If your cabin is on a higher deck however, you might find you feel less queasy if you head to the middle of a lower deck, where there is less movement.

 

  1. Room service is free on most cruise ships! Bear in mind that this unexpected luxury upgrade may result in a surcharge on food prices at certain times of night, and the person bringing the food will probably be expecting a tip.

 

  1. Talking of tips, the hospitality crew are generally low-paid, and earn their living by delivering a great service rewarded by tips. As such, make sure you pack plenty of “change” suitable for tipping staff.

 

  1. Missed out on free tickets for the big show? Head on down anyway, lots of people who reserve these tickets decide not to go – if there are any seats spare at show time, staff will happily let you in.

 

  1. Pack your own power board – cabins are well known for being sparse when it comes to power outlets, so bring your own power board to make sure you stay charged for the trip.

 

  1. Pick your passes and packages carefully. Whether it is a spa pass, drinks package, or restaurant package – work out what is really included for the price and whether it’s cost effective for what you will actually use. Drinks packages, for example, might mean you have to drink 10 drinks a day, every day of your cruise, even on port days to get value for money.

 

  1. Bear in mind that there are plenty of opportunities on-board for freebies – free pastries with coffee, free soft-serve ice-cream points, complimentary drinks at on-board events, and deals on buying a whole bottle of wine (which will be labelled and saved for you for later). If cheap alcohol is what you are after, get your fill in port before you head back to the ship.

 

  1. Cruise ship insurance is essential – not only will it help you out if you get sick on-board, but should you happen to miss departure (a real risk if you embark on your own port excursions), it could stop your holiday turning into a total disaster! Be warned that buying insurance from the cruise line generally costs more for lower cover – you are better buying from a third-party provider.

 

  1. Somewhere on the ship there is a morgue! Statistics dictate that out of the thousands of passengers who travel on cruise ships 365 days a year, someone will shift their mortal coil during a trip.

 

  1. If you like your privacy… the general rule of thumb is that the lower the deck and the further back on the ship you go, the fewer people will be around.

Holiday Tips to Avoid Kids This Summer

The summer break is well known for turning holiday havens into destinations to be avoided if you are looking for a bit of peace and quiet. Whether you are looking for a summer holiday to celebrate a special occasion, or you are just taking a trip away from your own little angels – here is how to enjoy a holiday without being bombarded by other people’s kids!

Flights

It is difficult to avoid tantrums and flailing limbs that accompany the presence of small children on a place, but all is not lost. There are a small number of Asian airlines that are now offering child-free zones, and it looks like the rest of the world will follow suit in years to come, especially as frequent fliers have said they would pay for the privilege of a quiet flight!

In the meantime, avoid seats at the back of the plane near the loos. These seats also give parents extra time to pack everything up as other passengers disembark. On long haul flights, families are often near the bulkhead as this is where the cots are.

Accommodation

There are several tour operators that offer an adult-only experience, but if you are off on an adventure and don’t want an exclusive resort experience, you need to find accommodation that doesn’t attract families.

Hotel boutique Duquesa de Cardona Barcelona in front of the port

Boutique hotels and B&B’s are far less likely to be overrun with families!

Boutique B&Bs, upmarket hotels and historic inns all attract a more grown up demographic. Avoid budget chains, as this is where families often head for a bargain break. The best advice is to check the website – if they offer deals for families or kids, or you can see they have children’s facilities, then this is not the place for you!

Location

Disneyland attracts families, exotic locations like Machu Picchu less so. Choosing where to go can make a big difference to the likelihood of families with young children being present. Alaska, Canada and Tahiti are all good examples, but it is ultimately down to the specific destination as to whether it is likely to be attractive to families or not.

Beaches

As a general rule of thumb, the more remote a beach is, and the fewer facilities it has, the less likely there will be families there.

Hainan Beach

 

Cafes, restaurants, shops, showers, and most importantly restrooms with changing facilities all combine to attract a family crowd, and a crowd in general – it just makes life a little easier.

Tourist Attractions

Similar to finding the right accommodation, when it comes to sightseeing and indulging in some cultural activities, choose places and tours that will attract a more grown-up crowd. Art galleries, brewery tours, museums, boutique shopping and the like are less likely to have hoards of children about.

Cruises

Upscale luxury liners, small ship expeditions and some P&O Cruises all offer adult-only options. Another way to avoid families on a non-adult only trip is to book a long cruise. Long cruises are far less likely to be booked by families, generally attracting a more mature crowd.

Weird Travel Insurance Claims

The Telegraph has published some crazy travel insurance claims made by holidaymakers, some were so funny we thought it would be rude not to share!

 

One pensioner on a cruise decided to claim for new false teeth by declaring them ‘lost baggage’. The hapless pensioner had lost his dentures whilst vomiting over the side of the cruise ship. In our experience travel insurance for cruises is usually to cover the costs of cancellation, not the cost of new dentures!

 

Not many lost luggage claims are blamed on monkeys, but that is what happened to a couple holidaying in Malaysia who returned to their lodge to find that their clothes had been stolen and scattered throughout the rainforest by monkeys.

 

During a trip to the south coast, two holidaymakers claimed that the paintwork on their car had been damaged by a herd of cows licking their vehicle, promptly filing a claim on their return. Having your hire car damaged by a herd of cows could be grounds for a claim on car hire excess insurance, but we are not entirely sure how damaging a cow tongue can be on a car’s paintwork!

 

During a trip to the beach, two thoughtful children thought it was wise to bury mum and dad’s video camera in the sand whilst they went swimming to prevent it from being stolen. Unfortunately, the kids could not remember where it was buried when they came out.

 

A soon to be wed couple on a wedding holiday in the Caribbean found out how to put a spark in their marriage as the bride’s dress caught fire on the barbeque. The groom quickly picked up the damsel in distress and threw her into the ocean. The ruined wedding outfits prompted a claim upon return to the UK. This is exactly the kind of mishap that wedding insurance is intended to cover, we hope the happy couple enjoyed the rest of their rather unusual wedding day!

Finding The Right Insurance For A Cruise Holiday

It is essential to get the right type of travel insurance to match the holiday you are going on, so if you are planning on taking to the high seas, cruise travel insurance is the right product to go for. This insurance provides similar cover as regular types of travel insurance, but has all important cancellation cover.

As you probably know, cruise holidays aren’t usually in the budget section of a holiday shop, and therefore trip costs per person are generally a lot higher than with other types of holiday. If for some reason you need to cancel your cruise before you go on holiday, you stand to lose a lot of money.

Cruise Travel Insurance covers the cost of cancellation in unexpected circumstances – these will however need to be clarified or defined by your insurance provider. For example, if you have a pre-existing medical condition that could potentially be a problem, this would need specialist cover.