Cruise cut short, travel insurance questions remain

(WPRI/AP) — A Royal Caribbean cruise ship headed back to its home port in the U.S. on Monday after hundreds of passengers and crew members fell ill. The cruise line says it plans to compensate passengers, but still leaves many wondering whether trip insurance is worth the price.

The Miami-based company announced Sunday evening that it was cutting short the Explorer of the Seas’ jaunt in the Caribbean a few hours after officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention boarded the ship during its U.S. Virgin Islands port call to investigate the illness.

According to the CDC, 577 out of 3,050 passengers reported being ill during the voyage that left Bayonne, New Jersey, last Tuesday. That’s nearly 19 percent of the vacationers.

Forty-nine crew members also got sick. Royal Caribbean says all of its passengers will be reimbursed for the shortened trip. Passengers will also get money back for the days they were sick.

In instances like these, many wonder about travel insurance and if it would actually make a difference. Pete Roca with says the difference is travel credit vs. cash.

“Oftentimes with cruise lines they’ll give you compensation in terms of future travel credit, with travel insurance they’ll give you actual cash,” he said.

Not all travel insurance plans are equal, but on average travel insurance will cost you about 4-8% of you entire trip.

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