FLOOD ON CARNIVAL GLORY. TRAVEL AND AIR AMBULANCE INSURANCE.
Fox News recently reported that on May 3, 2018 Carnival Cruise Line’s vessel, Dream, experienced flooding on Deck 9 when the fire suppression system suffered a break. The news report states that 50 of the staterooms on Deck 9 flooded. A photo of the damage shows a river of water down the hallway between staterooms. Carnival is said to have released a statement which claimed that only 50 of the staterooms were involved and that almost all guests were able to stay in their rooms.
Carnival apparently offered to refund the affected guests and to give a 50 percent discount for a future cruise. One other pertinent fact is that Carnival offered to fly passengers home early. This is significant because for many problem cruises the cruise lines do not offer to fly passengers home early.
This also demonstrates the importance of procuring travel insurance before your cruise in case you are forced to get off of a vessel in a foreign port—and the vessel will not reimburse that expense. Also, some travel insurance policies cover the costs associated with trip cancellation. Some travel insurance policies offer help with medical expenses incurred outside the United States—where Medicare and HMOs typically do not cover medical expenses.
BE CAREFUL. BE PREPARED. If a cruise line does not offer to fly you back home in a situation like this, or in a medical emergency, you have to make the initial arrangements at the site. Foreign hospitals, foreign ambulances, and emergency medical air evacuation services do not just take your word for it that you will pay them one day. If you don’t have payment for the service, they don’t give the service. This can literally be a life and death situation, so it needs to be taken seriously. There are also air ambulance services which can be pre-paid for a reasonable price–similar to travel insurance–so that if a medical emergency arises you will be covered. But like insurance, you have to pay for those air ambulance services before you go on your trip to get the discounted rate.
CAUTION: if you need the air ambulance to get you from even a Caribbean foreign port, the charge can be $25,000 or far more to be transported back into the United States. If you get Travel Insurance, make sure it specifically covers air evacuation.
If you are hurt on a cruise ship, give us a call to discuss your case.
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