What to Do if There’s Trouble in Port
Political unrest, natural disasters, debt crises and drug trafficking can suddenly flare into front-page news, and unfortunately there is no place that’s completely immune. If you have reservations on a cruise that’s sailing to a part of the world that’s producing troubling headlines, don’t worry, here are some tips:
First, work with a cruise travel professional who can help you obtain accurate information about the situation and provide guidance if you need to assess your options. If you decide to alter your plans, it’s best to work with a professional who can expertly navigate the rules and requirements for any cancellation or rebooking fees.
Second, keep in mind that cruise lines continually monitor conditions in their ports of call and will redirect ships when necessary. For example, many cruise lines cancelled their port calls in Egypt in early 2011 as that country deposed its leader amid mass demonstrations. Cruise lines and their captains are accustomed to visiting alternate ports when security, or weather, demands it.
Third, do some research to understand the true risk of danger in your destination. Images and sound bites on television or the web may present a legitimate cause for concern, but further investigation may show that problems like violence, demonstrations, wildfires or flooding are limited in scope and not near the areas you’ll visit.
Of course, no destination is completely without danger, any more than the city or town where you live. There’s always a chance, however small, that an accident, pickpocket or thief could put a damper on your vacation. So, follow some common-sense rules. Don’t explore on your own; leave your valuables at home; keep track of your belongings; and, on port days, be sure to return to the ship by the specified time.
Learn how travel insurance can help safeguard your vacation.