Please Note: The information that follows is accurate as of February 7, 2023. For the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 requirements, please contact your cruise line of choice directly.
With hopes of a tourism rebound, countries and cruise lines are making safety a top priority. Although vaccines, safety precautions, and COVID-19 test requirements are helping to prevent the spread of Covid, there’s one more safeguard that cruise lines in particular are counting on: mandatory travel insurance. This isn’t a requirement for all countries or all cruise lines, but regardless, it’s a smart idea to purchase travel insurance for your upcoming vacation.
What’s the Advantage of Having Cruise Travel Insurance?
Generally, cruisers describe their vacations as smooth sailing. But if something were to happen unexpectedly, things can quickly take a turn. Because of this, purchasing cruise insurance is just as important as packing your camera, passport, or phone charger.
It’s important for travelers to realize that regular health insurance may not provide coverage during the cruise. If any illness, injury, or other health issue were to take place on board or during the trip, it may not be covered, which would result in high medical expenses for those involved.
Likewise, although cruises may have medical staff on board, these resources are generally limited. Staff on board may only be versed in general medical care, and not specialized treatment. Even if they are able to treat you, the cost involved can be very high, and this isn’t usually included in the price of your cruise.
In these situations, travel insurance for cruises can help cover the costs and provide peace of mind in the event that a serious health issue occurs.
Which Cruise Lines are Requiring Cruise Insurance?
Recently, a number of cruise lines have announced that unvaccinated passengers will be required to purchase travel insurance for cruises departing from Florida. These cruise lines include:
- Royal Caribbean: Note: Travel protection is no longer required, however, Royal Caribbean encourages guests to purchase coverage for their peace of mind. Royal Caribbean’s website states that as a condition of boarding, each guest 12 and older departing from a Florida homeport on a Royal Caribbean International cruise must provide proof of a valid insurance policy that has a minimum of (a) $25,000 per person in medical expense coverage and (b) $50,000 coverage for emergency medical evacuation and no Covid exclusions. Please note that guests who can provide documentation of full vaccination will be exempt from this requirement. The mandatory insurance requirement pertains to sailing from August 1 through December 31, 2021.
- Carnival Cruise: Note: Covid vaccines and testing are no longer required for most Carnival cruises. Check their website for more information on current requirements. Starting July 31, 2021, guests who are sailing from Florida and have not received a Covid vaccine will be required to purchase a policy with a minimum of $10,000 in medical expense coverage and $30,000 coverage for emergency medical evacuation without Covid exclusions. Additionally, Carnival will charge $150 per unvaccinated person to cover the cost of a Covid test. Unvaccinated guests who are unable to provide proof of insurance will not be able to sail and no refund will be provided.
- Disney Cruise Line: Note: Disney Cruise Line no longer requires guests to be vaccinated and tested for Covid. For guests 12 and older on cruises departing from Florida through December 31, 2021, travel insurance is required. Guests must provide proof of a policy that has a minimum of $10,000 per person in medical expense coverage and $30,000 coverage for emergency evacuation with no Covid exclusions.
Which Countries Require Cruise Trip Insurance?
In the instance that your cruise line does not require cruise travel insurance, you may still want to check the regulations and requirements of the country you are traveling to. The country may require you to have trip insurance for cruises. Here are a few popular cruise destinations that require cruise travel insurance:
- Bahamas: Note: As of September 20, 2022, the COVID-19 testing requirement for entering The Bahamas is no longer in effect. All travelers, regardless of vaccination status, are no longer required to submit to pre-travel COVID-19 testing to enter. As of November 14, 2020, travel health insurance is required for all visitors. All visitors have to apply for the Bahamas Travel Health Visa; the cost for the mandatory insurance for the Bahamas is included in this price.
- Bermuda: Note: Effective November 14, 2022, travel authorizations will no longer be required to enter Bermuda. To enter the country, visitors must apply for a Covid Travel Authorization 1-3 days before departure. Proof of a negative Covid PCR test along with proof of health insurance must be submitted to qualify for the authorization.
- Cayman Islands: Note: There are no longer any restrictions for anyone traveling to or within the Cayman Islands. To enter the Cayman Islands, tourists must apply for permission through the Travel Cayman portal. Part of the application process is to provide proof of travel insurance with coverage for Covid related expenses.
- Mexico: Rules for travel insurance vary depending on where in Mexico you’re traveling to. Be sure to do your research to determine if the specific cities you’re visiting require insurance.
Before you set sail on your cruise, make sure you do your research and double check on the travel insurance requirements for every port of call on your itinerary. Regardless of whether you need travel insurance or not, purchasing cruise insurance is a great way to ensure smooth sailing.