While it’s important for cruise passengers to recognize that the bizarre and heartbreaking tragedy of the Costa Concordia is a truly rare event, that may not ease the fears of people who have a future booking on a cruise, whether it’s operated by Costa Cruises or not.
I have a future booking on Costa Concordia. What are my options?
Under more normal circumstances, if a cruise company has to cancel a departure, they will offer a full refund or an alternative voyage -– typically with some kind of incentive compensation or treats attached to make you feel better. Then, it’s your choice.
This, as you may imagine, is not a normal situation. If you have a future reservation on Costa Concordia, you’ll have to work with the Costa Cruises company. Depending on how far out your voyage is scheduled will likely determine how soon you are contacted by the company.
I have a future booking on any cruise line, Costa Cruises included, and I want to cancel. What are my options?
Some travelers may feel that until they know what went wrong, they don’t want to sail. What are their options for getting their money back?
The typical procedure for cruise trip cancellations are, very broadly: cancel with a certain number of months in advance, pay a cancellation fee, and you’re out. Cancel within a certain number of days or less of departure, or choose not to show, and all your money is lost.
It’s important to remember that most cruises involve costs that are outside the actual cruise ship charges – they also involve airline tickets, hotel reservations, and more.
By default, travel insurance doesn’t provide reimbursement when a traveler changes their mind and as sensational as the news reports are, that’s still what it is – changing your mind about the trip. Travelers with ‘cancel for any reason’ coverage with their policies, however, do have the option to cancel for 50-100% of their trip costs for any reason at all, including changing your mind.
Follow-up Warning: In most cases, travelers must purchase their travel insurance within a certain number of days of making their initial booking to have the ‘cancel for any reason’ option available. See the important notes about ‘cancel for any reason’ coverage.