Travel News

Why Third-Party Travel Insurance Counts for a Cruise

Screen Shot 2013-08-23 at 9.23.23 AMA recent incident on board a Royal Caribbean ship underscores the importance of purchasing the right kind of travel insurance.

Jill and Dodge Melkonian thought they had covered their bases when they purchased an Royal Caribbean policy. Instead, they were left stranded in a small Turkish hospital after Dodge fell and broke his hip on board a Mediterranean cruise. The couple’s travel insurance did help Dodge secure treatment at the nearest hospital. However, at the local hospital no one spoke English or could treat his condition.  Only when the couple contacted their travel agent, who in turn hired a local guide, was Dodge able to be transferred to a major hospital in Istanbul, where he is now recovering from surgery.

The American Embassy and a U.S. senator are speaking out against Royal Caribbean’s actions, though the cruise line did follow the terms of the couple’s travel insurance policy. Per the policy, the cruise line stabilized the patient and took him to the nearest medical facility.

Cruise travel insurance policies might not be in the best interest of a patient, but it is in the best incident of a cruise line. When it comes to travel insurance for a cruise, flight, vacation rental, or tour, it is rarely in your best interest to buy from your travel provider. Instead look for a third-party plan from an online agency or travel agent.

There are two kinds of insurance to consider. Trip cancellation and interruption insurance protects your investment in the trip. Medical evacuation and repatriation insurance helps you return home (not a local hospital in a far land) in case of health emergencies. Options include MedJet Assist, Trip Mate, Allianz and Travel Guard.

Watch Peter’s latest CBS This Morning report to learn what the Melkonians could have done to protect themselves and how you can secure the right insurance for your next vacation.

Don’t get stranded! Here’s everything you need to know about travel insurance.

And here’s the latest news in cruise travel, check out:

By Peter Greenberg for