June 7, 2019 - Meagan Palmer
New restrictions from the Trump Administration have gone into effect regarding American travel to Cuba –restrictions that leave travelers questioning their travel insurance coverage. The US Treasury announced it will no longer allow cruise ships or private water vessels to port in Cuba. This is causing quite a stir in the cruise and tour group community as more Americans visit Cuba by cruise ship than another other form of travel. The new travel restrictions also ban “people-to-people” trips, the most common method for education and tour groups to visit the island, unless travel was booked prior to June 5.
What does this mean for an estimated 800,000 travelers looking forward to their upcoming cruise to Cuba? Here are some “next steps” you should take if you are affected by this Cuban cruise ban:
First, check with your cruise ship line regarding their refund policy. Cruise lines with itineraries to Cuba have been responding by offering various refunds or credits. If you’re booked on an upcoming sail to Cuba, check with your cruise line immediately to see what compensation they’re currently offering.
If you purchased travel insurance for your upcoming voyage to Cuba, it’s unlikely this is considered a valid reason to cancel and receive a full refund. The cancellation reason (a change in a tour itinerary) would not be listed as a covered trip cancellation reason for most travel insurance policies. The only type of policy that may issue up to a 75% refund of your non refundable trip costs is Cancel for Any Reason coverage. To qualify, you would have needed to purchase this specific policy within 10-21 days of your initial trip deposit and insure 100% of the nonrefundable costs toward your trip. The cancellation must also occur at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure date.
If you haven’t purchased travel insurance for your upcoming Cuban cruise and you’re still within 10-21 days of making your initial deposit, you may still qualify for Cancel for Any Reason coverage! Run a quote or ask a travel insurance expert to see what your travel insurance options are at this time.
Ensure you’re getting the most amount of insurance at the most affordable price by comparing your options. Travel insurance purchased direct through the cruise ship line can sometimes have shockingly low coverage at an extremely high price!
Although the intriguing destination of Cuba is no longer an option for United States travelers, there are plenty of wanderlust locations to explore via sailing. Alaska is one of the top bucket list destinations for many cruisers –with several port locations, there’s a seemingly endless list of nature-inspired and scenic tours available.