How to Protect Your Cruise Investment

Most people don’t think of their cruise vacation as an investment, but it certainly is. You have put down a great deal of money – in some cases a very great deal of money – in exchange for an once-in-a-lifetime experience and a certain level of service and luxury. Some people plan for years to go on a spectacular cruise, and losing their money can be a devastating event. Here are a few simple tips to help you ensure you do not suffer that scenario.

Credit Is Your Friend

First and foremost, when making your arrangements, use a credit card to pay for everything. Some credit cards carry with them automatic protections in case your cruise company goes out of business or some other problem cancels your trip.

Pay the Cruise Line

No matter how you are paying, always be certain the money for the cruise portion of your trip is going to the cruise line – not a travel agent or a third party.

Get the Right Numbers

You should always get a confirmation number of your cruise booking – and make certain the number you’ve received is the cruise confirmation number, and in addition to any agency invoice number you may receive. Agencies offer their own confirmation/invoice number – which means absolutely nothing to the cruise line who has confirmed nothing.

Get Travel Insurance

Buying a travel insurance policy from a reputable, well-known insurer can save you from disaster. Many cruise lines offer insurance; be sure to review the plan you select carefully because there are many different levels of coverage. While this insurance may be a reasonably-priced way to insure your possessions or other aspects of the trip, some policies do not insure you against the cruise line itself going out of business.

Do Your Research

When dealing with an agency, always do some research before committing to their services. Any legitimate travel agency will be a member of at least one of the following organizations: ARC, IATA, ASTA, ARTA, CLIA or NACOA. Ask to see their membership information. Also it’s always wise to ask for references – any travel agent worth their salt should be able to give you three names to check with. Finally, a little Googling never hurt anyone – and you would be surprised what you can learn about a travel agency online.

Following these steps will help ensure that your investment is protected even from the worst disaster – a failed cruise line.