Cruises are no longer just about grand dinners and white-glove service. There are a number of exciting activities being added to the cutting edge cruise liners. Imagine being able to take a surfboard to a breaker while still on board the boat! This new feature, called Flowrider – a machine that generates artificial waves – has been installed in some of the latest cruise ships. So you may want to pack your surfboard as well as your sun cream and travel insurance for the cruise.
The liner companies have embarked upon a competition of one-upmanship with the modernisation of their ships. The traditional romantic cruise has a lot more to it now than shuffleboard and dinner at the captain’s table. You can now enjoy mini golf and shopping arcades on cruise liners, and the experience is not exclusively for couples.
Children are increasingly joining family cruise holidays, making use of the video games, basket ball courts and nightclubs for young people that the liner companies are installing on their boats. With your children running wild on kids’ club scavenger hunts, it would be prudent to include them in your cruise travel insurance. Some policies include children for free as part of your cruise insurance. There are even Disney liners to tempt the kids onto the ocean, and some industry insiders have joked that a roller coaster will be the next fun thing to try on the rolling sea.
As well as safe and sedate entertainment like wine cellars and trivia quizzes, you can now try out rock-climbing walls, ice skating rinks, and trampolines on a cruise ship. Such activities are fun because of their innate element of risk, and because of this you should check your cruise insurance will cover extra sports. Even though liners will likely have a doctor or some kind of medical provision on board, if an injury or illness requires hospitalisation, it becomes a difficult and expensive business. Without cruise travel insurance you could end up paying for a helicopter airlift to shore.
New Destinations & Old Problems
Caribbean tours remain the most popular cruise routes, followed by routes touring ports in the Mediterranean and European. However, there are more adventurous destinations available, too. Alaska is growing in popularity, offering spectacular coastal landscapes of icebergs and glaciers as well as whale watching opportunities. The Galapagos Islands is a longstanding destination for cruises embarking from Peru and Ecuador, where passengers can enjoy an island-hopping visit to the mysterious islands and the unusual wildlife there.
Liner companies are also changing their approach to the on-shore excursions. As well as visits to the local sightseeing hotspots, they are arranging experiences such as sports car racing and excursions to nearby golf courses. If this appeals to you, you should check that your cruise insurance will cover scenarios like a scratched Ferrari and lost golf clubs.
Despite innovations, it seems cruise travel can’t escape old questions about safety, as the recent pirate problems off the coast of Africa have demonstrated. More mundane problems like illness are still prevalent on cruises. In 2006, the U.S. investigated 34 reports of norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships. Such alarming data serves as a reminder that the security and assurance that comes with cruise travel insurance is essential for enjoying your time at sea.