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Archive for the ‘Info’ Category


Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On July - 27 - 2016

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Love Boat Sale! Princess offers 2-for-1 Savings and onboard credits

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On February - 10 - 2012

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Princess Cruises will be offering special fares on cruises to Europe – with The Love Boat® Sale from February 13-20. Passengers can book during the event for up to 2-for-1 savings, plus receive an onboard credit of up to $100. Up to 30 Europe cruise itineraries are included in the sale, including cruises to the romantic cities and islands of the Mediterranean and Greek Isles, as well as “bucket list” destinations such as the Holy Land or British Isles.

In addition to the sale fares, passengers booking interior or oceanview staterooms can receive an onboard credit of $25 (cruises up to 9 days) to $50 (cruises 10 days or longer), and in balcony staterooms or above can get credits of $50 (cruises up to 9 days) or $100 (for sailings 10 days or longer). All onboard credits are offered per stateroom.
Examples of sale fares include:

• 12-day Grand Mediterranean cruises from $1,145

• 12-day Greek Isles cruises from $1,145

• 12-day Holy Land cruises from $1,595

• 12-day British Isles cruises from $1,790

All cruise prices are per person. The Love Boat® Sale runs from February 13 at 12:01 am through February 20 at 11:59 pm, and is available to residents of the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.

Reported by Anita Dunham-Potter (editor@www.expertcruiser.com)

© www.expertcruiser.com – Your online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

Titanic-sized medical bill surprises cruising couple

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On April - 18 - 2011

Susan and Larry Smith were looking forward to their first-ever Cunard cruise across the Atlantic onboard the fabulous Queen Mary 2. But the fun stopped for the New York City couple the moment Larry had chest pains along with gastrointestinal malaise.

The Smiths immediately sought treatment at the ship’s infirmary, where the ship’s doctor ran an EKG and some tests. Fortunately Larry’s heart checked out okay, but he was dehydrated and was given intravenous fluids and was kept in the infirmary for an hour of observation. Larry’s tests ruled out any infection, but the doctor couldn’t figure out why Larry had become so dehydrated. Therefore, no definitive diagnosis was reached. The next morning Larry felt much better and the cruise continued. A few days after the visit to the infirmary, the Smiths got another unpleasant surprise: a bill for medical services totaling $1,200. The amount was immediately charged to their shipboard account.

The Smiths were shocked. “It didn’t seem like a lot of treatment for $1,200. It was as much as my cruise fare,” said Susan Smith. Even worse the couple foolishly believed that their health insurance would be accepted onboard the ship. It wasn’t. Fortunately they did have travel insurance (purchased through the cruise line) that covered medical issues.

Insurance doesn’t travel well
What many people don’t realize is that all cruise ships of foreign registry are considered to be entities operating outside the United States. And, as the Smiths discovered, domestic medical insurance coverage doesn’t travel the same way aboard ship as it does within the United States. Sometimes, coverage doesn’t extend to foreign travel at all; other times it just works differently. For example, co-payments may be higher than usual or your reimbursement may be limited.

Even with complete medical coverage, you can’t just hand the cruise line your insurance card. You will usually have to pay your treatment costs up front and file for reimbursement after you return home. That’s what the Smiths did. Their insurer accepted the claim but explained it could take up to three months to receive reimbursement. The Smiths were relieved to be covered at all.

Could the Smiths have avoided the $1,200 out-of-pocket expense? Maybe. If they had purchased third-party travel insurance, they could have received upfront financial assistance and they might have gotten their money back more quickly.

Third-party insurers usually provide primary coverage, i.e., the insurance company pays the traveler directly for any medical claim. Most cruise lines also sell insurance policies, but these usually provide secondary coverage, which means that you must file your claims through your regular medical insurance carrier, then seek reimbursement from the cruise line’s insurance company.

Cover the gaps
Medicare beneficiaries should always purchase travel insurance when they cruise, because they do not have Medicare coverage outside the country. Another very big gap is medical evacuation and transportation services, which are seldom covered by medical insurance policies. According to Medjet Assist, an Alabama-based evacuation operation, domestic air medical evacuation services average $10,000 to $20,000, while international transports can exceed $75,000. If you travel more than once a year, consider buying an annual policy; both MedjetAssist and Travel Guard offer this kind of policy, which can be purchased for as little as $185 a year.

Cruising is exciting, but it can turn into more of an adventure than you planned if you discover that you aren’t covered for the unexpected. So check your insurance policies and fill in the gaps with supplemental coverage.

By Anita Dunham-Potter (editor@www.expertcruiser.com)

© www.expertcruiser.comYour online consumer guide for cruise travel and information.

Carnival Cruise Lines’ immensely popular senior cruise director and ‘blogger extraordinaire’ John Heald will host two Bloggers Cruises aboard the new 130,000-ton Carnival Dream in 2009.

The first, an eight-day voyage operating round-trip from New York November 15-23, 2009, will call at Port Canaveral, Fla., and Nassau and Freeport, The Bahamas. A second nine-day voyage sailing round-trip from Port Canaveral, Fla. December 3-12, 2009, will feature stops at Antigua; Tortola; St. Thomas/St. John; San Juan; and Grand Turk.

These voyages will follow on the heels of two other Bloggers Cruises hosted by Heald in 2008 and early 2009. The popular theme cruises provide fans of Heald and readers of his blog the opportunity to interact with him and participate in a number of exclusive activities and events.

Heald’s blog (accessible via carnival.com and johnhealdsblog.com) has attracted more than 3 million visitors who enjoy his unique, behind-the-scenes look at shipboard life, with humorous anecdotes and observations focusing on the people and places he comes in contact with on a daily basis. He also features insightful interviews with colleagues in a wide variety of job positions both at Carnival and among the cruise line’s many sister cruise brands.

“It was never my dream to write a blog. My dream involved an Aston Martin, Angelina Jolie and lots of sugar free Jello,” said Heald. “Anyway, after writing a blog and reaching 3.3 million hits, here we are announcing our third and fourth cruises for fans of my blog – on board the newest and most exciting Carnival ship ever — the Carnival Dream. Now that truly does make this a dream come true and it’s going to be absolutely brilliant,” he said.

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Disney Photos

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On November - 15 - 2008

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Carnival Fantasy changes course

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On July - 25 - 2008

The Carnival Fantasy, a 2,056-passenger cruise ship based in New Orleans, will end its voyage in Mobile on Saturday as a result of the fuel oil spill earlier this week that closed the Mississippi River, Carnival announced today. The ship will also depart from Mobile on Saturday Carnival said.

The line stated that passengers will return to the Port of New Orleans or Louis Armstrong International Airport via bus. Buses will also transport departing passengers from the Port of New Orleans to Mobile to board the Fantasy.

The Fantasy, which operates four- and five-day cruises to Mexico is expected to return to the Port of New Orleans when the spill is cleaned up.

Filled Under Blog, Info