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Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance - 2021 Review

Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance - Review

Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance - Review
Insurance Partner
Coverage Options


  • Strong Insurance Partner
  • Available at Check-Out


  • Weak Medical Cover
  • Weak Evacuation Cover
  • No Pre-Existing Medical Waiver

Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance is offered whenever a customer books a cruise with Royal Caribbean. Please, take a moment to look at the cover levels offered by Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance before you buy their policy.

We have consistently recommended over the years, that a minimum set of critical cover in any cruise insurance policy should include:

Please understand that these are minimum levels of recommended cover. If heading offshore or to a more remote part of the world, then $250k of Medical Evacuation cover would be more appropriate, so as to give peace of mind.

With these recommendations in place, let’s take a look to see the critical levels of cover that exist in the Royal Caribbean Cruise Insurance.

In other words, Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance does not have anywhere near the levels of medical and evacuation cover that we deem suitable. Nor does it have a Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver.

As such, we consider that Royal Caribbean’s policy to be unsuitable for the vast majority of customers who are traveling internationally.

Royal-Caribbean-Travel-Insurance-2 | AARDY.com

Royal Caribbean Cruise Vacation Cancellation Enhancement

In keeping with a benefit that many Cruise Lines offer, Royal Caribbean offers a watered-down Cancel for Any Reason Travel Insurance benefit.

Normally, if we were to buy travel insurance that incorporated a Cancel for Any Reason benefit we would expect to see the following…

We should receive 75% of our non-refundable trip costs back, in cash, having cancelled our trip at least 48 hours prior to departure. Cancel for Any Reason benefits tend to be more expensive, and are normally only incorporated within the most comprehensive of travel insurance policies.

The other stipulation when booking a Cancel for Any Reason Travel Insurance is that the policy is booked within 20 days of any initial trip deposit or payment. That seems reasonable, and gives time for a traveler to compare travel insurance options and choose the best value trip insurance for their cruise.

In the event that the Cancel for Any Reason benefit needs to be exercised, the traveler would get 75% of their cruise costs back. But, of course, if the reason for cancellation were due to ill health, injury, jury service or any of the other regular covered reasons for cancellation, then the refund would be 100% under any typical travel insurance policy.

So, think of Cancel for Any Reason as a back-up in case the regular cancellation reasons are not valid.

Royal Caribbean Cancel for Any Reason – Cruise Credit, Not Cash

Here is the policy language that is used by Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance for its Cancel for Any Reason benefit.

The following Cruise Vacation Cancellation Enhancement is provided by Royal Caribbean and is not an insurance benefit:

“Any Reason” Cruise Credits - equal to 75% of the non-refundable pre-paid Cruise Vacation Cost

In the event that you choose to cancel for a reason not authorized above or for a reason that is otherwise restricted, at any time up until departure, and you have purchased the Royal Caribbean Travel Protection Program, Royal Caribbean International will provide you a cruise credit equal to 75% of the non-refundable value (excluding AIR2SEA) of your Cruise Vacation prepaid to Royal Caribbean International, for your use toward a future cruise. This additional enhancement is offered by Royal Caribbean International as a special service to guests that purchase this cruise ticket Cancellation Penalty Waiver Addendum. Certain restrictions on the use of these cruise credits (such as blackout periods) may apply. Credits are valid for one year from issue date, are not transferable, and have no cash value. To be eligible for credits, notification of cancellation must be given to Royal Caribbean International prior to the ship’s departure. Once you’ve cancelled with Royal Caribbean International, please contact the Royal Caribbean Travel Protection Program Help Line at 1-800-453-4022 or 1-516-342-7262 regarding cruise credits. AIR2SEA is not subject to this cruise credit feature.

So, a worthwhile benefit, without doubt. But, a large number of restrictions:

  • Only Cruise Credit – no cash will be refunded
  • Time Limited – you have only one year to spend the credits, or they vanish
  • Non-Transferable – you cannot give the credits to a friend or family member
  • Air Travel Omitted – your air travel is not covered under this Cancel for Any Reason benefit

Please keep these restrictions in mind as you determine the value of the Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance policy that is offered at check-out.

Royal-Caribbean-Travel-Insurance-2900-Cruise | AARDY.com

Our $2,868 cruise has an insurance cost of $178 if bought through Royal Caribbean. Let's take a more detailed look at why we make higher recommendations of cover than Royal Caribbean provides. Also, we will show that these higher-cover policies need not cost any more. It really is just a case of shopping around to buy travel insurance with the best cover at lowest prices.

Travel Medical Insurance – Recommendation

Every travel insurance policy should include Emergency Travel Medical Insurance. The question really is, how much cover should I take to ensure peace of mind when traveling?

Over the years we have concluded that the minimum level of cover that a traveler should buy is $100k of Travel Medical Insurance. This is the level that we are comfortable with. It is the level of medical cover that we look to have in place when we travel with our own families. Finally, it is the level of medical insurance that is most popular with our customers.

When traveling overseas it is highly unlikely that the local medical system will support you without cost. Those who are reliant upon Medicare in the US should know that there is no international travel medical insurance cover within the Medicare plan. Some travelers may well be covered by Medigap, but even then, there is only $50k of cover, and a hefty 20% co-pay.

So, unless you are in the fortunate position of having a medical plan that offers extensive international travel medical insurance benefits, then you really need to buy a policy that will protect you.

Cruise Travel Insurance policies have notoriously poor levels of medical insurance incorporated in their plans. Unfortunately, Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance is no exception.

The $10k of Medical Insurance the Royal Caribbean provides is simply insufficient to cover a serious injury or sickness.

Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance – Recommendation

Unfortunately, the nature of some injuries or sicknesses is such that they cannot be treated locally. Certainly, this is sometimes the case when on board a ship, or docked in a port town with limited world-class medical facilities.

It is in times like this that a Medical Director of a Travel Insurance Carrier wishes to medically evacuate a patient to a more suitable hospital. Sometimes this can be as simple as booking business class flights for the patient and a doctor. However, the worst-case scenario involves a helicopter evacuation from a ship, followed by a private jet evacuation back to the USA. Such events occur around the world every day, and they are incredibly expensive.

For off-shore or remote travel, we wish to see no less than $250k of Emergency Medical Evacuation cover. The $25k of Medical Evacuation protection that Royal Caribbean puts in place is totally unsuitable, in our opinion.

At AARDY when we review emergency medical evacuation cover across our entire spectrum of policy options we do not see a single policy with less than $100k of cover. $100k is the bare minimum we see in the most restrictive of trip insurance options. Yet, this is still four times as much as is available from Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance. Please think about the level of emergency evacuation you would be comfortable with, based on likely worst-case scenarios.

Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver

Travel Medical Insurance will normally exclude recent medical conditions from cover. Some, like Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance, only ‘Look Back’ 60 days. As in, they only concern themselves with new or changed medical conditions that have occurred in the 60 days prior to the policy being booked.

Other trip insurance policies look back as far as 180 days. These are, of course, far more restrictive to a traveler.

However, even trip protection plans as generous as Royal Caribbean Insurance have gaps in cover for those who have had recent medical treatment.

Imagine that you have recently had a change in heart medication. If that had taken place within the 60 days prior to you buying Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance, you would have no medical cover for the underlying heart condition. Clearly, this is not going to give any peace of mind to a traveler.

The solution is simple – buy travel insurance that incorporates a Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver.

The Medical Waiver does exactly what you would hope for. It takes a pre-existing medical condition that would normally be excluded from cover, and then waives the exclusion. In other words, a Medical Waiver brings your pre-existing medical condition back into cover.

The more comprehensive travel insurance plans will incorporate a medical waiver. All that is required, typically, is that a traveler insures the entire non-refundable trip costs, and buys travel insurance within around 20 days of the initial trip deposit.

This 20-day period to buy travel insurance is typically referred to as the Time-Sensitive period. It is the brief period of time after trip payment has been made to buy travel insurance. Associated time sensitive benefits, like a Medical Waiver, are then automatically activated for a traveler.

Sadly, Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance does not include a Medical Waiver.

AARDY – Travel Insurance Marketplace

AARDY is the USA’s leading Travel Insurance Marketplace. We work directly with the finest travel insurance carriers in the US. Their travel insurance policies are displayed to you, with no mark-up whatsoever. The price of travel insurance you see from AARDY is the same as if you went direct to each and every travel insurer.

We can guarantee that you will not find the same policy at a lower price.

What we do is allow you to compare and contrast travel insurance value.

All the plans are listed, in price order, with a clear overview of benefits.

We will then make our recommendation as to which policy we think will best suit your needs.

Let’s take a look at what we found when we ran the exact same Royal Caribbean cruise through our system.

Royal-Caribbean-Travel-Insurance-AardvarkCompare-LowCost-Options | AARDY.com

Remember that Royal Caribbean Cruise Insurance was priced at $178 for the trip. Similar cover is available from a range of different AARDY insurers for less than $120.

But, we do not recommend minimum levels of cover when heading overseas. Remember, at Aardvark, we wish to see, as a minimum:

  • $100k Emergency Travel Medical Insurance
  • $100k Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance
  • Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver

We find two of our most popular policies that have exactly this: The iTravelInsured Travel SE and the Travel Insured International Worldwide Trip Protector.

Royal-Caribbean-Travel-Insurance-AardvarkCompare-Premium-Options | AARDY.com

Note the cover levels:

Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance - $178

  • $10k Emergency Travel Medical Insurance
  • $25k Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance
  • Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver – Not Included

Travel Insured International Worldwide Trip Protector - $150

  • $100k Emergency Travel Medical Insurance
  • $1m Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance
  • Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver – Included

iTravelInsured Travel SE - $152

  • $10k Emergency Travel Medical Insurance
  • $25k Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance
  • Pre-Existing Medical Condition Exclusion Waiver – Included

Both of these policies offer substantially more critical cover than Royal Caribbean Cruise Insurance.

Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance - Conclusion

Royal Caribbean Travel Insurance will be offered to you when you buy your cruise. Take the time to compare travel insurance options in the wider travel insurance market in order to get best value for money and peace of mind. More importantly, make sure that you have sufficient critical cover in place in the event of a serious illness or accident. Do ensure that any pre-existing medical conditions are covered.

Safe travels.

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