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Why Cruise Passengers Should Buy Insurance

A college student’s case of acute appendicitis on a cruise underscores the importance of acquiring travel insurance when traveling abroad.

A college student’s case of acute appendicitis on a cruise underscores the importance of acquiring travel insurance when traveling abroad.

Here is the reason why you should buy travel insurance when you are going to spend thousands of dollars on a trip. This is the story of an Arkansas family’s harrowing ordeal trying to get their college age student emergency surgery in Mexico, after they hadn’t purchased travel insurance.

What the details point out is the importance of realizing that your U.S.-based health insurance coverage will not be accepted in most other countries, and that without sufficient credit card funds or bank balances, you could be refused treatment for relatively common emergencies.

Chase Kehler, a 22-year-old college student from Little Rock, Arkansas, was evacuated to a private, for-profit Cancun hospital when he was diagnosed by doctors on the Carnival Cruise Triumph as suffering with acute appendicitis. Left untreated, appendicitis can be life-threatening.

When the Kehlers arrived at the Amerimed private hospital in Cancun, they were told that admission cost $6,000, and if Chase Kehler needed surgery, that would cost $25,000, which are standard procedures at private Mexican hospitals.

Chase Kehler’s mother Janie told a local Fox television news station that when she informed the hospital that she could not pay $25,000, “they stopped all of Chase's treatment. They unhooked his IV, they gave him no more medicine,” and sent the family at 2 a.m. to another Cancun hospital. The Kehler’s eventually ended up at Hospital Victoria, a private medical facility that asked for a $6,000 deposit. Chase Kehler had surgery within the hour.

Upfront medical payments for care providers abroad are common
Reviewing Newsweek’s version of the Kehler’s story, Cory Sobczyk, vice president, business development, at Arch RoamRight, told Travel Market Report: “It's very clear to me that a travel insurance policy could have solved all of [the Kehler’s] upfront issues. Their biggest issue was not having access to enough funds or a Guarantee of Payment (GOP), which is unfortunately a common occurrence for non-insured travelers visiting foreign countries,” Sobczyk.

“Many travel insurance plans, even in the mid-tiered price range, offer $50,000 or more of travel medical coverage, which would have more than covered Chase's treatment,” said Stan Sandberg, co-founder of TravelInsurance.com, an online travel insurance aggregator.

Any Arch RoamRight travel insurance policy will carry GOP through an emergency assistance provider, as part of its emergency medical and evacuation benefits, which also include access to 24/7 emergency assistance services.

“If admission to a hospital is deemed necessary by the attending physician, some companies will arrange advance payment if required, and this is contingent on the company being able to coordinate payment with the hospital,” said InsureMyTrip’s Product Expert Meghan Walch.

Then there is the issue of ensuring you are comfortable with the facility where you are going to be treated. The Kehler’s visited three hospitals in less than 12 hours, and Janie Kehler described one of them as making her feel like she was in a “third-world country.” Typically, comprehensive travel insurance plans don't restrict where an insured can go for medical treatment, as long as they are treated by a licensed physician (as defined by the policy), said InsureMyTrip’s Walch.

Still, not all travel insurance plans offer the ability for the insured to choose where they will be treated, Sobczyk said. “Some carriers don’t offer that benefit at all; others offer it as an upgrade or include it with only select plans,” he said. “Hospital of choice coverage is not standard in the industry. If having this coverage is important to a traveler, they should closely read the details of each travel insurance policy before purchase, to ensure hospital of choice coverage is included.”

Sandberg noted that hospital of choice coverage “is generally found in the more premium travel insurance plans. But for most travelers, the standard emergency medical evacuation coverage will be more than enough.”

Arch RoamRight offers hospital of choice coverage through their Pro and Pro Plus plans, which are exclusively sold through travel agents and tour operators. It is also available as an optional medical upgrade to the Elite plan available directly to travelers on RoamRight.com. This upgrade adds both hospital of choice coverage as well as increased medical limits to the travel insurance policy, Sobczyck said.

When it comes to emergency medical evacuation, Walch at InsureMyTrip said, typically an insured would need to be hospitalized, and the attending physician along with the assistance company would need to approve and coordinate transportation from the “inadequate medical facility” to one that is better capable of treating the insured. The hospital that the insured is evacuated to is usually chosen at the discretion of the company making the arrangements, and the evacuation is contingent on the insured being medically fit for transportation, she said.

“All situations are different,” Walch advised, “so it is important to read policy documents to see what services are offered when traveling outside of the U.S., and to know what is excluded from coverage.”

“With the hospital of choice benefit, it is important that travelers understand that they must still be deemed medically fit for a medical transport by an attending physician,” Sobczyck said. “For example, if a traveler's appendix is about to burst, a medical provider will more than likely not approve the traveler for transportation, as it could put the traveler at additional harm. The hospital of choice benefit simply provides you with the comfort knowing that, when you are medically cleared for transport, that you can be moved to the hospital of your choice. In most cases, you will need to be stabilized at the nearest suitable medical facility first.”

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Remote medical consultation services equally important
For travelers who don’t purchase a policy with hospital of choice coverage, it is equally as important to understand the type of emergency assistance available through the travel insurance provider, Sandberg sand.

“This means that an insured individual who is experiencing a medical emergency in a foreign country will have access to someone who understands the ‘ins-and-outs’ of that country's health care system and can help coordinate the insured's care as well as the financial and logistical sides of the traveler's care,” he said. “The last thing someone wants to do in the time of medical crisis is to figure out how to navigate a foreign country's medical system. “

Under the standard provisions of emergency medical evacuation coverage, if a hospital is not able to provide the necessary care or treatment, the plan will pay for the cost of transportation to the nearest medical facility that can provide the care or treatment, provided the insured's medical condition would allow them to be moved. “This is where having a regional expert as part of a plan's 24/7 global assistance becomes invaluable. They will know which hospitals can provide which kinds of treatment,” Sandberg said.

Arch RoamRight works with UnitedHealthcare Global and their network of doctors and medical centers to provide medical consultative services so travelers can assess the best place for emergency care. Since UnitedHealthcare Global does not maintain a financial interest in any of their providers, “all referrals are made on the objective basis of the best available care,” Sobczyck said.

Princess Cruise Lines "3 For Free"

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Are you daydreaming of a favorite destination? Or yearning to go somewhere new? Wherever it is make your daydreams a reality. All destinations are on sale during Princess Cruise Lines - Cyber Event. You can receive up to $900 in savings, 3 FREE perks** or both!

For a limited time only, book a cruise for Winter 2018 through Spring 2019 or Summer 2019 through Spring 2020 enjoys these amazing offers!

Plus, on Cyber Monday only, you will delight in $1 deposits.

Cyber Event

(November 20 – December 3, 2018)

Save up to $900 Offer Details: †Save up to $900 per stateroom (up to $450 per guest) is based on a discount off applicable Launch Fares on a space-available basis at time of booking on select sailings. Launch Fares are offering fares and may not have been in effect for the past 90 days or resulted in actual sales in all categories. Intermediate discounts may have been taken and fares may remain at discounted levels after this promotion. Deposit of 10% per guest made under Cyber Event Savings Offer is non-refundable.

Enjoy 3 FREE perks Offer Details: ‡FREE Stateroom Location Upgrade applies to booking the stateroom location you wish to sail in for the price of the lowest category within that stateroom type during this promotion only. Offer is based on availability in like to like stateroom types (Interior to Interior, Oceanview to Oceanview, Balcony to Balcony). Upgrade offer excludes select categories, including but not limited to premium categories and suites. Offer does not apply to land portion of a cruise-tour.


FREE Gratuities are based on the pre-payment, by Princess Cruises, on behalf of the guest for the suggested gratuities in the U.S. dollar amounts of $13.50 per guest per day for Interior, Oceanview, and Balcony staterooms, $14.50 per guest per day for Mini-suite and Club Class staterooms and $15.50 per guest per day for Suites. This amount is paid on the behalf of all guests (up to 4) in a stateroom only. Free gratuities do not include gratuities added to bar charges, dining room wine accounts or Lotus Spa services. Gratuities are not transferable, non-refundable, have no cash value and may not be combinable with other select offers or other onboard credit.

FREE Onboard Spending Money of up to $800 per stateroom is based on voyage length and stateroom type. Offer is applicable to all guests (up to 4) in a stateroom. Guests with single occupancy will receive double the per guest credit amount. Spending money may be used on a single voyage only, is not redeemable for cash, cannot be used in the casino and expires at the end of that voyage. Offer is not transferable and may not be combinable with other select offers or other onboard credits. Onboard spending money is based on the ship's onboard currency.

Is She A Princess? Even if she’s not, on every Disney Cruise every little girl is a Princess.

If you have had a daughter or have granddaughters who are now at this tender age, then you probably have had this talk with them about being a princess. It is a wonderful coming of age for them and for you, to discover things you never knew about being a princess. One of the great adventures you can do as a family or with your granddaughters to learn all about being a princess, is to take a Disney cruise. A wonderful experience for all. So if you have never been on a Disney Cruise and have been thinking this would be a great getaway, then here is all you need to know. CLICK PICTURE…to view video.

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The ambiance onboard all Disney ships is casually elegant with plenty of subtle nods to the Mouse that started it all, from the etched-in-pewter characters bordering the atrium to the hidden mini-Mickeys in the adults-only restaurant's china pattern. What Disney Cruise Line does best though is prove that "elegant" and "family-friendly" don't have to be mutually exclusive. Here are all the Disney Cruise Line basics, to help you determine if this state-of-the-art experience at sea is an ideal vacation choice for your family.

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What and Where - Disney Cruise Line operates four different ships - Magic, Fantasy, Dream and Wonder that travel on itineraries that include tropical stops in the Caribbean and Bahamas, domestic outings to Alaska and along the coasts, as well as throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. Sailings last anywhere from two nights to two weeks out of ports in a handful of countries, with some departures out of Port Canaveral, located an hour from Walt Disney World.

Family Friendly  - Disney Cruise Line’s essence is extremely family-friendly, offering the charm of Disney characters, films and music through every step of the journey. In addition to the plentiful activities for young ones, the ships and activities offer quiet areas and escapes that are exclusive to adults.

Family Friendly - Disney Cruise Line’s essence is extremely family-friendly, offering the charm of Disney characters, films and music through every step of the journey. In addition to the plentiful activities for young ones, the ships and activities offer quiet areas and escapes that are exclusive to adults.

Pools, Slides and More  - Disney Cruise Line ships have an assortment of pools and themed water play areas, with most offering a large signature waterslide. The AquaDunk on the Disney Magic shoots riders down from three stories up, while the AquaDuck on Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy offers a water coaster ride high above the pool deck.

Pools, Slides and More - Disney Cruise Line ships have an assortment of pools and themed water play areas, with most offering a large signature waterslide. The AquaDunk on the Disney Magic shoots riders down from three stories up, while the AquaDuck on Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy offers a water coaster ride high above the pool deck.

Dinner  - Instead of spending each night in a formal dining room, Disney Cruise Line has rotational dining, wherein guests switch between three different restaurants. The stylized eateries vary between ships. Disney Wonder serves cajun and creole food at “The Princess and the Frog” inspired Tiana’s Place, while Disney Magic offers a “Beauty and the Beast”-themed Lumiere’s and all have Animator’s Palate, which highlights the artistry of Disney and Pixar’s most popular films.

Dinner - Instead of spending each night in a formal dining room, Disney Cruise Line has rotational dining, wherein guests switch between three different restaurants. The stylized eateries vary between ships. Disney Wonder serves cajun and creole food at “The Princess and the Frog” inspired Tiana’s Place, while Disney Magic offers a “Beauty and the Beast”-themed Lumiere’s and all have Animator’s Palate, which highlights the artistry of Disney and Pixar’s most popular films.

Entertainment  - There aren’t any true attractions on board, but this is still definitely Disney. Special interactive appearances from Finding Nemo characters at Animator’s Palate restaurant on Dream and Fantasy sailings is on par with Turtle Talk with Crush at Epcot and Disney California Adventure, while the Midship Detective Agency unveils an exciting layer of the two ships you’d otherwise never know.

Entertainment - There aren’t any true attractions on board, but this is still definitely Disney. Special interactive appearances from Finding Nemo characters at Animator’s Palate restaurant on Dream and Fantasy sailings is on par with Turtle Talk with Crush at Epcot and Disney California Adventure, while the Midship Detective Agency unveils an exciting layer of the two ships you’d otherwise never know.

Castaway Cay  - Disney Cruise Line visits destinations across the globe, but a favorite among guests remains Castaway Cay, a private Disney-operated island in the Bahamas. While Disney's Castaway Cay is a wee isle, 3.1 miles long and 2.2 miles wide, it's packed with so much to do, you might have a hard time deciding how to spend your time. There's sunbathing, waterslides, bike trails, open-air massages, two water play areas, parasailing, fishing, a stingray interaction adventure and more. Caribbean cruiser’s aboard Disney's Fantasy and Dream ships typically make one (or two) stops at this private island.

Castaway Cay - Disney Cruise Line visits destinations across the globe, but a favorite among guests remains Castaway Cay, a private Disney-operated island in the Bahamas. While Disney's Castaway Cay is a wee isle, 3.1 miles long and 2.2 miles wide, it's packed with so much to do, you might have a hard time deciding how to spend your time. There's sunbathing, waterslides, bike trails, open-air massages, two water play areas, parasailing, fishing, a stingray interaction adventure and more. Caribbean cruiser’s aboard Disney's Fantasy and Dream ships typically make one (or two) stops at this private island.

What's Included  - The sit-down restaurants, buffets and room service on all Disney Cruise Line ships is included in the price. Unlimited soft-serve ice cream and treats are also available around the ship, as well as complimentary fountain soda, tea and coffee in restaurants and on the main deck.

What's Included - The sit-down restaurants, buffets and room service on all Disney Cruise Line ships is included in the price. Unlimited soft-serve ice cream and treats are also available around the ship, as well as complimentary fountain soda, tea and coffee in restaurants and on the main deck.

Adults Only  - Disney ships offer plenty of tranquil adults-only areas. All ships have a set of pools reserved exclusively for adults, as well as a collection of bars and restaurants that are segmented away from the rest of the ship. The Senses Spa Rainforest Room has a selection of steam rooms and whirlpool spas, and Castaway Cay offers Serenity Bay, a beachfront area of the island exclusively for guests 18 and over.

Adults Only - Disney ships offer plenty of tranquil adults-only areas. All ships have a set of pools reserved exclusively for adults, as well as a collection of bars and restaurants that are segmented away from the rest of the ship. The Senses Spa Rainforest Room has a selection of steam rooms and whirlpool spas, and Castaway Cay offers Serenity Bay, a beachfront area of the island exclusively for guests 18 and over.

Fine Dining  - Disney Cruise Line does offer dining upgrades by way of its upscale on board restaurants, which are exclusively for adults and absolutely worth the splurge. Palo, an Italian restaurant located on all four Disney Cruise Line ships, serves a three-course selection of dishes including pasta, steaks and souffles, well as a brunch on select sailings. Disney Dream and Fantasy additionally offer Remy, a multi-course fine dining French restaurant with a dress code to match. And this restaurant is out of this world with great food. This is basically a great getaway for adults for an evening out. Leave the kids in the “kids area” while you enjoy a great meal out.

Fine Dining - Disney Cruise Line does offer dining upgrades by way of its upscale on board restaurants, which are exclusively for adults and absolutely worth the splurge. Palo, an Italian restaurant located on all four Disney Cruise Line ships, serves a three-course selection of dishes including pasta, steaks and souffles, well as a brunch on select sailings. Disney Dream and Fantasy additionally offer Remy, a multi-course fine dining French restaurant with a dress code to match. And this restaurant is out of this world with great food. This is basically a great getaway for adults for an evening out. Leave the kids in the “kids area” while you enjoy a great meal out.

All Disney Everything  - You can watch Disney films on the large-scale “Funnel Vision” screen at the Goofy Pool or Donald Pool during the day or night. Disney ships even play Disney, Star Wars and Marvel films the same day they’re released in theaters, broadcasting the newest films inside the Buena Vista movie theater.

All Disney Everything - You can watch Disney films on the large-scale “Funnel Vision” screen at the Goofy Pool or Donald Pool during the day or night. Disney ships even play Disney, Star Wars and Marvel films the same day they’re released in theaters, broadcasting the newest films inside the Buena Vista movie theater.

State Rooms  - If you’d rather call it an early night, there's a range of films on-demand within state rooms. Cabins have a “split” double bathroom and shower that can be used as a bathtub, as well as pull-down beds and fold-out couches so a family can stay together in one room. There is also the full complement of staterooms to fit anybody’s needs, Inside, Oceanview, Veranda or Suites. There’s also a laundry room aboard each ship that’s open 24 hours.

State Rooms - If you’d rather call it an early night, there's a range of films on-demand within state rooms. Cabins have a “split” double bathroom and shower that can be used as a bathtub, as well as pull-down beds and fold-out couches so a family can stay together in one room. There is also the full complement of staterooms to fit anybody’s needs, Inside, Oceanview, Veranda or Suites. There’s also a laundry room aboard each ship that’s open 24 hours.

Special Sailings  - With new Marvel Day At Sea bookings on the Disney Magic and Star Wars Day At Sea on the Disney Fantasy, the ship turns into a completely themed environment with exclusive deck parties, activities, fireworks and themed food and drinks all day and night long. Star Wars sailings offer photo ops with R2-D2 and C-3PO as well as famous beings on both sides of the force, while Marvel fans will love meeting Iron Man, Black Panther, Loki and Spider-Man among others, as well as a visit from the Guardians of the Galaxy. There are also special sailings over Halloween and Christmas that incorporate the holidays into onboard activities.

Special Sailings - With new Marvel Day At Sea bookings on the Disney Magic and Star Wars Day At Sea on the Disney Fantasy, the ship turns into a completely themed environment with exclusive deck parties, activities, fireworks and themed food and drinks all day and night long. Star Wars sailings offer photo ops with R2-D2 and C-3PO as well as famous beings on both sides of the force, while Marvel fans will love meeting Iron Man, Black Panther, Loki and Spider-Man among others, as well as a visit from the Guardians of the Galaxy. There are also special sailings over Halloween and Christmas that incorporate the holidays into onboard activities.

Kid's Areas  - One oft-praised feature of Disney Cruise Line are Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab, both included in all sailings. This set of connected and themed play areas is for kids ages 3 to 12. Guests aboard Disney Fantasy will have an extra-special time learning skills and accomplishing impressive feats with Doctor Strange and Thor in the Marvel Super Hero Academy, while the Star Wars: Command Post brings kids face-to-face with intergalactic activities, as well as special appearances by beloved characters like BB-8. Similar experiences are available at the Marvel’s Avengers Academy on Disney Magic, Marvel Super Hero Academy on Disney Wonder and a Star Wars-themed Millennium Falcon space on the Disney Dream.

Kid's Areas - One oft-praised feature of Disney Cruise Line are Disney’s Oceaneer Club and Oceaneer Lab, both included in all sailings. This set of connected and themed play areas is for kids ages 3 to 12. Guests aboard Disney Fantasy will have an extra-special time learning skills and accomplishing impressive feats with Doctor Strange and Thor in the Marvel Super Hero Academy, while the Star Wars: Command Post brings kids face-to-face with intergalactic activities, as well as special appearances by beloved characters like BB-8. Similar experiences are available at the Marvel’s Avengers Academy on Disney Magic, Marvel Super Hero Academy on Disney Wonder and a Star Wars-themed Millennium Falcon space on the Disney Dream.

Characters  - If you’re looking for a photo-op with Mickey Mouse, you won’t have to search very far. Disney princesses, popular characters and even some rare favorites offer regular meet-and-greets on Disney Cruise Line sailings. If you miss them, which is nearly impossible to do, there are opportunities within lively character dance parties, spontaneous appearances on the ship’s pool decks and certain interactions. Disney Princess Gathering and Frozen Meet and Greet, specifically can be pre-booked.

Characters - If you’re looking for a photo-op with Mickey Mouse, you won’t have to search very far. Disney princesses, popular characters and even some rare favorites offer regular meet-and-greets on Disney Cruise Line sailings. If you miss them, which is nearly impossible to do, there are opportunities within lively character dance parties, spontaneous appearances on the ship’s pool decks and certain interactions. Disney Princess Gathering and Frozen Meet and Greet, specifically can be pre-booked.

Pirate Night + Fireworks  - An entire night of Disney Cruise Line sailings is dedicated to “Pirates of the Caribbean,” with themed dinner options and complimentary pirate bandanas for each guest, even though plenty pack their own outfits and come in full freebooter regalia. After an adventurous evening performance with Captain Jack Sparrow, the spectacle’s “buccaneer blasts” begin, a true fireworks show at sea set to the energetic film soundtrack.

Pirate Night + Fireworks - An entire night of Disney Cruise Line sailings is dedicated to “Pirates of the Caribbean,” with themed dinner options and complimentary pirate bandanas for each guest, even though plenty pack their own outfits and come in full freebooter regalia. After an adventurous evening performance with Captain Jack Sparrow, the spectacle’s “buccaneer blasts” begin, a true fireworks show at sea set to the energetic film soundtrack.

Small Uncharges  - Though most everything is included in Disney Cruise Line sailings, there are a few additional but worthy expenses. Mickey-dusted cappuccinos at Cove Cafe are delightful, Royal Court Royal Tea offers a table-side experience with Disney characters and Vanellope’s & Treats on Disney Dream and Sweet On You on Disney Fantasy are ideal stops for delectable sundaes, scoops of gelato and other themed baked goods. For the little ones, there’s also a “It’s a small world” childcare nursery for children six months to three years old, for an hourly cost.

Small Uncharges - Though most everything is included in Disney Cruise Line sailings, there are a few additional but worthy expenses. Mickey-dusted cappuccinos at Cove Cafe are delightful, Royal Court Royal Tea offers a table-side experience with Disney characters and Vanellope’s & Treats on Disney Dream and Sweet On You on Disney Fantasy are ideal stops for delectable sundaes, scoops of gelato and other themed baked goods. For the little ones, there’s also a “It’s a small world” childcare nursery for children six months to three years old, for an hourly cost.

So there you have it, everything you need to know about a taking Disney Cruise and what you have to look forward to. Go ahead and treat your princess and yourself to a wonderful special vacation, one that your princess and you will remember for a lifetime. Take a Disney Cruise and discover a whole different world. A world of fun, magic, and special dreams.