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Tx-Bev

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About Tx-Bev

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Austin, TX, USA
  1. Hi Ginger. I wound up contacting the company that underwrites the cruise insurance policy I was interested in. In my case it turned out that the insurance I was buying did not reimburse the dollar value of the rooms/flights purchased with points because they did not consider that an-out-pocket expense. However, if I had to cancel a flight or room purchased with points and the airline or hotel charged a cancellation fee or change fee to put the points back into my account, then that amount would be covered.... but ONLY IF I had included the dollar value of the flight or room in my total trip calculation. The insurance program I was looking at based its premiums, in part, on the dollar value of the entire trip and raised premiums at every $1000 break point. If I chose NOT to include those items, I was still covered for OTHER unexpected out of pocket costs that might occur if, for example, I had to end my trip early. In other words, if I get sick and have to fly home early so have to make a new flight plan, the policy will cover the cost of a new flight, but would not cover the cost of getting my frequent flyer miles reimbursed to me for the flight I wound up having to cancel. Once I calculated what it would cost me if I had to pay cancellation and/or change fees to get my points back - versus - the additional premium due to the dollar value of my points flights and points hotel rooms bumping my total trip value up by a couple of thousand dollars, I opted NOT to "insure" my points. Every insurance company is different tho. You should contact the company issuing your actual contract and ASK them exactly how their contract works. Be sure to present possible scenarios so you know that you and the agent are talking about the same thing. Insurance is complicated!
  2. Much as we enjoy cruising, Hubby and I get to go only infrequently due to a somewhat limited travel budget and, because up until very recently, we've been responsible for caring for both his and my elderly parents. We've taken 2 previous NCL cruises and one Carnival cruise and decided that we MUCH preferred NCL, mainly because of its freestyle dining. We found the food offered in the main dining rooms of both lines to be excellent and the menus to be plenty varied enough for our tastes. (Because our budget is limited, we choose not to spend extra money on "sprecialty" dining.) NCL won out because 1) We can eat when we get hungry rather than at a set time. 2) At each meal we get to choose whether we want to sit at a table for two and dine privately or sit at a larger table and meet other passengers. On both prior NCL cruises, the maitre d ALWAYS accommodated our request. This is important b/c I'm a total extrovert and am always up for meeting new people, but Hubby is a bit introverted. So, we switch back and forth between meeting his introverted desire for privacy and my extroverted desire "a party!" On the Carnival cruise (this was back before Carnival started "Your Time" dining, we wound up assigned to a table for 10 that included a party of 6 that, while generally polite, pretty much ONLY talked amongst themselves. And, the other couple assigned to our table apparently decided to eat at the specialty restaurants for most meals because they only appeared a 2 or 3 times during the entire cruise. So Hubby and I wound up stuck the entire trip eating with 6 strangers who clearly weren't at all interested in chatting with us. I wasn't happy b/c it deprived me of a chance to meet anyone new and Hubby wasn't happy because he was forced to sit with and (attempt to) interact with strangers at every meal. Worst of all possible worlds! On both prior NCL cruises, we wound up meeting other couples that we hit it off with and wound up agreeing to meet up with for dinner and other events. And, even when we ended up seated with incompatible people, it was for ONE meal...and therefore not a big deal. So, we're booked for cruise #4 in December...and chose NCL again. Will we try another cruise line in the future? If the price and itinerary are right, probably. But if prices are similar and itineraries are similarly interesting, NCL will have the edge over other cruise-lines where the only options are traditional (assigned dining times/tables), buffets, or specialty restaurants at an additional charge.
  3. Sorry to ask yet another insurance question but, I've looked thru a bunch of threads and have yet to find this one... I'm looking into purchasing travel insurance for our upcoming cruise vacation. In order to get estimates online thru InsureMyTrip.com, I have to be able to enter what my trip is going to cost (from the time I leave my front door until I return!) We're purchasing many of our pre- and post-cruise items (i.e. rental cars, hotels, and flights to/from our home airport to Atlanta) with our accumulated travel points. In fact, about 25% of our total vacation cost will be paid with points. I'm sure the premiums quoted will depend largely on the "trip cost" that I enter. So, if insurance companies will NOT reimburse the value of lost points, then there is no point in including the items purchased via points in my vacation valuation. If insurance does reimburse for lost points, do they value them at the amount we would have had to pay in $$ for the same service if we hadn't had the points to use? Or do they use some other valuation? I'm sure someone out there has experience!
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