Carnival Cruise Lines has enhanced its Cruise Vacation Protection Plan (VPP) to include severe weather watch/warning protection, as well as job loss protection. The enhanced features apply to plan purchases made July 15, 2009 and after.
The severe weather watch/warning protection provides reimbursement in the event the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and/or National Weather Service issues or maintains a severe weather watch or warning within 48 hours of a cruise departure. Should the watch or warning affect either the cruise departure city or the guest’s route to that city, the plan will allow for cancellation and reimbursement up to the full amount of the cruise cost.
Another new weather protection feature provides that if a guest is traveling to the cruise departure port via a common carrier (airplane, bus, train, etc.) and inclement weather ultimately causes the guest to miss 50 percent or more of the cruise vacation, the guest may receive reimbursement up to the total cost of the cruise.
The new job loss protection will provide reimbursement up to the total cruise cost if individuals who have booked a cruise and purchased the plan are subsequently terminated by their employer and have worked for that employer for at least one continuous year.
The above enhancements will further strengthen the current plan which offers a variety of other benefits, including trip cancellation/interruption, trip delay, emergency medical evacuation, medical, baggage loss and baggage delay. The program also provides a 24-hour emergency assistance hotline.
"These enhancements to the Cruise Vacation Protection Plan are designed to provide consumers with an assurance that their vacation investment will be protected in the unlikely event severe weather or job loss occurs – important factors given both the unpredictability of Mother Nature and the current economy," said Ruben Rodriguez, Carnival’s executive vice president of marketing and guest experience.
Carnival’s Cruise Vacation Protection Plan is administered by BerkelyCare, a recognized leader in travel insurance. The plan must be purchased at least 14 days prior to the cruise departure date. Prices begin at $49 per person and vary by cruise length. Travel agents receive 10 percent commission on the sale of VPP coverage.