Death in family a week before cruise

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tnhooper45
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Death in family a week before cruise

Post by tnhooper45 » Thu May 18, 2017 10:25 am

Bogleheads, hope all is well. We have a cruise schedule to depart on the 27th. My wife's grandmother was just put in hospice care. We didn't purchase insurance when I booked it. Is there anything I can do if she passes away before the cruise? A quick Google sounds like they are tough on giving any refunds or credits. Thanks!

ResearchMed
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by ResearchMed » Thu May 18, 2017 10:33 am

tnhooper45 wrote:Bogleheads, hope all is well. We have a cruise schedule to depart on the 27th. My wife's grandmother was just put in hospice care. We didn't purchase insurance when I booked it. Is there anything I can do if she passes away before the cruise? A quick Google sounds like they are tough on giving any refunds or credits. Thanks!
I'm so sorry to hear of your situation.

You might want to post this on http://www.CruiseCritic.com - in the subforum about your cruise line.

But the short answer is... that is one of the reasons for Travel Insurance, as you now realize. (That happens a lot, by the way.)

There is probably very little chance of 'help' from the cruise line.
There are so many other people who have various serious reasons for the same, and if this were done, why offer Travel Insurance?
(Cruise lines offer their own, which is often higher priced, and people don't realize that with only a few exceptions, the third party insurance is usually a better deal.)

Good luck.

RM
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miamivice
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by miamivice » Thu May 18, 2017 10:34 am

Sorry for your impending loss.

I would expect a cruise line to be accommodating for the death of an immediate family member (mother, father, daughter, son) but would not expect them to be accommodating for the death of extended family (grandmother in this case, but cousin, aunt, uncle).

You can always ask and see if they would allow you to take a different cruise in the future.

If they don't, and you skip on the cruise, don't fret about it. You chose to self-insure (which is generally a wise decision) and while the lost cost might be painful at the moment, over your lifetime self-insuring generally pays off.

OnceARunner
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by OnceARunner » Thu May 18, 2017 10:39 am

What credit card did you use to book it? If, by chance, it was a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve, you can use their trip cancellation insurance.
Accidental Bodily Injury, Loss of Life, or Sickness experienced by you, a Traveling Companion, or an Immediate Family Member of you or a Traveling Companion
Immediate Family Member means:
...your Spouse or Domestic Partner and their children, including adopted children or step-children; legal guardians or wards; siblings or siblings-in-law; parents or parents-in-law; grandparents or grandchildren; aunts or uncles; nieces or nephews.
Their generous definition of "immediate family" is one of the reasons I think keeping one of these cards is a good idea, despite the annual fee. Covers trip cancellation, trip delay, primary auto rentals insurance, etc....makes it worth it to me, in addition to the benefits of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

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nedsaid
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by nedsaid » Thu May 18, 2017 10:43 am

This is what I would do. Call the tour company and see if you can reschedule or get a credit for another trip. Explain the situation. If you can't get any help from the tour company, talk to family members about your awkward situation and hopefully they will understand. It would look really bad to be on vacation while the family is grieving but on the other hand you really can't afford to just throw away thousands of dollars. If the worst happened at the most inconvenient time, perhaps they could have a private graveside service first and a larger public funeral when you get back.

As awful and as selfish as it might sound, you probably should just take the cruise. Be sure and spend as much time as you can with your wife's Grandmother before she passes. That actually is more meaningful than attending her funeral. I saw my Grandmother's body in the casket at the funeral and I just had the sense she just wasn't there, what I saw wasn't her. Fortunately, I saw her the night before she died in the hospital and had the chance to say good bye.

It is a horribly awkward situation. I wish you all the best. This is why I always buy the travel insurance.
A fool and his money are good for business.

alaskantraveler
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by alaskantraveler » Thu May 18, 2017 10:52 am

Another option.... Many credit cards offer trip insurance as long as the full amount of the trip was charged to the credit card. Find out what credit card was used and see if you card issuer offers travel insurance.

shelanman
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by shelanman » Thu May 18, 2017 10:54 am

Something to consider -- many credit cards include some sort of travel insurance.

If you paid for any part of the trip on a credit card, have a look at the terms for that card, because you might be covered.

2015
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by 2015 » Thu May 18, 2017 10:57 am

Citi's double cash card has trip cancellation insurance as well.

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nedsaid
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by nedsaid » Thu May 18, 2017 11:02 am

This is what I would do. Call the tour company and see if you can reschedule or get a credit for another trip. Explain the situation. If you can't get any help from the tour company, talk to family members about your awkward situation and hopefully they will understand. It would look really bad to be on vacation while the family is grieving but on the other hand you really can't afford to just throw away thousands of dollars. If the worst happened at the most inconvenient time, perhaps they could have a private graveside service first and a larger public funeral when you get back.

As awful and as selfish as it might sound, you probably should just take the cruise. Be sure and spend as much time as you can with your wife's Grandmother before she passes. That actually is more meaningful than attending her funeral. I saw my Grandmother's body in the casket at the funeral and I just had the sense she just wasn't there, what I saw wasn't her. Fortunately, I saw her the night before she died in the hospital and had the chance to say good bye.

It is a horribly awkward situation. I wish you all the best. This is why I always buy the travel insurance.
A fool and his money are good for business.

fishmonger
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by fishmonger » Thu May 18, 2017 11:06 am

Short notice I know but you might be able to swap someone else in. My mother-in-law did this when my FIL got deployed

Silk McCue
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by Silk McCue » Thu May 18, 2017 11:10 am

Sorry for the loss. Check your credit card. My Marriott Visa covers up to $5k for an individual $10k for the trip. My USAA Visa only covered a flat $1500 so I didn't use that one.

wfrobinette
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by wfrobinette » Thu May 18, 2017 12:32 pm

tnhooper45 wrote:Bogleheads, hope all is well. We have a cruise schedule to depart on the 27th. My wife's grandmother was just put in hospice care. We didn't purchase insurance when I booked it. Is there anything I can do if she passes away before the cruise? A quick Google sounds like they are tough on giving any refunds or credits. Thanks!
Happened to me once but for a resort 1 week prior to vacation. Screwed on the airline tix($300 change fees) resort was nice about it and gave me full value credit to use. Since then, I've always purchased the travel insurance for anything since then and low and behold I've used it twice. One for a death and the other for an illness.

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snackdog
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by snackdog » Thu May 18, 2017 1:01 pm

If they have a good infirmary on board the ship, perhaps you could just bring her along with you. Just a thought.

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Raymond
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by Raymond » Thu May 18, 2017 1:12 pm

snackdog wrote:If they have a good infirmary on board the ship, perhaps you could just bring her along with you. Just a thought.
Hospice patients are usually not in any condition to travel.
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westie
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by westie » Thu May 18, 2017 3:21 pm

my one family experience with hospice was they don't accept patients who they believe is going to live more than a few days. If she's in there now .....

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deanbrew
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by deanbrew » Thu May 18, 2017 3:49 pm

nedsaid wrote:This is what I would do. Call the tour company and see if you can reschedule or get a credit for another trip. Explain the situation. If you can't get any help from the tour company, talk to family members about your awkward situation and hopefully they will understand. It would look really bad to be on vacation while the family is grieving but on the other hand you really can't afford to just throw away thousands of dollars. If the worst happened at the most inconvenient time, perhaps they could have a private graveside service first and a larger public funeral when you get back.

As awful and as selfish as it might sound, you probably should just take the cruise. Be sure and spend as much time as you can with your wife's Grandmother before she passes. That actually is more meaningful than attending her funeral. I saw my Grandmother's body in the casket at the funeral and I just had the sense she just wasn't there, what I saw wasn't her. Fortunately, I saw her the night before she died in the hospital and had the chance to say good bye.

It is a horribly awkward situation. I wish you all the best. This is why I always buy the travel insurance.
Not much to add to this, but thought I would second it in case you didn't use a credit card that includes generous travel insurance. Can you spend time with grandma now while she's still alive? That would be much preferable to simply going to a funeral service. I realize all families are different, but a (presumably) elderly grandmother is different from a spouse, sibling, parent or child.

But in the end, yes, that's why you purchase travel insurance. I typically purchase it for major trips that cost thousands of dollars. I used it once to cancel a trip due to a relative's death, and also once to recover medical expenses incurred in Dominican Republic.
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Nate79
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by Nate79 » Thu May 18, 2017 5:34 pm

Sometimes trip insurance can be added after the fact. Always good to check.

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dm200
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by dm200 » Thu May 18, 2017 5:54 pm

But the short answer is... that is one of the reasons for Travel Insurance, as you now realize. (That happens a lot, by the way.)

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dm200
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by dm200 » Thu May 18, 2017 5:56 pm

Maybe I am missing something. Just to be clear, was she (wife's grandmother) going on the cruise OR are you concerned you could not go because wife's grandmother might die?

IMO
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by IMO » Thu May 18, 2017 10:03 pm

Sorry to hear of your situation.

On the trip insurance thought (a hindsight now), I'm not even sure if it would cover your wife's grandmother, as I believe (but not certain) that it would only cover immediate family members? Someone else noted used travel insurance for a "relative" but I wonder what level of relative is covered? The travel insurance I just bought did provide trip delay/cancellation if a spouse/children had a medical issue that required someone to stay and provide care.

If the cruise company does not offer you credit or similar, perhaps you could ask if you could substitute people on your reservation. Perhaps other family could go, perhaps friends could step in if you discounted the price? (even getting 1/2 for example is better than nothing). Sounds like someone else got this for someone deploying, but military deployments can have different rules than non-military in many situations.

ResearchMed
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by ResearchMed » Thu May 18, 2017 10:29 pm

IMO wrote:Sorry to hear of your situation.

On the trip insurance thought (a hindsight now), I'm not even sure if it would cover your wife's grandmother, as I believe (but not certain) that it would only cover immediate family members? Someone else noted used travel insurance for a "relative" but I wonder what level of relative is covered? The travel insurance I just bought did provide trip delay/cancellation if a spouse/children had a medical issue that required someone to stay and provide care.

If the cruise company does not offer you credit or similar, perhaps you could ask if you could substitute people on your reservation. Perhaps other family could go, perhaps friends could step in if you discounted the price? (even getting 1/2 for example is better than nothing). Sounds like someone else got this for someone deploying, but military deployments can have different rules than non-military in many situations.
We get our Travel Insurance from http://www.TripInsuranceStore.com

They are extremely helpful in getting answers (the correct answers!) to questions such as "which relatives" or "how do pre-existing conditions work", etc.
We've had 3 claims (2 large) and they were paid without any nonsense.
(The policies that were "right for us" were from Travel Insured, but TripInsuranceStore uses several vetted insurers, each with several different types of policies.)

The policy we've gotten would include a grand(parent/child), but I can't speak for all other policies, obviously.
It also covers ANY companions traveling with you, regardless of relationship, as long as there is some sort of link (not sure how this works if in different cabins and not flying down together, etc., as it hasn't applied to us).

There is a LOT of "fine print" in travel insurance (as with most insurance, I think!), so it's really helpful to speak to someone and explain your specific situation, rather than rely upon online plan "summaries".

RM
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Lillibelle
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by Lillibelle » Thu May 18, 2017 10:39 pm

Five of my sister's family members were scheduled for a cruise, when the grandmother passed away unexpectedly. Another family member took Grandmother's place, with little fanfare, and just what the grandmother would have wanted.

sco
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by sco » Thu May 18, 2017 11:34 pm

My opinion. This is your wife decision, on how she is comfortable proceeding...
You can check on the money related options, once she decides... Worst case you don't get a refund/vacation out of it... If you take a lot of vacations, I am sure that you are better off in the long run anyway, although it just sucks this time...

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celia
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by celia » Fri May 19, 2017 2:52 am

Something's not clear to me. If you delay or don't take the cruise, what role do you or your wife play in taking care of the grandmother? Is your wife responsible for the grandmother's finances or arranging a funeral? If not, will it help anyone if you stay home? If not, I would let grandmother's POA or trustee know the dates you plan to be gone. Ask if there is something you can do beforehand. If she dies, can the funeral be delayed until you return?

After you know these details and your wife's feelings about this, you can make a better decision.

Gill
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by Gill » Fri May 19, 2017 5:30 am

Lillibelle wrote:Five of my sister's family members were scheduled for a cruise, when the grandmother passed away unexpectedly. Another family member took Grandmother's place, with little fanfare, and just what the grandmother would have wanted.
Was that before 9/11? It's more difficult to do now than it once was.
Gill

Mr.BB
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by Mr.BB » Fri May 19, 2017 5:45 am

shelanman wrote:Something to consider -- many credit cards include some sort of travel insurance.

If you paid for any part of the trip on a credit card, have a look at the terms for that card, because you might be covered.
+1
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bluebolt
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by bluebolt » Fri May 19, 2017 8:03 am

It's always worth asking. We had an accident while on a trip. No trip insurance, but hotels, tour company & airline were extremely accommodating even though their stated policies were strict. Deposits were returned, they didn't enforce cancelation minimums, etc. For some, we sent the doctor's bill if they asked.
Last edited by bluebolt on Sat May 20, 2017 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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InvestorNewb
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by InvestorNewb » Fri May 19, 2017 8:15 am

I was on a cruise recently with Holland America. We tried to cancel a few weeks before the cruise due to a family member being ill.

The policy is located at:
https://www.hollandamerica.com/pageByNa ... ncellation

You can see that in all their voyages, one week would not be enough to get any refund. However, a phone call with a manager describing your situation is always worth a try.
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vtjon
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by vtjon » Fri May 19, 2017 8:28 am

The Chase Freedom card also has the trip cancellation insurance as well.

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nedsaid
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by nedsaid » Fri May 19, 2017 6:51 pm

Lillibelle wrote:Five of my sister's family members were scheduled for a cruise, when the grandmother passed away unexpectedly. Another family member took Grandmother's place, with little fanfare, and just what the grandmother would have wanted.
Maybe this is what the wife's Grandmother would want too, to have her grandkids take the trip.
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Buford T Justiice
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Re: Death in family a week before cruise

Post by Buford T Justiice » Fri May 19, 2017 7:19 pm

Sorry for your family's impending loss.

If you call and cancel with the cruise line now, I think the only thing you can expect back in terms of a refund are port taxes and fees.

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