In the News: Cruise Chaos

Consumer Reports had an interesting little tidbit today about the hazards of traveling via cruise line [and no, I’m not just talking about the possibility of boarding a toilet of the sea cruise].

According to the article, “After more than a week of the company providing virtually no updates and no media interviews, on Friday visitors to the Cruise West site were told in blunt terms that all operations were ceasing as of Saturday the 18th and that only the line’s Danube Cruise, scheduled to depart on Wednesday, will operate.”

Poor sad cruise travelers. Luckily for us readers, though, we can learn something from this melodrama. So without further ado, here is the gospel according to Consumer Reports for what you can do to protect yourself if a big-ticket vacation provider such as a cruise line or tour operator suddenly goes bust:

*Book all travel purchases via credit card (good information in general, actually, as it’s ALWAYS easier to dispute a wrong charge or dropped travel plan if you purchased it on a credit card other than with debit or cash)

* Consider travel insurance for every travel purchase, especially for things like cruises. And go for the independent travel insurance companies, as opposed to the “third-party” offers that some cruise lines or tour operators offer. If that cruise line or tour operator goes bust, you coverage could go bust as well.

* Lastly, when booking something like a cruise, Consumer Reports suggests using a reliable, unbiased travel agent (you can find a good one through the American Society of Travel Agents).

Bis bald, friends! Only three more days until I’m Munich-bound!

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