Does Booking a Cruise with a Non-Refundable Deposit Make a Difference?

by Steve Dasseos on August 29, 2017

We are getting ready to book another cruise. Royal Caribbean now offers lower rates when booking a cruise with non-refundable deposit. Does trip insurance reimburse non-refundable deposits in the event we have to cancel? Non-refundable deposits also incur a fee if date of cruise is changed. Is that covered? Janet

Hi Janet,

Those fees and penalties are only covered and reimbursable to you when filing a claim if you cancel your trip for a covered reason. They are not reimbursable to you if you voluntarily chose to cancel which is a not-covered reason. And, in case you are wondering, getting a plan with Cancel For Any Reason coverage would not be worth doing.

This new rule regarding non-refundable deposits and other change fees that some cruise lines now have is causing one big and unexpected problem for anyone who books a cruise but is not 100% certain that they will take that sailing. A common practice is that a cruise is booked where someone wants the flexibility to switch to another sailing before their final payment is due.

The problem in relation to having a travel insurance plan comes when someone buys a travel insurance plan with the potential idea of changing the policy dates to apply to a new trip should they decide not to take the original trip.

The unexpected problem is that when the companies will not allow you to change your dates if you incur a financial loss.

The solution is not as simple as cancelling the plan you bought, because if you are past the free look period (which is 10 – 14 days, depending on the plan, after you buy a policy and can cancel the policy for a full refund), you cannot get a refund on the travel insurance policy because you choose not to take your trip.

I cover this in more detail on my FAQs page at

If there’s any chance that you will voluntarily choose not take the cruise, I see no benefit in the booking at the lower rate because you will forfeit the cost of the travel insurance policy due to being unable to switch its dates to a new trip.

I hope this makes sense. If you want the right travel insurance advice, call us at 1-888-407-3854 and we'll help you figure it all out.

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