American Cruise Lines protection plan does not protect me | Tech US News


Q: I had to cancel my American Cruise Lines cruise from Memphis to New Orleans for medical reasons.

I called American Cruise Lines and asked about rebooking a cruise this fall using my cancellation credits. I paid $570 for a “cancel for any reason” protection plan.

A representative informed me that I only had a $350 credit instead of 80% of the original fee of $5,745. When I asked for an explanation, referring to the “cancel for any reason” protection plan, he said he had canceled less than nine days before the start of my cruise. That is not true. I canceled a day before the deadline.

I hoped that after the investigation, American Cruise Lines would realize that it made a mistake and decide to take a more responsible attitude. But it wasn’t like that. Can you help? ─ Edward Marks, Washington, DC

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A: Your ‘cancellation for any reason’ trip protection should cover your cancellation. But American Cruise Lines’ protection plan comes with some important restrictions. First of all, it is not insurance, but “protection”. You’re paying $570 for softer cancellation terms. And those terms state that you must cancel nine days or more before the start of your cruise package to receive an 80% cruise credit. A standard “cancellation for any reason” insurance policy would allow you to cancel in less time ─ usually 48 hours before your trip ─ and receive a 50% to 75% refund.

Travel insurance is something worth considering for any cruise. Cruises can be expensive and many can go wrong. But you have to shop carefully. Never take the first travel insurance or “protection” policy that someone offers. Talk to your travel advisor or spend some time researching travel insurance options online with my consumer guide ( Based on the reviews I saw, the protection you had was a bit expensive and had some major limitations. Maybe you’ll find something better elsewhere.

You canceled your cruise on the 9th day before departure, so the cruise line should honor your claim. Instead, he apparently considers the ninth day past its deadline. Technically, it would be nine calendar days before you checked into your hotel in Memphis for the start of your trip.

You could appeal this to a cruise line executive. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of American Cruise Lines executives on my consumer advocacy site at I also post some helpful tips on how you can negotiate a refund at

I thought American Cruise Lines should review your case one more time. Losing $4,596 in a few hours, and on a technicality, seems wrong.

I contacted American Cruise Lines on your behalf. agreed A representative contacted you and said that the cruise line has restored the 80% you should have received in your protection plan.

You can now book reservations and rides through Uber

Christopher Elliott is the ombudsman for National Geographic Traveler magazine. You can read more travel tips on his blog,, or email him at [email protected]


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