As cruise ship lawyers who love to travel, we are desperate to see cruise ships return to Australia’s cruise terminals.
However with an end to the Australian cruise ban not even on the horizon, are you fed up with not being able to go on your favourite type of holiday? If so, doing a Fly Cruise is a good option.
That’s what Aussie couple Patrea and Ed Stuttard have done as recently reported by Cruise Passenger magazine. They have taken a whopping six cruises since the government allowed international air travel in November 2021.
The Stuttards are not alone. To date (3/2/22) 7.2 millions passengers have sailed worldwide since the pandemic according to Cruise Lines International Association.
Royal Caribbean fans will have also seen the recent announcement that Spectrum of the Seas is moving to Singapore six months ahead of schedule in April 2022. This is to meet the high demand for Singapore’s cruise market, including vaccinated Australians who can travel to Singapore for a fly cruise without quarantine.
In today’s world, planning and safety are more important than ever when travelling overseas. As cruise ship lawyers, we have therefore put together our Top 5 Fly Cruise Tips if you are thinking about jetting off to a cruise destination.
1. Cruise ship lawyers’ must have – cruise travel insurance
Our cruise ship lawyers have long been advocates for taking out travel insurance. Our principal solicitor’s mantra is, “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to go”. This is because of the dire personal and financial consequences she has seen clients endure when they have been injured overseas without travel insurance.
Having insurance that specifically covers your cruise and any excursions that you will take is essential. If you have a medical emergency onboard and need to be evacuated by air, the bill would run into tens of thousands of dollars. This puts the cost of a travel insurance policy into perspective.
As well as checking the standard features of your travel insurance policy, check what cover it provides for covid situations. For example, does it cover you if you contract covid onboard? Does it cover you if you are a close contact and have to isolate?
For more tips about cruise travel insurance, read our article here.
2. Check the test requirements
Well before you fly out, check what your airline, destination country and cruise line’s covid test requirements are. For example, whilst your destination country might not require a recent PCR test, the airline might.
Most travel providers have strict windows for when you should get a PCR test. This can make it risky to have a test done publicly, so you might consider booking a private test with a guaranteed time for when you’ll get your result.
If booking your Fly Cruise with a travel agent, they will be able to advise you on PCR requirements and recommend private providers.
3. Buy Wifi or a mobile data package
Whilst going on holiday is a great time to switch off, travelling in a pandemic is not the time to turn your phone off.
When you are away you should expect to receive multiple emails from your airline and cruise line. These will remind you of any PCR and paperwork requirements, as well as direct you to do online health surveys and notify you if you have been a close contact of a covid case.
Using your mobile whilst on your cruise will also be handy (if not essential) for ordering meals, drinks and activities via QR codes.
We therefore recommend that you buy a Wifi or Data Roaming Package so that you can easily access all of the information that you need while you’re away.
4. Check the cruise terms and conditions
If you are going on a Fly Cruise, your cruise booking might be governed by a foreign country’s law rather than Australian law. It is therefore important to check the terms and conditions so that you know what your rights are and what to do if something goes wrong.
For example, if your cruise is cancelled due to local travel restrictions, will you be entitled to a full refund?
Your rights may be very different to those you would expect under Australian law. For example, for US cruises under US law, there is a time limit of only 12 months to make a claim if you have an accident onboard. This is far shorter than the usual three years in Australia.
If you book through a good travel agent, they will be able to explain what the terms and conditions mean.
5. Save our cruise ship lawyers’ contact details
After waiting so long to cruise again, we hope that you have a memorable and incident free holiday. However, it is an unfortunate fact of life that sadly accidents do happen.
If you are injured on your fly cruise, whether at the airport, on the flight or the cruise itself, you can take some simple but effective steps to make life easier such as:
- Taking photographs of what caused your accident;
- Reporting the accident to crew;
- Taking the names and contact details of witnesses; and
- Bringing home copies of any onboard and foreign medical records.
These steps can make claiming on your travel insurance policy much easier, as well as a compensation claim if you later choose to bring one.
We therefore recommend that you bookmark our website on your phone in case you get into difficulty overseas. If you are injured during your holiday, you can contact us and our principal solicitor Victoria Roy can recommend what steps to take before you fly back.
Better still, download our free 10 Things You Must Do After A Cruise Accident Checklist. Save it to your phone so that if you experience or witness an accident on your cruise, you will know what to do. It’s essential cruise packing that won’t take up any room in your suitcase!
This article does not comprise legal advice and neither Victory Travel & Cruise Lawyers nor the author accepts any responsibility for it. For advice on your specific circumstances, book an appointment with a lawyer.