How to Survive Getting Sick at Sea

Bekah Wright
How to Survive Getting Sick at Sea

This blog is part of our accident-prone tourist series featuring letters inspired by real-life travel mishaps faced by frequent international traveler Bekah Wright.

Read the Other Blogs in the Accident-Prone Tourist Series:


Dear WorldTrips,

A while back, I went on my first cruise. It was a lovely experience except… I got sick. Not seasick, mind you, but flu sick.

I stuck it out for a day before realizing some type of medication might be in order. A visit to the ship's doctor fixed me right up. What caught me by surprise, though, was the hefty bill I received.

Now I'm planning on taking a cruise that spans several countries – Italy, France, and Spain. Having learned from the past, I'm looking into getting travel medical insurance this time around.

My understanding about the cruise line's medical evacuation coverage is that it's set for the closest port. How would emergency medical evacuations be covered by travel medical insurance?

Thought I'd compare with WorldTrips to see if a policy through you would provide better options for the journey.

Oh, and another question – does being in international waters, at times between countries, impact a potential claim?

As always, many thanks for your assistance.


The Accident-Prone Tourist


Dear Accident-Prone Tourist,

Depending on the travel medical insurance policy, it can cover everything from lost checked luggage to a trip interruption or travel delay. It can also cover unexpected medical costs (hospital room and board, physician expenses, diagnostics, surgery, sutures, etc.) and emergency medical evacuation.

To give you a better understanding of our policies, let's explore a few benefits.  A trip interruption occurs when travel is interrupted by a specific event that would require you to abandon your trip and return home. This may be a death in the family or a crisis such as your house burning down while you're away.

A trip delay occurs when the start of your cruise is delayed due to circumstances like a tropical storm—something that keeps the actual trip from beginning.

Our Atlas Travel medical insurance policy includes a Trip Interruption benefit (up to $10,000) and a Trip Delay benefit (up to $100 a day).

Atlas Travel also includes an Emergency Medical Evacuation benefit (up to $1,000,000), which could help cover the cost of a transporting you by air to the nearest adequate health facility.

Cruise Line Policy vs. Atlas Travel Insurance

Typically, when you opt for a cruise line policy, you are opting for a set pricing structure, notes This price “may be on the high side” because cruise lines sell bundled policies, which typically include trip cancellation coverage – something our Atlas Travel policy does not include.

If you’re seeking a budget-friendly plan that includes high medical benefit limits but no Trip Cancellation benefit, consider Atlas Travel medical insurance. Atlas Travel pays 100% of eligible medical expenses for accidents and injuries occurring outside your home country (after the deductible and up to the overall maximum coverage limit). It also covers up to $1,000,000 for eligible emergency medical evacuations. See a full list of benefits here.

(As an FYI, international waters aren't technically anyone's "home country.")

How is Emergency Medical Evacuation Covered by Travel Medical Insurance?

Depending on the medical care your cruise is able to provide and the severity of your medical emergency, you may need to be transported to a nearby hospital that can provide medically necessary treatment. Our Atlas Travel plan can provide coverage for emergency air and ground transportation to the hospital where you will receive the treatment.

Seeking Trip Cancellation Coverage for Your Cruise?

If you’re interested in purchasing a policy that includes a Trip Cancellation benefit, look for a trip cancellation insurance policy. We offer trip cancellation insurance  with Nationwide. These plans are available in three levels:

  • Atlas Excursion
  • Atlas Expedition
  • Atlas Enterprise

Note that Atlas Enterprise is the only trip cancellation plan from WorldTrips and Nationwide that includes a Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) benefit. You must purchase the plan within 21 days of your initial trip payment date to be eligible for CFAR coverage.

Feel free to give us a call if you have additional questions. You can reach us at 1-800-605-2282.


WorldTrips Representative

P.S. Here are five tips for a healthy cruise: visit the doctor and dentist before your trip, wash your hands often, eat well and drink plenty of fluids, don't drink too much alcohol, and avoid sick passengers.

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WorldTrips is a service company and a member of the Tokio Marine HCC group of companies.

WorldTrips’ Atlas Journey, Atlas Cruiser, and Atlas On-The-Go trip protection insurance products are underwritten by Tokio Marine HCC’s U.S. Specialty Insurance Company (USSIC). USSIC is a Texas-domiciled insurance company operating on an admitted basis throughout the United States.

WorldTrips’ Atlas Travel Series and StudentSecure international travel medical insurance products are underwritten by Lloyd's. WorldTrips has authority to enter into contracts of insurance on behalf of the Lloyd's underwriting members of Lloyd's Syndicate 4141, which is managed by HCC Underwriting Agency, Ltd.