Holiday Insurance for Cruise Ships (and those working on them)
Nov 20, 2019
The cruise industry is currently in a boom. In fact, 35 ocean and river cruise ships have been commissioned (worldwide) for delivery between 2020 and 2022. Many of these will carry thousands of new passengers every month. There can be little doubt that working on a cruise line could be the perfect step upward in your career, especially as an entertainer. It’s important not to get carried away in the dreams, however, and keep your feet rooted firmly in the ground. Travel insurance for musicians and other entertainers will be a key part of this. Hencillia Cansworth takes a closer look at your performing arts travel insurance needs.
Are jobs on cruise ships worth it?
Cruise ships are a big industry. People enjoy the fact that the entirety of their holiday planning and cost can be rolled into one package. It’s truly a way for them to kick back and relax without having to face the usual holiday stresses and strains. These cruise lines employ, on average, once crew member for two cruise guests. This places the average ship staffing at somewhere north of 1000 crew members. That’s without considering the support staff- like you, the performing artist- who can often account for another 500 or so spaces.
That’s a lot of people! Cruise industries typically have a high turnover, too, as many people take the work on short-term for the experience and to see the world. This means they are often hiring.
This makes cruise ships something of their own world. Think about it- that’s 1500 support staff before you even consider the guests. There are small towns with fewer inhabitants than that! While working on a cruise ship can be a rewarding experience, and most modern cruise liners have great safety records, there’s still a lot of scope for things you may not have anticipated to occur. If you’re considering working on a cruise ship, especially as an entertainer, it’s important to know someone has your back through the entire process.
Do I need holiday insurance for cruise ships?
It’s easy to stop and think that you don’t need holiday insurance for your cruise ship experience. After all, it’s like being on holiday 24/7 alongside the guests, right?
Not quite. You will be there as a working professional, even though you will have a great chance to visit gorgeous locations. Cruise ship living has often been compared to ‘first-year university’, with dorm-style accommodation typical. Usually, there will be a separate staff dining area, and depending on the liner they may be other amenities like TV, staff lounges and other things. You will not have a private room to yourself- after all, no matter how large, this is still a ship. Cruise ship personnel are not bound by their home port’s labour laws, and so can hire people from around the world to staff the ships. This is a fantastic experience to get to experience other cultures, but can be confusing and intimidating.
Likewise, how much time you spend on land will depend on the ship policy, passenger landfall, and your duties. Most entertainers do have a flexible schedule here, as their services are not really required while the ship is in port, but it’s important to remember that this is a job first and vacation second, and you will be expected to perform accordingly.
So, is travel insurance for musicians really needed?
That means there’s a lot of scope for things to get muddled up or missing. While most cruise lines do vet new staff carefully, this is probably going to be the largest staff population you’ve ever worked with, too. Add to that the presence of many more guests on board. The chance of a bad egg making it on board are not impossible. Theft, while unlikely, cannot be completely ruled out.
Likewise, the whole point of the experience is travel- which means you’re not going to stay in your comfort zone very long! That’s great to challenge yourself as a performer, but far less fantastic if your key equipment is misplaced or breaks. Even worse should you happen to fall sick. You will be reliant on onboard medical services or those at the local port. In very severe cases, you may even have to be officially evacuated from the ship.
As you can imagine, that’s going to cost a lot!
Long term staff with cruise lines often do have insurance policies and other such benefits tied up in their contract with the line. That doesn’t, of course, mean that the coverage offered is the best, and even if you are accepting a work placement contract with insurance built-in it’s important to evaluate the policies and coverage offered and determine if they truly work for you.
Most performers on cruise lines are, however, classified as transient staff. They rotate acts regularly to ensure things remain interesting for their customers. This means you may not even get access to company insurance. While the chances are strong indeed that your time on the ship will be one of the most exciting and memorable gigs you take, it’s important to travel with the peace of mind of knowing any possible ‘bad times’ are also covered.
This is why we at Hencilla Canworth believe holiday insurance for cruise ships is an absolute must if you are a performing artist taking a gig on these floating palaces. Speak to us today about our various package options, including specialised travel insurance for musicians, that will blow your expectations out of the water and leave you ready to enjoy the unique experience.