The latest cruise travel agency to leap into the travel guarantee fray is icruise.com, a web-only agency, which - and we’re scratching our heads over this one - announced that passengers who book Caribbean cruises that get rained on...will get a full refund. The guarantee applies to bookings on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland American and Windstar. You must make your reservations between now and May 1 and must sail between now and December 31.
If you’re thinking this is just the kind of deal to encourage a risk on a hurricane-season cruise (when you’re almost guaranteed a deluge), dream on: Icruise says its refund program doesn’t apply during the months of September, October and November. Smart. They’d go broke, otherwise,
As always there are plenty of caveats. From the release: “Travelers will receive 100% of the cost of their cruise if .25 inches or more of rain falls between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. for: 3 days on 4- or 5-night cruises; 4 days on 6-, 7- or 8- night cruises; 5 days on 10-night cruises; 6 days on 11- and 12-night cruises, or 7 days on 14-night cruises.”
How do they know? The guarantee is underwritten by Lloyd’s of London, a major international insurer; it will send a correspondent to oversee the rain reporting process and conduct rain inspections on participating ships. On their part cruise lines have to install standardized rain meters.