November 15, 2001
Your travel agent may have gotten a jolt yesterday when Access America, one of the country’s major providers of travel insurance, published a list of cruise lines -- that included Princess, Celebrity, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Cunard and Royal Olympic -- it said it would no longer cover in case of any financial default. The report, which appeared in Cruise Week, a travel agent trade publication, particularly surprised industry-types by pointing out some of the industry’s more financially stable cruise lines (aside from Royal Olympic, which is not covered for default by at least one other travel insurer). Alas, a company spokeswoman says the list has -- quickly -- been reviewed and all have been reinstated save for beleaguered Royal Olympic. The culprit, she says, was that Access America had not received “financial info it needed” from the de-listed few. But, she warns, “the list will probably change every single day based on financial judgment.” Which means that cruise passengers considering a policy purchase from Access America would be wise to maintain vigil by checking the company’s web site (www.accessamerica.com) for any changes. In the meantime, the financial instability that has rocked the cruise and airline industry is spreading; Alamo and National, two major car rental companies owned by the same parent company, have filed for bankruptcy protection. The company says customers will not notice any difference. Both remains fully operative and are accepting -- and honoring -- reservations.