Cruise NewsWhy One-Third of Cruise Passengers Stay on the Ship

Why One-Third of Cruise Passengers Stay on the Ship

A recent survey conducted by leading travel insurance provider Allianz Global Assistance showed that 34.3% of Americans stay on the ship either the entire cruise, or the majority of their cruise.

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What were the reasons for passengers wanting to stay on the ship?

  1. Safety concerns with the destination – 36.2 %.
  2. Disinterest in the destination – 17.7%
  3. Fear of not getting back to the ship on time – 16.8%
  4. Inclusive food/drinks on the ship – 9.4%
  5. Not having booked an off-board activity – 8.3%
  6. Having visited the destination on a previous trip – 6.8%
  7. Lack of internet/mobile connectivity – 4.8%

In addition to where Americans want to spend their time while cruising, the survey posed questions about current cruising trends such as themed, river and adventure/expedition cruises.

One-quarter (25.5 percent) of Americans indicated they would be more interested in taking a cruise if it was themed – such as a music, food or pop culture cruise – while 26.6 percent stated being less interested and 48 percent remained unchanged.
Most respondents (73.9 percent) preferred the attributes of a river cruise to ocean cruising (26.1 percent) citing the following reasons: scenic view/ ability to see the shore line (22.4 percent), shore excursions included in the price (13.5 percent), lack of waves (12.3 percent), easier to disembark/ being on land every day (12.2 percent), smaller ships (7.6 percent) and more socializing opportunities (6 percent).

Adventure and expedition cruising is gaining popularity with an almost even split of respondents interested in taking the exploration route (48.9 percent) versus a sunny beach cruise (51.1 percent).

Daniel Durazo, director of communications for Allianz Global Assistance USA, gave the following statement: “The one product that’s always on trend to put cruisers’ minds at ease is travel insurance.

A big misconception we found in our survey was that many Americans (59.2 percent) believe their cruise line would be equipped to handle serious medical emergencies, when in actuality, cruise lines often require passengers to be transported to the closest medical facility for treatment. Often local medical facilities may not be equipped to handle major medical problems and some cruisers may need to be evacuated by air ambulance to the U.S. for treatment.”

Being airlifted back to the U.S. via air ambulance from Mexico or the Caribbean due to a serious medical issue can cost up to $20,000, which was another misunderstanding found in the survey, where more than half of respondents (56.1 percent) believed that it would cost less than $20,000.

The right travel insurance policy may pay for medical bills incurred and a medical evacuation or cover non-refundable payments if a customer must cancel their cruise due to a reason covered by their policy. It may also cover the cost to catch up to a cruise if a connection is missed, which may be more common since most Americans reported planning on arriving in the departure city of their cruise either the day before (38.5 percent) or the day of (21.5 percent) their cruise, leaving them more susceptible to uncontrollable factors such as flight cancelation or bad weather.

Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies, other travel suppliers and directly to consumers. For more information on Allianz Global Assistance and the policies offered for travelers, please visit:

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
Cruise NewsWhy One-Third of Cruise Passengers Stay on the Ship


  1. Do not use Allianz trip insurance without reading the fine print carefully. Have used them with all our previous cruises. Our November cruise had to be cancelled the day before we left due to my wife came down with a bout of severe depression where she was actually hospitalized for 8 days. She never had depression in the past but Allianz in they contract says this is a pre-exsisting condition. They had the right to refuse due to their contract but the bigger issue is that their customer service is terrible. Sent the claim thru and they said I would be notified in 7 days. Only reason I found out was I checked the website and saw it was declined. Called and asked to speak with a manager and they said there was nothing they could do an hung up. Sent 2 emails that as of today they have not been responded and finally got a letter from them declining the claim about 3 months after the initial claim. Come to find out most other insurance covers mental health issues if the person is hospitalized. On our current cruise coming up, I have insurance that covers this and did not cost more than I paid with Allianz. Their Customer Service is the Worst.

  2. As for medical, we’ve had two medical emergencies by family members. First time on Princess, our son had a severe reaction to fish caught in Red Tides zone, stopped breathing several times and we were frantic we were going to lose him. The medical staff on board were amazing and treated us so kindly. It cost us $1600 and naturally worth every penny. A couple years ago most of our family were on an open air taxi in St Thomas when they were hit by an uninsured driver. The taxi company tried to get my daughter-in-law off the vehicle as quickly as possible despite severe injuries; Carnival workers stood around and didn’t want to help. Strangers approached me, recognizing I was with the victim before and told me about the accident. Carnival customer service treated me like I was a criminal, said that if she needed a wheelchair, she would be refused passage and they would not provide treatment, she would have to go to the hospital, and everyone off-board with her would be refused entry as well, all would have to find their way home or pay their own way to whatever port they may be at. Even though it was their excursion, they were wiping their hands of any responsibility and refused to call the hospital to provide us with updates. She made it back on board several hours later with a police officer chaperone because they were pissed with Carnival’s attitude; and the ship was only held up because they mismanaged boarding resulting in one woman being pushed off the dock and breaking an arm and ribs, and sadly because another passenger drowned at another excursion and they needed to find the family members/pack them up/force them all to de-board. So the medical care and excursions are clearly a mixed bag on the various ships.

  3. I think cruise ships orta do game shows like wheel of fortune or price is right, family fued that would be so awesome to play those games on a cruise an winner really keeps the money, or cash. With no strings attached!! Win like a free cruise or 1,000$ maybe 10,000$ in the bonus round or big showcase, reasonable prizes but awesome prizes????!! That would be great. ????

    • I’ve been on a few ships that do silly versions of TV game shows that vaguely resemble their TV counterpart but you do not get that kind of prize, even though they elude you will. They give you a puzzle or game board or the millionth key chain, the biggest prize I’ve seen is a $25 certificate for a future cruise. And they can be agonizingly long. Maybe fun for 10-15 mins but I’d rather spend all that time elsewhere, like a wine flight event.

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