FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — School vacation is next week for many districts in Massachusetts public schools and families will be heading on trips. With multiple cruise ships having passengers in quarantine because of the outbreak of coronavirus, travel agents have been fielding many questions from people and families already booked on cruises during the vacation week.
At the Travel Leaders office in Framingham, agents have been helping clients adjust their travel and, in some cases, cancel their trips. Those agents said there are some things to know before you make any adjustments to your vacation plans.
"There is a cruise ship right now that had a client on it that came from [Asia] and now it is sitting at sea,” said Lesley Hock of Travel Leaders. “People can't get off the street."
There have been multiple reports of cruise ships having to stay out at sea to deal with potential cases of coronavirus. Travel consultants like Hock say they are getting cancelations from concerned travelers. She added that she has been urging clients to purchase cancelation insurance, which comes with health insurance.
“If you get sick while you are outside the country then you can call the insurance company and they will get you to a doctor or if you have to leave they will pay for tickets to come home,” she said.
Hock’s office is closely monitoring restrictions and alerts for coronavirus. She says one mother and daughter canceled their Shanghai cruise before it was eventually canceled. Hock says if they had just waited a little longer they would have gotten a full refund instead of future cruise credit.
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"Had she waited two days, then the cruise was canceled and she would have had all her money back," Hock said.
Travel Leaders was also working with a large group that has people coming from China that ended up canceling their trip.
A cruise ship industry expert out of the Washington D.C. area told Boston 25 News that cancellations in the Asian market are much higher than in areas like the Caribbean.
“Eighty-two percent of them are reporting no cancellations,” said John Lovell of Travel Leaders. “With 10% of them reporting very low cancellations.”
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