14 months is what it took me to pay for my Meditterean Cruise vacation. I was eagerly excited to depart on my 7-night Balcony stateroom Royal Carribean Cruise “Symphony of the Seas” from Barcelona, Spain on Sunday, October 7, 2018. My flights were booked on British Airways through ExploreTrip.com. Cruise and airfare cost me $3,000 and I made the decision to not purchase travel insurance for an extra $170.

October 1, I happily jumped out of my bed and headed to beautify myself. I got my hair braided, a mani/pedi, full body wax, eyebrows threaded and eyelash extensions. Early morning of Friday, October 5, I finished packing and was ready to drive 4.5 hours to Washington Dulles airport to catch my British Air flight to Barcelona. I looked for my passport which I could have sworn was already packed inside my purse to find it wasn’t there. I searched my apartment like a crazy mad woman for 6 hours while crying, panicking and screaming. I realized my crying was a bit manic when I saw my 2 sweet cats run and hide under the bed. I worked myself into such a frenzy that my head began pounding, my chest tightened and my breathing shortened. At that point, I gave up my wild search and collapsed to the floor feeling as if I was going to die.

I found an ounce of energy to call Royal Caribbean who said they couldn’t help me, they couldn’t allow me to transfer the funds to another cruise and they won’t refund me. I called British Airways who said they couldn’t help me and to call ExploreTrip. I called ExploreTrip who said they couldn’t help and they won’t refund me a dime. Again I cried loud and hard until I realized I had a photocopy of my passport saved on my email so I asked British Air and Royal Caribbean if they would accept it but they both said “NO”. I called the passport agency and reported my beloved passport missing.

In my 17 years of international traveling, I have never lost my passport. I gave me, myself and I an ultimatum that I will mourn the loss of my $3K vacation the entire weekend and then move on with my life come Monday morning. I spent the entire weekend in the arms of Rum Chata: Horchata Con Ron. Now 2 months later, I’m happy to say this experience will be the absolute last time I don’t purchase travel insurance. If I would have simply paid the extra $170 for travel insurance then I would have received my $3,000 back.

Have you lost money on a vacation because you didn’t buy travel insurance?

 

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