Q – We will be taking our two teenage girls on a Christmas Cruise aboard the Celebrity Eclipse. Our travel agent wants us to take Celebrity’s insurance but has been less than helpful in educating us on this fairly important component of our trip.  One of the girls has, what I think would be, a “pre-existing” condition. Do you agree with our agent?

A – No, not at all. Private insurance is generally more comprehensive. Celebrity’s insurance is outsourced to BerkeleyCare, a New York based insurance firm used by most of the major lines. Their policies are not age-based so you will be sharing in the premium costs of older onboard guests.

We think you should take out an independent policy from one of the better independent firms like Travelex. Your policy will be age=based and you can have the pre-exisiting condition exclusion waived if you take out the policy within two weeks of your initial cruise deposit payment. If your agent cannot discuss insurance options intelligently – suggest that she take up real estate.