A major appeal of cruising is the worry-free, no-hassle aspect. You get on board, unpack once and from then on you're in cruise mode. Chance of delayed connections close to zero, motor vehicle accidents nil and only a remote possibility of theft or any of the other mishaps for which you need cover – so why bother with travel insurance? In fact, things can and do go awry.
Lost luggage before or after your cruise, delays that cause you to miss your vessel and sickness or death of a family member at home are just some of the reasons you might face unexpected costs, and none of these are the responsibility of your cruise operator. The major reason you need insurance cover is medical expenses. The dreaded norovirus can lay you low for days or even weeks after you return from your cruise, preventing a return to work and lost income for which your cruise operator might not offer compensation.
If your vessel is cruising in Australian waters and you require treatment, if you are treated by a doctor who does not have a Medicare provider number you can't claim a Medicare rebate. If your condition could not be treated on board and a medical evacuation is required, the cost will be astronomical without insurance cover. There are several travel insurers that offer cover specifically for cruise passengers and it's usually cheaper than the cost of full travel cover. Mad if you don't.