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How to prepare for travel disasters: What travel agents say you should know

By Jaccii Farris, Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 14 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 15 2013 04:55:37 PM CST

How to prepare for travel disasters

Travel agents say the disaster aboard Carnival's Triumph  was a freak incident and not the norm for cruise liners.

But whether it's smooth sailing or not, WFMZ's Jaccii Farris has some tips for travelers to prepare if something like this happens.

The epic "vacation fail" aboard Carnival Cruise liner Triumph has captured the national spotlight.

The passengers are getting their money back, a free cruise and $500 cash.

But Sally McCorrison with AAA says it's unlikely this will have a negative impact on the cruise industry.

"People who want to cruise will still cruise. I read one woman got off the ship and said she won't cruise again, I read another man said I can't wait to take my free cruise," said McCorrison.

But before you book that vacation at sea, you need to read the fine print on your ticket contract so you know what to expect should something go wrong and what your rights are as a traveler.

The carnival contract spells out deadlines for litigation, where you have to file a lawsuit and action the cruise line can take against you for damage or debts, including confiscating your money and  personal belongings.

McCorrison says January and February are known as wave season and set the pace for the rest of the year.

She says cruises lines are churning out deals and says not to be surprised if you seen one soon for the Triumph.

"She will be out of service until at least April and they will want fill the ship up when she comes back in May or June and there will probably be some very good prices, Yes," said McCorrison.

McCorrison says no matter how you travel make sure you do a couple of things first.

Bring extra medicine, get travel insurance and know exactly what it covers  and consider using a travel agency that can help you navigate during a crisis.