Generally, speakers travel on cruises Space Available. That means you are NOT locked into a slot. If the line can fill a room for a few grand, you are expendable. They have enough entertainment that you, frankly, are not needed. Sorry. It happened to me twice. I was even “confirmed.” Dang, what about your planned, announced and approved vacation time. Well, that’s the risk of not being a celebrity.
I highly suggest you get travel insurance. .. AKA Trip Cancellation Insurance. Since the tour is free, you need to protect your airline investment. I did a cruise and the company booked my air. Great – nohassle. But when I got bumped I had to pay the cancellation fees on my credit card I gave the line. Gee, is that fair? No. But but but…I paid the $400 rather than ruffle feathers. I did politely protest to no avail. I did not want to stink up the banquet table. That line has some awesome and expensive cruises. So I ate it. Trip insurance would have covered that. There are many on the market, You cruise line will even recommend one. Most cover weather delays and a family death.
For a few hundred – about 10% of your money put-out can get you up to $2500 in coverage. Ask and read the policies. A good idea.