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Did you ever miss the ship?


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2 hours ago, GlamorousGirl said:

No... For this very reason I always go on excursions through the cruise ship (unless docked overnight), and arrive a couple days early for embarkation (unless the port is local). I WOULD have missed the ship once if I hadn’t been on the cruise line’s excursion - the tour operator’s bus broke down and we got back an hour late. Fortunately the ship was forced to wait for us.

 

My SIL had a similar experience with a broken down tour bus returning from Berlin.  It was not a ship excursion.  They were 45 minutes late.  The ship (NCL) waited for them.  So I guess contrary to what a lot of folks claims, it does happen.     

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In January of 2018, a southern Caribbean cruise on Celebrity leaving out of San Juan Puerto Rico ended up departing 4 hours late but still without almost 200 passengers who had missed the embarkation. What was the problem? A big cyclone bomb had hit the USA east coast 1 day earlier and over 6000 flights were affected. Fortunately, my husband and I had booked a flight to San Juan from Orlando, where we had been staying with family for almost a week. Our southwest flight left on time, but it was completely packed, leaving behind 33 standby folks who never made it on the plane. Folks were catching up in Barbados and St. Lucia but I understand that over 100 cruisers just gave up, as it was only a 7 day cruise.

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I've never missed the ship either as a result of arriving late initially or from being late returning to the ship in port. 

 

Several random thoughts:

 

Ship excursions will be late -- because they know that they CAN be late with impunity. I find private companies take much more care to ensure that they will get you back on time -- most reputable ones (I am talking about Europe or Asia, not Caribbean) will not plan anything that will get you back later than one hour before departure and many are even more cautious. 

 

Except for a few "included" ones, I have not taken a ship-sponsored shore excursion since 2005. Most of the time I arrange my day using public transportation but occasionally will book a private tour. I have done Florence and Rome via train (90 mins and 1 hour, respectively, from port), Athens by subway/train, and Barcelona by metro. I've never once been late back or even had a close scrape, although I know it can happen. The devil is in the details. I always try to have a back-up plan, just in case.

 

Speaking of back-up plans, I also will occasionally fly in on the day of a cruise. Once, my son and I were the last ones to board in Vancouver for an Alaska cruise. We had taken the offered air arrangements from the cruise line, so we weren't terribly worried but still not a nice feeling when you're walking into the large departures hall and it is empty save for you and a few staff...  Another time I arrived on the "day of" my Med cruise, departing from Rome. I had gotten a very cheap last minute deal on the cruise and the only reasonable flight (in terms of cost) arrived in the morning at the Rome airport. I had no problems -- but had there been delays, I knew that the next stop of the ship was in Naples -- only an hour away by train, so no biggie. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

Speaking of back-up plans, I also will occasionally fly in on the day of a cruise. Once, my son and I were the last ones to board in Vancouver for an Alaska cruise. We had taken the offered air arrangements from the cruise line, so we weren't terribly worried but still not a nice feeling when you're walking into the large departures hall and it is empty save for you and a few staff... 

 

I guess I'm an outlier among CC members, I generally aim to be one the of last to board, I like the lack of lines or hassle.  We typically drop our luggage off in the morning then go out for a leisurely lunch somewhere before heading back to the ship.  I figure we're going to be eating the food on the ship for at least a couple of weeks or more (we tend to do longer cruises) so missing one meal (and at the buffet, something I try to avoid at all costs) doesn't bother me a bit.  Also, as for the last five years or so I usually boarded with two wheelchair bound passengers, having a lot of space and willing helpers was useful.

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37 minutes ago, euro cruiser said:

 

I guess I'm an outlier among CC members, I generally aim to be one the of last to board, I like the lack of lines or hassle.  We typically drop our luggage off in the morning then go out for a leisurely lunch somewhere before heading back to the ship.  I figure we're going to be eating the food on the ship for at least a couple of weeks or more (we tend to do longer cruises) so missing one meal (and at the buffet, something I try to avoid at all costs) doesn't bother me a bit.  Also, as for the last five years or so I usually boarded with two wheelchair bound passengers, having a lot of space and willing helpers was useful.

 

I also prefer being among the last, but it was an uncomfortable feeling arriving when literally everyone else was aboard and it was clear they were only awaiting us before getting underway. :classic_wacko:

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On 5/15/2020 at 2:53 AM, ldubs said:

 

My SIL had a similar experience with a broken down tour bus returning from Berlin.  It was not a ship excursion.  They were 45 minutes late.  The ship (NCL) waited for them.  So I guess contrary to what a lot of folks claims, it does happen.     

Yes, it may happen but I wouldn't want to rely on it.

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