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Edge Late Leaving St Maarten Due To Late Returning Passengers


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5 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

That's what the cruise lines love to hear!

 

We almost never take ship excursions and have never missed our boarding time. With a bit of research, it's easy to find reputable tour providers whose excursions are less expensive and often smaller in size. And in some cases, the same company provides the same excursion to the cruise line, but the cruise line inflates the price.

 

There are also companies like Shore Excursion Group that broker excursions. They tend to be better quality and cheaper than ship excursions, though more expensive than excursions booked directly, and they offer the same guarantee as the cruise lines for not leaving you stranded.

 

Booking a ship excursion is very easy, and ideal for those unwilling or unable to take the time to research alternatives. But private and DIY excursions are well worth exploring if you are so inclined.

In normal times I completely agree.

But with the current state of things very much unknown on islands--many many businesses still closed, etc., for the first time ever I booked excursions for our E. Caribbean cruise. I am also traveling with my 76YO mother, a bit to make her feel more comfortable too. DH & I are traveling the week before & will go on our own in Nassau--perhaps our experience will help me decide the best plan for the next week. Unfortunately we have to use ship excursions in Cozumel...and possibly Costa Maya (or "cruise approved" tour operators there--not sure exactly what that means yet)

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Just now, KKB said:

In normal times I completely agree.

But with the current state of things very much unknown on islands--many many businesses still closed, etc., for the first time ever I booked excursions for our E. Caribbean cruise. I am also traveling with my 76YO mother, a bit to make her feel more comfortable too. DH & I are traveling the week before & will go on our own in Nassau--perhaps our experience will help me decide the best plan for the next week. Unfortunately we have to use ship excursions in Cozumel...and possibly Costa Maya (or "cruise approved" tour operators there--not sure exactly what that means yet)

Yes, my comments were certainly intended to address shore excursions in more normal times. While the pandemic continues to shape activities ashore, each cruise and its restrictions need to be evaluated separately. 

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I’ve done a number of private tours and loved them. But agree you are taking a risk using one. I’ve been on ones that pretty much go to the same spots as the ship tours, but they are smaller and they get you there prior to the major tours and so on. I’ve done on my own such as HOHO’s and use the city tours run by their CoC’s kind of organizations. Fun. 

 

But with that said, I watch out where the tour is going, and I make sure it’s not something that has little/no backup getting to the ship such as some boat tour that gets back close to the departure, or if during a city high traffic times. tough getting back and many times the ship Will Not Wait.

 

Two examples of ‘what the heck?’:

- A large group decided to fly from Chicago to San Diego in January for a Panama Canal Cruise and they flew, at least tried to fly, in the day of……anyone want to guess what happened? they then spent 3 days flying to Mexico City then a flight down to a small S Mexico port to finally cath us, then spent the rest of the cruse telling everybody their story of sorrow. who would have thought there’d be issues flying from Chicago in the winter??

  - two early 20’s didn’t get back to the ship in time in Key West. No tour, no issues except they didn’t know when the ship left. Heck, you can see the ship fro all over KW and see the 2,418 cruisers heading back!?! the family had to pay a fine for them missing the rest of the cruise, they had to send them money to get a car to drive back up to the return port and hotels and meal costs. Gee, I wonder why those two ‘adults’ missed the ship? Could be the family took care of their inability to take care of themselves so why worry??

 

Den

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4 minutes ago, Denny01 said:

  - two early 20’s didn’t get back to the ship in time in Key West. No tour, no issues except they didn’t know when the ship left.

 

We were on an overnight stop in Boston once, and could not remember the ship departure time.  This has never happened to us before or after.  We usually take cruises that stop out of the US, but since we were in the US, we were able to easily call the cruise line HQ, and they advised us when the ship was leaving.  We were back in pretty of time, and got to enjoy a ride through the big dig tunnel.

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35 minutes ago, cruiserchuck said:

 

We were on an overnight stop in Boston once, and could not remember the ship departure time.  This has never happened to us before or after.  We usually take cruises that stop out of the US, but since we were in the US, we were able to easily call the cruise line HQ, and they advised us when the ship was leaving.  We were back in pretty of time, and got to enjoy a ride through the big dig tunnel.

It’s aways tricky isn’t it. Done some stuff such as that! But I don’t own up to it……I use to blame the kids, now that they are gone, now I blame the cat!

 

den

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Denny01 said:

 

  - two early 20’s didn’t get back to the ship in time in Key West. No tour, no issues except they didn’t know when the ship left. Heck, you can see the ship fro all over KW and see the 2,418 cruisers heading back!?! the family had to pay a fine for them missing the rest of the cruise, they had to send them money to get a car to drive back up to the return port and hotels and meal costs. Gee, I wonder why those two ‘adults’ missed the ship? Could be the family took care of their inability to take care of themselves so why worry??

 

On our Spring Break constellation frat party (like 76% college kids),  a boy got into a fight with a  bouncer (bouncer called out his fake ID). Hooskow for you...OH, and that 21 YO buddy who agreed to be the "adult" of the room? He has to get off too, cuz he is your "guardian." OH, and your underage buddies in the room too cuz, well, the guardian is gone. 

Inconvenient & costly to be sure--but what if that had happened in a foreign country?

 

Edited by KKB
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We typically buy excursions through the ship for that very reason.  There have been exceptions, but they are rare.  Yes, the line loves us for it, and they will show their love when they hang around for us should something go wrong.  I figure it's cheap insurance.  After twenty-six years (and counting) of cruising, all the money we could have saved by booking our own would not be worth being left behind on our own even once.

 

We've been on a number of cruises where the ship has waited on passengers who were late returning from excursions sold through the ship. One particular one was during a Panama Canal cruise.  Many of the excursions went into San Jose, and there happened to be protest that happened in town.  Traffic was a total mess, and a number of passengers were a good 90 minutes or so late (like Edge this time).  If you went in on your own and got back before all the the ship excursions returned, way to go.  If not (and some didn't), kiss your Canal trek goodbye.  The next stop was on the other side.  I hope those folks could find a place to stay in Cartagena.

 

We've never been late, but we've had a couple of very close calls where the horn was blowing before we even got back to the room to drop off our stuff.  I wasn't terribly worried because we had bought the tour through the ship.  Had we not, I might've been making diamonds in my shorts.

 

5 hours ago, dkjretired said:

All it takes is once. Also, check you tube, one of the favorite pastimes of many is watching the runners at the pier.

 

Yep.  That's us.  It really is something to behold.  We're going to be cruising with a friend who never has cruised before.  One of the stops is Cozumel, and we let her know about the runners.  Senor Frog's ought to open up a transportation service and get a little extra profit off the cruisers that spend too much time there!

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A side topic about passports. Many guest always recommend not taking passports with you in foreign ports. Some advise taking a picture of your passport . Don’t do this. If for any number of reasons you find yourself stranded in a foreign port, believe me, you’ll need your passport book to get a flight home or to the next port. I have a wallet attached to my belt that is inside my shorts , to protect against pick pockets . As American Express used to say “Dont leave home (or ship) without it 😁

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12 minutes ago, runningtide said:

A side topic about passports. Many guest always recommend not taking passports with you in foreign ports. Some advise taking a picture of your passport . Don’t do this. If for any number of reasons you find yourself stranded in a foreign port, believe me, you’ll need your passport book to get a flight home or to the next port. I have a wallet attached to my belt that is inside my shorts , to protect against pick pockets . As American Express used to say “Dont leave home (or ship) without it 😁

This topic has been addressed many times. There is an accepted alternative to taking it with you and safely carrying it in a hidden pocket/moneybelt/neck wallet. And that is to leave it in your cabin safe. If you are a no show at the pier, then ship's  security will look in the safe (but no where else) and hand it over  to the port agent.

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16 minutes ago, runningtide said:

A side topic about passports. Many guest always recommend not taking passports with you in foreign ports. Some advise taking a picture of your passport . Don’t do this. If for any number of reasons you find yourself stranded in a foreign port, believe me, you’ll need your passport book to get a flight home or to the next port. I have a wallet attached to my belt that is inside my shorts , to protect against pick pockets . As American Express used to say “Dont leave home (or ship) without it 😁

 

If you miss he ship, they take your passport out of your safe for you and leave it at the pier with your luggage.

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14 minutes ago, runningtide said:

A side topic about passports. Many guest always recommend not taking passports with you in foreign ports. Some advise taking a picture of your passport . Don’t do this. If for any number of reasons you find yourself stranded in a foreign port, believe me, you’ll need your passport book to get a flight home or to the next port. I have a wallet attached to my belt that is inside my shorts , to protect against pick pockets . As American Express used to say “Dont leave home (or ship) without it 😁

 

On some cruises in the past, the cruise line took possession of all passports, and only released them to passengers at certain prearranged times, when needed to show to authorities.

 

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On 7/7/2021 at 8:36 PM, stinkyenglishteacher said:

Glad it wasn’t a huge deal and that they’re safe.
 

Full disclosure: nothing makes me quite as happy as watching folks drunkenly rush down the pier in Cozumel. I get back on board and find a prime spot just to watch this event, which I wish was an Olympic sport. 

To take this up a notch, it has to be a weekend booze cruise the leaves Cozumel at midnight.  We were there on one of these cruises and the crew had wheel chairs at the beginning of the pier to wheel back the drunks that couldn't walk straight.  Great entertainment.

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A couple of years ago we did a TA from Port Canaveral to Barcelona. First stop after leaving Port Canaveral was the Azores. One day before the scheduled Florida departure date a couple who was booked on the TA flew in to Miami from out of state. At about lunchtime they took an uber to the Port of Miami to start their cruise - hello, the cruise ship they were booked on was not at the dock in Miami. A frantic call to the cruise line determined they (the couple) had made a mistake and the ship was scheduled to leave from Port Canaveral and not Miami. They had to frantically get an uber from Miami to Port Canaveral and just made the ship by the skin of their teeth!

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26 minutes ago, runningtide said:

A side topic about passports. Many guest always recommend not taking passports with you in foreign ports. Some advise taking a picture of your passport . Don’t do this. If for any number of reasons you find yourself stranded in a foreign port, believe me, you’ll need your passport book to get a flight home or to the next port. I have a wallet attached to my belt that is inside my shorts , to protect against pick pockets . As American Express used to say “Dont leave home (or ship) without it 😁

Totally agree. I never enter a foreign country without my passport, a habit developed as a teenager with his first passport almost 60 years ago. Having lived in Europe and having travelled internationally for work and leisure ever since, carrying a passport is second nature. I've no issue with those who prefer to keep them locked up aboard, but I'm completely comfortable with my tried and true approach. 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Fouremco said:

Celebrity likes to use the "Never Left Behind" phrase for its shore excursion advertising, which many interpret to mean the ship won't sail without you. But as others have explained, it simply means that they won't leave you stranded at the port, as they'll transport you to the next port to meet up with your ship. Whether or not your ship will wait for you depends on a number of factors, including port regulations and schedules, additional port fees, the number of passengers who are late, weather, and the whims of the captain. 

 

That said, the ship will usually wait long enough to reboard the delayed passengers, so you'll seldom read about such incidents on CC.

That is good to know.  I always took the phrase at face value without reading the fine print.

Edited by NMTraveller
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9 hours ago, ShawninFL said:

To take this up a notch, it has to be a weekend booze cruise the leaves Cozumel at midnight.  We were there on one of these cruises and the crew had wheel chairs at the beginning of the pier to wheel back the drunks that couldn't walk straight.  Great entertainment.

I have never had the joy of this particular experience, and now there’s a hole in my heart. 

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11 hours ago, mom says said:

This topic has been addressed many times. There is an accepted alternative to taking it with you and safely carrying it in a hidden pocket/moneybelt/neck wallet. And that is to leave it in your cabin safe. If you are a no show at the pier, then ship's  security will look in the safe (but no where else) and hand it over  to the port agent.

Yes.., I understand the cruise company will turn over your passport to the port agent. My point is I dont want to rely on a foreign government agent to connect me to my passport in a timely manner, if at all. There are too many variables, that can cause you to miss the ship, and I want the opportunity if possible to catch the ship at the next port, and not have to track down the port agent. But i do understand other opinions are valid also. Just a matter of choice. 

 

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4 hours ago, runningtide said:

I dont want to rely on a foreign government agent

Just to clarify: the port agent is not a foreign government employee. (S)he is contracted by the cruise line to act on their behalf for many business dealings at that port.  Dealing with late pax is just one small part of their responsibilities.

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4 hours ago, runningtide said:

Yes.., I understand the cruise company will turn over your passport to the port agent. My point is I dont want to rely on a foreign government agent to connect me to my passport in a timely manner, if at all. There are too many variables, that can cause you to miss the ship, and I want the opportunity if possible to catch the ship at the next port, and not have to track down the port agent. But i do understand other opinions are valid also. Just a matter of choice. 

 

You would have to deal with the port agent in any case to figure out how and where to reunite with the ship.  And as noted, the port agent is not a government agent.  They're a third party service contracted to handle a variety of issues, including dealing with passengers who miss the ship. 

 

If I'm going to the beach, my passport stays in my safe on the ship.  If I'm going out touring, I'd be more likely to carry it with me.

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12 minutes ago, bEwAbG said:

 

You would have to deal with the port agent in any case to figure out how and where to reunite with the ship.  And as noted, the port agent is not a government agent.  They're a third party service contracted to handle a variety of issues, including dealing with passengers who miss the ship. 

 

If I'm going to the beach, my passport stays in my safe on the ship.  If I'm going out touring, I'd be more likely to carry it with me.

I stand corrected regarding the port agent. Good to know their relationship with the cruise lines. But I stand by my preference to carry my passport in foreign ports. Thanks for the clarification !

 

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