Interview with John Heald: Left Behind on a Cruise

cruise ship at the dock

Carnival Breeze in Antigua

It happens frequently.  For one reason or another passengers arrive at the dock after the posted departure time at a port stop.  The thing about cruise ships – they’re punctual.  If the schedule says the ship departs at 5pm, arriving at the dock at 5:01 means watching the ship leave without you.  Ships rarely stay in port past their departure time.  I’ve seen it happen for a medical emergency where the ship next to us had an ambulance come down the dock and remove someone.  That ship was supposed to leave before ours, but was still there when we left the dock.

if you're late on a ship's excursion they'll wait

When our Canary Island Tour arrived at the dock late they hurried everyone aboard and pulled in the gangplank

I’ve also arrived late a couple times – but as part of a shore excursion purchased on the ship.  One of them was a Canary Island Tour on the Breeze.   For that the ship will wait.  That’s one advantage of taking one of the ship’s excursions.  For the most part though that ship leaves the dock when it says it will – with or without everyone on board.  I’ve been on cruises where a few people did get left behind at one port or another more than once.

In this video John Heald says what happens after Carnival passengers miss the ship and what to do in case that person is ever you.

When our Canary Island tour got back to the dock, passengers on their balconies clapped as the crew ushered us aboard and pulled in the gangplank ready to head out to sea for a five day Atlantic crossing.  Just as the ship started to pull away the captain saw one last passenger running down the dock.  In a move unprecedented on any prior cruise I’ve sailed on he actually reversed from pulling away to returning to the dock for the straggler.  That guy got very lucky as the odds of him having to find his own way across the ocean were nearly certain at that point.  Had it not been the last port before a long ocean crossing he’d have been left behind for sure.

In this interview with the captain of the Breeze he tells why he went back to the dock for the last straggler at the final port before a transatlantic crossing.

If there is anyone out there who has been left behind that would like to share their story please contact me.   I’d love to have your story as a guest post on this blog!

More Interviews with John Heald:

Carnival Breeze – Things To Do and Best Kept Secrets

Carnival Breeze – Best Places

Life on a ship and Funships 2.0


Rescue at Sea

Quick Fire Questions

American Table

Copyright My Cruise Stories 2014

About LBcruiseshipblogger

MyCruiseStories blog tells stories about adventures in cruising on ships big and small. Things to do onboard and in port. Anything connected to cruising. Also food, travel, recipes, towel animals, and the occasional random blog.
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7 Responses to Interview with John Heald: Left Behind on a Cruise

  1. Chris says:

    First to comment this time. I don’t think I have ever had the first coment anywhere.

    Although not on a cruise I did get called onto a police boat for snorkeling in a marine sanctuary once in the Philippines. Because I was snorkeling I had no id, money or even normal clothes. I was wearing a wet suit because of sun burns I had got snorkeling all day a few days before. (no better sun screen then 3 mm of neoprene). Lucky for me I got them to let me go back to the boat I came on to get my wallet. When I got back the boat I came on said lets just leave so that’s what we did but that police boat had rounded up about 50 people that hadn’t got off. For those who had nothing but their swim suit I’m sure they had a lot of trouble when they got to where ever they go to pay that fine not to mention they just lost a vacation day. The marine sanctuary is only marked by a line of bouys that also fall the edge where the water goes from shallow to a drop off so unless you know it’s a sanctuary it looks like they have marked off the shallow water for boat traffic. I also heard the police boat was not a common thing but they would do it once in a while to make some money for the city. Many of the tour guides in this area were actually standing on the corals just outside the boarder so they are not really doing much to protect marine life.

    • So you got close to getting left behind and hauled off, but escaped. Got to watch out for those police boats. I took a picture of one once and they turned on their flashing lights and zoomed right to where we were and pulled us over. Didn’t get a ticket though.

      Shame about the people standing on the coral. The natives did that where we stayed in Fiji too and it was all broken up and in horrible shape from it.

      • Chris says:

        The corals they were standing on were large and the sides were fine but they were all dead on the tops where they get stood on all the time.

        The police boat had a small boat to round people up and take them to the big boat. I didn’t even know the were there until the little boat was right next to me yelling at me but I was snorkeling at the time so I just watching below the water not above it.

  2. If that happened to me, I would be sick to my stomach. Or, after watching this video (John B gives good interview), sick in the wallet. On a positive negative note, it would be the ultimate Lame Adventure. Sorry I didn’t get to this post sooner, but I’ve fallen behind in my blog reading and I knew you had posted a video and I wanted to watch it.

    How’s your recovery going?

    • You summed the whole left behind thing up pretty well. A great adventure, but very draining on the wallet.

      As for the arm, on the plus side I ended up with more range of motion than either the doctor or therapist thought I would have, so that’s really good. On the questionable side there is some sort of nerve issue with the one that runs through the elbow and down to the two fingers that are in the middle if you just consider fingers. Those two fingers are a bit slow and clumsy and lacking for feeling. Nerves take 6 months to a year to heal they said so it will be some time before I know if that is permanent or not.

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