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.
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!
Other parts of the John Heald Interview: