It’s always a cruiser’s nightmare to be stranded in port after missing their cruise ship.
Though it could be due to several reasons, the bottom line is, these incidents happen. So, if you’re a passenger and suddenly you find yourself standing alone on the dock after missing your cruise ship, don’t panic.
There are clear guidelines ships must follow to notify and assist unboarded passengers. But with the right preparation and awareness, you can make sure a failure to be onboard doesn’t happen in the first place.
Here are some of our tips on how to avoid missing your cruise ship, and what to do if you’ve actually missed it.
On missing your cruise trip
For cruise passengers who missed their cruise ship, here are some points to consider:
Look for the cruise port or ship agent
Cruise lines always have their ship or port agent in the area to attend to passengers needs. Also, the ship agent is responsible for supervising and coordinating everything for the cruise line in every port call. So, If a cruiser was late in returning to the ship, the vessel’s crew informs the agent so the latter could attend to the cruiser’s needs as soon as they get back to the port. In this case, port agents could help cruisers contact the cruise ship and make some travel arrangements.
See if you could go to the next port of call
For some, their scheduled cruise could mean the world to them. So, if you are a cruiser and are willing to exhaust all possible means to get onboard, you may call your cruise ship and let them know where you are and ask them if you could meet with the ship in the next port of call. You may also opt to call the cruise line’s customer care department and let them know what happened and ask if they could assist you with bookings and trip accommodations.
Call or go to your embassy
This is advised for foreigners especially those who do not speak the language of the place. A call to your embassy would be a great help in figuring out what the next steps are for you after you miss your trip. If your embassy is within proximity to the port you’re in, you may call a taxi to take you there. People in the embassy can help you with your needs and will even have you talk to someone who could potentially help you with your dilemma.
Contact your travel agent, cruise line, and insurance provider
Once you miss your trip, for sure you don’t want to make arrangements by yourself so, you have to call your cruise line, your travel agent, and your insurance provider (if you have any). They will help you plan out your next step whether to follow the ship in the next destination or just head home. You may also check with your travel insurance provider if you get a refund for missing your cruise ship because of delayed flights but this is on a case to case basis.
Relax and don’t panic
For cruisers who missed their ship, there are still options other than heading home. Instead of harbouring on the thought of missing your trip and feeling devastated, you may explore the port you find yourself in. Every port of call has its unique features to offer to travelers and who knows, you’ll find yourself having the best experience of your life. Though, this would mean an extra chunk from your wallet.
Tips to not miss your cruise trip
While missing a cruise trip is undeniably a frightening situation, arming yourself with the necessary knowledge and preparations can help avoid missing your trip in the first place.
Be mindful of the time
For cruisers, it is a must to always be mindful of time differences during cruise trips. In the event the the ship sails across time zones, there’s always a possibility of a time gap between ship time and onshore time. During excursions, it is always a must that cruisers do not lose track of the allowed number of hours offshore. An alarm clock will come in handy for cruisers so they’ll be reminded of the time.
Be at the cruise port hours before departure
For some cruisers, they tend to spend extra for an overnight stay in a hotel near their port of departure. Most homeports especially in Australia are near their city’s Central Business Districts (CBD) which have plenty of hotels and accommodations to choose from. This way, cruise passengers will be able to reach the port on time and avoid missing their trips. This will also give them ample time to prepare some essentials needed for the trip.
Secure copies of important documents and information
Cruisers are always advised to secure photocopies of their important documents such as passports, driver’s licenses, credit cards, phone numbers of the ship, contacts of port agent, as well as the cruise line’s customer care contact details. Furthermore, it is also best if you have the address and contact details of your country’s embassy in all the ports listed in the ship’s itinerary. This information will come in handy during worst-case scenarios such as missing your cruise ship.