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What happens if someone fails to board a cruise?

Do you know what to do if you are left behind on a cruise? Know about important things if someone gets left behind on a cruise.

By Cruise Booking Team

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One thing that every cruise traveler does not want to happen is arriving late for boarding the ship and being left behind. This is frequently the result of poor time management and arriving in the destination city on the embarkation day. Several cruise lines have agents present in the port area to help passengers if the ship departs without them. When cruisers are late returning to the ship, the crew members will usually remove the passengers' vital items off the ship, such as passports, mobile phones, and medication, and leave them in the hands of port agents.

What Happens if a Passenger Fails to Board a Cruise?

In case you are left behind and fail to reach your cruise ship, below are the things you should know about.

1 - Check your travel insurance 

Always purchase travel insurance before embarking on a voyage, as it may contain a clause that covers you if you fail to board the cruise ship. Most insurance policies are great since they offer coverage for these unfortunate events. However, others may only offer a minimal level of coverage. You must contact the insurance provider since they will promptly arrange the ship's transportation to the next port of call. Some policies will completely cover the cost of transportation, while some may cover the cost partially.

2 - Ship time and port time

This might be confusing, especially for first-time cruise passengers, because there is a substantial difference between the ship's time and the real-time in the port. This confusion arises as a result of the different time zones across which cruisers have to travel to reach the embarkation port. The best course of action is to set your phone to the ship's time and set reminders to ensure that you maintain track of time to avoid such scenarios.

3 - Immediately contact your cruise line

If you miss your cruise, contact the ship and the cruise line's customer service department immediately to let them know what happened. They can help you figure out how to get on the cruise ship in one of the upcoming ports of call and book necessary accommodations and travel. They may also arrange transportation, such as a flight, cab, or bus, but you must pay for it.

Also Read: What are the rules on a cruise ship?

4 - Keep photocopies of documents

Keep photocopies of crucial documents such as passports, driver's licenses, and credit cards, as well as phone numbers of the cruise ship, port agent, and cruise line customer care. The originals can be left in the safe in your cabin, but you must carry these copies with you. You should also know the address and phone number of your country's embassy in the port you're going to. All of this vital information should be kept in your wallet or backpack, which you always carry.

5 - Book shore excursions through the cruise line

Booking shore excursions through a cruise line is the best thing to do, as the ship must wait until all the passengers return onboard. Suppose passengers do not arrive at the ship within a specific time frame. In that case, the ship may depart for the next destination and take financial and transportation responsibility to ensure those passengers arrive on time at the next port of call. If you book a private shore excursion, ensure the provider has a track record of being on time. If cruise passengers go on a private shore excursion and arrive late at the port, the ship will not wait for them.

6 - Fly to your departure port the day before embarkation

The easiest way to ensure that you board the cruise ship on time is to be at the embarkation city a day before the ship's departure. Even if a flight is delayed or a car breaks down, you will have enough time to arrange transportation if you do this. By arriving a day ahead of time, you can comfortably check out of the hotel and take a cab to the embarkation port.


It is essential to have thorough preparation and a clear travel plan to avoid any delay in reaching the embarkation port. Gather all the information about what you can do if you miss the cruise ship so you don't have to cancel your vacation. To make the most of your holiday, arrive at the cruise ship with plenty of time to spare.

Tags: cruise lines

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