Yes, folks they do hold the boat.
I had a cruise on the Fantasy with some friends. I had to pick up their twins in Jacksonville at UNF, and drive to Canaveral. I had two and a half hours, which should have been plenty of time. WRONG! Boys were late, traffic bad, and everything you can think of didn't work.
I called the twins parents on their cell phone, and they said they would talk to someone on the ship. They also said to have fun with the boys, 'cause they weren't getting back off if I missed the ship
I arrived 15 minutes late. There was a supervisor at the curb saying into her radio "the Tahoe is here, the Tahoe has arrived" (that is what I drive). She yelled at me to park the car, and she would check everyone in....and boy did she!
We boarded the ship off the pier as they had already pulled the gangway back, told us that we had missed the famous drill, and closed the "hatch" behind us as we walked on. I noticed all the lines were already pulled in.
Now you know why I love Carnival.....I just regret I didn't get that supervisor's name who helped us so so so much.