I've been accused of "missing the boat" a few times in my life, but has anyone out there ever really missed the boat at one of the ports? If so, what did you do? I've heard horror stories of "locals" who will be happy to run you out to the ship for a "price". Then I hear you must climb up the ladder?????????
Please let me hear your stories.
Thursday Chat Host
We missed the boat due to flight delays into Fort Lauderdale two years ago. Most disappointing was that the cruise started off with two days at sea, so we missed those as well. Lucky for us our insurance kicked in. We got a flight the next day to St. Thomas, stayed in a hotel for three nights until the ship came in on Wednesday morning. As well, I have to mention that Princess was also very generous - giving us a substantial shipboard credit to compensate for lost meals, entertainment and overall enjoyment. I will never go without insurance again!
We missed the ship once due to bad weather in our home city (flight cancellations). We then took a flight to the first port of call and spend a day there and waited for teh ship. However, the seas near that port were not very good, so teh ship decided to skip this port and proceed to the next port. So, we flew to teh next port and finally met up with the ship there. We lost 3 days from our vacation!
I sympathize with people who miss the ship due to airplanes being late. But I do not feel sorry for the ones who miss the ship at one of the port stops. This last cruise we were on (the Century), we saw people running like crazy to make it back on board at EVERY port. At one port we encountered a couple who actually did miss the ship and we watched (what we thought) was a kind local boater who ran them out, and by the way, they did have to climb a ladder to get on board. What I didn't realize is that there are persons who are looking for monitary rewards to do this favor. Anyway, anyone who leaves returning to the ship until the last second is not thinking too smartly!
We too saw a couple almost miss the boat at the end of a port stop in the Caribbean. They were lucky in that a harbor boat ran them out to the ship. And yes, they did have to be "lifted" via harnesses and a ladder. We watched it all from our balcony. We will always make it a point to return to the ship in plenty of time when at port!
I saw this happen once, on a cruise in 1995 leaving St. Croix, I watched this from my balcony off what I must say was a most wonderfull mini-suite on Star Princess; the ship had already pulled away from the pier and I was outside watching the process, and here comes this couple running down the pier frantic. Lucky for them the ship did hold up and a harbor boat brought them out to the ship. They didn't have to climb a ladder or anything like that, the ship dropped the access pier that is used for tenders so they could just climb aboard on that. I did hear the whole adventure cost them $500, though, for the delay in time and/or the harbor boat that brought them out. Ouch! After seeing this, believe me, when I do my own thing in port I'm ALWAYS on time for departure!
Yes, unbelievably, it happens all the time. I think the cruise lines prefer that a pilot boat do the honors, because they're accustomed to picking up and dropping off the harbor pilots via the ladders. Of course, the pilots are used to it. Have watched a number of passengers--all color drained from their faces--confronted with having to time the leap to the ladder to match the swells, then climb to the door. To make matters worse, the reason for being late is often related to excessive alcohol consumption ashore, which I'm sure makes it even more of an adventure.
An adventure worth passing up, because of the danger, plus the hefty fee, plus the likelihood of a required meeting with the captain--and not for cocktails.