I was reading in another area of CM about a gentleman who was very upset because his ship was late coming in and boarding was delayed. Apparently the cruise line (Celebrity) took the passengers who were waiting to embark to a restaurant for sandwiches. If I remember correctly, this was the fellow's first cruise.
I wonder how many of us have ever been involved in serious delays -- most of which are probably caused by weather, most of the rest by mechanical problems?
I've been involved in two ...
One was a very late return (2 pm rather than 8 am) to Philadelphia from Bermuda (Horizon) due to skirting around a hurricane on the way home. We didn't mind much, it was a nice sail up the Delaware River and we got an up-close-and-personal look at the S.S. United States. One young couple, though, was absolutely frantic. They were due to be attendants in a wedding THAT AFTERNOON. The young woman had her bridesmaid's dress with her (wore it one formal night) and the fellow had his tux.
The staff rallied around, magically produced plenty of food, the bars were open, a band played a few tunes and a good time was mostly had by all. What was magic is that the ship was not boarding new pax in Philadelphia, it was deadheading to Baltimore for reprovisioning.
The biggest concern was what about the family member or friend collecting some of the cruisers who would be hanging around the Packer Fruit Terminal for HOURS ??? Everyone was assured that staff members were working the phones using the emergency numbers to get the word out. There was a lesson to be learned. If you're returning on a weekend, don't put down your office phone number.
The other experience was earlier this year when my sister-out-law and I were sailing trans-Atlantic on Rotterdam. Bad weather around Cape Hatteras (this was the final leg of the around the world cruise) slowed things down considerably. We arrived at a comfortable 4 pm for a 6 pm sailing. We did not begin boarding until after 8 pm. Some people had been waiting since the crack of noon.
HAL had sandwiches, sweets, and sodas catered in but the wait in the warehouse- like terminal (they did have chairs) was almost interminable and some people were becoming quite crabby. Even the in-transit passengers were not allowed to re-board. First-seating diners were fed in the buffet, late seating people just raced to their tables. The silver lining was sailing out of New York Harbor at night with The Lady all bathed in light. Worth the wait.