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.
Read Day 1 of my Explorer Virtual Cruise. We were delayed getting off Triumph due to Customs restrictions, and so was the Explorer.
When we got to the Explorer they were still disembarking passengers. All we could do was sit and wait 2 hrs. until they would even start accepting luggage.
The delays were understandable, so need to get frayed or frazzled. Just sat on my luggage calmly, and waited.
2 hours? Big deal. I have an embarkation story I doubt anyone can top. I cannot pinpoint the exact year, but I believe it was sometime in the early eighties. My husband and I had booked a cruise with NCL. I think that stood for Norwegian Caribbean Lines back then. I had been heavily influenced by watching too many 'Love Boat' episodes. So with great expectations we booked a cruise out of Miami. It was early afternoon when our airport bus was approaching the ship terminal. It seemed to be empty. My husband and I joked about the lack of a ship. Little did we know! We arrived at the un-airconditioned terminal to be informed by NCL that the ship we were expecting to cruise on was dead in the water about 90 miles out of Miami. They had sent out another ship to take off the passengers and their luggage and had no estimate of how long this might take. Well, we were optimistic, (read stupid), and settled down to wait; with all our luggage. I really can't remember if the cruise line gave us updates or if we just heard rumors. We heard that NCL was planning on putting everyone in a hotel for the night and giving vouchers for food. Around 6PM we decided not to wait for NCL to do anything and we left the terminal, and our luggage, and hailed a cab. We asked the cabbie to take us to a nice restaurant not too faraway. Needless to say we were nervous about leaving, but starvation will do that to you. After a great meal we took another cab back. Nothing had changed after two hours, except it seemed to be hotter in the terminal. There were very few seats because this terminal had been designed to walk right through. People were sitting on the floor and on their luggage. I have to say, the mood was never ugly. I look back now and I am amazed at the patience of all involved. We met a couple from the Midwest that were waiting for friends to come in from the stalled ship.. They had been out the week before on the Starward; the ship that was sent out to pick up the stranded passengers. They were very nice people and very generous with the different liquors they had purchased in St. Thomas. Well that killed a few more hours. Finally, around 1AM, the Starward returned. Did this mean we could get on? Not hardly! Remember customs? Well they had gone out with the rescue ship and were working like crazy to clear everyone, but it takes time when people and all their luggage were being transfered at sea. At the same time the Starward was being stocked to take us out. It really was incredible. Around 2PM everyone was off and we were allowed to board. I was sleepwalking by then. It took a little while longer to prepare the ship. I am guessing we sailed around 3PM. I was fast asleep; until the side-thrusters were engaged. We both jumped up screaming like lunatics. Maybe some of you remember the old side-thrusters. They were not quiet. Well, that was my first, and I thought, last cruise. It took me almost twenty years to try it again. I don't know what inspired me to go, but I figured it had to have gotten better. What an understatement! So if I had to wait two hours to get on a ship, I might be mildly annoyed, but it usually is well worth the wait.
Virginia (6 time cruiser and can't wait to go again)
wow i did not know it would take that long!
whell, i have an experience, only it was on the plane ride to the ship.
we where at the Omaha Epplie airfeild two hours before the plane was to take off, like we where soposto be; but their was a large group ahead of us. it was taking a long time so my mom told me to go up by the counter ,not in anybodys way , but up there so we would not have to move the luggage 5cm every ten minutes or so. so i just sat on top of the luggage and read a book . by the time we were up at the counter i had read 50 pgs of the book! then we had like a 2 or 3 hour delay 'cause of the BLIZZARD!