In the last month or so, I’ve come across a couple of stories and videos about cruise passengers missing the ship’s departure time. I’ve been meaning to write about it and now I have to, after reading this thread on Reddit.

Cruise ship in port.
A user who goes by @ProfessionalTax7753 on Reddit posted in the AITA community with the subject line: “AITA for abandoning my parents at an island in the Caribbean so I could get back to our cruise in time?”

As someone who is rarely late for anything and especially not for a cruise ship or flight, I had some strong opinions before even reading the post. In fact, my family and I are going on a cruise later this month and I followed my own advice and we are flying to our port city two days before embarkation, just in case there are any delays or problems along the way. Why? Cruises don’t wait for passengers.

Here’s his post: “I graduated from high school back in December. As a gift my parents got me a cruise. It was also for my 18th birthday. It was also a family vacation. We usually stay at all inclusive resorts but I have always wanted to go on a cruise.

I told my parents it was different and that if we went on excursions we had to follow the schedule no matter what.

Well it was a week-long cruise and they would not head back to the ship when I said it was time to go. They were busy shopping and bargaining with the locals. I finally said that I was heading back to the ship. My mom waved me off.

The missed the departure. By a lot. Like 45 minutes. They got ahold of me through WhatsApp. They wanted to know why I didn’t get the boat to wait for them.

I wanted to scream that they were not going to inconvenience 3,998 people because two could not understand what a schedule was.

They ended up having to fly to the next port from there and it was expensive. They are pissed at me for leaving them behind.

I don’t know what I was supposed to do. They literally told me that they knew what they were doing.

I wish I had never asked for this. They are making me miserable because I left without them.”

AITA for abandoning my parents at an island in the Caribbean so I could get back to our cruise in time?
byu/ProfessionalTax7753 inAmItheAsshole

I really feel for this guy because he is obviously a responsible adult, unlike his entitled parents. And the internet agrees. Here are some of the top comments:

OwlPal9182: NTA they seriously think the ship will delay for 45 minutes, yea no. The docks and ship have a schedule to keep. They are adults and need to be responsible for getting back on time. Which is something you have figured out in less than 6 months of being an adult. At least you don’t have to go on any more vacations with them after this.

ParsimoniousSalad: NTA. Your parents are acting entitled. Tell them you saved them the expense of a third ticket to the next port.

FeRaL–KaTT: Google – cruise ship leaves passengers behind – then show them. Story after story of the same thing happening to others who didn’t make it back before departure from Port. They are lucky they were able to fly to next port, many others have been stranded or worse.

Aggravating-Pain9249: Your parents are in the wrong. I don’t do cruises but I have some experience with them because I travel to a place were cruise ships are common. I also thought passengers were warned that the ship leaves no matter who is on board. You would never have been able to prevent the cruise chip from leaving. They have a schedule and they keep to it. The ship waits for no one. This is ALL on your parents. They didn’t respect the ship schedule. NTA

Last month, I read a great article on MSN titled: Why A Cruise Ship Can’t Simply Turn Around And Let Late Guests Back On. It was written by an experienced cruiser and travel agent who highlights the many reasons cruises don’t wait for passengers. In short, the author writes, “there are two main reasons why cruise ships can’t – or won’t – simply turn around or wait for guests to reach the pier after the scheduled departure time. The first is that cruise ships are HUGE vessels displacing 100,000 gross tons or more and can’t just turn around or hang out in the harbor waiting for guests. The second is that delays cost enormous amounts of money and cause a handful of late guests to inconvenience thousands of others who respected the ship’s schedule.”

In his experience he writes, most passengers missed the ship because of “accidents and unforeseen events such as traffic delays or mechanical failures can create issues that are unavoidable, most of the time, the failure to return to the ship on time is due to guests not planning properly and situations involving alcohol-related carelessness.”

This is why it’s important to either book an excursion through the cruise line or leave plenty of time to make it back to the ship. If you book your tour through the cruise and there’s a flat tire or the bus breaks down, the ship will most likely wait for you or at least pay for your accommodations and transportation to the next port.

It’s also important to have a great travel insurance policy and always read the policy’s fine print to know exactly what’s covered.

Back in 2010, my then girlfriend, now wife, and I almost missed our cruise ship in Estonia, while sailing the Baltic on a Seabourn cruise. It’s a long story but Natalie made a bonehead mistake and lost her passport. We thought it would be fine but, in short, it wasn’t. The ship’s Captain could not let her back on the ship without documentation. The next port was Poland and the ship would not be able to dock with an undocumented passenger. The crew and Captain were incredible through the whole ordeal and the Captain said the only thing he could do was delay departure by one hour as we scrambled to the Canadian embassy. It was truly a race against time and a miracle happened at the last minute. Here’s the whole story.

My advice is: Don’t be like ProfessionalTax7753’s parents … or these two pier runners in the video embedded below.


Post by @kweencarter06
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