Mediterranean Cruise Advice

Will your cruise ship wait?

A question asked by many first timer cruisers, see below for what can happen!

Will your cruise ship wait for you if you are late back from your day ashore?

It depends.

If you are on an organised excursion by the cruise line then the ship’s departure will normally be delayed until the tour returns, which for many cruisers is reason enough to book an official excursion.

When an excursion is going to be late, the ship will be notified by the guide and the captain will do his best to delay departure.

If you are travelling independently, communicating with the ship will make it more likely that they will try to wait. So, if you are not going to make it back in time, do CALL THE SHIP.

If the captain knows what is happening, there is a much better chance of the ship waiting for you – no guarantees – it will depend on lots of factors. However, if no-one on board knows what is happening then they will go without you.

Your daily cruise news / shore guide will have the local telephone number for the ship’s agent and for the ship itself, make a note of them before leaving the ship or even better, take the newsletter with you.

Bodrum Pilot Boat Delivery

You definitely don’t want to be like the couple being delivered by the Bodrum Pilot boat or like the chap in the video below!

Will your cruise ship wait, Bodrum Pilot boat
Bodrum Pilot boat delivering some late passengers back to the ship!

Now we shouldn’t laugh at passengers who miss their ship, however most cruisers will have stood on deck waiting for the sail out, listening to names being called over the tannoy, only to see someone running (actually, normally strolling) to catch the ready-to-leave ship.

So just to re-enforce the point, check out the following video showing two passengers who missed their boat – do you want your fellow cruisers to be talking about you?

Sometimes you may be lucky and might be brought out to the ship by a pilot boat, however do bear in mind how you have to get on board!

The video below produced by the Port of Bermuda shows a young couple who missed the Norwegian Breakaway in August 2013 and hitched a ride on a tug boat.

So be mindful, your cruise ship probably will not wait!

Top Tips for not missing the ship

  1. Before leaving the ship check what time you need to be back, this is normally given in the Daily Cruise News and on a board as you leave the ship.
  2. Check the time on board the ship and make sure that your watch is set to the same time zone.
  3. Make a note of the ship’s telephone number and the local Shipping Agent number, remember if you think you are going to be late CALL THE SHIP.
  4. If you are using public transport, check the return times and make sure you leave enough time in case of delays. This is especially important on long trips e.g using the train from Civitavecchia to Rome.
  5. Have enough cash with you to cover a taxi if required.
  6. Have cash or credit card with you in case you do miss the ship and need to pay for alternative travel arrangements.
  7. In some countries you have to carry some ID, even if this is not a requirement it is a good idea to carry some ID such as a photocopy of your passport.
  8. Make sure you have adequate travel insurance to cover all eventualities.
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