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Here's What to Do If You Miss Your Cruise Ship in a Port of Call

Updated: Jan 10


Missing your cruise ship while it's docked at a port of call can be a traveler's worst nightmare. Whether due to a delayed excursion, local transportation issues, or simply losing track of time, finding yourself stranded as your ship sails away can be a daunting experience. In this blog

Pier Runner

post, we'll provide you with a step-by-step guide on what to do if you miss your cruise ship in a port of call, helping you navigate this challenging situation and hopefully get back on board.

Step 1: Don't Panic

The first and most crucial step is to remain calm. It's natural to feel a sense of panic or distress, but keeping a clear head will allow you to make better decisions and take the necessary steps to address the situation.

Step 2: Contact the Cruise Line

Immediately notify the cruise line or ship's staff of your situation. Most cruise lines have emergency contact numbers specifically for passengers who have missed their ship. Provide them with all the relevant details, including your name, booking information, and the port you're in. The cruise line can then assess the situation and provide guidance on the next steps.

Step 3: Seek Assistance from Port Authorities

If you're in a foreign port, seek assistance from the local port authorities or the cruise terminal staff. They may be able to help you communicate with the cruise line, provide information on local transportation options, and offer guidance on the necessary procedures for rejoining your ship at the next port of call.

Keep Calm

Step 4: Arrange Transportation to the Next Port

In some cases, if the next port of call is nearby, you may be able to arrange transportation to catch up with the ship. This can involve taking a taxi, private transfer, or even a flight to the next port, depending on the distance and the ship's schedule. Be sure to keep all receipts and documentation for any expenses incurred, as you may be able to seek reimbursement from the cruise line.

Step 5: Consider Travel Insurance Coverage

If you have travel insurance, review your policy to see if it provides coverage for missed departures or trip interruptions. Some policies may offer assistance and reimbursement for additional travel expenses incurred as a result of missing your cruise ship. Contact your insurance provider for guidance on how to proceed.

Travel Protection

Step 6: Make Alternative Arrangements

If rejoining the ship at the next port is not feasible, you'll need to make alternative travel arrangements to return home. This may involve booking a flight back to your home city or arranging accommodations in the port city until you can make further travel plans. Keep in mind that these additional expenses may not be covered by the cruise line and will likely be your responsibility.


Missing your cruise ship in a port of call can be a stressful and challenging experience, but knowing what to do in such a situation can help you navigate it effectively. By staying calm, contacting the cruise line, seeking assistance from port authorities, arranging transportation to the next port, reviewing your travel insurance coverage, and making alternative arrangements if necessary, you can take proactive steps to address the situation and minimize the impact of missing your ship. While it's not an ideal scenario, with the right approach, you can hopefully resolve the situation and continue to enjoy your travels.

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