Watching your cruise ship disappear into the sunset is every passenger’s nightmare, but what can you do if this happens to you? The first  thing to do is relax: your cruise ship is not backing up to come back for you, no matter how loudly you shout – you’ve missed it. Accept this fact and move on.

Missed you cruise ship? Don't panic!

So there you are standing on the dock side. It’s your fault. You stayed in that bar for a coffee after your lunch, missing your cruise departure time and now you find yourself stranded. Rest assured that you are not the first and you most certainly will not be the last person to miss their ship.

Does your cruise line have an agent in the port?

If they do, then the agent should be able to assist you in deciding what to do next. If you want to continue with your cruise your agent might be able to help you to contact your ship and make arrangements to meet it further into its journey. This might entail a hotel stay overnight and even air travel, so be prepared for some extra expense as this will now be your own responsibility. It might be that you decide to go home instead of attempting to re-join your cruise – the agent will also be able to help with this –again at your initial expense.

What if there is not a cruise line agent at the port where you are stranded?

Do you have any phone numbers for your cruise ship, insurance company or agents? If you do then a phone call to the agent is needed. Discuss you intentions and they will advise on your options. The agent should also be able to contact your cruise ship to tell them that you are stranded and your intentions.

No cruise agent. No phone. No phone numbers. No ID

Ok. There’s no cruise agent at the port and you don’t have a phone and you have left your ID on the ship. First-things-first: Don’t panic. There is likely to be a friendly bar or hotel locally who will let you use their phone or allow you internet access. If you can get internet access you can get virtually any phone number you need including your nations nearest embassy.

Remember: you are not the first person to miss their ship. In 2016: 21,000,000 passengers went on cruise holidays worldwide. If 0.25% missed their ship then over 52,000 people were stranded either at their initial departure port, or on a foreign dock.