Will a cruise ship wait for me if I am late at a port stop? This is what a captain has to say.

A wide view of the theater where the captain of Wonder of the Seas gives a Q&A

Captain Rob Hempstead answers questions from passengers aboard Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas.Joey Hadden/Insider

  • People considering a cruise may wonder what would happen if they got to the ship late.

  • In a Q&A on board Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seastold Captain Rob Hempstead what to do.

  • Call the shipping agent if you are late so the captain can decide if they have time to wait.

While on a cruise, travelers have the freedom to experience multiple destinations on one trip with harbor stops where they can leave the ship and explore a new place.

But cruise ships operate on a tight schedule, often allocating passengers only seven or eight hours for a day’s stop, sometimes even less. This leaves many wondering, what happens if you are too late to return to the ship?

Will the captain wait for you?

The answer is maybe.

On a recent cruise on board Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seasthe largest cruise ship in the world, Insider attended a Q&A with Captain Rob Hempstead where he answered this question.

Hampstead, a captain of the Royal Caribbean for 17 years, began his career in the Alaska fishing industry, where he fished for 14 years before becoming a captain. Before Wonder of the Seas, Hampstead was captain of seven other Royal Caribbean ships, including Oasis of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas

The most stressful parts of a cruise for the crew are getting out of ports on time, he said, “Because the faster we go, the more fuel we have to burn.”

Some people are late and are left behind as a result, he added.

However, this doesn’t mean he isn’t waiting for you, you just need to know what to do.

Two cruise ships docked in CocoCay

Two cruise ships docked on Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas – CocoCay.Joey Hadden/Insider

When does a cruise ship wait for passengers?

There are two instances where the ship will wait. The first is if you are returning late from a cruise line excursion. Since the excursion is supposed to take place only within the allotted port time, the ship will wait for passengers arriving from a cruise line excursion that is late.

However, if you’ve spent the day alone, there are certain steps you need to take to make sure you don’t get stuck.

If you’re behind schedule, call the ship’s agent to warn the cruise that you’ll be late, he said. On Royal Caribbean cruises, you will find this number at the bottom of Cruise Compass, a daily flyer that all passengers receive each day in their stateroom with information about that day’s activities.

The agent may also be referred to as a port agent, according to a copy of Cruise Compass obtained by Insider.

A copy of Royal Caribbean's cruise compass on an orange background with a red arrow pointing to the port agent's information

A cruise compass with information about port agents.Joey Hadden/Insider

Whether the ship can wait for you, however, depends on what time you’ll be, he added.

“If I know you’re 10 minutes away, I can make an informed decision about whether we can wait or not,” Hampstead said. “We’ll wait if we can.”

Of course, if that’s you, you’ll have to run the dock to the ship with many passengers watching, wondering what’s holding back the departure, as they quickly realize it was you. Instead, always plan your day with plenty of time to return to port, or better yet, book your excursions through the cruise line.

Read the original article Insider

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