We have all seen the videos of passengers frantically running down the gangway to catch a ship that is just about to leave or that has already set sail. Missing the ship is not a position any of us would to be in, but it is actually more common than you may think. Getting back to the ship is your responsibility. Cruise ships run to exceptionally tight sailing schedules, so they simply cannot wait for passengers who have returned late.
The amount of time you have in each port varies depending on which cruise line you are travelling with and your itinerary; sometimes you may spend half a day in port before moving onto the next one, other times you may have a full day in port or even an overnight stay. However long you have, the most important thing is that you know when the ship will leave. The ‘all aboard’ time is printed in the daily newsletter that arrives in your stateroom each morning and is more often than not also visible on a clear sign by the gangway.
If you do miss the ship, it is important that you let the cruise operator know as soon as possible. Cruise lines may be able to assist with making arrangements for you to meet the ship at the next port or to fly home, however the cost of doing so will be entirely at your own expense.