Carnival Paradise Cruise Ship Leaves Late Passengers at a Port City

A viral video showed some passengers being left at the port city when a cruise ship took off without them. Seasoned cruisers are laughing.

Alex West - Author

Oct. 2 2023, Published 10:57 p.m. ET

Tourists exiting a cruise ship at a Venezuelan port
Source: Getty Images

Some unlucky Carnival Cruise customers were shocked when they were left behind after a ship undocked without them. In a now-viral video on TikTok, @thisisuz03 shows the late passengers running down the pier, while others already on board cheered them on.

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They kept yelling "Come on!" Ultimately, the stragglers were left behind as the crew pulled the bridge away that would allow them to board. Although many people yelled at the crew to "wait" as the passengers ran toward the boat, it was no use.

When the boat docked, those passengers chose to get off the ship and explore the port city. They didn't make it back to the cruise ship on time and the ships don't wait for anyone. They operate on a strict schedule, so it's no wonder that the crew decided to leave without them.

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A Carnival cruise ship at dock
Source: Getty Images

"Watching pier runners is one of my hobbies," wrote one TikTok commenter. Apparently, anyone familiar with cruise culture knows better than to be late.

Another person called this sort of incident totally "embarrassing." Seasoned cruisers are warning newbies to arrive extra, extra early if they don't want to be stranded.

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Cruise ships will leave passengers at ports if they're late.

This isn't the first time paying guests have been abandoned in an unfamiliar city. As it turns out, it probably won't be the last. Any experienced cruiser knows that the cruise ship isn't required to wait for you. After all, you and your family aren't the only ones who are impacted by your lateness.

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Typically, if you haven't made it back on board, the crew will take off without you for the sake of time. Of course, like everything in life, there are some exceptions, but if you're thinking of cruising soon, you won't want to rely on getting a good-faith exception.

"The faster we go, the more fuel we have to burn," Royal Caribbean Captain Rob Hempstead said, according to Insider. Basically, waiting for late passengers means that the ship will have to sail faster to catch up and stay on schedule.

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If your cruise leaves you behind, don't panic!

If your ship leaves without you, stay calm. Most major cruise companies have an agent at every port who will be able to assist you. In many cases, the boat knows that you aren't on board because you haven't checked in.

So, they'll remove your essential belongings and leave them with the port agent. Once you connect with that agent, you'll have access to your things and will be able to figure out your next steps.

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Passengers wait to board a Carnival cruise ship on March 7, 2020.
Source: Getty Images

If you get left at one dock, you have options. The great thing about a cruise is you'll typically be visiting multiple different places on a pre-determined schedule.

If you decide you still want to continue with your travels, you'll just need to book another form of transportation to get to the next port city. Typically, a train or plane will be faster than a boat, so you'll be able to just meet up with the ship there and board as normal.

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Of course, this could also be the end of your journey. If you decide to bail now, you'll still need to travel back home and then figure out how to get any belongings that were left behind. Most cruise companies can mail your stuff to you, but you will be the one paying the price.

Just be warned: depending on your situation, you may not have all of the essentials. If you find yourself without a passport or completely stranded, head to the nearest embassy and they can assist you.

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