Cruise ship sailing away, What happens if you miss your cruise?

Surprise! You just missed your cruise ship home. Now what?

What happens when you miss your cruise ship home? Kevin Rohrer knows the answer to that question: many costly and unpleasant things.

During a Norwegian cruise aboard the Sky, Rohrer and his girlfriend missed the deadline for reboarding the ship by two hours. The boat sailed home without the couple, and they suddenly found themselves stranded on the island.

Rohrer says NCL changed the cruise’s departure time with no prior warning, abandoning them in Cuba to fend for themselves. He wants Norwegian Cruise Line to refund the cruise and pay all of the couple’s costs to return home. But is that a reasonable request?

This case highlights the importance of understanding the fluid nature of cruise itineraries. All cruise lines can and do change departure times and even ports of call in some circumstances. Anytime you step off your ship for a shore excursion, it’s imperative to reconfirm the reboarding time. Or you, too, could miss your cruise home.

Editors note: I originally reported on Rohrer’s case and published this article on July 3, 2018. Despite the cautionary warning that this story offers, our team continues to receive similar requests for help from cruise ship passengers in 2023 and the guidance remains relevant. (This column has been updated and checked for accuracy and republished on Feb. 2, 2023.)

cruise ship sailing, Do Not Sail list, NCL

Surprise! Your favorite cruise line put you on the Do Not Sail list. Now what?

Could your favorite cruise line put you on its Do Not Sail list and not tell you why?

Christie Cook says it happened to her. Soon after her family’s Alaskan cruise aboard NCL’s Bliss, the cruise line informed her that she had earned a spot on its Do Not Sail list. But she says no one will explain why she’s banned from cruising on NCL — and its affiliated lines.

Christie wants our advocacy team to ask NCL to remove the ban and allow her to cruise again.

This cautionary tale illustrates what can happen if you run afoul of a megacorporation. All major cruise lines can and do reject passengers they believe to be problematic. Unfortunately, if you land on your favorite cruise line’s Do Not Sail list, the only remedy may be to find a new favorite.

This is why a dirty cruise cabin and balcony will not lead to Costa Cruises sending you a refund.

Our cruise cabin was dirty so we left. Will Costa refund us?

If the balcony of your cabin is super dirty — covered in soot, should you be able to leave the cruise ship and get a refund?

Rafael Rottiers and his wife believe so. They insist the heavy black soot on the railings and floor of the balcony of their cabin aboard Costa’s neoRiviera endangered their health. So they left the cruise ship days before the scheduled journey ended.

Now that the couple is back home, they want Costa to send a refund for the cruise they abandoned. But what exactly was that document the two signed before they left the ship?

If you hate your cruise, don't expect a credit card dispute to fix the situation. Don't leave the cruise early, even if you dislike the trip.

Hate your cruise? This is why you shouldn’t jump ship too soon

Should you receive a refund if you hate your cruise so much that you get off the ship early? What if you leave the cruise before it even sets sail?

Lori Rutt and her husband maintain that if intolerable conditions push you to leave a cruise ship, a refund is owed. She says only hours after they boarded their first cruise ever, they chose to disembark — never to return.

Cruise passenger says Diamonds International convinced her to buy an expensive diamond she doesn't want. Traveler has extreme buyer's remorse.

Could you be convinced to buy a $19,800 diamond on your Caribbean cruise?

Kathy Hoffath says she was convinced to buy a $16,000 diamond at Diamonds International during her Royal Caribbean cruise. Unhappy with that diamond, she exchanged it for a larger, more expensive one in Cozumel. But when she got home, Kathy realized she didn’t want that bigger, more expensive diamond either.

In fact, she didn’t want any diamond at all.

Travel agent mistake cancels NCL cruise, NCL refund missing

Our travel agent canceled our NCL cruise by mistake and then quit! Now what?

What happens if your travel agent cancels your cruise by mistake and then quits his job? Unfortunately, NCL passenger Margaret Prendergast knows very well — you can quickly lose thousands of your hard-earned dollars.

Margaret had been patiently waiting for Norwegian Cruise Line to process a refund for a cruise it canceled. But because her agent erroneously canceled her cruise several days before the cruise line, it’s a $5,587 refund NCL never intended to send.

Ultimate guide to taking a cruise, expert cruise guidance, what cruisers need to know about planning a cruise, taking a cruise guide 2023

Taking a cruise in 2023? Here’s how to avoid some common mistakes

With the cruise industry seemingly back in full swing, now is the perfect time to review Consumer Rescue’s ultimate guide to taking a cruise.

Over the years, I’ve mediated hundreds of requests for help from distressed cruise line passengers. Many of these cruise fiascos were the result of passenger mistakes and could have been avoided by following some simple guidelines. Here’s all the information you need to know about taking a cruise before you take your next (or first) maritime adventure.

Couple removed from cruise in Korea, Holland America refuses refund request.

This is how to get removed from your cruise with no refund included

If you get involuntarily removed from a cruise halfway around the world, does the cruise line owe you compensation?

William Coats believes so. Holland America booted him and his wife from the Westerdam in Korea just days into their 14-day cruise. As a result, they’re out thousands of dollars and he wants the cruise line to pay.