Have you ever missed a flight because you showed up late at the airport? It can be a painful lesson in the importance of building wiggle room into your travel plans. But, in many cases, it’ll only cause a modest delay in your travels, with little or no add-on costs.
Not so with cruises.
Late-arrivers for flights often can hop on another plane to their destination just a few hours later, sometimes even with change fees waived due to quasi-official “flat tire rule” policies. But travelers who are even just a few minutes late for a cruise sometimes can find their entire trip ruined.
At the very least, cruisers who miss a ship’s departure often face huge expenses and logistical challenges trying to “catch up” with the vessel at its next port of call. In some cases, due to laws that restrict where ships can be boarded, they might not be able to join the vessel at all.