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I didn't know that they will go to the room and look for your passport and leave it with someone at the pier... That was new for me.
30 minutes prior to departure, on Princess they begin calling the rooms, starting with couples where one has returned and the other has not. I learned this first hand in Victoria when my son and another group of friends had not returned but I had way earlier. (They were delayed due to a taxi accident) They asked me for his cell phone number and if he had his passport with him. They then said no worries, they would call me back in 25 minutes if he had not boarded. (The group he was with told us later that there was a message on their answering machine.)