Hate to break this to you but none of this was the cruise lines fault. I realize that this was your first cruise but regardless of what you were told while delayed on your flight, there were two very easy ways your mishap could have been avoided. The first would have been to arrive to the port the day prior to your sailing and stay in a motel or hotel overnight. This would have given you ample time to travel and would have assured you were there in time. The second would have been to purchase cruise insurance. It is very inexpensive considering things such as what you went through can happen. Was insurance not offered by your agent or the cruise line when booking your cruise? Also, most insurance carriers would have gotten you booked on a flight to the next port the ship was due to visit which would have been included in the price of the coverage. Was your flight booked through the cruise line? In most situations, if this was the case, there may have been a better chance of the ship waiting temporarily depending on how long the delay was. We have sailed 13 times and 3 times with RCI and have never had an issue. Cruising is a learning process and I'm sorry you had to take a crash course. Better luck next time.