Why Did We Skip The Port But Other Ships docked?

I've been reading many review posts here over the last couple of years where first time cruisers AS WELL AS seasoned cruisers complain about not being able to stop at a port when other ships were able to dock. Many of these reviews making a skipped port the main complaint of their review. Let's look at this in the hopes it will give cruisers one less thing to complain about in their reviews. There are many factors why an individual cruise ship may skip a port. The sole deciding factor is left to the decision of the Captain of the vessel. If he or she feels that the conditions may put the passengers, ship or crew in danger, they can decide not to dock there for any reason. Now just because you feel the seas are calm, does not mean that below the waves, the sea current isn't an issue. The newer the ship, the better it can deal with varied sea conditions above and below the sea surface. Also, there are some situations that may require a vessel to stop at a port and may use tug boats to assist in the docking procedures. If there is a medical situation on the ship, refueling, restocking is needed or if vessel parts are being procured in that port, the ship may chance stopping there unless weather or sea conditions totally prevent this. A Captain may decide to skip a port if there is a medical situation onboard where the proposed port does not have the facilities to care for the well being of the patient (such as cruise line private islands). Now don't look at it as if the Captain is just saying "let's just skip this stop". It goes WAY beyond that as dock space and payment had been organized many months ago. If you think that going to an alternate port in the event of a skipped port is the answer, WRONG! Some ports are limited to how many ships can dock there and arranging a stop there last minute is almost impossible as this is done months if not years in advance. In either situation, you WILL receive a refund of those port fees & taxes but the cruise line is in NO WAY obligated to afford you any other compensation (read your contract). Whether you like it or not, you need to realize you are booking a cruise, NOT the ports as the ports are just added amenities of your itinerary. Just remember, you may be disappointed you missed a port BUT your still on a cruise ! Wink

14 Answers

I agree Tim.

Well put.

It might help to diffuse the situation if they made announcements, depending on the situation, as to why the port was skipped. Leaving passengers in the dark is just frustrating. Especially if there is an excursion that was supposed to be a highlight of someone's cruise. And considering how large these ships are, you may one day be dealing with an angry mob.

Just this morning, I was watching the webcam in Nassau. Two of three ships decided not to venture into port due to extremely high winds (The Enchantment of the Seas launched in 1997 & the Carnival Victory launched in 2000). The 3rd ship, the Costa Deliziosa (launched in 2010) DID navigate into the port albeit with the help of two tugs. Is this case, the decision was obviously made at the last minute by the Captains of the Enchantment & the Victory to skip Nassau as both ships came within site of Nassau before turning away. I guess sometimes conditions in ports can be foreseen to make a decision to skip that port but sometimes squalls can blow up at the last minute causing a last minute decision as seems in this case. There have been times we had to skip a port for various reasons. Was I angry...NO. Was I disappointed...YES! Was I ready to engage in a mutiny because of it...NO! If they booked an excursion with the cruise line for a skipped port, they will get a 100% refund for that excursion. If booked through a 3rd party, fight the good fight getting your money back. That's one of the chances taken when booking outside of the cruise line..

Yeah, we understand all this. But you have a whole new generation of cruisers who have been raised as if they are entitled as if everything they do is okay. And they don't like to be denied anything because they're special ( or so they think ). Me, me, me, I want, I want, I want........people who 10 years ago couldn't afford $3000 for a week's vacation, but can scrape up $549/pp. Its not easy filling up 2500 cabins at $1500/pp, but drop the price by 2/3, and suddenly the ship is sold out. I swear some of the people I run into on a ship could be close relatives of Honey Boo Boo. Their " matching luggage " is three bags from the same store.

We didn't skip a port when the winds were extremely gusty and ended up with a big hole in the hull. Had to stay in port until it was repaired (no extra port time, just tied up at the dock). A Captain would rather skip a port than repair his ship. There are reasons passengers may never know, but after that incident, we rarely question the decision.

We know Costa will cut it closer then other lines !!!! OOPS Big Smile

I always hear an echo from the past when I read this complaint -- "I don't care if Billy's mom lets him do that. You will not do it!"

Good, Tim!

Although I can be just as disappointed as the next passenger when we skip a port or go to an alternate, I never question the Captain's decision. I know that he or she would not make the change unless there was a serious reason. On a cruise last year a tender was thrown off course near the shore and ran aground. It delayed our departure by a great length of time. The passengers on the tender either had to walk through the shallow water or wait to be rescued by another tender. The tender had a big hole in it that had to be repaired at the next big port which also delayed our departure from the port. So, it pays to be cautious Lives could be in danger and well as the ship itself.


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