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Eglesbrech

Missing the Boat

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Cc sent out a set of videos today showing what they referred to as “pier runners”, folks who leave it so late to board at a port of call that they have to sprint at the last minute to get on the ship. You know the ones, the call comes over the tannoy “would Mr Ans Mrs X of cabin B123 please contact reception immediately”.

 

Thankfully  I have never been late doing anything independent but was late as part of a ships tour when a motorway was closed.  P&O held the ship for us as it was a formal tour but it still felt uncomfortable being one of the very last back and boarding on the bottom gangway.

 

We have also seen people who have been left behind by ships when the ship has hung about for quite some time then eventually had to leave to catch a tide or channel.

 

Any stories about those you have seen or indeed  your own experiences?

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There was allegedly a captain that left his wife onshore as she was late getting back "She knows the rules" came over the Tannoy. I do hope that was true!

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We were once delayed from leaving Lisbon as the Captain announced that an elderly couple had become separated ashore then both got lost independently.

Lots of passengers were watching from their balconies port side and I remember the cheers when the elderly gentleman arrived and came back on board.

Eventually 45 minutes after the scheduled departure time we could see and hear a police car speeding towards the port. They drove as close as they could then transferred an old lady to a wheelchair before heading to the gangway. There were more cheers and applause, especially when she stopped the wheelchair approximately 10 metres from the gangway then jumped out and rapidly legged it the rest of the way (including running up the gangway).

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Quite a few years ago the chairman was on board and he liked his lunch in restaurants ashore. He was never late but quite a few of our ports involved extended stays. We also had a late pass in Venice. 

Perhaps the best one though, was as we were pulling away from our anchorage at Zakinthos, a jet ski came tearing out from the shore complete with the classical pianist (- no, it wasn’t Vincent) riding pillion. The poor chap had had his watch set incorrectly. It was an unusual cruise as we had zig zagged down the Adriatic and the clocks were put forward one day only to be put back the next. The pianist was made to board via a roof ladder.... to great cheers. 

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I think it was in Invergordon where there was a pipe band on the dock, playing as we were ready to depart. Names were being announced as a few stragglers appeared; then an urgent message from the captain for the last two people...

In the distance we could see the couple; the pipe band members all turned round and began playing and walking towards them. Before they reached them, crew members ran out with wheelchairs; as they ran back the band turned and followed, playing as loudly as possible.

It was hilarious, so everyone was cheering and applauding the band.

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We were in Puerto Vallarta and while I went off on a swimming with Dolphins tour, my wife went off on a ship's tour which was called Town and Country and involved some tequila tasting. Well I got back at the scheduled time which was later than my wife's tour was to finish. The scheduled departure time was coming up fast, then it past and all but one gangway was up. I was getting worried and checked with guest services and they said, that the particular shorex was not back yet and if it didn't get back soon, the ship would go without it but they would be looked after and taken to the next port at Cabo. After around 20 mins later than departure time, still no coach and there were Port crew and some staff milling about on the dock and where constantly looking at their watches and discussing the lateness of departure. I was really worried now as the Officers and ship crew were starting to head up the gangway .  Then the coach arrived and everyone staggered off the coach and onto the ship, all drunk as skunks.

Apparently the tour went overtime at the tequila tasting. My wife had a great snooze that afternoon and I got room service for dinner.

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We were in Bangkok (or whatever the port is called) and had taken an independent tour. On the way back, we got snarled up in horrendous traffic, sometimes not moving for 15 minutes at a time. I was worried about being late back to the quay (knowing that on an independent tour, the ship wouldn't wait).

 

Then l looked out of the coach window. On the adjacent coach, right alongside, stuck in the same traffic snarl up, l spotted our dining room table mates, who l knew were on a ship-organised trip, so as long as we stayed close by that coach, we wouldn't miss the departure.

 

What sticks in my memory, however, is that to while away the time, our tour guide, a pleasant 40-something Thai lady started telling jokes - very rude and explicit ones!

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On the QE a couple of years ago,we were on a ship's tour to Kandy,Sri Lanka.2 busloads of us were 2 hours late after sailaway time.With storms and a national festival to get thru.We were diverted the wrong way up a dual carriageway in the port to avoid a long queue of container lorries.At the gangway the Captain and her senior officers were all waiting with trays of bubbly.We missed the MDR and ended up with what was left at the buffet.

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We were on an RCI excursion 2-years ago to Ho Chi Min city when the coach was late arriving back, the driver had been stopped by the police on the way back and was done for speeding then arriving at the port he got lost haha...didn't know which road to take in. Fortunately as it was an RCI paid excursion there was no issue with the ship waiting

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OH and I cut it far too close for comfort once. We were in Stockholm and had gone off on our own as OH's camera had broken onboard and he wanted to get a new one. We took the HoHo bus into the city, found a shopping centre, purchased a watch, had lunch, played on segways, then went for a drink.

 

I told OH I thought it was time we started heading back but, as usual, he pooh-pood the suggestion and told me I was being neurotic (OK, I will admit that I sometimes am). He looked at the map to work out where we were, then said maybe we should think about moving on. 

 

From there on, pretty much everything fell apart. We weren't exactly where we thought we were (do you know how many waterside bars there are in Stockholm?!). We hadn't taken note of the shuttle bus stop in town (only our 2nd cruise, we know better now). We hadn't looked at the HoHo route properly to understand that we still had 2/3 of the circuit to travel, thus taking at least twice as long to get back. Finally, the HoHo didn't drop us off right outside the ship, where we had got on.

 

For much of this time OH was still telling me I was worrying about nothing. Eventually, even he admitted that he was getting concerned. Especially as we could see the ship and hear our names being called when we were still a little way off.

 

Eventually we hurtled along the pier and up the gangway, which was promptly pulled in behind us. The security crew smiled and said 'Why were you running, you still have 30 seconds to spare?'! We weren't allowed to forget it, security reminded us every time we left the ship after that :classic_blush:

 

Lessons learned - Always find out where the shuttle bus stops, even if we don't take it into town. Make certain we know the HoHo route, if we have used it, and also alternative means of getting back. Check the map myself as OH often gets it wrong (yes, I'm the female and he's the male!). Finally, I will return to the ship when I think it is time to do so, OH or not. Fortunately, if I say I am ready and he is not, I just remind him of Stockholm . . .

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A few years back were were on Oriana in the fjords.  We left Bergen a bit late, and then stopped for a while in the harbour.  After a while the cruise director announced that we were waiting for latecomers.  In due course, a private launch went alongside the tender platform and an older couple unceremoniously climbed over onto the platform to rousing cheers.  I wonder how much that cost them.

 

We did a back to back on Aurora with friends.  Went to muster drill in the theatre on the second cruise, and on the tannoy both couples names got called out to identify ourselves to the muster staff (as well a couple of other pax).  Got taken  into the Headliners changing room, and the staff checked our cruise cards.  It turned out that several B2B pax cards hadn't been activated correctly and the cards hadn't worked when we returned to the ship.

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