Photo: Debbie Ann Powell/Shutterstock

Teenager Leaves Parents on an Island After They Miss Their Cruise Departure

Caribbean Cruises
by Katie Scott Aiton Jun 11, 2024

A family’s cruise vacation has gone viral after a teenager was forced to leave their parents behind on a Caribbean island. The unidentified 18-year-old, posting on Reddit, explained how a dream family cruise turned into a nightmare due to their parents’ tardiness.

The teenager revealed that the cruise was a graduation and an 18th birthday present — a break from the usual all-inclusive resorts the family is accustomed to.

“I told my parents it was different and that if we went on excursions, we had to follow the schedule no matter what,” says the Reddit user.

To pre-empt any issues, the teenager explicitly warned their parents about the strict timetables on cruise ships. Despite these warnings, disaster struck during a port stop. The family became engrossed in shopping and exploring the local markets, oblivious to the approaching departure time. The teenager’s repeated pleas to return to the ship were ignored, leaving them with a heart-wrenching decision. Faced with the prospect of missing the cruise altogether, they boarded the ship without their parents.

“They missed the departure. By a lot. Like 45 minutes. They got ahold of me through WhatsApp. They wanted to know why I didn’t get the boat to wait for them,” the teenager resorts.

“I wanted to scream that they were not going to inconvenience 3,998 people because two could not understand what a schedule was,” they continue. “They ended up having to fly to the next port from there, and it was expensive. They are pissed at me for leaving them behind.”

The incident has sparked a heated online debate, with most sympathizing with the difficult decision and acknowledging the importance of cruise schedules.

“The docks and ship have a schedule to keep. They are adults and need to be responsible for getting back on time. Which is something you have figured out in less than six months of being an adult. At least you don’t have to go on any more vacations with them after this,” proclaims a Reddit commenter.

“What precisely do they think you could have done? Kidnapped the captain? Staged your own drowning?” says another.

No cruise line wants passengers to miss the departure time, and every company has different protocols for scheduling. That said, if you miss your cruise, you’ll have to purchase a flight ticket to the next port.

This is not the first report of passengers getting caught up with excursions and not getting to the vessel on time this year. Eight travelers on an African cruise were stranded on São Tomé and Príncipe, an island just to the east of Equatorial Guinea, in April. In this instance the group claimed they told the independent organized tour guide to call ahead to the ship to explain they were late. Despite efforts, they were not allowed to board the anchored vessel.

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