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Cruise passengers distraught after being left behind by ship


The last thing you want to happen on vacation is to see your cruise ship sailing away without you on it. 

Unfortunately, this happened to TikTok user @alexisb639 when going to board a Princess Cruises ship in Long Beach, California. In a video posted to her account, viewers can see the Discovery Princess pushing back while Alexis and her travel companions are left in a nearby parking lot. 

Viewers can also hear one person on the phone giving a representative their booking number and trying to presumably sort out the situation, while another one is sobbing into their luggage. Since posted, the original video has gotten over 22 million views. 

Discovery Princess - Sets Sail on Maiden Voyage

Subsequent videos provide more context; however, they are not as popular as the dramatic video that chronicles the sobbing individual, whom Alexis did not actually know, with the ship sailing away. 

Alexis was traveling from Flagstaff, Arizona, and according to her, the airport screwed up the flight: "Had to get the next flight to LAX. Had to be at the port by 2pm, with traffic, got there at 2:20. There was neither no indication of which airline she was traveling on nor how long the drive from LAX actually took. Even at just over 20 miles away, the drive can take upwards of 1.5 hours if there's traffic. 

Discovery Princess departed Long Beach, California on November 29, 2023 on a 5-night cruise to Cabo San Lucas. The ship returned on December 4. Unfortunately, Alexis was unable to meet the ship later during the voyage. 

Read more: Will the cruise ship wait for you if you're late at a port?

Viewers did not cut Alexis much slack


Many of the comments on the follow-up video say that she should have planned ahead and flew into Los Angeles the night before the cruise. 

"Rookie mistake," read a comment posted by matthew!!, "Always book the flight for the day before the cruise."

Samantha Lynn Hill said, "That's why you should have been there a day early... if not 2! Never depend on an airline to get you there on time. NEVER!" 

You should always, always, always fly in the night before your ship is scheduled to depart

delta flight

When planning a cruise vacation, one of the most important rules is to arrive the night before your cruise. While this might seem counterintuitive, as flying in the night before a hotel reservation for a land-based vacation doesn't make much sense, cruises are different.  

Even if you find a flight with a decent arrival time, it is important to take into account how long it will take you to deplane, collect your luggage, and drive to the terminal. A two-hour buffer could end up not being enough, especially if your flight is delayed or canceled. The ship will not wait for you, and you might find yourself being left behind like Alexis. 

Depending on your itinerary, it might be wise to arrive two days before your cruise. Let's say you are flying from the United States to Italy to board a Mediterranean cruise. There are far fewer flights than if you were flying from New York to Miami. If you happen to miss your overnight flight, you may not be able to get on one departing the same evening. Leaving the next day could mean missing your ship. 

Read more: The costly cruising mistake newbies make planning their first cruise

Thankfully, Alexis was able to get a full refund on her Discovery Princess cruise

LAX airport

A TikTok posted on December 4 revealed that, while not all stories have a happy ending, she was able to get a full refund on her (missed) vacation because she purchased travel insurance

"After countless hours on the phone, I was able to get a full refund for the flight due to airline mistake (changed flight time and didn't notify us), and a refund for the cruise plus all the additional expenses," the video states, "Thank you for all the comments. I learned my lesson and will fly in a day or two early next time." 

In fact, Alexis is already in the process of planning her next vacation! Even though her initial trip did not go as planned, her outlook is a great lesson for cruisers, even if you make it on the ship! 

Cruises are unpredictable. Weather, medical emergencies, etc., might cause you to miss a port of call. It is important to have a good attitude to make the most out of your time onboard! 

Read more: 25 Tips to deal with bad weather on a cruise

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