Hi all, I was reading Dereckbc's post below, where we all recommended that a new cruiser stay with the cruise line's excursions, at least for the first cruise. Well, I talk a bit about that in the Cruiser's Compass, but I just realized that I never included any suggestion about what to do if you actually do get left behind at a port of call. So I started to type up an bit to add to the Compass. (It got a bit wordy, but that's no surprise for me Figured I'd post it here first for Dereck's benefit, and to have it vetted by other experienced cruisers. Do any of you have anything to add or correct in this? What to do if you get left behind: OK, so you didn't think it could really happen. You thought for sure, that you'd be done with that golf game (or island tour, snorkel excursion, etc.), in plenty of time. I mean, the time just flew by; and who would have thought there could traffic like that on such a little island? So what do you do now that the ship has sailed without you? First, quickly, take a picture. Not many cruisers actually come home with a photo of their own ship sailing off into the sunset. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.). Actually, you need to get moving fast. Find out precisely where the harbor pilot's boat is located, and get there quick. If you haven't cruised before, you probably don't realize that it's not actually the captain who is at the helm of a ship, as it maneuvers into and out of a port. That job, in fact, is performed by the local Harbor Pilot, who, with his more thorough knowledge of the individual harbor, brings the ship into a safe docking. And visa versa, he later, also safely maneuvers the ship back out to sea. When the big ships come close to their island destination, the local Pilot boat runs out to meet the ship, at which time that Harbor Pilot makes the precarious climb up a ladder, to board the ship. Then in the reverse, the little pilot boat chases the ship out of the harbor, and the pilot descends the ladder, down to the little boat that will take him back home and allow the ship to sail on without him. And that is where your window of opportunity lies. If you can get to the Harbor Pilot's boat, before it leaves, the crew of that little boat, can usually be inveigled (read that as $$) into ferrying stranded passengers out to reunite with their ship. Just remember that the "window of opportunity" is brief, likely not more that 15 or 20 minutes. And the reunion with your ship requires you to step (more like jump) from a small moving boat, onto a rope ladder hanging down the side of a likewise moving ship; so that you can then make the precarious climb up the thirty feet or more, onto your ship. I've seen people do it a few times and it looked pretty scary to me. If it's too scary for you too, then your only remaining option is to pull out the plastic, and start booking the necessary flights and hotels, that will catch you up to your ship. This is the point at which you will be very grateful to have bought the travel insurance, and to have carried your passports and cruise line's contact number with you onto the island. Good luck. By the way, Dereckbc, and or any one else who hasn't looked before, there are number u-tube videos posted of tardy cruisers being left behind and even a few of them, making the climb from pilot boat to ship.