I’m a travel expert – here’s what to do if you get stranded like Norweigan Cruise passengers

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You’ll be on your way if you follow these tips.

A travel agent is sharing the key steps passengers should take if they can’t get back on their cruise ship before the scheduled departure time.

Late last week, 8 Norwegian Cruise passengers, including 6 Americans, were stranded in Africa after their ship left port without them because their private land tour ran out of hours.

It is common for cruise ships to dock for days or hours at various ports, giving those on board the opportunity to disembark and explore local areas.

And while it’s rare for a ship to set sail again without everyone on board, Big Apple travel agent Joanna Kuther says it can be a bureaucratic nightmare if you’re left behind.

“It’s one of those things like, it’s not a problem until it’s a problem,” she told USA Today on Tuesday.

Late last week, 8 Norwegian Cruise passengers, including 6 Americans, were stranded in Africa after their ship left port without them because their private land tour ran out of hours. Boston Globe via Getty Images

If you return to port to find your ship sailing into the distance, the expert advised that you immediately contact the cruise line to let them know.

Kuther added that a stranded passenger should also contact their travel agent to help handle logistics, such as booking emergency accommodation or connecting flights.

The nearest US embassy may also be able to provide assistance, but it is unlikely that you will be able to claim insurance costs, especially if the ground activities are not organized by the cruise line itself.

Kuther says savvy travelers should choose shore excursions organized by the cruise or a vendor they’ve partnered with that guarantees passengers will be back before departure time.

Some of the stranded passengers were pictured after they failed to return to their Norwegian boat before departure. Jill and Jay Campbell

To avoid wasting departure time, Kuther also gave some practical advice.

She urged passengers to make sure their watch is set to transport time instead of local time, which can be different

“So many people get confused by this,” she said, adding that travelers should aim to arrive at the boat with at least an hour to spare.

And if you’re getting off the ship, Kuther claims there are essentials to take in case something goes wrong.

“You should probably have your passport with you because you’ll need it to get on a flight to get to the next port, especially if it’s in another country,” Kuther advised.

She added that travelers should take a credit card in case they have to pay for any unexpected expenses, including emergency accommodation.

Travelers should aim to arrive on the boat with at least an hour to spare. VW Pics/Universal Image Group via Getty Images

And while the 8 passengers left stranded by Norwegian have slammed the cruise line, accusing them of neglecting their “fundamental duty of care”, Kurther says the ships are on strict schedules while in port.

“If they have to leave at a certain time, they have to leave at that time,” she said





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