Feedback Friday: Joining the Ship Mid-Cruise

October 11, 2013 | By | 3 Comments

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Every other Friday we will bring you a piece of reader feedback and our response. Have a question about cruising? Notice an error on our site? Want to just drop a comment for our consideration? Submit your own feedback by e-mailing, and maybe we’ll select your submission for our next Feedback Blog.
This Week’s Feedback:
“Can anyone book a cruise that allows you to board at a port midway through its itinerary and sail the rest of its journey ?”

Our Response:
This is a question we’ve received so many times that we finally had to investigate a bit further. The generic response tends to be that policies on joining sailings halfway through the voyage not only depend on the individual cruise line, but where in the world you are cruising.
Royal Caribbean‘s website gets into the policies known as cabotage laws, which dictate passenger movement. In certain countries, including the U.S., Italy and Norway, vessels that fly foreign flags (which are most of the major cruise lines) are restricted from transporting guests from one port to another port in the same country. In the U.S., these laws are commonly called the Jones Act.
In countries that don’t have these laws, Royal’s policy is this:  “If guests are pre-approved for boarding/departure… they are responsible for making all travel arrangements and will incur any additional expenses (for flights, hotels, transfers to the pier, etc.). “
We asked popular cruise line Carnival about their policy. Their response came back as more emphatic: “We do not allow guests to begin their cruise in a different port other than the original port of embarkation, i.e. you can’t join a cruise once it’s underway from a different port.”
So the bottom line is still squishy; there’s no blanket answer to this question. One thing that does seem common: If a cruise line does allow you to board at a stop other than the scheduled embarkation port, nothing prevents them from charging you the full cruise fare. You’ve been warned.
Get your very own Lido Deck subscription.
    Please share this post!


    3 Responses to “Feedback Friday: Joining the Ship Mid-Cruise”

    1. Grace O'Toole
      October 11th, 2013 @ 8:49 pm

      In May 2013, we cruised to Bermuda on the Celebrity Summit with our sons and their families. One of our granddaughter’s had her dance recital on the date of embarkation from NJ. Out TA arranged for her and her Mom to fly to Bermuda and they joined us on the date the Summit landed.

    2. sunnypm
      January 4th, 2015 @ 9:50 pm

      This was something I was just wondering about. I read the link to the Jones Act and it seems to me more about rights of seamen to seek remedy for injury or death. We are looking at taking a re-positioning cruise from Ft Lauderdale to Venice Italy, and would love to pick up a former exchange student in Rome, on to Naples, and Venice. Don’t mind paying the full price for her if this would be possible.

    3. sunnypm
      September 18th, 2015 @ 11:28 pm

      So this worked for us on Princess, and we were able to bring our exchange student onboard mid-cruise in Rome. We paid full cruise fare for her, but it was worth it to have her with us, and be a private tour guide. They called it a route sector for her. Secondly, on our last Baltic cruise, again with Princess, we disembarked in Sweden, a day earlier than the full cruise that started and ended in Copenhagen.

    Leave a Reply

  • Please follow & like us


  • About the Lido Deck

    The Lido Deck is written by Cruise Critic's editorial staff, reporting from ships and ports around the world. The daily blog covers cruise news, reviews, advice, and hot topics from the Cruise Critic message boards. Please note: When commenting, Cruise Critic's community guidelines apply.

  • Facebook

  • Recent Posts

  • Categories