For this edition of Ask Gadling, we’ve turned to Lauren Volcheff, the vice president of marketing for Last Minute Travel. Should a guest need to depart half-way through a pre-paid tour or cruise, they should visit the Purser’s Desk or Guest Services desk and ask for help obtaining a “cruise interruption request.” Volcheff says:
A guest can request to debark the ship at a specific port of call at any time during the cruise. The ship will be able to provide insight and walk the guest through the process, provide the necessary paperwork, coordinate with local customs and immigration authorities, and even help with transportation to the airport or hotel, as needed. Passengers will be responsible for associated costs and securing flights back to home country.
Cruise ship passengers should understand that each country’s immigration laws and procedures – not the cruise line – determines how smoothly or complicated the process is for debarking the ship permanently. For instance, some countries will not allow cruise lines to authorize debarkation of passengers, due to visa restrictions.
If a guest needs to leave mid-way through a pre-paid tour, they should consult with the specific regulations of that tour. Certain exceptions – for illness, family emergency, or injury – may be built into the contract.