VideosDramatic Footage of Couple Pleading at the Pier as Cruise Ship Departs...

Dramatic Footage of Couple Pleading at the Pier as Cruise Ship Departs with Kids On Board

husband and wife left at port cruise ship norwegian breakaway
Photo Credit: Scott Thomas/YouTube

While the whole purpose of cruising is to be able to totally relax and lose track of time, punctuality is never more important than when you’re a cruise passenger exploring a port.

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norwegian breakaway in nassauA mother and father looked on helplessly from the dock as their cruise ship left Nassau to head back to New York.  However, their children were still on board the ship.  The dramatic moment was caught on tape as the mother was seen pleading on her knees for the ship to wait for them, but by then it was too late.

The Norwegian Breakaway was on a 7 day voyage to the Bahamas and the couple was late getting back on the ship as it was about to head home to the Big Apple.

The ship’s captain had already waited beyond the allotted time, and an extra half hour was given to the couple.

In the video below you can see the wife on her knees begging the ship to come back.

For some reason the family had split up and the father and children were back on the ship waiting for the mother to return.  But she was still somewhere in Nassau.

So the father brought his travel documents with him as he searched for his wife but realized he might not make it back in time.

The children, a boy (9) and a girl (12) were supervised by crew members while the father frantically looked for his wife.

Cruise passengers watched as a buggy drove down the dock to attempt to help the parents make it back on the ship, but the Breakaway had already “broken away” and was headed home.

In the video you can hear cruise passengers in disbelief that the ship would leave the couple at port with their children still on board, but the ship had already gone well beyond protocol to try to reunite the family.

Passengers are always told to be back on the ship at least an hour before the ship ever leaves port, but from time to time we still see “pier runners” trying to make a last second sprint to their floating vacation.

According to reports from Daily Mail, there was an uncle on the ship that helped take care of the children on the 3 day sailing back to New York.

Norwegian Cruise Line told MailOnline Travel,

During Norwegian Breakaway’s seven-night Bahamas cruise from New York that departed on April 17, one female guest did not return to the vessel by the widely communicated scheduled all aboard time of 5:30pm during the ship’s call in Nassau, Bahamas, on April 21.

‘The onboard team located her husband and children on board but the family was not able to reach her nor did they know when she would be returning.

‘Due to the circumstances, the ship went beyond normal protocol and waited alongside an additional half an hour for the guest. When she had still not returned and following consultation with the family, it was decided that the husband would disembark with their travel documents to wait for his wife while the children would stay with their uncle and his family on the ship for the remainder of the voyage.

‘The company offered travel and lodging assistance to the couple and arrangements were made for them to reunite with the ship upon her return to New York on April 24.

mother begs for cruise ship to return
Photo Credit: Jaron Frieden/YouTube

Frieden wrote on YouTube: ‘We saw several people running late and started taping. This couple was the latest and we later found out that their kids were not with them on shore, but on the boat with relatives.

‘We followed up with the crew and they said they were all safe. We really were hoping they made it or they turned around for them. Posting this so others can see how important is to be back to the ship on time. Just terrible.’

Some reports are saying that the wife was on a land excursion, but that is still not clear.  The news of the parents being left behind was met with mixed views from cruise passengers on board with some saying the ship should have turned around and others being less sympathetic saying that the ship tells you over and over again to be back on time.

What is your take?  Leave a comment below and let us know.

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J. Souza
J. Souza
Jon is the co-founder of Cruise Fever and has been on 50+ cruises since his first in 2009. As an editor, 15-year writer on the cruise industry, and avid cruise enthusiast he has sailed with at least 10 cruise lines and is always looking for a great cruise deal. Jon lives in North Carolina and can be reached at [email protected].
VideosDramatic Footage of Couple Pleading at the Pier as Cruise Ship Departs...


  1. Be back to the boat by the time they suggest. Why should a boat of 2,500 people wait? She had kids on board and should have put their best interest above her own.

  2. Lots of judgmental attitudes on here. The woman was off on an excursion by herself while the father was with the kids AND there was an uncle on board as well. She’s not a terrible mother for wanting some time to herself on an island while her children are safely with their father, nor is she terrible for losing track of time.

    As for the captain of the ship, he saw that there was another relative to see to the children on the voyage back home. No one in this situation was helpless or in danger. The mother erred in not returning on time and ended up getting her and her husband left at the pier and the company provided them with lodging and transportation back to NYC to reunite with their kids. I’m sure they were upset with not enjoying the remaining vacation with their kids, but the children were not helpless (their father would not have left them onboard alone with crew members) as they had another relative with them. Mom messed up, cruise ship went well above and beyond even though none of this was their fault at all and everyone was safe and sound.

  3. What an unfortunate (and costly) price to pay for not heeding the rules. I feel badly for the husband and children and rest of the family who took the cruise. Boy, did she put a damper on their vacation! How do you leave the ship and separate yourself from your kids AND not have a cellphone with you (or not have it turned on)? I feel the captain’s response was very accommodating, especially since the husband was advised to carry their travel documents with him once he left to search for her, and they were later provided with travel and lodging assistance to get back home.

    The very thought of being left behind in a foreign country scares the bejesus out of me. I always make certain I return well ahead of the scheduled departure time from port so I can do exactly as the article stated — “relax and lose track of time” — safely onboard. This situation has certainly reinforced my desire to observe the rules.

  4. This is a SHIP NOT A BUS the Captain is responsible for thousands of people.
    Just think of all the complaints by people who would have loved to have stayed
    Longer at what they were doing.
    There are rules time schedules,there are shipping schedules that allow traffic to flow in and out of a harbor it all must be respected.

  5. Well rules are to be followed for sure, BUT nobody knows if this passenger had run into a bad situation, got lost, been mugged or anything except that she was late. I think unless the ship & passengers were in danger, & they were SO close to the dock, it would have made sense for the ship to turn around or somehow get her back on board & then fine her. But to leave her while they could see her on the dock imho, is unconscionable.

  6. I have always been early so this will never happen to me. If I book something on my own I am SURE to leave plenty of time to be back early. However, on one cruise I took my son, age 21. He almost missed the ship leaving Puerto Rico. He had partied too long and the cab he took back to the ship got stuck in traffic. He got out of the cab and ran the last quarter mile to the ship. He said he had his passport out with ship card and the people at the port just waved he through and said run!!! He got to the ship as they were pulling up the gangplank. He was yelling in English and Spanish for them to wait. (Thank goodness for Spanish in high school) They actually put the gangplank back down for him. It was almost midnight when this happened. I was worried about him but knew our next port was St. Thomas. I figured he was smart enough to use his charge card, off my account, to book a hopper plane and catch the boat there if he missed the ship. Now I would have been mad and made him pay out of his own money for the plane, but instead he and I have a great story to tell. He even made the deep sea fishing trip at 7am the next morning I had booked for him. We were traveling with a large group of @40 all from my hometown. I understand the the men his tales of why he was late was VERY colorful! Something about 2 girls from another ship and a beach!
    My lesson is NEVER BE LATE!!!

  7. 80 some odd cruises here!!!—i have no sympathy for her. the captain went way beyond rules to try to wait. those ships have to pay docking fees and the last i heard (from a captain–several years ago) the docking fee, for example in st. thomas was 10 dollars per foot for one hour. those ships are in the vicinty of a 1000 ft. DO THE MATH. and, as with anything else staying over the time allotted equals OVERTIME. do the math and then tell me who was right and who was wrong. the stupid, silly woman.

  8. I don’t think the cruise line should have paid for any lodging or travel to get anyone home if they missed the boat. Rules are for a reason. Nobody is exempt. I’ve been on cruises before and we make sure we are back way before deadline.

  9. My husband and I are ALWAYS two hours early before departure from a port!!! That’s her fault. The cruise line repeatedly tells cruisers the allotted time to be back at the ship. I don’t understand why some passagers don’t get it.

  10. The passangers have been told clearly what time they need to be onboard. Father should stay with kids onboard. It is very inresponsible leave kids to search for an adult.
    In many ports there is a line of ships waiting for other ships to leave so others ca get in. This affect that the time table need to be by minutes. If one stay to long, may affect thousands of other passangers that is waiting to get in. Their day in port will be shorter because of delays and may affect in more people that delay to get back onboard.

  11. I don’t feel bad for the mother. As soon as the captain sounds the horn you need to get your butt back if you aren’t there already. They don’t play, rules are rules and they are set for a reason. I’m back at the ship well before departure time. If I’m not early, I’ll be late. Its just the way it is with me.

  12. Some people just don’t get it…be back when they tell you. This would make an excellent video to stress the point…you aren’t here, we WILL leave without you.

  13. There are always people that think rules are not for them. She should have been left and than next time she will be on time.

  14. It was the passenger’s fault. When this happens, many times you will find that the same people are late returning to a tour bus, while all the other passengers are impatiently waiting on the bus to return to the ship. If she had been on a tour scheduled by the cruise line, they would have waited for the bus to return. But, if she chose not to return with everyone else, she should be left behind. I

  15. Ummmm…. what excursion was she on that she was without ALL her family including her husband? Also what excursion is that late and why was she the only one on that excursion? I know it wasn’t through the ship but it sounds too weird to me. Hey, at least she got to stay in Nassau for a few days!!

  16. Inconsiderate woman and not a shining example of good parenting. Sad that the children didn’t have a more responsible parent, but at least there was an uncle to take responsibility for them.

    The cruise line more than did their duty to wait for her return. This is the consequence for her lack of responsibility. In addition, why should the rest of the passengers that followed the instructions be penalized by having to wait? Sad realities.

  17. When my husband and I are on a cruise, we are extra vigilant about being back on time. If the woman was indeed on a cruise line trip, the ship is responsible for getting them to the next port. We have been on cruises when some don’t return until the last blow of the horn. They are selfish and inconsiderate. Ships have time schedules they have to adhere to. If you want to stay on an island longer, book an island vacation, not a cruise.

    • Exactly my thoughts. I have been on quite a few cruises and they always tell you what
      time to be back at. You have to make sure you get back on the ship in time. Inconsiderate for sure.. and
      not thinking about their children that were left on the ship.. Hard to believe she wasn’t watching the time.

  18. Nobody to blame but herself. It was her own fault. Guess the husband knew she fudged up. Ya can’t fix stupid.

  19. It was the mothers fault. Feel bad for the situation but, if people don’t adhere to the time rules then others start not returning on time. The cruise company went beyond what they legally had to do to help this family. They should be grateful for that..

    • Her fault. Been on a ship when they waited an hour for some late persons, they just sauntered along without a care in the world. Its too bad that this happened, but rules are rules for all passengers.

  20. It is a shame – but being on time for your departure is your responsibility – not the ships. I think they went above and beyond waiting and then helping with lodging and getting them back together in NY – it is not the ships fault that they were not there on time – think of the chaos if everyone broke the getting back time because they knew it was a suggestion not the rule the ship would always be late and a handful of people would be messing up everyone else’s schedule. I feel bad for the mother and father but think it was handled appropriately.

  21. If she cared soo much about her kids, she would have been back! Rules are for everyone! It is everywhere in life! Always a few who think they are exceptions! I love to cruise but #1 priority is to obey the rules, they are there for a reason!

  22. While I feel for the kids, the mother was in the wrong. She knew what time she was required to be back. Obviously, if she was on an excursion booked through the ship, the ship waits. As it was, it waited 1/2 hour past its departure time. I think the cruise line went above and beyond by letting the husband back off and by waiting the extra time and by helping with travel arrangements to New York. Lesson learned here…… BE BACK ON BOARD BEFORE DESIGNATED TIME!

  23. I have no sympathy for the family. I have cruise number 24 this Saturday, and they tell you over and over what time to be back on board. Like the CD always says, take your camera, so if you miss the ship you have a great photo.

  24. We too cruise often! The rules about departures are posted and gone over many times. Too bad they didn’t hire one of the pilot boats along side!

    Cruise directors always say take a camera with you because the best picture of the ship is the one with them sailing away…without you! Not the cruise lines fault. Glad the kids had an uncle on board with them.

  25. If she was on an excursion that was booked through the ship, they would have waited for her. That’s a guarantee with all cruise ships, BUT, it has to be booked through the ship. As Cindy (above) said, passengers are told many many times to be back 1/2 hour before the ship sets sail. I’m surprised at this statement from the article “‘The company offered travel and lodging assistance to the couple and arrangements were made for them to reunite with the ship upon her return to New York on April 24.” My thoughts were that if you missed the sailing, too bad, so sad, you’re on your own…expenses, etc. It was an unfortunate hard lesson learned and thankfully their children were with other family members.

  26. It should be circumstantial, yes the rules are there for a reason, but there must be exception at some cases these one the captain was to professional not sentimental no feelings. My final word the captain on these particular case fail, it those matter if he had conversation with father or other family members, it was just pure wrong. He could stop the ship and lower one boat and rescue the mother. If that happen the passengers will be clapping there hands and say thank you to Norwegian and its crew. Sorry for those who do not agree with me. L O V E C R U I S I N G.

  27. You are told time and time again what time the ship is leaving. I’ve been on many, many cruises and never had any trouble getting back on time. She should’ve made her schedule a priority.

  28. Plain old common sense tells you that a ship of that size can’t just turn around and pick you up! It is well documented that you will be left if you miss departure time. And any arrangements for travel or overnight stay will be at your own expense. This is one document that needs read from page 1 til the end.. IT’S NOT ROCKT SCIENCE. IT’S COMMON SENSE PEOPLE

    • Be on the mother shoes please… Can you? I agree 5:30 it is 5:30 not 5:31. It is a mother with there children on board. The captain at high seas will lower a boat to rescue some one in need, in these case it was just 5 to 10 minutes more, it is a mother pleading, if was you what would you want the captain to do? I’m sure the mother learn a lesson so as everyone else who reads these article. I have over 26 sailings, it happen before in St. Kitts a couple loses there ship, it was enough for me and my wife to see the drama. We love problems if someone else not us and we do not take any action when it comes to help, everyone shy away like a bunch of insensitive ignorant.

    • The fact that she was an ADDITIONAL 30 MIN later than the time that the ship was supposed to leave. I have no issues with the Captain leaving the couple, if it happened more often, maybe people would be back to the ship on time. Every cruise I’ve been on we have seen pier runners. Leave them and watch the problem resolve itself.

    • She was an hour and a half late to board! They were told to board an hour before the scheduled departure time. They waited a half hour after their scheduled departure time. They have to make their ports of call at their scheduled times so waiting that extra half hour was very generous. Mother clearly didn’t have her kids’ interest in mind when SHE chose to be 1 1/2 hours late back to the ship! I have NO sympathy whatsoever for this woman. I hate people that think that the rules don’t apply to them.

  29. We cruise often. You are told many, many, Many, MANY times to be back before sailing. If you don’t make it – that is unfortunate. Take a picture and hope you never have the opportunity to take one of those again!

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