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Leaving a Cruise in an Emergency – What Happens Next? (PASSENGER INTERVIEW and Advice)

In this post, I interview Rebbecca, who had to cut short her cruise due to a family emergency back home.

She was travelling with her young son and had to disembark the cruise in Hamburg, Germany.

Please note all opinions in this post are Rebbecca’s.

msc euribia lost luggage

Which Cruise Were You On?

 I was on MSC Euribia from Southampton to North Europe.

I was docked in Hamburg when I had to disembark.

I joined the cruise on Friday and had to leave on Sunday – so only on board a few days.

Why Did You Have To Leave The Cruise?

My husband had a serious accident whilst kitesurfing.

The air ambulance paramedics called me as I was the “ICE” number (In Case of Emergency) on his phone. 

Northern Europe Itinerary from Southampton
Image – MSC Cruises

What Did You Do First?

 I received the call around 3 pm and I went straight to guest services to explain I needed to leave the ship.

I was crying and the staff were very helpful. They brought me water and helped me look for flights.

I was asked to sign a document breaking the cruise. 

I then headed back to my cabin to pack. I threw as much as I could in my case but I didn’t have space for everything as I had put some larger items for my toddler on the pram as we parked in Southampton.

The cabin steward came to help me with my luggage and we disembarked the ship. 

What Happened When You Disembarked The Ship?

Thankfully there was a taxi I got straight into at the port and headed to the airport.

On the way, I got a call to say the flight I had just booked had been bought forward an hour and could I make it.

I couldn’t, as I got into the taxi around 4 pm. I had to cancel that flight and managed to book another flight at the airport.

Could MSC Have Done Anything Better?

It would have been helpful if they could have given me a staff member to be with me. I was travelling alone with my toddler so I was overwhelmed and terrified.

Nothing was explained to me. I didn’t even read the document I signed. 

I did ask MSC if they’d provide a partial refund for things like the photo package and WiFi but they declined.

What Happened When You Got Home?

I contacted MSC when home and was asked to email in a list of items I left.

I explained I couldn’t remember everything as it was such a hurry. I’ve since called and emailed again and still no update.

MSC said my items would be sent to lost property and disembarked when the cruise ended.

I offered to go to the ship when it returned as I still needed to collect my car but they said I wouldn’t be allowed to board the shop again as I “broke the cruise.”

I’m still struggling with MSC to retrieve my belongings that I left in my cabin. I foolishly thought it would be straightforward but it’s not.

msc euribia

How Is Your Husband Now?

He’s doing much better thanks. He’ll have a very long recovery ahead but I’m pleased he’s home.

Many thanks to Rebbecca for allowing me to tell her story. Follow her family travels at:


What Can We Learn From This? – Emma’s Thoughts

If you are disembarking a cruise mid-way through make sure you take photos of anything that you are leaving on the ship so that you know what to ask for back.

I too had assumed that the cruise line would just box up everything in the cabin to give it back, but it seems that isn’t always the case so it’s much better to be safe than sorry.

It’s worth noting that if a medical emergency happens to somebody who is on the cruise the cruise line will usually provide a crew member to go to the hospital/airport with them.

As the person injured in this situation wasn’t onboard the cruise, the cruise line just sees it as people leaving the cruise mid-way through and at that point, their responsibility stops.

Thanks SO much to Rebbecca for sharing this story, I think it’s much better to be prepared and not need the knowledge than to find yourself unexpectedly in this situation.

Before You Go

I took a cruise with a very similar itinerary to this on an older ship, MSC Preziosa. It was an incredibly cheap cruise, and I took some non-cruising friends along. Find out how we go on in the article below:

MSC Cruise Review – in Europe (Food, Service, Entertainment and More)

Read about some money-saving tips I always use when sailing with MSC here:

19 Essential MSC Cruise Tips That I Use Everytime (Freebies, Money Saving & More)

Free Insiders Cruise Line Guide

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