Related, but concerns boarding at a midpoint rather than ditching: Can you take only part of a cruise?

After reading the above question, I was curious about the opposite scenario. My passport allows me indefinite access and automatic residency on several Caribbean islands that are frequent cruise ship ports of call. If I take a cruise that stops on one of those islands part-way and decide that I'm going to stay there, the government isn't going to be on my case as long as I do my homework (e.g. checking in to obtain local ID if I decide to live there, or else staying out of trouble and flying home eventually if I decide to just hang around as a tourist for a while). What happens with the cruise?

Generally, what happens if you ditch a cruise part-way? For example, are early departure fees (getting billed extra for not getting back on) typical, or is blacklisting (being banned from cruising again on the same ship or line) common? Do they simply not care and clean out your cabin?

I'm especially interested in the Caribbean but answers can address other regions of the world (e.g. Europe or Asia) if you have knowledge of them or if practices differ from those typical in the Caribbean.

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    Are you planning on telling the ship you left? Not doing that is going to cause more problems (for the ship) than doing it. Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 16:41
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    @DJClayworth well, I'm not actually planning it, but more curious as to what actually happens. Even then, I'm not sure that is going to matter a lot since they will surely find out when I fail to check back in at the port before the ship leaves. I suppose my question is if this is like hidden-city ticketing on airlines where people sometimes get banned, or whether cruise lines just sort of shrug and let you do whatever. I suppose it might matter whether or not people using X->Y->Z->X cruises as a convenient way to travel one-way from X->Y is common enough for cruise lines to have policies. Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 16:50
  • Given the variety of "cruises" and multiple operators (with resulting multiple Terms & Conditions and varied routes), I suspect there is no general answer. Commented Dec 21, 2022 at 19:43

1 Answer 1


This can be arranged with the cruise line but they are in no way obligated to. There is no legal reason preventing it other than between 2 US ports in some circumstances.

Crew, often entertainers, will do this to rotate across ships.

You can always ask. And, realistically, you're not a prisoner and barring any local regulation, they can't make you finish the sailing. Just don't expect a refund or anything.

Never abandon ship, this creates problems for everyone else and you risk being blacklisted.

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