Most group tours or cruise excursions feature at least a little time for passengers to explore, shop, or eat on their own. The guide always communicates a meeting time and meeting location and far too often, there is always someone who returns to the group late.
I’m here to implore you not to be that person. By returning to the group late, you send the message that you are a little more important than everyone who made it to the meeting point on time. Understand that almost everyone in the group would have liked more time to explore but instead they followed the rules and returned on time.
Not only are you behaving like a jackass, you also make things more difficult for the guide and driver.
It might seem that a tardy arrival isn’t a big deal but it can really create havoc. Many popular tourist areas have temporary bus parking close to the pedestrian center. Late arrivals can cause the bus driver to have to pay additional fees or risk a fine if he/she exceeds the time allowed in this area.
In many countries including the US, bus drivers are limited to working a certain number of hours each day. If someone in your group returns to the bus five or 10 minutes late, your driver will probably not exceed the limit. If that short delay is compounded by a traffic jam or detour, you might end up with a driver who is no longer able to drive. When Mr. McB visited the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, one of the passengers returned to the bus late and the driver almost ran out of time before the group got back to Dublin.
Consider that a 10-15 minute delay for a morning stop could also make you late for a lunch or tour reservation later in the day.
Timeliness is also very important when it comes to the all aboard on a cruise ship. The comings and goings in a port are not a haphazard affair. Sailing away from a port is a carefully orchestrated event generally involving a pilot ship and tug boat. With all these preparations, there is little tolerance for tardy passengers and the ship is within its rights to leave them behind.
Please just BE ON TIME when you are traveling with others. I know this might seem elementary but given the experience on our cruise, this is a lesson that some folks haven’t learned yet.