You need to leave the ship for a while?
Have some emergency business at home?
Most cruise line companies have very strict policy when it comes to that.
Certain cruise lines even offer to pay for an airline ticket.
However, it is industry standard, and common sense that for emergency leave, companies need to see some kind of documentation as a proof.
If somebody close to you has died, and you want to attend the funeral, you will eventually need to produce a document to confirm that effect.
If you want to attend somebody’s wedding, you will not get paid air ticket, but a short, unpaid leave is a possibility.
Every cruise line has a paragraph on emergency leave issue, woven into the crew contract.
Here’s for example what Princess Cruises’ crew contract says:
The Company recognizes that from time to time crewmembers may request leave on compassionate grounds.
In genuine cases, under certain defined circumstances, the Company will be responsible for covering the cost of repatriation.
When, during the course of a voyage, the lawful spouse or child or, in the case of a single crewmember, a parent is dangerously ill or has died, every reasonable effort will be made by the Company to repatriate the crewmember concerned as quickly as possible.
Crewmember agrees that, at the time of signing off on compassionate grounds, the crewmember will owe the Company the return airfare expense unless the crewmember provides to the Company satisfactory medical certificates issued by a registered medical practitioner attesting to the illness or death of that applicable relative mentioned in this paragraph.
So there you go.
If you are joining the company, but worry about things that might come up, now you know.
Cruise line will not hire your replacement, and in most cases your teammates will carry your workload until you come back, provided that your leave does not exceed reasonable amount of days.