How long was the cruise? Why didn't you travel to the first port of call and embark there? If it was a short (4 day or less) cruise, then I could see this as not being worth the money, but for a long cruise it may have been. RCCL staff at the terminal should have been able to help there (not saying they would have paid for your travel, but they could have maybe arranged things.)
Many people miss the boat (as the saying goes). Trvlpro and Dave had great posts explaining the air travel mess, so I won't go into that.. but I was just curious as to why you didn't try to go meet the ship?
Carnival Cruise Lines:
Fantasy 90, Celebration 95, Victory 05, Conquest 05, Spirit 6/06, Freedom 6/08, Holiday 7/08, Victory 6/09, Valor 9/09, Dream 6/10, Splendor 8/10,Conquest 8/11,Magic 11/11,Triumph 4/12,Spirit 7/12,Freedom 11/12, Triumph 2/13 - The fire cruise
NCL Dream October 2006, RCCL Mariner OTS June 2007