It might not have been a passenger. It might have been an entertainer. They fly them in at various ports to do the shows. Maybe his plane was late and they didn't want to leave without him because they had nothing else. The ship has to move out of the harbor so they are not charged additional docking fees and they waited for him there.
I doubt very much the captain would go through that for one passenger unless it was a very important passenger.
Jim C - we saw that happen in St Maarten.... a golf cart comes speeding down the pier, a man gets off, grabs his bag and runs up the gangway.... the gangway comes up, and then we see two more people start running down the pier. too late for them, but the man on the golf cart was that evening's entertainer.
In Cabo San Lucas last year we kept hearing them calling for 4 couples who were still not on the ship. Finally they started pulling out and about 20 minutes away, a police boat came racing towards us and we were all wondering whats was wrong, however I notice 8 people were siting at the back of the boat and these were the 4 couples. They were able to jump on the ship after it stopped for a minute and the captain came on and say, 'WE FINALLY HAVE EVERYONE NOW!' These people were very lucky.
Ok Now I have to worry, For all I knew the ship wont leave you in port if the tour was booked on the cruise line services if they leave you even that way so whats the benefit of booking with the cruise line???
The benefit is, you aren't stuck on your own dollar to get to the ship. If for some unforeseen reason the ship would have to leave and you were on their tour, they'd have to get you to the next port or to the ship on their dollar. 99.99% of the time, they'll wait for the ship sponsored tour, only in really, really, really rare occasions would they leave then they'd make the arrangements for you.