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Posts posted by Evagoblog

  1. I was looking on the VTG grid for World cruises and for Cruise and Maritime V (which are pretty cheap to begin with) they are up to 70% off, the only ones that have discounts that great are Oceania, which are pretty high to begin with so that's understandable.  Was wondering maybe it was become more Americans (including Canadians) take World Cruises so they prefer start near the U.S. (many of those cruises have very low discounts or are sold out) and since Maritime starts in the U.K. (mostly) people nearer that area don't take cruises that much or is it their quality of service and accommodations?  Will also post this also under their site on CC.

  2. Try using the search tool here and didn't get a response on here, but if there is a thread already started can someone give me the link, if not, answer the question, how difficult would it be for cruisers to do this on their own, are their local tours in the ship terminal that offer that with the transportation or have to get a taxi or should I look online with tour companies.  Thanks

  3. I guess I have to find a way so I stop getting the threads to this forum as I REALLY have better things to do with my  time  instead of keeping posting on here but you are INCORRECT and I HAVE to correct this misinformation. Many times on a cruise ship because of the short stays, visa requirements are waived or the cruise ship got it, I had that happen for Russia, China, Vietnam,  Australia and the reprecocity agreement for Argentina which was like a visa (and where did I say it was for free, this is cruiselines remember, and they probably charged more but it was worth it to avoid the hassle, I remember specifically paying extra for Aust. and Areg. ones, the others I think waived the visas.  I was told by the cruise ship representatives for each line AT THE TIME OF BOOKING about not having to get one (SO YOU ARE WRONG ABOUT THE CRUISE AGENTS NOT TELLING YOU THAT) and believed them and it was true and never had any problem, and because of that, I believed the agent who told me that the cruise ship got them (perhaps as I said, because it happened for other countries) and why I caution people about doublechecking (this is the first time I had a cabin mate who was nervous and maybe that is why by the grace of God this happened.) The  thread has gotten off topic, which was do NOT use a Chromebook to get an evisa for Brazil!!!!

  4. I am glad that you had a positive experience, I never said DON'T use it but to beware of it, they disable the link to get an evisa through them, and the cost is much higher to get it through them, if one can afford to pay a lot if it's easier for you, than do so.  I never said that they pressured me per se, but everyone I talked to strongly suggested that is the best way (and because of what the previous agent who wrongly informed me, I was almost going to do it that way thinking it would be better.) 


    I hope that you are not implying that I am LYING about this (like our "esteemed" president often does) or that I imagined this, I do resent that implication since you were NOT privy to the conversation (maybe they get commissions for bookings and will say whatever to get the booking??)  I don't like hassle which is why I take cushy cruises rather than independent travel where I can more readily absorb the country and culture of the locals than spending a few hours in port.  I had asked the res. agent THREE times, before I did a temporary booking which later I transferred to a travel agent who came up with a better price, and she DID say, that I did NOT have to get it on my own, and HAL would do it and all we had to do was give them the passport when boarding. I had done this on other cruises and maybe she knew that they had done  it for other ports, but that doesn't excuse her from giving out wrong info. Since the reservation was changed, there was no way that the particular agent could be " counseled"  to check before giving incorrect advice, but believe you me, if what HAL has told me is true, ALL HAL agents are NOW advised to either look up on their computer or check with someone else before giving a specific country's visa information in regards to how HAL would handle it on their cruise  (NOT just general info which again I agree can be found on the internet) so one can make a decision on whether or not to take a particular cruise with accurate info. 

  5.  Although I edited it for spelling and grammar errors, it didn't go through.  For visa rules of course you should go to that country's or the U.S. government website, what I said and should AGAIN clarify since the previous poster (and others ) may not understand, if you are informed by a cruise line or tour company that THEY will take care of the visa for you (some lines and companies do) DOUBLE check that they will.  If you have a travel agent who won't check for you (and as I said, I take expensive cruises so I want a good travel agent who will be doing something for their commission and there are GREAT ones who WILL-contact me and I will give you a FABULOUS TA if you PM me) or you don't trust them, then of course, check for yourself and yes, if you want to go to Brazil then you should go but the main tourist reasons are the Amazon, Mardi, and the Falls which can also be seen on the Argentinian side, this was info given by someone who was taking a tour that included Brazil for three days, and had to at that time get a regular Brazilian visa for over $200 dollars and asked on Trip Advisor if it was worth the cost to go there, of course now it's cheaper and easier. 


    The whole point of the earlier posting was NOT to bash Brazil but to tell people (and it was in the first paragraph) that their evisa will NOT work on a Chromebook and the evisa company will not inform you on their website (I wrote a lengthy email to them) or correct it (tried again after informing) and VSF customer service support will does not help you with problems on their website.   HAL gave NO info about visas, the agency they use Central Visa doesn't even have that itinerary on their HAL website.  As I said, I had to ask HAL directly  to make sure because my nervous cabinmate was uneasy about not getting the visa.  The evisa process is simple enough IF you don't use a Chromebook, but MANY many people have had reported problems with the photos, which I don't think the cruiseline forums have addressed.  


  6. I am posting this here, as I don't want to post it on just one cruise line link and this is VERY useful info. I booked a cruise on HAL, because the res. sales agent told me that the cruise line got bulk Brazilian visas, on board, it did not, and had I known what I had to go through to get an evisa I would have reconsidered. Fortunately I found out by asking another rep. a few weeks AFTER I paid and couldn't get a refund (story is on the HAL forums) imagine me being left on the dock, because of my misinformation (even though it takes 3 days to get one, I had heard that the ship can refuse to board you, does anyone know if true?  


     First and foremost even though VFS (the official provider for their evisas, there are others but they charge you extra and probably use their site anyway) claims you can use the Chromebook  browser it will NOT work on the Chromebook. The other private evisa company might be better than the "official "company as they may be able to help as you don't have to register (which my chromebook wouldn't do) or upload the photos (you probably had to send it to them). I was desperate enough to go to the embassy and get one, but not only do they charge over a $100 more and you have to go to USPS and get a postal money order, but you STILL have to register online, negating the whole reason for me to go there!!!


    The VFS Customer Service Agents kept saying they would escalate it to the the tech team, who NEVER email you back. My friend did his on his desktop and  I begged him to help me and it went through FINALLY but there was trouble with the photos (there are a lot of questions on the internet about that so it's a common problem.)  On TripAdvisor there is a forum (put in Brazilian visa in their search engine) where one gives advice on downloading an app and another about how going to his AAA they were able to  resize the photo to fit their requirements (he said that was the most trouble he EVER had with an evisa..)


    Unless you REALLY, really want to see Brazil specifically (you can see the Amazon from Peru and celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans)  after all that, I wouldn't advise it. 

    Never rely on a reservationist alone, for visa info, (and by that I mean if the cruise ship gets them for you)  if they have a documents dept, like HAL talk to THEM, but always, ALWAYS get a second opinion if you book directly with cruise line and if you book through a travel agent, who gets a large commission, don't book with them if they don't bother to find out, they got to do something besides booking since it's so easy for us to book online now. They way you have a person to "blame" if given  wrong info. 

  7. Ols Salt, did you not know that the visa requirement for Brazil was waived for the Olympics (but then again HAL may have had THEIR requirement and STILL have required it) and I don't know then but now, HAL only requires a yellow fever for Devil's Island but then again, the person who told me that was the agent who told me that HAL would get me the visa aboard ship-imagine if we had showed up at the dock with no visa, and this is NOT a cheap cruise-ooohh, a law suit in the making but on the roll call for this trip, someone said only YF vaccine required. 


    On another note, on I took a Princess cruise  from Africa to England (30 days starting at $999) if I took it on HAL it would have been that price for a single, same itinerary, and I wouldn't have had to deal with a roommate that was like the aggressor in the Me Too movement!  This was during Ebola scare-silly people were so scared to go to African then, when I took a cruise from Houston, a friend not knowing where I was going told me not to get Eb, turns out that on that ship  on a couple of cruises before they had a medical worker who worked at the hospital in Texas where some person who died of it was, she never met him, but on the Carib. cruise she took they wouldn't let her leave the cabin and the ports wouldn't allow the other pax off the ship, guess she was in her room to protect her from the other irate paxs LOL!  I told my friend yeah, why go 12K miles when I can go 1200 miles and get it!  Some pax of Chinese descent,  did not get the required vaccines for Africa, they held up an independent tour that some (maybe CC passengers put together) for almost an hour, because the ship didn't want let them off the ship but finally did  (irritating, for people like me, who spent the time and money getting vacs.)   I wonder if HAL would do that, but given that the pax are usually a bit older and thus more susceptible to illnesses, probably not. 


    Although this pertains to my HAL cruise the advice here can pertain to ANY visa service pushed by the cruise line. I do not know if I can post the same thing in different forums so I will just lead others to here. 
    When I booked the 50 day cruise on the Veendam I was told by a HAL sales rep, that we can get a visa onboard for Brazil with HAL and asked her 3x as it looked like on the website we had to get it on our own.   Couple of weeks later, my roommate who felt uncomfortable, made me call again and was informed by docs. agent I was transferred to, to get visa thru Visa Central (he made it sound mandatory and not an option) and when I called again to HAL to make sure, I was also made to feel that I needed to get visa through Visa Central. When I went to their website the link to an e-visa didn't work (I thought that  because the first agent said HAL got the visas we HAD to get our visas through there.)  Imagine my horror after filling out all the info (the link VC gave me was for other ships since the Veendam had no listing for the kits, but she said I could use ANY kit-confused me when she used kit but it's just instructions) it was $130 more than the base cost of the visa, I did NOT purchase but not thinking of simply asking the employee there, went through the steps to get a visa to find out price. 
    It looks like you have to mail things to VC and they either do it the old fashioned way going to the embassy or just fill it online for you, and that's why the surcharge is so exorbitant. If I was generous, I would say that maybe because there are many elderly people on HAL cruises, they think many don't know how to use the internet and they want to be helpful in suggesting a company that can do it for you even an easy e-visa, but sadly, I think they get so much commission they want you to think that is the BEST way and push it.  Other cruise lines also push visa companies probably earning high commissions (I'd say kickbacks) so do your homework on the internet and do NOT use these companies. I don't mind paying to the ship for them to do them, as it's no hassle, but I might not have had to for some countries who usually require visas because some countries do waivers if you are in a country for three days or less, making me think that they created them for cruise ship stops. 
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