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jtdlmc

Non-USA citizens and US Customs

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Sorry, lots of questions and I've tried to search but draw a blank with this one.

 

On my last cruise out of Tampa on CCL all Canadians (and other non-USA citizens) had to meet with US custom officials at 6 am!!!! the day of debark! I'm told this only happens at certain ports. Anyone know if this is the case with NCL in New York?

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Sorry, lots of questions and I've tried to search but draw a blank with this one.

 

On my last cruise out of Tampa on CCL all Canadians (and other non-USA citizens) had to meet with US custom officials at 6 am!!!! the day of debark! I'm told this only happens at certain ports. Anyone know if this is the case with NCL in New York?

 

Part of the answer would have something to do with what ports the ship is coming from (not mentioned above). In any event, I would think this is more of an immigration issue, and not NCL.

 

And by the way, it seems that whenever there is a delay, and they keep annoucing somebodies name to report to the reception desk, ... it is almost always a name that "sounds" foreign. Guessing this is people that need special handling as they are not U.S. citizens.

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Part of the answer would have something to do with what ports the ship is coming from (not mentioned above). In any event, I would think this is more of an immigration issue, and not NCL.

 

And by the way, it seems that whenever there is a delay, and they keep annoucing somebodies name to report to the reception desk, ... it is almost always a name that "sounds" foreign. Guessing this is people that need special handling as they are not U.S. citizens.

 

Yes that very well could be the case but apparently it has to do with the set up of the port of disembarktion and whether they have immigration/customs facilities there. Tampa does not. I am wondering if the port of New York does or does not. BTW - Most surnames in Canada are the same as in the US :p

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Port of NY is now like most airports with lines on the pier for Non US Citizens and other lines for US Citizens.

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Port of NY is now like most airports with lines on the pier for Non US Citizens and other lines for US Citizens.

 

That's much better than having to get up at 5:30 am on our last day. Thanks for the info.

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BTW - Most surnames in Canada are the same as in the US :p

 

teeheehee ;)

 

 

Somehow I don't think garycarla was trying to insult us, but I'm assuming meant that if you are a non-US citizen from any other country the rules may be different set out by immigration. They may have not realized we fall under a different category than other non-US citizens.

 

Part of the answer would have something to do with what ports the ship is coming from (not mentioned above). In any event, I would think this is more of an immigration issue, and not NCL.

 

And by the way, it seems that whenever there is a delay, and they keep annoucing somebodies name to report to the reception desk, ... it is almost always a name that "sounds" foreign. Guessing this is people that need special handling as they are not U.S. citizens.

 

In my experience there are 3 clearing sections to disembarkation. U.S., Canada and other non-US citizens. We were suppose to meet (as Canadians) 1/2 hour before our scheduled NCL after cruise excursions, but no one informed us so we didn't show up early just the time stated on our tickets. They said no big deal that a rep from immigration just wanted to see our docs, which the Shore Ex guy said was in order and no worry.

The reason Canadians fall under a different category than other non-US is because of our shared border and the fact US and Canadian customs work together for any information they require. There computer systems are linked to pull up basic information needed to make a clearance of someone.

 

BTW the names called could have nothing to do with immigration or customs. It may be something as simple as that customer has a cash credit from their account and they can't reach them in their stateroom.

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I have only cruised Royal, Celebrity, Princess and now very soon Norwegian....only on Princess did we, as well as the non-US crew, ever have to go through customs at each US port.

 

I really hope NCL does not make that the case, because that was a very poor setup on Princess and a pain, RCI never has had that.

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I have only cruised Royal, Celebrity, Princess and now very soon Norwegian....only on Princess did we, as well as the non-US crew, ever have to go through customs at each US port.

 

I really hope NCL does not make that the case, because that was a very poor setup on Princess and a pain, RCI never has had that.

 

Of course you have to go through customs, even US citizens have to go through customs, if they are on a ship that goes to someplace other than U.S. ports. Do you mean pre-clearance, which is actually put in place to speed up the clearance for Canadians. This is not an NCL decision but immigration.

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I do not mean when first boarding the ship. I mean, like on Princess, when we stopped at St Thomas mid-cruise we had to go through customs first thing in the morning whether we wanted to get off the ship or not. Never had to do this on RCI, just Princess.

 

You should just have to deal with that stuff when you first board and once you disembark at the very end.

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I do not mean when first boarding the ship. I mean, like on Princess, when we stopped at St Thomas mid-cruise we had to go through customs first thing in the morning whether we wanted to get off the ship or not. Never had to do this on RCI, just Princess.

 

You should just have to deal with that stuff when you first board and once you disembark at the very end.

 

OK now I understand. No you do not have to go through customs at ports, just swipe your key card and walk off. That being said it may depend on the port and their immigration dept but no ports that we have been to in the caribbean or mexico did we have to go through immigration. On the way back onto the ship (again depending on the port) you may have to have your ID checked with the local port authorities. Then as you board the ship your key card is swiped and your belongings have to go through the scanner. Really simple process.

 

We were discussing the end of your vacation at disembarkation, not during your cruise.

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I do not mean when first boarding the ship. I mean, like on Princess, when we stopped at St Thomas mid-cruise we had to go through customs first thing in the morning whether we wanted to get off the ship or not. Never had to do this on RCI, just Princess.

 

You should just have to deal with that stuff when you first board and once you disembark at the very end.

 

 

NCL, RCI, Princess - can not see where it would be different. Immigration rules are immigration rules. Only difference might be the time, but if immigration wants to see non citizens, it would be the same for all cruiselines.

With St. Thomas being a U.S. Territory, it is like entering the U.S.

 

p.s. Earlier comments about "foreign"sounding names was NOT directed at Canadians, or any country for that matter. Just making an observation that it is common to hear names that are "generally" foreign sounding. And they are repeated over, and over and over. I doubt it was about their billing account.

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And they are repeated over, and over and over. I doubt it was about their billing account.

 

Well apparently they tried numerous times to reach us to hand us back $8.44. But you could be right.

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I do not mean when first boarding the ship. I mean, like on Princess, when we stopped at St Thomas mid-cruise we had to go through customs first thing in the morning whether we wanted to get off the ship or not. Never had to do this on RCI, just Princess.

 

You should just have to deal with that stuff when you first board and once you disembark at the very end.

 

That's because you entered the US in St. Thomas (assuming that your previous stop was a non-US port . . . same drill applies in Key West, San Juan and St Croix.

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I think at the time a few years ago, Princess did not do pre-clearence where as RCI had all of that over and done with as soon as we boarded. They kept the passports the whole cruise.

 

I've stopped at St Thomas many times on RCI, and never had to go through customs. But Princess was a different story. Exact same itinerary originally leaving from Florida. Real nuisance. Maybe its changed now on Princess.

 

 

We were discussing the end of your vacation at disembarkation, not during your cruise.

 

Yea, I see that now lol, my mistake. Thanks :)

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That's because you entered the US in St. Thomas (assuming that your previous stop was a non-US port . . . same drill applies in Key West, San Juan and St Croix.

 

Nope it was either something to do with immigration that particular sail or to do with the line (not sure about why they did that but it had nothing to do with what you said).

 

One of our ports on the Dawn was St. Thomas, left from Miami (I am a Canadian citizen). But stopped first in a non-US port Samana DR, then St. Thomas and then Tortola BVI. We never had to meet with anyone anytime from immigration.

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I think at the time a few years ago, Princess did not do pre-clearence where as RCI had all of that over and done with as soon as we boarded. They kept the passports the whole cruise.

 

I've stopped at St Thomas many times on RCI, and never had to go through customs. But Princess was a different story. Exact same itinerary originally leaving from Florida. Real nuisance. Maybe its changed now on Princess.

 

 

Rest assured you won't have that hassle on NCL

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We are Canadians and we sailed NCL from NYC and we never met with Customs officer on the last day nor did we have to get in a special line to exit the ship? Is this different in Tampa? We will be sailing from Tampa this time on NCL.

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We are Canadians and we sailed NCL from NYC and we never met with Customs officer on the last day nor did we have to get in a special line to exit the ship? Is this different in Tampa? We will be sailing from Tampa this time on NCL.

 

Sorry I can't answer about Tampa, but as I said above the only reason apparently on our last cruise we were to meet them was to sort of do a pre-clearance to make sure everything was in order and obviously not a big deal. I think they were just making sure you had your declaration filled out properly and all your ID ready so not to hold up the line long. That was out of LA. We didnt have to do that 2 years before out of Miami.

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We are Canadians and we sailed NCL from NYC and we never met with Customs officer on the last day nor did we have to get in a special line to exit the ship? Is this different in Tampa? We will be sailing from Tampa this time on NCL.

 

Yes we were on a CCL ship this past February in Tampa. We had to fill out customs forms - just asking how much we spent and if we purchased alcohol - and go to the theatre at 6 am (now that I found the notice I see that it was 6:45 am we had to meet) to stand in line and hand them to the immigration officer. They marked an X on the form and then when we got off the ship, where the US citizens went through customs/immigration, we had to hand the form to the customs officer there and we were on our way. Then, as usual, we had to go through Canadian customs when we arrived home. This is what we received in our room the night before:

 

2730852040098958155S500x500Q85.jpg

 

 

We did not go through customs or immigration before or after any port and none were US ports. From what I was told, there are only certain ports where this is done. I'm glad to hear NY is not one of them. Tampa is, at least on CCL - but like others have said, I would think this is an immigration process and not cruiseline specific so I'm sure it must be done on all cruise ships disembarking in Tampa.

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...interesting info...

Thanks for posting that, even though it isn't the best news I could have heard. I'm sailing out of Tampa in November.

 

As long as we don't actually have to LEAVE the ship at 6.45AM, or whatever time NCL/US Customs has arranged for the Star. I'm okay with that. I'll have bedhead, my GF will have a knot in her face, and we'll be leading 2 teenaged zombies...but oh well. As long as we can go back to the cabin and finish getting ready for our post-cruise Tampa excursion then we'll be fine.

 

Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

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I see that it was 6:45 am we had to meet) to stand in line and hand them to the immigration officer..

 

 

I can't believe we will have to get up this early....We don't even need to rush to catch a flight since we are staying in Tampa a few days and I was hoping we could sleep in and choose the late exit.

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I had the same 6am meeting for non us citizens on a 3 day bahamas cruise out of Port Canaveral. It was on Carnival. I have been on NCL cruises out of LA, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, New York City and never had to do the brutal 6am meeting.

 

I"m not sure but I'm thinking it is port specific.

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This is interesting. When we returned to Miami after our Sky cruise to the Bahamas, we didn't have to get up early to deal with Immigration. Just had to complete the declaration card that was delivered to our room the night before. After we got off the ship, there was a line for non-US citizens but no one cared. They just funneled everyone into whatever lines were moving fastest, the officers took our cards and waved us through. We were surprised.

 

We have a Carnival cruise booked in January out of Miami...hopefully they don't do this, but at least now we'll be prepared if they do.

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Been on that sky cruise once out of Miami and there was also no 6am meeting for non us citizens. The customs lady actually told the Canadians to go in the same line as the Americans as they are looked at the same.

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We've never had to do this with RCCL or NCL but have at times (but not every time) with CCL. On Carnival Victory out of Miami, we had to line up at 6 am to get off in St. Thomas which was a day after San Juan where we didn't have to. Another time on Victory we sailed from New York to Canada and didn't have to. Last year in Tampa had to do it on debarkation day. Sailed from NOLA in December (also CCL) and didn't have to. We keep trying to figure out a rhyme or reason but don't seem to be able to find any consistancy.

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