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Vietnam Visa

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50 minutes ago, rose4747 said:

Cool cruiser, you are so right and i am so over princess Cruises and i have not even stepped foot on their boat yet. Like the above I have now just seen this line 'If you obtain the visa on your own it cannot be an electronic visa (eVisa)' added to my cruise personalizer as well. I took your advice and we all have e-visa's and have no intention of paying out anymore.  

 

As above (like 'gratuities' in part) which we just had another email suggesting we 'prepay them' am not that naive to know the methods cruise lines go to make money. On that note, put these costs with gratuities and other charges etc. in the price like they do when operating out of Australia and stop the 'grafting', look after and pay your staff properly and be up front with costs - though that is our culture - we despise 'tipping' to make up for paying people cheap wages from low cost countries on dubious contracts, especially when forced to do it as some cruise lines do. Somehow after paying for the cruise it is my responsibility to now subsidize staff wages as the cruise line does not pay them very well and works them 7 days a week for months on end!!!  Do cruise lines pay any tax on 'gratuities'? -  what a great way to pay for your crew while paying less on the books and making/guilting you (the customer) to feel it is all about customer service - that you have already paid for (- or now they want you to now pay more for in advance!) They charge these daily gratuities and then an extra 20% for overpriced drinks as you cant bring your own onboard. Brilliant business strategy - like these visa charges (Gee, lets say 2000 passengers by $50 = $100,000 USD - money for nothing), nothing at all to do with customer service! Carnival made $3.15b nett last year, yet you have issue with us Aussies not tipping. They call it savvy marketing and good business practice, we call it a 'scam'. You only encourage it further by participating in it. My opinion, but I maybe wrong??? 

 

Yes the daily service fee is nothing short of a way for the company to make extra profit.  They want to play on the guests and make them feel bad for the poor crew. While how about the workers in the terminal cleaning for about $5 dollars a day....should we feel bad for them? The truth here is the majority of crew come from the Philippines now. On a single 9 month contract they earn more money than they would make in 3 years working in the Philippines. Cruise jobs are very high paying jobs by Philippine standards. 

 

Also even if you tip  in cash the Princess Contracts,  with the crew state all cash must be turned into the tip pool.  I know others will post no the crew member can keep it and  they told me so. But  that is just what Princess tells them to say, anything else is grounds to terminate the crew members contract. We have talked to many crew members when they are off the ships here in the Philippines and the truth is very different than what is said while working.  So really no way to give the crew member who went above and beyond any extra cash.

 

17 minutes ago, datone said:

I have just looked at my personaliser for my upcoming Princess cruise and whilst the paperwork sent from the travel agent does not say anything if you obtain a visa on your own it cannot be an electronic visa (evisa), this wording has now appeared in my personaliser also.   Since I obtained my e-visa last week, I have no intention of paying and obtaining another through Princess.   Will be interesting to see what happens when I challenge this on board.

 

You will not have a issue. I have used them on Princess and no issues, they have no legal right to tell you  were your visa comes from. But you do need to have two copies printed out, one fro your records and one to give to guest services when you get on the ship.

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4 hours ago, Expat Cruise said:

 

Yes the daily service fee is nothing short of a way for the company to make extra profit.  They want to play on the guests and make them feel bad for the poor crew.

 

That's not true.  These are American based cruise lines and the gratuity systems are US based and that is no different from the hotel industry in the US.  When the cruise lines operate internationally, passengers of other nationalities, have problems with this US custom and aren't inclined to provide gratuities.  All of the tips do go to the crew and not to the "bottom line".  Maybe these cruise lines would be better off with an all inclusive cost (Azamara includes it already).  

 

As for fighting the e-visas, if it costs you an extra hour in discussions with Princess and you don't mind that risk, then maybe it's worth it.  Vietnam doesn't care, but maybe the cruise lines don't want to go through that.

Edited by hubofhockey

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1 minute ago, hubofhockey said:

 

That's not true.  These are American based cruise lines and the gratuity systems are US based and that is no different from the hotel industry in the US.  When the cruise lines operate internationally, passengers of other nationalities, have problems with this US custom and aren't inclined to provide gratuities.  All of the tips do go to the crew and not to the "bottom line".  Maybe these cruise lines would be better off with an all inclusive cost (Azamara includes it already).  

 

As for fighting the e-visas, if it costs you an extra hour in discussions with Princess and you don't mind that risk, then maybe it's worth it.  The ship has to clear all of its passengers with immigration at each port and it's possible that processing e-visas add too much time for them.  

Princess ships are not American based they are flag in non US Countries.  Tips by their very nature are voluntary and freely given, not controlled by a cruise line to improve the bottom line. The reason they do not want to include these fees in the fare charge is all about accounting and profit. 

 

As for the e-visa again the cruise line has no control over the visas, if you have a valid visa issued by the Government of Vietnam no debate or even discussion.  How many times did you use a e-visa to enter Vietnam in 2019 on Princess Cruises? I know I did this two cruises and never even a question from Princess. Look at the picture before, it clearly shows e-visa was used...  No issues, no problems, no questions.  So I really do not understand why many want to post what they believe to be true vs. first hand accounts of what really happens.

20200114_231256.jpg

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The cruise lines were are talking about are all headquartered in the US, so not buying your argument.  If you don't want to tip, knowing these ships run like US hotels where maids depend on tips, then you're just being cheap.  The cruise lines don't keep gratuities.  I do think they should build gratuities into the price and no longer deal with this, but all are afraid because they believe the higher "price" will scare customers away.  

 

I don't disagree with you on the legality of the e-visas, but, personally, I wouldn't want the time hassle in fighting with a cruise line trying to get off the ship.  I needed an overnight visa for Vietnam, told my cruise line ahead of time and also on original embarkation and they still messed it up and it took me 20 minutes to rectify this and this was with cruise line cooperating.  The aggravation was something I had to go through, but I would never subject myself to it even to save a few $.

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Cruiselines don't control country immigration, but they sure control who is allowed on their ships. If they say you need XYZ paperwork or you don't board.....

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On 1/13/2020 at 5:01 PM, Expat Cruise said:

I said the Visa need to be within the date range and started within that range.  So if you have a Visa that starts January 2nd, it can be used until January 31st. If you enter the country on the 31st of January on this visa you do  not have to leave until 30 days later.  The visa is valid for 30 days after the first entry, as long as started within the date range on the visa.  So exactly as I advised and done with over 30 e-visa so do not assume, FYI  Phu My is consider part of HCMC seaport, have used it as the entry point at lease 5 times in the last two years. 

 

Expat Cruise, I have no idea what you think I assume, but I see what you misunderstand. The  validity of the e-visa is a maximum 30 days commencing on the date stipulated on the the e-visa. If you enter later, the expiry date of the visa does not change. You must leave before or on the "valid until" date stipulated on the e-visa. The immigration officer will not recalculate and extend the validity of the visa beyond its legal maximum. 

 

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9 minutes ago, Aradom said:

Expat Cruise, I have no idea what you think I assume, but I see what you misunderstand. The  validity of the e-visa is a maximum 30 days commencing on the date stipulated on the the e-visa. If you enter later, the expiry date of the visa does not change. You must leave before or on the "valid until" date stipulated on the e-visa. The immigration officer will not recalculate and extend the validity of the visa beyond its legal maximum. 

 

Not going to fight with you here the picture above I posted shows you are wrong that Visa started on March 1, 2019 and needed to be used by March 30, 2019.  I enter the country on the march 16, 2019 my E-visa was good until April 14, 2019 a full 15 days after the date range stated on the visa. You only need to start the Visa within the date range, it will be valid for a full 30 days.

12 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

The cruise lines were are talking about are all headquartered in the US, so not buying your argument.  If you don't want to tip, knowing these ships run like US hotels where maids depend on tips, then you're just being cheap.  The cruise lines don't keep gratuities.  I do think they should build gratuities into the price and no longer deal with this, but all are afraid because they believe the higher "price" will scare customers away.  

 

I don't disagree with you on the legality of the e-visas, but, personally, I wouldn't want the time hassle in fighting with a cruise line trying to get off the ship.  I needed an overnight visa for Vietnam, told my cruise line ahead of time and also on original embarkation and they still messed it up and it took me 20 minutes to rectify this and this was with cruise line cooperating.  The aggravation was something I had to go through, but I would never subject myself to it even to save a few $.

 it is your choice not to use a e-visa if you do not want to do so. Again have you ever even been to Vietnam? Where is your information coming from because it is not correct.  Hundreds of people on my last cruise used -visa with no issues, if you made a mistake in the paperwork when applying for the visa that is upon you, you are not in Boston anymore, the rules you know do not apply when you are in Asia.  

 

Not paying a daily service fee has nothing to do with being cheap, it is a optional fee, at the discretion of the person cruising.  These are in no way mandatory fees, you keep saying US Corporation but they do not operate as a US Corporation No ships are Flagged in the United States, the crews work for a division that is based outside the United States.  You can make these claims about it being a US Corporation and guests should follow US ways of handling tips etc when Princess, pays the crew and treats them like US Employees....which they will never do. Princess and the other cruise lines want to steal from the crew paying them close to nothing and then want the guests to feel bad and make up the difference. Sorry never going to happen. 

 

Only Americans have this crazy idea about tipping. My friend who is Australian  just did 25 days Japan on the Diamond Princess. The on ship currency was USD and Aussie did not have tips included. The first thing he did was to remove $29 dollars a day times 25 days  $725 dollars, guest services said nothing. Because they know only crazy Americans fall for the tipping con game. 

 

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I am not going to get into a tipping debate with you.  The ships run on an American system where employees depend on gratuities.  Everyone knows that.  If you take tips off of your folio, you're being cheap.  Congratulations to your friend for keeping money out of the tip pool and to well deserving hard working Princess employees.

 

If it's legal to use an e-visa, that's great . . . . right up to the point where there is a problem with the ship's manifesto of passengers on the ship and they refuse to let you disembark somewhere.  They will eventually let you off, but it might be a hassle that you don't want on vacation.  My only point there is that there could some inconvenience and each passenger should decide whether it's worth it.  

 

As for being in Vietnam, I've been there and I let Azamara procure my visa, which allowed me to stay overnight off the ship (paid $20 extra for that, for $28 total).  

 

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12 hours ago, hubofhockey said:

I am not going to get into a tipping debate with you.  The ships run on an American system where employees depend on gratuities.  Everyone knows that.  If you take tips off of your folio, you're being cheap.  Congratulations to your friend for keeping money out of the tip pool and to well deserving hard working Princess employees.

 

If it's legal to use an e-visa, that's great . . . . right up to the point where there is a problem with the ship's manifesto of passengers on the ship and they refuse to let you disembark somewhere.  They will eventually let you off, but it might be a hassle that you don't want on vacation.  My only point there is that there could some inconvenience and each passenger should decide whether it's worth it.  

 

As for being in Vietnam, I've been there and I let Azamara procure my visa, which allowed me to stay overnight off the ship (paid $20 extra for that, for $28 total).  

 

You paid a extra $20 for nothing, the same visa given to the day guests is what you were given. Princess does the same thing up charges guest for a night off the ship. But the e visa covers all for 30 days within the country. 

 

Your entitled to your very narrow America view about tipping, will not change the majority of the World. Must see Americans tipping and think stupid Americans..... But again your choice,  but this American will not be con with these false claims of tips. 

 

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On 1/14/2020 at 7:06 PM, rose4747 said:

Cool cruiser, you are so right and i am so over princess Cruises and i have not even stepped foot on their boat yet. Like the above I have now just seen this line 'If you obtain the visa on your own it cannot be an electronic visa (eVisa)' added to my cruise personalizer as well. I took your advice and we all have e-visa's and have no intention of paying out anymore.  

 

From what I can gather that sentence "if you obtain the visa on your own etc. etc. was added to the cruise personaliser sometime between 2 January and 14 January.   My travel agent printed off my travel summary and important notices and sent it to me and this was dated 2 January.   That sentence was not mentioned in the notice about the Vietnam Visa.   I checked my cruise personaliser on 14 January and it is now there.   So I ring Princess yesterday (afternoon of 15 January in Australia) to find out why they will not accept my e-visa which was granted on 6 January and was told the rules had changed.   When I pressed them for more information on this they were vague about when and who.   I was told I would now have to get one through the ship.   I had waited to apply for my husband's e-visa until mine was granted and then last night (evening of 15 January in Australia) and just a few hours after I spoke to Princess, his was granted.   So it doesn't seem as if the Vietnam Government has changed the rules.   I would hope they are not granting visas which cannot be used.   Cannot really see them doing this.   So is it Princess then who have changed the rules?   If so, I don't know how they can refuse to let you use a current and valid e-visa.   Not sure what to do here because they have our credit card number and will probably just charge us for another one each.  I really don't want to pay US $110 for 2 more visas when we already have ones that are perfectly legal and valid.

Edited by datone

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datone, can you please tell me what Entry through checkpoint and Exit through checkpoint you listed on your e-visa application.

 

Don't want to believe that Princess is charging such high prices for providing visas and are unwilling or unable to provide accurate information.

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50 minutes ago, datone said:

 

From what I can gather that sentence "if you obtain the visa on your own etc. etc. was added to the cruise personaliser sometime between 2 January and 14 January.   My travel agent printed off my travel summary and important notices and sent it to me and this was dated 2 January.   That sentence was not mentioned in the notice about the Vietnam Visa.   I checked my cruise personaliser on 14 January and it is now there.   So I ring Princess yesterday (afternoon of 15 January in Australia) to find out why they will not accept my e-visa which was granted on 6 January and was told the rules had changed.   When I pressed them for more information on this they were vague about when and who.   I was told I would now have to get one through the ship.   I had waited to apply for my husband's e-visa until mine was granted and then last night (evening of 15 January in Australia) and just a few hours after I spoke to Princess, his was granted.   So it doesn't seem as if the Vietnam Government has changed the rules.   I would hope they are not granting visas which cannot be used.   Cannot really see them doing this.   So is it Princess then who have changed the rules?   If so, I don't know how they can refuse to let you use a current and valid e-visa.   Not sure what to do here because they have our credit card number and will probably just charge us for another one each.  I really don't want to pay US $110 for 2 more visas when we already have ones that are perfectly legal and valid.

I'm sorry but this another case of Princess Cruises giving completely false information. First your Visas are between you and the host country not Princess Cruises, the host country says they are valid that is the end of debate.  If Princess try to present your passport to Vietnam and says a on ship visa needs to be issue the agents will say no this passport holder already has a valid visa.

 

This is nothing more than the corporate office no knowing or understanding what is going on.   It may also involve the simple fact that if you use the ships service they make a extra $48 dollars profit per guest.  Do the math lets say 1500 passengers ship visa services, that equals  a extra $72,000 dollars in profit for doing nothing.

 

No reason to do anything bring your e visa and tell Guest Service to use them. You have nothing to lose by doing so. Even if they were not valid you still can take the cruise and use the ships visa service....But e-visas are 100% valid and allowed under the rules set by Vietnam and Princess cannot change these rules....if they do they risk not being allowed into the country.

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9 minutes ago, CissyFuss said:

datone, can you please tell me what Entry through checkpoint and Exit through checkpoint you listed on your e-visa application.

 

Don't want to believe that Princess is charging such high prices for providing visas and are unwilling or unable to provide accurate information.

yes first port in Vietnam and your last port in Vietnam what are they?

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6 minutes ago, CissyFuss said:

datone, can you please tell me what Entry through checkpoint and Exit through checkpoint you listed on your e-visa application.

 

Don't want to believe that Princess is charging such high prices for providing visas and are unwilling or unable to provide accurate information.

 

You had better believe it CissyFuss, Not only does many cruise lines not know the charges their ships will charge for Visas, give incorrect information, Vietnam Consulates etc have been known to give false or misleading information as well regarding Visas. 

 

Princess is probably the worst of the bunch because they impose charges well above the norm to make extra from their passengers and have been doing so for years.

 

According to our resident expert Expat Cruiser, Princess will charge you $USD33 (even though their cruise personaliser says $US56) and the cost of an EVisa is $USD25, for $8 per person extra I would let Princess organise the visa and cop the extra as a cost of cruising.   Less hassles and you have to do nothing!

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2 minutes ago, Expat Cruise said:

yes first port in Vietnam and your last port in Vietnam what are they?

 

On Sapphire Princess entering through Nha Trang on 6 February and exiting through Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My) on 7 February.

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Just now, datone said:

 

On Sapphire Princess entering through Nha Trang on 6 February and exiting through Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My) on 7 February.

Your entry port is Nha Trang and the exit port is HCMC Seaport. These are the two we have always used for your ports.  You can can also use Vũng Tàu Port for Phu My, both HCMC Seaport  & Vung Tau Seaport will work for the exit point.   Also set the start date for the Visa  you can use February 1 and it will be valid for entry anytime in the month.

 

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image.png.ebb4672d4c4bb727ac59286363b78f68.png

Folks, this really should put an end to the tipping debate, these continual advertisements kind of makes a mockery out of those whinging about gratuities, cheap Aussies, American culture and globally accepted tipping practice.  The one above sent in emails last week to us Aussies, are as good as we ever get it, unless of course like the Vietnam visas, they change their mind after you book and decide to charge for them, as they obviously do from time to time - guess like these ads, it depends on their profit forecasts. Pot luck I guess as to what you do or don't pay for, book early, book late etc. all bit of a gamble really or maybe good ethical marketing would you not say so? Don't think so? Well here's their latest USA one below, not available to us Aussies.

 

image.png.a432ea5c2e02fefd749d1e722de1c334.png

 

Would appear some of our buddies here or 'we're rich, who cares Americans' cant be complaining about us surely. LOOK WHAT THEY GET FOR FREE, and we're cheap!! Do Princess crews/staff know of these deals, WOW, they must be happy about it? One thing is for sure, either way, obviously they don't need us to help pay for their staff after all!   Now, if they could just find those WMD's 'everybody knows that' were there,  I'd probably be more inclined to be a bit more gullible to this 'con'............

 

I am an aussie, make fun of me for the above, go for it, I am also an old bloke and remember when customer service meant something, not a bunch of legal fine print and 'we will tell you' and change stuff you've paid for when 'we' feel like it rhetoric. As a nation we give as a whole generously to all our Asian neighbors (where most of the crews come from) and like the yanks, usually the first ones in helping when they are in crisis, don't believe me, like the ads above, google it. You want to help a good cause, as above - the cruise companies don't think their staff need it or will cover it, donate your tip money to the victims of our recent devastating bushfires who have lost everything. I know I will be and if princess cruises, yourselves or our cabin crew have issue with that, so be it, call me what you want, I have moved on already.............

 

People have paid for Vietnam visas, you change your policy after they have done so at the last minute, without prior notice, explanation or legal requirement acknowledgement from the Vietnam government - then you have no justification or high ground and we who are in this situation have every right to be not happy about it. Princess Cruises should expect to come the cop for it if indeed not a legal requirement - as their ads above and billion dollar profits suggest, they are not exactly 'doing it tough'.

 

 

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For those who think they only hurt the cruise line (and not employees) by removing gratuities, here is an interesting article. I suppose the number that do remove tips is so low and spread over so many members of the crew, that it's probably not too impactful.  But some got so upset that they started posting names of the cheapskates on Facebook.  I do believe the cruise lines should add the gratuities to your price of the cruise, but until they do, some of you will be giving yourself a discount at the expense of the people who serve you (not the American based cruise line).

 

As for your battles on e-visas, I don't care.  I just want to warn passengers that there could be a hassle in getting off the ship.  If you don't mind that extra work and time when you're on vacation, that's great.  If time is not an issue and you don't have a private tour to meet, it probably won't bother you.

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23 minutes ago, hubofhockey said:

For those who think they only hurt the cruise line (and not employees) by removing gratuities, here is an interesting article. I suppose the number that do remove tips is so low and spread over so many members of the crew, that it's probably not too impactful.  But some got so upset that they started posting names of the cheapskates on Facebook.  I do believe the cruise lines should add the gratuities to your price of the cruise, but until they do, some of you will be giving yourself a discount at the expense of the people who serve you (not the American based cruise line).

 

As for your battles on e-visas, I don't care.  I just want to warn passengers that there could be a hassle in getting off the ship.  If you don't mind that extra work and time when you're on vacation, that's great.  If time is not an issue and you don't have a private tour to meet, it probably won't bother you.

As you have already stated you have never used a e-visa. No issues getting off the ship, it is 100% a legal visa, in fact better than the group cruise visa issued on the ship. I have had over 20 e-visa, been into these ports on four different Princess Cruises using a e visa NEVER ANY ISSUES.  Stop trying to scare people here with false information. E-Visas are the correct way to go. 

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Please note that evisa are single entry only [as of now, at least] - so if you're coming back through Vietnam at any point during your trip (not a couple ports in a row - but coming back after another country) you have to get a different type of visa. evisas might be great but they do NOT fit all scenarios. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Hoyaheel said:

Please note that evisa are single entry only [as of now, at least] - so if you're coming back through Vietnam at any point during your trip (not a couple ports in a row - but coming back after another country) you have to get a different type of visa. evisas might be great but they do NOT fit all scenarios. 

 

 

No visa fits all scenarios, if you are traveling for business, working,  staying longer than 30 days..... The e-visa is the best choice on a Princess Cruise for most passengers. 

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I try to avoid blanket recommendations - specific itineraries and passport/nationality matter when it comes to visas. I don't know what each cruise itinerary is nor do I know where people might be before or after their cruise. You're very happy with the evisa. It might make a lot of sense for a lot of people. But it's not the only option and not always the appropriate or legal option. We're not disagreeing on this.

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What timing!  Just received this email from Princess Cruises this morning.

 

"Please Share Your Thoughts About Princess Cruises

 

Dear CissyFuss
    
We'd like to ask you a few questions about cruising and about Princess Cruises.

Please click the link below to participate in this brief survey:

Click here to take the survey

Please note, we kindly ask that you keep the contents of this survey confidential.

 

Best regards,
Princess Cruises
"

 

I don't think I dare share my thoughts with them at this stage or they mightn't let me board the Sapphire Princess at the end of March.  Thanks to Princess, my struggles for clarity on procuring a Vietnam visa have turned my hair grey!

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Thanks for posting the passport stamps image, Expat Cruise. It's interesting for the 31 day period of stay and the Ba Ria-Vung Tau Immigration stamp for Phu My.  Thanks also for the extra details later.  The image itelf didn't prove anything about the issue. The dates you mention don't match those in the image, but I'll accept that the visa validity was extended past the "valid until" date on the e-visa.   I can't accept it as the norm.  It is not happening at land ports and air ports as far as I know.  Could it be just at seaports?  

I'm not much the wiser about using an e-visa at Hon Gai though.  Think I'll ask elsewhere. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Aradom
Omitted words

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