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Evagoblog

Important notice about getting an Brazilian evisa....

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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. 

Edited by Evagoblog
Grammartical reasons

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When traveling to new or 'exotic countries, I always personally check visa requirements on the US State Department's (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go.html) and the country's consular website.

 

Having taken two Princess cruises with ports in Brazil (Fort Lauderdale to Manaus in 2010 and LA to Rio in 2016/17), both my TA and Princess sent out numerous reminders to get a visa.  There are also number of helpful threads on completing the e-visa on the South America Ports of Call board here on cruise critic. 

 

There are lots of reasons to 'really, really' want to see Brazil:  the Amazon and the cities and towns along the river, the ports along the Atlantic especially Rio de Janiero, and Iguassu Falls to mention a few.  Our first visa was for 5 years, our second was for 10 (we got those a little more than a year before the e-visa was introduced) and we definitely plan to visit again before this current visa expires in 2026.

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 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.  

 

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Just be aware that if your cruise stops in Brazil, you MUST have a visa and I do not know of any line that will get them for you. It takes a while and they are not inexpensive.

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Yes, that is why I emphasize that one must get the correct info from the cruise line and your information is outdated, with the evisa unless you consider 3-5 days a long time and unless you consider $44 expensive, it's neither.

Edited by Evagoblog

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Visas are a complicated subject. Two things are generally true:

1. It is entirely the responsibility of the traveler to obtain all required documents (including visas) for a cruise.

2. Visa requirements change frequently. What was true last year, last month, or last week may not be true today.

 

I was very surprised that a sales agent on the phone would give any visa advice. The very reason you cited, "someone to blame" is the reason that cruise lines avoid that hot potato, other than to refer you to a visa service.  For example, Oceania sends you here for visa information. HAL's business is selling cruises; Visa Central, Pinnacle TDS, and others are in the travel document business.

 

Similarly, some travel agents might give great customer service and alert to visa requirements, other TA's are just order takers who book cruises and may give some OBC.

 

Having done several South American cruises, I can tell you about two actual circumstances where cruisers did not have Brazilian visas. One couple was simply denied boarding. End of story. In a different situation on a cruise from Valparaiso, Chile to Fort Lauderdale, with stops in Brazil, a couple who attempted to board without visas was given the option to go home or leave the ship in Buenos Aires and rejoin the ship at the first port beyond Brazil. At their own expense of course.

 

I'm sorry for you that HAL somehow missed coordinating with Visa Central. Hope you finally got the correct documents.

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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!!!!

Edited by Evagoblog

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Each cruise line have their own "cruise contract" you agree to by physically board the ship. Every one I've read spell out that it's the pax responsibility to do all research for passports, visas, shots etc. About a month ago there was a post by a couple that got thrown off a ship before entering China waters due to THEIR failure in paper work. 

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18 hours ago, Evagoblog said:

 The  thread has gotten off topic, which was do NOT use a Chromebook to get an evisa for Brazil!!!!

 

For a post about Chromebooks, it sure took a lot of swipes at the cruiseline and the visa service.

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