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lynnber

Having to leave the ship early

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So my large family is scheduled for a Thanksgiving cruise, and my son who is in the military just found out that he absolutely has to be somewhere the day before the cruise returns. We've looked into his still going on the cruise and flying back home when we get to St. Thomas and its do-able schedule wise. What would be our next steps?

Do we have to inform the cruise line ahead of time?

Would his card still be active once he's gone? What about his drink package? My other son will still be in the room.

Thanks for any insight!

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I think it depends on itinerary, and potential violations of PVSA?  
You do have to tell them and there is now an admin fee for early disembarking $75

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There are definite rules and a fee to pay.  He will also need a passport in case he doesn’t right now - need to get.  Would suggest checking with RC. Not something I would trust to be answered correctly on a public forum 

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5 minutes ago, Grandma Dazzles said:

There are definite rules and a fee to pay.  He will also need a passport in case he doesn’t right now - need to get.  Would suggest checking with RC. Not something I would trust to be answered correctly on a public forum 

 

No passport required since St. Thomas is a United States territory.

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Many businesses will make exceptions for military personnel under official orders (i.e. report to X no later than...).  If this is the case, don't hesitate to bring it up when dealing with RC (and be prepared to provide a copy of the orders if requested).  Even if not under official transfer orders, a letter from his commanding officer may suffice.  They might give you a break on some of the additional fees. At least it's worth a try.

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4 hours ago, Scotty G said:

 

No passport required since St. Thomas is a United States territory.

 

My mistake - thought you needed to fly but not for cruise. 

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You, or your TA, definitely need to request this in writing well in advance of the cruise.  They have to approve it.  Since it's St. Thomas and a US territory where he'd be getting off the ship, he should be fine but he'll still need that approval.  He won't have a penalty (which can be many hundreds of dollars in some countries), so it's a good thing he's leaving from there.

He won't be liable for the daily added gratuities for the days he's not on the ship and his onboard account will be closed out the day he leaves.  

 

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Keep in mind that itineraries can change with little or no notice. No guarantee you will be on St Thomas on a given day.  Weather, mechanical, or other ship emergencies could alter the plan. Not saying this is likely, but I'd be worried about that possibility. 

 

Hate to be a downer, but in my military days, I'd have hated to rely on a cruise line schedule to report as ordered... 

 

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20 hours ago, Doug S said:

Keep in mind that itineraries can change with little or no notice. No guarantee you will be on St Thomas on a given day.  Weather, mechanical, or other ship emergencies could alter the plan. Not saying this is likely, but I'd be worried about that possibility. 

 

Hate to be a downer, but in my military days, I'd have hated to rely on a cruise line schedule to report as ordered... 

 

Definitely something to seriously consider. Our stop in San Juan was skipped due to the unrest back in July.

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Here is an applicable link.  Definitely contact RCCL ASAP.

 

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/faq/questions/partial-cruise-request

 

I am not sure how PVSA applies to St Thomas and San Juan, but it definitely applies to getting on a ship in Ft Lauderdale and getting off the ship in Key West before the ship returns to Ft Lauderdale.

 

Now if he gets off in Nassau, Jamaica, Cozumel it is more straight forward gov't rule wise.  He just need to make sure he has a passport, but you still need to let RCCL know beforehand and they may or may not grant the request.

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Update:

We contacted our travel agent who contacted RCCL and got an immediate response and approval. We had to call a phone number and give a credit card for the $65 charge for leaving early, and as soon as I did so they emailed me the letter that he has to bring off the ship with him. A little annoyed at the charge since he's military, but the whole thing was pretty painless 🙂 and as long as there are no weather disasters he should be good to go.

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On 11/16/2019 at 5:34 PM, WI-Cruiser said:

Many businesses will make exceptions for military personnel under official orders (i.e. report to X no later than...).  If this is the case, don't hesitate to bring it up when dealing with RC (and be prepared to provide a copy of the orders if requested).  Even if not under official transfer orders, a letter from his commanding officer may suffice.  They might give you a break on some of the additional fees. At least it's worth a try.

Agree, been a few years but Royal worked with me twice. US ARMY(now Retired)

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10 hours ago, lynnber said:

A little annoyed at the charge since he's military,

Not sure why expect them to waive the fee, for anyone.

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11 hours ago, lynnber said:

 little annoyed at the charge since he's military, but the whole thing was pretty painless 🙂 and as long as there are no weather disasters he should be good to go.

They are just expecting to be reimbursed for their expenses. As a navy wife, I wouldn't expect anything different.

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On 11/17/2019 at 9:47 PM, lynnber said:

Update:

We contacted our travel agent who contacted RCCL and got an immediate response and approval. We had to call a phone number and give a credit card for the $65 charge for leaving early, and as soon as I did so they emailed me the letter that he has to bring off the ship with him. A little annoyed at the charge since he's military, but the whole thing was pretty painless 🙂 and as long as there are no weather disasters he should be good to go.

 

The charge is for arranging immigration and customs clearance.  It is not Royal making money.

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44 minutes ago, SRF said:

 

The charge is for arranging immigration and customs clearance.  It is not Royal making money.

For context, that arrangement used to be free till about 3 years ago.

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7 hours ago, SRF said:

 

The charge is for arranging immigration and customs clearance.  It is not Royal making money.

I think its a money making scam because Australians are charged AUD $ 65 for downlining :classic_rolleyes: 

 

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/aus/en/faq/questions/Can-I-request-to-embark-the-ship-at-a-different-port?country=AUS

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I am sure the ship has to pay a fee, so it is reasonable to charge the passengers.  However, sometimes it will be a money maker.  For example.  I was on a cruise last month that stopped in Prt Canaveral before we disembarked in Port Everglades.  300 passengers got off in Port Canaveral and paid the fee. If we can assume it is an average of 2 per cabin.  It would be 150 X $69 is ~$10,350 USD.  Not a bad sum.

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27 minutes ago, Hogbay said:

I think its a money making scam because Australians are charged AUD $ 65 for downlining

You then get a break - for US bookings it's USD $65.

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5 hours ago, DragonOfTheSeas said:

I am sure the ship has to pay a fee, so it is reasonable to charge the passengers.  However, sometimes it will be a money maker.  For example.  I was on a cruise last month that stopped in Prt Canaveral before we disembarked in Port Everglades.  300 passengers got off in Port Canaveral and paid the fee. If we can assume it is an average of 2 per cabin.  It would be 150 X $69 is ~$10,350 USD.  Not a bad sum.


what port did this cruise start from?

 

 

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6 hours ago, Biker19 said:

You then get a break - for US bookings it's USD $65.

Yes the only one   USD $65 about AUD $94 So its a arbitrary amount people to pay . They can't do that for us with cruise price or drink package 😢

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On 11/16/2019 at 12:27 PM, lynnber said:

So my large family is scheduled for a Thanksgiving cruise, and my son who is in the military just found out that he absolutely has to be somewhere the day before the cruise returns. We've looked into his still going on the cruise and flying

Not to be nosy, but I assume that your son has been approved for Leave?  If so, was his leave changed? Or was he no longer on leave when the ship gets in?  I only bring this up because I am retired military and my son is career Navy.  The rules, at least as I understand them, is that a military member cannot be out of the country if not on authorized leave.  Just a consideration.  If for some reason the ship skips St. Thomas and he misses his duty obligation, he might find himself in a lot more trouble than he thinks.  He might want to make sure his command is aware of his travel plans.

Edited by papaflamingo

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