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birdofsong

Spectrum and the Best of Japan cruise...

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59 minutes ago, snaefell said:

Yes that was the disturbing thing about it IMO,if it could be said that the whole mess could have been avoided by having a visa the solution would be simple but the fact that some people that were refused entry had visas rather throws the whole thing up in the air.

We had no idea of Golden Week when we booked the cruise,it was something that just came up on the forums in the months leading up to it,along with warnings of parts of the Great Wall being closed the previous years as the crowd situation had reach dangerous proportions apparently we had an idea that we may encounter some problems but certainly not in the manner that we did.

I don't know how much you blame RCI for deciding to have the cruise set around that date,did they realise,can't help feeling that if they were doing their jobs properley they would have known that it was a bad time for travel to & around China,whatever I was rather surprised to see that Quantum is scheduled to do a similar cruise in 2020,exactly the same date,although I would guess that it would have been scheduled well before our experience.

 

It would not have crossed my mind when booking either- especially if I had a visa or planned to get one. Or just using the transit Visa because up until then, I dont think there has been a incident like that before? Glad you were able to make  your whole cruise. 

 

Everyone I spoke to said we shouldnt have an issue obtaining a transit visa as its pretty routine and for these reasons:

A.) We are not arriving during a Chinese Holiday (it will be 3 weeks after the Chinese New Year)

B.) We will be arriving in Shanghai - I've read that Shanghai is a little more tourist friendly.

C.) We are taking a cruise where there will be hardly any Westerners (unlike yours) and most of the passangers will be Chinese - so there shouldn't be an insane amount of people applying for a transit visa for the cruise at the airport.  

 

But nothing is guaranteed, even with a visa - so worst case scenario - we use the money we saved in getting a tourist visa and purchase a flight to Kobe (our first stop, and I've looked at flights just incase we have to book them). We would miss the first sea day, but at least we wont miss the whole thing or any stops. 

 

One last question (I promise) - did it seem like they were targeting people just on your ship, or were there others who were also denied who were transiting in another way? (like other flights, different ship, train etc).

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2 hours ago, tybrkr17 said:

 

It would not have crossed my mind when booking either- especially if I had a visa or planned to get one. Or just using the transit Visa because up until then, I dont think there has been a incident like that before? Glad you were able to make  your whole cruise. 

 

Everyone I spoke to said we shouldnt have an issue obtaining a transit visa as its pretty routine and for these reasons:

A.) We are not arriving during a Chinese Holiday (it will be 3 weeks after the Chinese New Year)

B.) We will be arriving in Shanghai - I've read that Shanghai is a little more tourist friendly.

C.) We are taking a cruise where there will be hardly any Westerners (unlike yours) and most of the passangers will be Chinese - so there shouldn't be an insane amount of people applying for a transit visa for the cruise at the airport.  

 

But nothing is guaranteed, even with a visa - so worst case scenario - we use the money we saved in getting a tourist visa and purchase a flight to Kobe (our first stop, and I've looked at flights just incase we have to book them). We would miss the first sea day, but at least we wont miss the whole thing or any stops. 

 

One last question (I promise) - did it seem like they were targeting people just on your ship, or were there others who were also denied who were transiting in another way? (like other flights, different ship, train etc).

Hard to tell but there were plane loads of people arriving for the cruise,it would appear many,like ourselves & yourselves assured by people on forums that Visa Waiver was easy,as it had been up to then.

To make things worse in our case was that even though the cruise didn't start until 7th October most people,like ourselves,arrived on the 4th October & had a couple of days for tours first,that of course meant that those that flew to Japan would have to pay for hotels for 4 nights until Quantum was due in Fukuoka.

 

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