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Akumal

Passport Fail - Cruise Line Unforgiving

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When a person makes a mistake like this, it is human nature to blame others and be angry with them rather than blame themselves.  

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There’s a reason these rules exist. When you enter into a Country with your passport you are allowed to stay in that Country for x number of days. Your passport has to be valid for that amount of time in case you choose not to leave or can’t leave.

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1 hour ago, smplybcause said:

 

It's actually likely they will take you into custody and not let you wander around the airport. https://www.elliott.org/blog/travel-mistake-invalid-passport-denied-entry/

 

Probably right but I was flippantly likening it the the Tom Hanks film "The Terminal" which is based on Mehran Karimi Nasseri who was stuck for 18 year in Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris after the UK denied him entry and returned him to France.

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So you messed up, didn't understand the rules and NCL should lose money.... Entitled much? Next time understand the rules of international travel and stop blaming anyone but yourself. 

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Reading all these posts, including my own 2 cents, it's not only the cruise line that is unforgiving! 🤣 

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I am so sorry - the way I found out was on tripadvisor on their forums to Mexico - I had no idea that for International Travel your passport is useless the last six months.  My sons friend was turned away with his mother recently - they had to leave him behind, they were heading to Asia to visit family and his passport was due to expire in four months and he was refused entry on the plane.  This is a very expensive way to find out your passport is useless - I try to tell as many people I know who are booking a trip outside the country.

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Whether it is the airline or cruiseline, they faced penalities and fines as well, if they ignored the rules and regulations in place in addition to their expenses/costs for "returning the passengers" to the origination point ... Unless it is a closed loop cruise, the passport validity/expiration date has to be carefully reviewed & checked.  When in doubt, ask.

 

Okay, enough for the OP, let's just go easy and chill out.  Put a bookmark into that Google Calendar of ours, as a reminder to renew ahead ... 

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People today are simply unable to admit mistakes these days.  It is always someone else's fault.

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For anyone in the renewal window- I just did this. Just got notice that it's been approved and on it's way. ETA is 3 weeks from the date they received my application, including a holiday.  So pretty fast turnaround - they say to allow 6 to 8 weeks.

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On 1/14/2020 at 1:01 AM, Akumal said:

Last July, after much planning and paying in full for a long-anticipated vacation to the Baltic and Scandinavia, our family was denied boarding at the departure airport (SFO) because our US Passports fell two days outside the "valid for 90 days after return" rule.  Our return flight back to the USA was scheduled for July 19, and although our passports would not expire until after October 16, 2019, it was 2 days less the than the required 90 days interval.  This was a total shock to us, especially because neither the airline, the travel agent, nor cruise line notified us beforehand that the expiration dates of our US Passports fell two days within the "90 days after return" rule, even though we had submitted numerous information forms to each of them that included the relevant passport information.  What use is automated pre-registration if not to alert users to date problems?  Bottom line - I failed to read the fine print somewhere that refers to passenger responsibility for researching and abiding by international tourism paperwork rules.  Very painful lesson learned.  

 

 We had to cancel our prepaid flights, cruise, hotels, and tours.  Travel insurance reimbursed only a small portion of costs.  Fortunately, the airline gave us partial credit for the cancelled flight as a courtesy, as did the hotel.  But the cruise line (Norwegian) was unforgiving.  We lost thousands of dollars in cruise fares. Even though we are loyal Norwegian Cruise Line customers, they refused to offer any courtesy compensation or credit for future cruises. 

 

This experience has taught me to be more diligent about international travel documents well in advance.  But for lack of compassion and lousy customer service, Norwegian has lost all future business from our family and friends.

 

Akumul, I feel for you.  That scenario so nearly happened to me, albeit with a Med Cruise that would have left me only $3000 out of pocket.  Flights were not involved and I somehow assumed (someone must have said it in the past) that within Europe you needed 3 months on your passport.  We were going in to be returning the first week in November, passports ran till Mid March.  That seemed like ages.  

 

I am doing work related studies. Anything to put off my writing meant that I actually was reading the fine print two weeks before the cruise.  I saw the 6 months requirement and felt sick.  This really was very small print that no-one in normal circumstances reads.  You should but you don’t!!  

 

I am fortunate to live in a small country and getting a new passport takes days rather than weeks.  The only negative was that I am stuck with a passport photo showing my unwashed hair!!   I was on edge until my new passports arrived. 

 

So I got away with it,  but I also was  angry with the fact that I had entered the passport dates on the check in forms.   I assumed that I had “passed” the test of whether or not my passport was acceptable.  What is the point of check-in before hand????  It is such a faff, I honestly would be happier to have it all done at the port.  OF course the cruise lines don’t want that.  They would have to hire more staff.   As a pay-off for our hard work, They could at least put an algorithm into their check-in data that can subtract 90 days from the passport data as service to the customer.  

 

Not sure if it is just NCL.  Probably would happen with any of the lines.    People, check your passports and Visas!!

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12 minutes ago, ollienbertsmum said:

 

Not sure if it is just NCL.  Probably would happen with any of the lines.    People, check your passports and Visas!!

I was fully aware of the 6 month rule, so was able to plan for the renewal process (you have to send in your passport, so restricted travel during that time).  But I chose to check-in on an upcoming cruise and was kinda surprised that it wasn't flagged.  It would be a fairly simple programming update to just automatically post a warning note to anyone who enters an expiration date less than 6 months from their return date.

 

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As for the cruise lines you have to differ... there are legal requirements... some countries require 6 months, others less. And there´s the fine print of the cruise line which wants to be on the safe side and therfore requires 6 months. So even when a country only requires 3 months the cruise line still can tell you you´re out and deny boarding.

 

With Celebrity you can´t finish the online check-in when you passport is not valid 6 months after the return of the ship. Friends of mine were 2 days short and had to appy for a new passport. NCL should be able to program this too. But anyway it´s still the responsability of the passenger to have the proper documentation.

 

steamboats

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12 hours ago, steamboats said:

 

With Celebrity you can´t finish the online check-in when you passport is not valid 6 months after the return of the ship. Friends of mine were 2 days short and had to appy for a new passport. NCL should be able to program this too. But anyway it´s still the responsability of the passenger to have the proper documentation.

 

steamboats

 

I agree 100% that it is the passenger’s responsibility to make sure that passports and visas are in place.  However when we have to go to the trouble of doing the lion’s share of the check-in process for them.  We save them hiring staff, it can’t be that hard to program an alert.  Glad to hear that one line can do it, it validates my irritation of the stress I went through and my sympathy for the OP.  

 

There are some parts of the small print that should be a bit less small. 

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13 hours ago, ollienbertsmum said:

 

Anything to put off my writing meant that I actually was reading the fine print two weeks before the cruise.  I saw the 6 months requirement and felt sick.  This really was very small print that no-one in normal circumstances reads.  You should but you don’t!!  

 

 

41 minutes ago, ollienbertsmum said:

 

There are some parts of the small print that should be a bit less small. 

 

In two different posts you attempt to paint of picture of an ultra-small font that nobody would ever read. I was curious as to how small this "very fine print" actually is. 

 

Surprising to say, but it appears to be the exact same font used for all of the other text. On top of that, the 6 month requirement is mentioned FIRST, not buried where you wouldn't see it.

 

ppr.jpg.214bcbfbce786af2da6a00b0fd870061.jpg

 

And to complete the picture, for non-US Citizens (such as yourself) they even put that requirement in a BOLD font.

ppr2.jpg.bcf350e652aca07b654647da505f2e11.jpg

 

Not sure how this falls under "very fine print that nobody normally would read".

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I have an issue with one hit wonders who post on every and any social media site just to vent about someone or something  and then never return. I feel for Akumal but going to the extreme of joining CC (and who know's what else) just to make a single aggrieved post is wrong . 

 

soapbox.jpeg

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40 minutes ago, richstowe said:

I have an issue with one hit wonders who post on every and any social media site just to vent about someone or something  and then never return. I feel for Akumal but going to the extreme of joining CC (and who know's what else) just to make a single aggrieved post is wrong . 

 

soapbox.jpeg

 

Agree, and such people are often referred to as a 'troll'. 😉

Edited by hamrag

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On 1/14/2020 at 2:13 AM, BoughtMyPoints said:

I am confused.

Why didn't you just re-book your return flight to fall within "intended stay (in Schengen Zone) plus 3 months"?, 

As it was a Baltic cruise on NCL, you would normally be embarking/disembarking in Copenhagen.  You could disembark early in Helsinki or the designated Swedish port, both within the Schengen zone, after the excursion to the non Schengen Russian Federation.  You just inform GS after you depart Copenhagen.  

Alternatively, if flying into Copenhagen a day or longer before the cruise, you head immediately to the US Embassy  and you will obtain emergency passport replacements within usually 2 hours.  Then change your return flights back!

Yes, I've done it!   (I had a party to attend in Gothenburg).

The cruise itself is of no concern to the airline.  Instead of your 9 day cruise adventure, you're in Denmark for a week is what the airline needs to hear and what you tell Danish immigration upon arrival at Kastrup.

I am currently travelling on an emergency passport that I will renew at a Schengen zone US Embassy at least 6 months before expiration.  


 

This is information that the average traveler would not have.  I'm glad it worked for you but gosh, you make it sound so easy.  I'm sure when the OP was at his departure airport hearing that he would not be allowed to board his flight, the last thing going through his mind was a scheme like the one you just described.

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On 1/14/2020 at 12:39 PM, lanceholt said:

When a person makes a mistake like this, it is human nature to blame others and be angry with them rather than blame themselves.  

I didn't take the OP's post as trying to blame others.  He said he takes responsibility.  He was lamenting that NCL didn't offer him a future cruise credit and that he was out lots of money.  I didn't get the sense that he/she was blaming NCL for anything...just hoping they would be more sympathetic to the situation.  Maybe I just read it wrong.

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32 minutes ago, Georgia_Peaches said:

I didn't take the OP's post as trying to blame others.  He said he takes responsibility.  He was lamenting that NCL didn't offer him a future cruise credit and that he was out lots of money.  I didn't get the sense that he/she was blaming NCL for anything...just hoping they would be more sympathetic to the situation.  Maybe I just read it wrong.


I agree, at least that was my take too.  The OP hasn’t responded to any subsequent posts so hard to know what the thinking was.  I’m very neurotic about these things, but not everyone is like me.

 

To be clear, I don’t think the OP is due any sort of refund, but I think I took the post as saying disappointed that NCL didn’t offer anything.  Clearly they are not obligated to but several responses on this thread seem to suggest anger towards the OP.  Disagreement is understandable and justified but why are some so hostile (not exclusive to this thread).  
 

MANY companies offer some partial refund in these disappointing situations (eg the airline did, which was entirely voluntary, but apparently the OP is worse than Hitler for asking  / expecting something from NCL). Hyperbole intended...it’s a Simpsons quote
 

All this “no one wants to take accountability for their mistakes” chat is just actual hyperbole and a pile on.  Yes this person, and their “ilk” takes no accountability for anything.  Right.

 

NCL should absolutely have at least an online warning / pop up to let clients know the passport info (expiration dates) is non compliant.  This is required info yet NCL doesn’t have any sort of warning?  Gee multi-million dollar company maybe something to consider to enhance your client experience?   Corporate accountability?  Nah.

 

For those of you slamming the OP,  true he is not entitled to anything from NCL.  However to suggest a company the size of NCL doesn’t share some culpability in the situation is not aligned with my thinking and I bet with many others.
 

Go ahead and flame me, good luck with that.

 

Edited by GettotheSun

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49 minutes ago, GettotheSun said:


I agree, at least that was my take too.  The OP hasn’t responded to any subsequent posts so hard to know what the thinking was.  I’m very neurotic about these things, but not everyone is like me.

 

To be clear, I don’t think the OP is due any sort of refund, but I think I took the post as saying disappointed that NCL didn’t offer anything.  Clearly they are not obligated to but several responses on this thread seem to suggest anger towards the OP.  Disagreement is understandable and justified but why are some so hostile (not exclusive to this thread).  
 

MANY companies offer some partial refund in these disappointing situations (eg the airline did, which was entirely voluntary, but apparently the OP is worse than Hitler for asking  / expecting something from NCL). Hyperbole intended...it’s a Simpsons quote
 

All this “no one wants to take accountability for their mistakes” chat is just actual hyperbole and a pile on.  Yes this person, and their “ilk” takes no accountability for anything.  Right.

 

NCL should absolutely have at least an online warning / pop up to let clients know the passport info (expiration dates) is non compliant.  This is required info yet NCL doesn’t have any sort of warning?  Gee multi-million dollar company maybe something to consider to enhance your client experience?   Corporate accountability?  Nah.

 

For those of you slamming the OP,  true he is not entitled to anything from NCL.  However to suggest a company the size of NCL doesn’t share some culpability in the situation is not aligned with my thinking and I bet with many others.
 

Go ahead and flame me, good luck with that.

 

 

MANY companies offer is not the same as ALL companies offer. Besides, we all know that the OP missed their cruise, but what we don't know is why that should cause NCL to take a further financial loss. They are already losing out on all of the onboard spend that they would have had. They are also being bad-mouthed by the OP (I, my family, and my friends will never sail with NCL...). Why should NCL incur further financial loss? 

 

What about insurance? The OP could have purchased insurance that reimbursed them 100%. Did they? Most likely not or they wouldn't be here complaining about poor customer service (which is a fancy way to say "they didn't just hand me money"). 

 

NCL should absolutely have at least an online warning? Heck, I posted TWO of those online warnings earlier in this thread. Even out side of those, everyone has to check in for their cruise...which includes entering your Passport information:

 

 

poc.jpg.c5aba529440198f0e058a260fd8f54a9.jpg

 

 

What about the first line in BOLD PRINT? Isn't that a warning? What person reads a statement that there is something that COULD PREVENT BOARDING yet they don't bother to properly investigate?

 

I guess if people are just going to compensate you, you don't really feel the need to pay attention. As long as someone else suffers the financial loss, right?

 

So the OP showed up at the airport and was turned away because of the expiration date on their passport causing them to miss the cruise. What if the OP would have forgotten the passport at home or lost it en route to the airport? They still would have been turned away...still would have missed the cruise. Is NCL still responsible for handing them more money?

 

 

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1 hour ago, GettotheSun said:

eg the airline did, which was entirely voluntary,

 

I'm guessing that was because they had purchased an airfare class that had that as a feature. Airlines are pretty strict if you bought non refundable non changeable fares. Once it's less than 30 days before the cruise NCL's fare becomes non refundable - it's non changeable after final payment. 

 

8 minutes ago, SeaShark said:

What about insurance? The OP could have purchased insurance that reimbursed them 100%. Did they? Most likely not or they wouldn't be here complaining about poor customer service (which is a fancy way to say "they didn't just hand me money"). 

 

Most insurance have wording that states they don't cover if you missed the trip due to not having the correct travel documents. It actually might be all, but I can't say that with certainty. 

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1 minute ago, SeaShark said:

 

MANY companies offer is not the same as ALL companies offer.

 

Thanks for explaining that.  

 

1 minute ago, SeaShark said:

 

Why should NCL incur further financial loss? 

 

Why does any company incur a "financial loss" for providing partial refunds they are not obligated to do.  Think about that.

 

1 minute ago, SeaShark said:

 

What about insurance? The OP could have purchased insurance that reimbursed them 100%. Did they? Most likely not or they wouldn't be here complaining about poor customer service (which is a fancy way to say "they didn't just hand me money"). 

 

Fair point.

 

1 minute ago, SeaShark said:

 

NCL should absolutely have at least an online warning? Heck, I posted TWO of those online warnings earlier in this thread. Even out side of those, everyone has to check in for their cruise...which includes entering your Passport information:

 

Come on, you know that is not my point.  The warning should be a pop up at the time of entering your passport expiration information.  Don't be facile. 

 

Let me add two gratuitous examples, one real one fiction.

 

I missed cancelling and returning one of my home receivers to Bell Canada by 2 days.  They said I had to pay for an entire extra month, as I missed the deadline by two days.  I did miss the deadline by two days.  The monthly fee was about $5.  I pay Bell about $500 / month for all the services that I buy from them.  I promptly asked to speak to their customer retention department and I was not only given an apology for the treatment but given a $25 credit on my next bill (unsolicited).  Why do companies incur a "loss" in such situations.  

 

Next scenario, one of the esteemed members of CC are on a Norwegian Cruise.  They paid big money for this cruise, BIG MONEY.  They were on the ship for the entire cruise, eating the food, sleeping in the cabin, drinking whatever was included.  But they were unhappy with the cruise because the drapes weren't lavender.  So they complain, and they complain strategically not just to the staff on board but to NCL corporate.  They receive some onboard credit of $200 and some "lovely" chocolate covered strawberries.  Then later Corporate gives them a $250 voucher for a cruise.  I'm not suggesting an outrageous outcome.  Why would the company incur such a loss?   Yet by your logic the OP who didn't get on the ship, didn't eat any food, didn't have anything to drink...well they get nothing.  Logical. 

 

One of my colleagues said to me - a lawyer knows what's legal.  That doesn't mean it's right.

 

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2 minutes ago, smplybcause said:

 

Most insurance have wording that states they don't cover if you missed the trip due to not having the correct travel documents. It actually might be all, but I can't say that with certainty. 

 

You are correct....and the cruise lines have much the same wording. Yet here we are.

 

The cruise line didn't hand over money, so that is just "bad customer service", and they get badmouthed to the OPs family, friends, and anyone online who will listen. And heaven forbid anyone mentions personal responsibility, which everyone knows is just an "attack". 

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6 minutes ago, GettotheSun said:

 

Thanks for explaining that.  

 

 

Why does any company incur a "financial loss" for providing partial refunds they are not obligated to do.  Think about that.

 

 

Fair point.

 

 

Come on, you know that is not my point.  The warning should be a pop up at the time of entering your passport expiration information.  Don't be facile. 

 

Let me add two gratuitous examples, one real one fiction.

 

I missed cancelling and returning one of my home receivers to Bell Canada by 2 days.  They said I had to pay for an entire extra month, as I missed the deadline by two days.  I did miss the deadline by two days.  The monthly fee was about $5.  I pay Bell about $500 / month for all the services that I buy from them.  I promptly asked to speak to their customer retention department and I was not only given an apology for the treatment but given a $25 credit on my next bill (unsolicited).  Why do companies incur a "loss" in such situations.  

 

Next scenario, one of the esteemed members of CC are on a Norwegian Cruise.  They paid big money for this cruise, BIG MONEY.  They were on the ship for the entire cruise, eating the food, sleeping in the cabin, drinking whatever was included.  But they were unhappy with the cruise because the drapes weren't lavender.  So they complain, and they complain strategically not just to the staff on board but to NCL corporate.  They receive some onboard credit of $200 and some "lovely" chocolate covered strawberries.  Then later Corporate gives them a $250 voucher for a cruise.  I'm not suggesting an outrageous outcome.  Why would the company incur such a loss?   Yet by your logic the OP who didn't get on the ship, didn't eat any food, didn't have anything to drink...well they get nothing.  Logical. 

 

One of my colleagues said to me - a lawyer knows what's legal.  That doesn't mean it's right.

 

Is it "right" to pay someone for their error? If NCL is going to pay, then why would I, you, or anyone else ever buy insurance? What about the people that pay for insurance? Is it "right" that they pay for a policy to get reimbursed for a loss, yet someone else gets compensated when they don't have insurance? How would THAT be "right"?

 

Interesting in that both of your scenarios, the compensated customers were not bad mouthing the company involved in their quest for compensation (sometimes referred to as extortion).

 

How much do you want to bet that the OP didn't reach out to NCL by first admitting responsibility for the error and apologizing for not showing up when they were supposed to? Give NCL the opportunity to reward...don't DEMAND compensation when you are wrong.

 

With honey, you get more. (sometimes referred to as karma)

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