Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Akumal

Passport Fail - Cruise Line Unforgiving

Recommended Posts

11 minutes ago, April42749 said:

The cruiseline and the airline should both indicate...not in the small print...about the individual's responsibility to check documentation requirements.

 

.....but that isn't what happened.  What happened was a traveler could not be bothered to read even the basics of international travel even though it was at their fingertips.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BirdTravels said:


NCL did not deny the OP boarding. As far as NCL is concerned, the OP no-showed for their cruise... for whatever reason. From the thread title, the OP expected NCL to refund their cruise because they missed their flight from San Francisco to the departure country... for what ever reason. 
 

There is nothing in US laws that would prevent the OP from traveling. The OP’s airline deny them boarding based on airline rules. 
 

As a traveler, you could research every country’s web site and NCL and never figure out that Cheapo Airlines has blanket rules on passport validity rules. 
 

One more lesson learned. Cheapo Airlines can establish any rule they want to minimize the chance of a foreign Government from citing them for illegally transporting a passenger across their border. 

 

They were not denied boarding because of the airline's rules. They were denied boarding due to the laws of the country they were flying to. Every airline does this because they agree to do it when they get the ability to fly to/from the country. If they bring someone that cannot legally enter the country the airline has to pay to fly them back and is fined thousands of dollars for ignoring laws

 

Every airline does this. From what I've seen in reading articles about this the cheap airlines are actually more likely to let you board the plane and then you get denied entry upon landing. And depending upon the circumstances you could wind up in custody if there's not a return flight soon enough. 

 

You've been told this multiple times on this thread. You could easily research to find out you're wrong and that every airline does this. Yet you insist on going on and on about US laws and now making up that the OP was flying on some cheap airline to assert your wrong opinion. 

 

And it's not just minimizing the chance. Airlines type your information and your travel information into Timatic to see if your travel documents make you eligible to enter the destination country and therefore board. They're not doing this on a whim nor are they making up rules. They are denying boarding because you would not be allowed to enter the destination country

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, SeaShark said:

 

As an FYI, it was already shown that the print was not "small"...in fact, it was the very first thing mentioned and it was done in BOLD FONT.

 

See posts 64, 71, and 82 in this very thread.

I see these but what I meant was on the receipt of the TA....in big bold red....please check requirements.  What you are pointing is correct, but many people don't get that far in reading the documents.  As I said earlier...they think "expiration date" means the passport is good until that date.  I'm only aware because of threads such as this.

In my opinion, if you are using a TA...there is more to his/her job than just booking.  Anyone can book themselves.

 

It's like when you have a financial adviser  and you want to sell something at a gain.  Part of the adviser's job is to tell you that there will be tax consequences. That's why he gets paid.  The adviser would not expect you to read and interpret the tax code....even though it's at your fingertips too.

 

 

Edited by April42749

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/13/2020 at 4:01 PM, Akumal said:

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

 

The TA is the one that should have advised the OP.

 

Another case where booking yourself is definitely better than using a TA, because you see all the warnings about travel documents. Many TAs today are just "booking agents" that know less about travel than they did fixing appliances on their last call center job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, April42749 said:

In my opinion, if you are using a TA...there is more to his/her job than just booking.

 

It comes down to which TA you're using though. With a lot of the large online ones their agents aren't much more than a glorified call center. There's also high turnover so their experience is lacking and a lot have never been on a cruise. (I booked a cruise with a large cruise-centric one a year in advanced. I ended up canceling before final payment and had to cancel with the THIRD agent assigned to my account.)

 

They're really just online booking agents - you just don't realize it until something goes wrong.

 

Now if it was a tried and true travel agent (which I think most are shifting to using the term travel adviser) then yes you're correct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, smplybcause said:

 

It comes down to which TA you're using though. With a lot of the large online ones their agents aren't much more than a glorified call center. There's also high turnover so their experience is lacking and a lot have never been on a cruise. (I booked a cruise with a large cruise-centric one a year in advanced. I ended up canceling before final payment and had to cancel with the THIRD agent assigned to my account.)

 

They're really just online booking agents - you just don't realize it until something goes wrong.

 

Now if it was a tried and true travel agent (which I think most are shifting to using the term travel adviser) then yes you're correct.

Agree....

You know how they ask about insurance and they note "insurance declined".

They should also have something to check off indicating that the client was made aware to check visa/passport requirements.  So, even if it's a big box agent, with part-time employees, the passenger cannot claim he wasn't warned. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, SeaShark said:

 

 

And there is the issue...it isn't "their policy". Those policies are set by CBP in the US and their comparable agencies in the other countries that the cruise will visit. These are NOT cruise line policies. The cruise line has to comply with the law just like the passenger does.

 

In the online documentation that you quoted, from NCL, it reads: "You are required to carry a valid passport not expiring 6 months of the return of your cruise".  The other quote reads: "ALL GUESTS MUST CARRY A VALID PASSPORT".  (their CAPS not mine).  This is NCL communicating THEIR requirement, so ostensibly it is their policy.  Absolutely their requirement / policy is grounded in regulations and local laws, but it is still NCL's requirement.

 

12 hours ago, SeaShark said:

 

Why not just blame the Passport Agency for not putting a warning right on the passport? Sheesh...it is always someone else's fault. Is there NOTHING where personal responsibility comes into play?

 

They do put a warning on the passport...it's the expiration date.  The same one NCL required me to input into their online system before I could finalize a booking.

 

Again, as others have said, it would not be difficult for NCL to add a hard stop that would prevent any customer from booking if their expiration date was to expire less than 6 months before the end of the cruise.  They clearly feel it is an important issue to highlight as they have the info on their website (in not small font...sometimes bolded, lol).  They are using the website to capture all of the required information, so it is absolutely logical to expect they would have an alert to prevent booking if this requirement was not met.  They have hard stops for all sorts of input fields in their online booking.  I find it fascinating that some would not expect this of NCL...you care far more about them than they do of you, lol.

 

While we are of course personally accountable for our actions, it's not unreasonable to hold NCL accountable for what they should have already had imbedded in their website.  Then again, this is the same company that doesn't allow you to input middle names yet requires them on the travel documentation.  Winning.

 

 

Many are also extrapolating from the original post that the OP was asking for a full refund.  He doesn't say that anywhere.  To the contrary, I (as did others) interpreted their post as disappointed they weren't offered any consideration at all.  This is what was written: "Even though we are loyal Norwegian Cruise Line customers, they refused to offer any courtesy compensation or credit for future cruises".   It's entirely up to NCL if they want to provide any consideration.  It's not correct to assert they don't exercise this discretion in a number of ways in a number of situations where they have an obligation to do so.  So I think the OP figured given the circumstances (repeat customer, losing out on the cruise), it was appropriate to ask if any consideration could be afforded; that's their prerogative.  NCL can refuse the request, which is their prerogative, as it is the OPs prerogative to never give them another dime.  

 

Doesn't look like the OP is coming back...so I guess we'll never know, lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that people traveling internationally must absolutely research the requirements for entry, and obtain the proper documentation, into any country they will visit.  They must also understand if any travel providers have policies for travel documents required by those that purchase their travel services.

 

I also agree that if someone does not obtain the proper documentation, or do not understand the policies of the travel provider, they are in no way entitled to compensation from those travel providers.

 

What I do not agree with is that NCL could not, or should not provide the best possible user experience in their online check-in system.  As someone that has been an IT professional for 25 years, I know that a competent user experience manager would require that the online check-in system flag any passport date that falls outside of NCL's own "6-month rule".  The system should not let the user continue with the check-in process, nor complete it.  NCL would not need to know every countries entry requirements.  Their own requirements are a blanket rule for all international travelers regardless of the countries that will be visited.  This blanket policy is intended to cover a vast majority of entry requirements for countries they visit.  NCL asks for this information during the check-in process, why not use it to provide a useful service?  We're not talking about a small amount of money, but thousands of dollars, time spent saving, vacation time PTO wasted, and incredible disappointment.  Even if the user had waited until the last day or two to check into their cruise, this may them time to obtain an emergency passport before leaving.

 

I'm not saying NCL must code their website for the "least common idiot."  I'm simply saying that if they are going to collect information that directly pertains to their own policies regarding a customer's ability to use their services, they should use that information to provide the best customer experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, rrebel94 said:

I agree that people traveling internationally must absolutely research the requirements for entry, and obtain the proper documentation, into any country they will visit.  They must also understand if any travel providers have policies for travel documents required by those that purchase their travel services.

 

I also agree that if someone does not obtain the proper documentation, or do not understand the policies of the travel provider, they are in no way entitled to compensation from those travel providers.

 

What I do not agree with is that NCL could not, or should not provide the best possible user experience in their online check-in system.  As someone that has been an IT professional for 25 years, I know that a competent user experience manager would require that the online check-in system flag any passport date that falls outside of NCL's own "6-month rule".  The system should not let the user continue with the check-in process, nor complete it.  NCL would not need to know every countries entry requirements.  Their own requirements are a blanket rule for all international travelers regardless of the countries that will be visited.  This blanket policy is intended to cover a vast majority of entry requirements for countries they visit.  NCL asks for this information during the check-in process, why not use it to provide a useful service?  We're not talking about a small amount of money, but thousands of dollars, time spent saving, vacation time PTO wasted, and incredible disappointment.  Even if the user had waited until the last day or two to check into their cruise, this may them time to obtain an emergency passport before leaving.

 

I'm not saying NCL must code their website for the "least common idiot."  I'm simply saying that if they are going to collect information that directly pertains to their own policies regarding a customer's ability to use their services, they should use that information to provide the best customer experience.

NCL didn’t prevent them from boarding, the airline did. Should the airlines have a similar system? What if the country I’m cruising from doesn’t have such stringent policies, should I not be able to complete my booking process even if my passport expiration falls within the correct timeframe?  I sail out of the US, my passport is valid for these cruises up until expiration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, GettotheSun said:

 

In the online documentation that you quoted, from NCL, it reads: "You are required to carry a valid passport not expiring 6 months of the return of your cruise".  The other quote reads: "ALL GUESTS MUST CARRY A VALID PASSPORT".  (their CAPS not mine).  This is NCL communicating THEIR requirement, so ostensibly it is their policy.  Absolutely their requirement / policy is grounded in regulations and local laws, but it is still NCL's requirement.

 

 

No...they are communicating the laws of the countries that they visit as these are their requirements, not NCL's. NCL doesn't give two flips about your passport. Show up with a passport, show up with a birth certificate...who cares?

 

Besides, the OP never even arrived at the port, much less the ship...this has NOTHING to do with NCL.

 

 

44 minutes ago, GettotheSun said:

 

They do put a warning on the passport...it's the expiration date.  The same one NCL required me to input into their online system before I could finalize a booking.

 

 

While we are of course personally accountable for our actions, it's not unreasonable to hold NCL accountable for what they should have already had imbedded in their website.  Then again, this is the same company that doesn't allow you to input middle names yet requires them on the travel documentation.  Winning.

 

 

 

An expiration date isn't a warning...why not print the date 6 month PRIOR to the expiration date in big red letters that say YOU CANT CRUISE AFTER THIS DATE!!!

 

Sorry, but NCL doesn't REQUIRE you to input middle names. That is just false. CBP REQUIRES that the name on your reservation match your travel docs exactly...their requirement, not NCL's. However, NCL is taking the step to help insure that YOU properly comply with CBP's rules...not NCL's rules.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, GettotheSun said:

 

While we are of course personally accountable for our actions, it's not unreasonable to hold NCL accountable for what they should have already had imbedded in their website.  Then again, this is the same company that doesn't allow you to input middle names yet requires them on the travel documentation.  Winning.

It is COMPLETELY unreasonable to hold NCL accountable. 

 

Our middle names are on our travel documentation and on our NCL account. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, rrebel94 said:

I agree that people traveling internationally must absolutely research the requirements for entry, and obtain the proper documentation, into any country they will visit.  They must also understand if any travel providers have policies for travel documents required by those that purchase their travel services.

 

I also agree that if someone does not obtain the proper documentation, or do not understand the policies of the travel provider, they are in no way entitled to compensation from those travel providers.

 

What I do not agree with is that NCL could not, or should not provide the best possible user experience in their online check-in system.  As someone that has been an IT professional for 25 years, I know that a competent user experience manager would require that the online check-in system flag any passport date that falls outside of NCL's own "6-month rule".  The system should not let the user continue with the check-in process, nor complete it.  NCL would not need to know every countries entry requirements.  Their own requirements are a blanket rule for all international travelers regardless of the countries that will be visited.  This blanket policy is intended to cover a vast majority of entry requirements for countries they visit.  NCL asks for this information during the check-in process, why not use it to provide a useful service?  We're not talking about a small amount of money, but thousands of dollars, time spent saving, vacation time PTO wasted, and incredible disappointment.  Even if the user had waited until the last day or two to check into their cruise, this may them time to obtain an emergency passport before leaving.

 

I'm not saying NCL must code their website for the "least common idiot."  I'm simply saying that if they are going to collect information that directly pertains to their own policies regarding a customer's ability to use their services, they should use that information to provide the best customer experience.

Except that the whole argument falls apart when you get to the "its not NCL's rule/policy part".

 

 

Now here is something that hasn't even been mentioned...

 

Not only do you have to have sufficient time left before your passport expires, but you are also required to have enough black pages in the passport for the travel. Even if your passport does not expire for a few years, you still need blank pages for stamping. YOU CAN BE DENIED BOARDING IF YOUR PASSPORT DOESN'T HAVE ENOUGH BLANK PAGES. 

 

Should NCL now have to ask how many blank pages are in your passport, and if so, how would they verify that???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, mjkacmom said:

NCL didn’t prevent them from boarding, the airline did. Should the airlines have a similar system? What if the country I’m cruising from doesn’t have such stringent policies, should I not be able to complete my booking process even if my passport expiration falls within the correct timeframe?  I sail out of the US, my passport is valid for these cruises up until expiration.

 

My point is beyond the OP and their situation, and not about who denied them boarding.  My point was that NCL, as a travel provider, should be providing the best user experience with the data they collect.  A simple update to their system could help prevent something like this situation from happening in the future.

 

Are you saying that NCL has different policies for passport requirements depending on the country you are traveling from?  I understood that their policy was 6 months from the date of return.

 

Again, not talking about the OP and who denied them boarding.  I'm saying that NCL can help their customers by using the data they collect from those customers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, SeaShark said:

 

Should NCL now have to ask how many blank pages are in your passport, and if so, how would they verify that???

 

I'm not talking about information that NCL does not already collect.  But rather information they DO already collect.  If you collect it, use it.  It may help someone, or it may not.  But at least you tried.

 

You are correct that travelers can be denied entry for a myriad of reasons.  NCL, or any travel provider, cannot be responsible for all of these situations.  I'm not advocating that NCL has know everything about everyone traveling to anywhere.  I'm merely saying is that NCL has a policy regarding expiration dates of passports, they ask for the passport expiration date, do they ignore this data?  I don't know.  I guess I should've tested checking in with a passport expiration date that is less than six months before saying that NCL ignores the data.  If a flag gets thrown up, great.  If they ignore the data, then they are not providing the optimal user experience.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, rrebel94 said:

Are you saying that NCL has different policies for passport requirements depending on the country you are traveling from?  I understood that their policy was 6 months from the date of return.

 

Yes. US citizens cruising out of the US don't have that requirement. The requirement of 6 months is US citizens sailing out of a non-US port. There's also different rules depending upon holding another country's passport. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, SeaShark said:

 

No...they are communicating the laws of the countries that they visit as these are their requirements, not NCL's. NCL doesn't give two flips about your passport. Show up with a passport, show up with a birth certificate...who cares?

 

 

Well I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.  I definitely view the information on the NCL website as them articulating their requirements.  You clearly do not.  I'm not going to convince you, and you're not going to convince me.

 

As for the middle name - I was a bit glib with that comment.  Again, if it's ultimately required by whomever, I see it as an NCL accountability to make the experience as seamless and efficient as possible.  Not just the parts of the process that benefit NCL only.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, rrebel94 said:

 

I'm merely saying is that NCL has a policy regarding expiration dates of passports, they ask for the passport expiration date, do they ignore this data?  I don't know.  I guess I should've tested checking in with a passport expiration date that is less than six months before saying that NCL ignores the data.  If a flag gets thrown up, great.  If they ignore the data, then they are not providing the optimal user experience.  

I don't believe that NCL does anything with the passport data at check in.  I had 3 cruises booked between March and May, all with NCL providing airfare  and my passport expires in August. The March trip only required 3 months, but the trip ending in May falls into the 6-month category.  I can't say for sure what would have happened when they tried to book the airfare, since I'm no longer using that option, but nothing came up when I did the on-line check in.  Once my new passport comes, I will go back and update the information.

 

To the poster who suggested not allowing a person to continue with check-in - NOPE.  In my case, I only needed 3 months for one trip.  There are other situations where a valid passport isn't needed and you can use a birth certificate instead.  In my case, I wanted to check-in so that plane tickets could be in process while I was waiting for my passport to come back.  So a flag - sure.  Blocking check-in - No.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, rrebel94 said:

 

I'm not talking about information that NCL does not already collect.  But rather information they DO already collect.  If you collect it, use it.  It may help someone, or it may not.  But at least you tried.

 

You are correct that travelers can be denied entry for a myriad of reasons.  NCL, or any travel provider, cannot be responsible for all of these situations.  I'm not advocating that NCL has know everything about everyone traveling to anywhere.  I'm merely saying is that NCL has a policy regarding expiration dates of passports, they ask for the passport expiration date, do they ignore this data?  I don't know.  I guess I should've tested checking in with a passport expiration date that is less than six months before saying that NCL ignores the data.  If a flag gets thrown up, great.  If they ignore the data, then they are not providing the optimal user experience.  

 

Except, of course, that NCL does NOT have the policy...this is a policy of the countries being visited. NOT NCL'S POLICY. NCL only collects this information to pass it along to CBP on the manifest...they aren't collecting it for their own use or for any company policy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL....next someone will want NCL to send a rep to your house to show you where to click and what parts of the travel requirements you should read.  Everyone wants their hand held.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, fshagan said:

 

The TA is the one that should have advised the OP.

 

Another case where booking yourself is definitely better than using a TA, because you see all the warnings about travel documents. Many TAs today are just "booking agents" that know less about travel than they did fixing appliances on their last call center job.

I disagree with this statement. The fact of the matter is, the cruise line website notates your responsibility to check travel requirements, as does your cruise contract. However, I do know that many don't read this...it is still their responsibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, GettotheSun said:

 

Well I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.  I definitely view the information on the NCL website as them articulating their requirements.  You clearly do not.  I'm not going to convince you, and you're not going to convince me.

 

As for the middle name - I was a bit glib with that comment.  Again, if it's ultimately required by whomever, I see it as an NCL accountability to make the experience as seamless and efficient as possible.  Not just the parts of the process that benefit NCL only.

 

So...is there an NCL policy or does "I view it as" suddenly create a policy? It isn't THEIR requirements...these are GOVERNMENT requirements.

 

Perhaps it could be addressed in the Guest Ticket Contract too. Oh wait...

 

11. Travel Documentation: Upon embarkation, the Guest shall have in his or her possession, and assumes all responsibility for obtaining, all visas, passports, certified birth certificates, travel and health documents required by any governmental authority, and if he or she fails to do so the Carrier shall have no further obligation to transport or to furnish transportation to the Guest. The Guest is advised to consult his or her travel agent or the appropriate governmental authority concerning required documentation for travel. The Guest shall indemnify the Carrier for all penalties, fines, charges, losses and expenses imposed upon or incurred by the Carrier due to the Guest's failure to have proper documentation or otherwise comply with applicable laws or regulations of any kind. Any stamps on tickets, customs, excise or other taxes or fines on the Guest or the Carrier resulting from the Guest's conduct, embarkation expenses, and all expenses of such a nature are to be paid by the Guest. If the Guest is denied boarding for failing to comply with the requirements of this paragraph, the Carrier shall not be liable to refund the Guest's fare or for any other damages or expenses whatsoever.

 

 

"Required by any governmental authority"...not required by NCL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And then of course there's this: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/travelers-with-special-considerations/schengen.html

 

<snipped> 

  PASSPORT

  •  Have at least six-month’s validity remaining on your passport whenever you travel abroad.
  • Check the expiration date on your passport carefully before traveling to Europe – especially children’s passports, which are valid five years, not 10 years like those issued to U.S. citizens aged 16 and older.
  • Carry your passport when traveling to another country in the Schengen area. Even if there is no border check at that time, officials may reinstate border controls without notice.

But I know, no one ever checks a government site.. that would be too easy, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Akumal said:

image.png.80a31a97e1e9a249089bee978528d8d5.png

Do you spell pain and values with one $ or 2 $'s ?

You are now a 2 hit wonder . It's hard to believe you have any other agenda other then to get back at NCL .  Never the less, thank you for 6 month passport warning . 

Edited by richstowe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations

Announcements

×
×
  • Create New...