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Akumal

Passport Fail - Cruise Line Unforgiving

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On 1/13/2020 at 7:01 PM, 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.

Another problem with expiration dates also apply to credit cards; unless they have changed the rules. If your credit card expires less than six month after the completion date of your cruise it will not be allowed to be used for the cruise.

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6 hours ago, hallux said:

Except this happened several weeks prior to that being in the news...

 

Well, I mean since OP had travel insurance, I would have cancelled based on a medical emergency, instead of a passport fail.

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11 minutes ago, SouthLyonCruiser said:

Another problem with expiration dates also apply to credit cards; unless they have changed the rules. If your credit card expires less than six month after the completion date of your cruise it will not be allowed to be used for the cruise.

That makes absolutely no sense and I don't buy it.  At most they will put a 30-day hold on your CC or debit card - when that clears is up to the bank, not NCL, since they apply all charges the day you disembark and would have no reason to be making charges 6 months later. 

 

I could see a problem if you did your online check in early and used a credit card that expired before the cruise but otherwise, credit cards are good until the expiration date. Where did you get that information?

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43 minutes ago, yoolykeme said:

 

Well, I mean since OP had travel insurance, I would have cancelled based on a medical emergency, instead of a passport fail.

It's obvious you have never filled out a claim for trip insurance.  You can't just claim you went to a doctor, and they said you are sick.  The claim form has a section for the doctor to fill out.  I had the misfortune of having to fill one out.

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I'm so sorry your family's much-anticipated vacation was cancelled. I can only imagine how disappointed you must have been.. Thank you for the very important reminder to always read the fine print. Regardless of what people say, I'd be inclined to look elsewhere for future travels as well. Best of luck. 

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2 hours ago, vince_g said:

It's obvious you have never filled out a claim for trip insurance.  You can't just claim you went to a doctor, and they said you are sick.  The claim form has a section for the doctor to fill out.  I had the misfortune of having to fill one out.

 

$40 copay to an urgent care, or even $300 to an emergency room, and claim stomach flu gets you a diagnosis that allows OP to recoup 100%.  Seems like there were multiple people on the itinerary and multiple bookings.

 

Small investment to try, rather than just calling and saying my passport was expired, can I have my money back please 🙂

 

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52 minutes ago, yoolykeme said:

 

$40 copay to an urgent care, or even $300 to an emergency room, and claim stomach flu gets you a diagnosis that allows OP to recoup 100%.  Seems like there were multiple people on the itinerary and multiple bookings.

 

Small investment to try, rather than just calling and saying my passport was expired, can I have my money back please 🙂

 

Perhaps we should start a separate thread entitled "How to commit insurance fraud".

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All in all the airline nor the cruise line is your personal travel agent.  This is sometimes why it is best to book travel through a travel agent as they will give you all pertinent information.  

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On 1/28/2020 at 1:59 PM, julig22 said:

That makes absolutely no sense and I don't buy it.  At most they will put a 30-day hold on your CC or debit card - when that clears is up to the bank, not NCL, since they apply all charges the day you disembark and would have no reason to be making charges 6 months later. 

 

I could see a problem if you did your online check in early and used a credit card that expired before the cruise but otherwise, credit cards are good until the expiration date. Where did you get that information?

Since when does making sense have anything to do with a cruise lines policies??

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3 hours ago, SouthLyonCruiser said:

Since when does making sense have anything to do with a cruise lines policies??

Well as Judge Judy always says "if it doesn't make sense it probably isn't true" 

I would think that if this was a policy, there would be some indication somewhere.  Nothing on the NCL pages and nothing on CC.  One post on CC about it so I don't buy it.  Was your credit card actually denied for on-board purchases?

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On 1/28/2020 at 5:16 PM, yoolykeme said:

 

$40 copay to an urgent care, or even $300 to an emergency room, and claim stomach flu gets you a diagnosis that allows OP to recoup 100%.  Seems like there were multiple people on the itinerary and multiple bookings.

 

Small investment to try, rather than just calling and saying my passport was expired, can I have my money back please 🙂

 

 

Except that that would be insurance fraud. And would most likely be found out since the OP attempted to use her plane tickets and was denied board. So to then, time to stress out, come up with options, give up, come up with this insurance fraud plot, and then make it to the urgent care would have probably put her past when her plane would have left. I do think that even with a medical emergency there's a requirement to cancel prior to the trip; not simply not go and claim emergency later. 

 

A criminal charge, fine, and possible jail time vs losing money on a trip.... hmmm, doesn't seem like a hard decision. And yes, I do know someone that was charged with and lost his job over insurance fraud when the times didn't add up (not trip insurance though).

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4 minutes ago, sanger727 said:

 

Except that that would be insurance fraud. And would most likely be found out since the OP attempted to use her plane tickets and was denied board. So to then, time to stress out, come up with options, give up, come up with this insurance fraud plot, and then make it to the urgent care would have probably put her past when her plane would have left. I do think that even with a medical emergency there's a requirement to cancel prior to the trip; not simply not go and claim emergency later. 

 

A criminal charge, fine, and possible jail time vs losing money on a trip.... hmmm, doesn't seem like a hard decision. And yes, I do know someone that was charged with and lost his job over insurance fraud when the times didn't add up (not trip insurance though).

 

You know, I get that people quietly, secretly try to skip out on their taxes, avoid tipping a good service staffer, keep an extra 20 that fell out of an ATM machine or try to scam an insurance company because they were too lazy to read the instructions on their cruise form ...



But publishing their dark thought processes in writing on the world wide web in front o' the gods and everybody.

THAT I don't get.

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Why wouldn't it be NCL's fault though.  Why wouldn't NCL be negligent in catching this before the customer got to port?

 

If you check in online and if you enter your passport information online ahead like we all do, why wouldn't their computer systems be all over this a week before customers even check in?!     Why is NCL collecting passport info if they don't have the ability to flag issues?

 

I get it, the passport rules aren't NCL's rules.   NCL is only following the law but NCL has online check in and NCL collects passport information with the expiration dates.   At that point, if NCL is asking for the information, I feel NCL is also obligated to inform this customer at that point......weeks before travel that their passports won't work!    I do see NCL as having a lot of responsibility here.

 

It's not NCL's rules, I get it.   But if NCL is collecting passport information for the pre boarding process days and weeks and months in advance, they need to have a flag in the system for verifying that these passports will work.

 

A passport that says it expires in April of 2020 but really expires for travel in January of 2020 is ambiguous and confusing and deliberately troublesome.    For that reason alone, NCL's pre check in system should be able to flag these customers with days and weeks in advance so they can get to a passport office and get things fixed.    

 

NCL does have obligation to their customers before they arrive at port because they collect the passport information.

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I believe I've read that NCL collects the passport info so they can start some of the processing for departure by USCBP, leaving only updates to be completed (either adding those that DIDN'T supply passport info since you can check in without it or removing those that didn't show).

 

By not actually performing the check and just warning you to verify your documents are valid for your trip NCL is shifting the responsibility to the traveler and eliminating the "but your agent/system told me I would be good to go, you owe me a refund" argument, which would be a good argument.

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37 minutes ago, Vyhanek said:

Why wouldn't it be NCL's fault though.  Why wouldn't NCL be negligent in catching this before the customer got to port?

 

If you check in online and if you enter your passport information online ahead like we all do, why wouldn't their computer systems be all over this a week before customers even check in?!     Why is NCL collecting passport info if they don't have the ability to flag issues?

 

I get it, the passport rules aren't NCL's rules.   NCL is only following the law but NCL has online check in and NCL collects passport information with the expiration dates.   At that point, if NCL is asking for the information, I feel NCL is also obligated to inform this customer at that point......weeks before travel that their passports won't work!    I do see NCL as having a lot of responsibility here.

 

It's not NCL's rules, I get it.   But if NCL is collecting passport information for the pre boarding process days and weeks and months in advance, they need to have a flag in the system for verifying that these passports will work.

 

A passport that says it expires in April of 2020 but really expires for travel in January of 2020 is ambiguous and confusing and deliberately troublesome.    For that reason alone, NCL's pre check in system should be able to flag these customers with days and weeks in advance so they can get to a passport office and get things fixed.    

 

NCL does have obligation to their customers before they arrive at port because they collect the passport information.

Nope, if you read the cruiseline’s info (and you reLy should) it is the passenger’s responsibility to comply with passport, visa and other immigration/border issues.  This is clearly stated on all info the cruiseline provided the cruiser; the cruiser chose to neglect the info provided.

 

Furthermore, if you are inclined to blame a third party, why not blame the travel agent...shouldn’t the travel agent have noted the the problem and prevented the issue???  That IS the travel agent’s job.  Or, if you do not wish to blame the traveler or the travel agent, why not blame the airline. After all, it was the airline that did not allow the passenger to board the plane at the airport.  The airline could have provided advance info and advance screening to prevent the problem....maybe the airline did provide info, as we know the traveler tends to ignore such info when it is provided. 

 

 

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NCL does "warn" customers by utilizing the following verbiage within the "Check-In" process online.

It took me two clicks (shown in blue on copied links) to find the info below (I added the yellow highlight).  They have been posting this for several years.  I know this because I used the links several years ago and realized then that I needed to get mine renewed sooner than I otherwise would have done!


"Proper documentation is the responsibility of the guest. Failure to present proper documentation will result in denial of boarding with no refund offered.

In addition to your proof of citizenship document, proof of identity must also be presented on embarkation day for all guests 16 years of age or older (i.e., valid driver's license that includes a photograph, or government identification card, that includes a physical description).

For up to date immigration information please click here.       So, I clicked that and was taken to...

 

"For Cruises Leaving a Non-U.S. port (Europe, Asia, South America, Australia itineraries)

You’re required to carry a valid passport, not expiring within six (6) months of the return of your cruise.

Specific visas may be required for entry into some European, Asian, Australian and South American ports. Some must be obtained in advance; some can be obtained onboard.

Click here for visa requirements and info on obtaining visas."  

Edited by ggTexasGal
corrected some info

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20 hours ago, julig22 said:

Well as Judge Judy always says "if it doesn't make sense it probably isn't true" 

I would think that if this was a policy, there would be some indication somewhere.  Nothing on the NCL pages and nothing on CC.  One post on CC about it so I don't buy it.  Was your credit card actually denied for on-board purchases?

No, when I did my on line check in they notified me that that card was rejected because it's expiration date was less than six months from the cruise date.

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On 1/28/2020 at 4:07 PM, Dayana said:

All in all the airline nor the cruise line is your personal travel agent.  This is sometimes why it is best to book travel through a travel agent as they will give you all pertinent information.  

 

The OP did use a travel agent. The agent didn't catch the date on the passports as an issue. This is, evidently, NCL's fault somehow.

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On 1/28/2020 at 11:43 AM, yoolykeme said:

 

Well, I mean since OP had travel insurance, I would have cancelled based on a medical emergency, instead of a passport fail.

You mean, commit insurance fraud?   

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17 minutes ago, fshagan said:

 

The OP did use a travel agent. The agent didn't catch the date on the passports as an issue. This is, evidently, NCL's fault somehow.

NCL did NOT deny the OP boarding.
 

It was cut-rate airline that would not let the OP fly From their home airport to the country of departure. 

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2 hours ago, fshagan said:

 

The OP did use a travel agent. The agent didn't catch the date on the passports as an issue. This is, evidently, NCL's fault somehow.

It is NOT NCLs fault. It truly is the OPs fault. Not the travel agent, they chose an incompetent TA.  It is their fault!!!!!!

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2 hours ago, BirdTravels said:

NCL did NOT deny the OP boarding.
 

It was cut-rate airline that would not let the OP fly From their home airport to the country of departure. 

 

There's no indication it was a cut-rate airline (yet you keep insisting this "fact"). Furthermore ANY airline would have denied them boarding as they did not have the required documents to enter the country that was their final destination. 

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22 hours ago, Vyhanek said:

I do see NCL as having a lot of responsibility here.

 

But not the airline? You know - the people that actually denied the OP boarding the air craft? Yes, NCL would have not allowed them to board the ship but the airline denied them half way around the world from where the NCL ship was. 

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Meanwhile the trolling OP, having generated 8 pages with almost 200 posts in 2 weeks, continues to ROFL with every post responding to his/her fable!

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8 hours ago, hamrag said:

Meanwhile the trolling OP, having generated 8 pages with almost 200 posts in 2 weeks, continues to ROFL with every post responding to his/her fable!

Fable?  Well, it could be a fable, but the story seems quite possible to me.  Certainly people forget to read the details and could forget passports must be good beyond travel dates.  And sadly, most of us know people who feel entitled to demand others pay for their mistakes.

 

This eight page thread has probably reminded multiple people to check their passport expiration dates and to plan .renew early to avoid such issues.  Mine was renewed last year...no worries.

 

 

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