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Aladdin22

Jones Act violation??

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We’re from UK and booked b2b cruise, on Jewel Seward/Vancouver, Vancouver/Hawaii.

 

Received email today saying we can’t do the b2b as it’s in violation of the Jones act.  
 

Can someone explain this please.  We booked this holiday in February so seems strange NCL only contacting us now.

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It's actually the Passenger Vessel Services Act, the Jones act deals with cabotage and the coastwise trade.

 

For a ship to carry passengers between USA ports it must be built in the USA, owned by Americans, crewed by mostly Americans and be registered in the USA. Therefore it is illegal for the Jewel to board passengers in Seward and let them leave the ship permanently in Honolulu. The fact that you are booked on a b2b is not relevant.

 

You would be legal is to do the same itinerary but change ships in Vancouver Canada.

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9 minutes ago, Aladdin22 said:

We’re from UK and booked b2b cruise, on Jewel Seward/Vancouver, Vancouver/Hawaii.

 

Received email today saying we can’t do the b2b as it’s in violation of the Jones act.  
 

Can someone explain this please.  We booked this holiday in February so seems strange NCL only contacting us now.

 

You basically are going from one US port to another US port without stopping in a distant port/country. Canada is not a distant country. This is a violation of the PVSA.

 

Also, it looks like the Alaska cruise is going to be canned since it's in early Sept. Not so sure about the Hawaii one either.

 

Since you're from the UK, I would advise you to cancel your travels across the pond this year.

 

NCL has been busy with all the cruise cancellations, etc and now as the final payment is looming up they prolly had time to check your bookings and realise you booked a B2B cruise that is not allowed under the PVS act.

 

 

 

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Oh I see thanks very much. We were thinking of cancelling so this has made our minds up.  It’s annoying though as we didn’t book online but phoned NCL and our friends did the same. Surprised NCL’s system didn’t flag it up to the agents we spoke to. 

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I guess I'm missing something.  Vancouver serves as the foreign port.  Until it was cancelled, I was on the repositioning cruise from Anchorage to San Diego - how is that any different than from Seward to Hawaii?

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The law requires a stop at a distant foreign port. In the western hemisphere only ports in South America and the ABC islands off the north coast of Venezuela qualify as distant foreign ports under the act.

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11 minutes ago, Paul Bogle said:

The law requires a stop at a distant foreign port. In the western hemisphere only ports in South America and the ABC islands off the north coast of Venezuela qualify as distant foreign ports under the act.

Vancouver, British Columbia and Victoria, British Columbia serve as a "foreign port of call" every season.

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5 minutes ago, www3traveler said:

Vancouver, British Columbia and Victoria, British Columbia serve as a "foreign port of call" every season.

 

They don´t classify as "distant foreign port". Seward - Vancouver is o.k., but you can´t go on from Vancouver to Hawaii. And unfortunately a B2B is the problem in this case.

 

steamboats

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3 minutes ago, www3traveler said:

Vancouver, British Columbia and Victoria, British Columbia serve as a "foreign port of call" every season.

 

It is legal to take passengers from a USA port and drop them off in any foreign port and vice versa. What is not legal is to carry passengers from one USA port to a different USA port without stopping at a distant foreign port. This is why both cited itineraries in the original post are legal but doing both back to back is not.

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Is this cruise actually a BACK-TO-BACK or really two separate cruises.

 

This sequence would be a Repositioning Cruise the JEWEL being deployed

to Australia New Zealand after Hawaii

 

B2B cruises are usually round-trip starting ending at same port.

 

The OP being from the UK this itinerary may have been marketed differently !

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6 minutes ago, don't-use-real-name said:

Is this cruise actually a BACK-TO-BACK or really two separate cruises.

 

For purposes of the PVSA it makes no difference. The act is interested in where you initially board the ship and where you permanently depart the ship. How the cruise is marketed is of no relevance. 

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16 minutes ago, steamboats said:

 

They don´t classify as "distant foreign port". Seward - Vancouver is o.k., but you can´t go on from Vancouver to Hawaii. And unfortunately a B2B is the problem in this case.

 

steamboats

 

The OP was booked on 2 back to back cruises - first from Seward AK to Vancouver, and then from Vancouver to Hawaii. Basically they were going from one US port (Seward AK) to another US port (Hawaii ) without stopping at a distant foreign port (Canada (Vancouver) doesn't count as one.

 

I think you meant to say can not can't. You can do either cruise but not both on same ship.

 

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26 minutes ago, www3traveler said:

Vancouver, British Columbia and Victoria, British Columbia serve as a "foreign port of call" every season.

 

But they are not "distant foreign ports," which is a term specifically used in the PVSA and is not the same as a mere "foreign port."   Foreign flagged carriers may not transport passengers from one U.S. port to a different U.S. port unless there is a stop at a "distant foreign port" along the way.   As noted in comments above, with respect to North America, ports in Canada (among other countries) are specifically excluded from the definition of a "distant foreign port," and that is why the OP's planned itinerary violates the PVSA. 

 

A stop in a mere "foreign port" (such as Vancouver) is fine for a cruise that begins and ends in the same U.S. port.  

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29 minutes ago, www3traveler said:

Vancouver, British Columbia and Victoria, British Columbia serve as a "foreign port of call" every season.

 

Only on CLOSED loop cruises, i.e. ROUND trip sailings. Like round trip from Seattle where you must call at a foreign port. 

 

Round trips from New York call at either Bermuda or Bahamas.

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1 hour ago, Paul Bogle said:

It's actually the Passenger Vessel Services Act, the Jones act deals with cabotage and the coastwise trade.

 

Since this thread is all about pedantic details, I would point out that the term cabotage refers to both the Jones Act and the PVSA in that the term describes the transport of goods or passengers between two places in the same country by a transport operator from another country

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21 minutes ago, bluesea777 said:

Round trips from New York call at either Bermuda or Bahamas.

 

19 minutes ago, Paul Bogle said:

Or the Canadian maritimes.

 

Or Quebec City.  Or Tortola.  Or any other port that is not in the United States.   😊

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Just now, Turtles06 said:

 

 

Or Quebec City.  Or Tortola.  Or any other port that is not in the United States.   😊

 

True True....but not offered frequently due to the time required. 

 

For example New York to Quebec City or Montreal is usually offered as a seven day one way itinerary though it can be enjoyed as a back to back.

 

We sailed roundtrip from NYC on an itinerary that made its last of five stops in Tortola but it was an 11 day itinerary.

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6 minutes ago, Turtles06 said:

 

 

Or Quebec City.  Or Tortola.  Or any other port that is not in the United States.   😊

 

Just now, Paul Bogle said:

 

True True....but not offered frequently due to the time required. 

 

For example New York to Quebec City or Montreal is usually offered as a seven day one way itinerary though it can be enjoyed as a back to back.

 

We sailed roundtrip from NYC on an itinerary that made its last of five stops in Tortola but it was an 11 day itinerary.

 

Agreed -- those are certainly not 7-day RT cruises!  I used those ports as examples because we've in fact taken a 10-day RT cruise from NY that called at Tortola, as well as a 12-day NE/Canada cruise from Cape Liberty (NY Harbor of course) on which the farthest port was Quebec City.  (Obviously, we had port calls in the Canadian Maritimes as well.)   Gosh, I really miss those trips.

 

 

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1 hour ago, julig22 said:

I guess I'm missing something.  Vancouver serves as the foreign port.  Until it was cancelled, I was on the repositioning cruise from Anchorage to San Diego - how is that any different than from Seward to Hawaii?

my bad - reposition was leaving from Vancouver.

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I think all the details of the legal matters have been dealt with already; as to the 'why did NCL let us book this and only tell us now?' issue that's simply down to NCL, like all cruise companies, not having the best IT setup - it's very common for illegal combos to get booked, but then some sort of manual check to be run periodically to spot them and contact affected customers nearer cruise time. It could be a LOT worse though - given the combo you are talking about, even if it is a 2020 travel plan it'll be at the end of the season so probably Sep, maybe even Oct - if you Search for other folks in similar situations you'll find that Princess have often let folks know only a month or less away from sailing; on the other side of the coin the cruiselines also regularly screw up by flagging legal itineraries as a breach of PVSA when they are not - making folks jump through all sorts of hoops unnecessarily like disembarking early in Victoria and making their own way to Vancouver.

 

In your case, that's actually a potentially-viable plan if you really want to build an AK to HI cruise on the same ship - assuming the southbound cruise does stop in Victoria before reaching Vancouver, it's very rarely refused when you ask for permission to disembark early in Victoria (Canadian customs & immigration are well used to folks who want to do this, and they're always on-site anyway even on short port of call stops). You can fly harbour-to-harbour on floatplanes, use a bus or rental car to the ferry, or even take a whale-watching transfer with Prince of Whales to get you to Vancouver, then reboard next day legally for a totally-separate Vancouver-Hawaii cruise - it does mean extra pennies, as you won't get a refund for the unused night onboard and you'll have to pay ballpark $70-300pp to get to Vancouver plus a couple of meals and a night in a hotel.

 

If this is in 2021 or late, personally I'd look at the timing of other vessels on the AK-Vancouver leg as already suggested above, as there's a good chance at least one Princess and HAL ship will still be running 7-day alternating north & southbound trips for longer, they tend to be both the first lines to arrive in the spring and the last to leave in the autumn. The odds of any ships moving up to AK at all this year though are slim to none, and both Princess/HAL confirmed they were abandoning this AK season's 1-way trips quite a while ago...

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3 hours ago, Aladdin22 said:

Oh I see thanks very much. We were thinking of cancelling so this has made our minds up.  It’s annoying though as we didn’t book online but phoned NCL and our friends did the same. Surprised NCL’s system didn’t flag it up to the agents we spoke to. 

The problem is that the customer service reps who take bookings don't realize this is a violation, nor does the booking system.  The b2b bookings go to a compliance department who then determine if the combination of cruises is legal or not.

 

One note I would add to martincath's post about getting off early in Victoria, is that the Act requires you to "permanently disembark", so you would need to settle your bill and take all your luggage off the ship with you to make the trip to Vancouver, you could not simply get off the ship for the day.

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Thanks for all your replies. Very annoyed with NCL as we booked this in good faith, called twice before booking, no mention of any problem. We’ve now got non-refundable very expensive flights (not booked with NCL) we can’t use. Will NCL compensate for this? 

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