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freddybeachpete

Leaving ship prior to final port

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Posted (edited)

Is it permitted to (permanently) leave the ship at a port prior to the scheduled final port? For example, I saw an itinerary that sails from England to New York with second to last stop in Halifax. It would be +++ convenient for us to drive to Halifax, leave our vehicle at the airport, fly to England and then disembark in Halifax instead of NYC

Edited by freddybeachpete

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2 hours ago, freddybeachpete said:

Is it permitted to (permanently) leave the ship at a port prior to the scheduled final port? For example, I saw an itinerary that sails from England to New York with second to last stop in Halifax. It would be +++ convenient for us to drive to Halifax, leave our vehicle at the airport, fly to England and then disembark in Halifax instead of NYC

Yes, but you need to make arrangements with the Purser to make sure that your bills have been settled and your luggage removed from the ship.  You cannot just hop off. 

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Contact Cunard about this. There may be different Customs/Border control issues for passengers leaving the ship as opposed to just spending the day in Halifax.

 

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freddybeachpete, this post by david,Mississauga from an earlier thread on this topic may be helpful. It discusses the exact situation you are asking about (disembarking in Halifax from a westbound crossing).

 

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In fact this must happen all the time, when passengers or their travelling companions are taken ill, or indeed when people miss the ship. So how can they stop you?

 

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1 hour ago, exlondoner said:

In fact this must happen all the time, when passengers or their travelling companions are taken ill, or indeed when people miss the ship. So how can they stop you?

 

They cannot stop you, but they certainly can pass on a charge for the additional Customs/Immigration cost of clearing a passenger permanently into the country, rather than a port call clearance, and they may not notify Canadian customs/immigration that you have left the ship and need to clear with them re-entering the country.  If even a Canadian citizen failed to clear when re-entering the country, then when they try to leave the country the next time, they will be flagged as illegally in the country, and this can lead to fines.

 

Having said that, as noted in the link above, Cunard appears to be amenable to granting downstream disembarkation, with advance notice.

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And also entertainers frequently leave and join mid cruise. So they must fix the immigration requirements for them.

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1 hour ago, exlondoner said:

And also entertainers frequently leave and join mid cruise. So they must fix the immigration requirements for them.

Entertainers are listed on the crew manifest, even those given "passenger status (cabins)", and crew manifests and clearance is different than that for passengers.

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Posted (edited)

As I mentioned in my previous postings, Cunard (or any cruise line) cannot prevent a Canadian passport holder from entering Canada at any port they choose to. I was further advised it was best to let Cunard know in advance that you will be doing so.

 

I should add that the disembarkation at Halifax was the easiest we have had in any port of any country. The purser's office requested we surrender our passports a day or two in advance and to fill out the customs declaration form. Our luggage was put out by midnight the night before just as it would be at the end of any voyage. On the morning of arrival the approximately 30 disembarking passengers were asked to attend the inspection in a lounge. The purser's staff met with the officers on our behalf. After a few minutes one of the purser's staff came in to say that the border officers wanted to see only three people and the rest of us could have our passports and go ashore.  That was it. Our luggage was on the pier.

 

It's a pity that Atlantic crossings including Halifax are rare.

Edited by david,Mississauga

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You may have the legal right but they're likely to charge a couple hundred dollars in administrative fees even if they're sympathetic to your reasons for early departure. 

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On 5/9/2019 at 1:44 PM, Underwatr said:

You may have the legal right but they're likely to charge a couple hundred dollars in administrative fees even if they're sympathetic to your reasons for early departure. 

They did not charge anything. Permission was granted in advance and our "cruise cards" read SOU - YHZ. There was, of course, no refund for the shortened voyage of one and a half days.

 

The reverse is also possible. British friends were on board one of the e/b crossings the next year when the QM2 called in Halifax on its way to Southampton. They told me about 20 people had made arrangements to board the ship there instead of NY.

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3 hours ago, david,Mississauga said:

They did not charge anything. Permission was granted in advance and our "cruise cards" read SOU - YHZ. There was, of course, no refund for the shortened voyage of one and a half days.

 

The reverse is also possible. British friends were on board one of the e/b crossings the next year when the QM2 called in Halifax on its way to Southampton. They told me about 20 people had made arrangements to board the ship there instead of NY.

How would you go about doing something like that. It would be so much easier, and I suspect cheaper in the long run..

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22 hours ago, kmerlin14 said:

How would you go about doing something like that. It would be so much easier, and I suspect cheaper in the long run..

 

If you have a travel agent, preferably an experienced one, have that person make arrangements and a certificate entitled "Deviation of Itinerary" will be sent to you. If you try to do it yourself the U.S. office of Cunard is likely to say: "It can't be done"as they told our travel agent. He had 40 years experience and knew a lot of people in the industry and was able to go up the ladder and reach someone who said: "Of course it can be done."

 

I don't know if I mentioned when I first joined a similar discussion two or three years ago, but on that crossing we had tea with a couple from Halifax. They had wanted to disembark in their home city but Cunard had told them the usual: "It can't be done" and they must go to New York then fly home to Halifax. They accepted this as the final word. I told them about our experience and suggested they see the purser's office. They did so and it was arranged immediately.

 

There is no fare reduction for unused days. The full point-to-point fare must be paid. We could have returned to Toronto by train the same day we arrived in Halifax, but we wanted to spend two days and meet friends who took the train back with us. It cost us more than simply disembarking in N.Y. and flying home the same day, but we prefer the experience of Halifax. (The VIA Rail trains between Halifax and Montreal and Toronto are vastly superior to the Amtrak train between N.Y. and Toronto.)

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1 hour ago, david,Mississauga said:

 

If you have a travel agent, preferably an experienced one, have that person make arrangements and a certificate entitled "Deviation of Itinerary" will be sent to you. If you try to do it yourself the U.S. office of Cunard is likely to say: "It can't be done"as they told our travel agent. He had 40 years experience and knew a lot of people in the industry and was able to go up the ladder and reach someone who said: "Of course it can be done."

 

I don't know if I mentioned when I first joined a similar discussion two or three years ago, but on that crossing we had tea with a couple from Halifax. They had wanted to disembark in their home city but Cunard had told them the usual: "It can't be done" and they must go to New York then fly home to Halifax. They accepted this as the final word. I told them about our experience and suggested they see the purser's office. They did so and it was arranged immediately.

 

There is no fare reduction for unused days. The full point-to-point fare must be paid. We could have returned to Toronto by train the same day we arrived in Halifax, but we wanted to spend two days and meet friends who took the train back with us. It cost us more than simply disembarking in N.Y. and flying home the same day, but we prefer the experience of Halifax. (The VIA Rail trains between Halifax and Montreal and Toronto are vastly superior to the Amtrak train between N.Y. and Toronto.)

 

I'm a fan of Amtrak, but the runs to Canada are some of the worst trains. VIA could definitely give them lessons!

 

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We got off early in Port Canaveral, FL, USA instead of Ft. Lauderdale.  We just let Cunard know in advance of our plans.  There were about 20 of us doing this.  It wasn't a problem.  We did eat the extra day.  That was okay with us.  After a TA spent skirting a hurricane, we were ready to get off. 

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we are on a T/A this July from Southampton to NYC.

As we live in Halifax we requested to get off the QM2 in Halifax.

It required permission from the Port of Halifax, but our request was approved almost immediately.

We lose a single sea day but that is fine as we don't need to navigate to the airport in NYC and we also save the cost of airfare back to Halifax. They told us the cost of the cruise would still remain the same, however when they deducted the additional port fees and gratuities, the price dropped by almost $200. I suspect though that we won't be able to remain on board while in Halifax and will need to leave the ship upon arrival.

 

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32 minutes ago, yhz123 said:

we are on a T/A this July from Southampton to NYC.

As we live in Halifax we requested to get off the QM2 in Halifax.

It required permission from the Port of Halifax, but our request was approved almost immediately.

We lose a single sea day but that is fine as we don't need to navigate to the airport in NYC and we also save the cost of airfare back to Halifax. They told us the cost of the cruise would still remain the same, however when they deducted the additional port fees and gratuities, the price dropped by almost $200. I suspect though that we won't be able to remain on board while in Halifax and will need to leave the ship upon arrival.

 

I'm glad to hear that Cunard is making it easier to disembark in Halifax.  As I said in my posting above we were given a time and location on board to appear before an immigration/customs officer. I hope it is as easy for you as it was for us.

 

We were asked to disembark immediately after that (which was about 9:15). If you have your luggage taken off by the ship's staff you might not want to leave it sitting on the pier too long, even though it was in a secure area. Porters were available to assist. We were pleased that the Westin Nova Scotian Hotel had our room available for us at the early hour of 9:30. 

 

I considered booking this extended crossing but booked an Alaska cruise instead. But we are taking the equivalent 14-day crossing next year, although it is eastbound. We may request to board in Halifax rather than N.Y. Our travel agent doesn't recommend that in case an emergency requires the port call to be cancelled.  I have been following Cunard crossings and cruises involving Halifax for many years and I have not seen one cancellation. There was a delay of many hours a few years ago when the QM2 went to rescue a yacht, but it still made its call. Some lesser ships have cancelled calls at Halifax due to weather conditions, but not the QM2.

 

 

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I talked to my travel agent about it and she mentioned that if the ship didn't make it into the port for any reason, it would be up to us to rejoin the ship n our own. So I think we will plan on embarking in New York so we don't have to risk that because it would mean missing most of the cruise. Or I can try and find an itinerary going the other way.

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10 minutes ago, kmerlin14 said:

I talked to my travel agent about it and she mentioned that if the ship didn't make it into the port for any reason, it would be up to us to rejoin the ship n our own. So I think we will plan on embarking in New York so we don't have to risk that because it would mean missing most of the cruise. Or I can try and find an itinerary going the other way.

 

Travel insurance may cover that, depending on the policy. But it is a concern. As for the possibility of a cancelled planned disembarkation in Halifax, the worst that can happen is being taken to New York, which of course is what one has paid for.

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