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Passport Fail - Cruise Line Unforgiving

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I feel sorry for the op, as a long-awaited cruise was missed.  I am, however, glad this thread came up, because I had always thought the passports had to be renewed 3 months before they expired, not 3-6 months for some places.  Learn something new every day!

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All the cruise line can tell you is to check with the countries involved to see what their requirements are.  Very recently Vietnam decided that USA cruisers need two passport sized pictures to get the card required to enter Vietnam through the ports.  Good thing someone on our Roll Call looked it up and reminded us.  The cruise line said nothing about this new requirement, just that it is on the cruisers to get it right.

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Aren't there ways, expensive ways, to get an emergency passport?  Might have been worth it instead of cancelling everything.

Edited by RedwingHockeyFan

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While we are on the subject of passport renewal, my advice is don't try to DIY by taking your own photos.  Our passports will expire 7/31/20 so are in the process of renewing them for our 4/19/20 Panama Canal cruise.  My DH, who is a little frugle, has been trying to get the photos exactly right but somehow they are coming out too dark, having shadows, paper looking yellow, size not perfect.  It takes 6-8 weeks to renew and if they reject your photos you may have to wait another 6-8 weeks after retaking them.  Go to CVS, Walgreens or your public library for perfect photos.

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8 hours ago, Cafedumonde said:

What’s up with NCL?  I know I am in the minority, but I think they could have helped out.  It’s not like they didn’t pocket your money and you are asking for complete freebies.  They could have at least given you a cruise that they would have given to a travel agent anyway.

Why would the cruise line help out for a passenger that did not make sure their travel documents were in order?  Especially when that information is posted on the NCL website!  It was easy to find, a Google search for "norwegian cruise lines passport requirements" resulted in the exact link from earlier in the thread as result #1!

 

Sorry, too many people these days expect things to just be handed to them.  Someone traveling internationally has a responsibility to ensure they follow the laws of all places they visit and have all the proper documentation, even if the information is not explicitly handed to them on a silver platter.  Shoot - I went to Mexico on a cruise earlier this year and even looked up if a visa was required.

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8 hours ago, mugtech said:

No show does not give the cruise line any time to fill the cabin.  In addition no shows do not spend any money on board, don't tip anyone.  

Yes, NCL lost revenue from the passengers not being able to board, it’s not like there was even time to rebook the cabins. None of the cruiselines would’ve done anything different, even their insurance wouldn’t pony up because they didn’t have adequate travel documents. 

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I also feel for the OP, but I do not rely on anyone to tell me what the requirements are to travel to any foreign country.  I take the time to research the travel requirements, customs, local laws, etc to any foreign location and this includes cruise ports.  Yes, I said cruise ports.  It is amazing the number of ports in the Caribbean where the wearing of camouflage is illegal.  I want to be totally informed on all destinations I travel to,

 

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Valuable lesson for all of us to learn. Likewise a newlywed with name change should be diligent. Our daughter recently married and she was going on a cruise a couple of months out and she checked out her passport and it worked out. Could have been similar situation.

We covered this for all 19 people in our family reunion cruise in 2013. Some people had to update their passports.
Thanks for sharing your information. Cruise critic is excellent for information! From real life situations.

Very sorry for your situation and lost vacation and money.

For Europe cruises the cruise lines should also post more information. Once you have flown over to Europe is not the time to find out.

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if you had a travel agent, i place the blame squarely on them.  its their JOB to advise you of every aspect of your trip, including travel document requirements.  To blame NCL the airline or anyone else is wrong, IMO.

 

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6 minutes ago, BostonGal35 said:

if you had a travel agent, i place the blame squarely on them.  its their JOB to advise you of every aspect of your trip, including travel document requirements.  To blame NCL the airline or anyone else is wrong, IMO.

 

I would agree with the above poster. More than anything you should be asking your travel agent why  they did not advise you to obtain new travel documents considering yours were under 6 months validity and hold them to some accountability. I am not a TA but if I were I would be advising my clients to get a new passport if it was anywhere near that 6 month mark as one of the first things I do. 

 

But then again I'm an experienced traveler and I would never let my passport get anywhere near the 6 month mark without renewing due to all the country/airline/other requirements related to that date. 

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Thank you for sharing and making people aware.  I am sorry you learned the hard way by experiencing all of this.  Luckily I had heard of this before our Med cruise this past fall because DH would have been in the same situation.  I have decided to just renew passports 6 months early no matter what.

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13 hours ago, April42749 said:

"Wildly understood" doesn't mean that people are aware of this.  I only know of this because of cc.  If not for this forum, I'd just assume something is good until the date of expiration.  Isn't that what "a date of expiration" is all about.  And I'd think that if the data is entered on a computer....the computer would catch the problem.

I think that the TAs should alert the passengers about the requirements and that he, the passenger has the responsibility to check things.

 

On the APP, all the information you need is right under Required Travel Documents.  The prompt is found in Vacation Summary. Easy to find, not hidden.

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1 hour ago, david_sobe said:

Threads like these make me not feel so OCD when I renew my passport 2 years early.😲


Kinda of like me upon reading this thread Re-checked the expiration of all our passports two more times (each), you know, because!

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14 hours ago, April42749 said:

"Wildly (sic) understood" doesn't mean that people are aware of this.  I only know of this because of cc.  If not for this forum, I'd just assume something is good until the date of expiration.

 

 

 

You are an example of someone who gets intimidated by long paragraphs with narrow line spacing and small font and rather than doing the due diligence of reading it, you skip over it and just pray it won't matter later.

That's why anyone wouldn't know this.  Because it's impossible to book a cruise without this instruction appearing on your screen.

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You are blaming Norwegian because the airline denied you boarding???  That makes absolutely no sense at all.

 

If anything, blame your travel agent. 

 

Just because the airline and hotel gave you partial credits, doesn't mean Norwegian should.  They completely lost any revenue from your cabin, since a no-show means they were not able to re-book it.  

 

Hopefully this is a lesson to everyone else to actually READ all the fine print when they book any travel.

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I'm sorry this happened to you. That said the ultimate responsibility of travel documents being up to date and valid fall on you the traveler. I am a very harsh critic of NCL when deserved, this in no way was the fault of NCL and they have no obligation to refund you. I always renew the year it's due to expire well before the 6 month mark

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Lesson learned, the hard way.  You're lucky you got back what you did.

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For all the "planning" the OP did for this trip I just don't think they did their due diligence to rectify the situation.  You can get expedited passports same day for around $200.  I myself would not have missed a trip like this to save $400.  I probably would have also made sure I had the cancel for any reason trip insurance for a trip that cost that much.

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Sorry but tough apples......You said it yourself.....A long-anticipated vacation to the Baltic and Scandinavia...... And nobody in your family thought about your passports? I guess you learned one expensive lesson..... 100% fault on You....0% on NCL

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1 hour ago, RedwingHockeyFan said:

For all the "planning" the OP did for this trip I just don't think they did their due diligence to rectify the situation.  You can get expedited passports same day for around $200.  I myself would not have missed a trip like this to save $400.  I probably would have also made sure I had the cancel for any reason trip insurance for a trip that cost that much.

 

Yes, but you have to have a passport office near you in order to do that. Not every state has them https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/get-fast/passport-agencies.html . While most of the major cities that have direct flights to Europe have agencies - if they were connecting before that flight the airline might have stopped them before they go to a city with one. It would also depend on when they were leaving and how close it was to the cruise. The passport agencies are only open M-F and closed on all holidays. If they were leaving on a weekend and didn't have enough cushion before the cruise departed - obtaining an emergency passport would not be possible. Also, depending on what type of airline tickets they booked they might be faced with large change fees plus the difference with walk up costs or may have lost the entire cost of the flight if it was a basic fare. 

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OP, even if your passport was still a few days over the 90 day, and you had flown over to Europe to the ship, you'd still be denied boarding by NCL (or any other cruise lines) - according to the Required Travel Documents your passport has to be valid for at least 6 months for Cruises leaving from non-US ports (i.e. Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, etc).

 

I would think the REAL reason the airline denied you boarding is because you'd be in a foreign country (for 2-3 days) with passport being valid for less than 90 days.  

 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, bluesea777 said:

I would think the REAL reason the airline denied you boarding is because you'd be in a foreign country (for 2-3 days) with passport being valid for less than 90 days.  

 

 

 

 

You would not be in a foreign country for 2-3 days as you be denied entry, the airline would then have to transport you home or I guess you could spend 2 weeks airside in Europe.

 

The airline won't let you board to protect themselves and avoid this situation.

Edited by ziggyuk

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10 minutes ago, ziggyuk said:

 

You would not be in a foreign country for 2-3 days as you be denied entry, the airline would then have to transport you home or I guess you could spend 2 weeks airside in Europe.

 

The airline won't let you board to protect themselves and avoid this situation.

 

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/

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