Jones Act

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Sep 2, 2018
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#1
Hi everyone, I was supposed to be on a New England to Canada cruise this week from Baltimore. Unfortunately, I am not because I had my passport stolen in Baltimore and had insufficient time
to rectify the situation. I wanted to fly to Boston or Portland and meet the cruise there. RCCL told me no to Boston (one of he stops on the itinerary!) So, they said I could fly to Portland; but I could
not cruise back with everyone else. I would have had to fly back from Halifax because of the Jones act. It just does not make sense. That law was written in 1920 and seems to apply to goods, not
people. What does it matter?
 
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#2
You are probably lucky you did not try this since you need a passport to enter the US from Canada and you do not have one. You could have been detained at the US border/port.
 
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Carrie Livingston

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#3
It's not the Jones act it's the PVSA - Passenger Vessel Services Act, I believe. It does not allow a foreign flagged ship to transport passengers between ports in the US, unless they visit a foreign distant port and Canada doesn't count. So if you're doing a round trip cruise from an American port, you must embark and debark at that port and there cannot be changes to the passenger manifest without large fines.

You might head over to Cruise Critic. They have people discussing it all the time over there.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_Vessel_Services_Act_of_1886
 

Neil Maley

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#4
It's not the Jones act it's the PVSA - Passenger Vessel Services Act, I believe. It does not allow a foreign flagged ship to transport passengers between ports in the US, unless they visit a foreign distant port and Canada doesn't count. So if you're doing a round trip cruise from an American port, you must embark and debark at that port and there cannot be changes to the passenger manifest without large fines.

You might head over to Cruise Critic. They have people discussing it all the time over there.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passenger_Vessel_Services_Act_of_1886
This is exactly the reason. You must leave and return back to the same port. And you couldn't fly back from Halifax if you don't have the passport.
 
Sep 2, 2018
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#5
Well, I was told birth certificate and driver's license would be sufficient by RCCL. I also googled it, and google said that was true. I wonder if I could fly to Halifax and cruise
back, catching the very last portion of the cruise?
Thanks!
Tina
 
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Carrie Livingston

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#6
I believe that's a violation as well. Royal would also have to change the passenger manifest at an additional cost to them which would likely be passed on to you. You really need to contact them for information on if this can be done.

And please check out the forum's on cruise critic. There are literally thousands of threads on this exact subject.
 

Neil Maley

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#8
Well, I was told birth certificate and driver's license would be sufficient by RCCL. I also googled it, and google said that was true. I wonder if I could fly to Halifax and cruise
back, catching the very last portion of the cruise?
Thanks!

Tina
You can’t fly to Halifax without your passport nor can you catch the cruise in a foreign port. You must embark and depart from the same US port.

Yes, you could have traveled with a certified birth certificate and valid drivers license.

At this point if the ships departed, you are too late to try and salvage this.

Did you have Travel insurance? There might be coverage since your passport was stolen. Do you have a police report?
 
Sep 2, 2018
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#9
First, thank you for your response! Well, my passport has been turned to the Amtrak police. So, do you think I can now fly to Halifax and
cruise back (salvaging the last 1/3 of the cruise? From what the cruise line was telling me it sounds like most of the problem comes from the
fact that the United States passed crazy laws a long time ago.

Thanks again,
Tina
 
Feb 21, 2018
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#10
Well, I was told birth certificate and driver's license would be sufficient by RCCL. I also googled it, and google said that was true. I wonder if I could fly to Halifax and cruise
back, catching the very last portion of the cruise?
Thanks!
Tina
An official birth certificate and driver's license IS normally sufficient for a closed loop cruise - assuming you are embarking and debarking the ship at the same US port. Once the need to embark at a different port than the point of debarkation, the need for a passport surfaces.

You wouldn't even be able to get into Canada without a passport (to fly) or a passport card (by land) to meet up with the ship.
 

Neil Maley

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#11
First, thank you for your response! Well, my passport has been turned to the Amtrak police. So, do you think I can now fly to Halifax and
cruise back (salvaging the last 1/3 of the cruise? From what the cruise line was telling me it sounds like most of the problem comes from the
fact that the United States passed crazy laws a long time ago.

Thanks again,
Tina
I don’t think you can due to Post 3. But call the cruise line. They are the ones with the ultimate answer.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#14
Happy that your passport wasn't stolen, Tina. This has to be a huge disappointment, a traveller's nightmare. I agree, you need to talk with the cruise line. The trouble is, one department may tell you one thing, when you arrive they may tell you something else. I'd hate to see you fly to meet the ship and be denied boarding. Did you insure this trip? If so, I'd put in a claim and reschedule the cruise. If no insurance, we can show you how to ask the cruise line for a "new cruise". It's not a guarantee, but it's possible. I am so very sorry that you're still on land and not enjoying the ship.
 
Feb 21, 2018
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#15
I read that but you still have the Passenger act to deal with - you must leave and arrive from the same port.

Call the cruise line.
Neil, I could be wrong but I believe the PVSA applies only on transport between two different US ports. Halifax is a Canadian port, so I don't believe it applies.

Of course, the cruise line will always have the final say on what is and is not permitted.
 

Neil Maley

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#16
Neil, I could be wrong but I believe the PVSA applies only on transport between two different US ports. Halifax is a Canadian port, so I don't believe it applies.

Of course, the cruise line will always have the final say on what is and is not permitted.
Here is what the Act says- the Passenger has to embark and disembark from the same port on s foreign flagged vessel or pay a fine:

The Passenger Vessel Services Act, however,

does not prohibit foreign-flagged ships departing from and returning to the same U.S. port, provided the ship visits any foreign port;
does not prohibit foreign-flagged ships departing from a U.S. port, visiting a distant foreign port, and then continuing to a second U.S. port. However, in order to embark in a U.S. port and disembark in a second U.S. port, the vessel must visit a distant foreign port outside of North America (Central America, Bermuda. the Bahamas, and all of the Caribbean except Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, count as part of North America);
In accordance with this law, cruise lines that operate foreign-flagged vessels are fined $762 for each passenger who boarded such a vessel in one U.S. port and left the vessel at another port. The cruise lines typically pass this cost on the passengers who "jump the ship". Exemptions are available in the case of family emergencies etc.[2]

Halifax is not a distant foreign port, it’s in N. America.

If the cruise line allows her to meet the ship, they may also require her to pay any associated fines.

I hope she comes back and let’s us know what the cruise line says. For her sake- I hope they let her meet the ship.
 

Carrie Livingston

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#17
You still have to deal with the change in the passenger manifest. If @tinavg is allowed to board, they will need to have special staff to handle boarding wherever and then I believe that changes the nature of the cruise when debarking and means increased security when leaving at the end of the cruise.
 
Feb 21, 2018
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#18
Here is what the Act says- the Passenger has to embark and disembark from the same port on s foreign flagged vessel or pay a fine:

The Passenger Vessel Services Act, however,

does not prohibit foreign-flagged ships departing from and returning to the same U.S. port, provided the ship visits any foreign port;
does not prohibit foreign-flagged ships departing from a U.S. port, visiting a distant foreign port, and then continuing to a second U.S. port. However, in order to embark in a U.S. port and disembark in a second U.S. port, the vessel must visit a distant foreign port outside of North America (Central America, Bermuda. the Bahamas, and all of the Caribbean except Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, count as part of North America);
In accordance with this law, cruise lines that operate foreign-flagged vessels are fined $762 for each passenger who boarded such a vessel in one U.S. port and left the vessel at another port. The cruise lines typically pass this cost on the passengers who "jump the ship". Exemptions are available in the case of family emergencies etc.[2]

Halifax is not a distant foreign port, it’s in N. America.

If the cruise line allows her to meet the ship, they may also require her to pay any associated fines.

I hope she comes back and let’s us know what the cruise line says. For her sake- I hope they let her meet the ship.
I'm confused a bit...I understand the distant foreign port requirement where embarkation is in one US port and disembarkation is in another US port. But it the OP embarks in a foreign port (Canada) and then disembarks in a US port (back in Baltimore) why would that be a violation? Cruises do this all the time in Alaska, embarking in Vancouver (Canada) and disembarking in Anchorage (US), or vice-versa.
 

Dwayne Coward

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Apr 13, 2016
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#19
I'm confused a bit...I understand the distant foreign port requirement where embarkation is in one US port and disembarkation is in another US port. But it the OP embarks in a foreign port (Canada) and then disembarks in a US port (back in Baltimore) why would that be a violation? Cruises do this all the time in Alaska, embarking in Vancouver (Canada) and disembarking in Anchorage (US), or vice-versa.
I believe, based on previous cases I've handled, the issue has to do with it being a "closed loop" cruise, so the cruise line may require CBP permission (and be required to pay a fee) to transport someone from a foreign port (open loop). The examples you mention are scheduled open loop, which could require different handling procedures by the CBP.

As advised previously, the cruise line will have to make the determination.
 
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Neil Maley

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#20
I believe, based on previous cases I've handled, the issue has to do with it being a "closed loop" cruise, so the cruise line may require CBP permission (and be required to pay a fee) to transport someone from a foreign port (open loop). The examples you mention are scheduled open loop, which may require different handling procedures by the CBP.

As advised previously, the cruise line will have to make the determination.
That’s exactly the issue.

The Alaska cruises N to S are open loop. Different requirements.

The cruise lines can make exceptions to the closed loop but there is a fine involved they have to pay and it is often passed on to the passenger.

I hope that no news is good news in this case. I hope our writer comes back and updates us as this would be interesting to know how it pans out.
 
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