Panama Canal cruise and Jones Act

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Aug 28, 2017
I am taking a Panama Canal cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line from Miami to Los Angeles on Oct 20-Nov 3 with the following itinerary:
The second to last stop is Cabo San Lucas. I would like to disembark at Cabo San Lucas to visit friends and fly home from there, rather than continue on to LA on the ship. NCL is saying that this is not allowed per the Jones Act and if I wanted to do it I would be charged $300 to get off the ship early. I did some research on the Jones Act and from what I read, the Jones Act should not apply as long as we have already stopped in Cartagena (which is earlier on in the cruise) since it is a distant foreign port. Will someone at NCL please verify this? Thank you! .


Here is an article concerning this you might find interesting:

While it doesn't appear to violate the Jones or PSVA, that doesn't mean it doesn't come at some cost to the cruise line or require them to follow certain legal requirements (the US and the country you are wanting to depart the ship at). They normally don't provide transportation in this manner, therefore, there it may require specific arrangement to be made with the port of disembarkation and with that countries immigration authority. For this reason, they have every right not to allow you to book travel this way.


Why cant you just get off the ship and leave. Why do you need their permission?
They would still need clearance from Mexico, since they are not processed to enter the country longer than the time the ship is in port? Would also look a bit suspicious leaving with luggage. :)
Jun 27, 2017
We took a Hawaii cruise that had only one foreign port stop before we returned to Los Angeles. It was Ensenda, Mexico. While there, one of our fellow passengers got very intoxicated and hit her head. She could not be treated on the ship because she needed a CAT scan, so she needed to be hospitalized in Ensenada. Princess could not just drop her off with all her luggage and say "Adios." It took several hours and much paperwork because she would eventually have to be repatriated into the US. We were also told that Princess had to account for every passenger upon return.

I believe Neil is correct - It's not as simple as just walking off a ship.