Indonesian Visa Policy Free But with a Charge ??

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#1
North Wales UK
242 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
We are on the Golden from Malbourne to Singapore in March one of the stops is Bali in Indonesia.

Just had an Email from TA with a letter from Princess stating "Please be advised that the Indonesian visa policy has recently changed. Most Guests including UK (us) US, Aus, and NZ qualify for a visa FREE entry stamp. A service fee of $25 pp will be charged to your state room account.

Anyone come across this Visa Free Stamp with a Service Charge Before ??
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#2
Sydney, Australia
8,300 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Yes, it's been around for a couple of years. Not a lot you can do about it, it will get charged to your onboard account. I used to think it was Princess charging the fee but I recently checked the Vietnam visa requirements and it states there is a US $25 "Stamping Fee" so maybe Indonesia is doing this too.
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#4
Queensland
7,197 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Maybe there is an explanation for the $25 charge other than Princess pocketing the money. I understand that the officials come on board at the previous port and use a passenger cabin to process and stamp the passports. I haven't seen them in a cabin, but other passengers in nearby cabins have done so. Princess may not charge the Indonesian government to have the officials on board, but maybe we are paying for their airfares to the previous port and maybe also their wages for the couple of days on board.

On some cruises I have seen Aust, New Zealand and Indian officials come on board at the previous port. With the Aust & NZers there was no charge. With the Indian visa, we all had to pay a very high fee to get a visa before the cruise. The officials on board were checking all the passports.
#5
Waterloo, ON
688 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
I was on the Sapphire from 30 Dec 2017 - 09 Jan 2018 with a stop in Bali (along with Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Phuket). My passport (which had been collected during embarkation) ended up with Indonesian, and Thai visa stamps in them. I was not assessed any fee by Princess for this.

If Princess *did* charge me for it then it was buried in the cruise fare or the port fees which are paid upfront at the time of booking/final payment. But even on that front, there was a $15.23 credit on my shipboard account listed as "Government Port Tax" so somewhere along the line some port fee/tax seems to have been reduced?

That's not to say that their policy isn't changing however.
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#6
Chico, California
10,622 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Being "Visa Free" simply means no formal Visa is needed. You can get an "entry stamp" for $25. Not having to apply for and deal with getting a Visa is nice. Having to pay a nominal fee instead is not a bad deal at all.
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Thrak

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#7
South Florida
5,498 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by Thrak
Being "Visa Free" simply means no formal Visa is needed. You can get an "entry stamp" for $25. Not having to apply for and deal with getting a Visa is nice. Having to pay a nominal fee instead is not a bad deal at all.
That's how I read this too. "Visa-free" and "free Visa" are rwo very different animals.

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Debarking is a cruel procedure done to dogs.
Upgrades, Upsellls and Move Over Offers are completely different things.
As are being denied boarding and being disembarked early.
And don't get me started on Port Charges vs. Government Taxes, Fees, and Port Expenses.
The Jones Act is for cargo. The PVSA is "that terrible law" that restricts USA domestic sailings. But without which there would likely be no cruise ships with casinos, duty free shops, and international crew members willing to work fantastically hard every single day.
Lots of people fly in the morning of the cruise and catch crazy early flights home. Why ask us if you can? Just to be harassed by the regulars?
No hotels have free shuttles, free breakfast, free wifi, or free parking. You pay in the rate. And could have found a better deal paying by the piece.
And don't forget: the cruise line is in complete control of the weather, political unrest, medical emergencies, and anything else that delays or re-routes your cruise. Be sure to demand compensation as it is you and only you who were affected.
#8
Queensland
7,197 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by Thrak
Being "Visa Free" simply means no formal Visa is needed. You can get an "entry stamp" for $25. Not having to apply for and deal with getting a Visa is nice. Having to pay a nominal fee instead is not a bad deal at all.
I think it is worth $25 to me to have the officials on board to do this on a sea day before arrival. I would also rather have this process done on the ship and not have to line up to go through Immigration once we arrive. On some of our cruises, processing of passengers after arrival in other ports took hours - literally hours.