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Disappointment

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Was about to enjoy a 14 day cruise from San Diego thru the Panama Canal to Fort Lauderdale aboard the Westerdam. My wife and I flew into San Diego from Raleigh, NC on the 7th of December and stayed at the Sheraton. The morning of the 8th we attempted to register for the cruise with the Holland America Rep. We forgot to pick up our passports from the kitchen table. We didn't realize this until attempting to register at the motel. I thought no problem as I'm retired military and have my military ID. Guess what! Holland America refused to allow us to register to board! The military ID was not acceptable. You must have a passport! I went through a lot more security checks etc. when I received my military ID! Why isn't the ID as good as a passport? That was an expensive no cruise. The Hal rep did not attempt to help us out at all. We asked her (rep) what can we do. She just shrugged her shoulders.

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Sounds like neither of you had your passport. Would you have sailed without your wife had they accepted you military ID? Do you have to be a US citizen to get a military ID?

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Sounds like neither of you had your passport. Would you have sailed without your wife had they accepted you military ID? Do you have to be a US citizen to get a military ID?

I was going to ask the same thing. Find it strange that you have been a member since 2011 and this is your first post. Sorry for your troubles.

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Was about to enjoy a 14 day cruise from San Diego thru the Panama Canal to Fort Lauderdale aboard the Westerdam. My wife and I flew into San Diego from Raleigh, NC on the 7th of December and stayed at the Sheraton. The morning of the 8th we attempted to register for the cruise with the Holland America Rep.

We forgot to pick up our passports from the kitchen table.

We didn't realize this until attempting to register at the motel. I thought no problem as I'm retired military and have my military ID. Guess what! Holland America refused to allow us to register to board! The military ID was not acceptable. You must have a passport! I went through a lot more security checks etc. when I received my military ID! Why isn't the ID as good as a passport? That was an expensive no cruise.

The Hal rep did not attempt to help us out at all.

We asked her (rep) what can we do. She just shrugged her shoulders.

Too bad, too sad.

But, a good lesson for others....

have a "things to do" checklist.

Edited by $hip$hape

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Was about to enjoy a 14 day cruise from San Diego thru the Panama Canal to Fort Lauderdale aboard the Westerdam. My wife and I flew into San Diego from Raleigh, NC on the 7th of December and stayed at the Sheraton. The morning of the 8th we attempted to register for the cruise with the Holland America Rep. We forgot to pick up our passports from the kitchen table. We didn't realize this until attempting to register at the motel. I thought no problem as I'm retired military and have my military ID. Guess what! Holland America refused to allow us to register to board! The military ID was not acceptable. You must have a passport! I went through a lot more security checks etc. when I received my military ID! Why isn't the ID as good as a passport? That was an expensive no cruise. The Hal rep did not attempt to help us out at all. We asked her (rep) what can we do. She just shrugged her shoulders.

 

Welcome to CC. Bummer that you had this experience. But as retired military you know rules and regulations are in place not to be an inconvenience.

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Clearly this is all HALs fault. The OP is the victim here. :rolleyes:

 

Since both passports were left at home, it would have been too bad for his wife if they had accepted his Military ID and let him board. She would have been left behind on the dock waving him a one finger goodbye as he sailed away into the sunset. I am pretty sure that would have been a bad move on his part. :)

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Sounds like neither of you had your passport. Would you have sailed without your wife had they accepted you military ID? Do you have to be a US citizen to get a military ID?

 

No. You need to be a legal immigrant permanently living in the United States to join the U.S Military. And you must have served and retired from the U.S Military to receive a Military ID.

Edited by davekathy

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I suspect it is the US Government that requires a passport, not a military ID in this case, not HAL. HAL doesn't make up passport requirements, the countries they sail to do.

 

A recent case showed a man wanted for 20 years for murder was caught when he applied for a passport. His info was checked in the crime data bases, and voila, a warrant was found.

 

Passport application checks are thorough as well.

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When my son was on active duty, he needed a passport for leisure or personal travel to a foreign country. However, when he was in transit, on travel orders, his military ID and his orders were sufficient IF, and only IF, the US had a host-nation agreement with the foreign country. Most friendly nations have such an agreement. ( Of course, rules for wartime or hostilities are different. )

 

To sum up, three conditions needed to be met to travel to a foreign nation without a passport:

 

1. active duty military ID

2. on travel orders (carried on his person)

3. host nation agreement with US

 

Those were the conditions as of 15 years ago.

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This doesn't happen if you use your passport as ID when boarding the plane. You catch the problem when you still have time to do something about the situation.

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OP, im so sorry this happened. Im sure it is a major disappointment.

 

To respond though to your statement regarding Holland not helping. There really was nothing they could do As mentioned, you were leaving the country and returning to this country. Customs requires a passport. Had you noticed as soon as you arrived in California, you might have been able to have someone over night them to you but short of that, Holland (or any cruise line for that fact) can not disregard what customs and other countries require.

 

I hope you will find a way to enjoy your port city for a while before you fly home.

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Very sorry this happened to you but as others have alluded to this is not a HAL issue as they do not make the ID rules - they only follow and, as you unfortunately learned, enforce them.

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OP? Are you active military? If not why do you have a military ID? Also, I does not prove you are a citizen.

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Military ID != Passport.

 

Rules for US Citizens for a round trip cruise (which this is not) require either a passport OR (Drivers Licence + Birth Certificate). Maybe the military ID + Birth Certificate combination would have worked, I'm not sure, but only for you. Not your wife.

 

This one is 100% on you, not the cruise line as it is a Customs/Border rule, NOT a cruise line rule. Cruise lines can make and break their own rules, they cannot touch government ones.

 

And since this cruise was going from one US port to another, is a passport required for US Citzens on this? I'm Canadian, so I always need my passport just to get to the port anyway.

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That was an expensive no cruise. The Hal rep did not attempt to help us out at all. We asked her (rep) what can we do. She just shrugged her shoulders.

 

What did you expect her to say? Sincerely asking. I am puzzled as to why you think you and your wife could board the ship for a repositioning cruise without passports.

 

But I am sorry you missed the cruise. Complete bummer. :(

.

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This doesn't happen if you use your passport as ID when boarding the plane. You catch the problem when you still have time to do something about the situation.

I was going to say the same thing! dh and I always use our passports when we fly. I am sorry for what happened to the OP, but each passenger is responsible for having the proper ID when boarding.

 

For the "Experts" could the op have used their "cancel for any reason" insurance? It says "for any reason" maybe they could have gotten some of their money back...

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OP is retired and therefore his Military ID is no longer valid. They are no longer valid when leaving the military.

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Was about to enjoy a 14 day cruise from San Diego thru the Panama Canal to Fort Lauderdale aboard the Westerdam. My wife and I flew into San Diego from Raleigh, NC on the 7th of December and stayed at the Sheraton. The morning of the 8th we attempted to register for the cruise with the Holland America Rep. We forgot to pick up our passports from the kitchen table. We didn't realize this until attempting to register at the motel. I thought no problem as I'm retired military and have my military ID. Guess what! Holland America refused to allow us to register to board! The military ID was not acceptable. You must have a passport! I went through a lot more security checks etc. when I received my military ID! Why isn't the ID as good as a passport? That was an expensive no cruise. The Hal rep did not attempt to help us out at all. We asked her (rep) what can we do. She just shrugged her shoulders.

 

HAL does not make the rules - they just enforce them. They could get into trouble if they did not enforce them. You screwed up. Stop whining.

 

DON

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Military ID != Passport.

 

The ! indicates DOES NOT EQUAL, I assume. If so, then correct.

 

Rules for US Citizens for a round trip cruise (which this is not) require either a passport OR (Drivers Licence + Birth Certificate)... Therefore the sentence following is moot.

 

This one is 100% on you, not the cruise line as it is a Customs/Border rule, NOT a cruise line rule. Cruise lines can make and break their own rules, they cannot touch government ones.

 

Very true. Keep in mind the relevant agency is Immigration (applies to people entering/leaving a country) not Customs (applies to things entering/leaving a country). Although conflating the two is usually, but not always, harmless.

 

And since this cruise was going from one US port to another, is a passport required for US Citzens on this? I'm Canadian, so I always need my passport just to get to the port anyway.

 

Yes and yes. This Panama Canal cruise stops in Columbia (per the roll call), where a passport is always required.

 

 

As a side note, retired military (and their spouses/dependents) are issued NEW ID's indicating their retired military status. This gives them access to post/base exchanges, military medical benefits, etc. So many conclusions erroneously leapt to.

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I was going to say the same thing! dh and I always use our passports when we fly. I am sorry for what happened to the OP, but each passenger is responsible for having the proper ID when boarding.

 

 

 

For the "Experts" could the op have used their "cancel for any reason" insurance? It says "for any reason" maybe they could have gotten some of their money back...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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OP is retired and therefore his Military ID is no longer valid. They are no longer valid when leaving the military.

 

As a side note, retired military (and their spouses/dependents) are issued NEW ID's indicating their retired military status. This gives them access to post/base exchanges, military medical benefits, etc. So many conclusions erroneously leapt to.

 

Military ID no longer valid? My husband and I both have military ID's. He is retired military. We use them as Shorex stated. I would never assume that they would take the place of a passport though.

 

OP, I'm sorry this happened. Passports are at the top of our packing list.

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For the retired military and their families, I will add a thank you for your service. You deserve every retirement benefit the government allows, and more.

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I was going to say the same thing! dh and I always use our passports when we fly. I am sorry for what happened to the OP, but each passenger is responsible for having the proper ID when boarding.

 

For the "Experts" could the op have used their "cancel for any reason" insurance? It says "for any reason" maybe they could have gotten some of their money back...

 

Every cancel for any reason policy I've read has required cancellation to occur 48 hours or more before the cruise, inside of 48 hours they don't apply. There could be some policies that don't require that but I haven't seen them.

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Why didn't you have someone in NC overnight your passports to you and join the ship in Puerto Vallarta or the next stop. Seems like you could board the ship tomorrow in Huatulco. sorry for your trouble.

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Lots of problems here.

How did you fly to San Diego -- did you use your driver's license for ID at the airport? Had you used your passport -- well you get my drift -- when you should have used it -- you would have discovered that you didn't have them with you. You would have had time to get home or have someone bring them to you from your house.

You said that you tried to register on the 8th -- couldn't. Why didn't you call HAL in Seattle?? That was Friday and the office was still open. They could have helped you and told you what to do -- if anything.

Sorry this happened to you.

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Military ID != Passport.

 

Rules for US Citizens for a round trip cruise (which this is not) require either a passport OR (Drivers Licence + Birth Certificate). Maybe the military ID + Birth Certificate combination would have worked, I'm not sure, but only for you. Not your wife.

 

This one is 100% on you, not the cruise line as it is a Customs/Border rule, NOT a cruise line rule. Cruise lines can make and break their own rules, they cannot touch government ones.

 

And since this cruise was going from one US port to another, is a passport required for US Citzens on this? I'm Canadian, so I always need my passport just to get to the port anyway.

 

OP was not supposed to be on a round trip cruise (closed loop) it was a one way re-positioning cruise with stops in foreign ports, so a passport is required.

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Sorry this happened to you.

 

Typical pre cruise conversation at my house:

 

Me - Did you pack the passports?

Wife - Yes, as always.

Me- let me see them please.

Wife - Why? I told you I packed them.

Me- I just want to see them. I can sail without packing pants, but no passport's a deal breaker.

Wife - Oookaaay.

 

She always has them packed with our paperwork..., except once. She'd taken them out to do some last minute online registration and left them beside her computer. My paranoia worked for us that time. It is something we do every cruise now and she knows my OCD nature can serve a purpose.

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We divide and conquer. We have a packing list for checked and carry-on luggage. My wife is in charge of packing in her carry-on all our meds, our drivers licenses, cash, credit card and jewelry. In my backpack, cell phone, camera, airline tickets, cruise document's, passports and any other cruise related paperwork. Before we leave the house, did you pack...

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No. You need to be a legal immigrant permanently living in the United States to join the U.S Military. And you must have served and retired from the U.S Military to receive a Military ID.

Huh?

 

You mean non-citizens serving on active duty do not have an ID????

 

 

How do they get on base?

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OP is retired and therefore his Military ID is no longer valid. They are no longer valid when leaving the military.

 

If he retired, not just separated, then he has a Retired ID card. But still have a valid ID card.

 

My Dad retired in 1983, and still has a valid ID card.

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Huh?

 

You mean non-citizens serving on active duty do not have an ID????

 

 

How do they get on base?

 

That is not what the poster said. The poster said there are enlisted serving who are not US citizens. A number of enlisted are non-citizens who earn their citizenship by serving. That is all the poster said.

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Was about to enjoy a 14 day cruise from San Diego thru the Panama Canal to Fort Lauderdale aboard the Westerdam. My wife and I flew into San Diego from Raleigh, NC on the 7th of December and stayed at the Sheraton. The morning of the 8th we attempted to register for the cruise with the Holland America Rep. We forgot to pick up our passports from the kitchen table. We didn't realize this until attempting to register at the motel. I thought no problem as I'm retired military and have my military ID. Guess what! Holland America refused to allow us to register to board! The military ID was not acceptable. You must have a passport! I went through a lot more security checks etc. when I received my military ID! Why isn't the ID as good as a passport? That was an expensive no cruise. The Hal rep did not attempt to help us out at all. We asked her (rep) what can we do. She just shrugged her shoulders.

 

Sorry to here about this. I guess there are a few lessons to be leaned from your situation which was your first post on good ship CC.

 

1. If the cruise line says you need a passport, don't forget your passport.

2. If you post on CC you can get some really good suggestions to fix a problem. I especially like getting your passports couriered to you and catching up with the cruise.

3. CCer's sure can be an augmentative bunch! ;) And lastly,

4. Some CCer's have clearly failed Diplomacy 101! :(

 

Hope you get your problem fixed and you can salvage some of your cruise!

 

BTW, Thanks for your service. Without people like you, none of us would be able to cruise!

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Why didn't you have someone in NC overnight your passports to you and join the ship in Puerto Vallarta or the next stop. Seems like you could board the ship tomorrow in Huatulco. sorry for your trouble.

 

OP, I am sorry you missed your cruise but I'm very surprised that the HAL rep didn't suggest this, but it's a good reminder if anyone else finds themselves in a similar situation.

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Huh?

 

You mean non-citizens serving on active duty do not have an ID????

 

 

How do they get on base?

 

HUH? Reread post #9.

Edited by davekathy

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HAL doesn't make immigration rules. There was nothing the HAL rep could do. You forgot your passports, which were required documents for this cruise. It's too bad, but you're going to have to accept responsibility.

And no, Cancel for Any Reason insurance wouldn't cover this, for reasons already stated.

I also question why you didn't have your passports sent to you, and then fly to meet your cruise. Seems a shame to lose all that money.

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