Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Geni427

Beware of port of Saint John N.B.

Recommended Posts

It was an Around The World cruise, We had a fantastic trip, that is until we got to St.John N.B. It all started like this. We got off the ship in Halifax, N.S. on July 02/19 to overnight with family. The ship moved to St.John that night and we drove to catch the ship the next day. All went well and we boarded the ship with family to show them around. A few days later the ships purser wanted to know if we had trouble with the Port authority, to which I replied "not at all". Well he said the ship was fined $600.00 and he would pass it on to us. I wanted to know why? I was told that the union has a deal with the ships to handle luggage. What luggage? We had one small 20"x 13" bag that my wife and I shared. Contents my CPAP, meds, PJ's and toothbrush. No one questioned the bag and were all friendly. Now if the union is that hard up for money, I would be ashamed to be part of this union. While we were cruising ATW lots of people got on and off and I never heard of any trouble in other ports. The good news is that the ship decided to cover the cost, but that does not make it right.Being a Canadian I am ashamed of this kind of treatment in my own country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Geni427 said:

It was an Around The World cruise, We had a fantastic trip, that is until we got to St.John N.B. It all started like this. We got off the ship in Halifax, N.S. on July 02/19 to overnight with family. The ship moved to St.John that night and we drove to catch the ship the next day. All went well and we boarded the ship with family to show them around. A few days later the ships purser wanted to know if we had trouble with the Port authority, to which I replied "not at all". Well he said the ship was fined $600.00 and he would pass it on to us. I wanted to know why? I was told that the union has a deal with the ships to handle luggage. What luggage? We had one small 20"x 13" bag that my wife and I shared. Contents my CPAP, meds, PJ's and toothbrush. No one questioned the bag and were all friendly. Now if the union is that hard up for money, I would be ashamed to be part of this union. While we were cruising ATW lots of people got on and off and I never heard of any trouble in other ports. The good news is that the ship decided to cover the cost, but that does not make it right.Being a Canadian I am ashamed of this kind of treatment in my own country.

 

This sounds like it might actually be a cabotage issue.

(No, that's not a typo of "sabotage"!)

 

That is, the ship might not be legally (per Canadian laws) able to transport passengers on a foreign flagged ship between two different Canadian ports.

 

The USA has similar laws (one set for cargo, and a similar/related set for passengers), but it has to do with the transport  between two different USA ports.

 

It's typical for the ship to pass the fine along to the passenger.

 

Separately, I'm really surprised they let you bring "non passengers" on, to show them around!

 

(It's not restricted to just one port, btw.)

 

GC

Edited by GeezerCouple

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too am surprised you were allowed to bring on visitors

 

Maybe you should write  to the Port Authority  union officials   I am surprised  with the charge

many people  had backpacks  just for the day  there  I doubt if they charged them

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OP: if you had documented permission from the cruise line to stay overnight in a port (including the obvious overnight bag) without citation of additional charges, any fine levied against the cruise line is their problem not yours. If your credit card had been charged, I expect that you'd have instantaneously contested it with your CC bank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

OP: if you had documented permission from the cruise line to stay overnight in a port (including the obvious overnight bag) without citation of additional charges, any fine levied against the cruise line is their problem not yours. If your credit card had been charged, I expect that you'd have instantaneously contested it with your CC bank.

Due to the nebulous nature of the charge (was it union or was it Port Authority?) I am inclined to agree with you.  Just the same, the OP would probably have sung a different tale of woe if permission to overnight off the ship  had been denied.

Given the small amount of money, Oceania probably chalks it up to the cost of doing business, however it is worth noting that the terms and conditions of the Passenger Contract specifically states that such charges "WILL BE" passed onto the passenger(s) who trigger the fees.  

This applies to returning to the ship late as well as overnighting off the ship.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was there when the OP returned to the ship.   I will agree, that the security firm screening were very nice and polite.  

 

As far as bringing visitor's on board at various ports of call, there is nothing mentioned in Oceania's website policies.  I called them, and first they said that they do not permit it due to 'security' concern's.   When I mentioned that I had seen it in many ports of call on my ATW cruise, they said that the world cruise was an 'exception' to that policy, due to its extreme (180 day) length, but it still required advance (at least 48 hours) permission from the special services office in Miami, including full names and passport or official ID number's of each guest.

 

I too am puzzled by the 'fine'...

I don't see how it could be a "cabotage" issue, as that would be for boarding in one port, and disembarking in another port in the same country, on a 'foreign' registered ship...not getting off in one, traveling overland, and then reboarding in another port in that same country.   In the USA, it is covered by the PVSA (Passenger Vessel Services Act) https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/23/~/the-jones-act-%26-the-passenger-vessel-services-act

Note that the "Jones Act" only covers transport of freight.

 

In fact, Oceania shore excursion's on world cruises offer several so-called "Overland Tours", that do just that...disembark in one port, and reboard in another...could be in the same or different countries.

 

So...I am still puzzled over that fine...I have never heard of the longshoreman's union objecting to passenger's carrying their own bags aboard....only objection would be if ship personnel came ashore and carried passenger's bags.  That is the longshoreman's job, to put 'checked' baggage aboard....

 

*

 

One other thing I noticed that day...there was a nice souvenir market set up in a tent outside the terminal for the passenger's to shop at, with several vendor's.   We saw several local's ask to come in to shop, as well as other tourists, that arrived by other means, but the security guards would not let them.   All they would have to do, would be move the 'checkpoint' to the other end of the tent, where it adjoined the terminal building.   Our relatively small ship did not provide very much traffic for the vendor's, and I am sure they would have welcomed the additional business.

 

I suppose the local shop's might have something to do with them not allowing anyone but ship passenger's access....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

This sounds like it might actually be a cabotage issue.

No,  it's not a cabotage issue. That problem would occur if the passenger had boarded the ship in a Canadian port and then disembarked in another Canadian port so they were being transported from one Canadian port to another.

 

For example if the OP boarded the ship in Halifax and then disembarked in St. John it would have created a cabotage violation.

 

In this case the passenger disembarked in Halifax, and then drove to St. John where they reboarded. They weren't being transported by the ship from one Canadian port to another...they drove from one Canadian port to another, plus it was a disembarkation followed by an embarkation. A cabotage violation is triggered by an embarkation followed by a disembarkation, the opposite sequence of events.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, bob brown said:

 

I too am puzzled by the 'fine'...

I don't see how it could be a "cabotage" issue, as that would be for boarding in one port, and disembarking in another port in the same country, on a 'foreign' registered ship...not getting off in one, traveling overland, and then reboarding in another port in that same country.   In the USA, it is covered by the PVSA (Passenger Vessel Services Act) https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/23/~/the-jones-act-%26-the-passenger-vessel-services-act

Bob, it's not a cabotage issue. I posted the same explanation as you at almost exactly the same time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bob brown said:

As far as bringing visitor's on board at various ports of call, there is nothing mentioned in Oceania's website policies.  I called them, and first they said that they do not permit it due to 'security' concern's.   When I mentioned that I had seen it in many ports of call on my ATW cruise, they said that the world cruise was an 'exception' to that policy, due to its extreme (180 day) length, but it still required advance (at least 48 hours) permission from the special services office in Miami, including full names and passport or official ID number's of each guest.

 

With advance notice, we were able to do this April 2019 in NYC (we had an overnight) - our TA handled the forms and back/forth with O.  We paid to be able to host our guest for dinner (we had provided name, passport info, etc prior to embarking, and this was the end of our cruise).  Iirc, initially someone at O told our TA this wasn't offered, but she pressed and the forms were provided, with a blanket "not guaranteed/subject to approval" type statement.  So it sounds like the "exception" may range beyond the ATW.  This is the first time we requested a guest visit, so not sure about prior policy - I think I read here on CC that for some time and until perhaps some point in 2018 no guests had been allowed onboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Geni427 said:

It was an Around The World cruise, We had a fantastic trip, that is until we got to St.John N.B. It all started like this. We got off the ship in Halifax, N.S. on July 02/19 to overnight with family. The ship moved to St.John that night and we drove to catch the ship the next day. All went well and we boarded the ship with family to show them around. A few days later the ships purser wanted to know if we had trouble with the Port authority, to which I replied "not at all". Well he said the ship was fined $600.00 and he would pass it on to us. I wanted to know why? I was told that the union has a deal with the ships to handle luggage. What luggage? We had one small 20"x 13" bag that my wife and I shared. Contents my CPAP, meds, PJ's and toothbrush. No one questioned the bag and were all friendly. Now if the union is that hard up for money, I would be ashamed to be part of this union. While we were cruising ATW lots of people got on and off and I never heard of any trouble in other ports. The good news is that the ship decided to cover the cost, but that does not make it right.Being a Canadian I am ashamed of this kind of treatment in my own country.

 

47 minutes ago, babysteps said:

 

 

The problem is that in Canada  the unions run the country.... and in much of the east coast of the USA      You beef is  with the Unions if so..    I have had at trade shows been forced to hire Union workers to screw in a light bulb..  ( sunday  double time+ min of 4 hours  for a 20 second job...   Or hire a  laborer   4 hour min   to carry my brief case.  It is legalized extortion...  Its not that they need the money  they  expect it and the power to get it.   

 

Was the $600 a fine or a labor fee because you didn't hire union labor to carry off your bag  or  not use Union labor to carry them back on when you reboarded ? 

   There is organized crime and organized unions....  I find it hard to distinguish today.

 

Or  you ran afoul of not getting advance permission  to debark and the ship is fined because they did not turn in the proper manifests.    It happens in Hawaii and Alaska  when a person miss the ship for ANY reason.   You have to have documentation and permission   The ship thus needs to turn in all sorts of  immigration forms when you get off and when you get back on in a different port  There are BIG fines.

 

Sounds like a double edged sword that cut you   the Union and or the LAW  or both

Edited by Hawaiidan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

 There is organized crime and organized unions....  I find it hard to distinguish today.

To give this some perspective,  this poster spent most of his career as  a civil servant.

 

Apparently, the cushions built into that type of work are hard fought for and well earned l, whereas others are loathsome featherbedders.  

 

Empathy is SO needed.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had permission to leave the ship for the night, and permission to bring 3 of our relatives on board for a tour the following day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Geni427 said:

We had permission to leave the ship for the night, and permission to bring 3 of our relatives on board for a tour the following day.

Perplexing...if so   If O knew and did not file paperwork that  is possible ,  A, OOPs moment  by them  As they say  "trust everybody but count your  own cards."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To someone from the UK it sounds as silly as the rule on tipping someone you have already tipped for a service you have not received - sorry, as they say "just poking the bear".  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, nigelc said:

To someone from the UK it sounds as silly as the rule on tipping someone you have already tipped for a service you have not received - sorry, as they say "just poking the bear".  

Or....how about  the new mini bars in hotel rooms... self service   that write themselves a tip !   Tip a machine !!!!

7085-2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Geni427 said:

The good news is that the ship decided to cover the cost, but that does not make it right

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/14/2019 at 11:55 AM, Geni427 said:

We had permission to leave the ship for the night, and permission to bring 3 of our relatives on board for a tour the following day.

Just to put the cabotage issue to rest, what was the port before Halifax?  If it was a Canadian port, then it would have run afoul of the Coastal Trading Act, and the fines could have been orders of magnitude higher than they were.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

what was the port before Halifax?  

 

Sydney, Nova Scotia. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oof. Sydney and Saint John. 

Not sure what you did to deserve that but you must have been incredibly evil in a past life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Just to put the cabotage issue to rest, what was the port before Halifax?  If it was a Canadian port, then it would have run afoul of the Coastal Trading Act, and the fines could have been orders of magnitude higher than they were.

Is Canadian cabotage law much different than that the US PVSA? As you know in the US what matters is where your embarkation and disembarkation ports are and whether the cruise calls on a distant foreign port.

 

In this case the OP disembarked in Canada, drove to another Canadian port, re-embarked in another Canadian port  and then disembarked in the US at the end of the cruise. They weren't transported by the ship between two Canadian ports just because the ship had previously called at Sydney and St. John's because they had originally embarked in the US, or even if they just took the last segment of the cruise at the very least they embarked in Europe. What I'm trying to say is why would the intermediate Canadian ports of call matter? If I embarked a ship in Montreal, made a port call in Portland, ME, disembarked at the port call in Boston, MA,  drove to NY City, re-embarked there and finally disembarked in Barbados the itinerary would be legal under the PVSA. The fact that the ship called at Portland before I disembarked in Boston doesn't cause a PVSA violation because I originally embarked in a foreign country, Canada, and after my re-embarkation I disembarked in another foreign country, Barbados.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, njhorseman said:

Is Canadian cabotage law much different than that the US PVSA? As you know in the US what matters is where your embarkation and disembarkation ports are and whether the cruise calls on a distant foreign port.

 

In this case the OP disembarked in Canada, drove to another Canadian port, re-embarked in another Canadian port  and then disembarked in the US at the end of the cruise. They weren't transported by the ship between two Canadian ports just because the ship had previously called at Sydney and St. John's because they had originally embarked in the US, or even if they just took the last segment of the cruise at the very least they embarked in Europe. What I'm trying to say is why would the intermediate Canadian ports of call matter? If I embarked a ship in Montreal, made a port call in Portland, ME, disembarked at the port call in Boston, MA,  drove to NY City, re-embarked there and finally disembarked in Barbados the itinerary would be legal under the PVSA. The fact that the ship called at Portland before I disembarked in Boston doesn't cause a PVSA violation because I originally embarked in a foreign country, Canada, and after my re-embarkation I disembarked in another foreign country, Barbados.

 

 

Long answer, short, yes it is sufficiently different.  They consider going from Sydney to Halifax as "coastwise" transportation, regardless of where the passenger originally embarked the ship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

Long answer, short, yes it is sufficiently different.  They consider going from Sydney to Halifax as "coastwise" transportation, regardless of where the passenger originally embarked the ship.

Chief, I've now read the Coasting Trade Act, and I respectfully disagree with your interpretation. It can be found at https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-33.3/page-1.html

 

First, as I think you will agree, there is a clear exception in the definition of 
coasting trade for in-transit calls. Without that passengers on a cruise ship could never temporarily disembark in a port and then reboard in that port except in the last Canadian port the ship is visiting before sailing to another country. The reference in the act is in Definitions 2 (1) (d) (iii).

 

However, you are stating above that once a passenger disembarks in a Canadian port it would be a violation of Coasting Trade Act to allow them to re-board in a down line Canadian port. However it appears there is a clear exception that permits that activity, that covers what  the OP did and makes it permissible,  also in Definitions, specifically the definition of in-transit call ":

"in-transit call means any call, other than an emergency or technical call, by a ship at any place where passengers go ashore temporarily but who re-board the vessel before the ship leaves that place or are transported by land to another location to re-board the same ship;"

 

The clause that I've highlighted above in red  makes the OP's actions clearly permissible and not in violation of the Coasting Trade Act as they were transported by land to another port to re-board the same ship and therefore their actions fall under the exception for in-transit calls.

 

The fact that it was not a violation of the Coasting Trade Act explains why the fine imposed was smaller, as you stated, than the fine for a Coasting Trade violation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...