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KCalla

HAL affiliate Visa Service, legit?

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It has been a few years since we have cruised on Holland America, but we have cruised more recently on Celebrity.  We have a HAL Panama Canal cruise coming up early next year.  Today, I received an email from a visa service that had my HAL booking number and name....so they may be legit and have gotten the information from HAL.  I am skeptical about a "click here" link in an email from a company I've never done business with.  

 

Is this something that HAL now sends out, or, more accurately I guess...Is it routine for HAL to sell our information to a 3rd party company, particularly this one?  Kind of hits me as an identity theft scam since I'm sure they will want lots of info.

 

Thanks

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Congratulations on your upcoming sailing on EURODAM with Holland America Line. CIBT is Holland America Line's preferred visa provider and we are here to assist you in acquiring the correct travel documents for your trip.

In order to determine your travel document requirements for your voyage on EURODAM departing on 02/05/2020, we will need more information from you.

It is your responsibility to hold the proper travel documentation in order to avoid disruptions to your trip. In some cases, if you fail to present the required travel documents at cruise check-in, you may be denied boarding.

Please click here to verify the details of your trip and determine your travel document requirements. We can then assist you in obtaining any required visas.

We look forward to assisting you with your trip.

 
 
 

Holland America Line has authorized use of this data. It is the responsibility of the traveler to verify the information.
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Two thoughts: I might call HAL and ask about this company, and 2) not knowing your itinerary, nor  being a visa expert, I cannot think of why you would need a visa for a PC cruise. We've been on several PC cruises, but the only place we needed a visa for was Brazil on a S. America cruise.

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PSR, great idea.  I got through to an agent who had an idea of what I was asking about.  Turns out that it is legit.  She told me that Holland America switched to this Visa company effective today.  Thank you for your suggestion.

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The email is legit. I also received one about 2 weeks ago for my upcoming tropical Caribbean sailing.

      I asked my travel agent and she said it seems to be being sent out now to be sure no one can show up or claim they were not informed about proper documentation.

        As a U.S. citizen, my passport is sufficient.

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I received one just now.  All mine says is my passport must be good for more than 6 months from the date of the cruise.  No link to click.

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8 minutes ago, KCalla said:

PSR, great idea.  I got through to an agent who had an idea of what I was asking about.  Turns out that it is legit.  She told me that Holland America switched to this Visa company effective today.  Thank you for your suggestion.

 

Glad you were able to get it verified. The company name sounded different than the one HAL recommended for our Brazilian visa, so that's why I was a little leery, like you.

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Just saw this.  I also got email today in my junk folder.  It did not have a link to click so maybe they’ve deleted that part because no one likes clicking a link from an unknown party.  

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Called HAL when I got the email, it had my email address, my full name, booking number, ship and embarking date. The supervisor consulted a higher up supervisor and they said, this is a company that Carnival has been using for a few years but allowing them to email and remind us about passports is new and they are looking for feedback. I told her that with that much information I was concerned and a passport reminder should come from my PCC, not some third party vendor, even if they trust them. 

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Nothing like making your customers suspicious and nervous when dealing with your company!  I’m pretty good about giving the benefit of the doubt but I’m beginning to wonder if they actually think these things through prior to implementation.

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I think it is a scam.  I received an email from them today. CIBT Visa.  They may be legitimately associated with HAL, and HAL gives them info including booking number and the countries to be visited on the next cruise.  Don't know for sure, but suspect HAL gets a cut of their fees.  But they are trying to get me to purchase a visa, through them, that I do not need.  Here is how it works:

It starts with saying "Your Trip With Holland America Line is Only a Couple of Months Away"

Then "Visaadvisor-HA@cibtvisas.com"

"Please click here to review your requirements"

Then it lists the countries - Japan, China, Taiwan, Philippines and travelling for Tourist and asks you to confirm and apply

Then under "Additional Information"  Philippines it asks how long you need your visa to be valid and gives you three choices - 1 entry valid 3 months, multiple entry valid 1 year and multiple entry 6 months and asks you to select one

Next pop up is the statement -"A visa is required for Philippines"  and you are encouraged to click on "Get My Visa"

The reason it is a scam is that both HAL and CIBT Visa know that the Westerdam is stopping in the Philippines for one day.  A U.S. citizen can stay in the Philippines for up to a month without a visa.  But if a passenger didn't know that, they would happily send their passport to CIBT and pay their fees plus the cost of an unnecessary Philippine visa.  And they would thank HAL for being so helpful in reminding them of the requirement.

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Thank you all for your replies.  As PSR suspected, we will not need any visas for our upcoming Panama Canal Cruise.  I did give HAL feedback that I was concerned about data theft because of the way the email was written, the information the company had,  and that we had no direct communication from HAL or PCC.  I had only the CIBT's own statement that they are HAL's preferred vendor.   

I understand the advantage of HAL doing this, but with the insignificant cost of email, etc, it would have been helpful to have had an email, text or note from HAL as introduction.  Based on 1Angelcat's post, the HAL representative I spoke to was incorrect when she stated this affiliation began today. 

In the end, at least I don't have to worry about this being data theft.

 

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