Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
intr3pid

Visas for Overnight Stays in Laem Chabang (Thailand)

Recommended Posts

We are on Celebrity Millennium this December which will dock overnight in Laem Chabang.  We have been to Bangkok before, so this time we have plans to make an overnight trip to Siem Reap (for Angkor Wat) from BKK airport.

 

I know we need visas for Cambodia, and we will get the e-Visas to save time at the airports.  My concern is about the situation in Laem Chabang.  Really, three questions:

 

1.  I have read previously that the Thai immigration will keep your passports at the port and give you a photocopy to carry until your return.  Have I read it correctly?  This will, of course, not work for us as we will need the passports for Cambodia.

 

2.  Will we need two different Thai visas on arrival?  Once in Laem Chabang, and once when we return to BKK airport from Cambodia?  Or, should we secure a multiple-entry visa prior to arrival?

 

3.  How fast can you get off the ship upon arrival in Laem Chabang?  We will have priority disembarkation available, so if the ship docks at 7.00 AM, what's the earliest time we can meet our private transfer at the port?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, and welcome to Cruise Critic,

 

Many nationalities, including Americans, Canadians, Brits and Aussies don't need a visa for Thailand  for tourism.

So we need to know your nationality before we can respond, but I've not heard of Thai (or any other immigration officers) retaining passports. Mebbe confusing with ships holding passports, which happens in many countries to speed-up immigration check but passports can be retrieved on request if needed.

 

You didn't ask for thoughts on your planned foray to Siem Reap, but I don't think it worth the grief, cost, and risk of missing the sailing for such limited time there

 

JB :classic_smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the insights!

 

Here is a Youtube video of someone's account when they visited while aboard Majestic Princess in 2018.  Check out the note they post at 00:00:47...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yf1vYtQzYLY

 

As Canadians, we don't normally need a Thai visa prior to arrival - but I'm not sure if the 'immigration' at the port is different.  That is, you aren't given a standard VoA and are expected to leave from only that port.

 

As for Siem Reap, quite the opposite.  We won't likely visit outside of a cruise itinerary - and if we miss the ship, the next port isn't too far away.  Anyways, a topic for another thread. :-)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting !

That video is dated April 2018. Our visit - much more informal immigration, and IIRC  done on the ship en-route to Laem Chabang from Indonesia - was several years ago.

 

Most certainly no-visa-required for approved nationalities, incl Canadians, applies to all travel to Thailand - it's not simply a concession to cruise ship passengers.

For example, on our last visit, earlier this year flying in from UK and out to Bali, we did not need a visa.

 

But visa isn''t your problem, it's immigration taking & holding passports 

I see the Princess notice mentions back-on-board time of 6.30pm, not xx.xx pm tomorrow. So presumably that ship was on a one-day visit - I don't know whether that makes a difference. 

Sorry, I can't help further - but I feel sure it would've been mentioned on CC. And I found nothing on a quick google search. 

So it looks like you'll have to dig a lot deeper. Mebbe starting with a fresh Q on CC or T/A headed something like "cruise passports held by Thai immigration?"

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might want to check the Thai gov't web in the your country.

 

We are Canadian.  We spend many winters in Thailand and SE Asia.  The only time we need a visa is when we we plan to stay for more than consecutive  30 days.

 

Last time we flew into Siem Reap we did not have visas.  We got them at the airport.  The staff was extremely efficient.  It took no longer than 15 minutes and we were out the door looking for a tuk tuk.   

 

Keep in mind that your flight will probably depart from Don Muang airport, not BKK.

 

This would not be our choice.  Too much travel, airport time, and waiting time.  You really do need two days min. to see Siem Reap IMHO.

 

Instead of going back to Bangkok from Siem Reap have you considered simply rejoining your cruise at the next port?  It might gain you a day in Siem Reap at the expense of a sea day on your ship.

 

Siem Reap is AMAZING!

Edited by iancal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Getting off and on the ship is no big deal. It's like going to Mexico. Theres no delay for immigration. 

 

If the doors open at 7, then you can meet your transfer at 705, or as fast as you can walk to the bottom of the gangway. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 Many countries get an automatic Visa on Arrival in Thailand.  I took the Celebrity Millennium a couple of years ago.  As I recall they took the passports and only gave them back in Vietnam which required a Visa and there were Vietnamese immigration officials who you presented your passport to as you exited the ship.  If you are going to be traveling in Thailand, you should have your passport.  If you are using the 30 day Visa on Arrival even that has to be stamped in your passport.  I am a U.S. citizen and have visited Thailand numerous times.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last time we landed in Siem Reap I believe we paid $30. each for our Cambodian visa.  It took 15 minutes.  Not certain but as I recall this visa was just for Siem Reap. We had to get another visa in Siem Reap because we were travelling overland for ten days or so.     You will have to buy a pass for the Siem Reap attractions.  As I recall either one day or multiple days.  Our strong advice would be to hire a guide with a car who will take you to the best sites and who knows the best time to visit them in order to avoid the bus tours etc.    The currency in Cambodia is USD.  That is what gets dispensed from ATMs.   They do have their own  coin currency for change.  Take some smaller bills.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A bit of an update on this issue.  Received the following from Celebrity in an email:

 

"For your convenience, we will collect all guest passports after check-in, in order to complete the immigration formalities for you at each port of call.  Your passport will be held in a safe location at Guest Relations on board and will be returned to you when all procedures are complete."

 

Naturally, called them rightaway. 

 

Looks like they will collect the passport at check-in but will return when needed.  If you need the passport back for excursions, you let them know and they will 'prioritize' their handling of your passport.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, intr3pid said:

A bit of an update on this issue.  Received the following from Celebrity in an email:

 

"For your convenience, we will collect all guest passports after check-in, in order to complete the immigration formalities for you at each port of call.  Your passport will be held in a safe location at Guest Relations on board and will be returned to you when all procedures are complete."

 

Naturally, called them rightaway. 

 

Looks like they will collect the passport at check-in but will return when needed.  If you need the passport back for excursions, you let them know and they will 'prioritize' their handling of your passport.

 

On 11/4/2019 at 12:54 AM, John Bull said:

 but I've not heard of Thai (or any other immigration officers) retaining passports. Mebbe confusing with ships holding passports, which happens in many countries to speed-up immigration check but passports can be retrieved on request if needed.

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

Thanks for clearing up the confusion.  

 

Now you can relax. :classic_smile:

This thread, and your concerns, are all down to an inaccurate - or simply badly phrased - Princess notice in that video link. :classic_rolleyes:

 

So passports are held by the ship, not by immigration.

As per my earlier post this is quite common, it means that immigration can peruse all and any passports at their leisure.

But at Guest Relations you can request the return of your passport if needed, for anything from an excursion to another country to a car rental agency's requirements.

 

No worries.

Enjoy Thailand and Siem Reap 

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

9 hours ago, John Bull said:

 

 

 

Thanks for clearing up the confusion.  

 

Now you can relax. :classic_smile:

This thread, and your concerns, are all down to an inaccurate - or simply badly phrased - Princess notice in that video link. :classic_rolleyes:

 

So passports are held by the ship, not by immigration.

As per my earlier post this is quite common, it means that immigration can peruse all and any passports at their leisure.

But at Guest Relations you can request the return of your passport if needed, for anything from an excursion to another country to a car rental agency's requirements.

 

No worries.

Enjoy Thailand and Siem Reap 

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

 

Correct - but this Celebrity email was an additional wrench in the mix.  That is, forget immigration, I first have to get it back from the ship in time.🥺

 

On 11/8/2019 at 6:06 AM, Longwood50 said:

 I took the Celebrity Millennium a couple of years ago.  As I recall they took the passports and only gave them back in Vietnam which required a Visa and there were Vietnamese immigration officials who you presented your passport to as you exited the ship.  If you are going to be traveling in Thailand, you should have your passport.  If you are using the 30 day Visa on Arrival even that has to be stamped in your passport.    

Thanks.  Glad to know you got your passports back and could take them with you into the port (if needed).  What I wanted to hear!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/4/2019 at 1:30 PM, iancal said:

Instead of going back to Bangkok from Siem Reap have you considered simply rejoining your cruise at the next port?  It might gain you a day in Siem Reap at the expense of a sea day on your ship.

Yes, we definitely have - and we still might.  We have a larger family travelling together on this holiday cruise, so the logistics are more challenging.  A guide who comes highly recommended feels he can show us the best temples - with a sunset tour - on an abbreviated trip. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMHO you will miss out on a fair bit by doing this.  You really do need at least one full day.   

 

Best wishes whatever you decide!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, John Bull said:

Just to clarify, when I indicated that Vietnamese immigration officials were on the gangway, you presented your passport along with a receipt from the ship that the visa had been paid for.  They stamped the passports and then returned them. 

 

 

Thanks for clearing up the confusion.  

 

Now you can relax. :classic_smile:

This thread, and your concerns, are all down to an inaccurate - or simply badly phrased - Princess notice in that video link. :classic_rolleyes:

 

So passports are held by the ship, not by immigration.

As per my earlier post this is quite common, it means that immigration can peruse all and any passports at their leisure.

But at Guest Relations you can request the return of your passport if needed, for anything from an excursion to another country to a car rental agency's requirements.

 

No worries.

Enjoy Thailand and Siem Reap 

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

 

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: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • 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...