Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Please look for and post on existing COVID-19 threads before posting a new one.
AAAChamp

Leaving cruise early before final destination

Recommended Posts

Hi, we are going on a cruise through the Mexican Riviera on Norwegian starting in LA.  My son has to get off the ship early due to another commitment that has come up.  I called Norwegian today and they said it wasn't possible, but then I called back and got a supervisor and he said they can't hold you hostage and people get off and don't get back on for numerous reasons (eg. excursions goes late, fall asleep at the beach, over drinking, etc.).  I am worried that if we make plans for him to fly out of Mazatlan that customs at the airport will not let him out, due to coming in via ship.  The supervisor advised me to ask cruise critic to see if anyone has done this before, as they can't give me written approval.  Please advise if you have any experience with this or if you know who I need to call to get approval. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can be done, but with permission and coordination of the cruise line.

 

If he just gets off the ship and tries to fly out, he will not have an entry stamp in his passport.  His entry is predicated on him leaving with the ship.

 

So it he stays, the cruise line will need to coordinate immigration and customs clearance for him to enter the country, to be able to fly out.

 

This may involve a fee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would rate the response to the second call as very risky.

 

I have no idea whether there would be grief at the airport - but in many countries these days the passport being stamped isn't as relevant as the passport being scanned on arrival. Or in this case NOT being scanned, which it would if he arrived by air or road..

 

But unless he travels very light it's going to be a bit obvious when other folk go down the ship's gangway with no more than a small back-pack & he's loaded with his luggage. So he's likely to be quizzed at the port by ship's security or port officials or both.

So he really needs to be up-front and seek permission from the cruise line (evidenced by e-mail, not simply by recounting a phone call).

 

Many cruise lines give permission in many countries, though that depends which country and the prior ports-of-call because that may violate the country's cabotage laws.

 

The particularly bad news is that a lot of folk choose  to disembark in a French port (Le Havre) in order to spend time in Paris & fly back from there rather than complete the cruise next day in Southampton, England.

Other cruise lines have systems in place to arrange that. But I'm aware of a couple of NCL passengers who were declined permission.

So you may find it less-straightforward with Norwegian.:classic_sad:

 

JB :classic_smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At a RCCL Cruise starting In San Juan I did disembark the last Day of the Cruise In St Thomas - asked prior to the cruise but did get permission during the cruise - had a contingency plan in case of not being able to disembark in St. Thomas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, it would an Immigration issue, not a customs issue.

 

Secondly, when you arrive by air into Mexico, you fill out a form, and keep one of the copies for when you leave the country, and turn that copy in as you leave. If you come in by ship, you never fill out that form and don't have a copy to give up when you leave. So that would be an issue. I am sure there is a solution, but I don't know what it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all you don't ask permission you tell them you want off.  It's a cruise ship not a prison ship. They aren't going to forcibly restrain you.  The cruise lines don't like it and there may be an extra fee for paperwork or customs processing but it can certainly be done. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, K32682 said:

First of all you don't ask permission you tell them you want off.  It's a cruise ship not a prison ship. They aren't going to forcibly restrain you.  The cruise lines don't like it and there may be an extra fee for paperwork or customs processing but it can certainly be done. 

 

You didn't go to Diplomat School, did you. :classic_wink:

Regardless of rights, life is so much easier if you at least start with a request rather than an insistence of "I know my rights". 

 

JB :classic_smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your responses!  I definitely don't feel comfortable hoping that it will all work out and he can fly out from Mazatlan without getting NCL approval.  I do agree that every time I've gone to Mexico via air they have scanned my passport and given me  some kind of entry form that I've kept and given when I leave the country by flight.  I am concerned that there will be no entry paperwork to be given at exit.  Now, I guess, I need to find a way to get that written approval from NCL.  I will go back to that supervisor and see if he will help.  If anyone knows another way to get that written approval, I am all ears.  Thanks again for your responses!!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When is your  cruise?

Maybe consider  replacing him with someone else on the booking

a name change maybe  easier than him trying to get off mid cruise

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, K32682 said:

First of all you don't ask permission you tell them you want off.  It's a cruise ship not a prison ship. They aren't going to forcibly restrain you.  The cruise lines don't like it and there may be an extra fee for paperwork or customs processing but it can certainly be done. 

 

Yeap, the cruise ship cannot keep you on board.

 

But if you leave the ship, you have now illegally entered a foreign country.  If you are arrested in put into jail or prison, the US government will send someone several times a year to see if you are still alive.  Otherwise, they will not help you.

 

BTW, I think that Mexico is still Napoleonic Code, which is guilty until proven innocent.  So you would end up in a Mexican jail while awaiting trial.  That will make for some god cocktail hour stories when you get out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, unfortunately, this is a family reunion cruise and we would really like for him to be on the cruise.  However, if I can't get approval I will have to make that consideration.  Thanks!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

First of all, it would an Immigration issue, not a customs issue.

 

Secondly, when you arrive by air into Mexico, you fill out a form, and keep one of the copies for when you leave the country, and turn that copy in as you leave. If you come in by ship, you never fill out that form and don't have a copy to give up when you leave. So that would be an issue. I am sure there is a solution, but I don't know what it is.

when I crossed into Mexico on foot, I didn't fill out any papers either. Or get any stamps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One reason this could be almost impossible is because you want to do this in Mazatlan.  There is no terminal there...the ships dock at an industrial port and there may not be any logical way to get immigration officials present to be able to properly disembark.

 

We were just in Mazatlan a couple weeks ago and the ship staff made it clear that anyone wanting to get off in Mazatlan for tours or independent outings MUST take the shuttle to exit the port - no walking allowed - because it is a working industrial area.  There is no building to go through to exit the area.  It's just a gangway in an area that is loaded with metal storage buildings and shipping containers.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, msmayor said:

There is no building to go through to exit the area

Right at the ship - no.  You seem to have forgotten (or were not ushered through) the shopping area that was labeled as the cruise vessel terminal, to exit the port onto the street.  I didn't see any accommodations there for immigration though...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming this is a round trip cruise from LA, this will likely not be allowed. While not a violation of the PVSA, if you were allowed to get off in Mexico, it changes the nature of the cruise from closed loop to open jaw. This can cause immigration concerns for the ship when it returns to LA. Yes, if there is an emergency, people do get off, but that is usually exempt. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, AAAChamp said:

Now, I guess, I need to find a way to get that written approval from NCL.  I will go back to that supervisor and see if he will help.  If anyone knows another way to get that written approval, I am all ears.  Thanks again for your responses!!  

 

I think you are wise not to try to do something like this in another country without written approval from the cruise line.  If you need/want to go higher than that random supervisor, you could call NCL's Executive Office: 800-456-7298.

 

(Are you booked through a travel agent, or directly through NCL and, if the latter, through a PCC?  If so, have you spoken with them for help?)

 

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, K32682 said:

First of all you don't ask permission you tell them you want off.  It's a cruise ship not a prison ship. They aren't going to forcibly restrain you.  The cruise lines don't like it and there may be an extra fee for paperwork or customs processing but it can certainly be done. 

No!  

 

You DO ASK the line to arrange things.  Of course, they will not “forcibly restrain” anyone - but anyone who jumps ship is risking being charged with illegal entry.  If the line declines, you will, of course, be able to leave the ship but you might be facing some unpleasant repercussions..

Share this post


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

No!  

 

You DO ASK the line to arrange things.  Of course, they will not “forcibly restrain” anyone - but anyone who jumps ship is risking being charged with illegal entry.  If the line declines, you will, of course, be able to leave the ship but you might be facing some unpleasant repercussions..

 

You tell them you want off and they will arrange it.  People get on and off cruise ships all the time.  It's not hard to be one of them.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for all the feedback!  It is definitely helping me process this very difficult decision.  I haven't gotten very far today with getting answers.  I did get in touch with customs here in my home state at our international airport and he said I am making this harder than it needs to be..."if my son has an American Passport when he arrives in the states he will be let in no problem and it shouldn't be a problem when I'm in Mexico."

 

I don't like the wording "shouldn't be a problem".  I don't want any problems while in Mexico.  I am very much a rule follower and getting my son detained by immigration isn't desirable to say the least.  I didn't hear from the supervisor I originally spoke to today and still would like to followup with him.  I spoke to my current contact at NCL that booked the cruise and he is trying to get me someone at Corporate to help.  I do appreciate the Executive Office number and will follow-up with them tomorrow.  I'm still interested in anything else anyone has to offer.  Again, thank you for your comments!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, AAAChamp said:

I did get in touch with customs here in my home state at our international airport and he said I am making this harder than it needs to be..."if my son has an American Passport when he arrives in the states he will be let in no problem and it shouldn't be a problem when I'm in Mexico."

 

First of all, the issue here is "immigration," not customs.  And the issue isn't U.S. immigration,  it's not about re-entering the U.S., the issue is Mexican immigration, and whether any problems are presented in terms of Mexican law or regulations when a cruise ship passenger enters Mexico by failing to leave on the ship (and then tries to fly out of the country).  The problem, if any, would be in Mexico, with the Mexican authorities.   

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Turtles06 said:

 

First of all, the issue here is "immigration," not customs.  And the issue isn't U.S. immigration,  it's not about re-entering the U.S., the issue is Mexican immigration, and whether any problems are presented in terms of Mexican law or regulations when a cruise ship passenger enters Mexico by failing to leave on the ship (and then tries to fly out of the country).  The problem, if any, would be in Mexico, with the Mexican authorities.   

 

 

If he thinks he got reliable information about Mexican IMMIGRATION from a US CUSTOMS employee, he just might be in for a surprise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, AAAChamp said:

Thank you so much for all the feedback!  It is definitely helping me process this very difficult decision.  I haven't gotten very far today with getting answers.  I did get in touch with customs here in my home state at our international airport and he said I am making this harder than it needs to be..."if my son has an American Passport when he arrives in the states he will be let in no problem and it shouldn't be a problem when I'm in Mexico."

 

I don't like the wording "shouldn't be a problem".  I don't want any problems while in Mexico.  I am very much a rule follower and getting my son detained by immigration isn't desirable to say the least.  I didn't hear from the supervisor I originally spoke to today and still would like to followup with him.  I spoke to my current contact at NCL that booked the cruise and he is trying to get me someone at Corporate to help.  I do appreciate the Executive Office number and will follow-up with them tomorrow.  I'm still interested in anything else anyone has to offer.  Again, thank you for your comments!!

I think if you contacted the Mexican Consulates office, they would be able to provide you with the info you needed. Your son may also consider getting a tourist visa, from the consulate 's office. ( or perhaps a travel agency?). Best wishes, and happy cruising!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When dealing with international law or immigration, I'd rather ask for permission than forgiveness.  I imagine it becomes quite difficult to deal with the consequences when you've entered a country illegally.  Ignorance of the law is not a defense.

 

If someone wishes to continue travelling internationally I suggest they understand how to do so properly and legally.  That involves asking questions and being informed rather than demanding to just get your way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would suggest checking in with the US Embassy & Consulates office in Mexico. They should be able to help you with your question. They are the people you would contact if you missed the ship, or had to have assistance flying back to the US in case of emergency.  Here is the web site: 

https://mx.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/hermosillo/american-citizen-services/   It has a lot of information on it. 

You can contact them at 844-528-6611 or email them at HERMOACS@state.gov  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/6/2019 at 6:52 AM, AAAChamp said:

Thank you all for your responses!  I definitely don't feel comfortable hoping that it will all work out and he can fly out from Mazatlan without getting NCL approval.  I do agree that every time I've gone to Mexico via air they have scanned my passport and given me  some kind of entry form that I've kept and given when I leave the country by flight.  I am concerned that there will be no entry paperwork to be given at exit.  Now, I guess, I need to find a way to get that written approval from NCL.  I will go back to that supervisor and see if he will help.  If anyone knows another way to get that written approval, I am all ears.  Thanks again for your responses!!  

I recently read a trip review or blog about a couple who threw away that entry form.  When they showed up at the airport to return home without the form, they were sent to an agent to explain and in the end they had to pay a large fine.  

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
      • 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...