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Someone in our group has an old felony. Can they still cruise


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Someone in our group has an old felony. They have a passport but what are their chances of being denied to board? Do they have to check with every port? Has anyone had experience with that situation?

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No one here could possibly answer that question, especially with the paucity of information provided.  Check with the requirements of the countries they are planning to visit.

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Posted (edited)

If you are leaving from a US port and he has a valid passport he is likely to be allowed to board. On most Caribbean cruises I’ve never needed anything more than my Cruise Card and a photo ID to enter. I can’t recall ever having my passport scanned in the Caribbean. 
 

in Canada you can apply for a pardon for old convictions (except for extremely serious crimes). Your record is then expunged.

 

your friend should look into pardons in the US. Felonies may be treated more severely than a misdemeanour when it comes to getting a pardon.

 

surprisingly, a foreigner would have more trouble getting into the states with a felony than your friend will likely have in leaving the states and visiting most foreign countries. Many Canadians get turned around at land borders with US for admitting to high school drug use when they are now in their 40’s-50’s. (Note: I did not say convicted. Simply telling a customs officer you smoked marijuana / used drugs in your youth.)

 

If he is not under any parole conditions I like his chances. Have your friend apply for a Nexus / Trusted Traveler card. If he gets one, then his felony is likely not impacting him in any way.

Edited by HardToPort
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15 hours ago, denilynnd27 said:

Someone in our group has an old felony. They have a passport but what are their chances of being denied to board? Do they have to check with every port? Has anyone had experience with that situation?

 

You really need to check with the cruise line because it depends on the conviction.  I know lines have denied boarding to individuals with felony sexual assault convictions, especially involving children. 

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6 hours ago, Aquahound said:

I know lines have denied boarding to individuals with felony sexual assault convictions, especially involving children. 

 

Although I believe that if someone is considered a sexual offender, that that data base is open to the public, unlike other felony convictions.  

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On 3/25/2023 at 12:48 PM, HardToPort said:

I can’t recall ever having my passport scanned in the Caribbean.

It doesn't need to be.  The ship's manifest is submitted to the country or port prior to or upon arrival and the names can be checked against certain databases.  If an issue is found either the ship wouldn't be cleared to disembark or the passengers impacted would be called to guest services (I heard an entire family called there while we were waiting for clearance at either St. Thomas or, more likely, Tortola last week) to either clear up the issue or be told they can't get off the ship.

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On 3/25/2023 at 5:07 PM, Ferry_Watcher said:

 

Although I believe that if someone is considered a sexual offender, that that data base is open to the public, unlike other felony convictions.  

 

I'm not sure a felony sexual offender would be able to even get a passport.  It is going to be among those heinous crimes that exclude passport consideration.  Admittedly, I'm a "google" expert on this one.  

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On 3/29/2023 at 7:09 AM, hallux said:

It doesn't need to be.  The ship's manifest is submitted to the country or port prior to or upon arrival and the names can be checked against certain databases.  If an issue is found either the ship wouldn't be cleared to disembark or the passengers impacted would be called to guest services (I heard an entire family called there while we were waiting for clearance at either St. Thomas or, more likely, Tortola last week) to either clear up the issue or be told they can't get off the ship.

 

Good info.  I think a key question in this case might be about being allowed boarding on embark day as opposed to missing a port-of-call.   Seems, as already suggested, the cruise line is the best source of info about this.  If an old slip-up meant I  would have to stay on board and miss a port of call, that might be an OK option.  

 

I have to ask.  How would you know why a family was called to guest services?  

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4 hours ago, ldubs said:

 

I'm not sure a felony sexual offender would be able to even get a passport.  It is going to be among those heinous crimes that exclude passport consideration.  Admittedly, I'm a "google" expert on this one.  

Yes, but you don't need a passport for a closed loop cruise out of the US.  And, I agree that the only information a cruise line would possibly have is to vet the passengers against a sex offender database, and that would be the only instance of being denied boarding.  The passenger does risk being denied going ashore in a country when the ship gets there, or even being taken into custody and deported by the local government.

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6 hours ago, ldubs said:

 

I have to ask.  How would you know why a family was called to guest services?

I don't know for certain, it just seems coincidental that we were awaiting clearance by the port and an entire family was being called to guest services.

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4 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Yes, but you don't need a passport for a closed loop cruise out of the US.  And, I agree that the only information a cruise line would possibly have is to vet the passengers against a sex offender database, and that would be the only instance of being denied boarding.  The passenger does risk being denied going ashore in a country when the ship gets there, or even being taken into custody and deported by the local government.

 

Thanks. I had not thought of the closed loop exceptions.  Seems I've read about people being arrested while on a cruise to another country.  But if someone not a fugitive is legally allowed to travel, as is apparently the OP's friend is, then then deportation back to the US would not be in play, I think.   

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2 hours ago, hallux said:

I don't know for certain, it just seems coincidental that we were awaiting clearance by the port and an entire family was being called to guest services.

 

That could make sense.  Maybe they were the Luca Brazi family.  😀

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8 minutes ago, ldubs said:

 

Thanks. I had not thought of the closed loop exceptions.  Seems I've read about people being arrested while on a cruise to another country.  But if someone not a fugitive is legally allowed to travel, as is apparently the OP's friend is, then then deportation back to the US would not be in play, I think.   

Deportation would still be in play if the country being visited did not want to risk the individual illegally making their way off the ship...unlikely but not entirely impossible. In particular let's say the cruise has several port calls in Canada over the course of a week. It's possible that Canada might not want to risk the individual getting past ship security .

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Just now, njhorseman said:

Deportation would still be in play if the country being visited did not want to risk the individual illegally making their way off the ship...unlikely but not entirely impossible. In particular let's say the cruise has several port calls in Canada over the course of a week. It's possible that Canada might not want to risk the individual getting past ship security .

 

That makes sense.   Thanks.   

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I was on a B2B, waiting with the others for our walk to Customs and back, when one fellow was asked to step into the office and his new wife taken elsewhere.  Turns out he had had a personal protection order on him from his prior relationship and the authorities wanted to check on the well being of his new wife.  The way they were fuming (it was "all" the other woman's fault), I wasn't sure if the ex called someone or if the PO was still in effect and it was picked up during the first  cruise.

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12 hours ago, Elaine5715 said:

I was on a B2B, waiting with the others for our walk to Customs and back, when one fellow was asked to step into the office and his new wife taken elsewhere.  Turns out he had had a personal protection order on him from his prior relationship and the authorities wanted to check on the well being of his new wife.  The way they were fuming (it was "all" the other woman's fault), I wasn't sure if the ex called someone or if the PO was still in effect and it was picked up during the first  cruise.

 

It is amazing what people will share with strangers (assuming you didn't know them).  

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45 minutes ago, ldubs said:

 

It is amazing what people will share with strangers (assuming you didn't know them).  

I could give you a full description of what the Ex looks like and her parentage..😆

Our little group has already been amused by this couple since they had gotten married onboard and their families were debarking so they were staying on to enjoy their honeymoon.  One of the bridesmaids was repeatedly being called to Guest Services before she finally walked up.  Guest Services handed over the bridesmaid's dress she left in her room with smiles on their faces.  The woman told them to toss that "$^%$%#&&* piece of trash" overboard and was surprised to turn around and see who was standing behind her.  

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