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  #1 (permalink)  
Old November 14th, 2011, 04:08 PM
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Thumbs down Anyone encounter this situation

I wanted to book on NCL Dawn Boston to Quebec 10/19-10/26 and Quebec to Tampa 10/26-11/11, 2012.
NCL says I can't do it because it violates a law - something about having to stop at a foreign port. They are very firm in their opinion.

Has anyone encountered this situation and been successful in their attempt to cruise?
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Old November 14th, 2011, 04:18 PM
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There has to be some misunderstanding here somewhere. You can't take a cruise from the United States into Canada? This makes no sense.

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Old November 14th, 2011, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lionfishkiller View Post
I wanted to book on NCL Dawn Boston to Quebec 10/19-10/26 and Quebec to Tampa 10/26-11/11, 2012.
NCL says I can't do it because it violates a law - something about having to stop at a foreign port. They are very firm in their opinion.

Has anyone encountered this situation and been successful in their attempt to cruise?
It is possible that Quebec is not considered a far foreign port and does not fulfill the requirements of the Passenger Services Act. The PSA states that a non-US flagged vessel must make a stop at a far foreign port in order to embark and disembark passengers in the United States.

The back-to-back is probably where the problem lies. If you disembark in Quebec or embark in Quebec then there isn't a problem but if you stay onboard for the B2B that's where the problem lies.

The PSA is an antiquated law but it is still a law.

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Old November 14th, 2011, 04:31 PM
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WOW! You're a smart man Mike! I can't believe you managed to apply that response to what appeared to me as being no where near enough information. I have never heard of the act you mention, and likley would not encounter it as I just click the cruise I want on a website and if there was ever a problem, I can only assume, the cruise would not be visible to me, or, the website would warn me of it.

What's more interesting now though is what are the definitions you speak of to clearly understand why the op can not do this. Originally I thought nothing more than US - Canada - US, should be no problem here, but after your post, and being from Canada myself, I do occasionally come accross various disclaimers for various products and services that specefically exclude Quebec, for whatever reason.

Could be an interesting thread!

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Old November 14th, 2011, 06:06 PM
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It's the PVSA which states a non US built ship cannot transport you between two different US Ports. You are basically travelling between Boston and Tampa which is a no no without visiting a Foreign DISTANT port... which isn't Canada

You could transfer ships in Quebec if there was another line doing a repo cruise but as it stands, yep, it's a no go.

As for being outdated..it may be outdated for cruise ships, but unless you want the Staten Island ferry taken over by the Chinese and Air Canada and Lufthansa taking over your domestic routes, it's not an outdated law. It applies to all forms of transportation, not just cruise ships.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 06:12 PM
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So how did that work? on our cruise last year we stopped at several US ports?
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Old November 14th, 2011, 08:22 PM
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150 years ago, the US Government was concerned that non-US ships were carrying passengers and cargo between US ports, competing with US Flag ships. Worse, these foreign carriers were doing it faster, cheaper, and better than the American ships. Since the Americans couldn't compete on a level playing field, they decided to legislate the competition out of the picture.

For passengers, non-US ships were required to take the passengers to a far foreign port. The nearest far foreign ports are Aruba/Bonaire/Curacao to the south, Kiribati Republic to the West, and Europe to the East.

For cargo, non-US ships had to take the cargo to a far foreign port, unload all the cargo, then load it back on to the ship, and proceed to the US destination.

The idea was that the time and fuel required to meet these bizarre requirements would make it too expensive, difficult, and time consuming for foreign operators to compete with the Americans.

It didn't work out so well.
The foreigners followed all the requirements, still performed better, faster, and cheaper than the Americans, and succeeded in bankrupting nearly all the American shipping companies.
That's why most cruise lines today, sailing from North America, are not American; that's why most cargo delivered to US ports today is not on US Flag ships.
It also explains why Hawaii is such an expensive place to live or visit. Foreign flag cargo ships are not able to successfully circumvent the PVSA in Hawaii. This gives a monopoly to the few remaining US Flag cargo ships. All goods sent to Hawaii are sent on extremely expensive US Cargo ships, raising their value dramatically.
And finally it explains why an air ticket from the US Mainland to Hawaii usually costs double the price of an air ticket from the US Mainland to Europe. Airlines crossing the Atlantic must compete with each other on price. The PVSA gives a monopoly to US Air Carriers between the US Mainland and Hawaii. Without foreign competition, they set their own (very high) prices.

In the eyes of the US Government, a cruise from Boston to Quebec, and then to Tampa is a cruise from Boston to Tampa; both US Ports.

The Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886 requires a non-US Flag "Carrier" that carries passengers between 2 different US Ports to visit a "Far Foreign" port during the voyage.

A "Carrier" can be a ship, an airplane, a bus, or a train.

For those wondering how a foreign flag cruise line can take passengers from Miami to St Thomas, and back to Miami without visiting a far foreign port; or how we can take passengers from Seattle to Alaska and back to Seattle, there are 2 additional issues with the PVSA:

If the carrier is on a "closed loop" voyage (starting and ending in the same US port), the "Far Foreign Port" requirement changes to any non-US port.

If the carrier visits a US port located in a US Posession or US Territory (USVI, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam) most of the PVSA does not apply.

Why don't they delete this ridiculous antiquated law, that really didn't work?

There are still 3 American flag cargo ship lines, employing all American staff, that would be bankrupted immediately if foreign cargo ships did not have to follow the provisions of the PVSA.

The four biggest American Flag airlines make most of their profits flying between the US Mainland and Hawaii - at grossly inflated fares. If they had to comtpete fairly with Air Canada and Japan Airlins on those same routes, they would also be out of business.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnthed0g View Post
So how did that work? on our cruise last year we stopped at several US ports?
It only applies to your starting and ending ports. So in the OPs case..it really would be a Boston to Tampa Cruise. All the repositioning on the westcoast.. they come up from San Diego, LA, San Fran..they all come to Vancouver first before moving down to Seattle. You'll see Panama Canal cruises that are from one US port to another..usually LA to Ft. Lauderdale, but they stop in somewhere like Aruba which is considered a Foreign Distant Port. All the one way Hawaii cruises, in Celebrity's case they embark/disembark in Ensenada Mexico...RCI, Carnival, HAL and sometimes Princess run their one ways from Vancouver.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 09:24 PM
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Definitely agree with all the posters explaining how the PVSA would make this itinerary illegal. A side note; there is a similar law in Greece thus limiting Athens round trip cruises.
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Old November 14th, 2011, 11:05 PM
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Ok, so I'm a little confused. I got on Carnival Freedom last January in Fort Lauderdale and the next day we were in Key West. Not only was this the same country, it was the same state.

WRT Canadian Airlines taking over. I kinda doubt that. I live in Canada and fly the US Air Lines all the time because they are cheaper.

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Old November 15th, 2011, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krunch View Post
Ok, so I'm a little confused. I got on Carnival Freedom last January in Fort Lauderdale and the next day we were in Key West. Not only was this the same country, it was the same state.

WRT Canadian Airlines taking over. I kinda doubt that. I live in Canada and fly the US Air Lines all the time because they are cheaper.

Krunch
When you boarded the Carnival Freedom in Ft Lauderdale, you were most likely on a closed loop cruise - that is, a cruise that starts and begins in the same US Port. The PVSA allows the foreign flag ship on a closed loop cruise to stop in any number of US ports, so long as it also stops in at least one non-US port sometime during the cruise, ending in the same US port it started from.

If a foreign flag ship has a cruise that begins in one US port and does not end in that same port, the ship can visit any number of US Ports, but then has three legal options:

1. End the cruise in a non-US port.

2. End the cruise at a US Territory or Posession.

3. Visit a far foreign port sometime during the cruise and end the cruise in a different US Port.

The US airlines are cheaper than Air Canada when flying in and to the USA as a result of the PVSA. A Canadian airliner can fly passengers from Ottawa to Chicage for example, but it cannot legally pick up passengers while stopped in Chicago and fly them to Miami. If it wants to continue to Miami, there will be many empty seats, driving up operating costs and increasing fares to cover it.

Last edited by Bruce Chafkin1; November 15th, 2011 at 12:30 AM.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 04:48 AM
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Default The key word may be "far"

Thank you for clarifying the law. Extensive and expansive answers are appreciated. Like all laws the specific terminology used in the law maybe part of the problem, I am referring to the word "far" which permits personal interpretation. It seems to me that Quebec might be considered a foreign port. I also recognize that this is only one of the conditions of the law as cruisemate members have pointed out. Needless to say I am disappointed and hope that over the next year the law might be modified. Otherwise I will only be able to do only a part of the planned cruise.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 06:41 AM
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It is an old law and IMHO, should be changed....may-be someday. We can only hope..
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Old November 15th, 2011, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krunch View Post
Ok, so I'm a little confused. I got on Carnival Freedom last January in Fort Lauderdale and the next day we were in Key West. Not only was this the same country, it was the same state.

WRT Canadian Airlines taking over. I kinda doubt that. I live in Canada and fly the US Air Lines all the time because they are cheaper.

Krunch
It's not the ports on the cruise, it's where you embark and disembark. So unless your cruise started and then ended the next day in Key West, there was nothing wrong.

A Canadian Airline taking over US routes was an example of how this law reaches far more than cruise ships. But let's take it a step further, it's stopping Easy Jet and Ryan Air from coming in and kicking American and United's butt.
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Old November 15th, 2011, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lionfishkiller View Post
Thank you for clarifying the law. Extensive and expansive answers are appreciated. Like all laws the specific terminology used in the law maybe part of the problem, I am referring to the word "far" which permits personal interpretation. It seems to me that Quebec might be considered a foreign port. I also recognize that this is only one of the conditions of the law as cruisemate members have pointed out. Needless to say I am disappointed and hope that over the next year the law might be modified. Otherwise I will only be able to do only a part of the planned cruise.
lionfishkiller,

Intense lobbying against this law has been going on for nearly 100 years. In every case where the law was modifird, it was made more strict - not more lax.

Sadly the word "far" does NOT permit personal interpretation when defined by the US Government.
To keep it simple here, the word "far" means a continent other than North America.

If the US Government altered the law to permit your cruise, they would risk bankrupting all their major airlines and all their remaining cargo ship lines, and putting hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work.

Do you really see any chance of that happening?
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Old November 18th, 2011, 04:04 AM
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Great info! This must also be why the cruises to Hawaii out of San Diego stop in Ensenada.... ahah!
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Old November 18th, 2011, 09:48 AM
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Great info! This must also be why the cruises to Hawaii out of San Diego stop in Ensenada.... ahah!
Yeah, they're closed loop cruises which have a different set of rules, they must stop at any foreign port and Ensenada will do. It doesn't classify as a Foreign Distant Port but it doesn't need to when the ship leaves and returns from the same US Port.
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