The Sea Princess stops at St Thomas AFTER other non-US islands. I believe this means that we have to go thru customs in St Thomas. Is this correct? Our stated arrival time in St Thomas is 8am. Is that the time we can get off the ship, or will we be delayed due to customs?
We just got back from visiting St. Thomas after stopping in other countries. Itís true that we didnít have to go through customs; however, we did have to go through immigration before we could leave the ship. In fact, all of the passengers had to go through immigration individually with their passports before anyone could leave the ship. Of course after about an hour into the process, the announcements started for this or that passenger to report to where ever the immigration process was being held and then finally the announcement that we can leave the ship. I believe it took us almost 2 hours from when we first docked until we left the ship. Your experience might be different, but that's what happened on Jan 4 2003.
I think the others are mistaken. We had to clear Immigration in St. Thomas after visiting Nassau, the Bahamas. You are techically re-entering a U.S. port after visiting a foreign port.
Even though it was a joke. Immigration was set up in the show lounge and everybody on the ship had to go through it. You showed your passport to one agent at a desk who handed you a piece of scrap paper with a smiley face on it which you took to another desk to give to that agent. The first agent checked your name off the ship's manifest.
That was Jan. 2002, so maybe things have changed in the year, but I don't think so. BTW, the line to clear Immigration was all the way across the ship. Once we had been in line for 1 hour a staff member came through the line asking for people who had a 9:30 shore excursion (which we did) and walked us up to the front of the line.
Things haven't changed. You still have to stand in a dreadfully long line just so you can hand someone a slip of paper and someone else can glance at your passport.
The line moves rather quickly once it gets started, but immigration started later than the scheduled time. If you don't have an early shore excursion, I would show up a little later than the scheduled time if I were you. (Not so late that they call your name over the loudspeaker, of course.)
Now posting as MichelleP.
My wife, being a non-US citizen, has to go through different procedures to clear US immigrations depending on the arrival port.
Believe me, the clearance of immigrations on board the ship at St. Thomas or St. Croix is soooooo much better than going through the mess at the airports and the Miami cruise terminal. (Miami is just plain miserable)
I wish we could clear immigrations on the ship every time !!
If you are entering a U.S. port (St. Thomas/St. Johns are U.S. ports) from a foreign country (The Bahamas, for instance) you have to go through Immigrations.
Do you need a passport. NO! But without a passport you need an ORIGINAL birth certificate with a raised seal and a photo I.D. You won't even be getting on the ship without one of these anyway. But my advice is to GET A PASSPORT ! ! ! ! It is so much easier and accepted anywhere.