Now that we're "by law" being asked to fill out our pre-cruise data sheets before arriving at the pier--and preferably online, I'm waiting for the obvious next step toward full e-ticketing.
That should be when we book a cruise and provide our affinity club number, the data sheet from our last cruise will appear under our new booking number when we pull it up. Then all we have to do is make any necessary changes and submit it.
This would be a nice convenience. Have any of the lines started doing this?
AR, don't see how it can be a "law". Where the heck are all these laws coming from anyway? Not only that, what about those that don't pick up their tickets until they get to the pier like we did the last two cruises? I don't even think all cruiselines have the ability to do this pre-cruise information anyway. Cruiselines shouldn't tell you that it's a law when it isn't.
When I unearth whatever newsletter I saw it in, I'll post the text. I'm pretty sure it was either on the Celebrity website or in the CC newsletter. It says that starting shortly it will be necessary to have all this info on file in advance--I forget how long in advance, maybe a week or two.
That's one reason they're pushing everybody to prefile online. As far as tickets themselves, the day is fast approaching when that piece of paper won't amount to a hill of beans. It'll all be based on what's in the computer and your passport or other official ID, just like at the airlines.
I know you feel that nothing's a law unless you know about it, but apparently this is some provision of one the blizzard of homeland security measures.
And, contrary to your belief, most if not all major cruise lines already make it possible for you to submit this info online as soon as your reservation is set up in the computer. For the cyber-challenged, they still let you submit paper versions, but you have to do it in advance. Apparently if you don't it is (or will be) a deal breaker.
As I say, when I find the reference again, I'll post it.
OK, here's the reference, from the latest Captain's Club newsletter:
PREREGISTRATION. It's a must for your next true departure.
Soon, new government regulations will require that all cruise lines gather and submit key guest information prior to departure. To ensure that these requirements are met and that you enjoy a smooth boarding process on the day of departure, please visit celebrity.com, click on "Reservations/Guest Documentation," and complete the appropriate information prior to sailing. If you do not have access to the Internet [etc.]
AR.. I believe this was a part of the new security package. The gov't wants more complete info for being able to pre screen passengers.
Believe it includes name, dob, residency, and country of origin.
It certainly would be handy for the cruise lines to store this info in a data base, but don't know if they can manage it. Heck... most can't keep track of how many cruises members of their repeaters clubs have taken <G>
No question E docs are coming. I believe RCI is already running some experimenting with them.
AR, I was being sarcastic about where laws come from. Lighten up, I know how they are formed. Heck, I took plenty of law courses in collage and did pretty well in grades too I might add. <G> The remark was supposed to indicate that the cruiseline can't use the excuse that it's a law if it really isn't. The computer and Internet is a great instrument no doubt but just because we have one and know how to use them, many do not. You will never see a law that says you must pre-register online, that is not possible as it eliminates some people from participating simply because they do not have, or cannot afford a computer. They may have to someday require one to submit more info to the cruiseline prior to boarding and that I can see coming shortly.
Some cruiselines may have implemented it as a convenience for the passenger, and a preference on their part. But home computers are not yet so pervasive that a law would require such registration. It might even be considered discrmination against folks who for reasons of economy, or even religious convictions, don't use computers. Can you say class action? Many attorneys could.
One of my hobbies is communication history. The closest historic precedent i can think of is touchtone dialing. DTMF controlled tel switching has been available in many areas starting about 45 years ago. In fact, it's only 25 years since the last hand cranked system went off line. So for a few years, within a radius of 200 miles from my home, there were 3 different dialing technologies. As of 10 years ago, there was a community in my state where DTMF was not yet available. By then there were also many businesses, perhaps a majority, using Touchtone menus to pre-screen calls. Those businesses had to reftrofit their menus to include a zero option to reach a live operator to accomodate customers in regions where pre-DTMF technologies were still in use.
PCs in the home are still that new, despite the hype. I'm not even sure cruiselines could fast track the boarding of passengers, with online pre-registration as a sole criterion. It will be interesting to see what develops.
The "law" obviously says that the lines are going to have to supply certain data to the government in advance of sailing. That's clear from the Celebrity newsletter.
Nobody in this string, including me, has said or implied that the information must be supplied by the customer in electronic form. My original post reads as follows:
"Now that we're "by law" being asked to fill out our pre-cruise data sheets before arriving at the pier--and preferably online. . ." That's an accurate representation of the situation.
The lines would PREFER us to do it online, but they're going to have to take it however they can get it. What does seem clear is that it's going to have to come in advance, by whatever means.
In that original post I simply wondered whether any of the lines have been clever enough to feed you your previous data set for amendment and resubmission once you book a new cruise. It was a fairly simple question, to which nobody but Kuki has even alluded. Instead, it once again got diverted into this civil rights stuff, which has nothing to do with what I asked.
As an aside, it seems to me that agents will be doing a lot of electronic data filing on behalf of clients who can't or won't. I suspect that the lines have figured out basically that:
1. Anybody who books directly via the internet can also file their forms online.
2. Those who book through retail agents can have the agents do likewise on their behalf.
3. Groups 1 and 2 above cover most of the waterfront these days, and they'll have to pick up the rest as best they can (mail, fax, etc.).