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Old October 20th, 2011, 06:09 AM
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Angry Awful costa experience for pensioners!!

We booked a cruise on Costa Magica Cruise ship with Robin Turs in Bari, Italy. After confirming by email that all our documentation required was in order, we arrived at the port in Amsterdam. We passed through customs, had our photos taken and luggage loaded. Just prior to boarding, a Costa Cruciera official stopped us and told us we could not board as they said I had no visa for our stop over in the UK. We advised them that the agent at Robin Turs confirmed by email that we had all documentation required for the cruise. We'd been on a previous Costa cruise where I did not have a visa for Greece and I stayed on the ship when they disembarked at the port. I was happy to do the same at the UK port. They refused and told us that it was not their problem and left us stranded at the empty port terminal with no transport as our flights were included in the trip. My partner asked to speak to the captain or someone in management but they also refused this.

We went to see Robin Turs when we flew back to Bari, Italy (at our own expense). They advised us that it is not their duty to know all the rules and regulations of all the cruise lines and refused any compensation. They blamed Costa Cruciera Cruiselines.

We decided to see a lawyer in Bari and he was shocked by our story. A registered letter was sent by the lawyer to the cruise company but there has been no response to date. Our cruise departed Amsterdam on June 1st 2011 and the letter was sent approximately a week after.

My partner is 81 and I am 72, we were shocked by their unsympathetic behaviour as we had cruised with them on six previous occasions!!
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Old October 20th, 2011, 06:25 AM
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A travel agent should advise you of any visas required but unfortunately do not always do this. The only place we have visited that needed a visa or similar was the USA. What nationality are you? I wasn't aware that Europeans needed visas to visit the UK.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 09:43 AM
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I am sorry that you had such a terrible experience.

I do hope that you are compensated in some manner.

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Old October 20th, 2011, 02:23 PM
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Reading this experience makes me appreciate even more having a GOOD Travel Agent.
Sorry for your terrible experience...
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Old October 20th, 2011, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fieldmouse View Post
Reading this experience makes me appreciate even more having a GOOD Travel Agent.
...
I agree with you 100%.

My travel agent is excellent.

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Old October 22nd, 2011, 02:56 PM
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A similar thread to this is on the NCL board where a person was angry with NCL because his Mexican national wife (he was American) did not have a VISA for Canada. His travel agent had told him it would not be a problem as long as they left from Seattle round trip and not Vancouver for an Alaska cruise. It seemed to me it was the travel agent and not cruise line that had given him bad advice.

This tells me all of us need to do our homework and not even expect our travel agent to do this for us. Still, I would never blame the cruise line. We would not blame an airline if we had bought airline tickets and then discovered because we had no VISA for the country we intended to enter,that we could not take the flight. These are businesses and they expect US to know the rules.

BTW- the people who check us in on cruises are not cruise line employees but port employees-and they know the rules because it is their business/job to know them.

I wonder if Cuba is ever opened up as a cruise port for Americans if we will be required to have a VISA. My feeling is we will, since our governments are not friendly.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 02:49 PM
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I think it is really terrible what happens.

But one must know that there are sometimes very stictly rools for ship companies.
They can pay a lot of penalty if there are some passangers without Visa.


So my tip: if you are not US or "Europe " sitizen than never book a crouse without
all nessesary Visas in Europe or USA.
There can be terrible problems there.
And all passangers are responcible to take care on all that Visa stuff /they write it on there prospects)
cruise Companies would not do it for you.
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Old October 23rd, 2011, 03:00 PM
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Greece it is Europe ,
UK - is not))::

Of course every US or "Europe sitizen" etc. can visit UK without Visa .

But for all other people UK have extreem streng rools.
They don't care how old are you or were are you living in.
All what they need the "appropriate" pass.

Don't ever dream to go in UK without Visa or to take any cruise around even without
going from bord .
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Old October 30th, 2011, 10:18 PM
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We went on an Alaskan cruise, since we live on the West coast, we never thought for a moment about needing a Passport OR Visa...But on one of our excursions (a jeep tour into the Yukon territories) the cruise line made it very very clear we would need Passports. There was a couple who try board the bus taking us to the Jeeps, that insisted that no one told them they needed their Passports...but EVERYONE else on the bus (over 25 people)had their passports. The couple tried to hold the cruises line responsible for not being allowed on the excursion...but all of us on the bus told the Guide and the Service Desk we ALL read the posted information that anyone who wanted to participate in this Jeep tour into the Yukon territories had to have a passport.

Overall, I think the cruise lines are highly motivated that passengers have a good time and one way they do that is to inform them of necessary Visa's and Passport requirements.

We had a Travel Agent who was SUPER sweet, personable and we liked a lot...but she didn't know squat about cruising etc. So although we hated to do it...we stopped using her and changed Agents.

A good travel agent is the key to saving you money and heartache!
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 09:46 AM
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It is up to the cruiser to know what visa's are needed when going into any country. In saying that, I will try to help my clients when necessary. For example, someone who wants to go to China or take a cruise that stops there must have a visa. Visa's are also required for Russia, Australia and other countries. I will recommend that my clients look into the visa requirements for them first and be sure they will qualify to get into the country before they make final payment.

Visa's cost money. It is up to the client to get the visa if the ship does not. (I say that because if going into Egypt and Israel the cruiseships do make arrangements for the visa's.) But the client has the ultimate responsibility because they have forms to fill and payments to be made that the TA just can't do for them.

Another issue, where the client is actually born/lives. You may have a Mexican national who is married to a U.S. citizen but it the place of birth/citizenship of the national that states that person must have a visa to enter Canada.

The TA should automatically be saying to any client sitting in front of them or even more so if only dealing on the internet as you can't hear any accents, a visa may be required. BTW - all contracts with the various cruiselines do have a blip about visa's possibly be necessary. I would also say it's partially up to the client to ask.
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Old November 7th, 2011, 12:44 PM
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>>A good travel agent is the key to saving you money and heartache

I don't think so. One not really need travel agent to know what Visa he need.
Obviosly pensioners were not US sitizen.

But it is not the point.

Only ambassy can tell you the "trouth".
all these information for every sitizen one can find in WEB.

I would never hear any Visa tips from any travel agent in the word.

Simply because that if he was wrong It would not be helpfull to tell
officers on the border "travel agent told me that".
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Old November 7th, 2011, 12:49 PM
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>>Another issue, where the client is actually born/lives.

I mean the only relevant stuff in that case is what Pass you have.
You can live 50 years in USA and e.g. get 3 US wifes and 10 US chlidren.

But if you have only e.g. South Afrika Pass nobody would let you without Visa in Europe.
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Old November 7th, 2011, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sergej View Post
>>Another issue, where the client is actually born/lives.

I mean the only relevant stuff in that case is what Pass you have.
You can live 50 years in USA and e.g. get 3 US wifes and 10 US chlidren.

But if you have only e.g. South Afrika Pass nobody would let you without Visa in Europe.
That's exactly what I said. Yes, it does matter where you are born to get into some countries as they don't always recognize the fact that you have taken out citizenship in another country.

A good TA will guide you and help you thru the process but is not the responsible one - the cruiser is.
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