After 9/11 the Coast Guard and local Marine Patrol provided surveillance and escort services out 3 miles. They have also hired divers to inspect the bottom of the hulls for bombs when docked. The identification requirements to board are also stricter and more stringent. But when we returned from our last cruise the customs official stood against the door oblivious to anyone leaving the ship. I had to hunt him down to give him my declaration form. I thought this was too lax.
I wouldn't worry about the Customs officials on disembarkation. The cruise is over and you are on your way home.
But, I too have noticed the increased security and surveillance after 9/11. We've cruised twice since then. The first time we cruised after 9/11, October of last year, the security around the ship and harbor was extremely tight:
- before the ship left port we noticed bomb sniffing dogs around all the pallets being loaded.
- in some ports in the Carribbean even before we approached the ship we had to show photo ids; my husband even one time had to take off his hat and sun glasses so that the police could take a good look at him.
- when we finally arrived home there was National Guard posted.
I'm glad you brought that up about the National Guard. In January there was National Guard positioned all around the ship and in the holding area where you picked up your luggage. But in Sept. I didn't see any at all.
I agree with you, too. I noticed that there weren't any National Guard/military/police when we did the Hawaii cruise this last May. Nothing in Honolulu and nothing in Vancouver. Though when I was on board the Summit for the cruise I was talking to one of the staff (computer guy) and he said that before he was able to board ship the customs officials in Hawaii thoroughly checked his employment papers (he was Canadian). He said that never happened before. From what he told me now was that customs officials were thoroughly checking out the employment papers for all the cruise ship personnel. Interesting ...