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Posts posted by Zacharius

  1. 27 minutes ago, CrimsonCruiser said:

    I think I know the answer but...can I get those tourist stamps in my expired passport? I was surprised to get it back when we last renewed and it seems to be the safest place to get those fun stamps

    I don't see that being a problem...the old passport is basically a meaningless document anyways (officially, at least). 

  2. 29 minutes ago, Vincent said:

    So this would be in addition to having and/or presenting your visa for a longer than 90 day stay?

    What I am trying to understand is if a US citizen would be required to apply and obtain ETIAS authorization as a visa is not currently required to travel to EU for a short cruise, as long as you have a valid passport?

    My understanding is, if you are someone who needs to have a visa for your visit (due to length, being a student, worker, etc.), you do not also need ETIAS. One or the other, depending on your purpose of visit (or your citizenship). ETIAS is simply used to do the pre-screening that would already have been done on any visa applicants. 

    Those who do an ESTA for entrance to the United States on the Visa Waiver Program do not also need a visa; those who have a visa do not also need to do an ESTA assuming their entrance in to the United States is for the same purpose their visa was issued (tourist, business, student, etc.); I assume ETIAS would be the same. 

  3. I don't have any direct answers, but a couple of things to consider:

    • If you do find someplace, make sure it's an OFFICIAL immigration facility. Some places have fake touristy stamps, and those can invalidate a passport. 
    • Stamps are becoming less and less common as immigration systems go more digital and info is more easily shared between countries. 
    • Even if you do find a place, it's very rare that US immigration will stamp a US passport, and note that St. Thomas is the United States. 
  4. 20 minutes ago, wordell1 said:

    We did not need anything other than our passport in June 2022. 

    Because it's not fully implemented yet

    28 minutes ago, Vincent said:

    however this an EU program necessary when even visiting countries within the Schengen area. We travel in June, so trying to make sure all of our i's are dotted and t's crossed.

    My understanding is that you need it to enter Schengen, but not to move between Schengen countries unless you leave Schengen in between (for example, you don't need to show it when going from France to Italy, but you would when going from France to Italy via Tunisia). I also understand it as being multi-entry, so the same ETIAS would work for any Schengen country that you attempt to enter.

    That being said, my understanding is they're targeting November 2023, so your June trip shouldn't need one. 

  5. 1 hour ago, Atlantix2000 said:

    If your country has an embassy in the Bahamas, that might be the safest place to call to get a definitive answer.

    They may likely have a good answer, but I believe the truly definitive answer would come not from OP's embassy in the Bahamas, but the Bahamian embassy with charge over OP's country of citizenship since they're the one that would be granting any kind of visa/permission and would have the official word on rules. 

  6. 40 minutes ago, Atlantix2000 said:

    The vast majority of the Caribbean countries do not have a 6 month passport validity rule.  (I'm tempted to say none of them have it but I could be wrong.)  This topic pops up often because there are countries in the world that have such a rule so the general recommendation is to renew your passports early just in case.  For US citizens, there is no need to worry about a 6 month rule on the cruise you have described.  For non-US citizens, I'm not 100% positive, but I believe you're still good.

    The US does require six month validity on passports from many countries. There are some exemptions (quite a lot, actually, at https://fam.state.gov/FAM/09FAM/09FAM040309.html), but since OP doesn't state what passport they carry, I am not sure what rules do or do not apply to them. 


  7. I am a dual citizen and always enter the US on my US passport, so I don't have exact experience with this, but I am familiar with traveling to countries that require 6+ months, and know of many people coming to the US on non-US passports...experience has always told me that countries that enact this rule follow it pretty darn closely. Do you have time to renew your passports and get the US visa transferred to the new ones? Also, make sure you have the proper documentation to enter The Bahamas too, as they're an independent country with different immigration laws than the US. 

  8. As mentioned earlier, the biggest part of this is your citizenship. While I assume most are US citizens on here, not all are, and that's of critical importance. So yeah, US citizens can, but as far as I know, others cannot because their birth certificates may or may not prove citizenship or any kind. 

    (Technically, US birth certificates don't either because one could always renounce US citizenship, but that starts getting way more in the weeds than needed. I'm a bit of a geek about these things.) 

  9. 4 hours ago, Maggie M said:

    It's nice that you can use it whenever you want unless there's bad weather, in which case you wouldn't want to be out there anyways!

    It depends. There was an eveving where we went through a pretty good storm, but because we of the way (and speed) we were moving, the rain all hit the front of the ship. We had the front-most balcony where you could not only see out the side, but out the front as well via a clear plexiglass shield. We sat out there for hours with drinks, watching the rain and the lightning over the open sea, and didn't get a drop of rain on us. 

  10. 13 hours ago, AandD said:

    I have never met anybody from Namibia but there was a time when I called Ghana home. Imagin Royal coming out of London or Holland or the Mediterranean down the west coast of Africa to Namibia. Or vice versa. If the people of Namibia are as you say that's great. I know the Ghanaians are great people. Think of all the ports in between.

    There are definitely cruises that hit places all along the west coast of Africa - Casablanca, Dakar, Banjul, Accra, Lagos, Libreville, Luanda, Walvis Bay, and of course Cape Town. They're smaller ships and I don't see a company like Royal Caribbean doing it anytime soon. But having been to all of those places, it would be a great introduction to Africa for those who are new to the region. 

  11. 1 hour ago, FireFishII said:

     I have been to Barcelona before and know a little bit about the lay of the land.

    One option I always like to recommend - if you've been to Barcelona before, but haven't been to Madrid, take a look at that. Madrid is a great city (I personally prefer it to Barcelona quite a bit), and it's easy to get from Madrid to Barcelona. Madrid also tends to have more nonstops to the US than Barcelona does. So, perhaps fly in to Madrid, spend a couple days there, then take one of the many nonstop trains from Madrid to Barcelona (they're only about 2.5 hours, and yes, actually nonstop). 

  12. I wear a hat like 90% of the time, but I definitely don't wear one to any kind of sit down restaurant. However, add me to the club of "you do you, boo"...I really don't give a damn what someone else does in a restaurant, whether it's Chili's or Capital Grille, if it doesn't impact me in any negative way. 

    4 hours ago, CruisingNewb said:

    Hats off when praying. 

    Interesting. As someone who is not religious and doesn't pray, I've never heard this one before. Makes sense, but it's a new one to me. 

    1 hour ago, TravisMA81 said:

    Guys get hot too.   

    I'm always hot...or at least, that's what my wife tells me. 

  13. 6 hours ago, melmar02 said:

    San Francisco and up the Pacific coast. I'd book a wine cruise in a heartbeat!

    Every cruise is a wine cruise if you have the right drink package! 

    20 hours ago, Censored said:

    Cuba is the so called "forbidden fruit"  Why do you want to go and support a communist country with your travel dollars? Why?

    Lots of countries have lots of bad or questionable politics. If you start weeding them out, you suddenly have very few places to go to. It can even be said of places like the US and Israel, as well as the Middle East, China, etc. etc. Everyone is someone's enemy. Except Namibia. Everyone likes Namibia.*

    * - am from Namibia, assume everyone likes us 🙂


  14. 33 minutes ago, FireFishII said:

    I don't know about the present situation.  But this past summer, 2 weeks before our cruise, they canceled one of our Mexican port and substituted Nassau for it. It was a good news/bad news/good news scenario.  Good news: Don't go someplace where there is violence. 

    I mean, Nassau can be a pretty violent place - there's a decently high gang-on-gang violence rate around Nassau. Not in places that most tourists will ever go to, but it definitely can be a violent place. 

  15. 19 hours ago, Va4fam said:

    Long Beach is a great airport for easy in/easy out convenience.  Used to be able to drop off car, bag, and board plane within minutes. 


    Long Beach also has a LOT fewer flights than LAX or even SNA. Southwest has bumped up their presence, but it's still not a ton compared to the other airports. I would say, nine times out of ten, it's quicker to fly a nonstop in to LAX or SNA than it is to connect and fly in to LGB, even with Los Angeles traffic (my colleague is going to Long Beach for work next week, and she's definitely taking the nonstop to LAX and renting a car, which will still save her a good amount of time versus changing planes and going in to LGB itself). 

  16. Mazatlan may be changed due to the fact that it's in Sinaloa which is the main problem area right now. It's fairly far from Culiacan, where yesterday's violence was, but I would imagine Royal's insurers may not be thrilled about sending any ship to Sinaloa right now. But this is so recent, I doubt Royal knows yet which is why they haven't told you anything yet.

    I would say the other two stops are probably fine. But this is all a guess right now, of course. 

  17. 2 hours ago, steverk said:

    Has anyone ever flown to this airport for a cruise? How do you recommend transportation to/from the port? Is the ground transportation going to be more expensive?

    SNA is almost twice the distance to the port than LAX, so it's definitely going to cost more and take longer. While SNA is a more efficient airport, most or all of the time saved will be lost during the commute. I don't have any specific recommendations on ground transport vendors other than Uber/Lyft, but do expect to pay quite a bit more if you fly in to SNA. 


    EDIT - right now, at 9am local on a Thursday, Lyft is quoting pretty much the same price from SNA and LAX to the Port, so ignore my advice 🙂

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