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Standard don't do this or get thrown off rumor, with a twist.


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Heard a rumor of a removal on our recent cruise Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) -Key West- Nassua at Key West. That itinerary becomes important.

The rumor, from a police guard at the Navy Pier in Key West, stated that a passenger was removed for abuse to the staff over his locking cigarettes in the room safe and forgetting combination. RCCL was not able or willing to open it on his timeframe (now!, apparently) and the cruiser got abusive and then ejected at Key West.

The wrinkle is that there are US laws (the Jones Act, being one) that state that foreign flagged vessels can not carry passengers only between two US ports. They MUST go to a foreign port. Hence all the Nassau and Coco Cay ports of call. It is possible, while the the gentleman won't have any full passport vs passport card issues to board a flight out, he might well have to pay a fine of up to $900 for not going through the foreign port first.

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PVSA violations do incur penalties.  In theory CBP can impose the same fee for a medical evac patient however it has been noted that in the case of a medical evac CBP will often waive the fee.  None the less it is still a violation of the PVSA.  

A forced removal for violating the guest conduct policy that involves a guest being debarked in Key West would be a PVSA violation and it is unlikely CBP would waive the fee.

CBP will sometimes waive the fee if a guest has to leave a ship for bereavement purposes.   A death in the family causing a trip to be cut short however it remains a violation that will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

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These laws got in the way (a bit) of Hurricane Maria support for Puerto Rico. US laws state that only US flagged vessels can carry goods between US ports. There weren't anywhere near enough US flagged ships in the Caribbean to transport needed supplies to the island. The US lifted the Jones Act restrictions for a limited amount of time to aid in deliveries, but there were  other major issues with that relief effort.

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On 12/5/2019 at 12:27 PM, twangster said:

CBP will sometimes waive the fee if a guest has to leave a ship for bereavement purposes.   A death in the family causing a trip to be cut short however it remains a violation that will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

I’m curious about this. About 13 years ago we left ship in Belize and flew home; because my Mother had passed away back in the states. We were not charged any fee’s by any one. Only thing it cost us was flight home. It never occurred to us we could have been. 

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1 hour ago, CoupleOfCruisers said:

I’m curious about this. About 13 years ago we left ship in Belize and flew home; because my Mother had passed away back in the states. We were not charged any fee’s by any one. Only thing it cost us was flight home. It never occurred to us we could have been. 

That may not have been a violation.  Simply leaving a cruise early isn't a guaranteed PVSA violation.  

The PVSA prohibits a foreign flagged vessel from transporting passengers between U.S. cities.   Like foreign airlines can't do the same, this is a matter of cabotage regulations.  In your case you didn't meet that criteria.  The cruise line picked you up in one U.S. place and dropped you off in Belize.  The PVSA doesn't explicitly prohibit that.  If the cruise line had a planned a one way cruise from the U.S. to Belize that isn't a PVSA violation on it's own.

However it's not simple and the actual articles of law are very complex and many pages long.  Often we see this boiled down into simple to understand terms but it's a little more complex.

The other factor is that 13 years ago not everything was enforced the way it is today.  Cruise lines sometimes did things in years gone by that they learned was not okay.   Maybe it slipped through the cracks until one time when one cruise line was charged a penalty.  At that point all cruise lines paid attention.  Oops.  

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