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Old 01-25-2011, 09:13 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Default Disney Magic Fire ruined cruise
The cruise we took was March 2002. A staff person told us that the previous six weeks had experienced bad weather and cruisers were sick, even long term staff. When people began to get sick, I wondered why, and when my son became sick, I soon figured out why. One time he got sick near the pool, and I quickly covered it up with a towel, and sought out the help of staff. Eventually a staff person came to clean it up—but all he did was pick up the towel, and not sanitize the area, despite telling him about the vomit. People then began to walk through the area. Gross. No wonder people get sick.

We also hated the fact we Canadians had to get up a 5:00 a.m. to go to an immigration/passport check. And the line-ups to get in and out of the ship were horrible.

At the end of our cruise our waiter came to our table and explained how little he gets paid, and begged for tips. It was extremely uncomfortable.

But the worst was the fire. While we slept a fire broke out on the ship. When the call came to go to the lifeboat stations, we got the kids up and tried getting them dressed and into the life jackets, and by the time we got into the hall, there was no one there. We got to where it seemed the stairs were, but there was a sliding door blocking the way, but it was a little open; I put my arm through to open it up, but the rocking of the boat closed the wall on my arm. Then a staff person on the other side of the wall helped get the wall off me. We went to the lifeboat station, and staff people were running with canisters toward the end of the ship with the fire. The cruise director would come on the intercom periodically to update us with “we are trying to get the fire under control”. After so many times saying the same thing, she started to stutter, and eventually the captain took over the announcements, but the message was the same. Our life boat staff person started to talk about what to do when we got in the lifeboat (notice, not if, but when) the message we were getting was that things were not getting better. After what seemed like standing there 2 hours, they said they had the fire under control. The captain was uncertain if the boat was seaworthy, so was calling the Coast Guard. But the reply was since we were not in U.S. waters, they couldn’t. We were on our own. The captain decided to see if we could make it to Castaway Cay, on slow speed, where the insurance company would fly in an expert to see if the ship was ok. So we travelled there, with the uncertainty if it was unable to make it. The time on the island was of course shortened due to the slow speed. The kids pool on ship was now off limits due to the damage on the ship.

My sister is unable to fly or sail now due to fears, and I felt so helpless on the ship, standing there, lined up, unable to hold the hand of my kids due to the lines, and the crushing of the people around us. I regretted taking the kids on the cruise and putting them through it. It was nightmarish.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:14 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maryland
Posts: 3,874
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I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but I'm not sure what your point is in bringing up a cruise that happened 9 years ago. I'm also not sure what your sister's fear of flying has to do with this cruise.
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Old 01-25-2011, 06:45 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Brampton, Ontario
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We had the same on the Celebrity cruise this past November. We as Canadian had to go to a special immigration/passport check before we could get off in Key West. They took our passports once we arrive on the ship several days before and advise us we had to attend this immigration/passport procedure to get our passports back or we would never be able to leave the ship in Key West!!! THis wasted about 4 hours of our day as they were late in arriving and the line up to meet the custom people was long. We have no idea why they did this? All non US people had to go thru this procedure. This turn us off a lot as why where we single out. Why not the US people also go thru this procedure?
We can never get an answer.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:23 PM
bmh bmh is offline
 
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Is this the norm in Key West, what happens if you have an excursion booked? Not sure I like to give up my passport.
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Last edited by bmh; 01-25-2011 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wooddon View Post
We had the same on the Celebrity cruise this past November. We as Canadian had to go to a special immigration/passport check before we could get off in Key West. They took our passports once we arrive on the ship several days before and advise us we had to attend this immigration/passport procedure to get our passports back or we would never be able to leave the ship in Key West!!! THis wasted about 4 hours of our day as they were late in arriving and the line up to meet the custom people was long. We have no idea why they did this? All non US people had to go thru this procedure. This turn us off a lot as why where we single out. Why not the US people also go thru this procedure?
We can never get an answer.
Most likely due to the complicated custom laws. It happens to us US people too on occasion. Especially when a ship has to be re-routed from it's normal itinerary. Example; I was re-routed on Carnival due to hurricane Wilma. We had to do on board Immigration/Customs to get off in St. Thomas. It was because we had visited a Foreign port first I think.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:48 PM
bmh bmh is offline
 
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So it is not always the case then, having to go through customs each time in Key West?
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:24 AM
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I've been to Key West on many cruises and never had to go through Immigration prior to leaving the ship, most usually this stop has been after Cozumel. I do recall seeing a Customs & Border Protection team aboard the Century one time, after we left Cozumel, so that may have had something to do with it on that particular cruise. Also, with on-line check in and it's containing our passport information it is possible that is sufficing as an Immigration check for U.S. citizens for some U.S. ports.

As Dwayne said, different rules apply for different nationalities and can be based on the itinerary. On the Mariner Of The Seas we stopped as Nassau as port #1 and our next stop was St. Thomas. Everyone aboard had to go through Immigration on the ship. Americans went to one lounge and did a quick passby waiving our credentials, those from other countries went to a different lounge to be checked.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:24 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 807
Default off track
The ship is usually cleared in the first US port after foreign port stops
We were screen in San Diego on the way back from MR cruise our debarkation port was SFO ..no further checks were done there

Non US citizens usually have their passports taken at check in & you have to reclaim them the last day...getting up very early to stand in line for the Immigration people

Maybe the OP just discovered Cruise forums & just had to post
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:30 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Posts: 324
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We do not like our passports taken away from us. I see no reason for any of this as we fill out all the forms even before we board the ship. Ths was the first time this has happen and we have cruise 5 times before. Why would only non US citizens have there passports taken? This is the only ID my wife has as she does not drive.
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:38 PM
bmh bmh is offline
 
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Oh well, who knows what the reasoning is! I do remember in the early 70's I worked on board ship in Saudi Arabia, my passport (British) was taken as I landed and was not given back until I left the country. I was just a kid. When I arrived back in the UK December 24th and got sick on the water, go figure. Either way I will enjoy another trip on the Pearl.
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