I will be on a cruise that is round trip from Oahu. This trip goes out of the US to Kirabati and then visits some more ports in Hawaii. I intend to spend a week in Oahu prior to the cruise and would like to disembark in Kona 1 day prior to the scheduled finish of the cruise in Oahu, so I could spend another week on the big island.
The cruise line told me I cannot do this and that it would be illegal. It does not make sense to me. I hope someone can advise me how to proceede.
I don't know why this should be illegal and I rather assume that the cruise line isn't willing to make an exception here because of the probably higher expenditure of disembarking a single passenger or two. The cruise line has to comply with lots of regulations including the infamous ISPS code.
What would be illegal, however, is a disembarkation prior to the ship's visit to Kiribati, as foreign (i.e. non US-flagged) ships have to comply with an ancient US law from the 19th century called the Passenger Services Act which prevents foreign-flagged ships from carrying passengers between US ports. If traveling between US ports (e.g. on a cruise roundtrip from Hawaii) a foreign-flagged ship must visit a foreign port inbetween.
It also could be a customs and immigration issue. They expect the same passengers who boarded the cruise at the start to still be there at debarkation. ICE may not allow passengers to debark in Kona without a good reason other than personal convenience.
Thanks for your responses to my question. Both of them make sense. The response I received from NCL didn't. It was from their SE Sales Region Sales Rep. who said that the Jones Act prohibited it. Upon looking into the Jones Act I find that this act was enacted by the US Congress some time ago to protect Seamen (in a manner similiar to Workmen's Compensation). So I do not see how the act address my concern of leaving 1 day early from the cruise, especially since the ship will return to two US ports from Kiribati prior to arriving in Kona.
So I tend to think that this was an arbitary decision thrown out to me just so I do not make a wave and disturb the usual routine. I am not looking to inconvenience anyone and I do not want to surprise the ship that I am not on it when they expect to leave Kona that is why I decided to tell them with plenty of advance notice what my intentions were. If I was not concerned for them and the rest of the passengers what would stop me from walking off the ship with my belongings in Kona and not returning?
Any suggestions or contact information with someone at NCL who might help me resolve this issue would be greatly appreciated. It just does not make sense to me to get back on the ship, get up the following morning, go to the airport and fly back to where I was the day before for no particular reason.
You may try calling their 800 number. I would imagine since 9/11, there are a great deal of things that have changed. Princess would not let us do a half and half itinerary last year either. They too stated it was illegal. There are volumes of maritime laws, but my personal feeling is that after 9/11 everything has tightened up which only makes sense. From a corporate view, they are liable for their passengers through the contracted voyage. They have no clue who their passengers are, so if one decides to jump ship, they would have to notify customs, immigration, local authorities, fill out reems of paperwork, etc. They have an 800 number listed on their website. Good luck!
The Jones Act does apply to this sailing because it is a Foreign flagged ship. That is why they go to Kiribati. I'm just guessing here, maybe because after Kiribati you go to two US ports before Kona. Instead of the foreign port straight to Kona.
We are considering similar issue on Pride of Hawaii. We are wanting to get of the boat in Kuaui rather that cruise back to Honolulu and fly back to Kuaui. We have meeting in Kuaui starting on the next to last day of the cruise.
Were you allowed to get off the ship early without too much trouble?
The Passenger Services Act shouldn't apply with the Pride Of Hawaii since it is U.S. flagged. However, the cruise line still may have some other regulation they have to abide by so it would be best to call them directly.