USA Immigration

Cruises on Aurorain 2019

Topic author
CaroleF
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1332
Joined: January 2013
Location: Hampshire

USA Immigration

Post by CaroleF » 20 May 2019, 11:13

We are on Aurora's Canada/USA cruise in September and I assumed that we'd be going though USA Immigration in New York and have read a lot about that. However, now looking at the itinerary again we go to Newport, Rhode Island the day before New York so I assume we go through Immigration there. I believe it's a Tender Port so does that make the whole performance much more prolonged/difficult? We haven't as yet booked any excursion in Newport but would it be in our interests to do so, assuming maybe we'd get off the ship much more quickly?

I'm hoping that John will be fit and restored to normal health by then. We should be on Arcadia today but we had to cancel. It appears after three days in hospital, a CT scan and an MRI scan that he has some sort of Viral Infection as far as we can gather. The scans ruled out anything nasty and the awful headache he had has gone but he still has double vision and hearing loss. The eye Consultant is fairly sure that the vision will right itself over the next 6-8 weeks and we are seeing an ENT Consultant next week. The ENT tests he had in hospital just said that he has a Dysfunctional Eustachian tube but we knew that. It appears that something may be able to be done about the hearing problem so we'll see. Meanwhile for an incredibly active, never sits still man it's all very difficult, especially as he can't drive. However, looking on the bright side he is much better than he was thank goodness so hopefully things are going in the right direction. According to our GP we could have gone on the Arcadia cruise on Sunday especially as it was only a week and no flying but he said he' was happy to back up our Insurance claim if John didn't feel like it, which he didn't. So fingers crossed all goes well for September.

Carole

User avatar

GillD46
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 3102
Joined: January 2013
Location: Gower Peninsula, South Wales

Re: USA Immigration

Post by GillD46 » 20 May 2019, 11:45

Wishing John a good recovery Carole. What a worry it must have been for you both.
Gill

User avatar

Gill W
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 2891
Joined: January 2013
Location: Kent

Re: USA Immigration

Post by Gill W » 20 May 2019, 11:45

They will probably bring the immigration officers on to the ship.

I was on part of the 2017 Aurora world cruise, and our first US port was Honolulu. Although it wasn't a tender port, the officials came on board, and all immigration was done in Carmens. It was really quick, all they did was swipe the passports, we didn't even get finger printed. My immigration officer was more interested in the fact that I was the fourth Gillian he'd swiped in the first half hour, I said that it was a popular name in the UK from about 1940 - 1960, so he'd probably get a few more before he'd finished.

We were on a tour, so we were one of the first groups to be processed, so it is useful to book an excursion if you want to be off promptly.

It was a much easier immigration process than one of the bigger ports like New York or New Orleans, where they are geared up for large amounts of passengers to be immigrated and finger printed.

Hope John feels better soon.
Gill

User avatar

david63
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5942
Joined: January 2012
Location: Lancashire

Re: USA Immigration

Post by david63 » 20 May 2019, 11:53

I am assuming that you mean September 2019 - if so then your first post in the USA is Boston which, according to P&O's "new" website, you are due to arrive at 16:00.

We were on Arcadia last year doing USA/Canada and immigration took about four hours and nobody was allowed back on the ship until everyone had been through immigration.

User avatar

Mervyn and Trish
Deputy Captain
Deputy Captain
Posts: 9879
Joined: February 2013

Re: USA Immigration

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 20 May 2019, 12:41

In our experience US immigration is a little more relaxed (but only a little!) away from big entry points such as LA and NY.

Our quickest and easiest ever has in the cruise terminal in Vancouver, Canada, before we set sail on an Alaska cruise. Our worst in NY, after a westbound QM2 transatlantic crossing, where they insisted everyone who wasn't disembarking got off, went through immigration and got back on again, including all the crew, before they allowed though of us who were disembarking at the end of our trip to get off.

User avatar

david63
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5942
Joined: January 2012
Location: Lancashire

Re: USA Immigration

Post by david63 » 20 May 2019, 12:54

Gill W wrote:
20 May 2019, 11:45
so it is useful to book an excursion if you want to be off promptly
Or better still - have a suite as suite passengers have priority over excursions.

Just on a side note - P&O insist that you take a paper copy of your ESTA with you and you are required to show it at check-in.

User avatar

Manoverboard
Deputy Captain
Deputy Captain
Posts: 7622
Joined: January 2013
Location: Dorset

Re: USA Immigration

Post by Manoverboard » 20 May 2019, 13:37

Mervyn and Trish wrote:
20 May 2019, 12:41
In our experience US immigration is a little more relaxed (but only a little!) away from big entry points such as LA and NY ....
In our experience the opposite was true :lol:

We were held up for ages and treated like lepers on a boat trip from a Canadian River Port to a US Island.

The reality is that they are totally unpredictable and especially so when their computers fail.

Take what comes and go with the flow else travel someplace else is my advice.

User avatar

Dancing Queen
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 3792
Joined: January 2013
Location: Derbyshire

Re: USA Immigration

Post by Dancing Queen » 20 May 2019, 21:15

You will be required to clear immigration before or at your first US port ( depends on when immigration officers board the ship ) how quick or easy this is will really depend on how well organised P&O are, we have done this 3 times with P&O and each time it was chaos but hopefully lessons have been learnt, done it many times with Cunard and it was a doddle.
Jo

User avatar

Mervyn and Trish
Deputy Captain
Deputy Captain
Posts: 9879
Joined: February 2013

Re: USA Immigration

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 20 May 2019, 22:12

Hmmm. Our chaos experience was QM2!

User avatar

towny44
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 4739
Joined: January 2013
Location: Huddersfield

Re: USA Immigration

Post by towny44 » 21 May 2019, 08:42

Dancing Queen wrote:
20 May 2019, 21:15
You will be required to clear immigration before or at your first US port ( depends on when immigration officers board the ship ) how quick or easy this is will really depend on how well organised P&O are, we have done this 3 times with P&O and each time it was chaos but hopefully lessons have been learnt, done it many times with Cunard and it was a doddle.
I guess Cunard might be fairly easy on cruises where Americans predominate, which of course reduces the numbers clearing immigration.
John

Trainee Pensioner since 2000


Topic author
CaroleF
First Officer
First Officer
Posts: 1332
Joined: January 2013
Location: Hampshire

Re: USA Immigration

Post by CaroleF » 21 May 2019, 09:30

David, of course you're right. Our first port is Boston in the States so yes that will be where Immigration takes place. I really haven't been studying the itinerary carefully enough. Thank you for setting me straight and thank you for all the information that you've all given me.

Carole

User avatar

Dancing Queen
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 3792
Joined: January 2013
Location: Derbyshire

Re: USA Immigration

Post by Dancing Queen » 21 May 2019, 09:34

Mervyn and Trish wrote:
20 May 2019, 22:12
Hmmm. Our chaos experience was QM2!
Our experiences were all on QE2 in the days when US immigration boarded the ship in Southampton and travelled across the Atlantic with us, I don't believe this happens now although I'm happy to be corrected if it does, from what I have read the procedure now is all passengers have to disembark in Brooklyn and clear immigration before being allowed ashore or back on the ship, I assume the same applies on the odd occasion they dock in Manhattan.

Whether the same happens now in other US ports I wouldn't know as it's a few years since we were last in the US and when we were ( with P&O ) immigration came onto the ship - from memory it was in Philadelphia.
Jo

User avatar

Dancing Queen
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 3792
Joined: January 2013
Location: Derbyshire

Re: USA Immigration

Post by Dancing Queen » 21 May 2019, 09:44

towny44 wrote:
21 May 2019, 08:42
Dancing Queen wrote:
20 May 2019, 21:15
You will be required to clear immigration before or at your first US port ( depends on when immigration officers board the ship ) how quick or easy this is will really depend on how well organised P&O are, we have done this 3 times with P&O and each time it was chaos but hopefully lessons have been learnt, done it many times with Cunard and it was a doddle.
I guess Cunard might be fairly easy on cruises where Americans predominate, which of course reduces the numbers clearing immigration.
Indeed John, the majority of our trips to the US have been TA via New York ( see above ) when there have been considerably less British passengers so the whole process would be much easier but P&O have been doing US trips for a long time now and still chaos reigns (or so I read) it's rather like disembarking in Southampton they just don't seem to be able to get it right and yet other cruise lines manage a smooth disembarkation :roll:
Last edited by Dancing Queen on 21 May 2019, 09:45, edited 1 time in total.
Jo

User avatar

david63
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5942
Joined: January 2012
Location: Lancashire

Re: USA Immigration

Post by david63 » 21 May 2019, 10:13

Dancing Queen wrote:
21 May 2019, 09:44
P&O have been doing US trips for a long time now and still chaos reigns
Not sure that is necessarily true. There are three groups involved in this:

1. US Homeland Security - who, as we know are a law unto themselves, and go at a pace that suits them.
2. P&O - who try their best to allocate passengers to timed groups and mange the disembarkation.
3. Passengers - who like to think that they know better and must be first off and ignore any other arrangements.

Last year when we were on Arcadia and going through immigration in NY as we were in a suite we had first priority. From memory our time was around 12:30, so we arrived at the gangway around the time allocated to us only to find a queue half way round the ship. This was then compounded by US Immigration taking their time to "get organised". Once we managed to get off the ship P&O staff were trying their best to even out the queues but only half the booths were operational.

The point being that if US Immigration had been sufficiently well organised to be in place and ready for when the ship docked and if the passengers had adhered to their disembarkation times then it would have been a smooth and efficient process.


Quizzical Bob
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 3571
Joined: January 2013

Re: USA Immigration

Post by Quizzical Bob » 21 May 2019, 13:04

We've been into the USA several times over the past few years on both cruises and airplanes and most of the times immigration has gone smoothly and quickly. Sometimes at airports we have been the only people at the desks.

Our worst experience was arriving into New York on Aurora on a Sunday morning. We had booked an excursion because we had been told that this was the best way of getting speedily through immigration. Unfortunately those independents who had got off first went straight through but then another cruise ship truned up and the number of desks was halved. It was well over an hour to get through and join our tour bus.

An even bigger annoyance came later on our tour when some people turned up 45 minutes late. "We go lost" they said which is scarcely credible since we were told to meet at a particular junction and the streets and avenues are numbered consecutively.


AileenB
Cadet
Cadet
Posts: 66
Joined: July 2015

Re: USA Immigration

Post by AileenB » 21 May 2019, 13:53

Two years ago on Aurora we did the immigration in Boston. Homeland security officers came on board to do this. Passengers were allocated times to report in Carmens? I think. For our part, there were no problems. We stood in a queue, waited on our turn and it all went well.
Carole, I hope your husband feels much better soon and that you have a fabulous cruise in September!

PS We'll be sailing with you. ;)

User avatar

johnds
Second Officer
Second Officer
Posts: 249
Joined: January 2013
Location: Chorley

Re: USA Immigration

Post by johnds » 21 May 2019, 14:38

In March this year I was due to fly with friends from Manchester to Cleveland via Atlanta
However because I was unwell I didn't travel but they did
They cleared immigration at Atlanta. To do so they queued for four and a half hours after deplaning.
No seats so standing room only. One of my friends who is approaching 80 found it very trying indeed
John

User avatar

Dancing Queen
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 3792
Joined: January 2013
Location: Derbyshire

Re: USA Immigration

Post by Dancing Queen » 21 May 2019, 14:43

david63 wrote:
21 May 2019, 10:13
Dancing Queen wrote:
21 May 2019, 09:44
P&O have been doing US trips for a long time now and still chaos reigns
Not sure that is necessarily true. There are three groups involved in this:

1. US Homeland Security - who, as we know are a law unto themselves, and go at a pace that suits them.
2. P&O - who try their best to allocate passengers to timed groups and mange the disembarkation.
3. Passengers - who like to think that they know better and must be first off and ignore any other arrangements.
I would agree with all of your points but ultimately imo I think it is down to the cruise line to ensure points 2 and 3 do run smoothly, point 1 - well we all know US immigration are a law unto themselves and I think we make allowances for that.

We haven't sailed with P&O or been to the US for several years so perhaps it has improved but from what I read on forums there are certain ports where it is still chaotic.
Last edited by david63 on 21 May 2019, 15:27, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Quote formatting
Jo

User avatar

Mervyn and Trish
Deputy Captain
Deputy Captain
Posts: 9879
Joined: February 2013

Re: USA Immigration

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 21 May 2019, 18:34

Dancing Queen wrote:
21 May 2019, 09:34
Mervyn and Trish wrote:
20 May 2019, 22:12
Hmmm. Our chaos experience was QM2!
Our experiences were all on QE2 in the days when US immigration boarded the ship in Southampton and travelled across the Atlantic with us, I don't believe this happens now although I'm happy to be corrected if it does, from what I have read the procedure now is all passengers have to disembark in Brooklyn and clear immigration before being allowed ashore or back on the ship, I assume the same applies on the odd occasion they dock in Manhattan.

Whether the same happens now in other US ports I wouldn't know as it's a few years since we were last in the US and when we were ( with P&O ) immigration came onto the ship - from memory it was in Philadelphia.
That is indeed what happened to us on QM2. And as I said above the authorities insisted all passengers and crew who didn't actually want to depart the ship were processed and reboarded before those of us actually trying to disembark were allowed to.

User avatar

Gill W
Senior First Officer
Senior First Officer
Posts: 2891
Joined: January 2013
Location: Kent

Re: USA Immigration

Post by Gill W » 21 May 2019, 22:10

We entered the US in Manhattan last September. All immigration was done in the terminal. As we were on a tour we were one of the first immigrated and we went off on tour. Then everybody else was done - they were allowed to either go off on their own after being immigrated, or waited in the terminal until they were allowed back on. We got back about 4 hours later, just as people were reboarding.

It seems to vary from place to place, even in the same city.
Gill

Return to “Aurora Cruises 2019”