Couple’s Cruise Nightmare a Warning to Those Sailing to Ensure Proper Travel Documentation

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FoxNews.com reports that a couple was recently kicked off a cruise ship, and forced to find their own way home, as the result of a visa snafu.

The report says that William Coates and his wife recently flew to Japan to embark on a 14 day voyage through the Orient aboard the Holland American cruise ship Westerdam. The trip was set to visit various destinations including Japan, South Korea, and China.

One the third day of the trip, a crew member told the couple that they would have to leave the ship, and find their own way home, because the couple had not secured the necessary visas needed to enter China. “Holland America removed us from the ship. They left us, literally on the dock…It was up to us to find our way to the airport and then pay $2,400 for additional airfare to get home,” Coates told Fox News.

The Coates said that they were never informed that they needed visas in order to enter China. But the Fox News report indicates that a clause in Holland America’s itinerary informed passengers that “It is the guest’s sole responsibility to obtain and have available when necessary the appropriate valid travel documents. All guests are advised to check with their travel agent or the appropriate government authority to determine the necessary documents.”

The document goes on to say that passengers will be refused boarding or disembarked “without liability for refund, payment, compensation, or credit of any kind” if they do no have the proper documentation to enter all scheduled ports of call.