People save up a lot of money throughout their life so they can enjoy a relaxing cruise once they retire. A cruise is a popular holiday choice and as many as 20 million people hop on a cruise every year.
There are various reasons why people go on a cruise. These include:
- Value for money
- Relaxing atmosphere
- More family time together
- Ability to check multiple destinations on a single trip
There are multiple destinations one can choose when going on a cruise vacation. One such popular destination is the Caribbean.
Almost 40% of cruises leaving the United States head out to the Caribbean seas each year. This also includes multiple stops at different destinations along the way.
A person who has committed a crime in the past may also want to take a cruise vacation with their family. If you are one of them then here is what you need to know about vacationing on a cruise as a felon.
Felons should first be aware of the various kinds of cruises out there. There are two types of cruises:
1 Closed-Loop Cruise
A close loop cruise is one that originates and ends on the same port.
2 Open-Loop Cruise
An open-loop cruise is one that starts at a different point and ends at another.
As a felon, you are more likely to get permission to sail on a closed-loop cruise rather than an open-loop one. The documentation for each of these cruises differ.
1 Documents For A Closed Loop Cruise – Citizens taking a closed-loop cruise only require proof of citizenship. This can be their birth certificate and a government-issued ID.
2 Documents For Open Loop Cruise – An open-loop cruise allows you to visit different parts of the world where you require a passport for the destination port.
While a passport is not required for a closed-loop cruise, it is recommended to carry one along. It works as proof of identification and certain cruises do request to see your passport while boarding. Carrying your passport is also vital if you miss your boat at any of the ports.
You can fly to the next port ahead of time to board the ship once again. A passport also comes in handy in case of emergencies such as:
- Personal health issues
- Critical illness of a family member
- A death or other such personal emergencies
Not having a passport would mean being stuck on the cruise until it circles back at the origin port. The passport also comes in handy if you want to shop at various ports. Certain shops will not allow you to purchase things until you show them your passport.
As a felon, it is important to carry your passport in case of misconduct. This could happen on the cruise line or a foreign port that may require legal intervention.
In some scenarios, the ship may ask you to alight. The only way you will be able to get back is if you have a passport to fly back to the United States.
Obtaining A Visa
When booking a cruise, a felon is also expected to obtain a visa for the countries the cruise would be visiting. Every country has its own rules however it is easier to obtain a visa for a cruise vacation.
This is because the cruise line helps you do so. You should go through the visa requirements of the countries you would be visiting to avoid any disappointment.
Be Open About Your Felony
While most felons look to leave their past behind, it is important to inform the cruise management about your felony charges. This is because cruise lines apply for visas in bulk.
While you may initially attain a visa, it could create legal problems later on.
Some felons also look to explore certain ports when the ship docks. Without a valid visa, this is a crime. Some felons decide not to leave the ship when it docks because of legal complications. You should know that even if you do not leave the ship, you will still need a visa.
This is because port authorities have the right to enter a docked ship and ask for your documentation. This is why you need a visa for every country you would be visiting on the cruise.
As a felon, there are certain ports you may not be allowed to visit. If the cruise is planning to dock at one of these ports, you may not be allowed to board the cruise unless you have prior approval. Countries that do not allow felons to enter include:
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
These countries have restrictions against felons so you may want to choose a cruise that avoids these countries. Before you get disheartened, you should know that there are over 2,000 ports around the world. Choosing one that eliminates these countries is easy.
Be Aware And Informed
A felon is usually scrutinized a little more than other individuals. To make the most of your cruise and not disappoint your family members, you should consider all factors before booking a cruise.
Conduct research and educate yourself regarding the cruise. This will ensure your holiday goes ahead without a glitch.
Most cruise liners do not refund the booking amount. This is why you should not go ahead and complete your booking without doing your thorough research.
Enjoying The Cruise
When you book a good cruise line and you follow all the rules, you will manage to spend good quality time with your loved ones and enjoy your vacation to the fullest. Several countries welcome felons and do not judge them based on their past crimes.
If you have worked hard to pay for the cruise and you want this to be a memorable holiday, pick out destinations you have never visited before and enjoy yourself.
Make A Checklist
Once you have done all your research, it is important to make a checklist of what you can and cannot carry on the cruise.
Weapons, illegal drugs, and certain items that could interfere with the operation of the cruise are a complete no-no. These are restricted items that can be confiscated and you may be denied entry on the cruise.
Let’s take a look at the list of items that you cannot carry on a cruise:
- Hot plates
- CBD products
- Incense sticks
- Coffee makers
- Inflammable objects such as a lighter or fireworks
- Arms and ammunition or replicas that look like the real deal
- Self-defense items such as handcuffs, pepper sprays, and candlesticks
- Alcoholic beverages – this doesn’t mean that you cannot drink on board. It just means you have to purchase your alcohol on board.
- Sharp objects such as knives and scissors. You can carry grooming essentials like a razor but it is still recommended to check with the cruise line with regards to the size of blade allowed
If you are not sure about what you can and cannot carry, make a list of items that are essential to you and call the cruise to check with them.
There is no reason a felon cannot enjoy a relaxing cruise vacation with his or her family. It is important to follow the rules and stay within the requirements of the law. This cruise could be the start of a new relaxing chapter in your life.