The Jones Act / Passenger Services Act / Cabotage Law

Published 03/11/2015 09:49 PM   |    Updated 05/29/2019 10:20 AM

The Jones Act (also known as the Passenger Services Act) prohibits ships of Non-U.S registry from embarking and debarking guests at two different U.S ports. Such travel would constitute point-to-point transportation between two U.S ports, which is prohibited on foreign flagged ships. The exception to this rule is if the itinerary includes a ‘distant foreign port’ - in this case, a ship can embark and debark guests at two different U.S. ports.

The following ports qualify as ‘distant foreign ports’:

  • Countries in South America
  • Aruba
  • Bonaire
  • Curacao

The following ports do not qualify as ‘distant foreign ports’:

  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Central America
  • Bermuda
  • Most Caribbean Islands

Note: Puerto Rico and the U.S Virgin Islands (St. Thomas; St. Croix; St. John) are not in the category of U.S ports under this act. For example: If an itinerary sails from Puerto Rico to Miami, this cruise is not in violation of the Jones Act because Puerto Rico is not considered a U.S port under this act.

Any guest who insists on embarking (due to unforeseen circumstances outside the guest’s control, for missing the ship) or debarking (for emergency reasons), which violates the Jones Act, will accept responsibility for any resulting penalties ($798 USD per person). Important Note: Guests cannot pre-plan or purposely embark or debark a ship in a U.S port that will violate the Jones Act.

Cruise Only Guests
Guests who do not purchase our Fly2Fun Program will be responsible for any and all travel expenses incurred, including the $798 USD per person Jones Act fee that Carnival may incur for violating this act. Guests will be charged the fee upon boarding the ship and can pay with a credit card, cash or on their Sail & Sign card.

Carnival's Escalation Desk must be contacted before meeting the ship - the guest must sign an acknowledgment letter that they would like to meet the ship at the next U.S port and are willing to pay the fine. The signed letter will be scanned and sent to the onboard Guest Services Manager along with any pertinent flight information.

Fly2Fun Guests
As part of our Fly2Fun Program, Travel Operations will cover the expense of the Jones Act fee of $798 USD per person for our Fly2Fun guests.

When guests book Carnival’s Fly2Fun Program, they have the guarantee that should they experience a flight problem or delay along the way, Carnival will be responsible for getting them to their next destination (ship, next port of call or home) by securing flights, hotels and meals, when applicable, at no cost to them.

Cabatoge Law is the term used in Europe - Similar to the Jones Act, the Cabotage Law is the transport of passengers between two points in the same country by a vessel registered in another country. This law does not affect guests joining the ship or leaving the ship in different ports in Italy.


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