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Passenger Vessel Services Act

Published 09/24/2019 02:13 PM   |    Updated 06/26/2020 01:30 PM
The Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) prohibits the transportation of passengers between two different U.S. ports on any vessel other than a U.S.-flag vessel that meets all requirements for U.S. coastwise transportation.  U.S. ports include U.S. states and U.S. island territories and possessions, with the exception of American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Puerto Rico is also exempt from the PVSA until such time as U.S.-flag vessels service that route.
As a general rule, a foreign-flag vessel like Carnival’s vessels may transport passengers on round-trip voyages originating in the United States if the vessel stops at a nearby foreign port during the course of its voyage.  This type of voyage can also include stops at U.S. ports where passengers can go ashore for sightseeing and shopping, so long as the passengers do not permanently disembark at those U.S. ports.  Nearby foreign ports include Canada, Mexico, Central America, Bermuda, and most Caribbean Islands.
Foreign-flag vessels like Carnival’s vessels may transport passengers between U.S. ports without violating the PVSA if the vessel stops at a distant foreign port and the passenger traveled with the vessel to that distant foreign port.  Distant foreign ports include South American countries, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, European countries, and Asian countries.
Guests cannot pre-plan to embark and disembark at different U.S. ports or otherwise purposefully cause a violation of the PVSA.  Any guest who, due to emergencies or other unforeseen circumstances, insists on embarking or disembarking the vessel at a different port than planned, which results in a violation of the PVSA, will accept responsibility for any resulting penalties ($798 USD per person in 2019, but subject to change each year). 
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.  Should delays occur that cause the guest to have to join the ship at the next U.S. port, Carnival will cover any PVSA penalties incurred.
Cruise Only Guests
Guests who do not purchase our Fly2Fun Program will be responsible for any and all travel expenses incurred, including any PVSA penalty that Carnival incurs if a guest joins the ship at the next U.S. port due to travel issues.  Carnival's Resolutions Desk must be contacted before meeting the ship and 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 a fine if one is assessed.  The signed letter will be scanned and sent to the onboard Guest Services Manager along with any pertinent flight information.
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