Missing Crew in NYC Force New Rules

Manhattan Cruise Terminal

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has put in a new temporary restriction regarding crew shore leave in New York and New Jersey following a recent spike in desertions, according to a statement.

“During a two-week period in September 2019, seven crewmembers deserted after being granted shore leave while in the New York/Newark seaport,” a spokesperson said.

The new rules also coincide with the spike in cruise traffic in the Northeast with fall foliage season.

“Crewmembers must now complete five contracts prior to being eligible for shore leave,” the spokesperson said. “CBP recognizes the hardship this may place on crewmembers; however, this protocol is necessary to address the increase of desertions at this port.”

On a recent call overnight call in New York, a senior officer told Cruise Industry News that only 9 per cent of his ship’s crew met the new criteria, which is not in place in other U.S. ports.

Port Everglades enables mobile customs declaration

Image result for mobile customs declaration

Passengers disembarking from cruise ships at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale will be able to use an app on their smartphones to fill out re-entry forms for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Airports, including those in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, already have this feature but Port Everglades will be the only U.S. cruise port to offer it, port director Steve Cernak said.

“An added bonus is that [the system] will be in service in time for the arrivals of Royal Caribbean International’s Harmony of the Seas and Holland America Line’s Koningsdam,” Cernak said.

Port Everglades plans to go live with the service on Nov. 4.

The app is currently available for Apple phones and is expected to be available for Android phones later this month.

Developed by Airside Mobile and Airports Council International-North America in partnership with the CBP, the app allows U.S. citizens with a passport debarking a cruise ship to complete their customs declaration using their smartphones or other mobile devices, expediting their clearance process in the terminal.

A physical passport or passport card is still required for re-entry.

The Fort Lauderdale port also recently completed pilot testing of the Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks in two of its cruise terminals, another CBP initiative to streamline the traveler-screening process.