Passport pages

This is in reference to the letter from the couple who missed a cruise due to the lack of, in a passport, an entire blank page for a South African visa stamp (June ’07, pg. 32). We encountered a similar problem on a Holland America cruise from Lisbon to Cape Town, Oct. 17-Nov. 7, 2006.

We were scheduled to leave the ship the day after we arrived in Cape Town, but South African Immigration said we could not debark because my wife did not have a blank page for the visa stamp. Further, the ship’s front desk told us we could not continue on to Brazil because the ship was fully booked. They added that we had to leave immediately for the American Consulate to get more pages in her passport.

For security reasons, the consulate had recently moved to a distant suburb. After a long, 100-dollar taxi ride, we arrived at the consulate at 3:30 p.m. only to find that it had closed at 12:30 p.m. I asked to speak to a responsible person by phone, and she politely explained that the consulate was closed and we should come back at 9:00 in the morning. After I explained why this was impossible, she agreed to open the consulate and provide additional pages for my wife’s passport at no charge.

Needless to say, we were very pleased with the service from the American Consulate in Cape Town. We were able to depart from the ship in Cape Town as scheduled.


Appleton, WI