No papers for China visit. Any possibilities?

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by julieannreed, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. julieannreed

    julieannreed mom

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    My son had a last minute change on his sea assignment (one of the ones whose MSC ship assignment fell through) and now he will be in China on Christmas Day. He can't leave the ship in China due to papers and fees that he didn't have an opportunity to get filed before leaving. He was going to try and file at a short stop in San Francisco but his superior didn't give him time away from work. His next stop is in Japan. Anyone know of any way to get what he needs to leave the ship or will he be alone on the ship (or maybe with sea partner) for Christmas?
     
  2. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

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    At this point there's no way he'll be able to get a visa to go ashore. He won't be alone on board though. Not everyone in the crew has a visa and those that have the duty will be aboard regardless.
     
  3. cmakin

    cmakin Member

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    Yeah, as small as crews have become in recent years, there will ALWAYS be someone onboard.
     
  4. bugsy

    bugsy Member

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    Their are Visa expiditing services available online. I have used these firms twice. Once for a Visa to Vietnam 2 years ago and another for a visa to Indonesia last year. These companies go right to the country embassy and stand in line on your behalf. It costs around $100 or so for the service. Depends how bad you want to get the Visa, but it can be done.

    He will need 2 passport photos to submitt with the Visa application and the passport has to be mailed along, so if he already out to sea thats a no-go.

    Some countries that I have traveled to allow a visa upon arrival. google china visa and see if they are one of the countries that have that service.

    If nothing works, stay on the ship and enjoy the healthier air quality of a ship over a chinese factory town.
     
  5. usmmaparent

    usmmaparent Member

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    Our sons our in the same boat (literally)

    He won't be alone. My son is his sea partner and he did not have the time to apply for the visa either. Hopefully they will be able to get it next time they go through California depending on how long they are there and how long it takes to actually get the Visa in hand. I am going to PM you with my Email.
     
  6. usmmaparent

    usmmaparent Member

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    Our sons our in the same boat (literally) <----AAHHH, I could not locate the edit button. That should read Our sons ARE in the same boat (literally). There I was thinking I was so clever.....:unhappy:
     
  7. kps99

    kps99 New Member

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    Do people know the merchant ships are working ships. (Your boys are not going on a cruise ship.) My parents never applied for visas for me when I went to the academy and sailed afterwards. I have spent many holidays onboard ship.

    Chances are they are only in port for 16 hours and they will be working anyways. They will at least have a good dinner.

    Just be thank that your sons are not foreign seafarers in the USA.
     
  8. usmmaparent

    usmmaparent Member

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    Why yes, we are aware that merchant ships are working ships not cruise ships. No, I am not aware of what your parents did or did not do for you. We are not applying for our son's visas. The captain and crew had told them to try to get one once they were in California. We were talking about Christmas day, and they will be there longer than 16 hours. To assume that we are not thankful for the position that our sons are in is wrong. :confused:
     
  9. julieannreed

    julieannreed mom

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    Who spit in your Cheerios? Yes, I do know that my son is not on a cruise ship. Our faith is important to us and Christmas means something!!! It would be nice if he could celebrate the birth of Jesus and I was asking for ideas to see if that could be done, NOT criticism. Your comment implies that you think that I was doing too much for my son and that is so not true. He went through the entire interview, application, medical checks, academy visitation, reporting and decision for the academy on his own. Not until May 1 of his senior year did he even let me know what college he had chosen. He books his own flights, plans his own life, etc. By the way, I was not going to pay or apply for his visa. He was!!! I was only gathering info.
     
  10. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    DD was able to get a visa for China on very short notice, but she had all of her paperwork done ahead of time. She left one ship early in the morning to pick up the next ship the next day. She flew from San Diego to Oakland in the morning and took a taxi straight to the Chinese consulate with her completed paperwork and was able to get the visa while she waited and had the afternoon to spend in San Francisco before reporting to her new ship the next day. She was able to get off the ship for one day in China. They stopped at two ports, but she was only able to get off at one of them.

    Most ships make an effort to let the cadets get at least a short visit when they are in port. Questions about getting Chinese visas are not unusual on this board. Good luck to your sons!
     
  11. Robid73

    Robid73 New Member

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    In thirty years at sea, I have been in some really depressing areas on Christmas Day..reflecting on it, the very best times were always on the ship. In most cases the food was always a good attempt at simulating a festive environment [but never a guarantee of a "good" meal; can you say Ritz Cracker with Cheese-weese and a Steward named "Dirty Harry"].

    If at sea, as Chief Engineer, I always created an OT project that was sure to end up on the Engineer's deck and involved the entire department...it always seemed to center around running video system wire, etc to enhance our living situation. The point to know is that for most it is an overtime day...and they are there to make their wages...so few are going to leave unless those hours are guaranteed.

    The most touching thing that happens on a ship on xmas is, we get a gift from the Seaman's Center Ladies....generally a shoebox that contains some very old, stale hard rock candie, a comb and maybe a scarf or beanie hat that you will never use.

    Except for shopping, there is not one place or activity I would recommend in China to celebrate Christmas. My last Xmas on a ship was in Shangai, pumping slops until 2am...I celebrated with the Chinese on the Barge.

    As far as the visa goes, I would not spend one dime towards expediting it because even when done timely, properly and smartly; in China it will not happen. Just my opinion.

    Good Luck
     
  12. Lynpar

    Lynpar Member

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    Robid, were you recently (11-18 ish) on a flight and talking to a KP plebe? My son recently met a 73 grad on a plane.
     
  13. kps99

    kps99 New Member

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    No one spit in my Cheerios, I am just giving you guys my opinions based on my experiances at the academy and my experiances at sea. Going to sea is hard work and I think your son should expect to work during Christmas. (You don't get holidays and weekends off on merchant ships.) Its pretty crazy that you expect the shipping company to give your son the day off when he just arrived to the vessel to celebrate Christmas. He should work so he can bond with the crew so they can teach him how to be a mariner.
     
  14. usmmaparent

    usmmaparent Member

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    I am starting to think I know exactly what crazy is...You assume our sons just got on the ship, they did not. The CAPTAIN and CREW (that they have already bonded with) told them to get their visas. They were told they would have the day off (because they have been working hard learning how to be mariners) and they would show them around.

    To everyone else that took the time to actually read the posts and post thoughtful and helpful advice pertaining to the situation (and not some preconceived notion of what was going on) I thank you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  15. kps99

    kps99 New Member

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    I am glad that you have everything under control and I am sorry for the confusion. My your kids have fair winds and following seas.
     

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