By: Forrest R. Church, Publisher
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
Those who know my family personally and/or over the years readers of this column are aware we live a crazy life. There is absolutely no separation between personal life and the newspaper. Before I can get the first cup of coffee to my lips in the morning until I lay my head down at night I’m answering a phone call, typing an email or wondering who is texting me at an odd time.
Larger newspapers with more staff may be able to send a publisher, an editor, lead reporter, or any other key position team member on vacation where they clock out and leave; truly getting away. Smaller newspapers such as ours and most hometown newspapers do not have this option. I can remember Regis, the aging owner of the first newspaper I bought back in 2001 telling me about how he pulled off running the newspaper when the family went to the lake for vacation time and what a delicate balance it was. So this is not a complaint, it is however the life we live. Sometimes I wish it were different, but honestly I don’t think so, I like having the wheel moving at all times. I know others in the industry who face the same lifestyle, many older than myself, we are not alone.
Having younger kids, they unfortunately often find themselves in the cross hairs of this lifestyle we live at home. When mom comes home from a long day, dad is going the other direction with responsibility. God help us all when we are under a deadline crunch and behind. A lot of people live similar lives, again this is not a complaint. I often think about single parents and how they cope, even if working a traditional shift type job. We tend to find a way, don’t we?
Because of this lifestyle, vacation is important to us. Months and months of sacrifice can somewhat be caught up on during a nice vacation where we focus on our relationships with one another. Add in that our family has lost loved ones recently and I have personally had my health battles that have hit us personally and financially, this trip was needed desperately. It is important in life to have these times together, if you do not focus on them I would encourage you to do so. I do not fear a lot in life but my heart gets heavy when I see how fast our kids have grown, time is simply passing us by too fast.
With this stated, you can imagine my anger and disappointment last week when our vacation was tore apart.
Where to start? I’m telling myself five minutes deep into typing that I have to limit this column to a single newspaper page (won’t happen). Guess we will see as the column progresses. While I’ve been fired up about topics and life moments before (writing about them here), this may top them all.
I’m cheap. I’ll admit it. It still bothers me if a $5 is missing from my wallet. I’ve been a Dave Ramsey guy for a long time. Those that do not know who I’m talking about can Google him, he’s a Biblical and common sense financial advisor who has helped endless people around the world get out of debt via hard work, smart decisions and planning. Side note for another column, he personally helped my wife and I (this newspaper) back in 2005-06, it is an amazing testimony of hope.
Being cheap, I like to go on cruises. When I was young, I always thought they were high end vacations for the rich. Over the years when talking about cruising with mainland vacationers I often get shocked looks when I show them what it costs. Example for an admission to Disney one of our kids could cruise for five days, including all food, entertainment, lodging, etc. If I compare a cruise to say a Disney vacation, the cost is about 25-33% of staying in a hotel/renting a house then paying for entertainment.
In addition to cost savings, frankly all I deal with on a daily basis is stressful decisions. I somewhat like checking in on a cruise and truly relaxing, no difficult decisions to make beyond which on board restaurant to eat at and if I can avoid the evening’s musical that my wife Casey wants to drag me to. So, I am pro-cruise and though as I originally type this, I might sound different, I would still suggest everyone try them at least once in their lives. I hope the following column may help you not experience the same issues if you do decide to go.
Being weekly newspaper owners there are a few work obligations we can do to work ahead, though of course news happens every day so no matter how far ahead you work you are never “done”. So when we do get a vacation time slot planned, we never lose out on actually performing the work for the week, we simply shift a large percentage of it ahead or double the work the week before. In 21 years doing this I’ve never had a week off or a vacation day, it is just a matter of shifting work a bit during a vacation time or long holiday (mostly working remotely).
So, when my wife and I finished our tasks for the March 15th newspaper edition we immediately worked double shifts to knock out as much as possible for the March 22nd edition. We worked 20 hour days on the 14th-18th to get ahead so we could fly to Florida on the 19th and finish the rest of the normal publication schedule remotely from Florida and/or the cruise we hoped to enjoy.
We were tired. Beat up. Drinking vitamin C cocktails around the clock, but after this massive day and night effort, we made it to Florida and were set to cruise out the next day.
KEY IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS
But let me back up for a minute. The challenges of our trip started back in Ohio. My wife and I ran ourselves into the ground making this trip happen as mentioned (mentally and physically tired). The kids were bounce off the walls excited, my wife and I were zombie tired (high energy kids + tired parents = trip may have started rough). But with less than 24 hours before we needed to leave for the airport, we discovered one of our children’s birth certificates needed for travel was missing. It was Saturday night / Sunday morning, and the school was on Spring Break.
There is a massive story/column I could write about single experience. After an all nighter from the 18th to the 19th trying to find a solution to this issue, we were able to obtain a birth certificate copy thanks in part to some great people at our local school district, Health Department and family. We also had a ton of great advice given on a Facebook Carnival Cruise Group on what to do on our child’s identification problem.
So, to the problem I wanted to address withinin this specific column. With proper identification stored away, or at least we thought, off to the Toledo Airport we went to fly from Toledo to Tampa Sunday night.
Note – reflecting back yes, we should have checked our identification needs months before leaving, but noting the above lack of time in life and believing beyond a shadow of doubt we had what we needed, it wasn’t an issue until it was well, an issue.
We calmed down from the all the hectic last-minute things we had to knock out at the newspaper and home, had a nice lunch in Toledo on the 19th and got to the airport with plenty of time. I could feel the stress leaving, literally as we checked our bags in and then were waiting to go through security which is normally something that adds stress. As I opened my phone/wallet my driver’s license was not in the slot I always keep it. I never take it out and cannot even remember the last time I needed it. It is always the first slot in my four-slot phone / wallet case. My stomach dropped, I wanted to puke. As we stood in line, I told my wife and her face went white.
I went to the car in the parking lot, had a relative tear the house apart back in Williams County, it was simply gone. I called the last two places we stopped before going to the airport, “Sorry Mr. Church, no driver’s license was turned in.” Having spent probably 12 hours since looking for it, it is still simply gone.
Fast forward, I explained to the TSA agent what had happened and that I had my social security card, my birth certificate, my driver’s license on my phone via our IRS approved payroll software program I logged into, several store cards, press pass, etc. Wasn’t a problem. They screened me a little heavier than normal and I was able to join my family and had a nice flight to Florida.
The next day in Tampa I called Carnival Cruise emergency travel number for travel issues facing travelers such as ourselves the second they opened in the morning. They said to arrive to port earlier than our scheduled embark time as they will need to screen heavier, but “we should” (key two words) be okay. I explained I did not want to travel across Tampa in an Uber, spend hours waiting to embark and then put my wife and children through a scenario where daddy couldn’t embark.
So, and I’m skipping a lot as I’m pretty sure this column is already over my desired word count and I’ve made little progress on telling this story, we took Uber across Tampa on a beautiful sunny day and reached the port. Right away our bags were taken to the ship, and we waited in line. We went through security and got to Homeland Security / Carnival Screening. I handed all our documentation over. The children under 16 needed birth certificates, the parents and teenager needed a photo identification (driver’s license) and birth certificate. Sure, enough I’m flagged for providing a print off my driver’s license.
We were escorted to a side department that well, had a heaviness to it of a funeral service. My kids went to a waiting area where we could still see them, and my wife and I sat, feeling like we just snuck into the country and did something horribly wrong. The well-aged supervisors, who to their credit handled my less than, “want to come to church Sunday?” attitude well. I always try to put myself into other’s shoes, I can only imagine what they go through on a day to day basis, but then I also take into consideration people choose to work jobs that crush people’s enjoyment every day and wonder why?
Despite (having my):
- Original Social security card
- Original birth certificate
- Photo scan of driver’s license via our IRS accepted payroll software.
- Print off of driver’s license.
- Press pass.
- Department store identification with photos.
- Credit card
- National Newspaper Association credentials
- Cruised with Carnival Cruise Line several times in the past / in their system.
I was told I could not embark with my family. As my anger increased, the supervisor explained that it is not Carnival’s decision, it is Homeland Security and they have to follow their rules. I respect this. Truly I do. We have not after all had another major attack on our country since September 11th so all these inconveniences have in part helped keep us safe.
He then said most states can issue a same day ID or duplicate driver’s license digitally. That is how most passengers in our scenario generally fix the problem at hand. Since we had a few hours to work with before the ship left, he suggested we contact the state of Ohio on this. He explained he was from Georgia originally and they can do this quickly over the web/phone.
So I get on the phone with the Williams County Bureau of Motor Vehicles and explained, “the roof is on fire” situation, help us now! They explained there is nothing they can do to provide a secondary identification or proof of my driver’s license. Note – My wife was telling me in my ear that if I was pulled over an officer of the law can pull this up on their computer screen, why can’t Homeland Security or the BMV?
The local BMV office told me to contact Columbus. The poor lady who answering the phone in Columbus after being on hold for 45 minutes was unloaded on (we now had little time left before the ship left), I suggested to immediately transfer me to the head supervisor which she wished us all the best and did.
The head supervisor joined the conversation. I asked if I could put her on speaker phone with the customs agent helping me. She said that was fine. She indicated that Mr. Church was legit, but the agent said without an ID from Ohio it still was a no go. She said Ohio is one of the few states without this service. The call ended. I was at an ugly place on the anger detection meter.
I asked the custom agent that if I did get a same day ID from Ohio and it was printed off, how was that print off any different than the print off of my legit license I had in hand or even better the high quality photo scan of the front and back of my license that is accepted by the government entity IRS via our payroll software? I also noted that my son just obtained his driver’s permit and they accepted his print permit, how is this different than my print off? No good answer was given, but I was asked how I flew to Ohio? I explained that I told the TSA in Ohio what happened, showed them by identification and while screened a bit heavier it wasn’t a big deal. They didn’t like that answer and immediately noted they are not the TSA.
Long story short what is good for one government entity is not good enough for another. The IRS will tax you with a photo scan of your identification, TSA will let you fly, the port/Homeland Security will not let you on a vacation boat.
- Forrest should you open a can of worms?
- Is identification required to vote in all areas of the country or at least specifically picture identification? So you can vote but cannot cruise?
- Do you want me to comment further on the fact I’ve traveled with Carnival three other times and am in their computer system proving I always had legit identification and am who I say I am?
Now keep in mind that the first stop on this cruise was a Mexican port. Readers, please do not pull me into making this political. I cannot order a cheeseburger anymore with politics being involved. Since I’m an Independent I’m have issue with both sides of the aisle. But we were trying to get to Mexico and I was being denied because while I was an American business owner with 10+ forms of identification it was not good enough. Yet of course we know this mindset is not carried vice versa when entering the country whether legit or illegally from Mexico (send hate mail my way if you disagree with me).
I will knock this story out of order slightly to share the following, my wife and three kids enjoyed the trip. They were safe, the cruise was smooth, they met friends (some local) and had the time together that I talked about in the opening needed.
But returning to the complaining, the text I received when they returned to the United States from two foreign stops and had to go through the same screening I’m discussing above? Ask me, please!
Message from my wife: They barely looked at my ID or (our 16 year old son), never looked at our 8 or 6 year old’s info at all.
So, when they say it is more difficult to travel outside the United States but people are welcomed here with light to no screening to enter our country, it’s not an exaggeration.
Finally, about out of options and well, sorry for the language, pissed, I asked to speak directly with Homeland Security since those “assisting us” were from Carnival Screening. Repeatedly they said they had to follow Homeland Security’s rules, passing the blame. “Sorry, Mr. Church, they went home for the day.”
My response: “Are you kidding me? It’s the week of Spring Break, in Florida, at 1 p.m. in the afternoon on a Monday with 2,000-3,000 people getting on this ship, who knows how many other ships and they went home early afternoon?”
Their response, “That’s what I’m telling you Mr. Church.”
I could type a lot more about this experience but moving on …
As cruisers celebrated around us entering the ship, I sent my wife and kids on the boat. I’m not going to tell you the upset level my wife and kids expressed as I told them they were going without me. They didn’t want to, but our monies were locked in and frankly we couldn’t afford a week of Spring Break doing something else in Florida like many in the Carnival Cruise Social Media group that was brain storming with me for ideas suggested. The family did have a great trip after calming down and for that I am grateful.
STUCK, BLURRY VISION, NO CAR, NO LUGGAGE
Now, what to do with myself? I’m stuck in Tampa on Spring Break with no vehicle. Carnival took my luggage with everything I needed when we arrived in the port to put in our room and there was no getting it back at this point. Oh ya, and my glucose levels were low causing blurry vision and feeling like I could just lay on the ground and have an out of body experience, so even seeing my smart phone was difficult. On the medical front they are still trying to figure out why my blood sugar drops low, generally due to eating anything with a carb or sugar in it, but in a few instances in high stress situations the same flair up occurs. There may have been a little stress at this point of the trip.
I didn’t want to spend $400 per night on a Hotel Six stay because everything was booked for Spring Break in the same clothes that were on my back. I decided to get a rental car and would drive home. A few audio books and I’d be back to the great state of Ohio, frankly I was ready to be out of Florida, a state I lived for a few years in the late 90s and love, but I wanted out.
So I looked up on my phone what was within walking distance for rental car companies. Just short of an hour walk, which took me to a large Tampa hotel, I finally walked to Hertz Rental on the third floor. Despite calling ahead asking for a car to be prepped, nobody was at the desk, but there was a sign to call the number listed if the desk was unattended. I did just this to hear the cell phone ringing on the counter. I waited another 30 minutes and started asking employees where the attendant was? They didn’t know, one said they might have walked off the job. Why? Just why?
Finally, in a pleasant mood I ordered an Uber ride to the airport. I thought there will be rental car companies at this location that are actually attended. I will then drive twenty hours or so back to Ohio. If not I’ll sleep on the floor of the airport. At this point maybe I’ll do something to go to jail so I had room and board, I could think about this future column with some quiet time. (I’m joking .. sort of …)
From the backseat of the Uber car the idea came to mind to check my flight app to see if there were any flights back to Toledo where our car was parked? Nothing for two days. But then I checked Fort Wayne. A flight! In 2 hours! I booked it. I would be two hours from my parked car in Toledo but that is better than a 20 hour drive in a car that is probably 4x more expensive than normal because it is Spring Break.
I arrived at the airport and explained to the government entity TSA what happened like I did on the flight down and like before, extra screening which I fully respect, but with five extra minutes of attention I was sitting in a lounge thinking about this column.
When the Carnival Agent denied my embarkment, he gave me a card to call Carnival Customer Service to see if monies could be returned and/or a future credit could be issued, which I did at the airport after a long hold. They told me to email the address on the card, that there was little they could do until the ship returns. Why did they tell me to call another Carnival division if they were unwilling to help? As of now, it has been seven days and Carnvial has yet to return my call and/or respond to the requested email. Still waiting …
So, yes, there is frustration with Carnival Cruise lines, though most of my frustration is with Homeland Security who was “gone for the day” at 1 p.m., in Florida, on a Monday, during Spring Break, while 2,000-3,000 people boarded a ship (countless other ships in the south embarking at the same time on the same day).
TAKE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
I believe in taking personal responsibility in life and business. We (the human race) seem to always too quick to blame others or circumstances, always the victim. I am not trying to go this route.
Carnival Cruise Lines and all entities surrounding travel make it clear you must have proper documents. For that we were in the wrong, no matter the reason for lack of documentation. We were not lazy, this one form of about ten that I had on me simply came up missing.
My problem surrounds that fact that with millions of travelers (Google says 1.7 million fly every day), if 1/100th of 1% lose their documents a case by case review/exception should be made if secondary documents can prove the citizen to be legit, no matter the form of travel and/or destination. What if needed documents were in luggage that the cruise line took as soon as you get to port? What if pick pocketed at the airport? We have areas of the country that barely makes this action an illegal crime anymore! A case by case screening needs to take place.
I had all my identification and even the State of Ohio on the phone vouching for me, still out of luck. That is where most of my frustrations can be found.
I AM FOR SECURITY. While frustrated I am thankful for the men and women who keep our country safe from foreign attack. But there are issues that need addressed. There has to be a case-by-case system allowed/developed.
Want to know what really rubs me the wrong way? In the side area where I was being screened for lack of proper identification sat a well-aged man wearing a Korea hat and appearing to be a veteran. It’s not my story to tell but up until the point I walked out of the port, he was facing the same thing.
Come on elected officials, treat your veterans and hard-working tax paying citizens better than this! Create a system for those that lose or have stolen their proper identification. Like anything in life exceptions need made. Americans should not simply be treated like non citizens because a form of identification is lost. Treat me poorly, fine; don’t treat a veteran poorly.
The closing of this column has some social media comments shared where people were allowed on board with the same or in most cases much less documentation than I had on me. Of course there is always the very real chance what people say on social media is untrue, but even talking in the airport about this situation with fellow passengers on the jet ride from Tampa back to Fort Wayne, several indicated they boarded ships without a picture identification in the past.
Hmmm? Are some people treated differently than others based off who the agent screening you might be? I’m not saying this is the case, but it certainly seems like a possibility.
MADE IT HOME …
While it was the trip from hell, long story short I was sitting in Tampa not knowing how I would get home in the mid afternoon hours on Monday. After having our newspaper delivery driver pick me up at the Fort Wayne airport and drive me to Toledo to get my vehicle, I was back in at home in Williams County before 11 p.m. And for that I am thankful, almost a miracle.
I spent the week at home working on newspaper tasks like normal, catching up a few areas at the home office I can never get to. Repeatedly, I had family and friends ask to go out for dinner, frankly I wasn’t in the mood. Heck, I didn’t want to be around myself, nobody else should have to hear me spew. I’ll dish my frustration on the poor readers of my column I thought, LOL.
On a serious note “thank you” to those that reached out to me and even those speaking Scripture over our situation and the family traveling without me to foreign stops.
After spending frankly at least two days upset, I was able to begin putting things into perspective when looking at the “big picture”. When returning, one of the first newspaper articles I worked on was on fundraising efforts being made for a child’s family (they are extremely sick). Was a missed vacation really that bad Forrest? Then a young person lost their life in an emailed obituary. In President Biden’s words, “Come on man”. Perspective.
Within a short amount of time I saw other people dealing with a lot worse. Despite not being rested and frankly still being burned out to my core; my wife and kids are safe and healthy, we have a roof over our heads and are blessed going in and going out. So, every time I think about what I faced I try to remind myself that it’s really not that bad. I’m sure there will be a need for plenty of reminders in days, weeks, months to come.
Heck, I don’t know. This column is all over the place. I’m also fully aware there are likely typos, my vision has not returned and I’m still having difficulty reading (oh joy). Sometimes you have to move forward in columns or they will never publish.
As I always say, I have no idea why readers like this column? But five days out from this situation I hope for a few things.
Mainly, if I share this with elected officials, maybe consideration will be made to make a case-by-case screening decision when people have their identification come up missing? It is common, not a rare thing. I still wonder if the elderly war veteran made it to the ship or was he ultimately denied too?
I also would like to see the State of Ohio who admitted to lagging behind at the BMV compared to other states to be able to provide citizens same day identification. The agents at the cruise terminal were shocked Ohio did not have this option. Ohio admitted, no such service existed on the speaker phone conversation held between the BMV, agent and myself.
If I can help one future travel remember this column and double/triple check to ensure they have needed identification before leaving, then I feel some good may come from this. I’m sure in many cases people leave home without proper documentation (on them).
I shared my concerns on a Carnival Cruise Facebook group and my personal page via a few posts and had 1800+ reactions and 813 comments made. The summary from these seasoned cruisers mixed with some observations I’ve made?
It’s a bunch of notes. I thought I would share some that stuck out to me. The support honestly choked me up a little. Those commenting they boarded fine with less documentation than mine makes me, well (moving on – remind yourself Forrest, you are a blessed man, don’t get mad) …
NOTES & COMMENTS
- Passports and proper identification are the responsibility of those cruising, have them! Agreed, but that doesn’t help those that lost them in route whether the fault of the traveler or a crime committed against them. “Some” on social media that chimed in threw my family under the bus for not having the proper documentation – judgmental. “We have passports, we made the right preparation.” Wonder how they would have felt if their passport came up missing in the airport or their wallet was pick pocketed?
- Some felt horrible for our situation and wanted to start a GoFundMe effort and fly me to our first port city on the cruise to meet my family. I thought that was sweet but had to decline the offer.
- There are still some really good people on this planet. I had an unreal amount of strangers reach out to me to give advice or help out any way possible on social media. One such family wanted to buy the internet package on the ship so my family could keep in touch with me 24/7 (you lose phone connection at open sea).
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Rob – We went thru a similar situation with my daughter in New Orleans 9 years ago when she forgot her driver’s license, she had sailed previously and after speaking with carnival at the Port she was allowed to board by using her previous info they had on file. Maybe things have tightened up since then though?
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Brian – Proof of citizenship is needed to return to the US and to enter other countries. Just like and airline won’t let you fly without a passport. The manifests on planes and ships are required to be submitted to customs. If an airline or a cruise ship didn’t clear the manifest the passengers, that were not able to clear customs in the US become the responsibility of the airline/cruise company. You don’t need ID to fly domestically if they can verify your identity. It’s a longer process but doable.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Julie – My niece sailed with photo copy of her drivers license. Had all other documents on hand just not drivers license! It was on Carnival in June of this past year. She is a adult not a minor!
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: LeeAnn – I think my friends daughter had a paper copy of her license and was able to board as well and I believe she was 19 at the time.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Jill – We just brought the paper ID, my birth certificate, and a few mail documents. Anything that has your full name and address is beneficial.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Karen – They let me on the cruise with my costco card. As that is a valid piece of id. Glad you made it home safe but that is how i got aboard the ship. I had to go to guest service and email them a picture of my Costco card. They printed it off and that is what i used. When we got back from the cruise going through customs. They were a little irritated that I was able to board with a costco card as an Id. But I was able to. And customs did facial recognition and was asked alot of questions before I was able to re enter Miami port. I am sorry it didn’t work for you! I wonder why they let me on with it and not you!
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Ashley – We all need to seriously get this man on a plane and reunite him with his family so this FAMILY vacation can go as planned!!!! Carnival Cruise Line let’s get Forrest R. Church reunited with his family!!!!
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Lisa – This just happened to my sister in Nov when we were getting ready to board the Magic in Port Canaveral. She dropped her license in the shuttle over. They told her to go online and order a replacement license and gave her their email address to send it to. Once they had it they gave her a paper stating her license was valid and let her on the ship. She found her license when we got back to the shuttle terminal and her new license were in the mail when we got home. Needless to say she has 2 copies now.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Carol – My son lost his ID on the plane to Miami. He had a picture of both sides in his phone and boarded no problem. Sounds like carnival needs to figure out what’s allowed across the board. This is so disheartening.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Nina – I am just shocked and saddened you weren’t allowed on. It seems that the port workers and Carnival aren’t following the same guidelines. I feel like they need an overhaul of the rules, so everyone is in the same page. I hope, one day soon, you’ll be able to cruise with your family.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Steve – It sucks and sorry but we almost had kinda the same issue before. We have passports however wife packed them in checked luggage. We have copies of the passports on the phone just in case. Long story short a picture of a passport is not good enough to sail with. Now a picture of a birth certificate that is text to a phone then emailed to a cruise agent and printed is good to go. Go figure an actual photo of your passport isn’t accepted but a picture, text, email, then printed birth certificate is excepted. No homeland security will not make exceptions to the rules. Lesson learned. Even though we have passports we travel with ID and birth certificate. All kept in different places.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: LeeAnn – It’s too bad they couldn’t let you board with the understanding you would not get off in the ports. I know that would have sucked too but at least you would have been able to enjoy the majority of the cruise. I’m so sorry this happened to you.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Tori – So sorry. What a blow. They say out of every crisis comes an opportunity..watch for it.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: JoDel – I am literally enraged and believe me, somehow Carnival Cruise line is gonna get MANY MANY COMPLAINTS. I’m so angry as I imagined your families tears and the employees still wouldn’t let you pass. So sorry.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Dottie – And you know your driver’s license is going to show up some how, some way. Someday you will get to ask God why he did not want you on that cruise. I am so sorry you are not there. I hope God replaces this missed vacation with something extra special.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Sherry – I sure feel for you! And the rest of your family. I’m sure it will be hard to stay totally focused with the way you are feeling. My daughter and family spent money on passports for their cruise, they never received them in time and in the end just having their birth certificates worked. What a loss of money for them.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Barry – This just doesn’t seem right. You can get thru an airport but not carnival. Wow. I hurt for you. Praying they find a way to enjoy the trip…and that you can find some peace too.so so sorry.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Rana – Oh, my heart is just absolutely broken for you! The separation is just so hard on both you and your family. So very sorry this happened. Some things we will just never understand. Praying for all of you and asking God to bring an extra blessing your way to help ease the pain of what was supposed to be a wonderful time together.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Shawn – That sucks. What a great country we live in where every state/travel entity/TSA get to make their own rules. Should be the same rules/regulations everywhere. If they let you on a plane you should be able to be let in a boat. Sorry to hear about that.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Roz – What a shame! It sounds like you were resourceful in verifying your identity. Extreme frustration to the nth degree. A lesser man would have made an incredibly ugly scene. Now use those great writing skills and reach out to Management, agencies and publications. In the meanwhile, know that your NW Ohio family is praying for your family’s safety.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Mike – Lets once again blame the terrorist for your scrutiny being a american citizen! Sorry to read! Life just is not at all the same these days!
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Robert – We all have challenges. I appreciate your transparency & willingness to share your struggles. I believe in my heart of hearts that your story & testimony is and will be a blessing of hope to others.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Ima – Now wait just a minute. In the state of Ohio, when you go to the BMV and get a brand new license, you are given a black and white PHOTOCOPY of your new license. It’s just a plain copy, not certified or anything else. You are told that it will be accepted EVERYWHERE that your plastic card license will be accepted. Even Federal Courthouses and airports! Don’t accept this! Get your sugar under control then begin making phone calls. Climb the ladder at Carnival until they are not only reimbursing you for all your extra out of pocket expenses, but flying you FIRST CLASS to join the cruise wherever the boat currently happens to be! PLUS reimbursing you the cost of your cruise since there’s no way to get back the lost time with the cruise and your family. Find a way to make this post go viral so people hear about this and the pressure gets put on Carnival to make things right by you!
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Susan – Yikes! What a goofy thing to happen, and sad. Maddening! One of those moments in life when you have to dig deep to find that “praise the Lord ANYHOW” to rise up and win. Father knows and sees. Father has allowed and at the moment only He knows why but one day when you find this answer, you will laugh and thank Him for sparing you or your family for whatever was going to be crooked – as He goes before us to make our crooked places straight. So something was going to be crooked… He HAS shown you favor, ya just can’t see it now. So, we’ll all praise God with you especially in this time! hang in there!
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Coty – Amazing how can provide all that stuff to board but not allowed. Illegals come on in. Accused murderer ahh no bail you aren’t a threat. But apparently capabilities to run backgrounds on valid SS and copies of legit info is a threat. But good for you letting family enjoy the vacation will not be same but they should have good time.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Lance – Yet anyone from wherever can cross – illegally- the southern border of the US and the government will put them on a plan to anywhere in the US.
- SOCIAL MEDIA COMMENT: Jessica – And yet, it is being pushed and lobbied here that people should be allowed to vote without ID (a license/ state ID). Yet you cannot board a ship without it. I know for a fact you cannot do certain bank transactions without it, even if you have all the bank slips you still need ID. I can’t buy certain medicines without it. Yet- we want to say it’s unfair to require it in our elections??? I will say I am surprised they barely looked at it when your family came back through. When we cam back through Canada, they scrutinized everything. Even the divorce papers my husband was told he’d have to have a letter of consent for his daughter’s from that previous marriage. And again, yet no ID should be required for voting???? Doesn’t make sense.
I’d love to hear from you. As always, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the mail at 115 Broad Street, Montpelier, Ohio 43543.