But when a group of 2,000 elderly British cruise ship passengers docked at Los Angeles for a short stop-off during a five-star cruise around America it was, in the words of one of them, more like arriving at Guantanamo Bay.
During their £10,000, two-and-a-half month “Alaska Adventure” tour from the Arctic to the Caribbean, the passengers on the luxury P&O liner Arcadia had become more than accustomed to passing US immigration with little formality.
By the time they docked at Los Angeles on May 26, for a one-day visit it was their 10th stop on US soil.
But when a handful of them questioned whether the lengthy security checks at the port were strictly necessary for a group of largely elderly travellers officials were not amused.
Although they had already been given advance clearance for multiple entries to the country during their trip, all 2,000 passengers were made to go through full security checks in a process which took seven hours to complete.
The US Immigration officials really can be complete tosspots.
It might be necessary for me to return to that country for business reasons but lovely as parts of it is, I\’ll not be going back for pleasure reasons, not until they manage to cow and control their little corporals puffed up by having a uniform and a badge.