Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!
** Please post your recommendations ONLY in response to request...do not start a new thread. Thanks!
As a general rule, unless the port requires you to have your original (like some in Europe), always leave your passport in the cabin safe and take a copy. You should also take a drivers license in case a security person wants to see a "real" ID and not a copy, although we've never had a problem showing a photocopy.
We ALWAYS carry our original with us on shore excursions and leave copies on ship and scanned copy on our gmail account. The rationale is that if for some reason you missed the boat due to illness, accident, or didn't get back to port in time you would have a hard time travelling internationally to get to next port or back to the States with just a copy. The van was securely locked and there is so much security and other tour groups at the parking area that we had no problem leaving stuff in the van.
I would recommend against bringing your passports. Even with a waterproof bag, you don't want to risk having them get wet!
Your bags will be locked in a bus or a van, secure but definitely something that could be broken into. In my view, the chances of having them get stolen is higher than the chance of missing the ship!
The cavetubing operators are very attentive to the time and will make sure you get back in time for the ship. Also, I've seen on the boards here that if you miss the ship, most cruise lines will empty out your safe and leave your travel docs with the port agent.