Do you take your passport on shore excursions?

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#3
87,672 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
This question comes up on several of the boards. Some say yes and others say no.

For us, on the cruise lines that we sail with they hold our passport. This includes Seabourn and Crystal and in the past when we were on Princess.

So, what we do is each carry a copy with us. It has never caused us a problem.

When we are on pre cruise or a post cruise and have our passports we do the same thing. The original goes in a safe and we carry copies with us.

We would worry that if we carry them they could be lost or stolen.

So, for us we don't risk it.

Again, some will say that you must carry it and the wouldn't do anything but carry it. But others will say what I say on the subject.

Keith
#4
Gulfport, Mississippi
15,850 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Cookie, anytime I'm not on U.S. soil, my passport is with me. Copies would do you no good if a problem arose and you needed proof of citizenship. Copies can be altered. I'm very careful with my wallet and passport when in ports.

Many do leave theirs on the ship. Your call.
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#5
87,672 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Cookie, and there you have it. Some leave it on the ship and others don't.

As I said, with cruise lines such as Seabourn, Crystal, Princess (the last time we sailed with them) held them anyway so there was no decision for us to make anyway. We have been to two countries where a passport was required so we were asked to pick up the passport at the pursers office and to return it when we came back from the port.

When they hold them if for whatever reason we didn't get back to the ship on time and they left without us they would leave our passports with the local authority.

The whole idea of having a copy of your passport is if something happened you would go to a local US Embassy and having the copy would help to facilitate getting a new passport.

As I said, you have to evaluate the risk of carrying a passport with the possibilty of it being stolen or lost vs. the benefit of having it with you. We just came back from a full world cruise having visited 50 plus ports and none of us had the passports with us except if you were doing an overland tour for a few days and needed them either because you were going out of the country and/or to check in to a hotel.

As I say this question is asked often and some say yes to carry them and other like me say no.

Keith
#6
107,206 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Our passports stay in the safe. I carry only copies whenever we get off the ship.
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#7
14 Miles From Los Angeles Cruise Center
2,298 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by cruisecookie
Do you carry your passport with you when you go on shore excursions outside of the USA?

50/50 call. Should you miss your ship returning from an excursion, kind of hard to get into another county to catch your ship. Lose your passport while ashore; you’ve now have a problem returning to the U.S.
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#10
CA
621 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Originally posted by Keith1010
Cookie, and there you have it. Some leave it on the ship and others don't.

As I said, with cruise lines such as Seabourn, Crystal, Princess (the last time we sailed with them) held them anyway so there was no decision for us to make anyway. We have been to two countries where a passport was required so we were asked to pick up the passport at the pursers office and to return it when we came back from the port.

When they hold them if for whatever reason we didn't get back to the ship on time and they left without us they would leave our passports with the local authority.

The whole idea of having a copy of your passport is if something happened you would go to a local US Embassy and having the copy would help to facilitate getting a new passport.

As I said, you have to evaluate the risk of carrying a passport with the possibilty of it being stolen or lost vs. the benefit of having it with you. We just came back from a full world cruise having visited 50 plus ports and none of us had the passports with us except if you were doing an overland tour for a few days and needed them either because you were going out of the country and/or to check in to a hotel.

As I say this question is asked often and some say yes to carry them and other like me say no.

Keith
Just curious, why do they keep your passport? Is this something you have to do, do you have to surrender your passport to them or is it a choice? I think it would bother me if I was forced to give them my passport. My DH was in the A.F. for 15 years and to me giving them my passport would be like giving them my military i.d., which is something we can never surrender. Just curious.
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#11
Canada
3,337 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Originally posted by Calicruiser101
Just curious, why do they keep your passport? Is this something you have to do, do you have to surrender your passport to them or is it a choice? I think it would bother me if I was forced to give them my passport. My DH was in the A.F. for 15 years and to me giving them my passport would be like giving them my military i.d., which is something we can never surrender. Just curious.
Our passports were kept by RCCL because we are not US citizens. It was not a choice we had. I have heard of other people who caused a stink at check in and refused to let them have it but that is not my style.

I was told the reason they keep the passports is because it helps them clear security quicker at various ports. Apparently if officials wanted to, they could demand to see the passports of passengers on board before anyone is permitted to leave the ship. It is much easier if the passports are all in one place vs. having to get each passenger to show theirs.

As Keith1010 pointed out, the copy of the passport is to assist you with getting a replacement. If you do miss the ship your passport will be left with the local authority.

Even if they were available to us, we wouldn't take them. We feel there is a far greater risk of us having it lost/stolen/destroyed vs. missing the ship. No right or wrong answer...it is a personal decision and you are the one that has to live with the risks you take.
#12
87,672 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by Calicruiser101
Just curious, why do they keep your passport? Is this something you have to do, do you have to surrender your passport to them or is it a choice? I think it would bother me if I was forced to give them my passport. My DH was in the A.F. for 15 years and to me giving them my passport would be like giving them my military i.d., which is something we can never surrender. Just curious.
On the cruise lines that we have cruised with, Crystal and Seabourn, they collect everyones passports, both US and non-US citizens.

As Autumn correctly said the main reason is to help in the clearance process as part of the clearance by the ship by the local authorities.

I guess we are used to it so I really don't think anything of it. As I said earlier if they didn't hold them they would be in our safe. I would not risk taking them off the ship for fear they would be stolen or lost. And we do keep very organized.

There are a few ports that we have stopped off at over the years where a passport was required. In that case the cruise line had all of us pick up our passports and when we got back to the ship we returned them.

Anyway, all of this has worked well for us.

Keith
#13
Harmony
945 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
I carry a laminated copy of my passport information with me while in port. I would never risk getting mugged or losing my purse and having my actual passport on my person. If a situation were to arise where I needed my passport then the cruise line could get my actual passport and provide to the local govenment.
But as Keith has said it is a personal choice.
#14
Germany
1,925 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
One argument for taking your passport: You are a foreigner.
Your passport is the only valid document to identify you. A copy can easily be faked in every copy shop or on your PC. If police or any other authority holds you, a copy is good for nothing. The same can be true for your drivers licence. You know better than me how many people use fake drivers licences in the States, thus do not expect a foreign country to accept them. If there is any reason, may it be a minor trespass of yourself or major incident like a terrorist attack that requires you to identify yourself you are not in the most comfortable position without passport.
#15
Germany
1,925 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Not to scare you, but

Originally posted by Kan't Wait
I carry a laminated copy of my passport information with me while in port.
This might be regarded as faking a passport in some countries. (BTW What does the US law say about this?)

Originally posted by Kan't Wait
If a situation were to arise where I needed my passport then the cruise line could get my actual passport and provide to the local govenment.
Well, I wouldn't count on the local authorities to have as a first priority to contact a foreign cruise ship maybe located many miles away when you get arrested or just happen to be somewhere where sudden security requirements require you to identify yourself. Even if they do, it might still take hours of your time in less than pleasant circumstances.

Nevertheless, there are some ports were you must have a passport to enter the country, in every other it is your personal decision.
#16
1,727 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
I never carry my original passport with me unless I am enroute.

Having it lost or stolen will open up a far bigger can of worms than having to tell authorities that it's at the hotel or on the ship.
But, if you're in a situation where you need to prove your citizenship to authorities, having your passport at the hotel or ship is probably the least of your problems at that point.

BTW, I have used my drivers license many times in Europe as ID, (credit card purchases, car rental) and there has never been an issue with it.
#17
Soddy Daisy, TN
559 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I never ever take my passports out of the safe until time to leave. I have copies that I carry with me, along with my driver's license. As stated above, if you are doing something that requires you showing your passport, you have more problems then not having it on your person
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#18
Ontario, Canada
5,181 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
We never carry our passports with us except in Countries that require you to have them at the gangway for inspection. For example this past May in both Ukraine ports. HAL had collected them at embarkation, held them, gave them back for Ukraine and then held them again until disembarkation.
Otherwise we have copies. In the event of having to produce them on shore you will have the necessary info for the Police or a Consulate to do their verification.
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#19
Florida
1,318 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Absolutely, without question, the passport goes with me, in a watertight Aquapac.
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#20
Harmony
945 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by carlmm
Not to scare you, but



This might be regarded as faking a passport in some countries. (BTW What does the US law say about this?)



Well, I wouldn't count on the local authorities to have as a first priority to contact a foreign cruise ship maybe located many miles away when you get arrested or just happen to be somewhere where sudden security requirements require you to identify yourself. Even if they do, it might still take hours of your time in less than pleasant circumstances.

Nevertheless, there are some ports were you must have a passport to enter the country, in every other it is your personal decision.
A lamanated copy may be considered a fake but I would be able to produce the real passport so that would become a non issue.
As for contacting a cruise ship many miles away...well there are telephones in most countries these days and most ports have phones and they know how to contact the officials on the cruise ships and the due process of the law would at least allow me the opportunity to contact the U.S. Embassy and then they could contact the cruise ship if all else failed.
So not worried about not carrying my real valueable passport with me. I always carry my drivers license so I do have valid ID. My state drivers license is of no value to a black market passport thief.

Mrs.G