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I've never taken my passport ashore and while it might be a good idea to have it IF something happened, I think the chances of needing it are pretty small. I'd consider taking a photocopy and having it laminated.Great ideal about laminating the photocopy. I usually just bring a photocopy but by the end of the cruise it's in pretty bad shape and all the water activities eventually get to it and the ink runs. As far as operators being honest. I hope so because I usually have backup gear that I leave on the dive boat while I'm in the water and some of it is more expensive than what I carry in my wallet (besides if you don't trust them, how can you get in the middle of the ocean and have any hope they'll be there when you surface?).