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  #1  
Old March 29th, 2013, 10:09 AM
Hlitner Hlitner is offline
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Default Cruising without a Passport is Nutz- Part 2

As a frequent international traveler and cruiser we would never dream of leaving the US without a Passport. But there are still many who are comfortable with taking "closed loop" cruises with merely a Birth Certificate and government picture ID. Well, here is the latest tale of woe of a family who thought not having a Passport was fine. They booked a Celebrity Cruise and had their air to the port arranged by Celebrity who provided a guarantee that they will help you get to the ship if things go wrong. This family (of 4) also decided they wanted to fly-in to the port the day of their cruise. So it turned out that the airline cancelled their flight (the day of the cruise) and could not get them to the port until 6 hours after their ship had sailed. Normally, Celebrity would have arranged for them to fly to the ships first port....but alas this family had no Passports. This meant they could not fly anywhere outside of the US. So, they missed their entire cruise. In interests of full disclosure the family did have some kind of travel insurance (which costs more then a passport) so they have a good chance of getting most of their money back.

This is just one more example of why everyone taking a cruise should invest in a Passport.

Hank

  #2  
Old March 29th, 2013, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hlitner View Post
As a frequent international traveler and cruiser we would never dream of leaving the US without a Passport. But there are still many who are comfortable with taking "closed loop" cruises with merely a Birth Certificate and government picture ID. Well, here is the latest tale of woe of a family who thought not having a Passport was fine. They booked a Celebrity Cruise and had their air to the port arranged by Celebrity who provided a guarantee that they will help you get to the ship if things go wrong. This family (of 4) also decided they wanted to fly-in to the port the day of their cruise. So it turned out that the airline cancelled their flight (the day of the cruise) and could not get them to the port until 6 hours after their ship had sailed. Normally, Celebrity would have arranged for them to fly to the ships first port....but alas this family had no Passports. This meant they could not fly anywhere outside of the US. So, they missed their entire cruise. In interests of full disclosure the family did have some kind of travel insurance (which costs more then a passport) so they have a good chance of getting most of their money back.

This is just one more example of why everyone taking a cruise should invest in a Passport.

Hank
Not worried about this scenario since we always book our own air and we always fly in the day before. This is a situation that can be avoided...passport or not.
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  #3  
Old March 29th, 2013, 10:31 AM
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6rugrats 6rugrats is offline
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Is this the poster who said he paid $10,000 for this cruise? He did come back later and said they did have passports; true or not I don't know.

I am not sure this poster will get any money back from their travel insurance. Just depends on the policy. Many of them require that you make an attempt to catch up to your cruise and this poster just packed up and went home after flight was cancelled.

In any case, I agree. Don't understand why anyone would travel out-of-the country without a passport.

  #4  
Old March 29th, 2013, 10:34 AM
YubaSutter YubaSutter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hlitner View Post
As a frequent international traveler and cruiser we would never dream of leaving the US without a Passport. But there are still many who are comfortable with taking "closed loop" cruises with merely a Birth Certificate and government picture ID. Well, here is the latest tale of woe of a family who thought not having a Passport was fine. They booked a Celebrity Cruise and had their air to the port arranged by Celebrity who provided a guarantee that they will help you get to the ship if things go wrong. This family (of 4) also decided they wanted to fly-in to the port the day of their cruise. So it turned out that the airline cancelled their flight (the day of the cruise) and could not get them to the port until 6 hours after their ship had sailed. Normally, Celebrity would have arranged for them to fly to the ships first port....but alas this family had no Passports. This meant they could not fly anywhere outside of the US. So, they missed their entire cruise. In interests of full disclosure the family did have some kind of travel insurance (which costs more then a passport) so they have a good chance of getting most of their money back.

This is just one more example of why everyone taking a cruise should invest in a Passport.

Hank
Or invest in insurance.

  #5  
Old March 29th, 2013, 10:48 AM
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OP, why don't you post a link to the thread so people can verify this story for themselves.

Otherwise a single second hand anecdote doesn't "prove" anything.
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Old March 29th, 2013, 11:03 AM
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Default Why...

Why are some people so against getting a passport?

  #7  
Old March 29th, 2013, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by i5trucker View Post
Why are some people so against getting a passport?

I don't get it either. I've had a passport since I was old enough to have my own. I guess it's those types who don't want that dag nab Gumnt up in their business.
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  #8  
Old March 29th, 2013, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwjoe View Post
OP, why don't you post a link to the thread so people can verify this story for themselves.

Otherwise a single second hand anecdote doesn't "prove" anything.
Anyone can post anything on an anonymous chat board and a link proves nothing. I can attest these posts did exist but they are gone (trying not to break any posting rules here), so posting a link isn't possible.

  #9  
Old March 29th, 2013, 12:06 PM
sail7seas sail7seas is offline
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Originally Posted by Warm Breezes View Post
Not worried about this scenario since we always book our own air and we always fly in the day before. This is a situation that can be avoided...passport or not.

Booking your flight day before to fly from Michigan is not guarantee of being in your embarkation port on time.

In winter, airlines pull planes when snow is predicted. They don't want the planes to get stuck on the ground. Your day before flight could be cancelled for weather as well as a host of other reasons.... mechanical, crew staffing, whatever.

If your day before flight is cancelled, you may not get a seat on next day's flight as almost all planes are booked full these days and if you missed your flight, so did many other people. Someone else might get that empty seat or two ahead of you and you are stuck on the ground waiting for an available seat..... whever that might become available.

We book to be in embarkation port two days ahead of cruise and still have had a few 'close calls'.

There were times, in terms of getting a flight, we would have been better in terms of weather, to have booked one day ahead...... or even would have better chance of weather on day of cruise flight.

It's all a 'guessing game' and either you get lucky or not.
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  #10  
Old March 29th, 2013, 12:15 PM
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I have a passport and carry it with when I cruise. I admit to taking our first cruise without a passport. But this is just one incident in the million or so people who cruise. Here is my task for the OP. Please post the percentage of passengers who travel without passports who have an incident that would not have occurred had they had a passport. I will place my bet that the number is way below a tenth of one percent.
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  #11  
Old March 29th, 2013, 12:27 PM
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Another reason for traveling with a passport --

Friend of mine got ill and was taken to a local hospital where plans were made for her to be immediately flown home. Couldn't have done that without a passport.

And suppose you are ashore and miss the ship ... then what?

Always, always travel out of the country with a passport!
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  #12  
Old March 29th, 2013, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6rugrats View Post
Anyone can post anything on an anonymous chat board and a link proves nothing. I can attest these posts did exist but they are gone (trying not to break any posting rules here), so posting a link isn't possible.
Thanks for that info.
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  #13  
Old March 29th, 2013, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i5trucker View Post
Why are some people so against getting a passport?
I think part of it is the cost. A family of 4 applying for first time passports will pay around $500. If you feel you will only use the passports once you might just take your chances without. The passports might break your cruising budget.

I'm not an advocate of traveling without a passport, just giving a possible reason.
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  #14  
Old March 29th, 2013, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisefan0110 View Post
I have a passport and carry it with when I cruise. I admit to taking our first cruise without a passport. But this is just one incident in the million or so people who cruise. Here is my task for the OP. Please post the percentage of passengers who travel without passports who have an incident that would not have occurred had they had a passport. I will place my bet that the number is way below a tenth of one percent.

How could one begin to access information you have 'tasked' to post?

How would any of us know about Grammie Jones who had an incident in St. Maarten and couldn't fly home because she didn't have a passport?

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Old March 29th, 2013, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hlitner View Post
As a frequent international traveler and cruiser we would never dream of leaving the US without a Passport. But there are still many who are comfortable with taking "closed loop" cruises with merely a Birth Certificate and government picture ID. Well, here is the latest tale of woe of a family who thought not having a Passport was fine. They booked a Celebrity Cruise and had their air to the port arranged by Celebrity who provided a guarantee that they will help you get to the ship if things go wrong. This family (of 4) also decided they wanted to fly-in to the port the day of their cruise. So it turned out that the airline cancelled their flight (the day of the cruise) and could not get them to the port until 6 hours after their ship had sailed. Normally, Celebrity would have arranged for them to fly to the ships first port....but alas this family had no Passports. This meant they could not fly anywhere outside of the US. So, they missed their entire cruise. In interests of full disclosure the family did have some kind of travel insurance (which costs more then a passport) so they have a good chance of getting most of their money back.

This is just one more example of why everyone taking a cruise should invest in a Passport.
The original account is apparently gone so I'll address your point in general.

Yes, there is a risk in traveling without a passport. If you need to fly internationally, you will be delayed. So either you choose to buy a passport or accept that risk. Let's look at the scenario you described and try to assess, rationally, how much that risk is worth.

Suppose the cost of the cruise vacation, including non-refundable air, was $5,000 for a family of 4. The risk of same-day flight issues can be mitigated by flying in the day before but let's assume the party chooses to fly in the same day. Let's estimate the chance of a same-day flight being cancelled as 1 in 100, but that there is a 2 in 3 chance that the airline will be able to re-route you to get to your destination in time to catch the ship, for a net flight-related risk of 1 in 300. Further, in addition to the loss of the $5,000 cruise vacation, let's assume $1,000 of additional lodging, food, transportation, and other expenses for a total loss of $6,000. The expected loss from this risk is:
$6,000 / 300 = $20.

Whereas the cost of passports for a family of 4 (assume 2 adults, 2 kids) is $480.

So based on these assumptions, on a rational profit/loss basis, it does not pay to buy passports based on this one anecdotal scenario.

It may be very upseting to lose a $5,000 vacation but since it's paid for in advance, the only cash out-of-pocket loss is $1,000. Unlikely to financially ruin you, thus unprofitable to spend $480 to avoid it.

Here are some factors that could swing the balance in favor (+) and against (-)the buying of passports:

+Taking multiple cruises over the period of passport validity
+The risk of needing to fly home unexpectedly from a foreign port
-Cruising to US territories where no passport is needed to fly
-Flying to the embarkation port a day in advance
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Last edited by dwjoe; March 29th, 2013 at 12:59 PM.

  #16  
Old March 29th, 2013, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by i5trucker View Post
Why are some people so against getting a passport?
Besides thinking they can save a few bucks, and the feeling that "none of that bad stuff will ever happen to me and mine", there's a segment of the population that will be denied a passport when they apply, so perhaps that crowd is in the birth certificate ID camp.

To me it's reassuring to know my family all have passports when we travel. Don't understand taking the unnecessary gamble for the relatively low cost involved. Many of the people who won't spring for a passport will lose more money than that in casino losses and bar tabs... All a matter of perspective (and denial).

  #17  
Old March 29th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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Must have a passport...................................don't need one.
Never the twain shall meet.

Have one.
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Old March 29th, 2013, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sail7seas View Post
How could one begin to access information you have 'tasked' to post?

How would any of us know about Grammie Jones who had an incident in St. Maarten and couldn't fly home because she didn't have a passport?
You have 50,000+ posts on Cruise Critic.

Maybe you could refer us to first hand accounts, if any, you have seen posted of folks who were delayed due to lack of a passport? As opposed to second hand anecdotes?
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Last edited by dwjoe; March 29th, 2013 at 01:32 PM.

  #19  
Old March 29th, 2013, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sail7seas View Post
How could one begin to access information you have 'tasked' to post?

How would any of us know about Grammie Jones who had an incident in St. Maarten and couldn't fly home because she didn't have a passport?
I agree the task is not an easily arrived at number. The point is that the situation is extremely rare. If the family vacation is usually to Grammie Jones and this is a one time special vacation, is that cost worth it? Many, many cruises are taken with birth certificates that have no issue.
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  #20  
Old March 29th, 2013, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by dwjoe View Post
It may be very upseting to lose a $5,000 vacation but since it's paid for in advance, the only cash out-of-pocket loss is $1,000. Unlikely to financially ruin you, thus unprofitable to spend $480 to avoid it.
I disagree that it's only the $1,000 dollars taht is out of pocket really. At that moment yes, but that $5,000 is what I would be looking to avoid losing by paying the $480.
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