Passports -- it is really necessary?

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#1
40 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Me and my 16 yoa are going on our first cruise soon. We both have drivers licenses and certified birth certificates. Really considering foregoing the expense of passports. Has anyone ever sailed without a passport before? Is this really too risky?
#2
Philadelphia area
6,726 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by TxDiamondCruiser
Me and my 16 yoa are going on our first cruise soon. We both have drivers licenses and certified birth certificates. Really considering foregoing the expense of passports. Has anyone ever sailed without a passport before? Is this really too risky?
Been there done it.

You will be fine.

You will get the following replies:

But, in an emergency you will not be able to fly home.

But, in an emergency you will not be able to fly home.

But, in an emergency you will not be able to fly home.

But, in an emergency you will not be able to fly home.

But, in an emergency you will not be able to fly home.
#3
Summerville, SC
6,883 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Where are you going? Is it a "closed-loop cruise"? Not enough info provided to answer your query. Personally, I would never leave the contry without a passport, but in certain circumstances they are not required.
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#4
Spring City, TN
1,808 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
As long as it is a closed loop cruise, meaning leaving from and coming back to the same US port. Also make sure the certified copies of your birth certificate have all the required information on them. Some cruisers have stated that they needed the long form with parents name on them.
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#5
Columbus,Ohio
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If you are on what is referred to as a "closed loop" cruise (you depart from and return to the same U.S. port, such as Miami), then no, you don't need a passport. However, there is a certain element of risk. If, during the course of the cruise, you miss the departure time of your ship, or have to leave part way through the cruise due to an emergency and have to return home, then you would need a passport, since you would have to deal with a Customs agent prior to leaving the country. So is it a necessity? No, but it is highly recommended.
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#6
New England
2,152 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Depends on where you're going. Driving to and from Canada works with a birth certificate. Flying in and out of a foreign country requires a passport. If it's a closed-loop cruise to Mexico, however, embarking and disembarking from the same U.S. port, you can get by with a birth certificate. Even then, though, if you need to fly home from a port in a foreign country for emergency reasons, you will need a passport. Everything you need to know is here:

http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html

The best thing to do is follow the advice of your cruise line, airline, and country you are visiting.

Personally, in this day and age, I wouldn't travel out of the country without one, and I think it's well worth the expense. At least you know you're prepared for anything.
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#7
Bristol CT
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Originally posted by sunluva7
Driving to and from Canada works with a birth certificate.
Actually, no, it doesn't...
It will work to get you into Canada. It will not work coming home.
"For entry into the United States via land and sea borders, U.S. citizens must present either a U.S. passport, passport card, NEXUS card, Enhanced Drivers License, or other Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document. "
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis_1082.html
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#8
Fredericksburg, va. USA
83,823 Posts
Joined May 2001
We never sail with a passport (Caribbean closed loops!)....your BC and DL will be just fine. In the event of some emergency, you WILL get home...no fear. It may be a bit of a hassle, but none of those countries will allow you to stay...so home you will go.
#9
155 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
I believe a passport is good for like 10 years. So although there is a cost to getting a passport, you wont have to deal with any of these type of issues for a decade.
#10
Las Vegas
11,034 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by cb at sea
We never sail with a passport (Caribbean closed loops!)....your BC and DL will be just fine. In the event of some emergency, you WILL get home...no fear. It may be a bit of a hassle, but none of those countries will allow you to stay...so home you will go.
If you choose not to have a passport and do have an emergency, the embassy people should take at least 2 - 3 weeks before they get around to even thinking about your problem. You made the choice - you should suffer the severe consequences.

DON
#11
Enosburg Falls, VT
17,669 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by donaldsc
If you choose not to have a passport and do have an emergency, the embassy people should take at least 2 - 3 weeks before they get around to even thinking about your problem. You made the choice - you should suffer the severe consequences.

DON
In that case just stay on the ship and finish the cruise, you'll get home quicker (supposing of course that your emergency isn't that you missed the ship). And why oh why Don must there be severe consequences for doing something that is perfectly legal?
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#12
40 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by cb at sea
We never sail with a passport (Caribbean closed loops!)....your BC and DL will be just fine. In the event of some emergency, you WILL get home...no fear. It may be a bit of a hassle, but none of those countries will allow you to stay...so home you will go.
FINALLY...a voice of reason.
Thank you for being kind and not assuming that I was just being cheap. I realize if something happens it will be a pain in the butt to get home but I am confident we will be fine and will get home.
#13
Toronto, Canada
4,093 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by TxDiamondCruiser
FINALLY...a voice of reason.
LOL! Most posters have offered voices of reason.....they just didn't tell you what you wanted to hear so you thought they were unreasonable!
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#14
New England
2,152 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by RoofingPrincess
Actually, no, it doesn't...
It will work to get you into Canada. It will not work coming home.
"For entry into the United States via land and sea borders, U.S. citizens must present either a U.S. passport, passport card, NEXUS card, Enhanced Drivers License, or other Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document. "
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis_1082.html
I stand corrected. Thanks!
#15
Middle of the Sahara Desert
11,845 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by sunluva7
Depends on where you're going. Driving to and from Canada works with a birth certificate. Flying in and out of a foreign country requires a passport. If it's a closed-loop cruise to Mexico, however, embarking and disembarking from the same U.S. port, you can get by with a birth certificate. Even then, though, if you need to fly home from a port in a foreign country for emergency reasons, you will need a passport. Everything you need to know is here:

http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html

The best thing to do is follow the advice of your cruise line, airline, and country you are visiting.

Personally, in this day and age, I wouldn't travel out of the country without one, and I think it's well worth the expense. At least you know you're prepared for anything.
Currently you might be requested to produce a passport when you drive back into the US from Canada . We have friends that live in the US near Portland Or . They are asked for there passports every time the cross the border back to the US. Passports are recommended for travel to and from Canada but are not required. Now if you fly out of Canada into the US you will be required to produce a passport to board the plane.
NOT AN OPTION FOR FLYING.
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#16
17,523 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by Kamloops50
Currently you might be requested to produce a passport when you drive back into the US from Canada . We have friends that live in the US near Portland Or . They are asked for there passports every time the cross the border back to the US. Passports are recommended for travel to and from Canada but are not required. Now if you fly out of Canada into the US you will be required to produce a passport to board the plane.
NOT AN OPTION FOR FLYING.
Not "might". You will be requested to produce a passport, or WHTI compliant document such as a passport card or Enhanced Drivers License when driving between the US and Canada in either direction. A birth certificate has not been acceptable for several years. The misinformation provided by the poster you are quoting was corrected immediately after the post was originally made days ago...and the poster even subsequently acknowledged they were wrong.
#17
USA
8,951 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
IMHO I'd spend a few dollars and get the passort, its a seperate and different debate as to you take it with you into port or leave it in the safe

Originally posted by TxDiamondCruiser
Me and my 16 yoa are going on our first cruise soon. We both have drivers licenses and certified birth certificates. Really considering foregoing the expense of passports. Has anyone ever sailed without a passport before? Is this really too risky?
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#18
White House TN
383 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
Resounding yes! That's the first thing they ask you. It really is easier.
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#19
New Jersey
307 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by TxDiamondCruiser
Me and my 16 yoa are going on our first cruise soon. We both have drivers licenses and certified birth certificates. Really considering foregoing the expense of passports. Has anyone ever sailed without a passport before? Is this really too risky?
As stated above if you are on a closed loop cruise - you don't need passport. I assume you are and have already checked with your cruise line and know you don't but are interested in people's opinion of risk so here is my opinion....its up to you. My sis and her hubs cruise about once a year - always closed loop - always the Caribbean. She has passport, he doesn't. They never have had any problems. They don't feel the risk of missing the ship or the chance of an emergency is worth it. On the other hand, I never travel without mine. Again. its your preference.
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#20
Connecticut
1,146 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
I believe that Royal Caribbean requires your passport number when filling out online paperwork - also, had to show it when boarding cruise ship in NJ. Sure save a lot of hassle to have it!