Passports -- it is really necessary?

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#41
Las Vegas
11,021 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
#42
Enosburg Falls, VT
17,658 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by Amberle3
But someone from the US in similar circumstances could show up at the port with a US birth certificate and a US driver's license, and not be a US citizen.
Possible, but then the government databases would show they are not a US citizen when the cruise line submitted the passenger manifest to DHS (and I won't even begin to talk about how they are going to get a driver's license or other form of government ID when they aren't a resident of a state).
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#43
17,523 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by Amberle3
I'm in Canada, but here's the story of my step-dad: Decades ago he had to go to The Netherlands to deal with a bunch of things related to his illness and subsequent death of his father. Some of those things he could not do as a Canadian citizen, he could only do as a Dutch citizen. He was gong to have to be there for quite a while, and his marriage here had recently ended so he thought he'd just make the move to the Netherlands. This required that he renounce his Canadian citizenship because The Netherlands does not allow dual citizenship. Fast forward 15 years and he's back in Canada, as a permanent resident because he'd previously renounced his citizenship. So there you have someone who was a Canadian citizen, no longer is, travels on a Dutch passport but lives and works in Canada. He's since managed to have his citizenship reinstated, which makes things much easier. And it's not all that uncommon for people to apply to get their citizenship reinstated.

But someone from the US in similar circumstances could show up at the port with a US birth certificate and a US driver's license, and not be a US citizen.
But the person who tries to do that may very well be discovered when the passenger manifest is submitted to the Department of Homeland Security for clearance prior to the ship leaving port.

It's also probably unlikely a person in that circumstance would try to cruise using their birth certificate. They would likely use their US "green card" (Permanent Resident ID Card) and the passport from the country of which they are currently a citizen.
#44
Enosburg Falls, VT
17,658 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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I cruise because that's where the ocean is.

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#45
Toronto, Canada
4,091 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by njhorseman
So you're saying that the United States Department of State, which is the US government department that issues passports does not know what it's own requirements for issuing a passport are?

And you're saying that I, and millions of other US citizens who have passports had to present something other than our birth certificates (or equivalent) and IDs with our applications to obtain our passports?

Please tell me what other documents you think I had to submit (other than a photograph and a check for the fee)...and please cite the source of your information.
I didn't say you needed other documents - though we both know you do need the signed form and the photo. You also need your SSN, which is checked (and the State Department has the authority to ask for any other documentation they see fit).

Really, it's not hard for anyone to look up the requirements on the internet. Don't need to be a US citizen.
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#46
17,523 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by calliopecruiser
I didn't say you needed other documents - though we both know you do need the signed form and the photo. You also need your SSN, which is checked (and the State Department has the authority to ask for any other documentation they see fit).

Really, it's not hard for anyone to look up the requirements on the internet. Don't need to be a US citizen.

I know where to look up the requirements...I was was the one who provided the link to the State Department's web page in my earlier post. Please tell me where it says you have to physically present the SS card when you turn in your application. You have to fill in your SSN on the application. The requirements are clearly spelled out on State's web site.

Yes, in theory they can ask for other documentation, but in practice no one who has clearly satisfactory primary evidence of citizenship (birth certificate meeting the State Department's requirements or specfied acceptable alternatives) and identity (drivers license or other government-issued photo ID) is asked for anything additional.
#47
Toronto, Canada
4,091 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by njhorseman
Please tell me where it says you have to physically present the SS card when you turn in your application.
Why? I never claimed they asked for it; I know they don't.

Why are you trying to prolong this argument? All I claimed was that the State Department needed more from someone than his/her birth certificate and drivers' license, and you've agreed. What else do you want?

Don't look for me to agree that a birth certificate is enough to globally establish US citizenship. And we are talking about the possibility of needing *globally* accepted identification. Taking a passport isn't necessary in most cases, but it's insurance in case things don't go as planned, no different than having health insurance.
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#48
Shanghai, PRC / Sete, France
3,895 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Originally posted by sparks1093
Of course San Juan is a US territory so those without a passport could easily fly home (flying on to meet the ship at the next port, now that would be a problem).



Birth certificates absolutely establish US citizenship and the photo ID establishes who you are- which is what the passport does (the US confers citizenship on anyone that is born here, regardless of the citizenship of their parents). These are the documents that the government says they will accept from travelers on closed loop cruises.

And you can't spread the cost of the passport over 10 years, it's payable up front. For my family it would have been over $800 and three of the passports would have only been valid for 5 years. We could have gotten passports but didn't because we didn't need to.
Give me $25 and a ride to Kinkos and I can produce a birth certificate - in one hour - that looks better than the real one you have, including a raised seal.
Anybody can get a US Drivers License. Take the fake birth certificate to the local State Agency, take a driving and written tests that any moron can pass, pay the $20 fee and have them mail it to a friends home address.
In a sense you are right. I can produce a fake birth certificate in one hour and absolutely establish anyone in the world as a US Citizen.
#49
17,523 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by calliopecruiser
Why? I never claimed they asked for it; I know they don't.

Why are you trying to prolong this argument? All I claimed was that the State Department needed more from someone than his/her birth certificate and drivers' license, and you've agreed. What else do you want?

Don't look for me to agree that a birth certificate is enough to globally establish US citizenship. And we are talking about the possibility of needing *globally* accepted identification. Taking a passport isn't necessary in most cases, but it's insurance in case things don't go as planned, no different than having health insurance.
No I haven't..that's why the argument is being prolonged. The only documentation needed to be submitted with your application is your BC and ID.

My original statement, which is what you continue to twist and misinterpret was "Your birth certificate and drivers license (or other government ID) are exactly what you present when you apply for a passport." It's 100% true and accurate, and it's what you chose to argue about.

You don't seem to understand the difference between writing something on the application and presenting a supporting document. All I'm talking about is the supporting documentation that is submitted with the application.

And the discussion was never about what is "globally accepted documentation". The thread is about what US citizens need to take a closed loop cruise, and secondarily, what type of documentation they would need to get a passport if they ended up missing their ship and needed to take an international airline flight.
#50
Philadelphia area
600 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I believe that having a passport makes sense. It just makes things easier. With a passport there is never an issue if it is a sufficient form of an ID, be it internationally or domestically. It simplifies international travel even if it is not required, it simplifies opening a bank account, it simplifies paperwork when you get a new job, etc.

In any case, I think that unless a person is indigent, that an average person in today's world should have a passport. If a person has to wait until an opportunity presents itself to travel internationally, than that person will be able to go only on trips that are planned well in advance, because it takes time to get a passport. Having a passport before needing to travel internationally gives one the opportunity to say yes if the boyfriend/girlfriend/friend/co-worker/client/etc. asks one if one can meet them next weekend in Montreal/Cancun/Paris/Nassau/etc. for a romantic get together/dinner/presentation/sales pitch/etc.

Just get the passport.
#51
Enosburg Falls, VT
17,658 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by BruceMuzz
Give me $25 and a ride to Kinkos and I can produce a birth certificate - in one hour - that looks better than the real one you have, including a raised seal.
Anybody can get a US Drivers License. Take the fake birth certificate to the local State Agency, take a driving and written tests that any moron can pass, pay the $20 fee and have them mail it to a friends home address.
In a sense you are right. I can produce a fake birth certificate in one hour and absolutely establish anyone in the world as a US Citizen.
And your point is? Government regulations state that when travelling on a closed loop cruise a birth certificate and drivers license is all that is needed for a US citizen. Does that mean that someone can travel anywhere in the world on a birth certificate? Absolutely not, although those two documents are necessary to apply for a passport with which one can travel the world. (And if anyone read my comments to say that a birth certificate establishes US citizenship anywhere in the world then you've read too much into what I've said.)

DHS enacted the exception because the threat to the national security posed by US citizens travelling under these circusmstances is low. Someone could do what you say is easily done, but why would they risk it? Presumably they aren't a US citizen, which means they don't have sufficient travel documentation to take a cruise, so they are going to fake all of this documentation in order to leave the US so that they can come back into the US and hope they don't attract the attention of the authorities. Yep, that makes sense to me. As DHS determined the risk of someone doing all of this is low.
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US Navy, too many to count but included 4 Med cruises (totaling 21 months) 1975-1992

I cruise because that's where the ocean is.

It beats haze gray and underway any day!
#52
Enosburg Falls, VT
17,658 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by pdmlynek
If a person has to wait until an opportunity presents itself to travel internationally, than that person will be able to go only on trips that are planned well in advance, because it takes time to get a passport.
That's how most people travel, by planning well in advance. Few people are able to travel, particularly international, at the drop of a hat. And FWIW one of my sons just obtained his passport. Got it in under 7 days.
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US Navy, too many to count but included 4 Med cruises (totaling 21 months) 1975-1992

I cruise because that's where the ocean is.

It beats haze gray and underway any day!
#53
65 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Actually there are a LARGE number of people who book cruises and AI vacations with less than a week's notice. It might not be the majority of people, but it's a significant number. Having a passport allows them to take advantage of the incredible deals that come along now and then.
#54
Enosburg Falls, VT
17,658 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by Amberle3
Actually there are a LARGE number of people who book cruises and AI vacations with less than a week's notice. It might not be the majority of people, but it's a significant number. Having a passport allows them to take advantage of the incredible deals that come along now and then.
And they have analyzed their own individual needs and decided that a passport best fits those needs. At this point in my life I cannot travel that way so obtaining a passport does nothing for me.
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NCL Dream CTN May 2008
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US Navy, too many to count but included 4 Med cruises (totaling 21 months) 1975-1992

I cruise because that's where the ocean is.

It beats haze gray and underway any day!
#55
Pepsicola FL
10,331 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by only1deejay
Get the passport card if you are on a budget, it is cheaper and smaller than the BOOK, and has all the valid uses and YES, i've used it at airports and have had no problem, TSA prefers it.
a PP card is only good for international LAND travel between Mexico and Canada and was designed for people who travel frequently by car to and from those countries and the US.

it is NOT valid for any other form or type of international travel. to use it at an airport as a form of ID you are flying domestic.
#56
Indiana
79 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
We are a family of four and we debated on whether or not to get passports (our cruise was closed loop and didn't require). In the end, we determined it was just another fee for "insurance" in case we needed it. I applied for all four on April 16th and received them on April 28th. Very fast - and while it's not required, we have it should we need it. I would have been SOOOO mad at myself should something have happened to us and we needed them and we didn't have them.
#57
Enosburg Falls, VT
17,658 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by spookwife
a PP card is only good for international LAND travel between Mexico and Canada and was designed for people who travel frequently by car to and from those countries and the US.

it is NOT valid for any other form or type of international travel. to use it at an airport as a form of ID you are flying domestic.
Here's the direct quote from http://travel.state.gov/passport/ppt...card_3926.html :

"The U.S. Passport Card can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry and is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book. The passport card cannot be used for international travel by air."
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CCL Fascination S. Caribbean October 2016 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=551888

US Navy, too many to count but included 4 Med cruises (totaling 21 months) 1975-1992

I cruise because that's where the ocean is.

It beats haze gray and underway any day!
#58
897 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
I think it depends on your situation. As a travel agent, I am in the minority in saying not everyone will benefit from a passport and insurance. (I'm sure there are many people on these boards who will disagree with me)

Weigh the pros and cons, be aware of the consequences of getting them or not and be prepared in any way you can. Then enjoy your trip.
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#59
Edmonton, Alberta
585 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Calm down. Its a forum so the act of posting a question invites answers. Its how this works. Reread the OP and part of the concern was saving money. I do not now consider my comment off topic in the least and did not when I posted it.
#60
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.