Nervous about travel documents - please help!

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#1
18 Posts
Joined May 2017
Hi cruisers,

First time cruiser here. Sailing an Eastern Carribean itinerary (San Juan, Saint Martin, Labadee) in about one month.

I applied for a passport yesterday and paid the extra fee for expedited processing. (No overnight shipping, though)

Since I needed to submit my BC with the application, I’ve already ordered a second copy from the vital statistics office via VitalChek.

I do not have a driver’s license. I do have a state ID.

If there is a delay in processing my passport application, will the BC + my ID be enough to cruise?

Since it is closed loop, I believe so. However, I have read that some of the ports themselves require passports and if your ship is going to one of them, they won’t even let you board with a BC + ID

Thanks!
#2
Maine or at sea
13,966 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Since all of your ports are in the Western Hemisphere, the WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) covers your ability to travel on a cruise using just your birth certificate and your DL (state ID in your case). All of the nations in the Western Hemisphere have agreed to this initiative, so you will be okay. The only problem area is Belize, where due to their sketchy passport controls, ships sometimes get a little more stringent interview when returning to the US.
#3
102,145 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
You should have your passport back if you have expedited it.

I would check with the cruise line on the documentation that you need.

Keith
#4
18 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by chengkp75
Since all of your ports are in the Western Hemisphere, the WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) covers your ability to travel on a cruise using just your birth certificate and your DL (state ID in your case). All of the nations in the Western Hemisphere have agreed to this initiative, so you will be okay. The only problem area is Belize, where due to their sketchy passport controls, ships sometimes get a little more stringent interview when returning to the US.
Good to hear! Thanks.
#5
Enosburg Falls, VT
20,044 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by Keith1010
You should have your passport back if you have expedited it.

I would check with the cruise line on the documentation that you need.

Keith
I agree that you should have your passport back in time. Unless your cruise line is one of the few that requires passports of all passengers your back up documentation will be sufficient (as long as your state ID has a photo on it).
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#6
18 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by Keith1010
You should have your passport back if you have expedited it.

I would check with the cruise line on the documentation that you need.

Keith
I hope so! I had to submit a bunch of extra documentation because I don’t have a DL. It should be fine, if they don’t ask me for more information.

I will probably inquire with the cruise line too.
#7
18 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by sparks1093
I agree that you should have your passport back in time. Unless your cruise line is one of the few that requires passports of all passengers your back up documentation will be sufficient (as long as your state ID has a photo on it).
I don’t think it is? (RCCL) my state ID does have a photo.
#8
Connecticut
13,961 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by chengkp75
Since all of your ports are in the Western Hemisphere, the WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) covers your ability to travel on a cruise using just your birth certificate and your DL (state ID in your case). All of the nations in the Western Hemisphere have agreed to this initiative, so you will be okay. The only problem area is Belize, where due to their sketchy passport controls, ships sometimes get a little more stringent interview when returning to the US.
While not relevant to OP's concerns, this is not correct: both Cuba and Brazil are in the Western Hemisphers and passports and visas are required on cruises stopping there.
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#9
21,701 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
I had a my renewed passport in 5 weeks with regular processing. So with expedited processing, it is most likely that you will receive your passport within one month.


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#10
18 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by easyboy
I had a my renewed passport in 5 weeks with regular processing. So with expedited processing, it is most likely that you will receive your passport within one month.


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Thanks for the data point!
#11
Point Richmond CA
7,150 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by chengkp75
Since all of your ports are in the Western Hemisphere, the WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) covers your ability to travel on a cruise using just your birth certificate and your DL (state ID in your case). All of the nations in the Western Hemisphere have agreed to this initiative, so you will be okay. The only problem area is Belize, where due to their sketchy passport controls, ships sometimes get a little more stringent interview when returning to the US.


Of course, we all should remember that some cruise lines require that all passengers on all itineraries present (and often surrender) valid passports at embarkation.


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#12
Enosburg Falls, VT
20,044 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by travelingfrugal
I don’t think it is? (RCCL) my state ID does have a photo.
RCCL does not require passports of all passengers on all itineraries, that's only done by some of the luxury lines (I guess they don't trust their passengers to make up their own minds).
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NCL Dream CTN May 2008
NCL Sky Bahamas April 2009 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=54257
NCL Sky Bahamas April 2010 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=66539
CCL Pride Bahamas October 2012 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=110323
NCL Gem Bahamas May 2014 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=255699
CCL Fascination S. Caribbean October 2016 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=551888
CCL Glory W. Caribbean November 2017 https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberr...EntryID=600224
CCL Pride Bahamas February 2018 https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberr...EntryID=612050

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!
#13
18 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by sparks1093
RCCL does not require passports of all passengers on all itineraries, that's only done by some of the luxury lines (I guess they don't trust their passengers to make up their own minds).

That’s what I thought. Glad I didn’t book with a luxury line (nothing against them - it would just make this process a lot more stressful)
#14
Point Richmond CA
7,150 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by sparks1093
RCCL does not require passports of all passengers on all itineraries, that's only done by some of the luxury lines (I guess they don't trust their passengers to make up their own minds).


I know you know the real reason why.
But, just for those who may wonder why:

Requiring the passports from everyone on every cruise (including surrendering it to the purser on most itineraries) is a courtesy to passengers and a cruise line efficacy.
The passenger courtesy:
>no worries about what is or isn't an acceptable ID.
>no need to be available for early AM customs/border examination on arrival in port (with a very few exceptions).
>no hold up due to other passengers' ID issues.
>no problem locating/transferring passport to port agent for anyone who misses the ship.
The cruise line efficacy:
>all of the above (so, basically, eliminate any ID related problems).
And, of course, there's some common business sense here as well. Most of the premium/luxury segment cruisers are already passport holders (or can easily afford one/many if they're a newbie). So, requiring a passport is seldom a "deal breaker" for someone contemplating one of those cruises.


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#15
114,541 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Welcome to Cruise Critic.


You should get your passport in plenty of time to cruise.


Don't know exactly when you sent for it, but you can track the progress of what is happening.
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#16
Maine or at sea
13,966 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by navybankerteacher
While not relevant to OP's concerns, this is not correct: both Cuba and Brazil are in the Western Hemisphers and passports and visas are required on cruises stopping there.
With regards to Cuba, due to its recent addition to cruises from the US, I tend to forget its "special status", since the US didn't have relations with Cuba when the WHTI was implemented. Mea culpa.

With regards to Brazil, I'm not aware of any closed loop cruises from the US to Brazil, so I'm not sure if the WHTI clearance to cruise there on a BC and DL has been proven or not. Perhaps I should have been more specific in my answer, limiting it to closed loop cruises from the US.
#17
18 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by Krazy Kruizers
Welcome to Cruise Critic.


You should get your passport in plenty of time to cruise.


Don't know exactly when you sent for it, but you can track the progress of what is happening.
Thank you. I hope so. I just sent the application yesterday, so I’m not able to track it yet.
#18
Connecticut
13,961 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by chengkp75
With regards to Cuba, due to its recent addition to cruises from the US, I tend to forget its "special status", since the US didn't have relations with Cuba when the WHTI was implemented. Mea culpa.

With regards to Brazil, I'm not aware of any closed loop cruises from the US to Brazil, so I'm not sure if the WHTI clearance to cruise there on a BC and DL has been proven or not. Perhaps I should have been more specific in my answer, limiting it to closed loop cruises from the US.
I was really just referring to your statement referring to "all countries in the Western Hemisphere" - and admittedly outside the area of OP's interest. There are, however, a number of round trip itineraries from Florida ports stopping in Brazil: HAL, Oceania, Cunard, Princess among them - which are probably definable as "closed loop", and therefore arguably covered by WHTI.
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#19
Palm City, Fl
4,862 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
You cannot enter Brazil w/o a passport and a visa (US Citizens). Regardless of itinerary.
Brazil is not included in the WHTI.

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#20
Point Richmond CA
7,150 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by thinfool
You cannot enter Brazil w/o a passport and a visa (US Citizens). Regardless of itinerary.
Brazil is not included in the WHTI.

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If you want to get extra technical, Brazil doesn't really require a visa "fee" for a US citizen. Rather, the current $160 USD is a reciprocity fee.
However, that may all change in the next few months as Brazil is scheduled to start using ETAs in the US. But, who knows what that will mean.


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