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Do not hesitate to get your passport!


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I cruised for the first time in 2008 without a passport. I worried the whole time. At that time I couldn't justify the expense because I thought that would be my first and only cruise. Boy was I wrong. I decided I would just go ahead and get it because my traveling days were far from over lol.

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While a Passport CARD may be OK for land travel, think about what you would do if an emergency arises and you had a need to fly home. The passport CARD would do you no good. Too many things could happen out on the great blue sea. Illness, missing the ship at port or LOL getting put off the ship for doing something stupid. BC, DL, Passport CARD would not get you home.

 

Yes 150 is a hard swallow but over 10 yrs it is 15. My car registration is more then that.

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Also I have seen a proposed form that some people applying for a passport will be required to fill out. It asks for the names and phone number of all your employers since you were 14 years old. The government estimates it would take 45 minutes to fill out the form. I don't think it would be humanly possible to ever fill it out.

 

 

Good LORD! that might be easy enough to do if you're, say... 22 years old. I dare say that, at this point in my life, I'm not sure I could remember the NAMES of all the companies I've worked for, let alone the fact that probably more than half of them are no longer in business, or have been bought out by another company. Maybe even 75% of them.:eek::eek:

My very, very first job that I got paid for was in 1964. I was 14. That was a LONG time ago........

 

I truely hope that proposed form mysteriously disappears from everyone's minds. Just like the names of all my employers for the past 45 years.

(and p.s. I got my passport 2 years ago for our first cruise, so I'm good for another 8 years)

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Don't wait until a couple of months before you passport expires to renew or you might get a nasty surprise. We renew our at 9 years 1 year from the date it expires. It is not the time frame but a requirement of some countries. If you passport expires Aug 1, and you are going to a foreign country on Jun 20th and returning on June 30th, you will actually be returning the same day because you will not clear customs upon entering and yes they send you back. The requirement for entry for most Europe countries is 90 days, which means your passport cannot expire with in 90 days of when you ENTER/LEAVE their country even if your stay will only be 5 days. Some countries require 6 month time limit.

We flew to Barcelona and in customs there was a couple in front of us going on the same sailing whose passports expired on July 14, 2011. It was May 8 and they were returning to the US on May 23. They were denied entry in Barcelona, and told they were being detained and sent back.

Most countries it is 90 days, but since 9/11 some countries have increased that to 6 months. They can also change that to a longer time on a whim, their country their rules. So for us, our US passport really only lasts 9 years since we travel often to Europe

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Don't wait until a couple of months before you passport expires to renew or you might get a nasty surprise. We renew our at 9 years 1 year from the date it expires. It is not the time frame but a requirement of some countries. If you passport expires Aug 1, and you are going to a foreign country on Jun 20th and returning on June 30th, you will actually be returning the same day because you will not clear customs upon entering and yes they send you back. The requirement for entry for most Europe countries is 90 days, which means your passport cannot expire with in 90 days of when you ENTER/LEAVE their country even if your stay will only be 5 days. Some countries require 6 month time limit.

We flew to Barcelona and in customs there was a couple in front of us going on the same sailing whose passports expired on July 14, 2011. It was May 8 and they were returning to the US on May 23. They were denied entry in Barcelona, and told they were being detained and sent back.

Most countries it is 90 days, but since 9/11 some countries have increased that to 6 months. They can also change that to a longer time on a whim, their country their rules. So for us, our US passport really only lasts 9 years since we travel often to Europe

 

I don't understand the point in having an expiration date if it doesn't really matter.

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Don't wait until a couple of months before you passport expires to renew or you might get a nasty surprise. We renew our at 9 years 1 year from the date it expires. It is not the time frame but a requirement of some countries. If you passport expires Aug 1, and you are going to a foreign country on Jun 20th and returning on June 30th, you will actually be returning the same day because you will not clear customs upon entering and yes they send you back. The requirement for entry for most Europe countries is 90 days, which means your passport cannot expire with in 90 days of when you ENTER/LEAVE their country even if your stay will only be 5 days. Some countries require 6 month time limit.

We flew to Barcelona and in customs there was a couple in front of us going on the same sailing whose passports expired on July 14, 2011. It was May 8 and they were returning to the US on May 23. They were denied entry in Barcelona, and told they were being detained and sent back.

Most countries it is 90 days, but since 9/11 some countries have increased that to 6 months. They can also change that to a longer time on a whim, their country their rules. So for us, our US passport really only lasts 9 years since we travel often to Europe

 

I'm surprised they were allowed ON the plane. Has one gal denied boarding at the airport because her passport expiration date. She had to play catchup with the group.

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I don't understand the point in having an expiration date if it doesn't really matter.

 

Because the expiration date is a US regulation and the 90 day, 6 month requirement is the requirement of the country you are entering. They have the right to deny entry to THEIR country for ANY reason to anyone. There is NO saying "not fair that is discrimination" outside of US borders. US laws are not international laws. The more you travel to other countries, they more you realize that yes you can be turned away from anything, from a hospital, to a restaurant, to a store in another country because they do not want you there. "No foreigners" is a reality in places out the the US.

No it is not the usual happening, but if a country decided to stop certain people from entering (let's say everyone over age 60) they can. A passport gets you OUT of the US and back into the US. It does not guarantee, you will be allowed in any other country.

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Also, with the idiot politicians in DC fighting about the budget and debt, you run the risk of dealing with a possible gov't shutdown later this summer. Get your passport now while you still can! If something does happen, and services are delayed, don't come complaining on the CC boards later on!;)

 

 

 

I know right. U.S. citizens might not be able to take trips to Europe if the govt shuts down.:rolleyes:

 

Bill

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While a Passport CARD may be OK for land travel, think about what you would do if an emergency arises and you had a need to fly home. The passport CARD would do you no good. Too many things could happen out on the great blue sea. Illness, missing the ship at port or LOL getting put off the ship for doing something stupid. BC, DL, Passport CARD would not get you home.

 

Yes 150 is a hard swallow but over 10 yrs it is 15. My car registration is more then that.

 

When I went to give them my $15 for the first year and asked if they'd send me a bill every year for the next 9 years they wouldn't let me do it.

 

How about if you a family of 5 cruising to the caribbean. If $150 is hard to swallow how would $750 be?

 

Bill

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Because the expiration date is a US regulation and the 90 day, 6 month requirement is the requirement of the country you are entering. They have the right to deny entry to THEIR country for ANY reason to anyone. There is NO saying "not fair that is discrimination" outside of US borders. US laws are not international laws. The more you travel to other countries, they more you realize that yes you can be turned away from anything, from a hospital, to a restaurant, to a store in another country because they do not want you there. "No foreigners" is a reality in places out the the US.

No it is not the usual happening, but if a country decided to stop certain people from entering (let's say everyone over age 60) they can. A passport gets you OUT of the US and back into the US. It does not guarantee, you will be allowed in any other country.

 

Well said!

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When I went to give them my $15 for the first year and asked if they'd send me a bill every year for the next 9 years they wouldn't let me do it.

 

How about if you a family of 5 cruising to the caribbean. If $150 is hard to swallow how would $750 be?

 

Bill

 

It is a lot for a family. We got our kids passports when they were born becuase we traveled a lot. It does help to plan ahead and space them out if you have the time. Maybe do one of the kids per month until you have them all.

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Also I have seen a proposed form that some people applying for a passport will be required to fill out. It asks for the names and phone number of all your employers since you were 14 years old. The government estimates it would take 45 minutes to fill out the form. I don't think it would be humanly possible to ever fill it out.

 

I applied for my passport March 26 of this year...about 4 weeks later they sent me a packet asking for additional information to verify my identity (guess my BC and my license wasn't enough). In the packet, I was to list all my former address (mom had a hard time remembering them all, since we have been at current address for over 18 year), all my former employers, and I believe info on my parents, where they were born (that was hard because being poor and in the 60s, my parents were born at home).

 

Took me a week to track down all information and I sent it back in. It took another 3-4 weeks to get my passport.

 

Considering the work thing, they wanted the company you worked for, the name of your supervisor, how long you worked for them and they wanted you to explain any long gaps when you were not working.

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They will mail the birth certificate separately, so it will probably come next week.

 

 

Well timing is everything isn't it... I walked out to get the mail today and sure enough there was her birth certificate and the other unused photo. Guess I shouldn't have been so impatient. I'm Canadian and when I have to renew mine (they expire every 5 years) they return everything in the same envelope.

 

-Marc

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Re: Gov't shutdown

 

There is no word that the gov't is planning on shutting down later this summer. The budget for FY2011 is in place and is good until September 30, 2011. October 1, 2011 is the beginning of FY2012 and chances are, we (federal employees) will go through the same nonsense cr*p we have gone through for the last ... oh, 9 years since I started working for them.

 

Please don't say things like this to freak people out. However, that being said, you should never wait till the last minute to get or renew your passport. There will always be the potential for obstacles to get in your way - most of which you cannot control.

 

And finally, I am a person who loves to travel and has a passport. I saw some comments here about the gov't and shutting down and so on ... please remember that God forbid that should happen, there are a lot of us middle-class working people who will be forced to stay home, not work, and most importantly, not get paid! This almost happened a couple of months ago and it was frightening. I don't work for the state department or any passport-type agency, but before anyone gets upset because they would potentially not get a passport in that instance, please remember the poor soul who is told "do not check email, do not turn on your cell phone, do not come to the office, or you will be terminated immediately" and are told "you will not be paid" ...

 

Sorry for the rant, but the couple of "gov't shutdown" comments hit a nerve. Please don't post things like that when they are simply not true.

 

Enjoy your cruise - once you have your passport it is soooooooooooooo easy to embark, debark and most of all E-N-J-O-Y!!

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I have to admit I don't understand why a lot of folks seem to hesitant to get a passport.

 

I would imagine one reason could be that perhaps an extra $600 for passports for a family of 4 might be the difference whether or not they can afford the trip. That's a lot of money for a lot of people, especially if they rarely travel and would only need it once. That could be their spending money for the trip.

 

Not everyone can afford the luxury of taking 5 cruises a year, so the option of not having to pay that additional money if it's not absolutely necessary can be a huge deciding factor between (another) trip to Six Flags or a cruise to Cozumel.

 

JMHO, FWIW :)

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Here is the information straight from the State Dept. website:

 

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.

 

So, if you never plan to fly out of the country you can get the passport card. The thing is, why limit yourself? You may in the future want to do a Med or Baltic cruise, and you'll need the passport. You might be injured in the Carribbean and you'll have to be flown home, then the passport card isn't valid for entry into the U.S. Its up to you.

 

I found that page right after I had posted that ... thank you. :)

 

I was mostly wondering what the difference was, because the passport card was only like $50, and the passport book was $135+. We'll probably just go ahead and get the books for at least my husband & I ... my kids are still under 16. It just seems like a waste to me if we don't absolutely have to have them, because we're only likely to need them for this trip.

 

I'm hoping to get him hooked on this cruise, so we can get our $135 worth though ... a girl can dream can't she? lol

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We got our passports in two weeks as well. We went to the Post Office, who also took the photo for $15. The whole thing was easy and convenient. I hesitated in getting one for DH, DS and myself (DD already has one) as that's another $450 but I feel better about it as you just never know what can happen.

 

Someone mentioned they don't stamp them anymore, but DD got hers stamped when she went to Italy in April.

 

Also..make sure that when you get it to be sure to sign it on the first page that's over the photo page. Also on the next page, you should fill in your US address (and foreign address if applicable) and below that you would fill in contact info for someone who is to be contacted in case of emergency.

 

It's also a good idea to make two photo copies...one to give to someone back at home and one to keep in a separate place/location in your posession. This is in case your original is lost or stolen.

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Also..make sure that when you get it to be sure to sign it on the first page that's over the photo page. Also on the next page, you should fill in your US address (and foreign address if applicable) and below that you would fill in contact info for someone who is to be contacted in case of emergency.

 

Do this part in PENCIL, your emergency contacts might change within 10 years as well as your address. ;)

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Have looked and looked but cannot find the answer to this. Can Pass Cards be exchanged for Passport Books. We have had ours for 4 years but sons have PassCards. One son will more then likely never fly out of the country but other son may. Curious.

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When our family took our first cruise in 2005, we budgeted for 6 passports. Just this last year, we had to renew the two youngest boys passports. There was not a lot of questions, but then again they were under 16 when they originally got their passport.

 

Three out of four of our boys have since traveled to several different European countries and to Mexico on land vacations. My youngest just returned from Italy, Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic. He said everyone in his group (25 just graduated High School kids enrolled in an IB History course) cheered each time the custums agent said, "Welcome back to the United States!" to each one.

 

I always recommend to my friends, that when they allow one of their kids to travel outside the USA, that at least one parent make sure he/she has a current passport.

 

There have been several times recently, just in my area, that a child got very sick, injured, or died (as the case of the boy in KS who visited Costa Rica with his Spanish Class, and was shot when he attempted to sneak back into his hotel at 4 am), and a parent needed to go to that country to help the child.

 

YES, those people were able to get a expedited passport/emergency VISA, but it took a couple of days. It would be very hard to wait.

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