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Nervous about travel documents - please help!

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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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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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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.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Thanks for the data point!

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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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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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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)

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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. [emoji41]

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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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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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.

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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.

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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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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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Edited by thinfool

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You cannot enter Brazil w/o a passport and a visa (US Citizens). Regardless of itinerary.

Brazil is not included in the WHTI.

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

 

 

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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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.

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Interesting...if they did away with the fee, regardless of name, I might consider an itinerary that included Brazil.

 

Regardless, Brazil has no standing with the WHTI. Passports required.

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You would have been fine with your BC and DL....assuming you're American. That's all you need for a "closed loop" cruise to the Caribbean.

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You would have been fine with your BC and DL....assuming you're American. That's all you need for a "closed loop" cruise to the Caribbean.

 

 

 

.....as long as the cruise line does not have its own requirements for a passport.

 

 

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You would have been fine with your BC and DL....assuming you're American. That's all you need for a "closed loop" cruise to the Caribbean.

 

I am American. I was just getting the passport for good measure. Since there was a chance I might not get it in time, I want to be absolutely sure this documentation is sufficient.

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.....as long as the cruise line does not have its own requirements for a passport.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Luckily, RCCL does accept birth certificates and ID. But since some ports (such as Cuba) require a passport, I’m still a bit concerned.

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I know you know the real reason why. [emoji41]

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.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Funny, I've never experienced any of those passenger issues.

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Funny, I've never experienced any of those passenger issues.

 

 

Even funnier(?), you're not the only folks on the ship (or trying to get on with whatever ID).

As for getting up early for customs/border review of your passport, I'm guessing you've not been to French Polynesia (or quite a few other Pacific locations).

 

 

 

 

 

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Even funnier(?), you're not the only folks on the ship (or trying to get on with whatever ID).

As for getting up early for customs/border review of your passport, I'm guessing you've not been to French Polynesia (or quite a few other Pacific locations).

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

I didn't fare all that well in geography in high school but I'm fairly certain that one can't reach French Polynesia via a closed loop cruise:cool:. As for other folks needing their ID yes, they do and no cruise line that I know of is going to delay sailing for someone whose documents are not in order (which ultimately is the passenger's responsibility).

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I didn't fare all that well in geography in high school but I'm fairly certain that one can't reach French Polynesia via a closed loop cruise:cool:. As for other folks needing their ID yes, they do and no cruise line that I know of is going to delay sailing for someone whose documents are not in order (which ultimately is the passenger's responsibility).

 

 

 

Hello? There are other than American passengers on cruise ships regardless of where they're going. "Closed loop" is a knitting stitch to them.

Also, my comment was to explain why some cruise lines require passports of everyone (in general as opposed to Caribbean -- oops! Isn't Cuba in the Caribbean and a port on a growing number of MIA RT cruises?).

Not rocket science here: just a common sense industry practice to have a "common denominator" (across a multinational passenger population) where those affected would have little if any reason to have issue with the practice.

 

 

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I didn't fare all that well in geography in high school but I'm fairly certain that one can't reach French Polynesia via a closed loop cruise:cool:. As for other folks needing their ID yes, they do and no cruise line that I know of is going to delay sailing for someone whose documents are not in order (which ultimately is the passenger's responsibility).

 

Maybe you should have listened better in class - there are several itineraries (on HAL, Princess, and Regent) sailing from Calfornia ports which hit one ore more ports in Frence Polynesia and which seem to meet the definition of "closed loop cruise".

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Hello? There are other than American passengers on cruise ships regardless of where they're going. "Closed loop" is a knitting stitch to them.

Also, my comment was to explain why some cruise lines require passports of everyone (in general as opposed to Caribbean -- oops! Isn't Cuba in the Caribbean and a port on a growing number of MIA RT cruises?).

Not rocket science here: just a common sense industry practice to have a "common denominator" (across a multinational passenger population) where those affected would have little if any reason to have issue with the practice.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

I thought your comment was regarding having to get up early to meet with customs people, my bad. The mainstream lines do quite well explaining to their multinational clients that they need passports. Yes, Cuba is certainly in the Caribbean and all ships calling there do require passports for all passengers, even US ones.

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Maybe you should have listened better in class - there are several itineraries (on HAL, Princess, and Regent) sailing from Calfornia ports which hit one ore more ports in Frence Polynesia and which seem to meet the definition of "closed loop cruise".

 

Comes more from a lack of knowledge of cruise line itineraries then geography;), but "closed loop cruise" includes not only leaving from a US port and returning to the same US port but also entails sailing entirely within those countries covered by the WHTI.

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Just bumping to say I would still appreciate information from anyone about the BC + ID combo. :)

 

There's really no more information you need- if your passport doesn't return in time (which it should) your birth cert and govt issued ID will be sufficient to get on your cruise. Millions of people every year travel with something other than a passport on a closed loop cruise and while I don't know what the break down is regarding how many are using BC/Govt ID I'm sure it's a decent percentage.

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There's really no more information you need- if your passport doesn't return in time (which it should) your birth cert and govt issued ID will be sufficient to get on your cruise. Millions of people every year travel with something other than a passport on a closed loop cruise and while I don't know what the break down is regarding how many are using BC/Govt ID I'm sure it's a decent percentage.

 

I’ve seen conflicting things about Saint Martin and whether or not they require a passport (and Labadee as well - but I’m going to assume that’s misinformation because I doubt RCCL would have their private destentation be inaccessible to so many).

 

I know that generally, BC + IDs work on closed loop cruises. That’s why I ordered a second copy of my BC. Some ports though, as discussed, require a passport, even for closed loop.

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Comes more from a lack of knowledge of cruise line itineraries then geography;), but "closed loop cruise" includes not only leaving from a US port and returning to the same US port but also entails sailing entirely within those countries covered by the WHTI.

 

No-- a "closed loop cruise" is defined simply as a cruise which departs from, and returns to, the same U S port. Just because the WHTI documentation exceptions only apply to closed loop cruises, it certainly does not mean that a closed loop cruise can only involve WHTI signatories.

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No-- a "closed loop cruise" is defined simply as a cruise which departs from, and returns to, the same U S port. Just because the WHTI documentation exceptions only apply to closed loop cruises, it certainly does not mean that a closed loop cruise can only involve WHTI signatories.

 

The DHS regulation legal definition of "closed loop" (and the resulting "closed loop exception") involves those countries covered by the WHTI. One can certainly board a cruise in NYC and cruise around the world returning to NYC and it is not a cruise covered by the closed loop exception.

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I’ve seen conflicting things about Saint Martin and whether or not they require a passport (and Labadee as well - but I’m going to assume that’s misinformation because I doubt RCCL would have their private destentation be inaccessible to so many).

 

I know that generally, BC + IDs work on closed loop cruises. That’s why I ordered a second copy of my BC. Some ports though, as discussed, require a passport, even for closed loop.

 

It is my understanding that both St Martin and Labadee except cruise ship passengers from the passport requirements. If this were not so passengers could not board any cruise destined for those ports with anything less than a passport.

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I recently renewed my passport and got passports for my kids and got them back in about 2 weeks, not expedited. If you put the travel date on there they will get it back to you. The post office even messed up and didnt sign one of my kids applications and total time was about 3 weeks even after the Passport office sent the application back to us and had to resend.

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Note to all non-participating readers of this thread:

Who requires passports (including governments and/or cruise lines) and where, when, why (even how) they do can be a moving target (in our somewhat volatile political world climate) and open to interpretation by whoever is officially examining your presented ID.

If you are going to do any kind of international travel in the foreseeable future, get a passport.

 

 

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