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Missing ship in a foreign port with no passport

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21 hours ago, SantaFeFan said:

 

My experiences have been with Celebrity, Princess and Disney. They all provided that information in the cruise documents sent to me upon booking. Perhaps other cruise lines are not as helpful.

 

 

Paul Gauguin, RCCL, and Windstar all do the same.

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5 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

As I said early on I've read two accounts of people leaving the ship mid cruise in places without a State Department presence. They were indeed allowed to board the plane to the US where they were processed through secondary inspection before being allowed to proceed. The horror stories that I've read regarding medical emergencies all had the common theme of the passenger not having the money to pay for medical treatment, not having a passport was secondary to that. The authorities do have the ability to waive the passport requirement for emergencies and for humanitarian reasons so it is not always necessary to have an emergency passport issued.

Unless they depart the ship in a US port, they were not allowed to board the plane.  If you are basing your information on a story posted here, well, most stories posted here would be sold in the fiction section of the book store.  Find one story where this "secondary inspection" was permitted.  Shoot, even the cruises that returned to a different US port due to mechanical issues put Customs people on board hours before to sort out people. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

Actually I'm a staunch supporter of people using the documentation that makes the best sense for them to use for their individual travel needs. If someone is that worried about the current political environment then they should by all means get a passport. I have read the reports of US citizens being detained and don't see the connection between those cases and someone traveling on a cruise using documentation that is legally allowed (and IIRC at least one of the individuals involved had a valid US passport and was still detained). I also don't see the current climate changing tourism related documentation.

 

Well, it could be argued that owning a home or car and not having insurance on it make the best sense if a person is trying to save money. How often does something happen that insurance would help with? Most of the time it is money paid for nothing, just like paying the $11 per year for a passport (about the price of a single low end alcoholic drink per year). But, when it is needed, it can be priceless.

 

Not having documents to protect against the unexpected is no different whether owning a home or cruising on a closed loop itinerary that visits foreign countries. It is all about how comfortable a person is with unexpected risks. 

 

My level of risk taking when traveling is not very high. Even though I can afford the hundred's of dollars that may be required to get back home because I chose to save a few dollars on a relatively inexpensive passport, I prefer not to. I just don't think that is fiscally responsible. 

 

And if you can't see the negative changes that have happened over the last two years regarding ease of entering the US, your political leaning is obvious. 

Edited by SantaFeFan

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3 hours ago, SantaFeFan said:

 

Well, it could be argued that owning a home or car and not having insurance on it make the best sense if a person is trying to save money. How often does something happen that insurance would help with? Most of the time it is money paid for nothing, just like paying the $11 per year for a passport (about the price of a single low end alcoholic drink per year). But, when it is needed, it can be priceless.

 

Not having documents to protect against the unexpected is no different whether owning a home or cruising on a closed loop itinerary that visits foreign countries. It is all about how comfortable a person is with unexpected risks. 

 

My level of risk taking when traveling is not very high. Even though I can afford the hundred's of dollars that may be required to get back home because I chose to save a few dollars on a relatively inexpensive passport, I prefer not to. I just don't think that is fiscally responsible. 

 

And if you can't see the negative changes that have happened over the last two years regarding ease of entering the US, your political leaning is obvious. 

Ease of entering the US for non-US citizens possibly, haven't seen any signs that anything has changed for returning US citizens. I am apolitical because I don't see either party as being the sole answer for anything. Insurance on a home or a car is often mandated by the holder of the note, so I don't see that as being particularly helpful. The only thing a passport provides is it reduces any potential delay IF something happens and the risk of something happening is going to vary person to person, as is the acceptance of that risk. You can try math games if you want, but the full amount of the passport is due and payable up front. For my family it would have added $850 for a 4 day cruise. You might think that's a good investment and that's fine, it's your money. I didn't see it as a good investment at all, especially with our uncertainty about future travel plans. 

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4 hours ago, Elaine5715 said:

Unless they depart the ship in a US port, they were not allowed to board the plane.  If you are basing your information on a story posted here, well, most stories posted here would be sold in the fiction section of the book store.  Find one story where this "secondary inspection" was permitted.  Shoot, even the cruises that returned to a different US port due to mechanical issues put Customs people on board hours before to sort out people. 

They did that to reduce the time necessary to clear the ship on arrival in all likelihood. I remember the Carnival ship that disembarked everyone in St Maarten due to mechanical issues. CBP issued people without passports a letter that allowed them to board flights back to the US. In the case of an individual a similar procedure is followed. As I've said, the authorities are well versed at handling these situations and will get travelers home as quickly as the circumstances allow. If any sort of delay is worrisome to someone then they should by all means obtain a passport.

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19 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

They did that to reduce the time necessary to clear the ship on arrival in all likelihood. I remember the Carnival ship that disembarked everyone in St Maarten due to mechanical issues. CBP issued people without passports a letter that allowed them to board flights back to the US. In the case of an individual a similar procedure is followed. As I've said, the authorities are well versed at handling these situations and will get travelers home as quickly as the circumstances allow. If any sort of delay is worrisome to someone then they should by all means obtain a passport.

Yeah, they are well versed.  You go to the consulate in the country you are in and you apply for an emergency passport.  That is it.  No shortcuts.  What happens when a large group of people are involved so the two govts work something out is certainly not the same as when BillyBob and Sally Jo get left behind in Cozumel.  

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13 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

For most closed loop cruises you aren't in port on a weekend, your cruise is just starting or you are on a sea day getting to the first port. Your first paragraph makes a much stronger case for good travel insurance than it does for having a passport. People love to assume the worst when in fact the authorities are well practiced at getting folks home under such circumstances. 

You always speak only about closed loop cruises which actually represent a minority of cruises all over the world.  Others, including me, are trying to deal with an issue that can impact any cruise anywhere in the world.  From reading your posts I do wonder if you have ever been on anything other then closed loops.  Even on closed loops the ultimate resolution of the OP’s issue can depend on the actual place where one is stranded.   Most Caribbean islands do not even have a US Consulate which can create additional logistic issues in getting emergency documents.  And you might be shocked to know that there is a large cruise world beyond closed loops.  Closed loops only apply to one segment of the North American population who choose to cruise in a very limited part of the world.

 

And there are plenty of closed loop cruises that are in ports on weekends. In fact, my last two closed loops (on MSC)and our next two closed loops are in ports on weekends.  But in my cruise world, closed loops represent a small fraction of our cruises.

 

Hank

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, sparks1093 said:

You can try math games if you want, but the full amount of the passport is due and payable up front. For my family it would have added $850 for a 4 day cruise. You might think that's a good investment and that's fine, it's your money. I didn't see it as a good investment at all, especially with our uncertainty about future travel plans. 

 

If anyone is playing math games, it is you. It is clear you have taken many cruises, and plan to take even more. To use the excuse of "but the full amount of the passport is due and payable up front" is true, but only if you obsess over the short term, one time cruise. When considering the long term bigger picture, spread out over several cruises the cost is quite reasonable. To go on ad infinitum about the one time cost is disingenuous at best, and deflection at worst. Instead of digging in and refusing to accept the proven value of a passport, try to make it less about yourself and more about what is best for the other people you are trying so hard to push your personal agenda on. 

 

 

Edited by SantaFeFan

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9 hours ago, SantaFeFan said:

 

If anyone is playing math games, it is you. It is clear you have taken many cruises, and plan to take even more. To use the excuse of "but the full amount of the passport is due and payable up front" is true, but only if you obsess over the short term, one time cruise. When considering the long term bigger picture, spread out over several cruises the cost is quite reasonable. To go on ad infinitum about the one time cost is disingenuous at best, and deflection at worst. Instead of digging in and refusing to accept the proven value of a passport, try to make it less about yourself and more about what is best for the other people you are trying so hard to push your personal agenda on. 

 

 

In some ways the cost of a passport is like the cost of insurance, you hope you don't have the emergency that means you really needed it, but you are glad you have the assurance that it is there if it is needed.

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10 hours ago, Elaine5715 said:

Yeah, they are well versed.  You go to the consulate in the country you are in and you apply for an emergency passport.  That is it.  No shortcuts.  What happens when a large group of people are involved so the two govts work something out is certainly not the same as when BillyBob and Sally Jo get left behind in Cozumel.  

Yes, it actually is the same. So what do you do if you are in a country where there is no consulate? Many islands in the Caribbean fit that bill. You can't fly without a passport, so you are stuck? I'm not reading a lot of horror stories about those situations, I am reading about people who are allowed to board a plane back to the US. (And one of those stories actually involved Cozumel and yes, the passengers were allowed to board a plane without having to travel to the nearest Consulate, whether you want to believe that or not.)

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9 hours ago, Hlitner said:

You always speak only about closed loop cruises which actually represent a minority of cruises all over the world.  Others, including me, are trying to deal with an issue that can impact any cruise anywhere in the world.  From reading your posts I do wonder if you have ever been on anything other then closed loops.  Even on closed loops the ultimate resolution of the OP’s issue can depend on the actual place where one is stranded.   Most Caribbean islands do not even have a US Consulate which can create additional logistic issues in getting emergency documents.  And you might be shocked to know that there is a large cruise world beyond closed loops.  Closed loops only apply to one segment of the North American population who choose to cruise in a very limited part of the world.

 

And there are plenty of closed loop cruises that are in ports on weekends. In fact, my last two closed loops (on MSC)and our next two closed loops are in ports on weekends.  But in my cruise world, closed loops represent a small fraction of our cruises.

 

Hank

You are absolutely correct, my comments pertain only to closed loop cruises and I've made that clear (or at least I've tried to). I am well aware that there are other cruises out there and my comments wouldn't pertain to them at all. I also said that "most" closed loop cruises aren't in port on weekends, which acknowledges that "some" are. 

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9 hours ago, SantaFeFan said:

 

If anyone is playing math games, it is you. It is clear you have taken many cruises, and plan to take even more. To use the excuse of "but the full amount of the passport is due and payable up front" is true, but only if you obsess over the short term, one time cruise. When considering the long term bigger picture, spread out over several cruises the cost is quite reasonable. To go on ad infinitum about the one time cost is disingenuous at best, and deflection at worst. Instead of digging in and refusing to accept the proven value of a passport, try to make it less about yourself and more about what is best for the other people you are trying so hard to push your personal agenda on. 

I did consider the long term big picture when we first started cruising and our future travel plans were nebulous at best so we decided that we would forego getting passports at least for that first cruise, which very well could have been "one and done". We did take several cruises after that and passports were not needed for any of them and we decided each time that the risk was low enough to warrant not spending money we didn't have to spend for something we didn't need. I fully agree that a passport is the best travel document that one can have. People have the right to make up their own mind and they should choose the travel documentation that best meets their needs. That's my nefarious agenda.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

 I also said that "most" closed loop cruises aren't in port on weekends, which acknowledges that "some" are. 

If you want to be picky that would be "Most 7nts closed loop cruises from Florida and Texas aren't in port on weekends". But a lot of 3-4nts and 9-11nts cruises are, the same goes for 7nts (and longer) from Puerto Rico. Even 7nts from Florida, that have Nassau as their first or last port of call can be in port during a weekend.

Edited by Extra Kim

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16 minutes ago, Extra Kim said:

If you want to be picky that would be "Most 7nts closed loop cruises from Florida and Texas aren't in port on weekends". But a lot of 3-4nts and 9-11nts cruises are, the same goes for 7nts (and longer) from Puerto Rico. Even 7nts from Florida, that have Nassau as their first or last port of call can be in port during a weekend.

If someone's itinerary has them in port on a weekend then that is certainly something for them to consider.

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Wow passports and other things bring out the best in people, LOL

 

Can't believe anyway argues about the need to secure a passport if they are traveling out of the US in any way ship or form.   Do they argue whether the need a drivers license if they don't drive or even don't get one if they drive because of the cost/inconveneice?    

 

Passport is a universal ID for airports, banks, etc. etc. oh gets you in and out of your country too.   Seems a small thing to spring for if you are leaving the country. 

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Who in their right mind would travel without passports on their person.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Michalina said:

Who in their right mind would travel without passports on their person

Well, we've seen ample evidence on this thread.

Edited by mom says

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On 7/23/2019 at 11:11 PM, Elaine5715 said:

You are simply traveling inside one country to the US consulate, there isn't a passport requirement for that   I don't believe those stories, they read like what happens when you are flying inside the US without ID not trying to re-enter the US without a passport.  

 

No.  There is one I recall, that the people got approval to fly back to the US from Mexico.  That is international, at least last time I checked. 🙂

 

There are waivers.  But they also take time and effort.  It is not just walking up to the airport or the cruise line calling the airline and away you go.

 

And it will likely take coordination between two different Federal agencies.  And we all know how well that works. 😄

 

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1 hour ago, Michalina said:

Who in their right mind would travel without passports on their person.

 

 

It was common when I first travelled on a cruise, as an adult.  I needed a birth certificate or similar, if questioned but it was pretty clear that unless one looked non European no one would ask!  

 

I also remember crossing the Canadian border about 10 years ago, returning to the US when the border patrol seemed to not recognize a passport.  Ultimately I think he was just surprised, but since we already owned them it seemed like the best I’d at the time.  

 

For years US citizens have crossed into Mexico with only driver’s licenses too.  I think the times have changed but certainly it has been harder for some to keep up with the times! 

 

I actually used a passport within the US for I’d, I was asked whether I didn’t have a drivers license instead!   I asked why and was told because it has a number on it!  Last century however I got a good recon for why with checks they wanted drivers licenses, they had the physical description that would be needed for a warrant if the check was bad. 

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1 hour ago, Michalina said:

Who in their right mind would travel without passports on their person.

 

My brother.  This will be my first cruise with him.  I always take my passport & photocopies of it.  I take it with me on most ports.  I guess I'm more of a worrier than him.  

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6 minutes ago, Jasonmom said:

 

My brother.  This will be my first cruise with him.  I always take my passport & photocopies of it.  I take it with me on most ports.  I guess I'm more of a worrier than him.  

 

 

While i may not take my passport into all ports, I do have a copy of mine and my husband’s, and vice versa.  There are a few places we have felt we couldn’t protect our passport as well as we might normally!  Although we aren’t beach people that would be the most common example I could think of!  We were supposed to go snorkeling in the great barrier reefs.  Can’t remember if we would have been required to carry them there! 

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All cruises I have done have been with a passport, no suprice since I'm Swedish, but I wouldn't bring it into a port if I didn't have to. 

 

I have done two cruises going into the UK, both times CBP officers got onboard days before we docked in Southampton and we had to bring our passport to them.

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2 minutes ago, Extra Kim said:

All cruises I have done have been with a passport, no suprice since I'm Swedish, but I wouldn't bring it into a port if I didn't have to. 

 

I have done two cruises going into the UK, both times CBP officers got onboard days before we docked in Southampton and we had to bring our passport to them.

 

 

Love it! 

 

I remember needing passports between germany and Austria etc!  Well actually I was on my mom’s passport, but in a car I saw the double barriers etc! 

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If you are a US citizen who only sails on closed loop cruises to/from the US and does no other foreign travel then getting a passport is a personal decision based on their risk factors and tolerance for risk.  It is not illegal for them to sail without a passport, nor will they be permanently stranded in a foreign port.  By not having a passport they are accepting the risk that it may take longer and be more of a hassle for them to get home but that is their choice to do so if they feel the risk of that happening is low and they can accept that risk if something happens.

 

DH and I sailed on 10 closed looped cruises with our kids from 2001-2013 because we felt the risk was too low for the expense.  We never needed a passport during those 12 years.  In 2013 for our 11th cruise we were sailing for the first time without our kids who at that time were a sophomore in high school and a freshman in college.  We decided to get passports for ourselves in case anything happened to the kids and we needed to get home to them quickly with less hassles.  Our choice changed because our risk factors changed as did our tolerance for that risk.  Our kids have sailed twice more since then without passports because the risk for them was low and their risk tolerance was still high.  They did not need a passport either time.  It is their choice now whether or not to get passports as they are 22 and 25.  I can say without a doubt that even though we used passports for ourselves since 2013, no one in our family has NEEDED to use a passport for any of our travels in our lives and I can't say that using a passport over using our DL and Birth Certificates (when needed) has made any of our traveling easier or sped up anytime of time it has taken us to get through customs.

 

Some people on these boards claim that you should have a passport because who know when you will need it for trip outside of the US and that by not having one you are limiting your travel.  My answer to that is when you need a passport for travel outside of the US then you get one.  Why purchase one to have on hand just in case?  IMHO that is a waste of money and time lost on your passport.  I expect when my kids decide to travel internationally, and I fully expect they will as DS has already asked us to go with him on a trip to Europe in a couple of years after we retire,  that then they will go out and get themselves a passport.  But I don't expect them to get one before then just in case...we just did a Carnival Magic cruise with them in May and both of them decided not to get one yet.  And yet I can honestly say our kids have not been limited on their travel without a passport.  We live in Michigan and they have had many long week end trips around our Great Lakes State, both lower and upper peninsula, as well as to over half of the US including some great places like the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore, Wisconsin Dells, Chicago, NYC, New Orleans, Myrtle Beach, Niagara Falls, Key West, Orlando, and many, many more.  Then there are the places we took them to on our cruises St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, St. Kitts, Grand Turk, Halifax, Saint John, Jamaica, Costa Maya, Belize, Roatan, and more.  And yet there are so many places that are still on my own personal bucket list that we can travel to in the US and on closed loop cruises that we can still travel to...no passport needed.  And yes we will probably travel outside those places eventually and then we will make sure all of us going will have a passports because that is when we will NEED one no matter what our risk factors and risk tolerances are.

 

My point behind all of this is if you are a US Citizen, you currently have a choice to get a passport or not.  If you chose to travel to a place that requires a passport then you get a passport to go where you want to go.  Otherwise that choice to get a passport or not is a personal one based on your own level of risk taking and your own risk factors.  Everyone has their own set of risk factor and their own tolerance for risk.  No decision is wrong as long as accept the consequences of your decision when your luck goes bad and take personal responsibility for the choices you made.  Now it is those people who don't take the personal responsibility and blame everyone else under the sun for their decisions that should be questioned for their choices....if you can't accept the risk, then you definitely should be making safer choices.

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3 hours ago, Michalina said:

Who in their right mind would travel without passports on their person.

 

Me. Arguably those that carry their passport everywhere are in their left mind.

I leave it in the safe in my cabin or hotel room when out and about unless I plan to cross a border. No way do I want to go through the hassle of replacing it if I get robbed. 

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