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I don't know what to title this but hard lesson learned by 1st time cruiser

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1 hour ago, grandmarnnurse said:

I’m sorry, but I disagree concerning educating these first time cruisers what documentation is needed. It plainly states right in your account online and in your contract documentation what is needed. The problem here is two fold. One: a crappy TA. Two: crappy family dynamics that prevented the knowledgeable relative from notifying the rest of the party. This is not the obligation of Carnival to give people a check list. We all need to take responsibility. I have advised new cruisers on here numerous times, the importance of cruising with a passport over just a license and BC, but I get flamed for it, so why bother trying to help if they don’t want help. You cannot fly home (in case of an emergency) with just a license and BC. Yes, you can cruise a closed loop cruise with just them, but not wise. But to the problem this family experienced was due to the two reasons I stated. Not the cruise line. Personally, I book my own cruises and would never rely on a TA, but if you are so unsure of what to do, find one that specializes in cruises, or your just asking for trouble.

 

Really good post.  Personally I would never leave the USA without a passport for many reasons including ones you mentioned.  

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23 hours ago, Shaded Lady said:

This was my personal terror before our family cruise last month- that my daughter/son in law/grandson would show up at the port without their passports.

 

I gently told my daughter- GIVE ME YOUR PASSPORTS! I'll give them back to you at the port, but if I have them then I'll know that they will be there waiting for you... and that's exactly what happened.... problem solved for me, anyway!

That was our personal terror last month too (well, before the Jet Blue fiasco). VT changed the licensure practice the very week my son needed to renew his license (he turned 18) and they issued a paper temporary identification. It does have a photo on it- but I was worried it wouldn’t be accepted because paper temporary licenses without photos are on the unaccepted docs list. So we were told to keep his expired license and use that in addition to the paper license- the permanent licenses come in the mail- 2 weeks, and we weren’t going to have it in time. Well, HE LOST THE EXPIRED LICENSE 😳! I was imagining having to leave my barely 18 year old son in Miami. Carnival said they didn’t think there would be any problem with the temp photo identification, but I still felt very uncertain about it! I kept it under lock and key. And then his permanent license came the day before we left!!! It was a miracle. I was a wreck every time we pulled it from the file of documents 😂

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22 hours ago, pianoplayerla said:

Yes. Better safe, than sorry. 

They never asked to see ours but I brought it!! 

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3 hours ago, grandmarnnurse said:

I’m sorry, but I disagree concerning educating these first time cruisers what documentation is needed. It plainly states right in your account online and in your contract documentation what is needed. The problem here is two fold. One: a crappy TA. Two: crappy family dynamics that prevented the knowledgeable relative from notifying the rest of the party. This is not the obligation of Carnival to give people a check list. We all need to take responsibility. I have advised new cruisers on here numerous times, the importance of cruising with a passport over just a license and BC, but I get flamed for it, so why bother trying to help if they don’t want help. You cannot fly home (in case of an emergency) with just a license and BC. Yes, you can cruise a closed loop cruise with just them, but not wise. But to the problem this family experienced was due to the two reasons I stated. Not the cruise line. Personally, I book my own cruises and would never rely on a TA, but if you are so unsure of what to do, find one that specializes in cruises, or your just asking for trouble.

Well said. The documents a cruise guest needs is printed on the cruise contract that everyone has to agree to before the booking is completed, it's mentioned in the online check in and also in the FAQ's. Carnival has clearly shown what's needed, but the guest may have chosen not to read the information. That's not Carnival's problem. 

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3 hours ago, Tracey.kinney425 said:

I have my 1st cruise coming up in May 2020. I wasn't sure what was needed to cruise so I read everything on Carnivals site (about everything not just travel docs), I talked to my PVP to make sure I understood everything correctly, I researched with Google as well as read different posts on fb and cc. Why take chances with someone possible giving you wrong information, always check more than once and with more than one source. 

 

Even though I can take my trip with my DL and BC I will be getting a passport, mostly bc if something happens while on the cruise and also why do I want to carry 2 documents, 1 being just a piece of paper easily lost or destroyed when I get just take 1 thing, a passport. (I won't be driving). Plus a passport is good if you decide you want to go to Mexico or Canada, especially since I live in a border state.

 

ALWAYS bring your drivers license with you.  You may very well need it to get back on the ship.  You should leave your passport IN YOUR SAFE in your cabin, if your port is somewhere that a passport is NOT required to get off the ship and through customs at the port. 

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On 7/28/2019 at 10:30 PM, 2wheelin said:

CC did tell GG she needed a passport according to the OP. May get ugly but GG would be at fault and not CC. No reason to feel like crap either if you have ever dealt with someone who is a know-it-all. You can only do so much to try to help some people.

I also would have been after that TA for accurate information or the option to notify the BBB, trip advisor, yelp, etc

 

16 hours ago, Purvis1231 said:

I wonder if the person denied boarding has any recourse against the travel agent who gave the wrong information? 

 

GG sounds like a lady who does not listen. We only have her word that the TA gave the wrong information. I bet the TA did not tell them they did not need birth certificate. GG probably just did not understand when they said no passport required.

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2 hours ago, CruiseGal999 said:

 

ALWAYS bring your drivers license with you.  You may very well need it to get back on the ship.  You should leave your passport IN YOUR SAFE in your cabin, if your port is somewhere that a passport is NOT required to get off the ship and through customs at the port. 

I was going to carry a copy of my passport when out on port days 

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On 7/28/2019 at 8:48 PM, Stallion said:

Another thing I worry about is passengers should be warned that if they have outstanding arrest warrants they need to clear that up before leaving

No need to warn these folks.

 

They are going to enjoy an extended vacation or a new type of back to back.

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7 hours ago, tinkr2 said:

you are 

 

GG sounds like a lady who does not listen. We only have her word that the TA gave the wrong information. I bet the TA did not tell them they did not need birth certificate. GG probably just did not understand when they said no passport required.

you are probably right, more than likely the TA has a form signed by the people detailing the boarding requirements. 

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18 hours ago, Organized Chaos said:

 

In the sister's defense, she was going off of the information their TA gave them. As I mentioned in another post, people have a reasonable expectation that a TA knows what they're talking about. If I hire an accountant who does taxes, I expect them to know the tax code. I wouldn't then go research the tax code myself because that's what I hired the accountant for. Same goes for people who book vacations through a TA, especially for a vacation they've never taken before. The TA's are supposed to be the knowledgeable ones. Not everyone researches as much as many of us like to do, so they rely on "experts" to guide them. I don't believe those types of people are lazy or irresponsible. The fact that someone hires who they think is an expert to help them through an unfamiliar process is a responsible thing to do. Unfortunately, they got a lemon of a TA, then the sister wouldn't listen when presented with information that came (indirectly) from an experienced cruiser. She trusted the TA a little too much at that point.

 

Now, that doesn't excuse the sister's attitude towards the OP's coworker, but that's beside the point.

 

 

 

Who's blaming their problems on others in the OP's story? The OP said that GG acknowledged she should've listened to CC. Sounds like she's blaming herself.

First, there is a big difference between a travel agent and a tax accountant.  A mistake by a travel agent will make you miss a cruise, flight, deny you entry to a country.  A mistake by a tax accountant could land you in jail and/or large fines.  I don't know about you, but I would rather miss a cruise than pay a big fine or spend time in jail.  

 

Second, I was answering a question from another poster.  Do you think, from the op's description of the issue and her co-workers sister, that the sister would take ownership?  I don't, I think that she will blame the travel agent.  

 

Thank you for your input.

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19 hours ago, grandmarnnurse said:

I advise cruisers all the time to use a passport. If they need to fly home (in case of an emergency) they need a passport to do so. That always gets the masses riled up, stating you don’t need a passport, only a license and BC. Yes, that is all you need for a closed loop cruise, but why would anyone chance it? People are in denial if they think it can’t happen to them. It happened to me. Thank goodness I had a passport. 

Absolutely. It is no different than insurance really, health or otherwise. You don't need it until you do. Then when you don't have it you are up the creek without a paddle. 

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On 7/28/2019 at 10:06 PM, Elaine5715 said:

Nah, you can clean that up after.  You can even get a free ride.

Correct, if you have an outstanding warrant you will likely not get flagged until you return; so enjoy your vacation and then get handcuffed upon return.....A little technical but if where you are wanted will not extradite (pay to get you back to their jurisdiction)  they will let you go! 

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21 hours ago, tinkr2 said:

 

 

GG sounds like a lady who does not listen. We only have her word that the TA gave the wrong information. I bet the TA did not tell them they did not need birth certificate. GG probably just did not understand when they said no passport required.

 

I agree.  My brother & sister-in-law had a TA that did not tell them they needed a passport to fly from Philly to Mexico. The airline clerk told them they could fly to Mexico, but without a passport, they may not be able to fly back.

 

That's what happens when you don't ask seasoned travelers. smh

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On 7/28/2019 at 10:24 PM, ksflann said:

So silly question do you need to bring marriage license because my birth certificate has my maiden name. 

I'm not sure, but when that situation applied to me I did anyway. Better to be safe than sorry. After all, this isn't the cruise lines discretion, it's decided by the United States government. I think you have to prove the connection though.

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15 hours ago, Doggielover68 said:

Absolutely. It is no different than insurance really, health or otherwise. You don't need it until you do. Then when you don't have it you are up the creek without a paddle. 

 

If it was really such an issue then a passport would be made a required document. When was the last time you heard of someone getting trapped in Mexico because they needed to fly out but couldn’t because they only had a bc? I’ve never seen a post about it. If it was common these boards would be filled with people complaining. 

 

I thought i had read somewhere that half of cruisers on any given ship do not have passports. That is a large number of people. 

 

There was a story story a few years ago that something happened and all the passengers had to be flown home from Mexico I believe. Even those people with only a bc were allowed to leave. They weren’t held captive. 

 

I get that a passport is always recommended but there is some fear mongering that happens here for those that chose to use a bc. 

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Posted (edited)

I just don't understand how questions weren't being thought of ahead of time about their cruise.  In this day and age of having the world at your fingertips, no one didn't think of doing any research on first time cruising? No one thought "hey, we're leaving the country, we better make sure we have proper documentation"?  The first thing any first-time cruiser page is going to tell you is you need a passport or a birth certificate (for closed loop cruises) to board.  I just don't get it. Makes me understand more why they need warning labels on bleach.

Edited by tennboy1981

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We have passports, but once I had a dream that I forgot them at home.  Now I keep a copy of our birth certificates in my glove box in my car so I always have a fall back plan.

 

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4 hours ago, BeachChik said:

 

If it was really such an issue then a passport would be made a required document. When was the last time you heard of someone getting trapped in Mexico because they needed to fly out but couldn’t because they only had a bc? I’ve never seen a post about it. If it was common these boards would be filled with people complaining. 

 

I thought i had read somewhere that half of cruisers on any given ship do not have passports. That is a large number of people. 

 

There was a story story a few years ago that something happened and all the passengers had to be flown home from Mexico I believe. Even those people with only a bc were allowed to leave. They weren’t held captive. 

 

I get that a passport is always recommended but there is some fear mongering that happens here for those that chose to use a bc. 

Fear mongering? That's quite a stretch. We are talking about leaving the country here. Anyone leaving the country should have a passport. Do you NEED it on a cruise? Not necessarily. But you should have it. 

 

There are many things that happen where people get left behind in port. Heck, people are left behind in a port on almost every cruise I have been on. People also have medical emergencies. Haven't you read those stories on here about medical emergency delays and people being flown off of the ship by helicopter? They get sent to the nearest hospital, not necessarily the US. 

 

It is a small price to pay to have proper ID. $140 for 10 years (for adults). 

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2 hours ago, Doggielover68 said:

Fear mongering? That's quite a stretch. We are talking about leaving the country here. Anyone leaving the country should have a passport. Do you NEED it on a cruise? Not necessarily. But you should have it. 

 

There are many things that happen where people get left behind in port. Heck, people are left behind in a port on almost every cruise I have been on. People also have medical emergencies. Haven't you read those stories on here about medical emergency delays and people being flown off of the ship by helicopter? They get sent to the nearest hospital, not necessarily the US. 

 

It is a small price to pay to have proper ID. $140 for 10 years (for adults). 

 

Never said people didn't get left behind in port. My point is even without a passport, you aren't going to be stuck there forever. There are steps you can take, it's not a do or die situation.

 

If it was a big issue it would be mandatory to have a passport. Clearly based on requirements someone disagrees that anyone leaving the country SHOULD have a passport. Maybe someday it will be mandatory but right now a BC is a perfectly acceptable form of identification for a cruise.

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I have always been a traveler and am on my 3rd passport. I can't imagine  not having one. When my hubs and I married, one of the first things we did was get him a passport. 

 

IDK why Americans don't automatically get a passport at adulthood, at least. Almost every other country (first/second world) citizens have passports whether they travel or not. 

 

DH and I have travelled before the internet and always kept a copy of our passport ID page with person listed as next of kin and in our luggage in case of a problem, but now we just have a scanned copy in our computer files.

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1 minute ago, BeachChik said:

 

Never said people didn't get left behind in port. My point is even without a passport, you aren't going to be stuck there forever. There are steps you can take, it's not a do or die situation.

 

If it was a big issue it would be mandatory to have a passport. Clearly based on requirements someone disagrees that anyone leaving the country SHOULD have a passport. Maybe someday it will be mandatory but right now a BC is a perfectly acceptable form of identification for a cruise.

There are different opinions on most every subject.

This is a forum where people come to ask questions, many of which can only be answered with opinions.  My opinion is that

everyone should have a passport if they are cruising.  You disagree.  I don't consider stating my opinion to be fear mongering.

Unless an opinion is contradicted by a definitive answer from an official source, it's good for a new cruiser to hear different viewpoints so they can weigh the risks/benefits and make an informed decision that best fits their situations.  We didn't have passports for our first three cruises due to limited finances, so I understand that side of things.    

 

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15 minutes ago, BeachChik said:

 

Never said people didn't get left behind in port. My point is even without a passport, you aren't going to be stuck there forever. There are steps you can take, it's not a do or die situation.

 

If it was a big issue it would be mandatory to have a passport. Clearly based on requirements someone disagrees that anyone leaving the country SHOULD have a passport. Maybe someday it will be mandatory but right now a BC is a perfectly acceptable form of identification for a cruise.

No. You won't die...but you will spend a heck of a lot more than $140 to get a passport issued at the embassy in a foreign country in order to get home...not to mention your accommodations while you wait for it to be processed. There is a very long story somewhere on CC about a guy who got left behind in Nassau. It was quite the ordeal to get new documents and costly. 

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, Doggielover68 said:

No. You won't die...but you will spend a heck of a lot more than $140 to get a passport issued at the embassy in a foreign country in order to get home...not to mention your accommodations while you wait for it to be processed. There is a very long story somewhere on CC about a guy who got left behind in Nassau. It was quite the ordeal to get new documents and costly. 

It took him an hour and a half at the Embassy to get his passport and it didn't sound like an ordeal to me at all other than being separated from his family. I don't recall that he said how much his passport cost but I doubt it was much more than normal, possibly they added an expedite fee. I've read two other stories on here where the passengers had to leave the ship at a port where there was no State Department presence. They didn't have passports and arrangements were made for them to go to the airport and board a flight directly back to the US where they were cleared in secondary inspection. The regulations that allow the use of something other than a passport also allow the passport requirement to be waived for emergencies or humanitarian reasons. (And having to spend extra money for accommodations, etc. is a better argument for good travel insurance.)

Edited by sparks1093

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