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BobAtco

Passport "confiscation"

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Made our very first cruise. It was great ūüôā
Still, I've a query. Right at the check-in on board, our passports were taken and withheld. It was said this is common procedure and has to do with going on and off the ship easily anywhere without queuing up for border control and the like.
Collecting and keeping the passports is against the law of my country, the owner of that passport. Additionally, it could cause serious but avoidable problems, in case of calamities, accident ashore, missing a departure, etc. Furthermore, as a foreigner by law I am obliged to be able to identify myself at all times with my legal ID/passport. Despite a strong discussion hereabout at check-in I felt no other way out then to give in, since I felt threatened about the commencement of the trip as such. A very bad and wrong start, unfortunately.
Could anyone here deliberate on this issue. We feel very uncomfortable here with this and also being non-experienced.
Thanks in advance.

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It is quite normal for them to collect and keep the passports on many lines.  However you are always free to claim it before going ashore should you need it either due to nationality, for identification, to rent a car, etc.  Letting them hold it otherwise is a benefit, as it means you don't need to present yourself for immigration, saving you time and making it more convenient.

 

When you are on the ship there is no reason to need the passport on your person, and if for some reason the ship was boarded, they would readily have it available to the authorities on your behalf..

 

I'll be visiting the Ukraine in 2021 and have been looking forward to it for several years.  I understand it's beautiful!

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Different countries that the ship visits have different rules for visitors.

Most countries are content to just see the ship's manifest, they trust that the immigration officers at the port where the ship embarks have done their job.

 

But immigration officers in some countries need to see passports - sometimes all passports, sometimes just some of them.

If this was left until you disembark it would take a very long time and there would be long lines (queues) to leave the ship - same as happens at lots of airports.

So they come aboard - sometimes like for Egypt, they come aboard at the previous port - and all passports are available for them to see, all in one place. Saves you a lot of time.

 

BTW,  in some countries hotels hold guests' passports. That's so that if the authorities need to know who is staying at the hotel they just need to see passports.

 

It's all very normal, nothing to be concerned about.

If passengers are required to take their passport ashore at a port, the ship will return all passports.

And, as Ducklite's post, if you particularly want to take your passport ashore you can ask for it to be returned to you for the day. That happened to us once - we wanted to rent a car for which we needed our passports. We then returned our passports to the ship's purser (guest relations) at the end of the day.

 

No worries :classic_cool:

 

JB :classic_smile:

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This topic has been discussed here quite frequently. It does happen in certain areas to speed clearing of the ship so you can tour sooner. In the few cases where you must to take your passport ashore, the ship won't ask to hold it. There have been no reportss of any problem with this policy, just questions like yours about the reasons for doing it.

 

The cruise lines absorb a lot of responsibility when they hold your passport. They won't take that responsibility if the overall benefit wasn't significant. 

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3 hours ago, BobAtco said:

Made our very first cruise. It was great ūüôā
Still, I've a query. Right at the check-in on board, our passports were taken and withheld. It was said this is common procedure and has to do with going on and off the ship easily anywhere without queuing up for border control and the like.
Collecting and keeping the passports is against the law of my country, the owner of that passport. Additionally, it could cause serious but avoidable problems, in case of calamities, accident ashore, missing a departure, etc. Furthermore, as a foreigner by law I am obliged to be able to identify myself at all times with my legal ID/passport. Despite a strong discussion hereabout at check-in I felt no other way out then to give in, since I felt threatened about the commencement of the trip as such. A very bad and wrong start, unfortunately.
Could anyone here deliberate on this issue. We feel very uncomfortable here with this and also being non-experienced.
Thanks in advance.

As a new cruiser, your concerned reaction to the surrender of your passport is not unusual.

 

However, the practice of cruise lines (especially those in the premium/luxury categories) to require that you surrender your passport is also not unusual.

 

The argument that it is in your best interest to have the ship's purser maintain possession of your passport is a valid one. At a minimum, you (personally) will be spared having to do anything about border control at port stops in most countries. And the possibility of you misplacing or losing it (e.g., having it pickpocketed) should you make the rookie error of taking it ashore (when not required by local authorities) is eliminated. BTW, if you miss reboarding the ship, having your passport in safekeeping aboard assures its quick location and transfer to the port agent for your retrieval.

 

As for your statement about it being "against the law" in your country: Once you leave your country, that's really a moot issue. And your comment about identification ashore is over-generalized. The ship will inform you as to what ID you need (often only your ship issued picture ID/key or a driver's license) to carry ashore at each port (and will provide your passport if it is required) in order to comply with local laws.

 

So..... if you're planning on cruising again (particularly on a premium or luxury line), prepare to hand over that passport again (and again and again....). After all, it's in everyone's best interest and just not that big a deal.

 

 

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We have had our passports held by the ship a number of times. It is done when immigration officials will be reviewing them before allowing us ashore.

 

Someone asked about people holding their passports. They were told that is allowed. However, they would need to be present for the inspection at the time set by local authorities. It is often in the middle of the night. It can also delay your clearance for getting off the ship.

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OP -- did you ask for your passport before you left the ship?

 

I always carry my passport when leaving the ship. I go to the desk, ask for the passport, they give it to me, I give it back when I come back to the ship. Much easier than going through the stress and apprehension you have detailed in your post.

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When in a foreign country other than the United States I carry my passport on my person. 

 

On a cruise where they hold the passport for immigration purposes request the cruise line provide it to you before you go ashore.  They do not like the extra bother and will give you a soothing response that your cruise card will be sufficient.  They are wrong.  Do not accept "no" for an answer.  Meanwhile, hotels don't need the actual document just the information it contains and they are free to take a photocopy.  

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Just tell them you are not willing to give  your passport to the ship

Then be prepared to get up very early at each port  to report to the officials for clearance

If you do not report in a timely manner  you will hold up many hundreds of passengers from disembarking  & maybe the cruise line  will disembark you early   without refund

 

OPTION 2  give the cruise line your passport  & collect it before you go ashore & hand it back in when you return

 

Option 3  just give it to the cruise line & they will return it to you  at the end of the cruise or at any ports where it is necessary to carry it  ashore

 

We usually have to hand our passports  as well  but we have not had any problems 

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The cruiselines I generally use will routinely take your passport at the beginning of the cruise and return it at the end.  The only exceptions have been for Alaskan voyages.

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It's hard for international business travelers to comprehend why anyone would ever feel the need to take a passport ashore when it is not required. Passports (particularly American ones) are a most valuable black market commodity and the favorite bounty for pickpockets and those rascally little kids with the bandaged fingers.

In any case, if you're thinking about doing it, first ask any of the ship's officers what they do with their own passports. But, on the other hand, why bother? You already know what will be the answer.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, K32682 said:

When in a foreign country other than the United States I carry my passport on my person. 

 

On a cruise where they hold the passport for immigration purposes request the cruise line provide it to you before you go ashore.  They do not like the extra bother and will give you a soothing response that your cruise card will be sufficient.  They are wrong.  Do not accept "no" for an answer.  Meanwhile, hotels don't need the actual document just the information it contains and they are free to take a photocopy.  

 

They aren't wrong and you know it.¬†Why tell a new cruiser inaccurate information???ūüôĄ¬†Please include that it is your opinion and not fact when telling people such misleading information.¬†Your constant scaring people into living their lives like you chose to live yours is what is WRONG.¬†

 

I have visited nearly 50 countries and only a handful required I carry my passport on my person. 

Edited by sloopsailor

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1 hour ago, K32682 said:

When in a foreign country other than the United States I carry my passport on my person. 

 

On a cruise where they hold the passport for immigration purposes request the cruise line provide it to you before you go ashore.  They do not like the extra bother and will give you a soothing response that your cruise card will be sufficient.  They are wrong.  Do not accept "no" for an answer.  Meanwhile, hotels don't need the actual document just the information it contains and they are free to take a photocopy.  

 

That's your OPINION, my friend.

And of course you're entitled to it.

And if you feel happier to take your passport ashore with you, it's your choice.

 

But it's incorrect to claim that the cruise card isn't sufficient - it IS in most ports, and the criuse line will tell you to take your passport ashore in ports that require it.

 

It may well be that in your experience hotels are happy with taking a photocopy of a passport, but we've stayed at hotels in various places in the world where they have put guests' passports in the hotel safe.

So it's unwise and incorrect to unreservedly say  that hotels don't need passports

 

JB :classic_smile:

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52 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

Just tell them you are not willing to give  your passport to the ship

Then be prepared to get up very early at each port  to report to the officials for clearance

 

 

...or be prepared for them to tell you that you can't embark. That happened on a cruise I took quite a while back. The couple in front of us checking in did not want to surrender their passports and caused quite a fuss. The agent stood his ground. Either they turned over their passports or they would not board. Their immediate reaction was to walk away from the check-in. But they were furiously conversing with each other to one side of the building as I checked in, and I later saw them get back in line. No idea how it finally turned out.

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10 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

...or be prepared for them to tell you that you can't embark. That happened on a cruise I took quite a while back. The couple in front of us checking in did not want to surrender their passports and caused quite a fuss. The agent stood his ground. Either they turned over their passports or they would not board. Their immediate reaction was to walk away from the check-in. But they were furiously conversing with each other to one side of the building as I checked in, and I later saw them get back in line. No idea how it finally turned out.

maybe they decided it was easier to hand in their passports than to lose the cruise  & no refund  if they left

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56 minutes ago, sloopsailor said:

 

They aren't wrong and you know it.¬†Why tell a new cruiser inaccurate information???ūüôĄ¬†Please include that it is your opinion and not fact when telling people such misleading information.¬†Your constant scaring people into living their lives like you chose to live yours is what is WRONG.¬†

 

I have visited nearly 50 countries and only a handful required I carry my passport on my person. 

 

Should you miss the ship for whatever reason (tardiness, medical emergency, etc.) your cruise card is not sufficient to get you out of the country by other means.  A passport is also helpful to exchange money, rent a car, visit certain locations, enter a casino and, most importantly, identify yourself if you are dealing with local officialdom for any reason.    

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, John Bull said:

It may well be that in your experience hotels are happy with taking a photocopy of a passport, but we've stayed at hotels in various places in the world where they have put guests' passports in the hotel safe.

So it's unwise and incorrect to unreservedly say  that hotels don't need passports

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

I have stayed in hotels around the world that would have otherwise kept my passport had I not asked for it.  They were happy to take a copy and give it back.  

 

 

Edited by K32682

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"Should you miss the ship for whatever reason (tardiness, medical emergency, etc.) your cruise card is not sufficient to get you out of the country by other means. "

 

If you miss the ship, your passport will be handed over to the local port agent.  Problem solved.

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, K32682 said:

 

Should you miss the ship for whatever reason (tardiness, medical emergency, etc.) your cruise card is not sufficient to get you out of the country by other means.  A passport is also helpful to exchange money, rent a car, visit certain locations, enter a casino and, most importantly, identify yourself if you are dealing with local officialdom for any reason.    

 

As has been reported here SOOOOO many times, the cruise ship officers will transfer your passport to the port agent if you will miss the ship departure for any reason. If they do not already have it, they will look in the stateroom safe for it. Like the other poster said, "You know this". Why do you continue to post misleading and deceptive information? 

 

I have also traveled extensively. I have never been unexpectedly asked to display my passport. Perhaps that is because I don't act suspicious or participate in illicit activities that would draw attention to me. If you are unexpectedly asked for your passport on a routine basis, perhaps you need to consider changing your habits when travelling. 

Edited by SantaFeFan

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, chipmaster said:

Ah another passport thread, taken, take it, leave it.   

 

In the end if the ship, hotel takes it, you really don't have a choice, well I guess you do, don't get in or go on.

 

Take it or leave it in your safe/hotel/cabin all about which Murphy you believe in.  Higher probability of getting stopped and asked for it, robbed, lose it, or need to rush to airport to get overseas w/o returning to hotel, or that hotel gets robbed burned down, pick your Murphy folks.

 

 

While I usually agree your "beating a dead horse" sentiment, in this case we have a new cruiser who is not as experienced as many of us long time members are. It is worth the repetition to inform such new cruisers what the options are, and what the risks of each are. It isn't only about us "regulars" reading yet another passport thread. It is also about providing new members information they can use to make the best decisions for their situations.

Edited by SantaFeFan

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10 minutes ago, SantaFeFan said:

 

While I usually agree your "beating a dead horse" sentiment, in this case we have a new cruiser who is not as experienced as many of us long time members are. It is worth the repetition to inform such new cruisers what the options are, and what the risks of each are. It isn't only about you reading yet another passport thread. It is also about providing new members information they can use to make the best decisions for their situations.

 

Hopefully I summed it up well, really two choices take it with you or leave it.

 

I guess on a serious note if you take it with you, don't put it with your wallet/purse, but seperate body strapped wallet underneath your clothing ( regardless of how hot ),   but hey if you are in some really shady place or meet some really shady group and smell you having something underneath the clothes, they'll be sure to take that to.

 

Of course if you leave it in the hotel, many of the lowest paying employees have access to hotel, but usually the remote that opens the safe is only accessible by a front desk employee, but again it isn't tightly controlled in most non-US countries.

 

In sum, very personal, and which Murphy you believes will meet you¬†ūüėČ

 

Save travels with that passport

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, FlyerTalker said:

The cruiselines I generally use will routinely take your passport at the beginning of the cruise and return it at the end.  The only exceptions have been for Alaskan voyages.

in my experience cruises don't collect passports for most Caribbean voyages either.

 

We personally do not carry our passports with us on excursions. Just driver's licenses. I am a lot more paranoid about our passports getting stolen from our bags while we're snorkeling than I am about needing a passport for some unnamed calamity.

Edited by Itchy&Scratchy

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2 hours ago, SantaFeFan said:

 

As has been reported here SOOOOO many times, the cruise ship officers will transfer your passport to the port agent if you will miss the ship departure for any reason. If they do not already have it, they will look in the stateroom safe for it. Like the other poster said, "You know this". Why do you continue to post misleading and deceptive information? 

 

I have also traveled extensively. I have never been unexpectedly asked to display my passport. Perhaps that is because I don't act suspicious or participate in illicit activities that would draw attention to me. If you are unexpectedly asked for your passport on a routine basis, perhaps you need to consider changing your habits when travelling. 

 

Places where my passport was required include visiting a game preserve in Africa, going to a casino in Bulgaria, exchanging money in France, renting a car in Romania, the UK and various other countries.  Are these habits to reconsider?  Additionally, there were police checkpoints in Angola, Spain and Armenia where the passport came in handy.  Perhaps people for whom the sum total of their international experience is cruising, bus tours and other tightly-organized travel modes might see matters differently. 

 

The cruise ship officers do say they will transfer your passport to the port agent but there are no guarantees.  Even if they do you have to get back to the port and find the agent to retrieve your passport a task that could be quite difficult in the middle of the night and/or you are injured.  Far simpler is securely carrying your passport with you at all times.   

 

Travelers can make their own decisions.  There are two sides to the story not just view from those who prefer to rely only on their cruise card while in a foreign country and have unwavering confidence in cruise ship employees.   

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6 minutes ago, K32682 said:

 

Places where my passport was required include visiting a game preserve in Africa, going to a casino in Bulgaria, exchanging money in France, renting a car in Romania, the UK and various other countries.  Are these habits to reconsider?  Additionally, there were police checkpoints in Angola, Spain and Armenia where the passport came in handy.  Perhaps people for whom the sum total of their international experience is cruising, bus tours and other tightly-organized travel modes might see matters differently. 

 

The cruise ship officers do say they will transfer your passport to the port agent but there are no guarantees.  Even if they do you have to get back to the port and find the agent to retrieve your passport a task that could be quite difficult in the middle of the night and/or you are injured.  Far simpler is securely carrying your passport with you at all times.   

 

Travelers can make their own decisions.  There are two sides to the story not just view from those who prefer to rely only on their cruise card while in a foreign country and have unwavering confidence in cruise ship employees.   

 

Fair to say the novice if they come to CC they need to wade thru many things, or just let Google guide you to many other places.

 

Having spent 50% of my time traveling away from home in 9 countries over the past 3 years, I'm the other side of the coin, never asked but at hotel check-in, immigration in/out, YMMV depending on country and activity.

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4 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

It's hard for international business travelers to comprehend why anyone would ever feel the need to take a passport ashore when it is not required. Passports (particularly American ones) are a most valuable black market commodity and the favorite bounty for pickpockets and those rascally little kids with the bandaged fingers.

In any case, if you're thinking about doing it, first ask any of the ship's officers what they do with their own passports. But, on the other hand, why bother? You already know what will be the answer.

 

 

Hmm, I am an international business traveler (149 countries so far) and I carry my passport.

 

And modern passports are worth MUCH less than the old ones.  Much harder to change it, and anyway, when you enter the US, the scan it, and the info (including picture) pops up on the monitor.  If photo on monitor and photo in passport do not match, you are in for an INTERESTING time with CBP.

 

Most times I have heard of someone having their passport stolen, it was in the same pocket or purse as their money.

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