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BobAtco

Passport "confiscation"

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3 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. 

 

MAY give your passport to the port agent.

 

Most times yes, but it is not guaranteed.

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Posted (edited)

We have, on occasion,  handed our passports over to cruise lines, hotels, tours, even ferries,  etc. for years.  It is not uncommon.  We have never had an issue.  It is common practice.  I would not be alarmed or concerned.

Edited by iancal

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2 hours ago, SRF said:

 

MAY give your passport to the port agent.

 

Most times yes, but it is not guaranteed.

 

And neither is it guaranteed that you won't lose your passport, have it pick-pocketed, or it being robbed while happily enjoying the sights with your passport "safely" secured on your person. But I rarely hear of people being left behind without a passport, while losing possession of it while ashore is quite common.

 

The only way your passport will be completely safe on your person is if you swallow it before getting off the ship. 😁

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, SantaFeFan said:

Yes, there are always two sides. But you always use fear tactics to get your point across. Better to simply state what you do and why you prefer to do so instead of posting doom and gloom, the sky is falling type of statements to scare people into doing things your way. 

 

My approach is no different than yours which drives fear about pickpockets, being robbed or losing a passport while ashore.  I am less troubled by pickpockets or losing my passport, have examples of where having a passport has helped and never been robbed or lost a passport.  I have however had a hotel room safe burgled.  Thankfully, my passport was not in it and instead securely carried on my person where it belongs. 

 

Edited by K32682

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, sloopsailor said:

 

No, it doesn't "belong" there. If the country being visited doesn't require it to be carried at all times, it doesn't belong anywhere in particular at the moment. Only at certain times or with certain activities does it have to be on your person, such as you have described earlier - all of which are predictable and can easily be planned for.

 

This is yet another example of you dictating what people are supposed to do based only on your opinion and not at all on facts.  Sigh!!!

 

The original post in this thread came from someone who was concerned about a cruise ship confiscating his passport.  He wants to have it and my initial post was to explain that I agreed with him and offered advice on how he could retrieve his passport.  

 

The posters who are dictating are the ones insisting he not take his passport with him.  Meanwhile, I and others are supporting the view of the the OP and offering him methods to achieve his objectives.  If people are more worried about their passport being stolen than not having it with them should they need it they can decide accordingly and live with the consequences. 

 

My passport belongs where I decide it belongs. YMMV.

 

 

 

 

Edited by K32682

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Say for example you were an international passenger who was required to have a Canadian visa in order to take an Alaska bound  cruise from Seattle - your passport would be collected by the Seattle based check-in agent and turned over to the ship document control officer.  Many of these passengers are from China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Africa.  The collection of these passports gives the Canadian immigration/border officers a central location on the ship  to check/verify the foreign passports, which allows the thousands of passengers who don't need a Canadian visa not to be held up for their Canadian port visit. 

 

(Passengers from the US, Mexico, EU countries, Japan, South Korea, Australia, NZ, etc would not need a Canadian visa).

 

If a passenger who needed a Canadian visa arrived at the pier in Seattle without a Canadian visa, they would be denied boarding.  Sad to say it happens all the time.  

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11 hours ago, CruisingAlong4Now 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. "

 

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

Unfortunately this is not always the case, the ship will endeavour to hand passports to the ship's agent, but it is not guaranteed. The final decision rests with the Captain and if he/she decides the ship is sailing, no passport will be landed.

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1 hour ago, Heidi13 said:

Unfortunately this is not always the case, the ship will endeavour to hand passports to the ship's agent, but it is not guaranteed. The final decision rests with the Captain and if he/she decides the ship is sailing, no passport will be landed.

 

I am a bit confused by your comment. Would you clarify what you mean with "if he/she decides the ship is sailing, no passport will be landed"? Doesn't the captain always makes the decision to sail when it is time? Why would making that decision prevent the passport from being handed to the port agent? I don't see the connection. 

 

We have been told during Q&A sessions with officers on two different cruise lines that they will go to a late passenger's stateroom safe and if a passport is found it will be delivered to the port agent just before the gangway is pulled up. Why would they tell us that if they can't "land" the passport in question? Seems like a simple task that should only take minutes and not delay the ship in any way. After all, the passports could be handed to the agent at the same time that other necessary documents are handed to him, documents that I have seen transferred on several occasions from my balcony. 

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wow, what a great community here and what an overwhelming amount of reactions, of all kinds.
Thanks everybody for your efforts and above all the well meant advises and help. Highly appreciated.
Concluding, the answer is as personal as the passport itself. Many of us treat it in a different way. Good to know and understand the different options.
Thanks all, again.

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12 hours ago, K32682 said:

 

The original post in this thread came from someone who was concerned about a cruise ship confiscating his passport.  He wants to have it and my initial post was to explain that I agreed with him and offered advice on how he could retrieve his passport.  

 

The posters who are dictating are the ones insisting he not take his passport with him.  Meanwhile, I and others are supporting the view of the the OP and offering him methods to achieve his objectives.  If people are more worried about their passport being stolen than not having it with them should they need it they can decide accordingly and live with the consequences. 

 

My passport belongs where I decide it belongs. YMMV.

 

 

 

 

 

You will eventually board a ship that will require you to hand over your passport or not sail with them.  I guess it becomes your choice whether to hand it over or forfeit your cruise fare, but your "choice" is 100% driven by the requirements of the cruise line.

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1 hour ago, ducklite said:

 

You will eventually board a ship that will require you to hand over your passport or not sail with them.  I guess it becomes your choice whether to hand it over or forfeit your cruise fare, but your "choice" is 100% driven by the requirements of the cruise line.

 

I have boarded such a ship.  At my request they gave my passport to me for shore excursions and I handed it back to them upon my return.   

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2 minutes ago, K32682 said:

 

I have boarded such a ship.  At my request they gave my passport to me for shore excursions and I handed it back to them upon my return.   


Which I said was quite doable in an early post (it might have been the first reply to the OP).  However you have implied that no one will keep your passport for any reason, and now you backtrack that indeed you do hand over your passport on boarding.

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14 minutes ago, K32682 said:

 

I have boarded such a ship.  At my request they gave my passport to me for shore excursions and I handed it back to them upon my return.   

 

Same accommodation for Alaska cruise passengers with passports containing Canadian visa - if those passengers are scheduled to take the excursion railroad trip out of Skagway that travels into the Yukon Territory (passport required from everyone), those passengers can claim their passports from Guest Services in order to take the excursion.

The system accommodates, and works!

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, ducklite said:


Which I said was quite doable in an early post (it might have been the first reply to the OP).  However you have implied that no one will keep your passport for any reason, and now you backtrack that indeed you do hand over your passport on boarding.

 

I did not say nor imply that "no one will keep" my passport for any reason.  Please refer to post #8 in this thread where I offered advice on how to retrieve it. 

 

On 8/9/2019 at 9:11 AM, K32682 said:

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.  

 

Edited by K32682

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On 8/9/2019 at 10:38 PM, sloopsailor said:

 

I am a bit confused by your comment. Would you clarify what you mean with "if he/she decides the ship is sailing, no passport will be landed"? Doesn't the captain always makes the decision to sail when it is time? Why would making that decision prevent the passport from being handed to the port agent? I don't see the connection. 

 

We have been told during Q&A sessions with officers on two different cruise lines that they will go to a late passenger's stateroom safe and if a passport is found it will be delivered to the port agent just before the gangway is pulled up. Why would they tell us that if they can't "land" the passport in question? Seems like a simple task that should only take minutes and not delay the ship in any way. After all, the passports could be handed to the agent at the same time that other necessary documents are handed to him, documents that I have seen transferred on several occasions from my balcony. 

As I mentioned, the hotel/security will endeavour to land passports, but the Captain's operational demands may preclude any further delays. Potential operational demands include, but are not limited to tides, weather, pilots, tugs, longshoremen, harbourmaster, etc.

 

Being on the Bridge with the Captain, when the departure window is closing quickly, is not fun, as a number of my old officers can probably attest to.

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46 minutes ago, ducklite said:

I think you are making a mountain out of a molehill and have never heard of anyone having a hard time getting their passport to go ashore.

 

In my experience the attitude of the cruise staff can vary.  No one has denied the request outright but I have been told that I wouldn't need my passport and should just use the cruise card.  On a couple of occasions I'd characterize the response as grudging but eventually they made my passport available. 

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10 hours ago, John Bull said:

On one cruise I asked at the purser's office for the return of my passport, explaining that I needed it to rent  car.  They readily handed it over, and asked me to return it to them as soon as we got back, which of course I did.

No reticence, all very simple & civilised.

 

Methinks perhaps SantaFe Fan has a point ? :classic_wink:

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

As I said in my previous post the response from cruise employees has varied from having it provided promptly to being dismissed with "you won't need it" and the cruise card would be sufficient.  The OP wants to take his passport with him and my advice, based on experience, was to not to be dissuaded by cruise employees. 

 

My approach is to not ask permission to have my passport returned or provide a justification or explanation (need it to rent a car.)  They are politely told I want my passport before going ashore and asked where and when it can be retrieved.     

 

 

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19 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

As I mentioned, the hotel/security will endeavour to land passports, but the Captain's operational demands may preclude any further delays. Potential operational demands include, but are not limited to tides, weather, pilots, tugs, longshoremen, harbourmaster, etc.

 

Being on the Bridge with the Captain, when the departure window is closing quickly, is not fun, as a number of my old officers can probably attest to.

 

Thank-you for an important post.  It needs to be understood that the Captain may have greater priorities than delaying departure so crew members can rummage though cabins in search of the passports of those who for whatever reason haven't made it back to the ship.  The difference between "endeavor" and "will" is quite significant and the potential delay could be quite significant if there are multiple no-shows. 

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17 hours ago, K32682 said:

 

In my experience the attitude of the cruise staff can vary.  No one has denied the request outright but I have been told that I wouldn't need my passport and should just use the cruise card.  On a couple of occasions I'd characterize the response as grudging but eventually they made my passport available. 


Something to consider when choosing a cruise line in the future.

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24 minutes ago, K32682 said:

 

It is important because it serves as a stark warning to those who have absolute and unwavering confidence in the cruise line to leave their passport with the port agent should they not make it back to the boat.  Even if they do it does not solve the problem of locating the port agent and arranging to retrieve your passport which could be problematic if you are injured, detained or hospitalized.    

The Ship's Agent is contracted by the Cruise Line for ship's business and they also tend to embarking/disembarking crew members. When joining a ship, the agent meets us at the airport, takes us to a hotel, settles the bill next morning and then drives us to the ship. When disembarking they drive us to the airport.

 

However, they are not employed to provide similar services to passengers. Although not obligated to do so, they may leave an employee at the dock, if passports were landed. Recall seeing this as we departed the berth. If they don't, then it is the passenger's responsibility to contact the ship's agent, with contact details provided in the daily paper (on Lines we use).

 

The Ship's Agent may assist with arranging onward transportation, but again are not obligated to do so. Only requirement is to return your passport.

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52 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

The Ship's Agent is contracted by the Cruise Line for ship's business and they also tend to embarking/disembarking crew members. When joining a ship, the agent meets us at the airport, takes us to a hotel, settles the bill next morning and then drives us to the ship. When disembarking they drive us to the airport.

 

However, they are not employed to provide similar services to passengers. Although not obligated to do so, they may leave an employee at the dock, if passports were landed. Recall seeing this as we departed the berth. If they don't, then it is the passenger's responsibility to contact the ship's agent, with contact details provided in the daily paper (on Lines we use).

 

The Ship's Agent may assist with arranging onward transportation, but again are not obligated to do so. Only requirement is to return your passport.

 

Thank-you for a very informative post outlining the actual obligations (or lack thereof) of the Ship's Agent should passengers misses the departure.  These facts further convince me of the wisdom of securely carrying my passport when ashore.  Those who choose to leave it on the ship firm in the belief it will be delivered to them if required should perhaps reconsider their position in light of this information and your previous posts #37 and #46.

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On 8/9/2019 at 1:39 AM, BobAtco said:

Made our very first cruise. It was great 🙂
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.

 

First time I came across this was when I sailed Norwegian Pearl to Alaska from Seattle, WA 2012.  I was very much like you and I began to argue and was given the speech ... it's hand over your passport or there's the door and you don't cruise.  That's it ... no other option.  Of course, my husband was huffing and puffing and grumbling ... I did hand over my passport and it was fine ... I don't know ... to this day ... why it was necessary, but it was. 

 

 

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Reading some of the "what ifs in this thread" has me wondering what some folks will do if a cruise ship is hit by a meteor!  So lets use a little common sense and understand that there are no perfect solutions for every scenario.  Things can go wrong, but the normal procedures are designed to minimize that possibility.  

 

The OP's reference to "confiscation" is a bit unfair (to the cruise line) and is not in keeping with reality.  There are some ports where the purser is required to present all the Passports to local authorities (usually  done on the vessel) in order to expedite the vessel's clearance.  The alternative would be to have all the passengers queuing up (which can take many hours) to have a face to face Passport check :(.  Guest Relations can usually arrange to return individual Passports (which sometimes must be turned back in later that same day).  But we personally witnessed one situation when a couple, who refused to leave the ship without their Passports, had to cool their heels until nearly lunchtime and missed half the port day.  The reason for the delay was that the Purser had to wait until the local authorities were finished their examination of Passports (this process could be viewed through the conference room doors where the authorities worked under the watchful eye of the purser).   Other passengers, who did not demand to have their Passports, were free to go ashore early in the morning.

 

We also recall a cruise that went to Tunis, Tunisia where the authorities actually did "confiscate" everyone's Passports and replace them with a small booklet which served as our necessary document to go ashore.  Once we returned to the ship we could trade in that silly document and have our Passports returned.  We later heard that there was a minor problem when the Tunisian folks wanted to take everyone's Passports off the ship.  The Purser would not permit this to happen so the authorities spent the entire day aboard (with the Passports).  One assumes they were kept well nourished.

 

As to Passports being turned over to the local port agent when a passenger fails to return....this does seem to be the normal procedure on most (if not all) vessels.  If necessary the ship security folks will visit the missing person's cabin and do a search for the Passport starting with the cabin's safe.  That is why it behooves cruisers to carry the info on the Port Agent (usually provided in the days schedule or a port info handout).

 

Hank

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12 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

We also recall a cruise that went to Tunis, Tunisia where the authorities actually did "confiscate" everyone's Passports and replace them with a small booklet which served as our necessary document to go ashore.  Once we returned to the ship we could trade in that silly document and have our Passports returned. 

We had the same thing in Istanbul....ship kept our passports and issued 'landing cards' which we had to show to reboard the ship.

No biggie...worked smoothly.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, SRF said:

 

You might loose your passport, but in traveling to 149 different countries, and racking up over 3 million air miles, I have yet to lose a passport.

 

N of 1 numbers mean nothing.  

 

You may trust that you will not lose your passport or have it stolen. But can you assure the same for other travelers, many less experienced than you?  Considering the numerous anecdotes I've read on this site from folks who can barely find their way back to a ship-sponsored bus tour or who lose track of time because they forgot to adjust to local time, I am not at all convinced that most people can adequately protect a passport. Add to that the number who feel (and have written on this site) that they find under-clothing belts and pockets too uncomfortable or difficult to access, and those who feel keeping valuables in a cargo pocket in their shorts (!!) is sufficient protection, I am skeptical...

 

Also, people always overestimate their ability to protect their belongings. I work in a global company with many colleagues who travel abroad frequently. Within this group of, say 200 people, you would be surprised at the number of them who've lost either a wallet or passport (or laptop or phone), or had it stolen during a trip.

 

In 2011 alone, the US State Department reported that their records showed 253,037 lost passports and 60,984 stolen worldwide. While that is a proverbial drop in the bucket of the total number of passport holders, one should keep in mind that not all of those travel in any given year. I think the article from which I got this number indicated it is about 2-3% of passport holders in total. So maybe as much as 5% of those who traveled in that given year are losing passports or having them stolen.

 

I'm not sure the number of those who need their passport and don't have it with them (and can't satisfy the need in some other way, such as producing a copy) would rise to that level...

 

 

Edited by cruisemom42

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