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Passport "confiscation"

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I have not had mine leak.  But I am careful about closing them when I am carrying something that would be harmed by them leaking.

 

But what about a phone?  Most of the people saying to not carry their passport, also say to contact the port agent.  Hmm, how?  When was the last time you saw a pay phone?  And if in a foreign country, do you have coins for it?

 

Both sides have pluses and minuses.   And both sides have their stories.  I just want to try to make sure new people hear both sides. 

 

That couple would have had a totally different take if they had missed the ship, and had their passports with them. 

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On 8/15/2019 at 3:26 PM, capriccio said:

While the risk of missing the ship or having an accident ashore may be low, the consequences of losing a passport are not, at least not for American citizens (and probably most other countries too) whose replacement passports can only be issued by an Embassy or Consulate.  Even if you are 'lucky' enough to have one in the city you are visiting it is no guarantee that you will make the ship.  The US, for example has greatly reduced the number of consulates world wide over the last few decades.  In the 1980s (when my DH was stationed at US Embassy Rome) the US had full service consulates in Rome (co-located with the Embassy), Milan, Florence, Venice, Naples, Palermo and Genoa (IIRC).  Now the number of full consulates offering replacement passports have been reduced.  Genoa has only a consular agent ("Citizens with lost or stolen passports must report to US Consulate General, Milan for a temporary replacement passport."), as does Palermo (" Citizens with lost or stolen passports must go in person to apply for a same-day emergency passport at one of the following Consulates in Italy: Milan, Florence, Rome or Naples."), and Venice (" Citizens with lost or stolen passports must go in person to apply for a same-day emergency passport at one of the following Consulates in Italy: Milan, Florence, Rome or Naples.").  Other countries with US Consulates have experienced a similar reduction in services. 

 

Wow, I did not know that reducing the number of Consulates in one country had "greatly reduced" the number of Consulates.

 

The US is still the only country to have a diplomatic presence in almost every country it has diplomatic relationships with.  The only ones where there is not an Embassy (with consular section) are some of the smaller islands or island nations.  

 

BTW, according to Newsweek, 42% of Americans have passports now.  So about 137 million people have passports.

 

So the "253,037 lost passports and 60,984 stolen worldwide"  Works out to be about 0.04% stolen each year and 0.18% lost.  And I suspect most of the lost ones were lost a home.  I think a 4 in 10,000 chance of a passport being stolen also falls in the "very rare" category.

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17 minutes ago, SRF said:

 

Wow, I did not know that reducing the number of Consulates in one country had "greatly reduced" the number of Consulates.

 

 

I guess I was not clear enough for you when I noted "Other countries with US Consulates have experienced a similar reduction in services."  I know this for a fact because it started when my DH was stationed in Rome in 1982 and continued until his last overseas posting in Greece in 1997.  Do you have evidence to the contrary? 

 

When he was working in the Czech Republic in 2009 he visited a former colleague at US Embassy Prague who urged him to NEVER carry his passport in Prague due to pickpockets and to carry a photo copy instead.  We've followed that advice ever since unless we are on a cruise where a passport is required to be carried (as was the case IIRC in Norway in June).

 

As I said, the hassle factor of replacing a passport overseas - especially if you have to travel some distance to an Embassy or consulate - is enough for me to never risk getting my passport lost or stolen but that is something everyone has to weigh individually.  Your statistics do not provide the location of most of the thefts or missing passports.  I am sure that more prudence is called for in the certain cities that top the list. I just thought my description might be eye opening to someone unfamiliar with the replacement process.

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Some people remember the old movies where the officious French officials come walking through the train gesturing to the passengers saying "Papers! Papers!" and think that happens today and they will be jailed if they do not have a passport on their person. Leave it in the safe unless you are at a port that you are required to take it with you.

 

Back when we had traditional seating, we had a couple tell us they do not put the passports in the safe because all the staff has access and they hide theirs in another location. On another evening they said they were not worried about being late because the ship will wait for you. All I know is when our safe malfunctioned it took several staff including an officer to fix and reset it and supervise. Hardly anyone can access alone.

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On 8/18/2019 at 12:05 AM, capriccio said:

 

I guess I was not clear enough for you when I noted "Other countries with US Consulates have experienced a similar reduction in services."  I know this for a fact because it started when my DH was stationed in Rome in 1982 and continued until his last overseas posting in Greece in 1997.  Do you have evidence to the contrary? 

 

When he was working in the Czech Republic in 2009 he visited a former colleague at US Embassy Prague who urged him to NEVER carry his passport in Prague due to pickpockets and to carry a photo copy instead.  We've followed that advice ever since unless we are on a cruise where a passport is required to be carried (as was the case IIRC in Norway in June).

 

As I said, the hassle factor of replacing a passport overseas - especially if you have to travel some distance to an Embassy or consulate - is enough for me to never risk getting my passport lost or stolen but that is something everyone has to weigh individually.  Your statistics do not provide the location of most of the thefts or missing passports.  I am sure that more prudence is called for in the certain cities that top the list. I just thought my description might be eye opening to someone unfamiliar with the replacement process.

 

Yes, some cities are known for pick pockets.  But as I have stated before on this forum, they are looking for money, so carry your passport in a different pocket than your money.

 

And in Europe, how far will you have to travel?  You can drive across most of Europe in a day.  And if in the Schengen zone, you don't have to have a passport.  But since you are in Europe, there is an Embassy in every country.  And the countries are NOT that large.

 

OK, so how many Consulates were closed in 82 - 97?  And I guess you might not know that a number of new Consulates (and I include Consulates General in that term) have been opened in the past few years.  It is based on need.  If they closed one, it was because it had too little traffic to justify the expense.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/9/2019 at 10:01 AM, 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

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 

When you give your passport to the cruise line, and it is needed at a particular port, when do they return it to you?  Do they keep it with your excursion tickets, if you have an excursion through the ship?  Do they deliver it to your cabin?  If so, when do they do that?  Just curious, because that is a lot of passports to return to cruisers for a port.  

Edited by screwsmcernst

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33 minutes ago, screwsmcernst said:

When you give your passport to the cruise line, and it is needed at a particular port, when do they return it to you?  Do they keep it with your excursion tickets, if you have an excursion through the ship?  Do they deliver it to your cabin?  If so, when do they do that?  Just curious, because that is a lot of passports to return to cruisers for a port.  

On Princess I know tickets for excursions reserved on-line are waiting in your cabin when you board or shortly thereafter.  I've never purchased an excursion on board but I would guess (hope?) they had you your tickets right away.  On cruises where our passports were kept by the ship, they were delivered during the nightly service on the day before they were needed.  If the ship needed to collect them again, the steward picked them up during the first service after your return to the ship.

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26 minutes ago, capriccio said:

On Princess I know tickets for excursions reserved on-line are waiting in your cabin when you board or shortly thereafter.  I've never purchased an excursion on board but I would guess (hope?) they had you your tickets right away.  On cruises where our passports were kept by the ship, they were delivered during the nightly service on the day before they were needed.  If the ship needed to collect them again, the steward picked them up during the first service after your return to the ship.

Thanks for the info.  After thinking about it, I worded my question incorrectly.  We always had our tickets delivered to our cabin.  We would go and pick up our tender time and group stickers.  So it makes sense that the stewards would deliver them to you the night before.  😃

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2 hours ago, screwsmcernst said:

When you give your passport to the cruise line, and it is needed at a particular port, when do they return it to you?  Do they keep it with your excursion tickets, if you have an excursion through the ship?  Do they deliver it to your cabin?  If so, when do they do that?  Just curious, because that is a lot of passports to return to cruisers for a port.  

 

On the small ship I've traveled on most frequently when passports were held, they would simply announce a time in the daily program (a range of hours) when you could go to the desk and pick up your passport. They would identify you via your room card and then check off their list (and you had to sign) that you picked it up. I like this system better than the system noted above often used on larger ships as there is greater accountability.

 

However, I will say that on one larger ship it was a similar practice: they set up a special table outside the main lounge and you went there to pick up your passport and sign that you received it.

 

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There is a new element to this drama that most cruisers are not yet aware of.

 

In the past few years a growing number of countries have put new procedures in place for ships that want to leave port when passengers are missing. Notably China, Japan, and Vietnam - as well as several other Asian countries, and a few European countries require the ship to give passports of missing passengers to local officials before the ship will be allowed to depart.

 

If passengers have left their passports in their cabin safe, ship security can retrieve them, hand them over to the ships agent, and the ship can then depart for the next port. If the ship is holding all passports, it is even easier for the Purser to hand over passports of missing pax to local officials. But if a passenger takes a passport ashore and then disappears, the local officials will not allow the ship to leave until the missing pax is found, and his passport is produced.

The chances of this happening are not very great, but if a passenger takes his passport ashore in one of these countries and then gets lost, has an accident, or otherwise cannot get back to the ship on time, the cruise could be delayed, by hours or even days if the missing passenger and his passport are not located.

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17 minutes ago, Donald said:

Notably China, Japan, and Vietnam - as well as several other Asian countries, and a few European countries require the ship to give passports of missing passengers to local officials before the ship will be allowed to depart.

 

 

A single passenger carrying his passport finds his love in Vietnam and decides to stay, next thing is the whole ship being detained? 

What the reason? To get the passenger out of the country more easily?

 

 

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3 hours ago, capriccio said:

On Princess I know tickets for excursions reserved on-line are waiting in your cabin when you board or shortly thereafter.  I've never purchased an excursion on board but I would guess (hope?) they had you your tickets right away.  On cruises where our passports were kept by the ship, they were delivered during the nightly service on the day before they were needed.  If the ship needed to collect them again, the steward picked them up during the first service after your return to the ship.

Yes, when you buy an excursion on board the ticket it immediately handed to you.

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3 hours ago, AmazedByCruising said:

 

 

A single passenger carrying his passport finds his love in Vietnam and decides to stay, next thing is the whole ship being detained? 

What the reason? To get the passenger out of the country more easily?

 

 

If he finds his love in Vietnam and decides to stay there without informing Vietnamese Immigration, he will be an illegal alien if the ship leaves.

When an international cruise ship enters the waters of most countries, local immigration authorities grant a blanket visa to all the passengers and crew onboard. That visa is valid so long as the ship remains in port. The minute the ship departs, the visa is cancelled. Anyone who stays behind without informing immigration officials is an illegal alien.

Vietnam is different for some nationalities. They sell you a special visa for cruise ship passengers. But if you leave the ship in Vietnam without telling the authorities, the visa is invalid and you are illegally there.

 

And yes, the idea is to get the passenger out of the country more easily.

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On 8/17/2019 at 1:05 PM, capriccio said:

When he was working in the Czech Republic in 2009 he visited a former colleague at US Embassy Prague who urged him to NEVER carry his passport in Prague due to pickpockets and to carry a photo copy instead.  We've followed that advice ever since unless we are on a cruise where a passport is required to be carried (as was the case IIRC in Norway in June).

 

Consular advice of this nature is meant for the lowest common denominator specifically the people who are absent minded or the wide-eyed innocents that wander through high-risk areas of foreign countries with no regard for securing their possessions.

 

It need not apply to those of us who can and have traveled through many foreign countries with our documents securely and safely in our possession and have always had them when we needed them regardless of circumstance. 

 

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Just now, K32682 said:

 

Consular advice of this nature is meant for the lowest common denominator specifically the people who are absent minded or the wide-eyed innocents that wander through high-risk areas of foreign countries with no regard for securing their possessions.

 

It need not apply to those of us who can and have traveled through many foreign countries with our documents securely and safely in our possession and have always had them when we needed them regardless of circumstance. 

 

This was advice from a very senior foreign service officer (very senior Embassy official and friend of over 20 years) to my DH who served 4 overseas tours (13 years) and time in 2 war zones in the 80s and 90s and then spent a decade doing contract work for the US government mostly overseas.  My DH was neither absent minded nor a wide-eyed innocent but his friend thought it was worth warning him.  It was a warning given to all official visitors.

 

I hope it never happens to you or anyone else reading this but it is best to never say never and be prepared for should complications arise!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, capriccio said:

This was advice from a very senior foreign service officer (very senior Embassy official and friend of over 20 years) to my DH who served 4 overseas tours (13 years) and time in 2 war zones in the 80s and 90s and then spent a decade doing contract work for the US government mostly overseas.  My DH was neither absent minded nor a wide-eyed innocent but his friend thought it was worth warning him.  It was a warning given to all official visitors.

 

I hope it never happens to you or anyone else reading this but it is best to never say never and be prepared for should complications arise!

 

Keep in mind that some posters on CC walk on water. Or, at least they give we lesser beings that impression with claims of how smart, perfect, and superior to the rest of us they believe they are. They are never wrong and are always right, according to their own opinions of themselves.   😉 

Edited by SantaFeFan

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1 hour ago, capriccio said:

This was advice from a very senior foreign service officer (very senior Embassy official and friend of over 20 years) to my DH who served 4 overseas tours (13 years) and time in 2 war zones in the 80s and 90s and then spent a decade doing contract work for the US government mostly overseas.  My DH was neither absent minded nor a wide-eyed innocent but his friend thought it was worth warning him.  It was a warning given to all official visitors.

 

I hope it never happens to you or anyone else reading this but it is best to never say never and be prepared for should complications arise!

 

Precisely.  It is the same advice given to all official visitors. It is rote advice meant for the lowest common denominator.  

 

Perhaps it's an American trait to be overly fearful of far and distant lands.  I've had interactions with Canadian embassies and ambassadors in Serbia, Switzerland, Japan, America, UK and South Africa and never received the same advice.   In Japan our delegation was specifically told to have our passport on us at all times. 

 

When complications arose in my travel I was grateful to have my passport with me instead of miles away in safe. 

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, K32682 said:

 

Precisely.  It is the same advice given to all official visitors. It is rote advice meant for the lowest common denominator.  

 

Please re-read (or don’t since you seem bound and determined to refute everything I write) my original post:  this was advice from US Embassy Prague in 2009 specific to Prague.  

 

Initially I did take umbrage at your comments about fearful Americans until I realized how easy it is to make unsubstantiated generalizations behind the anonymity offered by a keyboard and screen.

Edited by capriccio

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39 minutes ago, K32682 said:

 

 In Japan our delegation was specifically told to have our passport on us at all times. 

 

 

No doubt that was because in Japan, unlike many other countries, it IS actually a requirement to have your passport on you. 

 

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1 hour ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

No doubt that was because in Japan, unlike many other countries, it IS actually a requirement to have your passport on you. 

 

Right. On Windstar, they normally hold passports, but for going ashore in Japan, everyone had to collect their passports from Guest Services. Once we had visited our last Japan port, they collected them again. 

 

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On 8/15/2019 at 8:39 AM, Heidi13 said:

 

While I don't have any actual statistics, I suggest reviewing based on a risk assessment. To ascertain the full facts, you must consider the probability. In most ports, while a number of reasons can preclude taking time to search for passports,  the probability is low. Therefore, in most cases the ship will at least attempt ("endeavour") a cursory search to locate passports and if found, land them ashore.

 

The original question in this thread was about lines that collect and hold the passports. In that case, they don't have to search for them. They just have to pull them from where the purser has them stored. It should be a matter of moments and there shouldn't be any impediment to them being able to land the passports. 

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14 hours ago, screwsmcernst said:

When you give your passport to the cruise line, and it is needed at a particular port, when do they return it to you?  Do they keep it with your excursion tickets, if you have an excursion through the ship?  Do they deliver it to your cabin?  If so, when do they do that?  Just curious, because that is a lot of passports to return to cruisers for a port.  

On our last World Cruise, the ship requested passports multiple times to present to the shore authorities. Prior to arriving in a port where they were all required, we received a notice to provide the  passports to the cabin steward, or drop them off at the Purser's Desk.

 

If you requested your passport to go ashore in a port where the shore authorities were processing them, you had to wait until that process was complete and then you could pick it up at the Purser's Desk. When the ship no longer required passports, or they were required to go ashore, they were returned a day before ports - either pick up from Purser's Desk, or cabin steward left in the cabin.

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2 hours ago, new_cruiser said:

 

The original question in this thread was about lines that collect and hold the passports. In that case, they don't have to search for them. They just have to pull them from where the purser has them stored. It should be a matter of moments and there shouldn't be any impediment to them being able to land the passports. 

Correct, however my responses and a number of other posts in this thread were about retrieving passports from cabin safes. If the Purser has the passports, the probability of them being landed ashore is very high, but again not guaranteed. Potential impediments are any of the situations I included in an earlier post.

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9 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

No doubt that was because in Japan, unlike many other countries, it IS actually a requirement to have your passport on you. 

 

 

I don't have to keep track of which countries require visitors to carry their passport and which ones do not. It is a lesser benefit of always carrying my passport when in foreign countries (U.S.A excepted.) 

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3 hours ago, K32682 said:

 

I don't have to keep track of which countries require visitors to carry their passport and which ones do not. It is a lesser benefit of always carrying my passport when in foreign countries (U.S.A excepted.) 

 

Sorry for your challenges, but for many of us keeping track of which countries require visitors to carry their passports isn't difficult. We can actually walk and chew gum at the same time. 😁

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