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Passport Card for US Cruiser


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10 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

I’m not willing to scan back to OP’s original post but, if s/he’s idea of “checking with the cruise line” was calling an 800 number and talking to yet-another clueless phone rep, I hope the lesson learned was: next time read the T&Cs of the ticket contract and every word on the cruise line’s invoice where it would have clearly stated that a passport (and which, any, visas) was/is required for that voyage.

In the quote just above yours, the answer to which you quoted, so wouldn’t have to look far. I believe someone’s personal experience does carry some weight despite what others “know”.

And third it was confirmed at the pier when we tried to check in. No passport. No Boarding allowed. We saw peole who had to stand on shore and watch the ship sail becaise they only had a US birth cert and State DL but no passport. 

 

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Listen folks (sound like Joe Biden) there has long been two schools of thought here on CC about Passports.  Many of us (like moi) have long counseled that anyone planning to leave the USA should have a valid Passport Book....even when it may not be required because of provisions of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).  Yes, the WHTI has provisions that do allow some folks to leave the USA (under certain circumstances such as Closed Loop Cruises) without a Passport.  That being said, the WHTI also has many limitations and potential problems that can lead to major problems and heart break.    

 

So hear it now!  Even if a cruise that  would comply with the WHTI...it does not mean that a cruise line must allow folks to cruise without a Passport.  Cruise lines can (and some do) impose tougher restrictions such as Oceania's requirement that everyone have a valid Passport.  Passengers can whine, cry, shed real tears, etc. as they watch their cruise ship sail off into the sunset while they stand on the pier.  

 

I am not going to get into all the reasons why having a valid Passport Book is just proper travel common sense.  We have hashed out those issues on CC in many threads.  Bottom line is that if you choose to cruise or travel without a valid Passport Book you are rolling the dice that everything will go well and everything works as was intended by the WHTI.   But there are plenty of times when things do not go well, stuff happens, etc.  when only a Passport Book will do.  I, myself, have witnessed the heart break when watching passengers turned away at embarkation because they do not have the appropriate documents.  This decision is made at the port, it may be wrong, but it will still leave you standing on the pier watching your ship sail away.  If one member of a family or group gets into this kind of situation it usually means that entire family/group will stay behind.  Most embarkations are joyous times when everyone in the cruise terminal is smiling, excited and looking forward to the next few days.  When you see a few standing off to the side angry, crying, etc. it is very sad.  And those here on CC that think its fine not to have a Passport will not be at your side to give you some comfort.

 

By the way, we most recently (Jan 3) witnessed one of the heartbreak moments while at LAX on our way to Mexico (where we live in the winter months).  A couple somehow made it through check-in and all the way to the Gate for an AA Flight to Puerto Vallarta.  Their names were called a few minutes before boarding and the airline counter clerk asked to see their Passports (they apparently had not been scanned into the system).  We heard this couple arguing that they did not need a Passport Book (they did have Passport Cards) but they were denied boarding onto our flight.  They were very upset but they did not get on our flight!  Just one more unhappy moment and a hard lesson learned.

 

Hank

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10 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

 

 

By the way, we most recently (Jan 3) witnessed one of the heartbreak moments while at LAX on our way to Mexico (where we live in the winter months).  A couple somehow made it through check-in and all the way to the Gate for an AA Flight to Puerto Vallarta.  Their names were called a few minutes before boarding and the airline counter clerk asked to see their Passports (they apparently had not been scanned into the system).  We heard this couple arguing that they did not need a Passport Book (they did have Passport Cards) but they were denied boarding onto our flight.  They were very upset but they did not get on our flight!  Just one more unhappy moment and a hard lesson learned.

 

Hank

 

The passport cards were issued to facilitate US citizens who regularly crossed the Canada and Mexico and close NA island borders to have an easy to carry document. There are workers going back and forth every day. So no air was allowed. People can use it on some cruises out of a US ports and there is nothing to stop them but it was not created for cruise travel. Some who spend a thousand or four thousand on a cruise and have save a few bucks more that a passport book costs....... that makes no sense. 

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7 minutes ago, Charles4515 said:

 

The passport cards were issued to facilitate US citizens who regularly crossed the Canada and Mexico and close NA island borders to have an easy to carry document. There are workers going back and forth every day. So no air was allowed. People can use it on some cruises out of a US ports and there is nothing to stop them but it was not created for cruise travel. Some who spend a thousand or four thousand on a cruise and have save a few bucks more that a passport book costs....... that makes no sense. 

We have never bothered to pay the extra money for the "card" since it has limited use.  But we do know some folks who like it because it is a great form of ID they can easily carry in a wallet.   Bottom line for us is that a valid Passport Book (with at least 6 months remaining validity) is the key to travel anywhere in the world (at a moments notice).....at least prior to all the COVID restrictions.   Over the years we have often taken last minute International trips (and cruises) and cannot imagine not having a valid Passport close at hand.  Speaking of a decent ID we prefer investing in a Global Entry card which has saved us lots of time when returning to the USA.   Missing a single connecting flight because of Immigration delays does quickly show one the value of having that GE card.  

 

Hank

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1 hour ago, Hlitner said:

Speaking of a decent ID we prefer investing in a Global Entry card which has saved us lots of time when returning to the USA.   Missing a single connecting flight because of Immigration delays does quickly show one the value of having that GE card.  

 

Hank

 

I managed to get my Global Entry renewed in April and they sent me a new card a week after the renewal was approved. 

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3 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

I’m not willing to scan back to OP’s original post but, if s/he’s idea of “checking with the cruise line” was calling an 800 number and talking to yet-another clueless phone rep, I hope the lesson learned was: next time read the T&Cs of the ticket contract and every word on the cruise line’s invoice where it would have clearly stated that a passport (and which, any, visas) was/is required for that voyage.

You don't need to scan back, it's what navybankerteacher quoted in the post of his that you responded to. Sadly many people will just call the 800 number and they don't pay any attention to that pesky small print. Fortunately that only bits a small number of people in the tookus but for them it can be a painful bite indeed. And for the OP what he was incorrectly told exceeded the minimum requirements so for him it was "no harm, no foul".

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3 hours ago, Hlitner said:

Listen folks (sound like Joe Biden) there has long been two schools of thought here on CC about Passports.  Many of us (like moi) have long counseled that anyone planning to leave the USA should have a valid Passport Book....even when it may not be required because of provisions of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).  Yes, the WHTI has provisions that do allow some folks to leave the USA (under certain circumstances such as Closed Loop Cruises) without a Passport.  That being said, the WHTI also has many limitations and potential problems that can lead to major problems and heart break.    

 

So hear it now!  Even if a cruise that  would comply with the WHTI...it does not mean that a cruise line must allow folks to cruise without a Passport.  Cruise lines can (and some do) impose tougher restrictions such as Oceania's requirement that everyone have a valid Passport.  Passengers can whine, cry, shed real tears, etc. as they watch their cruise ship sail off into the sunset while they stand on the pier.  

 

I am not going to get into all the reasons why having a valid Passport Book is just proper travel common sense.  We have hashed out those issues on CC in many threads.  Bottom line is that if you choose to cruise or travel without a valid Passport Book you are rolling the dice that everything will go well and everything works as was intended by the WHTI.   But there are plenty of times when things do not go well, stuff happens, etc.  when only a Passport Book will do.  I, myself, have witnessed the heart break when watching passengers turned away at embarkation because they do not have the appropriate documents.  This decision is made at the port, it may be wrong, but it will still leave you standing on the pier watching your ship sail away.  If one member of a family or group gets into this kind of situation it usually means that entire family/group will stay behind.  Most embarkations are joyous times when everyone in the cruise terminal is smiling, excited and looking forward to the next few days.  When you see a few standing off to the side angry, crying, etc. it is very sad.  And those here on CC that think its fine not to have a Passport will not be at your side to give you some comfort.

 

By the way, we most recently (Jan 3) witnessed one of the heartbreak moments while at LAX on our way to Mexico (where we live in the winter months).  A couple somehow made it through check-in and all the way to the Gate for an AA Flight to Puerto Vallarta.  Their names were called a few minutes before boarding and the airline counter clerk asked to see their Passports (they apparently had not been scanned into the system).  We heard this couple arguing that they did not need a Passport Book (they did have Passport Cards) but they were denied boarding onto our flight.  They were very upset but they did not get on our flight!  Just one more unhappy moment and a hard lesson learned.

 

Hank

Yes, travelers need to make absolutely sure that they have the required documentation, either that required by law or by the carrier or the destination depending on which requires the greater documentation. But the fact remains that millions of people have traveled every year on closed loop cruises with no issues at all. Could something happen? Sure, but chances are they won't for most people. The question is a twofold one- "can I legally travel without a passport on a closed loop cruise" and that is quickly followed by "should I travel without a passport on a closed loop cruise". The answer to the first question is typically yes, depending on a few factors (such as the cruise line requiring it). The answer to the second question is going to vary by individual and everyone is going to have a different answer based on their own travel patterns, risk factors, ability to accept the risk involved, etc. 

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3 hours ago, Charles4515 said:

 

The passport cards were issued to facilitate US citizens who regularly crossed the Canada and Mexico and close NA island borders to have an easy to carry document. There are workers going back and forth every day. So no air was allowed. People can use it on some cruises out of a US ports and there is nothing to stop them but it was not created for cruise travel. Some who spend a thousand or four thousand on a cruise and have save a few bucks more that a passport book costs....... that makes no sense. 

And because they have the same security features as a book the powers that be recognized that they could also be used for cruises, which increases the card's utility and makes it easier to sell. I live 8 miles from Canada and once the enhanced documentation was required I stopped going to Canada. When I found out how much it cost to replace DW's naturalization certificate (around $450 or so at the time, it's more now) I no longer felt comfortable taking it on a cruise, so we looked for an alternative. We weren't in a position yet for international air so the passport card looked like a valid option, but Vermont issues EDLs so we opted to get those instead. Every time we leave the house we have our license with us so we don't have to worry about carrying an extra card or remembering to grab it when heading out. Once we got our passports for our first trip to Germany we debated about whether or not to keep the EDLs or maybe switch to the card (which is less expensive in the long run), because we keep our passports in the safe deposit box unless we are using them. 

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3 hours ago, Hlitner said:

We have never bothered to pay the extra money for the "card" since it has limited use.  But we do know some folks who like it because it is a great form of ID they can easily carry in a wallet.   Bottom line for us is that a valid Passport Book (with at least 6 months remaining validity) is the key to travel anywhere in the world (at a moments notice).....at least prior to all the COVID restrictions.   Over the years we have often taken last minute International trips (and cruises) and cannot imagine not having a valid Passport close at hand.  Speaking of a decent ID we prefer investing in a Global Entry card which has saved us lots of time when returning to the USA.   Missing a single connecting flight because of Immigration delays does quickly show one the value of having that GE card.  

 

Hank

For you in your situation having a valid passport at hand is critical, but everyone has different travel patterns and needs because others aren't as fortunate as you are. Even now that we are empty nesters we can't just drop everything and jet off to parts unknown, most of our trips are planned at least 6 months in advance and often more than 12 months in advance. Us having passports doesn't change that.

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3 hours ago, Hlitner said:

We have never bothered to pay the extra money for the "card" since it has limited use.  But we do know some folks who like it because it is a great form of ID they can easily carry in a wallet.   Bottom line for us is that a valid Passport Book (with at least 6 months remaining validity) is the key to travel anywhere in the world (at a moments notice).....at least prior to all the COVID restrictions.   Over the years we have often taken last minute International trips (and cruises) and cannot imagine not having a valid Passport close at hand.  Speaking of a decent ID we prefer investing in a Global Entry card which has saved us lots of time when returning to the USA.   Missing a single connecting flight because of Immigration delays does quickly show one the value of having that GE card.  

 

Hank

In my view, the expedited TSA checking is the primary value of the GE card because, while it obviously helps in returning to the US, it is much more frequently a time saver on domestic flights.

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14 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

In my view, the expedited TSA checking is the primary value of the GE card because, while it obviously helps in returning to the US, it is much more frequently a time saver on domestic flights.

We've thought about getting GE but we typically fly in and out of Montreal when traveling to Europe so it wouldn't have too much benefit as I understand it. We do have TSA pre-check for those times when we do fly domestically. 

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14 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

In my view, the expedited TSA checking is the primary value of the GE card because, while it obviously helps in returning to the US, it is much more frequently a time saver on domestic flights.

True, we use it mostly for TSA purposes but it also saved us a long, long wait at LAX one morning. We were coming back from Tahiti and arrived in a morning window when it seemed as though a flight from every city in Asia had also landed. The regular CBP lines, even for US citizens, extended longer than you could see from the checkpoint, but there was not a single person ahead of us at the GE kiosks.

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3 minutes ago, njhorseman said:

True, we use it mostly for TSA purposes but it also saved us a long, long wait at LAX one morning. We were coming back from Tahiti and arrived in a morning window when it seemed as though a flight from every city in Asia had also landed. The regular CBP lines, even for US citizens, extended longer than you could see from the checkpoint, but there was not a single person ahead of us at the GE kiosks.

The last two times we came in to JFK we were behind some dreamers who thought he would use the kiosk - even though they had no GE - figuring it was worth a try and messed around for a couple of minutes.  A lot of people either cannot read or simply do not read signs which say things they do not like.

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