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Carnival cruiser, do you have a valid passport?


Carnival cruiser, do you have a passport?  

199 members have voted

  1. 1. Carnival cruiser, do you have a valid passport?

    • Yes
      190
    • No
      9


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4 minutes ago, Darcy03231 said:

I wouldn't leave the country without a valid passport.  We even got them for all of our children once we started taking them with us.

 

While we've never had to use them, I've read threads where someone had to stay a few days and jump through hoops in a foreign country when there was an emergency or they got left behind because the ship sailed on time and the people didn't make it back on time.   I remember one from years ago where it cost the person thousands in extra expenses by the time they had to stay in the country for a few days and then take a flight to either catch up with the ship or to go home.

Most of those stories have something else going on with them, usually medical expenses that the traveler can't pay for. There is one story on here about a passenger that missed the ship and had to catch up with the ship since his family was still onboard. He walked into the Embassy the next day and walked out an hour or so later with his passport. I've read two other stories where passengers had to leave the ship in a port without an embassy or consulate. One passenger had a minor medical emergency and the other needed to return home for a family emergency. In both cases arrangements were made by CBP for them to fly directly back to the US where they had to clear secondary inspection before proceeding one. In both cases the delay totaled only a few hours. Of course every situation is different but the fact remains that millions of people cruise on closed loop cruises every year without any issues at all (well, prior to the pandemic). Mentioning extra expenses is a good case for good travel insurance because even if you have a passport when you miss the ship you will likely have extra expenses.

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14 hours ago, sprint180 said:

What are the passport cards good for?  Can you take them instead of the book?

Passport cards (and bona fide EDLs) may be used for land and sea ports of entry returning from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean.

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2 hours ago, mek said:

You are correct and I didn't realize the two are not the same.  Thanks for the clarification, but bottom line is I would still rather fly domestically with just my DL. I would never leave the US or cruise w/o my passport.

 

They take the same amount of documentation to get each license, both would easily satisfy passport requirements/standards as well, yet somehow we have three different products that allow three different permissions. Government efficiency at it's best. 

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We didn't for our first actual cruise - it was just a 3 day to Freeport on the Bahamas Celebration cruise line.  It was a groupon we got for about 200 bucks total almost 10 years ago lol.  Our son and DIL talked us into going as they love cruising and we had never been and we figured it would be a nice trial run to see how much we enjoyed.  

 

Well we did have a blast.  Our son a granddaughters were with us and we had no idea what we were missing from newer, bigger ships lol.  It was funny overhearing all the experienced cruisers complaining about every little thing on that boat and even our kids said it was not the full cruise experience but enjoyable for such a cheap long weekend.

 

All the rest of our cruises have been on Carnival and we have our 6th and 7th cruises booked for next year and we got our passports for our first Carnival cruise and have used them ever since.  

 

We also recently won a cruise for some dumb thing my wife entered and I didn't think would be worth anything but I guess it was.  I know we will have some choices to make when we book that one but we have almost 2 years to figure it out.  There are a few different lines to choose from and we are considering seeing how other lines do stuff. 

 

But we'll use our passports regardless.

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27 minutes ago, cruisingguy007 said:

 

They take the same amount of documentation to get each license, both would easily satisfy passport requirements/standards as well, yet somehow we have three different products that allow three different permissions. Government efficiency at it's best. 

To get a REAL ID compliant license one only needs to show legal presence in the US, not US citizenship. I believe that for an EDL there is the same level of background check required as for a passport/passport card, which isn't true of a REAL ID compliant license.

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Just now, sparks1093 said:

To get a REAL ID compliant license one only needs to show legal presence in the US, not US citizenship. I believe that for an EDL there is the same level of background check required as for a passport/passport card, which isn't true of a REAL ID compliant license.

 

That's the problem. The vast majority of us are citizens and they could easily have both options available and let you fly to neighboring countries with a EDL like we used to be able to do. I showed the same documentation to get my Real ID (more actually) that is required for a passport, yet the only benefit I get is for FFL transfers, Federal courthouses, military bases, and domestic flying. Quite frustrating how things are set up.    

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15 minutes ago, cruisingguy007 said:

 

That's the problem. The vast majority of us are citizens and they could easily have both options available and let you fly to neighboring countries with a EDL like we used to be able to do. I showed the same documentation to get my Real ID (more actually) that is required for a passport, yet the only benefit I get is for FFL transfers, Federal courthouses, military bases, and domestic flying. Quite frustrating how things are set up.    

But your REAL ID doesn't come with the enhanced background check that is involved with getting a passport and likely didn't cost more than a regular license (at least that is how it is here, REAL ID is the same as a regular renewal and an EDL is $25 more). But at the end of the day, even though a vast majority are US citizens not all holders are, and there in lies the main difference.

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18 hours ago, mek said:

To each his own - so much easier to fly domestically with just the DL than to carry a bulky passport. 

That's one reason why I get a passport card along with the book.  Works as RealID for flying.  (I have Global Entry and that card counts as RealID as well)

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17 hours ago, sprint180 said:

What are the passport cards good for?  Can you take them instead of the book?

 

We take both on a cruise and keep the book with us for when we are off the ship, the cards stay in the safe.  The cards are valid for closed-loop cruises, land travel to Canada and Mexico, and also serve as RealID for flying.

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7 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

....and from what I've read each individual sailing will have 40 to 60% of passengers using a passport, depending on the sailing, itinerary, etc. 

I was in the higher end with my guesstimate.  The 40% is more than likely on the shorter length cruises out of secondary ports which would probably have a higher portion of drive to guests.  Since I only cruise on 7+ night cruises out of larger ports, my guesstimate could be about right, but as you said, it varies of course depending upon ship, time of year, etc.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, originalgeek said:

 

We also recently won a cruise for some dumb thing my wife entered and I didn't think would be worth anything but I guess it was.  I know we will have some choices to make when we book that one but we have almost 2 years to figure it out.  There are a few different lines to choose from and we are considering seeing how other lines do stuff.

You know that CC is the best place to do your cruise line comparison when it comes time to pick which line you'll redeem your voucher on.

The Bahamas Celebration line that you were on was actually the Carnival Celebration ship from way back in the day.  The new Celebration will be the second ship in the Excellence Class and will be a homage in name only to the original Celebration, just like the Mardi Gras will be.

Edited by SNJCruisers
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3 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

 He walked into the Embassy the next day and walked out an hour or so later with his passport. 

This alone should tell us it's an urban legend. How many cruise ports can we name that have an American Embassy? 

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1 minute ago, AHS123 said:

This alone should tell us it's an urban legend. How many cruise ports can we name that have an American Embassy? 

Nassau does and that is where he was. The poster is still active on CC to this day and gave a very detailed blog about his experience. I'll see if I can find the thread for you.

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3 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

Nassau does and that is where he was. The poster is still active on CC to this day and gave a very detailed blog about his experience. I'll see if I can find the thread for you.

Thanks. Well that does make sense. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, cruisingguy007 said:

 

People always bring up these hearsay second hand stories when the truth is that you can be issued an emergency passport in 30 min or less if needed. The cruise lines have folks on the ground at the ports, travel insurance nearly universally includes passport services for repatriation, and you have consulate/embassy services. For the millions upon millions of cruisers that cruise without passports, you'd hear more about this if it were an actual problem.      

But if you have an emergency who wants to mess with anything other than catching a flight home?  Sure it might not ever happen, but I certainly wouldn't want to mess with any red tape if I needed to get back home as quickly as possible.

Just the same as traveling with a very high limit credit card, which I do,  that would allow me to get out of Dodge at just about any price if it was necessary.

Edited by mek
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Just now, mek said:

But if you have an emergency who wants to mess with anything other than catching a flight home?  Sure it might not ever happen, but I certainly wouldn't want to mess with any red tape if I needed to get back home as quickly as possible.

Just the same as traveling with a very high limit credit card, which I do,  that allows me to get out of Dodge at just about any price if it was necessary.

People have different levels of risk tolerance and if you are that averse to red tape then using a passport is the answer. The fact is you would have very little red tape to mess with since all of the arrangements have to be made between the port agent, CBP and the airlines. (And even if you have a passport you should communicate with the port agent first since he or she will be your best source of information.)

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Jamesatgsu said:

Sounds convenient. Similar to the Passport Card, but combines it with your driver's license so you don't need to carry 2 cards. 

 

it's only convenient if you would get a passport card anyway. I personally think passport cards are the most useless documentation that was every created UNLESS you frequently cross a land border into Canada or Mexico. If you do, it makes alot of sense. Otherwise, what's the point? I always cringe when people talk about getting a passport card for a cruise. You still can't fly home or to another port with it. So it serves no real purpose that your driver's license/birth certificate don't also serve. 

Edited by sanger727
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40 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

Nassau does and that is where he was. The poster is still active on CC to this day and gave a very detailed blog about his experience. I'll see if I can find the thread for you.

Here's where he says he got lucky. I'll say, this was my concern: " Did it cause a HUGE problem, not having one, as someone mentioned? No! Reason: The embassy was close. I can imagine it being a HUGE ordeal if it was a larger country or if the embassy was far away."

Thanks again, this was helpful.

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Well, I guess the main thing this poll told us is that the majority of CC members have passports.

 

I got the Real ID last year because, at some point, it will be required to fly.  I wish we had the enhanced license in my state because I still had to submit a birth certificate, proof of residency, and proof of social security number for the Real ID.  I can't imagine what else I would have needed to provide if my state offered the enhanced license.

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We cruised without passports for our first three cruises.  DD, DH and I got ours after that.  When we went on our first family cruise, middle DD and family had theirs already, so I paid for our oldest DD and kids (her DH already had his).  Peace of mind and money well spent for us.  

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I was told here in Virginia when my drivers license was about to expire I had to get the Real ID license.  The cost was the same as the license before.  I have a passport, Real ID, and a Global Entry Card.  Actually global entry is worth it if you're flying in from another country.  Last time I flew back from Panama there was a huge line going through immigration and I was the only person in the global entry line, put the passport into the machine, machine read it and printed a receipt, gave the receipt to the immigration person and walked right through.  Also a few years ago returning from a cruise in Fort Lauderdale there was a global entry line and it was much shorter then the normal line going through immigration.  You pay $100 for Global Entry for 5 years.  Also good for TSA pre check and not taking off your shoes, etc.

 

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13 hours ago, sanger727 said:

 

it's only convenient if you would get a passport card anyway. I personally think passport cards are the most useless documentation that was every created UNLESS you frequently cross a land border into Canada or Mexico. If you do, it makes alot of sense. Otherwise, what's the point? I always cringe when people talk about getting a passport card for a cruise. You still can't fly home or to another port with it. So it serves no real purpose that your driver's license/birth certificate don't also serve. 

Having a passport card for cruising does make sense for some people and it does have the benefit of having your information in the State Dept database if something goes wrong (and if you do need to apply for a passport at some point you may apply through the mail if you already have a passport card). It is a durable document and you don't have to worry about it getting damaged on an excursion. 

 

When I found out how much it cost to replace DW's naturalization certificate if it were damaged (at the time I think it was around $350 and it's gone up) we decided that we needed something to use in its place. We looked at the passport card and, since our state issues them, EDLs. Since getting an EDL meant only having to carry one document we opted for them for our next cruise. Even though we have passports now we renew the EDLs because they are more convenient if we go up to Canada (and the passports stay in the safe deposit box...with the naturalization certificate).

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