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Passports Being Held By NCL


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Just got an email saying that NCL will collect all passports at embarkation and it will be returned at debarkation. Is this a new Covid thing or a standard procedure for European cruises? It makes me a little nervous. Going on the Jade on July 25 to Greece.

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It's happened a few times for us on European cruises (not on NCL, another cruise line).

Depends on the countries involved, but it's not unusual. 

Don't worry, it's easier than lining up in each country that wants to check passports. 

 

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Posted (edited)

It's not at all uncommon on some European cruises.  It depends on the itinerary.  It's been done for years.  The reason is that some countries require a physical inspection of arriving passengers' passports.  A border control employee from that country will board the ship at some point prior to your stop in that country and inspect the passports.  I've generally had mine returned at some point mid-cruise after we had stopped in the country that required the physical look at the passport.  But depending on the itinerary, I guess that might not be possible.

 

I would make a copy of your passport to take with you in ports, in case it helps in the rare situation you might want to show a passport.  It's not the same as a passport, but it could simplify issues.

Edited by MeHeartCruising
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Yes, this is standard and it's been done this way for many years.  Stop worrying, it'll be fine.  They take your passport, give you a slip/receipt  and your PP is returned, I think the evening prior to disembarkation. 

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As others have stated, normal operation for all cruise lines. When you receive it back will depend on your itinerary. Most of the time it's required for one port (example Turkey).  It has been my experience that once we visit the port requiring this, the passports are returned. So you may, or may not, receive your passport back mid-cruise.

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Many of the cruises we have been on have had NCL collect the passports.   Sometimes to give them back for a certain port and then collect them again after.

They will give you a receipt so don't lose it!!

 

Very common so don't worry about it.  And certainly don't get upset and confrontational; I have seen that happen towards Guest Services staff and it is totally unnecessary.

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2 minutes ago, casofilia said:

Many of the cruises we have been on have had NCL collect the passports.   Sometimes to give them back for a certain port and then collect them again after.

They will give you a receipt so don't lose it!!

 

Very common so don't worry about it.  And certainly don't get upset and confrontational; I have seen that happen towards Guest Services staff and it is totally unnecessary.

We would not have gotten confrontational in any situation, but glad that we had some advance notice so as not to be totally clueless. 

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7 hours ago, MeHeartCruising said:

 

 

I would make a copy of your passport to take with you in ports, in case it helps in the rare situation you might want to show a passport.  It's not the same as a passport, but it could simplify issues.

100% agree but to add to that, make it a color copy.

 

Steve

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3 minutes ago, mscdivina2016 said:

100% agree but to add to that, make it a color copy.

 

Steve

You can always snap a picture with your phone - assuming you lock your phone.

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5 minutes ago, julig22 said:

You can always snap a picture with your phone - assuming you lock your phone.

Actually no,

 If you needed the back up copies, the color ones actually will scan just like your actual passport.  I have actually used my copy at an immigration kiosk.

Steve

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36 minutes ago, mscdivina2016 said:

Actually no,

 If you needed the back up copies, the color ones actually will scan just like your actual passport.  I have actually used my copy at an immigration kiosk.

Steve

Good to know.

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I've only taken one European cruise with NCL, we did not have our passports collected. We started in Spain, traveled to Italy, Vatican City, France and Monaco on the itinerary.

 

I have a US Passport Card. I actually carry that off the ship as my ID. I leave my drivers license and passport locked in the room safe. Disappointing to lose the passport card, but it wouldn't keep me from flying back into the US or driving/renting a car.

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Posted (edited)

Some foreign countries want to see everyone's passport, sometimes they stamp it.  Rather than have each passenger go thru the process, NCL collects the passports and does it in a 'mass processing'. In one country we got off the ship had to stand in line while the customs agent stamped each passport individually. We must have wasted close to an hour in line before we could go on tours. Much easier to have NCL do this.  Look for the stamps when you get your passport back.

Edited by kitty-sail
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On 7/18/2021 at 9:48 AM, Nola26 said:

I've only taken one European cruise with NCL, we did not have our passports collected. We started in Spain, traveled to Italy, Vatican City, France and Monaco on the itinerary.

 

I have a US Passport Card. I actually carry that off the ship as my ID. I leave my drivers license and passport locked in the room safe. Disappointing to lose the passport card, but it wouldn't keep me from flying back into the US or driving/renting a car.

I assume that was the Epic. That cruise doesn’t leave the EU, so passports are a non issue in that area.

 

In the Eastern Med, where the ships visit ports such as Turkey and Israel it is common practice for passports to be taken. I’m assuming that the OP is visiting one of those countries.

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The Norwegian Jade has a technical stop in Turkey (pretty likely to avoid the EU VAT). So technically you leave the Schengen area. The Turkish officals will either board in Greece or come onboard during the technical stop and check all passports. Then the Greece officals have to check all passports whether everyone has a valid Schengen stamp in the passport. I bet that´s a great job - border patrol officer on a cruise ship ;-)!

 

steamboats

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An interesting note: on my first cruise aboard Norwegian's NORWAY in 1990 to the Eastern Caribbean, NCL collected our passports to pre-clear us at all ports (St. Thomas, San Juan and St Maartin). I believe this was standard at the time for all non-US citizens.

 

I was surprised on my next cruise 8 years later that this was no longer required. 

 

We did have to surrender them to Royal for our UK cruise in 2015 and I am anticipating having to surrender them next summer in the Med/Greek Isles.

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We've been on 15 cruises (NCL and Carnival) and only 1 trip that I can remember they took our passports and gave them back the night before getting off. That was a cruise from Singapore with stops in Thailand and Malaysia. I agree with MyHeartCruising above on how it happens.

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when we went on our European to US cruise in 2018,  I admit I wasn't thrilled with handing over my passport,  read too many horror stories to be honest.   I did ask at the desk why( no no mean or nasty or "confrontational")  and they called our room and told me that we could keep them for everywhere but Ireland. So we did.   It is usually one country that wants them not all of them on the cruise.  YMMV.  But we didn't give  ours over until Ireland and we had to back that night.    No fuss, problems.  Just a different perspective.  

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On 7/23/2021 at 11:34 AM, steamboats said:

The Norwegian Jade has a technical stop in Turkey (pretty likely to avoid the EU VAT). So technically you leave the Schengen area. The Turkish officals will either board in Greece or come onboard during the technical stop and check all passports. Then the Greece officals have to check all passports whether everyone has a valid Schengen stamp in the passport. I bet that´s a great job - border patrol officer on a cruise ship ;-)!

 

steamboats

Does anyone know why they are having a technical stop in Turkey? Sure seems to add a lot of complexity. There was already an email about people from other countries  needing special visas because of it. 

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