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Anyone done a closed loop cruise where a passport wasn't required?  We can't apply for our grandson's new passport until September (because we need it for Europe this summer) and with the 18-week turnaround time, we might not have it in time for our Christmas cruise.  Since it is a closed loop, Tampa to Tampa, we might have to rely on the other documents.  Anyone have any experience doing this?

Thanks

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1 minute ago, Lindancer said:

Anyone done a closed loop cruise where a passport wasn't required?  We can't apply for our grandson's new passport until September (because we need it for Europe this summer) and with the 18-week turnaround time, we might not have it in time for our Christmas cruise.  Since it is a closed loop, Tampa to Tampa, we might have to rely on the other documents.  Anyone have any experience doing this?

Thanks

May depend on the cruise line. Some require all passengers on all itineraries to present a passport.

Also, in normal times, you can go to a regional passport office when traveling in the VERY near future. But you would need justification and an appointment.

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19 minutes ago, Lindancer said:

Anyone done a closed loop cruise where a passport wasn't required?  We can't apply for our grandson's new passport until September (because we need it for Europe this summer) and with the 18-week turnaround time, we might not have it in time for our Christmas cruise.  Since it is a closed loop, Tampa to Tampa, we might have to rely on the other documents.  Anyone have any experience doing this?

Thanks

Check directly with your cruiseline. I would have to guess he'll be able to sail on a closed loop with his certified birth certificate (under age 16) and an additional ID if age 16 and above.

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Thanks for the replies.  According to the cruise line's website, it's a go, but I still feel like you need to be a lawyer to read the fine print.  We are hoping we can get the passport renewed in time anyway, but I don't want to have to "sweat it out" while we wait to receive it.  The idea of a "closed loop" gives me something to fall back on.

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29 minutes ago, Lindancer said:

Thanks for the replies.  According to the cruise line's website, it's a go, but I still feel like you need to be a lawyer to read the fine print.  We are hoping we can get the passport renewed in time anyway, but I don't want to have to "sweat it out" while we wait to receive it.  The idea of a "closed loop" gives me something to fall back on.

Of course, you realize that, if an emergency requires air transport home from an international location, you are SOL w/o a passport.

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10 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Of course, you realize that, if an emergency requires air transport home from an international location, you are SOL w/o a passport.

No, you aren't. The regulations that allow other documentation for closed loop cruises also contain provisions for the waiver of the passport requirement for emergencies and for humanitarian reasons. There will be a delay while the cruise line and the authorities get things in place but exceptions can be and are made. Far from being SOL (and of course that is only IF something happens, which doesn't for the vast majority of cruisers).

 

OP we have cruised using birth certificates and government issued IDs before. When cruising wasn't impacted by COVID millions of people cruised every year with something other than a passport without any issues. 

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18 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

No, you aren't. The regulations that allow other documentation for closed loop cruises also contain provisions for the waiver of the passport requirement for emergencies and for humanitarian reasons. There will be a delay while the cruise line and the authorities get things in place but exceptions can be and are made. Far from being SOL (and of course that is only IF something happens, which doesn't for the vast majority of cruisers).

 

OP we have cruised using birth certificates and government issued IDs before. When cruising wasn't impacted by COVID millions of people cruised every year with something other than a passport without any issues. 

We have only cruised with passports as our first cruise started in Barcelona and our latest renewal was first used for a trip to Peru, but thank you for giving information to counter the big scare some post about not having a passport while traveling. It is still the preferable option for travel, but it is definitely not the only viable one.

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15 hours ago, Lindancer said:

Anyone done a closed loop cruise where a passport wasn't required?  We can't apply for our grandson's new passport until September (because we need it for Europe this summer) and with the 18-week turnaround time, we might not have it in time for our Christmas cruise.  Since it is a closed loop, Tampa to Tampa, we might have to rely on the other documents.  Anyone have any experience doing this?

Thanks

Can you explain why you can't apply for a passport before September?

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3 minutes ago, D C said:

Can you explain why you can't apply for a passport before September?

I think the 18 week turnaround time answers that. I suspect that they will try to submit the passport renewal after that with expedited processing and were looking at alternatives if it didn't come back in time.

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Yes, my husbands first cruise was with a BC and DL. Contrary to population opinion on this site. It's very doable to cruise without a passport and millions of people have done without getting "stuck" overseas. Getting a passport is sound advice, but if you can't; yes, I'm not sure how old your grandson is or what would be required for "ID" but as long as you look into that and bring his birth certificate he should be fine. Worth checking with the cruise line directly to see if they have changed their policy about what they accept due to COVID. But pre-covid it wouldn't have been a problem.

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3 hours ago, ontheweb said:

We have only cruised with passports as our first cruise started in Barcelona and our latest renewal was first used for a trip to Peru, but thank you for giving information to counter the big scare some post about not having a passport while traveling. It is still the preferable option for travel, but it is definitely not the only viable one.

Depending on where you are, “authorities” (e.g., a US consulate) can be very very far away. 
Next thing we’ll here from folks who do not travel abroad regularly for business/pleasure is “you don’t need travel insurance or high limit credit cards for medical emergencies in foreign lands.”

And finally, there’s the naïveté regarding “what are the odds.” Tell that to the folks who end up needing these most essential travel items.

 

Common sense is not a scare tactic. 

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24 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Depending on where you are, “authorities” (e.g., a US consulate) can be very very far away. 
Next thing we’ll here from folks who do not travel abroad regularly for business/pleasure is “you don’t need travel insurance or high limit credit cards for medical emergencies in foreign lands.”

And finally, there’s the naïveté regarding “what are the odds.” Tell that to the folks who end up needing these most essential travel items.

 

Common sense is not a scare tactic. 

The cruise lines have the "authorities" (CBP) available by phone from every port they visit and since they are the agency that would be taking the lead on the issue that is who would be contacted. Saying that someone is SOL is using scare tactics and not common sense. 

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30 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Depending on where you are, “authorities” (e.g., a US consulate) can be very very far away. 
Next thing we’ll here from folks who do not travel abroad regularly for business/pleasure is “you don’t need travel insurance or high limit credit cards for medical emergencies in foreign lands.”

And finally, there’s the naïveté regarding “what are the odds.” Tell that to the folks who end up needing these most essential travel items.

 

Common sense is not a scare tactic. 

I was replying to the argument of whether you're SOL or you can get back home. And I did say that having a passport is the preferred method, and the one we have used.

 

And I agree about the need for insurance with high medical and evacuation limits.

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1 hour ago, D C said:

Can you explain why you can't apply for a passport before September?

Yes, because when you apply for a new passport, you have to turn your old one in.  We won't be back from Greece until end of August.

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1 hour ago, D C said:

Can you explain why you can't apply for a passport before September?

 

1 hour ago, sparks1093 said:

I think the 18 week turnaround time answers that. I suspect that they will try to submit the passport renewal after that with expedited processing and were looking at alternatives if it didn't come back in time.

Thanks - like I said - we are going to need the passport to get in and out of Greece this August.

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36 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

The cruise lines have the "authorities" (CBP) available by phone from every port they visit and since they are the agency that would be taking the lead on the issue that is who would be contacted. Saying that someone is SOL is using scare tactics and not common sense. 

CBP only controls reentry to the United States (that’s why it’s called Border Protection. Local “authorities” control airline boarding in foreign lands. And don’t think that, in some out-of-the-way locations, port agents don’t carry lots of cash to help speed that processing.

It really does sound like you’ve never actually been stuck in some “backwater” foreign dirt-hole where all the correct documentation didn’t amount to much.

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47 minutes ago, Lindancer said:

Yes, because when you apply for a new passport, you have to turn your old one in.  We won't be back from Greece until end of August.

You may even have a problem for your first cruise if your itinerary or cruise line for the summer cruise requires 6 months remaining validity. It sounds like the passport that needs to be renewed won't have 6 months remaining validity when your summer cruise sails.

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15 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

CBP only controls reentry to the United States (that’s why it’s called Border Protection. Local “authorities” control airline boarding in foreign lands. And don’t think that, in some out-of-the-way locations, port agents don’t carry lots of cash to help speed that processing.

It really does sound like you’ve never actually been stuck in some “backwater” foreign dirt-hole where all the correct documentation didn’t amount to much.

I've been to a lot of backwater foreign dirt holes in my day (all without a passport, mind you) but you are right, I didn't get stuck there (missing ship's movement is a huge no-no in the Navy). I also wouldn't classify the islands in the Caribbean as backwater dirt holes, either (nor Bermuda, Mexico and Canada, for that matter, all areas covered by WHTI). There will be some delay in returning home without a passport, the amount will be heavily dependent upon the circumstances (I am sure that being overserved at Senor Frogs is not treated in the same manner as a medical emergency) but passengers are far from SOL. As long as they are comfortable with the risk then it's their decision to make. And yes, CBP does control re-entry and that is what is at stake here- the passenger needs authority to re-enter the US but regardless of who the decision maker is the cruise lines likely have them on speed dial and exceptions can be and are made.

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Well, this discussion is leading away from its original intention, which was just to inquire if anyone had gone on a "closed loop" cruise using the other documentation, not a passport.

But it leads me to another question.  Most people don't have their passports with them when they go onshore.  What happens when they miss their ship?  How to they get back to the US (or the next port) without it?

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1 minute ago, njhorseman said:

You may even have a problem for your first cruise if your itinerary or cruise line for the summer cruise requires 6 months remaining validity. It sounds like the passport that needs to be renewed won't have 6 months remaining validity when your summer cruise sails.

No, it just doesn't have 6 months after the Christmas cruise - and THAT'S the problem!

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Lindancer said:

Well, this discussion is leading away from its original intention, which was just to inquire if anyone had gone on a "closed loop" cruise using the other documentation, not a passport.

But it leads me to another question.  Most people don't have their passports with them when they go onshore.  What happens when they miss their ship?  How to they get back to the US (or the next port) without it?

Conventional wisdom is that if the passport is in the safe the staff retrieves it and leaves it with the port agent. But if the ship sails with it the passenger is in a similar position as one who used something other than a passport.

 

And these discussions almost always lead away from the original intention. There are two questions involved..."can you cruise on a closed loop cruise without a passport" and within certain conditions the answer is yes. The other question is "should you cruise on a closed loop cruise without a passport" and the answer to that question is going to vary by traveler, but it's that question most people focus on when trying to answer the first question. Everyone's risk level is different, everyone's travel needs are different, everyone's risk tolerance is different. 

Edited by sparks1093
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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Lindancer said:

No, it just doesn't have 6 months after the Christmas cruise - and THAT'S the problem!

It's only a problem if any of the islands you are visiting or your cruise line has a 6 month rule (and not a recommendation). If you are on a closed loop cruise where people can sail without a passport then the 6 month rule for those with passports would be rather silly (and very likely not required). So if your grandson's passport will be valid on the day the cruise ends you can likely use it for this cruise.

Edited by sparks1093
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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Lindancer said:

No, it just doesn't have 6 months after the Christmas cruise - and THAT'S the problem!

If it's the typical closed loop cruise out of the US it doesn't need the six months, it just has to be valid and if you've investigated and the cruise line says a BC is sufficient then it is a cruise that doesn't have the 6 month requirement.

So...it sounds like you don't need to renew at all before the Christmas cruise. I would not renew, but take both the BC and the passport with you on the Christmas cruise. Renew after the Christmas cruise.

Edited by njhorseman
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16 minutes ago, Lindancer said:

Well, this discussion is leading away from its original intention, which was just to inquire if anyone had gone on a "closed loop" cruise using the other documentation, not a passport.

But it leads me to another question.  Most people don't have their passports with them when they go onshore.  What happens when they miss their ship?  How to they get back to the US (or the next port) without it?

Your passport will be retrieved by the Purser (if you’re lucky, you’d have been required to surrender your passport at embarkation sand the purser already has it) and turned over to the ship’s port agent (contact info for each port should be published in the ship’s daily newsletter and usually posted near the gangway- always carry this and/or take a picture of it).

If you miss the ship, contact the port agent who will provide assistance in planning/executing your next move.

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1 hour ago, Lindancer said:

Yes, because when you apply for a new passport, you have to turn your old one in.  We won't be back from Greece until end of August.

Ahhh, thanks. Makes sense 🙂

 

 

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