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2 hours 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.

I hope it's not a full 18 weeks.  Just applied for my renewal a couple of weeks ago and 18 full weeks puts us mid-cruise.  

 

The passport website amuses me.  6 weeks for mailing?? How on earth does mailing ANYTHING take 6 weeks?

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11 minutes ago, D C said:

I hope it's not a full 18 weeks.  Just applied for my renewal a couple of weeks ago and 18 full weeks puts us mid-cruise.  

 

The passport website amuses me.  6 weeks for mailing?? How on earth does mailing ANYTHING take 6 weeks?

It's probably accounting for the time it spends in the State Dept mailroom (as a guess).

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18 minutes ago, D C said:

I hope it's not a full 18 weeks.  Just applied for my renewal a couple of weeks ago and 18 full weeks puts us mid-cruise.  

 

The passport website amuses me.  6 weeks for mailing?? How on earth does mailing ANYTHING take 6 weeks?

Very doubtful it will take 18 weeks. 

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28 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

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

Excellent advice even if someone has their passport with them.

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45 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

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.

Believe it or not, I spoke with Holland America's Visa experts, and I they told me that a birth certificate and Government-issued ID was good for a closed loop cruise, but also said - if you have a passport, it must be valid for at least 6 months after the cruise ends.  I commented that that didn't make any sense, and they said that's just the rules!  They also sounded negative when I mentioned our ship stopped in Belize and Honduras, since both stops that require a passport valid for 6 months after your trip.  So you can see that different people are telling me different things and I don't know whom to believe.  Other sites have said if you're on a cruise, you only need shipboard ID for Belize and Roatan.

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1 minute ago, Lindancer said:

Believe it or not, I spoke with Holland America's Visa experts, and I they told me that a birth certificate and Government-issued ID was good for a closed loop cruise, but also said - if you have a passport, it must be valid for at least 6 months after the cruise ends.  I commented that that didn't make any sense, and they said that's just the rules!  They also sounded negative when I mentioned our ship stopped in Belize and Honduras, since both stops that require a passport valid for 6 months after your trip.  So you can see that different people are telling me different things and I don't know whom to believe.  Other sites have said if you're on a cruise, you only need shipboard ID for Belize and Roatan.

I've found that cruise line shore employees aren't all that well trained in the nuances of documentation. Exceptions to the 6 month rule do exist for cruise passengers. I would take the passport and the birth certificate/government ID, one of them would be sufficient for boarding.

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52 minutes ago, njhorseman said:

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.

I like your thinking.   NCL website says only non-US passengers need a passport valid for 6 months after end of cruise.  But the NCL rep on the phone said he wasn't allow to give me any advice on what to do, which scared me.

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4 minutes ago, Lindancer said:

I like your thinking.   NCL website says only non-US passengers need a passport valid for 6 months after end of cruise.  But the NCL rep on the phone said he wasn't allow to give me any advice on what to do, which scared me.

The website is correct.

 

If you don't even need a passport then there's no 6 month rule in effect. Think of how illogical it would be to not require a passport but if you happen to have a passport requiring it to have 6 months validity. The stupidity of a such a requirement, if it existed, would be mind boggling.

 

 If you need to fly back to the US any US passport is valid right through its expiration date for that purpose.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Lindancer said:

....if you have a passport, it must be valid for at least 6 months after the cruise ends.  I commented that that didn't make any sense, and they said that's just the rules! .....

Actually, the six month rule makes sense in that it assumes the “worst case scenario” where you may have to remain in the country far longer than your original plan/intention. It has nothing to do with your home country. Rather, it is the visited country that doesn’t want any additional work.

Edited by Flatbush Flyer
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2 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Actually, the six month rule makes sense in that it assumes the “worst case scenario” where you may have to remain in the country far longer than your original plan/intention.

Of course, but that's not the point here.  Our debate is why does your passport have to be valid for 6 months after travel, when you can actually get on the cruise with just a birth certificate and government iD (which have no expiration date)

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Just now, Flatbush Flyer said:

Actually, the six month rule makes sense in that it assumes the “worst case scenario” where you may have to remain in the country far longer than your original plan/intention.

No, it no makes no sense at all in a situation that doesn't even require a passport for entry, which is what we're talking about here,  and a US passport is valid for return to the US until the day it expires,

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26 minutes ago, Lindancer said:

Believe it or not, I spoke with Holland America's Visa experts, and I they told me that a birth certificate and Government-issued ID was good for a closed loop cruise, but also said - if you have a passport, it must be valid for at least 6 months after the cruise ends.  I commented that that didn't make any sense, and they said that's just the rules!  They also sounded negative when I mentioned our ship stopped in Belize and Honduras, since both stops that require a passport valid for 6 months after your trip.  So you can see that different people are telling me different things and I don't know whom to believe.  Other sites have said if you're on a cruise, you only need shipboard ID for Belize and Roatan.

OK...one of the businesses I owned was a travel agency and I've traveled a fair amount in my lifetime. Imagine what would have happened if my travel agency gave my clients incorrect documentation advice.

 

These "visa experts" and unidentified websites can't be trusted. Many are in the business of making money by charging you for unnecessary passport or visa services. Some others are run by self-proclaimed experts who are not knowledgeable. There are numerous exceptions to the usual visa and passport requirements that apply to cruise passengers and these self-appointed experts may not know them.

 

 Cruise lines' websites are generally an accurate source of information, because just as in the case of my travel agency, imagine what would happen if the cruise lines themselves were giving out incorrect information.

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1 hour ago, njhorseman said:

OK...one of the businesses I owned was a travel agency and I've traveled a fair amount in my lifetime. Imagine what would have happened if my travel agency gave my clients incorrect documentation advice.

 

These "visa experts" and unidentified websites can't be trusted. Many are in the business of making money by charging you for unnecessary passport or visa services. Some others are run by self-proclaimed experts who are not knowledgeable. There are numerous exceptions to the usual visa and passport requirements that apply to cruise passengers and these self-appointed experts may not know them.

 

 Cruise lines' websites are generally an accurate source of information, because just as in the case of my travel agency, imagine what would happen if the cruise lines themselves were giving out incorrect information.

And another reason to use a TA, or at least a responsible TA. There are too many examples of people calling cruise lines and getting information and then calling back and getting different information. Or reading that someone else called and got different information.

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48 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

And another reason to use a TA, or at least a responsible TA. There are too many examples of people calling cruise lines and getting information and then calling back and getting different information. Or reading that someone else called and got different information.

Sorry to say I booked this with *****  The woman is no expert on documentation and just got back from a 14 month layoff due to Covid.  She also gave me wrong info from the get-go, when she told me that the insurance policy was "cancel for any reason" when it turned out it was cancel for medical reasons only.  So you can understand why I don't know who to believe anymore.

Final word thanks to everyone's advice:  I am NOT going to renew my grandson's passport since it is valid to May 22, 2022 (5 1/2 months after cruise ends).  But I will bring it along, along with his birth certicate and government issued ID (driver's license).

From what I read on NCL's website, this should do the trick!!

Thanks everyone!

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Just now, Lindancer said:

Sorry to say I booked this with *****  The woman is no expert on documentation and just got back from a 14 month layoff due to Covid.  She also gave me wrong info from the get-go, when she told me that the insurance policy was "cancel for any reason" when it turned out it was cancel for medical reasons only.  So you can understand why I don't know who to believe anymore.

Final word thanks to everyone's advice:  I am NOT going to renew my grandson's passport since it is valid to May 22, 2022 (5 1/2 months after cruise ends).  But I will bring it along, along with his birth certicate and government issued ID (driver's license).

From what I read on NCL's website, this should do the trick!!

Thanks everyone!

Well, I see they blocked out the name of the TA I used, but it was one of those large cruise consolidators that usually throw in some perks.

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3 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

It's probably accounting for the time it spends in the State Dept mailroom (as a guess).

That has to be it. I know the mail is slow but I doubt it takes 6 weeks for 1st class mail, even from coast to coast.

3 hours ago, Ashland said:

Very doubtful it will take 18 weeks. 

I'll find out.  I sent in our renewals right before they upped the processing time to 18 weeks. 7 weeks and counting since it was received in Philadelphia. Actual processing started July 9 according to the email I received.

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1 hour ago, njhorseman said:

.....Cruise lines' websites are generally an accurate source of information, because just as in the case of my travel agency, imagine what would happen if the cruise lines themselves were giving out incorrect information.

Funny you should mention that.


We were headed to Sri Lanka on Nautica’s last cruise before pandemic stopped everything.

The visa instructions on the cruise invoice had the wrong version of the two day visa cited.

Somewhat fortunately, the Sri Lanka website application was glitchy and a call to the closest consulate got us the right version.

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1 hour ago, Lindancer said:

Well, I see they blocked out the name of the TA I used, but it was one of those large cruise consolidators that usually throw in some perks.

Cruisecritic rules do not allow naming TAs.

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12 hours 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.

Does the USA not have expedited  service  it may cost a bit more  but would not take  as long as regular  service

Do renewals  take as long as 1st  time passports ?

Here they have a shorter application/delivery time

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39 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

Does the USA not have expedited  service  it may cost a bit more  but would not take  as long as regular  service

Do renewals  take as long as 1st  time passports ?

Here they have a shorter application/delivery time

Or so you hope.

US expedited renewal used to take 2 weeks at most. Now it’s several months (yes MONTHS - for “expedited.” 
Hopefully better where you are.

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8 hours ago, LHT28 said:

Does the USA not have expedited  service  it may cost a bit more  but would not take  as long as regular  service

Do renewals  take as long as 1st  time passports ?

Here they have a shorter application/delivery time

Yes, there is expedited service in the US, but apparently it's questionable at the moment.

 

I have twice done expedited NEXT DAY service.  Once for a renewal in the 90 before an international business trip.  Then in ~2010 the entire family went in person to the office in Detroit and we went again in person the next day to pick them up.   

 

I have no idea why it's taking a long time now when we can't even go to Canada right now. 

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On 7/20/2021 at 3:50 PM, CHEZMARYLOU said:

That has to be it. I know the mail is slow but I doubt it takes 6 weeks for 1st class mail, even from coast to coast.

I'll find out.  I sent in our renewals right before they upped the processing time to 18 weeks. 7 weeks and counting since it was received in Philadelphia. Actual processing started July 9 according to the email I received.

I hope you receive your passports soon!

 

I sent our renewals via USPS priority mail (as recommended by the State Department web site) on 28 April. They were signed for in Philly on 29 April, after which it took six weeks for the web site status to change to "In Process" on 8 July. As of today, they're still "In Process". Our final payment for our closed loop cruise is due in September. It's some comfort to learn we can arrive at the port with birth certificates and government ID, as we've never traveled without passports in the past.

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19 minutes ago, Silkroad said:

I hope you receive your passports soon!

 

I sent our renewals via USPS priority mail (as recommended by the State Department web site) on 28 April. They were signed for in Philly on 29 April, after which it took six weeks for the web site status to change to "In Process" on 8 July. As of today, they're still "In Process". Our final payment for our closed loop cruise is due in September. It's some comfort to learn we can arrive at the port with birth certificates and government ID, as we've never traveled without passports in the past.

Ours were received in Philly on June 3 and on July 9 we got the In Process email.  Ours are still in process.  One thing I can't remember when back in the day we sailed without a passport, do I need to take my marriage license to show the name change from my birth certificate to my drivers license.  If we go the license, certificate route I'll definitely take it since passport renewals ask if you have ever used another name, including maiden name.

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4 minutes ago, CHEZMARYLOU said:

Ours were received in Philly on June 3 and on July 9 we got the In Process email.  Ours are still in process.  One thing I can't remember when back in the day we sailed without a passport, do I need to take my marriage license to show the name change from my birth certificate to my drivers license.  If we go the license, certificate route I'll definitely take it since passport renewals ask if you have ever used another name, including maiden name.

Oops! Just realized I made a typo in my post. It was 8 June that we received the "In Process" email. I'm not sure about the need for a marriage license, but I agree that it's better to have it just in case. I do know that the birth certificates must be issued by a government entity (state or county) and have an official seal. I hope we both receive our passports well before sailing, as I don't believe we can complete online check in without scanning in our passports.

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Silkroad said:

Oops! Just realized I made a typo in my post. It was 8 June that we received the "In Process" email. I'm not sure about the need for a marriage license, but I agree that it's better to have it just in case. I do know that the birth certificates must be issued by a government entity (state or county) and have an official seal. I hope we both receive our passports well before sailing, as I don't believe we can complete online check in without scanning in our passports. Our sailing is in October and final payment was a week ago.  I'm sure you will receive your Passport on time.

We completed our on line check in on the app and selected Drivers License and Birth Certificate.  Completed check in, got our boarding time and our boarding passes.  When I tried to do it on the computer it defaulted to Passport and I could not change it. Planned on calling Celebrity but checked and was able to do it on the app.

Edited by CHEZMARYLOU
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