Passport Clarification Needed..

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#21
South Bend, IN
402 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by Sue L
The Passcards have been talked and argued about by the government since shortly after 9/11. So five years have passed and except for a few preliminary articles on them nothing has been finalized and they are still working out the logistics of them. Many of the articles I have read about them state the most popular form for them at the current time is they will be more of a land crossing type card, not a passport will the full benefits that you would need for cruise and air travel. The government has been hashing this out for 5 years so with the way washington works I definitely wouldn't bet on these be available anytime soon. So if the price of the passports doubles as many sources are predicting then you will be out $800 for your family of four.
I simply typed exactly what was Carnival sent to me 48 hours ago.
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Patty
#23
South Bend, IN
402 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by Sue L
The Passcards have been talked and argued about by the government since shortly after 9/11. So five years have passed and except for a few preliminary articles on them nothing has been finalized and they are still working out the logistics of them. Many of the articles I have read about them state the most popular form for them at the current time is they will be more of a land crossing type card, not a passport will the full benefits that you would need for cruise and air travel. The government has been hashing this out for 5 years so with the way washington works I definitely wouldn't bet on these be available anytime soon. So if the price of the passports doubles as many sources are predicting then you will be out $800 for your family of four.
Only quoting exactly what was sent to me from Carnival 48 hours ago. I just did an online search for a projected price increase in the U.S. for passports and found nothing but a $12 surcharge.
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Patty
#24
23,077 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Originally posted by TwinMom7
Only quoting exactly what was sent to me from Carnival 48 hours ago. I just did an online search for a projected price increase in the U.S. for passports and found nothing but a $12 surcharge.


Just take what they say with a grain of salt. They have changed the dates for the requirement of having a passport numerous times. Up until a couple of months ago it was Jan 1, 2007, then it became Jan 8, 2007 (which it is still for air travel) though I have seen Jan 23,2007 recently also, then it was Jan 2008 for cruising and land crossings. . They have changed their minds so many times that I wouldn't trust what they say until it is actually in effect. I have a good friend who works in the post office and she has been "warning" everyone to get it now because they have been getting letters from the passport service saying there will be an increase just not what it will be. I am not trying to be mean or anything I just think you should have all info to make an informed decision.

Sue
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Liberty Travel-Flight Centre USA
#25
Beer City, USA
6,278 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by Moeve
Come guys US Citizens are not the most popular around the world theses days but many of you are risking leaving the country without proper ID...[edit]

Then there is the medical factor if you need to get home in a hurry from any Island it becames far more difficult without a passport (and remember things are already going wrong - want something else to worry about?) Immigrations might let the actual patient back into the country without a passport for Humane reasons but the family might be required to return via the planned way - in this case ending the cruise as originally planned...
I agree passports should be obtained, but there are NOT any risks associated with cruising without one until required - cruise ships do NOT go to Beirut, they go to friendly places - for a reason, and the whole sky is falling thing is just not substantiated with facts, in an emergency you can be cleared with one phone call, even before the ship makes port or while headed to the airport, here it is from the "official" site:

Q. What happens to U.S. citizens who attempt to re-enter the country without a passport or an alternative travel card?
Under the law, the new documentation requirements may be waived under certain circumstances. These exceptions include individual cases of unforeseen emergency and individual cases based on “humanitarian or national interest reasons.” In addition, the State Department has processes to assist U.S. citizens overseas to obtain emergency travel documentation for those with lost or stolen passports.
For the general public, people who apply for entry but do not have appropriate documentation will be referred for secondary screening at the port. In secondary, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers will evaluate any evidence of citizenship or identity the individual may have and will verify all information against available databases. However, to prevent delay at the ports of entry, we would encourage all U.S. citizens to obtain the appropriate documents before they travel.
#26
MD (originally from Queens, NY)
862 Posts
Joined May 2006
Originally posted by mrdood
I agree passports should be obtained, but there are NOT any risks associated with cruising without one until required - cruise ships do NOT go to Beirut, they go to friendly places - for a reason, and the whole sky is falling thing is just not substantiated with facts, in an emergency you can be cleared with one phone call, even before the ship makes port or while headed to the airport, here it is from the "official" site:

Q. What happens to U.S. citizens who attempt to re-enter the country without a passport or an alternative travel card?
Under the law, the new documentation requirements may be waived under certain circumstances. These exceptions include individual cases of unforeseen emergency and individual cases based on “humanitarian or national interest reasons.” In addition, the State Department has processes to assist U.S. citizens overseas to obtain emergency travel documentation for those with lost or stolen passports.
For the general public, people who apply for entry but do not have appropriate documentation will be referred for secondary screening at the port. In secondary, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers will evaluate any evidence of citizenship or identity the individual may have and will verify all information against available databases. However, to prevent delay at the ports of entry, we would encourage all U.S. citizens to obtain the appropriate documents before they travel.
Thanks for posting that.
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#27
Texas
10,866 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by TwinMom7
Actually, the information I received from Carnival for our April '08 cruise is that the push back of the date that cruise passengers will need a passport is due to the fact that the government is planning to issue a smaller Pass Port type card and the cost will be significantly less - approximately $50 per card.

I am waiting for that to be implemented before I spend $400 on passports for a family of 4.

This is the statement from Carnival in my documents:

The U.S. Government will require that all of our guests, including U.S. Citizens be in possession of a valid passport when traveling on any Carnival Cruise. This requirement will become effective no later than June 1, 2009. This effective date may be moved to an earlier date pending the U.S. Government's implementation of new identification cards (PASScards) that will provide a less expensive alternative form of documentation. For travel by air, the passport deadline will remain January 8, 2007.
Unless you live along the southern or northern borders, you can forget about the passport type card. This is still under debate by Congress and it will only apply to those who live on the border and have to go across rather frequently.
#28
5 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Hi! Everyone! I am new to the board and a first time cruiser.(hopefully i will be a repeat cruiser- hubby is not so sure about the whole cruise thing) We are going on a cruise soon and we are wondering who all will be using just there birth certificate and drivers license since it is not mandantory that you have a passport yet?
#29
Texas
724 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Hi and welcome to the boards.

At this point I think everyone should be using passports. While they may not strictly be required for your cruise, they are required to fly back into the US. So if anything should happen that requires you to fly home from one of the foreign ports, you would be in trouble. Just my opinion. There are many posts on this subject and you may want to do a search and check some of them out.
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Tony

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#30
TX
1,320 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
What happens, worst case scenario, if you miss the ship and have to fly to your next port? You are not flying anywhere without your passport!

And what if someone gets ill and has to leave the ship early to fly home? Nope, not without a passport!

And finally, what if someone at home gets ill or, God forbid, dies? You need to get off the ship in a hurry and get home? Better have that passport.
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#31
Tampa, FL
86 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Hi and welcome. While you don't have to have passport at this time, you are taking a risk. If something happens while on your cruise (illness of someone back home or ANY reason you may have to fly back for) you will not be able to get back into the states as you are required to have a passport to enter. It's really up to you and what you feel comfortable with. I have had one since my first cruise 7 years ago just because of visting other countries you never know what could happen. I hope you and your hubby enjoy your cruise!
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#32
Tampa, FL
86 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Hi and welcome. While you don't have to have a passport at this time, you are taking a risk. If something happens while on your cruise (illness of someone back home or ANY reason you may have to fly back for) you will not be able to get back into the states as you are required to have a passport to enter. It's really up to you and what you feel comfortable with. I have had one since my first cruise 7 years ago just because of visting other countries you never know what could happen. I hope you and your hubby enjoy your cruise!
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#33
2,861 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
When hubby and I were getting ready for our cruise lastmonth, I realized that when we moved from our house back into an apartment over the summer, somehow hubby's passport didn't make the move with us. We searched everywhere for it. We were travelling before the new guidelines went into effect, but I just didn't feel comfortable travelling unless we both had passports. So we paid the expedite fees, and had a new one for him within a week.

Now that we are going on a "last minute" cruise in less than a month at this point, I am really glad that we have his passport and don't have to worry about that. Is it expensive? Yes. But you won't need to worry about getting a new one for another 10 years
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#34
6,156 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
I would never travel without a passport. They are good for 10 years, and very soon you will need one to cross the street. I also have them for my kids. Once you have one its very easy to renew. Also they are very good ID for the DMV.
#35
Oelando Fl. USA
761 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
My wife and I always travel with a passport. Lets say we used our Birth certificates and picture ID to board the ship. We get stranded in lets say Nassau. The ship has left and you have no Passport. What would you be required to do? I'm sure there must be a way home. I don't think that we would become one of the homeless of Nassau. Just what would one have to do to get home? I guess the first thing would be to contact the Cruise line and then the American Embassy. What other options are there? What do you all think?
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#36
Oelando Fl. USA
761 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
My wife and I always travel with a passport. Lets say we used our Birth certificates and picture ID to board the ship. We get stranded in lets say Nassau. The ship has left and you have no Passport. What would you be required to do? I'm sure there must be a way home. I don't think that we would become one of the homeless of Nassau. Just what would one have to do to get home? I guess the first thing would be to contact the Cruise line and then the American Embassy. What other options are there? What do you all think?

Double post sorry about that.
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#37
218 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
I just sailed on a few weeks ago with just a birth certificate and driver's license. So, it isn't an issue or a problem if there aren't any emergencies, as others have outlined. However, when I returned home, I sent in the renewal papers for my expired passport. I'll be more comfortable that way for future travels.
#38
New York
6,211 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
You definitely should have a passport. Like some of the other posters said, what happens if the ship leaves without you and you are stuck in a foreign port. I think it's the best form of ID.
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Sandi

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#39
Beer City, USA
6,278 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
You are being misinformed, you do not currently need a passport to cruise, if you have an emergency and need to fly home, that can be arranged with one phone call quickly and easily before your ship even makes port.

YOU DO NOT NEED A PASSPORT TO FLY HOME IN AN EMERGENCY!!!

here it is form the department of state web:

Q. What happens to U.S. citizens who attempt to re-enter the country without a passport or an alternative travel card?

Under the law, the new documentation requirements may be waived under certain circumstances. These exceptions include individual cases of unforeseen emergency and individual cases based on “humanitarian or national interest reasons.” In addition, the State Department has processes to assist U.S. citizens overseas to obtain emergency travel documentation for those with lost or stolen passports.
For the general public, people who apply for entry but do not have appropriate documentation will be referred for secondary screening at the port. In secondary, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers will evaluate any evidence of citizenship or identity the individual may have and will verify all information against available databases. However, to prevent delay at the ports of entry, we would encourage all U.S. citizens to obtain the appropriate documents before they travel.
#40
New York
6,211 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
It's still very good to have one though. Probably by the end of the year I will be getting ones for my kids too.
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Sandi

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