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Passports


Giantfan13
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Do most tourists carry their passports when in Rome, or other cities in Italy? or, for that matter, any major city in Europe?

We usually feel more comfortable having them with us, but is that wise? Would a good copy be sufficient in case of emergency?

Do you have to show ID, like a passport, to enter any of the attractions?

Cheers

Len

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Your post will likely open a hornets nest as some folks have strong feelings about carrying their Passport. Personally, having traveled extensively on sea and land for over forty years....we prefer to always keep our Passport locked securely in our cruise cabin or hotel safe. In Italy you are legally required to carry some type of decent ID....but a drivers license is sufficient. Many will also carry a photocopy of their main Passport page...which we have done if we have to rent a car (some agencies want your Passport Number.

 

If you feel more comfortable carrying your Passports then perhaps that is what is best for you. But make sure you carry them in a very secure way (such as a neck carrier under your shirt/blouse). Italy has more then its share of pickpockets/purse snatchers....and many are highly skilled gypsies who are happy to snatch a Passport (or anything else of value.

 

As to your other question, if checking in a hotel they will usually want to see your Passport. And some rental car companies also ask to see a Passport...although we have never had a problem just letting them see a photocopy.

 

Hank

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We never carry our passports around with us either before, during, or after a cruise unless required.

 

We believe the risk of it being lost or stolen is far greater then the benefit.

 

Only carry it when required.

 

On many of our cruises they hold them anyway.

 

We do carry other ID.

 

Only time we had an issue was when at an exchange store and they required a passport to give us money. We went somewhere else.

 

Keith

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As for a Med cruise I´d say it depends on your itinerary. I wouldn´t carry a passport in case my next port is reachble by train. So if you are in Rome and your next port is Naples and you miss the ship then take the train. But if your next port is Malta, Sicily, Palma de Mallorca or any other port you can only fly into I´d suggest to take a valid ID with you.

 

Hank, sorry to say, but a driver license is totally worthless in Europe as legal ID. Some might accept it but if you want to fly and they check your ID at the gate it won´t be accepted.

 

No, usually you don´t have to show any ID for attractions. The only reason for showing an ID would be a police control. Or - in case you are a European citizen - kids under the age of 18 and seniors above 65 get free entry to all state museums and attractions in Italy (and Greece). There you have to show a proof of your age and citizenship. But here in Germany I do have my ID card which is valid for traveling within all countries of the Schengen community (plus Turkey). So in my case I usually leave my passport onboard but I do take my ID card with me (and the new ones have the size of an US driver license).

 

I do suggest to carry either a photocopy of your passport or have a photo somewhere stored online. This will help you at the embassy to prove your ID and get help there.

 

steamboats

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You may find that you have no alternative but to take your passport ashore in Europe in the future. They are tightening up on this and from the end of October everybody has to have their passport put through the passport control computers. When we cruised to Germany in June, they were already doing this. The ship told us to take them ashore and sure enough they were all swiped through the officer's computer. There have been reports of mega queues on arrival and departure at some European airports this summer where the new rules had already been implemented.

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You may find that you have no alternative but to take your passport ashore in Europe in the future. They are tightening up on this and from the end of October everybody has to have their passport put through the passport control computers. When we cruised to Germany in June, they were already doing this. The ship told us to take them ashore and sure enough they were all swiped through the officer's computer. There have been reports of mega queues on arrival and departure at some European airports this summer where the new rules had already been implemented.

 

I believe this is for entering/leaving the Schengen zone, and not for entering another country within the zone. I don’t think the borders within the Schengen zone have been reactivated (except for specific areas and occasions where there have been extra checks for migrants). Going from one Schengen country to another on a cruise should not require going through passport control every time a passenger disembarks.

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I believe this is for entering/leaving the Schengen zone, and not for entering another country within the zone. I don’t think the borders within the Schengen zone have been reactivated (except for specific areas and occasions where there have been extra checks for migrants). Going from one Schengen country to another on a cruise should not require going through passport control every time a passenger disembarks.

Yes, that may turn out to be the case. We were coming from the UK which is not in the Schengen zone. However we were told to take our passports ashore at each German port, not just the first. But they only 'swiped' the passport at the first port.

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I leave my passport in my hotel or stateroom safe and carry a copy. This has always worked well with the exception of some sights that require a passport to rent audio guides, etc. In that case, I carried my passport wallet worn cross body, INSIDE my shirt/blouse. However, earlier this year, Hank posted that he carries an expired driver's license for such occasions wherein your passport is required as collateral to ensure return of audio guides,etc. It worked (thanks Hank)! Now, I carry only a copy of my passport and the license.

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I'm not sure any of us can say what most tourists do. Some people feel strongly that one should have one's passport with them at all times in a foreign country to provide identification. Others feel that passports, which are mainly used to facilitate border crossings, are best left in a secure location (e.g., hotel safe or similar) when out and about in a city like Rome due to the unpleasant consequences if it is lost or stolen.

 

As a frequent visitor to Rome, I can confirm that the only times I have ever been required to produce my passport is upon arrival/departure at the airport and when checking in to a hotel. There have been a few places (the Borghese gallery comes to mind) where one must leave an ID in order to rent their audioguide -- but my driver's license worked just fine. I am not a big shopper, but the one store in which I was asked to produce my passport was more than happy with the copy I had -- they just wanted the number in order to fill in the paperwork for the VAT refund.

 

For myself, I feel it's safer not to carry my passport. I have been pickpocketed (in Barcelona) and other family members have also had close calls with pickpocketers. On the other hand, I understand that the technicality of the laws in Italy do say that one should be able to readily produce one's passport -- well, I can readily produce it, it's just not on my person. :)

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Yes, that may turn out to be the case. We were coming from the UK which is not in the Schengen zone. However we were told to take our passports ashore at each German port, not just the first. But they only 'swiped' the passport at the first port.

 

I haven´t heard of this yet. There were long queues in Palma de Mallorca but those were for flights into a non Schengen country.

 

How many ports in Germany have you been to (and which ship)? And was the one you had to swipe your passport the first one coming from a non Schengen country?

 

 

steamboats

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I haven´t heard of this yet. There were long queues in Palma de Mallorca but those were for flights into a non Schengen country.

 

How many ports in Germany have you been to (and which ship)? And was the one you had to swipe your passport the first one coming from a non Schengen country?

 

 

steamboats

We were on Fred Olsen Line's 'Black Watch' coming from Dover. We called at four German ports, none in any other countries. I believe our first port was Kiel and that is where the passport control officials swiped our passports at the exit in the cruise terminal. However we were given strict instructions that we must take our passports ashore at every subsequent port, although in practice nobody checked them. The other ports were Bremen, Hamburg and Travemunde.

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Thanks so much for all the suggestions. Seems the consensus is to carry a good ID and leave the passport locked up somewhere safe.

We booked a tour thru the Vatican, so that was what I was referring to when I asked if you needed a passport for certain attractions. since the Vatican is it's own country, does that make a difference?

 

Cheers

'Len

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We were on Fred Olsen Line's 'Black Watch' coming from Dover. We called at four German ports, none in any other countries. I believe our first port was Kiel and that is where the passport control officials swiped our passports at the exit in the cruise terminal. However we were given strict instructions that we must take our passports ashore at every subsequent port, although in practice nobody checked them. The other ports were Bremen, Hamburg and Travemunde.

 

That´s correct. Kiel was your first Schengen port coming from Dover. So there had to be a passport control. In the other ports there´s no more passport control. But you need to take your passport with you in case the security wants to check whether the name on your ship card matches with your ID. But that´s no passport control by the Federal Police checking whether you are eligable to enter the Schengen area.

 

steamboats

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That´s correct. Kiel was your first Schengen port coming from Dover. So there had to be a passport control. In the other ports there´s no more passport control. But you need to take your passport with you in case the security wants to check whether the name on your ship card matches with your ID. But that´s no passport control by the Federal Police checking whether you are eligable to enter the Schengen area.

 

steamboats

Indeed!

 

However, the point is that this is a new procedure this year, clearly part of the same new procedures at European airports, which have caused massive delays and problems this summer since the authorities did not think to employ extra staff. It is part of the new anti-terrorist measures. Previously, sailing ex UK ports, passports were not swiped on arrival at the first Schengen area port.

 

Also, it was not just 'ID' that had to be taken ashore at each subsequent port, it was specifically passports. Not driving licences.

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We booked a tour thru the Vatican, so that was what I was referring to when I asked if you needed a passport for certain attractions. since the Vatican is it's own country, does that make a difference?

Nope - regarding passports, no difference entering the Vatican vs anywhere else in Rome.

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Not driving licences.

 

Here in Germany a driving licence is not accepted as ID at all. That´s mainly because our DLs do not expire (EU set a time frame til 2033 I think now). So my old DL showed me at the age of 18... I´ve exchanged it to the new card type ones a couple of years ago. But anyway it´s worthless as ID. We do have our ID cards which are valid for traveling for all Schengen countries plus UK and Turkey (and maybe some more). But anyway I use my passport for cruises even within the Schengen area.

 

steamboats

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We booked a tour thru the Vatican, so that was what I was referring to when I asked if you needed a passport for certain attractions. since the Vatican is it's own country, does that make a difference?

 

No, no passport control for the Vatican. There´s no border control there. The only reason you need a passport for the Vatican is when you want to visit the German cemetary. But then you need to proof that you are German (with your passport or ID card) ;). So that´s not applying to you.

 

steamboats

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