Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
FlamingJune1967

Is my Passport Card good enough?

Recommended Posts

While we all try to give our best advise.   PLEASE call U.S. Customs and Boarder Control.   After all you are the one that will suffer and potentially not be able to take your cruise should you accept the incorrect answer. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

I've never understood the whole passport card thing.  It's not good for much.  Spend the money and get the real thing which is good for everything.

 Well - I guess if you already have a passport card for land trips across the border into Mexico - and you read that it is good for sea travel to the Caribbean - it just seems unnecessary to get a book.  If I ever did - God forbid - get stuck in a foreign country and need to fly out, having a passport card meant that the US gov already had all necessary documents and would only need to expedite a passport book.  Honestly, until this whole thing came up, it never occurred to me that I would ever need a Passport Book for anything except air travel in case of emergency - and since my husband has always had a passport (so could easily fly out and handle any emergency at home) this was not a concern for me.  It was not a matter of money, and until today there was never any concern that a passport card was not enough.  Hindsight is 20/20 and hopefully, some poor soul who has inadvertently booked a cruise to  South America, without the slightest hesitation, will see this post and wise up before it becomes an emergency!   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Jim_Iain said:

While we all try to give our best advise.   PLEASE call U.S. Customs and Boarder Control.   After all you are the one that will suffer and potentially not be able to take your cruise should you accept the incorrect answer. 

 

I already have an appt at the customs office to get a passport on Tuesday.  Thanks!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, FlamingJune1967 said:

 Well - I guess if you already have a passport card for land trips across the border into Mexico - and you read that it is good for sea travel to the Caribbean - it just seems unnecessary to get a book.  If I ever did - God forbid - get stuck in a foreign country and need to fly out, having a passport card meant that the US gov already had all necessary documents and would only need to expedite a passport book.  Honestly, until this whole thing came up, it never occurred to me that I would ever need a Passport Book for anything except air travel in case of emergency - and since my husband has always had a passport (so could easily fly out and handle any emergency at home) this was not a concern for me.  It was not a matter of money, and until today there was never any concern that a passport card was not enough.  Hindsight is 20/20 and hopefully, some poor soul who has inadvertently booked a cruise to  South America, without the slightest hesitation, will see this post and wise up before it becomes an emergency!   

 

I understand and I Am sure there have been and will even be more passengers who will think likewise without doing the research needed to be sure that their PC will work on their itinerary, which happens to include a non-Caribbean country.

 

Happy to have read you are expediting your book in order to travel, very wise to be sure.

 

bon voyage

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

I've never understood the whole passport card thing.  It's not good for much.  Spend the money and get the real thing which is good for everything.

Agreed. However, last year when renewing my passport book, I did order the card as well. The reason I did it was because my home state of PA didn't yet have drivers licenses that are real ID compliant and hadn't yet gotten approved for the extension. I thought that the passport card would serve as a government issued ID when flying domestically. I guess I could have used my GE card, but just decided to order the passport card as long as I was filling out the renewal form.  Anything international I use the passport book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

I've never understood the whole passport card thing.  It's not good for much.  Spend the money and get the real thing which is good for everything.

 

I got one, but as an addition to the passport book. It's yet another legal form of ID in general, and on cruises it's what I bring with me off ship at foreign ports of call, leaving the passport book in the room safe. It's a more convenient size to carry around and actually proves my citizenship unlike most driver licenses. Also when traveling to get to the cruise I carry it in my wallet and my passport book in a backpack, so if one goes missing I still have the other.

 

I also usually give CBP the card vs the book on the way back into the US, but that's after having an officer decide to take 5 minutes to flip through all my entry/visa stamps and quiz me on them returning from a past cruise.

Edited by fordan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

I've never understood the whole passport card thing.  It's not good for much.  Spend the money and get the real thing which is good for everything.

 

Over 1,000,000 US residents crossed into Canada by automobile May 2018. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/180612/t001d-eng.htm

 

A passport card is much more convenient than the book. It is also less prone to damage It conveniently fits in a wallet. Professional truck drivers are just one example of people that find a passport card useful.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Happy Cruiser 6143 said:

I've never understood the whole passport card thing.  It's not good for much.  Spend the money and get the real thing which is good for everything.

 

Because it's much easier to take in and out than a passport, such as going through airport security or entering a federal building.  It fits in a wallet or pocket but a passport book doesn't.  Yes, a REAL ID would work but not all states issue them yet, and while my state does, I don't have one, because it was easier to renew my DL online but that won't yield a REAL ID.  But that was fine with me since I have a passport book and card.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife and I have had the Cards from the day they were made available. We have used them exclusively for our cruises to the Caribbean including  Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica, all the Islands in the Eastern Caribbean, Southern Caribbean including the ABC islands and Cozumel in Mexico.

We have used them when filling out the cruise line's check in documentation ( both Celebrity and Royal Caribbean ) as well as our customs declarations when returning from our cruises to the US.

We have NEVER had a problem.

 

We do have the Passport Books as well and carry the securely with us when we leave the ship in all ports of call. We do use the CARDS when returning to the ship and present the card and our SEA PASS card to get back on board, keeping our Passport books on our persons.

 

I guess we have been lucky or things have changed since last February, but the CARD was all that was needed for CHECKING  IN on our upcoming 12 night to the Caribbean on Royal Caribbean??? 

 

Still believe getting the official Passport and having it with us is the safest way to go.

 

The only difference I can see between the card and the book are the pages that never get stamped anyway.

 

bosco

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, waterbug123 said:

 

Because it's much easier to take in and out than a passport, such as going through airport security or entering a federal building.  It fits in a wallet or pocket but a passport book doesn't.  Yes, a REAL ID would work but not all states issue them yet, and while my state does, I don't have one, because it was easier to renew my DL online but that won't yield a REAL ID.  But that was fine with me since I have a passport book and card.

 

That is going to be a real problem on October 1 2020 if the Real ID is actually  enforced that date. My state is compliant and I have a Real ID DL but I know someone and there are many like her who renewed online. We are allowed to do that every other renewal up to a certain age. She had the choice of going to the DMV last renewal but she took the easy way. I tried to convince her to renew at the DMV because she might want to fly after that date but to no avail. No comprehension.  So come Oct 1, 2020 one can imagine many people like her who don’t have a clue will show up at airports without Real ID DL or Passport Books/Cards because that is human nature. It is probably going to be a mess. 

Edited by Charles4515

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, broberts said:

 

Over 1,000,000 US residents crossed into Canada by automobile May 2018. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/180612/t001d-eng.htm

 

A passport card is much more convenient than the book. It is also less prone to damage It conveniently fits in a wallet. Professional truck drivers are just one example of people that find a passport card useful.

 

I agree totally. 

I don't see what more information there is on a Passport Book, than on an Official United States Passport Card.

By passport card I do NOT mean a so called ENHANCED ID  issued by some States.  

The only thing missing are the blank pages for foreign entry stamps. ???

 

bosco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, boscobeans said:

I agree totally. 

I don't see what more information there is on a Passport Book, than on an Official United States Passport Card.

By passport card I do NOT mean a so called ENHANCED ID  issued by some States.  

The only thing missing are the blank pages for foreign entry stamps. ???

 

bosco

There is a huge difference.  With a Passport book you can travel to nearly any place in the world.  With the card you are very limited.  If the International Conventions are ever changed to allow for use of the cards, that would be a good thing.  But for now, the book is the only way to easily move around the world.  Personally, we do not waste extra money on the card.  Those extra dollars are put to better use for Global Entry which has saved us numerous hassles over the years.

 

Hank

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

There is a huge difference.  With a Passport book you can travel to nearly any place in the world.  With the card you are very limited.  If the International Conventions are ever changed to allow for use of the cards, that would be a good thing.  But for now, the book is the only way to easily move around the world.  Personally, we do not waste extra money on the card.  Those extra dollars are put to better use for Global Entry which has saved us numerous hassles over the years.

 

Hank

 

 

 

 

 

Understood, and needing those blank pages for most International travel does have its place.

 

My point however deals with visits to countries that DO NOT stamp your passport book when you enter. We have been to just about every major and minor port in and around the Caribbean for almost two decades and have never had our passports stamped. We do have the BOOKS as well but never use them anymore except to keep them with us when we leave the ship in a port of call in case of a problem and we have to fly home.  

 

What is the need for blank pages if they will not be stamped since the official United States Passport Card contains the same information and photo?

 

The US Passport card is small and fits back to back with our ship's Sea Pass for leaving and returning to the ship.

 

Not a big deal but just seems more convenient to us.

 

bosco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, boscobeans said:

Understood, and needing those blank pages for most International travel does have its place.

 

My point however deals with visits to countries that DO NOT stamp your passport book when you enter. We have been to just about every major and minor port in and around the Caribbean for almost two decades and have never had our passports stamped. We do have the BOOKS as well but never use them anymore except to keep them with us when we leave the ship in a port of call in case of a problem and we have to fly home.  

 

What is the need for blank pages if they will not be stamped since the official United States Passport Card contains the same information and photo?

 

The US Passport card is small and fits back to back with our ship's Sea Pass for leaving and returning to the ship.

 

Not a big deal but just seems more convenient to us.

 

bosco

 

The pages become valuable when one travels to a country that requires a visa.  

 

To each his own, and if someone wants to spend the $$ on a card for convenience that's certainly a valid choice.  The only convenience I see, though, is that it fits in the wallet.

 

My passport cost works out to $11/year to be able to easily travel wherever I want, whenever I need to.  In an emergency, I won't have to spend time in an embassy or consulate to get one.  I spend far more per year on a AAA membership to make sure I don't get stuck somewhere needing a tow.  My passport is cheap compared to that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, msmayor said:

 

 

"To each his own, and if someone wants to spend the $$ on a card for convenience that's certainly a valid choice."

 

For us an additional $3.00 a year makes it a valid choice.

 

bosco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It doesn't really matter whether we see the difference between the information contained in the passport book vs the passport card. The law requires that a passport book be carried for certain travel and allows other very specific travel to be available for the card. Whether we like it or not, it's a fact of travel life that will remain in place unless or until those laws are changed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you should do an experiment, since you will have both the card and book, just present the card at check in and see what happens.  I bet you will be allowed to board, but if not you will have your book.  Just to see how accurate your phone call was 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/10/2018 at 6:24 AM, Hlitner said:

We are currently on a 10 day Regal Princess repo cruise from NYC to Ft Lauderdale.  We saw a lady refused boarding in NYC because she did not have a valid Passport book.  Bottom line is that when you invest in a Passport you do not have to be constantly concerned with changing rules...other then Visa requirements.  Otherwise you will continue to deal with the anxiety related to never being sure.

 

Hank

This is because its a one way cruise, not closed loop.  Any oneway cruise requires a passport book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FlamingJune,

 

So glad that you asked about entry requirements for Columbia and have an appt. for a rush passport this week. I read with interest the comments you startedwith the query and was amazed at the lack of solid information you were given.

 

 I always check the US government website https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Colombia.html

 

on the countries we are travelling to.  I also check the Canadian version for my husband https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/colombia

 

Even then, I do read the small print in the cruise contract and that also should indicate if visas are required...most cruises are covered but ocassionally a visa is required into a country, even on a cruise,  for example,  Vietnam,  but the ship handled it.

 

The 6 month validity is becoming more common...  I think even the EU requires 6 months. This probably is the most dangerous requirement as with a 10 year passport, one never thinks it will not work in 2018 when the expiration date is 2019.  My husband had to get a new passport for a cruise to the Baltic as it was within the 6 months but unfortunately he ended up not going for other reasons, but I went without him, so I laughed at your husband’s comment that he would leave you at the Pier!

 

See you onboard the Reflection! Now you can expand your travel horizons with your virgin passport!

 

Will cross post this on our roll call.

 

Turangi!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, whitshel said:

I think you should do an experiment, since you will have both the card and book, just present the card at check in and see what happens.  I bet you will be allowed to board, but if not you will have your book.  Just to see how accurate your phone call was 🙂

Will see and respond with an answer in February. If they want to see the book I will show it,  Since I already have checked in and got my boarding pass, using my card, I will see what happens. Either way it makes no difference to me.

 

And to  LUVCRUSN, that is correct and I don't really think anyone is discussing the law as it relates to anything other than closed loop Caribbean cruises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When researching entry requirements for various countries it is important to keep in mind that cruise visitors often have requirements that differ from longer stay visitors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone is certainly entitled to make their own choice. I feel most comfortable with both considering the fact that as of now my state isn't Real ID compliant. If making a choice of one or the other while living in a state not bordering Canada or Mexico, and enjoying the freedom to travel whenever, and wherever I'd like, I'd choose the book. The book costs $110 and is good for 10 years (9 1/2  considering the 6 month validity requirements of some countries). When weighing the difference in cost between the book and the card against the possibility of not being able to complete travel to a destination I want or need to travel to, and the cost of that travel, I'd feel much more secure in possession of the book. I'd hate to be denied the ability to travel because I'd taken the less costly card only option. Weighing the cost of a cruise against the small price difference between a book and a card, it seems a no brainer, but that just me and my own sense of security. While I might be denied access with a card, I will definitely be allowed access with a book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look what else I found out!

 

Note the ambigous statement about entry even on a cruise to the Caribbean countries...

 

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/999/~/information-about-u.s.-passport-cards

 

 

What can I use the Passport Card for and how do I get one?

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) issues the U.S. passport book and the U.S. passport card. The passport card is used to enter the United States (U.S.) at the land border crossings and sea ports-of-entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. The passport card can also be used for domestic air travel.

The passport card may not be used for international air travel.

 

Some Caribbean countries and territories, even though they are considered part of the Caribbean may not accept the passport card for entry into their country. You may be required to have a passport book to visit those nations while on a cruise. Please check with the cruise line and inquire if a passport card can be used during your voyage.

 

 

 

************

 

Not all Caribbean countries allow the passport card... Anyone know what countries don’t?  Sure the  cruise industry knows and plans the itineraries accordingly,  Would guess Cuba would require passports? Any where else???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Turangi! said:

 

 

Not all Caribbean countries allow the passport card... Anyone know what countries don’t?  Sure the  cruise industry knows and plans the itineraries accordingly,  Would guess Cuba would require passports? Any where else???

 

A passport book is required for Cuba. Where it gets tricky is there are some Caribbean countries that technically could require passport books because they didn’t sign the treaty but are currently accepting passport cards. The cruise industry knows so you have to rely on what the cruise line say is required for an itinerary. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, whitshel said:

This is because its a one way cruise, not closed loop.  Any oneway cruise requires a passport book.

Yes, and you win the Gold prize :).  But the problem was that this particular lady cruiser said she had "been told" by many people that she did not need a Passport to cruise.  Perhaps she even saw a thread somewhere on CC where folks keep saying you do not need a Passport for a Closed Loop cruise..but she had no clue what "closed loop" meant.  Bottom line is that if you have a Passport Book you do not need to concern yourself with the definition or the issue.  

 

And we like to remind those non-Passport fans about a recent situation on a real "closed loop" Caribbean cruise.   A few folks missed their ship due to an airline snafu (this is not uncommon).  They were not concerned because they had purchased their air through a cruise line option which guarantees to get them to the next port.  But guess what?  They could not get to the next port because they needed Passports to fly! 

 

Hank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...