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Celebrity Caribbean Cruise, but Passport CARD not accepted!

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Please help with insight if you are able.
 

1. Celebrity Silhouette Cruise, Nov 22, 2109 from Ft. Lauderdale moved their return to Port of Miami (due to a schedule error).

 

2. Ports of call are all Caribbean: Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Grand Cayman.

 

3. Celebrity now saying Passport Card not acceptable, MUST have Passport BOOK, due to (above) "open loop."

 

4. US Department of state web site says "Passport Card" is acceptable for travel within the Caribbean, and a phone call to them confirmed such.

 

5. Travel Agent has spoken to 2 people at Celebrity - they maintain Passport BOOK is required.

 

So the question is: Will we be turned away at boarding with Valid Passport CARDS? Anybody know how to approach this - I think Celebrity is plain WRONG, but I know they make the rules at boarding.

 

Thanks, Bob & Sue

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12 minutes ago, B+S said:

Please help with insight if you are able.
 

1. Celebrity Silhouette Cruise, Nov 22, 2109 from Ft. Lauderdale moved their return to Port of Miami (due to a schedule error).

 

2. Ports of call are all Caribbean: Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Grand Cayman.

 

3. Celebrity now saying Passport Card not acceptable, MUST have Passport BOOK, due to (above) "open loop."

 

4. US Department of state web site says "Passport Card" is acceptable for travel within the Caribbean, and a phone call to them confirmed such.

 

5. Travel Agent has spoken to 2 people at Celebrity - they maintain Passport BOOK is required.

 

So the question is: Will we be turned away at boarding with Valid Passport CARDS? Anybody know how to approach this - I think Celebrity is plain WRONG, but I know they make the rules at boarding.

 

Thanks, Bob & Sue

Since you have time, I'd advise obtaining the book. Although it does cost more, it will be accepted without issue.  The card was really meant for surface travel only. I have both, but have never been able to use the card for Caribbean cruises. I really only ordered the card to use for ID for  domestic air travel since at the time of renewal it was only a little more for the card and my state wasn't in compliance with the Real ID requirements.

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Not sure what the CORRECT answer is.

Celebrity makes the rules.

To be on the safe side I would take the Passport Book.

Safe Travels,

Bob

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Well, no one needs speculation, and frankly, Celebrity does not make the rules of immigration, the US Department of State makes the rules. Those rules are clear and concise. It is true that Celebrity could, wrongfully, deny us boarding.

 

Am on the phone to a THIRD csr at Celebrity  - they are still unsure. Supervisors are split on what to do.

 

Sure, I could pay the $340.00 for two expedited passport BOOKS. But should I have to?

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Celebrity makes the rules on boarding requirements.

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11 minutes ago, Luvcrusn said:

Since you have time, I'd advise obtaining the book. Although it does cost more, it will be accepted without issue.  I have both, but have never been able to use the card for Caribbean cruises. I really only ordered the card to use for ID for  domestic air travel since at the time of renewal it was only a little more for the card and my state wasn't in compliance with the Real ID requirements.

Re: "The card was really meant for surface travel only."

 

Could you illuminate on why you "have never been able to use the card for Caribbean cruises" the sea-port rules are crystal clear at the US Department of State.

 

Thanks,

Bob & Sue

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I would say that Celebrity is right.  Customs might well consider this an open loop because you are leaving one US port and coming back into another US port.  Passport books are good for 10 years so the money you spend now might just be worth it.  I just applied for my passport renewal on August 13 and received my new passport in 4 weeks.  If you do it now you might not need to expedite the process.

 

Pat

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We've just received a third answer direct from Monica Smith at the Resolutions Department of Celebrity Cruise Lines:

 

She said over the phone "Yes, A Passport Card is acceptable." She's not allowed to reduce that to writing. So we have no proof in hand however, working on a workaroud on that.

 

For the record:

 

Our Travel Agent spoke to Celebrity twice:

Both said it MUST be a Passport BOOK.

 

I spoke to the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs.

They said that either is a legal passport, and both were acceptable for this cruise.

 

Direct Communication with Celebrity:

Two have said Passport Card "should" be ok

One said must be a Passport Book.

 

With such a circus, you'd think this was Carnival.

 

Bob & Sue

 

 

 

 

 

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One problem with only having a Passport Card is with international Air Travel.

Per the Department of State website "The passport card cannot be used for international air travel."

If for some reason you have to suddenly leave the cruise in a foreign country (Injury, medical reason, death in family, etc) you would NOT be able to fly home with only the passport card.

This is one reason why the cruise line usually requires a passport book.

Bob

Edited by Ravbo

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Recently some of the Caribbean islands have started requiring passports.  I heard Martinique and Dominique now requires passports from US citizens.   It is very possible that one of the countries you are visiting is following this change

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4 minutes ago, RodPat said:

I would say that Celebrity is right.  Customs might well consider this an open loop because you are leaving one US port and coming back into another US port.  Passport books are good for 10 years so the money you spend now might just be worth it.  I just applied for my passport renewal on August 13 and received my new passport in 4 weeks.  If you do it now you might not need to expedite the process.

 

Pat

 

Thanks Pat.  Yes, it's considered an open loop now that they moved the disembarkation to Miami, however that doesn't change anything with the US Department of State's position of what is acceptable. It's still just the Caribbean.

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Did you check individual countries requirements?   Things have changed recently with the islands

 

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2 minutes ago, pedirn said:

Recently some of the Caribbean islands have started requiring passports.  I heard Martinique and Dominique now requires passports from US citizens.   It is very possible that one of the countries you are visiting is following this change

We have passports! Passcards ARE passports, and good for the Caribbean. They are Passport Cards as opposed to being Passport Books. Can you be more precise? I'll look into Martinique and Dominique, however they do not determine who disembarks back in the US, at any sea port.

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Open loop rules are different.  They are the ones who are liable for any fine imposed. 

 

You have two choices:  1) Get the book or 2) Sit tight and fret/lose sleep until November that you may be denied boarding (with no insurance reimbursement since it is a document issue).

 

He said/she said ain't going to cut it.

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Spending $ for a cruise, to me it would be worth the $ to get my passport book rather than risk issues with a passport card. $390 for two passport books is not that much money in comparison to the cost of your cruise + flights from the west coast.

 

As others have pointed out, there are some unforeseen events that would impact your ability to return to the US even if a passport card is deemed sufficient for your cruise, e.g. returning late to departure time at a port & missing the ship, unexpected illness that requires hospitalization in the Caribbean, spending longer at a foreign port due to a hurricane and deciding to catch a flight home because you can't afford more time away from work...

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7 minutes ago, Ravbo said:

The problem with only having a Passport Card is with international Air Travel.

Per the Department of State website "The passport card cannot be used for international air travel."

If for some reason you have to suddenly leave the cruise in a foreign country (Injury, medical reason, death in family, etc) you would NOT be able to fly home with only the passport card.

This is one reason why the cruise line usually requires a passport book.

Bob

Bob,

 

That's the best rational reason I've seen for why the cruise lines may have different policies that the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs.

 

Thank you,

Bob & Sue

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3 minutes ago, Beachin2 said:

Open loop rules are different.  They are the ones who are liable for any fine imposed. 

 

You have two choices:  1) Get the book or 2) Sit tight and fret/lose sleep until November that you may be denied boarding (with no insurance reimbursement since it is a document issue).

 

He said/she said ain't going to cut it.

We have to send in our Passport Card to get Passport Books... time is tight. Mistakes happen, this is our largest hesitation with getting expedited Passport Books.

 

We totally agree, he said she said ain't going to cut it!

 

Bob & Sue

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32 minutes ago, B+S said:

Sure, I could pay the $340.00 for two expedited passport BOOKS. But should I have to?

No, you should not have to do this for an error on Celebrity's part.  

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Glad I could be of help.

Good Luck.

Bob

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We're now being told (over the phone from Celebrity) the Passport Card will work. Waiting for a solid, in writing, definitive answer. Did you know they can't reduce a phone conversation to an e-mail in writing? Interesting watching this unfold.

 

And sorry for those of you "in the same boat" - doesn't seem to be many of us with the Passport Card. It worked great when we lived close to Mexico (Tucson AZ).

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I have both a passport book and a passport card (and Global Access too).  Just looked at the back of my passport card and here is the exact verbiage:

 

"Valid only for international land and sea travel between United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda".

 

Given the clear language imprinted on the card itself, Celebrity may be 100% wrong.  (But I still strongly advocate traveling with the book).

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I'd do whatever is needed to get myself on the ship and argue over the extra expense later.  Otherwise there might be great unhappiness at attempted check in.  I do know folks who have been denied!

 

You can try the Celebrity  One Touch e mail and try to have them green light you or credit you for what you have to lay out... esp because  a) they changed the route,  and  b) said you need the Passport Book.

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It may not be Celebrity requesting this, it may be one of your destinations.  Who knows?

 

Best bet, get a passport book and have a stress free wait until vacation.  By the way, I needed to get a new passport because I thought I had lost my previous one (I didn't, but that's another story...).  I expedited it and got it within weeks.  So if you're going to get a book, better to do it right away.

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Hope everything works out.

Just remember the thing about international air travel.

Just because Celebrity allows you to board with only the Passport Card, you will NOT be able to use the Passport Card if you need to fly home from a foreign country.

Bob

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2 minutes ago, hcat said:

I'd do whatever is needed to get myself on the ship and argue over the extra expense later.  Otherwise there might be great unhappiness at attempted check in.  I do know folks who have been denied!

 

You can try the Celebrity  One Touch e mail and try to have them green light you or credit you for what you have to lay out... esp because  a) they changed the route,  and  b) said you need the Passport Book.

You have such vast expertise, we're sort of in awe! But we don't know what "Celebrity One Touch e mail" is - this is our first ever cruise with them. Please, tell us a smidge more?

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