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B+S

Celebrity Caribbean Cruise, but Passport CARD not accepted!

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9 minutes ago, B+S said:

Celebrity does not make the rules of immigration, the US Department of State makes the rules.

You're correct, the Department of State makes the rules, and nothing I've read since the passport cards were introduced would suggest that the passport card would not suffice in the circumstances that you are citing. Well, almost nothing. This extract from a CBP article entitled "Documents Needed To Take A Cruise" may be part of the problem:

 

I'm taking a "Closed Loop" cruise, do I need a passport?

Most cruises beginning and ending in the U.S. are considered "Closed Loop," vessels that depart a U.S. port and return to the same U.S. port upon completion of the voyage. For instance, if you board a cruise ship at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and after visiting at least one foreign port of call, such as Bermuda, or Cancun, and return back to Fort Lauderdale, you have taken a closed loop cruise.

 

If, on the other hand, you - say - board a cruise ship in San Diego, California, sail through the Panama Canal (stopping at a foreign port during the cruise), and end the cruise in Miami, Florida, you have not taken a closed loop cruise. As of June 1, 2009 the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires you to travel with a valid passport (including infants).

 

 That final sentence is incorrect, and the linked WHTI document clearly allows for the use of passport cards.

 

I believe that the underlying problem lies with the fact that before passport cards came along, it was quite simple. On a closed loop cruise you didn't need a passport (as long as you had a certified birth certificate, etc.) but for an open loop you did require a passport. With the introduction of passport cards, they too became valid for open loop cruises, but the closed loop=passport required mindset had been established.

 

FWIW, we ran into a similar problem with NEXUS cards. On our first cruise after getting them in 2014, we had no trouble boarding a HAL Alaskan cruise out of Vancouver using just our NEXUS cards. The following year, we were refused boarding with them in Boston for a Canada-New England cruise, again on HAL. As we never travel out of the country without our passports, we finally offered them when faced with the port staff's adamant refusal to let us board using only the NEXUS cards.

 

Bottom line is that you can be 100% right, but if the port staff decide that you need a passport book, you'd better have one.

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I wouldn't consider leaving the US without a Passport....a real Passport.  

 

YMMV

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50 minutes ago, B+S said:

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?

FYI the US Department of State do NOT make the immigation rules for the Caribbean destinations. Most of the islands are independent and make THEIR own rules.

 

The "Passport" is the recognised standard fir international travel, the US Passport Card is just one step up from being useless.

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Your choice to do what you think will work for you.No one posting on this board can predict with certainty if the Agent to whom you ultimately present a Passport Card will or won't allow you to board. I would guess they would, but I'm not them and can't say for sure. On the other hand I can say with certainty that a US Passport would be accepted. I would purchase Passports and look forward to ten years of travel. Passport prices have been trending up and should continue to increase. So the expensive dollars you pay now might be a real bargain in the future. Choice is entirely yours!

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CelebrityOneTouch@celebrity.com  

You can e-mail this address with questions and it will be filtered to the appropriate person for ship and sailing.  I e-mailed them last week regarding the elimination of free movies in the stateroom and was contacted by the shore side concierge for Silhouette.  Not sure with whom your issue will land but you will get a response from someone.

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It only needs one immigration officer insisting on a passport book and your vacation will be significantly spoiled.

As others said, without the book, you won‘t be able to fly, so why take the risk when you already have conflicting info on this matter.

 

I know what I‘d do.

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57 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

 

Don't confuse the rules for closed loop cruises that allow using a birth certificate and government ID with sea travel to the Caribbean and Bermuda that allows a passport card. Using a passport card or a birth certificate are two different things. If anyone was planning to use a birth certificate, they are the ones out of luck.

Edited by Charles4515

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45 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

 

40 minutes ago, B+S said:

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.

The Passport Card is a document issued solely by the US, one that doesn't meet the international standards for passports. It is intended for limited use, not as a replacement for a proper passport. While they are perfectly acceptable for re-entry into the US (with restrictions), foreign countries are under no obligation to accept them. That hasn't posed a problem in the past, but may in the future should Caribbean islands decide to impose full passport requirements on US citizens arriving on cruises. 

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16 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

 

The Passport Card is a document issued solely by the US, one that doesn't meet the international standards for passports. It is intended for limited use, not as a replacement for a proper passport. While they are perfectly acceptable for re-entry into the US (with restrictions), foreign countries are under no obligation to accept them. That hasn't posed a problem in the past, but may in the future should Caribbean islands decide to impose full passport requirements on US citizens arriving on cruises. 

 

If the passport card was valid for travel before the homeport change ( I am assuming that OP is posting correct info about it being allowed because I don't know the other ports) before the itinerary change) then it is still valid to use. You are correct that some Caribbean Islands can change their requirements. Some islands were not part of the treaty but accepted the cards despite that. I believe that happened recently and a passport book is required now for Guadalope and Martinique. 

 

Personally I would only get the Passport Card as an additional form of ID to carry in my wallet not for cruise travel when it is permitted, I always use the passport book ( I have a Global Entry card which could also be used the same as the Passport Card on the same itineraries)  but lets answer the actual question.

 

Edited by Charles4515

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1 hour ago, B+S said:

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.

 

Thankwhen Ive checked in at the port they've always wanted my passport book. I have both as I said earlier and keep them in a leather folder together,  but regardless of what the official rules state, X wanted the book. Perhaps if you miss the ship in a port or have to fly home mud cruise for whatever reason you would need the book. The card wouldn't be acceptable in those instances.  I'd suggest getting the book and not risking being denied boarding or being stranded without the proper documents to fly home if necessary.  You have the time now.

Bob & Sue

 

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55 minutes ago, B+S said:

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?

That's the  quick response (hopefully ) Customer Svc e mail..I will have to  post it next..

 

  They were involved with a case of someone who was doing a b2b2b..involving US and Canada  At the almost last minute they  were told  X  reps,  they had to disembark for a day at point A  and stay at a hotel overnight,  then take a ferry and re board at Point B ....all .due to alleged/ perceived violation of law.  The nitty gritty not  relevant here  but after  getting the X run-around  big time, One Touch resolved it with Legal Dept in short order in favor of cruiser  .and they did not have to disembark ir go through all those hoops.

 

 I still think getting a Passport is the better way to go.,Strange things happen on cruises and you could be stranded for awhile without having one!

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Someone has already posted  the address so hope you have contacted them and also applied for the Expedited Passports simultaneously.  This is what I used...and did receive a reply about  the free movie issue.  Sorry for so many typos..typing too fast

 

CelebrityOneTouh@celebrity.com

 

GOOD LUCK!

Edited by hcat

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1 hour ago, Georgia_Peaches said:

CelebrityOneTouch@celebrity.com  

You can e-mail this address with questions and it will be filtered to the appropriate person for ship and sailing.  I e-mailed them last week regarding the elimination of free movies in the stateroom and was contacted by the shore side concierge for Silhouette.  Not sure with whom your issue will land but you will get a response from someone.

Thanks!!!

 

We just wrote them. Here's hoping for a written answer.

 

We do NOT want to send our Passport Cards off (for obtaining passport Books) and risk being in double jeopardy (if lost or delayed) when some clear information from Celebrity could easily clear this up.

 

Bob & Sue

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7 minutes ago, B+S said:

Thanks!!!

 

We just wrote them. Here's hoping for a written answer.

 

We do NOT want to send our Passport Cards off (for obtaining passport Books) and risk being in double jeopardy (if lost or delayed) when some clear information from Celebrity could easily clear this up.

 

Bob & Sue

 

You should have plenty of time to get a passport book but I think the reason for the confusion from Celebrity is that they were confusing cruises where a birth certificate is allowed and those which a passport card is allowed. Anyone who was planning to use a birth certificate will have to get a Passport Book or Card. 

Edited by Charles4515

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1 hour ago, B+S said:

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?

 

It is a department at Celebrity that answers questions and assists passengers with requests or problems.  They are usually good about responding promptly.

Just send an email explaining your situation to

 

   CelebrityOneTouch@celebrity.com

 

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Don't know if this will help.

on the Travel.state.gov web site it says:

Customs and Border Protection does not.
03/28/2018 - https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/travelers-with-special-considerations/cruise-ship-passengers.html
You can use the passport card to reenter the United States at sea ports of entry from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. However, if you are not able to return on the cruise ship for any reason (e.g., for an emergency evacuation, you will need a passport book to fly back to the United States.Additional Resources:
 
Caribbean is the key.
The Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886 defines Caribbean. Note the Exception in bullet # 2
 

The Passenger Vessel Services Act, however,

  • does not prohibit foreign-flagged ships departing from and returning to the same U.S. port, provided the ship visits any foreign port;
  • does not prohibit foreign-flagged ships departing from a U.S. port, visiting a distant foreign port, and then continuing to a second U.S. port. However, in order to embark in a U.S. port and disembark in a second U.S. port, the vessel must visit a distant foreign port outside of North America (Central America, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and all of the Caribbean except Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, count as part of North America);
 

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3 hours ago, B+S said:

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.

Since you have both why risk a problem.  Bring both, but if you only want to bring one, choose the book. 

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8 minutes ago, Luvcrusn said:

Since you have both why risk a problem.  Bring both, but if you only want to bring one, choose the book. 

They don't have both, only passport cards.

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2 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

They don't have both, only passport cards.

Correct. Passport cards are passports, same issue process, same photo, but they are not passport books.

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If they are not accepted for international travel or for international air travel then they are not a full passport.    A passport gives you all privileges of travel as a US citizen.   Does any other country have these mini almost passports?   

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1 hour ago, jesrestin said:

Don't know if this will help.

on the Travel.state.gov web site it says:

Customs and Border Protection does not.
You can use the passport card to reenter the United States at sea ports of entry from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. However, if you are not able to return on the cruise ship for any reason (e.g., for an emergency evacuation, you will need a passport book to fly back to the United States.Additional Resources:
 
Caribbean is the key.
The Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886 defines Caribbean. Note the Exception in bullet # 2
 

The Passenger Vessel Services Act, however,

  • does not prohibit foreign-flagged ships departing from and returning to the same U.S. port, provided the ship visits any foreign port;
  • does not prohibit foreign-flagged ships departing from a U.S. port, visiting a distant foreign port, and then continuing to a second U.S. port. However, in order to embark in a U.S. port and disembark in a second U.S. port, the vessel must visit a distant foreign port outside of North America (Central America, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and all of the Caribbean except Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao, count as part of North America);
 

Whoa! That's a new angle. Not even sure we can interpret what this means, seems to be speaking about the ship itself more so than passengers. We want to especially thank you for the insight though.

 

Bob & Sue

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Lots of opinions, speculation, and  interesting  commentary,  but OP should have gotten the passport  once cruise was booked...now it's a costly expenditure and time critical. 

 

As one of my professors once wisely said about test questions and answers:  "Wishing doesn't make it so..."

 

Edited by hcat

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9 minutes ago, hcat said:

Lots of opinions, speculation, and  interesting  commentary,  but OP should have gotten the passport  once cruise was booked...now it's a costly expenditure and time critical. 

 

As one of my professors once wisely said about test questions and answers:  "Wishing doesn't make it so..."

 

Your comment is ignorant of the fact that they just changed the return port due to an error on their part. As originally booked it was closed loop. In fact, we've used the Passport card on a couple of previous cruises.

B&S

Edited by B+S

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New info - From the Celebrity Website:  Link to FAQ Page

 

Q.

What documents do I need when boarding a ship in the U.S. that travels out of the U.S?

A.

U.S. Cruises, Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) - Open Loop - OR U.S. Cruises that Begin and/or End in Canadian Ports

U.S. Citizens

U.S. citizens that board a cruise ship at a port within the U.S., travel only within the Western Hemisphere and return to a different U.S. port on the same ship will require a valid Passport, U.S. Passport Card, Enhanced Driver's License, or Trusted Traveler Program Card such as Nexus, Sentri or Fast.

 

------------------------------------------------

 

Seems they accept the Passport Card. Or, at least, are supposed to. In hind sight, the only change in verbage should be the reference to Passport - they mean Passport Book.

 

Bob+Sue

 

 

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