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Celebrity Caribbean Cruise, but Passport CARD not accepted!

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I wonder what those traveling with a drivers license and birth certificate are going to do. This might not have even crossed their mind.

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I would echo the others to get a passport book. Even with it in writing I would be nervous. What prompted them to tell you about having a book in the first place?

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U.S. Customs: 

 

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).

 

Your cruise is an open loop no matter how you look at it. You are leaving one American port, stopping at a foreign port, and ending in another American port ...... If you're confident that you're not and that you're right then so be it ....... 

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18 minutes ago, tallnthensome said:

U.S. Customs: 

 

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).

 

Your cruise is an open loop no matter how you look at it. You are leaving one American port, stopping at a foreign port, and ending in another American port ...... If you're confident that you're not and that you're right then so be it ....... 

 

No. We understand it's become an open loop because it IS an open loop - we're not disputing that.

 

It says right there in back and white on the web link you just provided that a passport Card is an acceptable form documentation.

 

And now we have it in black and white on Celebrity's own web site.

 

And yet, we just had a manager at Celebrity tell our T/A (2 minutes ago) that we need a Passport BOOK.

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

 

What types of documents are accepted for entry into the United States via land and sea?

  • U.S. citizens can present a valid: U.S. Passport; Passport Card; Enhanced Driver’s License; Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST); U.S. Military identification card when traveling on official orders; U.S. Merchant Mariner document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business; or Form I-872 American Indian Card, or (when available) Enhanced Tribal Card.
Edited by B+S

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12 minutes ago, CoconutOne said:

I would echo the others to get a passport book. Even with it in writing I would be nervous. What prompted them to tell you about having a book in the first place?

 

We actually heard it first here at CruiseCritic as a supposition, and began asking the question to my T/A and to various CSR's at Celebrity. It will be mind-blowing at departure if the current position remains un-communicated to the other passengers.

 

We like the Passport card. It's been accepted at nearly a dozen land ports of entry and worked on a couple other Caribbean cruises. It and a credit card are frequently all we take ashore. It is waterproof too - try snorkeling with a Passport book.

 

B+S

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We expedited our passport renewals and got them in 10 days. I was shocked. Get the book. I can't imagine the angst of waiting around and hoping to board. However, if you want to pursue other avenues, the phone for One Touch is 844-418-6824. I use them for all my questions.

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I would seriously consider getting the passport book.  On our last sailing with Celebrity, we were told one thing by shoreside and another when we got onboard (not about passports, but about amenities offered in the suite and connecting stateroom we booked).  They finally worked it out, but it took about 24 hours for shoreside and the onboard staff to figure it out.  You are getting different answers left and right and, though Celebrity may be technically wrong, getting to check-in and being denied boarding would not be fun.  They could very well let you right on with the passport card, but you won't know until you get there.  I, personally, would be a nervous wreck!  

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2 minutes ago, 39august said:

We expedited our passport renewals and got them in 10 days. I was shocked. Get the book. I can't imagine the angst of waiting around and hoping to board. However, if you want to pursue other avenues, the phone for One Touch is 844-418-6824. I use them for all my questions.

Thank you!

 

We've written them and are hoping for an answer... in writing. It is amazing how Celebrity will say "Should be ok" or "We thin it's ok" and others there say Passport BOOK only. Never seen such a thing!

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1 minute ago, B+S said:

 

We actually heard it first here at CruiseCritic as a supposition, and began asking the question to my T/A and to various CSR's at Celebrity. It will be mind-blowing at departure if the current position remains un-communicated to the other passengers.

 

We like the Passport card. It's been accepted at nearly a dozen land ports of entry and worked on a couple other Caribbean cruises. It and a credit card are frequently all we take ashore. It is waterproof too - try snorkeling with a Passport book.

 

B+S

 

There is no need to take a passport off the ship in the Caribbean & many other places around the world.  Should you not be able to return to the ship, your passports and other documents/ possessions are left with the Port Agent so you can rejoin the ship. 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, MarLieb said:

I would seriously consider getting the passport book.  On our last sailing with Celebrity, we were told one thing by shoreside and another when we got onboard (not about passports, but about amenities offered in the suite and connecting stateroom we booked).  They finally worked it out, but it took about 24 hours for shoreside and the onboard staff to figure it out.  You are getting different answers left and right and, though Celebrity may be technically wrong, getting to check-in and being denied boarding would not be fun.  They could very well let you right on with the passport card, but you won't know until you get there.  I, personally, would be a nervous wreck!  

 

Yes. We're leaning toward getting Passport BOOKS, two months out now, and we agree with all the advice given up-thread as stated, but we're also hesitant to give up our cards and HOPE that a government agency does what they say they will and HOPE a second government agency doesn't loose our paperwork in the mail. A bird in the hand...

 

Bob+Sue

Edited by B+S

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3 minutes ago, jelayne said:

 

There is no need to take a passport off the ship in the Caribbean & many other places around the world.  Should you not be able to return to the ship, your passports and other documents/ possessions are left with the Port Agent so you can rejoin the ship. 

 

 

That's "new news".

 

You get off the ship, in a foreign country without your passport? Do you take any ID at all (besides your ship card) with you?

 

Thanks - there's a lot we still need to learn.

B+S

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32 minutes ago, CHEZMARYLOU said:

I wonder what those traveling with a drivers license and birth certificate are going to do. This might not have even crossed their mind.

And in NY, pretty soon  folks will need an Enhanced Drivers license or Real ID, if they want to fly without a passport ..applying for that was a real" treat"

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30 minutes ago, tallnthensome said:

 

 

Your cruise is an open loop no matter how you look at it. You are leaving one American port, stopping at a foreign port, and ending in another American port ...... If you're confident that you're not and that you're right then so be it ....... 

 

Don't get hung up on open loop and closed loop regarding the Passport Card. The Passport Card  can be used for land and sea border crossings in the Western Hemisphere. That is it’s purpose. The question of open loop and closed loop matters to those who don’t have a passport book or passport card. 

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1 hour ago, B+S said:

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

Yup forgot about that..but we ALWAYS use our Passports ..esp if going out of the US

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3 minutes ago, hcat said:

And in NY, pretty soon  folks will need an Enhanced Drivers license or Real ID, if they want to fly without a passport ..applying for that was a real" treat"

 

That is also going to cause a lot of confusion because many don’t understand that an Enhanced Drivers License is different than a Real ID License. And Enhanced Drivers License is used like a passport card. You can cross borders in the Western Hemisphere with it. You can’t cross borders  with only a Real ID License unless you are on a closed loop cruise and use it with a birth certificate. 

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16 minutes ago, B+S said:

That's "new news".

 

You get off the ship, in a foreign country without your passport? Do you take any ID at all (besides your ship card) with you?

 

Thanks - there's a lot we still need to learn.

B+S

 

We leave our passport in the safe. Except ports that require the Passport Book. Russia. Turkey required a transit pass which was issued on the ship but not the passport book. The ship took our passports. I take my ship card and usually photo ID (DL). Most ports require photo ID but some don’t. They tell you what you need in the ship daily. I never take photo ID to Labadee. 

 

Your concern should be that although you don’t need the Passport Book it’s possible the people who do check in will be as confused as the ones you talked to at HQ. 

Edited by Charles4515

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37 minutes ago, hcat said:

And in NY, pretty soon  folks will need an Enhanced Drivers license or Real ID, if they want to fly without a passport ..applying for that was a real" treat"

 

 

It was a "real treat" here in Alaska too.  We carefully checked the Alaska Department of Motor Vehicles website, but it still took more than one visit to the DMV.  For example, my husband had his original Social Security card, but someone (possibly my late mother-in-law) had laminated it, so it wasn't accepted.  Had to apply for a replacement card.

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Making the assumption this is your first Passport Book. Since you will need to appear in person, can you use your birth certificate and ID instead of your passport card? Then you can hold on to your card.  I did not research this at all and passport cards are not my specialty, so if I am off base, someone kindly let me know.

 

A FWIW, I have passport book, Nexus and WA EDL. Coming off a cruise in Los Angeles they were insisting on a Passport book. Did not even know what the NEXUS or EDL was. Pretty sad as this was Federal employees, not the cruise line.

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Just now, Robinsoncruiseso said:

Making the assumption this is your first Passport Book. Since you will need to appear in person, can you use your birth certificate and ID instead of your passport card? Then you can hold on to your card.  I did not research this at all and passport cards are not my specialty, so if I am off base, someone kindly let me know.

 

A FWIW, I have passport book, Nexus and WA EDL. Coming off a cruise in Los Angeles they were insisting on a Passport book. Did not even know what the NEXUS or EDL was. Pretty sad as this was Federal employees, not the cruise line.

 

No, and no.

 

We have expired passport books. You MUST submit your most current passport (either book or card) with the application.

 

We'll be sending in our current cards to get expedited books - IF Celebrity can't figure out what their own FAQ's and the Law says about the validity of Passport cards pretty soon.

 

Bob+Sue

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FRom Celebrity's web site, 

 

U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises (cruises that begin and end at the same port in the U.S.) will be able to enter or depart the country with proof of citizenship, such as a government-issued birth certificate and laminated government issued picture ID, denoting photo, name and date of birth. A U.S. citizen under the age of 16 will be able to present either an original or notarized or certified copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issues by DOS, or Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

 

This is quite simple and Celebrity is correct, you are not on a closed loop cruise by definition therefore need a passport.    

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4 hours 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);
 

 

We are on the cruise before your and when I first saw the info on changed embarkation/debarkation ports checked them out to see if we were impacted.  Somewhere along the way I remember seeing this exclusion about a distant port, which your itinerary has, may be worth checking out more.  May negate the need for a passport book,

1 hour ago, B+S said:

That's "new news".

 

You get off the ship, in a foreign country without your passport? Do you take any ID at all (besides your ship card) with you?

 

Thanks - there's a lot we still need to learn.

B+S

 

You need your sea pass and a photo ID in many ports. The photo is can be a passport, passport card or drivers license, as well as a few others.  We just got the passport card along with the renewal of our passport books.  We plan to leave the books in the cabin and bring the cards into port, used to use our license.

 

29 minutes ago, B+S said:

 

No, and no.

 

We have expired passport books. You MUST submit your most current passport (either book or card) with the application.

 

We'll be sending in our current cards to get expedited books - IF Celebrity can't figure out what their own FAQ's and the Law says about the validity of Passport cards pretty soon.

 

Bob+Sue

 

How long ago did your passport books expire?  You can use an expired passport up to 5 years for a renewal.   The only caveat here that I am not sure about is if since you have the card does that still apply?

 

Bottom line, wishing you well, not a fun way to prep for a cruise.  I am sure with a but if planning it will all work out.

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33 minutes ago, dkjretired said:

FRom Celebrity's web site, 

 

U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises (cruises that begin and end at the same port in the U.S.) will be able to enter or depart the country with proof of citizenship, such as a government-issued birth certificate and laminated government issued picture ID, denoting photo, name and date of birth. A U.S. citizen under the age of 16 will be able to present either an original or notarized or certified copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issues by DOS, or Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

 

This is quite simple and Celebrity is correct, you are not on a closed loop cruise by definition therefore need a passport.    

Wait a sec Don, You've quoted the Celebrity web site reference to a CLOSED-LOOP cruise. That does not equate to anything about an open-loop Caribbean cruise, in fact, I've above quoted their own web site stating the acceptability of a Passport Card.

 

Here's that link again.

 

So please don't say "This is quite simple..." unless you have specific facts to share for this specific case.

 

Bob+Sue

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3 hours ago, Fouremco said:

They don't have both, only passport cards.

It would have been nice if I actually READ the post before I answered....boy is my face red! That being said I'd suggest to OP that even if the passport card is accepted, should they have to fly home from any of the ABC's or Grand Cayman, the card is not acceptable for international air travel and they could have a problem.  Although none of us plan the unexpected when travelling, we've all seen the emergency occur (if not to ourselves, certainly to others). Rather than argue about it, I'd strongly recommend getting the book. That is acceptable for both air and sea international travel. 

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7 hours ago, Beachin2 said:

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.

 

^ This is it, exactly.

OP, you've received a lot of advice here. A passport book opens up the whole world for you. Will you be traveling abroad in future - well, in the next ten years? Europe? Australia? In my opinion, a passport is a good investment if you break it down per year. I know the expedited cost is huge, but I think your peace of mind is worth it. 😊

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