Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
B+S

Celebrity Caribbean Cruise, but Passport CARD not accepted!

Recommended Posts

2 minutes ago, Langley Cruisers said:

 

^ 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. 😊

And it doesn’t take anywhere 2 months to get, so expedited is not necessary if the cruise is November 22nd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading this thread, and all of the great advice offered, I feel that the issue isn't whether this is an open loop or closed loop Cruise.

 

You spend a lot of money on the cruise so the extra cost for an expedited passport book is minimal in comparison.

 

To me, the issue is what if you do need to fly home from a port and you don't have a passport book?

 

Wouldn't getting a passport book be as important as travel insurance from this perspective? (If you believe in the importance of travel insurance, then getting a passport book is the obvious right nice.) 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to everyone who saw the forest for the trees and suggested winning the war not just the battle.

 

We'll apply for new passport books and turn over our passport cards in hopes they arrive.

 

Tis a shame though, for the rules at Celebrity's own Pre-cruise FAQ site, at the US Bureau of State - Consular Affairs, and at the US Customs and Border Patrol Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative website are all crystal clear - all we truly need is a Passport CARD, open loop or otherwise.

 

We should not have to do this for fear of Celebrity's own incompetence or ignorance at check-in. But we will.

 

Bob+Sue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, B+S said:

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

 

 

 

 

 

Okay, with the sampling of responses select the one you like or want and go for it. 

 

It is very clear that you do not want to get the book. 

 

The longer the book application is delayed then your options will be limited . 

 

Since most of us here do not work for X what we say or our prior experience may not be applicable to your sailing. 

 

Have you sailed from the US to the Caribbean before using a 'Card' only before? 

 

This is clearly frustrating for you,  I trust a resolution can be had quickly, that is satisfactory. 

 

It would be very very very upsetting arriving at the port and not be able to board over something like this. 

 

Good Luck and Bon voyage 

Share this post


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

And it doesn’t take anywhere 2 months to get, so expedited is not necessary if the cruise is November 22nd.

 

Well, their own web site says 6-8 weeks. And I've had a passport application rejected (delayed) for the most minor of reasons. (A photo 1/8th of an inch off.)

 

We'll spend the extra to expedite them since we have to turn over our passport Cards to get them.

Edited by B+S

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Bo1953 said:

Okay, with the sampling of responses select the one you like or want and go for it. 

 

It is very clear that you do not want to get the book. 

 

The longer the book application is delayed then your options will be limited . 

 

Since most of us here do not work for X what we say or our prior experience may not be applicable to your sailing. 

 

Have you sailed from the US to the Caribbean before using a 'Card' only before? 

 

This is clearly frustrating for you,  I trust a resolution can be had quickly, that is satisfactory. 

 

It would be very very very upsetting arriving at the port and not be able to board over something like this. 

 

Good Luck and Bon voyage 

 

Hey Bo1953,

 

I noticed we've both been here on CruiseCritic about 15 years. I want to thank you and all the others who help us work through our little issues.

 

It's nice of you. Nice of all of you, and it's appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Bob+Sue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, B+S said:

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

 

Stand behind what I said and many others have said, it is simple, you are not on a closed loop cruise anymore therefore you need a passport, Standard Operating Procedure.   I submitted the facts which are on the web site.   Celebrity may be incompetent as far as getting different answers which is common for them but they are correct about the law.   

 

The closed loop exception is just that, an exception to the law requiring passports.  Therefore if you are not on a closed loop cruise which you are not, you refer back to the law that requires passports for international travel.   

Edited by dkjretired

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, dkjretired said:

 

Stand behind what I said and many others have said, it is simple, you are not on a closed loop cruise anymore therefore you need a passport, Standard Operating Procedure.   I submitted the facts which are on the web site.   Celebrity may be incompetent as far as getting different answers which is common for them but they are correct about the law.   

 

The closed loop exception is just that, an exception to the law requiring passports.  Therefore if you are not on a closed loop cruise which you are not, you refer back to the law that requires passports for international travel.   

 

You are wrong. You can use a Passport Card on open loop Western Hemisphere cruises. The closed loop exception applies to being able to use a birth certificate on cruises from the same US port.  You can’t use a birth certificate on those open loop cruises but you can use a passport card.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, B+S said:

 

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

We just renewed our son's passport book in January and had a new one, in hand, within 4 weeks of applying.  In that case, as well, we had to send in his current, non-expired, passport book, so I get the nerves, but it did work out ok!   So sorry you are getting conflicting information and it will cost so much to have peace of mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Ravbo said:

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

 

Not really.  If that were the case then the cruise lines would require a passport book for every single Caribbean cruise, but they don't.

 

15 hours ago, B+S said:

We have passports! Passcards ARE passports,

 

12 hours ago, B+S said:

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

 

You're trying to argue semantics but you're on the wrong side of the argument.  While you might go through the same process to get one issued, a passport card is not a passport.  If it was, you'd be able to use it to fly to Europe. 

 

11 hours ago, B+S said:

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, Charles4515 said:

 

You are wrong. You can use a Passport Card on open loop Western Hemisphere cruises. The closed loop exception applies to being able to use a birth certificate on cruises from the same US port.  You can’t use a birth certificate on those open loop cruises but you can use a passport card.  

 

Disagree according to everything I've read at CBP and US State Department.    This is a really unusual case and apparently Celebrity's customer service was not prepared to answer the obvious questions that would arise.  I'll bet there are going to be some problems at the pier when they board, at least the OP is aware of this, I'm guessing many others are not. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, dkjretired said:

 

Disagree according to everything I've read at CBP and US State Department.    This is a really unusual case and apparently Celebrity's customer service was not prepared to answer the obvious questions that would arise.  I'll bet there are going to be some problems at the pier when they board, at least the OP is aware of this, I'm guessing many others are not. 

 

The facts are that the passport card was created to allow border crossings by land and sea in much of the Western Hemisphere without a passport book.  That is why the passport card was created. I also would be concerned that there would be problems at the pier because the Celebrity personnel could be confused. OP might have to invoke supervision and the like but they would be able to board. Personally I would not want the stress of that but it is up to OP. From what I read OP has decided to get passport books so this discussion is moot regarding OP.

Edited by Charles4515

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see you have decided on a path forward, and I do think it best to have a Passport Book, but that is neither here nor there.

 

One thing I noticed was a discussion of the Cruise line's policy pronouncements vs the facts of the State Department website.  Keep in mind that the providers of transportation are free to put more restrictive policies in place vs what is permitted by the State Department.  The vast majority of airlines will not let you board a flight out of the US without your passport being valid for 6 months past your booked return date.  The State Department will let you back in the US without issue the day before your passport expires, but the airlines are able to impose the 6 month rule.  

 

So if 2 out of 3 Celebrity employees say you need a Passport Book, you sure don't want to be held up by 2 out of 3 employees at embarkation having the same understanding.  Being technically in the right and missing your cruise still sucks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A passport book is the way to go to eliminate any and all issues.  This way you can travel the world as well.

 

I just hope Bob & Sue come back to let us know when they get their new passports!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, B+S said:

Thanks to everyone who saw the forest for the trees and suggested winning the war not just the battle.

 

We'll apply for new passport books and turn over our passport cards in hopes they arrive.

 

Tis a shame though, for the rules at Celebrity's own Pre-cruise FAQ site, at the US Bureau of State - Consular Affairs, and at the US Customs and Border Patrol Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative website are all crystal clear - all we truly need is a Passport CARD, open loop or otherwise.

 

We should not have to do this for fear of Celebrity's own incompetence or ignorance at check-in. But we will.

 

Bob+Sue

Good News, Bob+Sue!  We are hoping to meet you at the Meet & Mingle once on board.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When we renewed our passports,  we were nervous about sending in the ones that would be replaced  They acknowledged receipt of our applications,  and there was a way to track progress...can't recall how...  

 

Although our apps were sent  at the same  time to the same processing center in Tx, my husbands  new Passport arrived quite a bit before mine but was trackable... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, B+S said:

We'll spend the extra to expedite them since we have to turn over our passport Cards to get them.

 

I think this is a good approach.  The few extra dollars is worth it to eliminate any worry.  Now sit back and finish planning the details of your cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours 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

I know that Celebrity will try to leave your passport if you don't rejoin but that is NOT a rule, that is them trying to be helpful.  I always take my passport with me as it is an internationally recognized ID.  I would not be caught dead in a foreign country without valid ID.  You can hope for Celebrity to leave it but it's not a rule, it's just them trying to be nice if they have time and if they send someone to your cabin and if they can find it after getting someone to open the safe and that's only if you left it in the safe. 

 

Leave a copy in your room if you like but my advice is to not count on good will, but be prepared and know the laws of the country you are visiting, not just the U.S.

 

Expedited passport service is what I would do in this circumstance.  The passport card is only recognized by the US government whereas the passport book is recognized internationally.

Edited by Lisah101

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Lisah101 said:

The passport card is only recognized by the US government

Not quite accurate.  The governments of Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and most Caribbean countries and territories recognize the passport card, which can be used at the land border crossings and sea ports-of-entry. 

 

I agree whole heartedly with your approach to carrying your passport when visiting a foreign country. After many decades of international travel for business and leisure, always with my passport in hand, it was only when I started reading Cruise Critic that I became aware of the "leave it locked in your cabin" school of thought. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

Not quite accurate.  The governments of Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and most Caribbean countries and territories recognize the passport card, which can be used at the land border crossings and sea ports-of-entry. 

 

I agree whole heartedly with your approach to carrying your passport when visiting a foreign country. After many decades of international travel for business and leisure, always with my passport in hand, it was only when I started reading Cruise Critic that I became aware of the "leave it locked in your cabin" school of thought. 

That used to be the case, but recently, several of the caribbean countries have started requiring full passport books instead.  I got a notice from a travel agency after I asked about a cruise last summer.  Wish I had saved that info so I knew exactly what country, that would probably help a lot!

Edited by Lisah101

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Lisah101 said:

That used to be the case, but recently, several of the caribbean countries have started requiring full passport books instead.  I got a notice from a travel agency after I asked about a cruise last summer.  

 

Most of the Caribbean islands are legally bound by treaty to accept the Passport Card. Some that had not signed the treaty were accepting the card as a courtesy. Two of those islands, Guadeloupe and Martinique now require a passport book. It is still the case that most of the Caribbean islands recognize Passport Cards. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Lisah101 said:

That used to be the case, but recently, several of the caribbean countries have started requiring full passport books instead.  I got a notice from a travel agency after I asked about a cruise last summer.  

Yes, that's why I said "most", in recognition of the fact that some now require a proper (book) passport. This is going to cause some adjustment for cruise lines and US passengers no longer being able to hop on even a closed loop Caribbean cruise with just a certified birth certificate, etc., for a cruise that include one or more of the islands now requiring passports.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

 

 

I agree whole heartedly with your approach to carrying your passport when visiting a foreign country. After many decades of international travel for business and leisure, always with my passport in hand, it was only when I started reading Cruise Critic that I became aware of the "leave it locked in your cabin" school of thought. 

 

I take a copy of my passport in my wallet when visiting foreign countries and leave the book in a the hotel or cabin safe. That is what the US State Department recommends. That is what travel writers recommend. It is a matter of personal preference though, not a right or wrong way. Something can go wrong either way. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Charles4515 said:

 

I take a copy of my passport in my wallet when visiting foreign countries and leave the book in a the hotel or cabin safe. That is what the US State Department recommends. That is what travel writers recommend. It is a matter of personal preference though, not a right or wrong way. Something can go wrong either way. 

I too lock my passport in my hotel safe when staying in a foreign country. For cruises, however, I want to have it with me in case something goes wrong. I realize that the ship will try to leave my passport with the local agent, but I'd rather have direct control, not leave it up to third parties. As for the photocopy, I've never quite understood the benefit as it can't be used for travel. I understand that some feel that it will help speed up getting a replacement passport, but I simply keep a copy on Dropbox that I can access should that ever be necessary.

 

As you say, it's all a question of personal preference.

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
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • 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...