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Passport needed: closed loop out of San Juan


wcook
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Note: We fully understand the advantage of sailing with a passport, but this is a last minute thing and someone wants to join. 
 

Details: American citizen with dl and bc. Sailing on Norwegian out of San Juan with stops in Aruba, Curaçao, St Lucia, Grenada and St Kitts. 
 

Is a passport required? 

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Note to Essiesmom. 

 

This is from the  US Government travel site - https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/SaintLucia.html#:~:text=Entry%2C Exit and Visa Requirements&text=NOTE%3A Generally%2C all U.S. citizens,anticipated departure from the country. 

 

BTW - this is a WHTI

 

A WHTI-compliant document including: U.S. Passport. U.S. Passport Card. Trusted Traveler Card (SENTRI, NEXUS, FAST) Valid Merchant Mariner Document (MMD) when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business.

 

DON

 

"Passports and visa: U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport that is valid for the duration of your stay. No visa is required if you have an onward or return ticket, confirmation of accommodation, and can produce evidence of your ability to maintain yourself.

NOTE: Generally, all U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport when traveling to Saint Lucia, as well as proof of anticipated departure from the country. This includes travelers arriving by airplane and by private sea-going vessel. Those traveling to Saint Lucia on a cruise may use another Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document. However, we strongly recommend visitors obtain a passport before travel in case of an unforeseen emergency that requires a cruise passenger to disembark and return by air.

HIV/AIDS: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Saint Lucia.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Edited by donaldsc
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1 hour ago, donaldsc said:

Note to Essiesmom. 

 

...

 

"Passports and visa: U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport that is valid for the duration of your stay. ...

NOTE: Generally, all U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport when traveling to Saint Lucia, as well as proof of anticipated departure from the country. Those traveling to Saint Lucia on a cruise may use another Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document. ...

HIV/AIDS: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Saint Lucia.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

If you read it carefully, you will find that US persons on a cruise stopping at St. Lucia only need BC and ID -- per WHTI.   The fact is:  the lax requirements for budget-minded US cruisers is largely the result of lobbying by NCL (and other cruise lines) who knew that a couple of hundred extra dollars (for getting passports) would put their budget cruises out of reach for thousands (more likely hundreds of thousands) of folks who can only cruise on the cheap.

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2 hours ago, BruceMuzz said:

A passport is required if the cruise line requires it.

You need to ask them.

True but OP is sailing on mass marrket cruise line NCL and their requirements are well known. No passport is required for the OP's itinerary. Of course they should NCL's document requirements themselves` which are on NCL's web site. 

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32 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

If you read it carefully, you will find that US persons on a cruise stopping at St. Lucia only need BC and ID -- per WHTI.   The fact is:  the lax requirements for budget-minded US cruisers is largely the result of lobbying by NCL (and other cruise lines) who knew that a couple of hundred extra dollars (for getting passports) would put their budget cruises out of reach for thousands (more likely hundreds of thousands) of folks who can only cruise on the cheap.

 

Have you been to St Lucia w/o a passport?  I have never been there at all although we will be there soon on a cruise.  Also I never travel overseas w/o my passport.  I have looked at several references and I can not find anything that says that you can get into St Lucia with just a BC and IDF.  

 

You may be referring to this part of the  WHTI rules "U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises (cruises that begin and end at the same U.S. port) are able to enter the United States with a birth certificate and government-issued photo ID. Please be aware that you may still be required to present a passport to enter the countries your cruise ship is visiting. Check with your cruise line to ensure you have the appropriate documents" but this refers to documents need for your return to the US and not for entry into St Lucia.".  

 

Can you show me anything that specific says that you can enter into St Lucia w just a BC and ID.

 

DON

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2 hours ago, donaldsc said:

 

Have you been to St Lucia w/o a passport?  I have never been there at all although we will be there soon on a cruise.  Also I never travel overseas w/o my passport.  I have looked at several references and I can not find anything that says that you can get into St Lucia with just a BC and IDF.  

 

You may be referring to this part of the  WHTI rules "U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises (cruises that begin and end at the same U.S. port) are able to enter the United States with a birth certificate and government-issued photo ID. Please be aware that you may still be required to present a passport to enter the countries your cruise ship is visiting. Check with your cruise line to ensure you have the appropriate documents" but this refers to documents need for your return to the US and not for entry into St Lucia.".  

 

Can you show me anything that specific says that you can enter into St Lucia w just a BC and ID.

 

DON

 

 

Travel requirements for Saint Lucia say a WHTI document other than a passport is OK for people coming on cruises.  Seems the question would be if a DL and birth cert presented together are WHTI compliant.   I read it the same as you -- they are good for reentry to the US.

 

I think the best advice for the OP is in Post #3.   

 

 

 

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We've been on port stops at St Lucia many times and we've only needed to show our SeaPass to get off and back on. Nothing special about this port stop requirements when sailing from Florida or San Juan.

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9 hours ago, donaldsc said:

Have you been to St Lucia w/o a passport?  I have never been there at all although we will be there soon on a cruise.

I was on a cruise to St. Lucia last month.  I traveled with my passport, but nobody on the island checked for it either getting on or getting off.  The cruise line didn't warn me that I needed one either when booking or on the ship.  BTW, St. Lucia is a wonderfully lush and quirkily beautiful island if you appreciate such things.

 

MARTINIQUE, on the other hand, DOES require a passport to visit (or did when I was last there 3 years ago).  The cruise line warned me when I booked of this requirement.

Edited by Honolulu Blue
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9 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

If you read it carefully, you will find that US persons on a cruise stopping at St. Lucia only need BC and ID -- per WHTI.   The fact is:  the lax requirements for budget-minded US cruisers is largely the result of lobbying by NCL (and other cruise lines) who knew that a couple of hundred extra dollars (for getting passports) would put their budget cruises out of reach for thousands (more likely hundreds of thousands) of folks who can only cruise on the cheap.

Who did they lobby? The regulations were written by faceless government bureaucrats. Sure, the cruise lines, like any other entity (including private citizens) could provide comment on the proposed Federal regulations, but that is not lobbying as the term is used. I did read the proposed regulations and it was clearly spelled out- the closed loop exception was implemented because a US citizen on a closed loop cruise presents a very low risk to the national security. So, the practice that existed prior to the regulations being enacted was allowed to continue. Economics of travel weren't considered, for if they were then citizens would still be allowed to use a birth certificate at a land border (and economic impact was put forth by many commentators, mostly impacted communities and businesses along the border). 

 

How people chose to spend their money and vacation is no concern of mine (even if they aren't acting at all prudently). 

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1 minute ago, Honolulu Blue said:

I was on a cruise to St. Lucia last month.  I traveled with my passport, but nobody on the island checked for it either getting on or getting off.  The cruise line didn't warn me that I needed one either when booking or on the ship.  BTW, St. Lucia is a wonderfully lush and quirkily beautiful island if you appreciate such things.

 

MARTINIQUE, on the other hands, DOES require a passport to visit (or did when I was last there 3 years ago).  The cruise line warned me when I booked of this requirement.

The cruise line warning is the key and if you did need a passport to visit the island on a cruise and didn't have one you wouldn't be allowed to board. When the ship pulls in to a port the passenger manifest is (or has been) shared with the authorities and that manifest includes information on citizenship and documents.

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5 hours ago, BruceMuzz said:

If all the passengers have passports on a cruise that starts and ends in San Juan - for example - the status of the voyage is very easy with US Customs and Immigration.

If some of the passengers do not have a passport, the status changes for US Customs and Immigration.

The paperwork and inspection requirements are more strict, and generally slower when some pax do not have passports.

Some Cruise Lines enforce “passport required” on these itineraries to facilitate a faster turnaround - even though the US Government does not specifically require passports.

Some of the posters are probably correct. NCL tends to attract a lot of bottom feeders who cannot / will not afford passports.

Nothing changes. During the cruise CBP verifies all of the passenger information through government databases whether they have a passport or not. If someone does have a passport they only need to check one database, without a passport they might have to check a couple. Since this is all done during the voyage it is transparent to the passengers.

 

I'm sure that a lot of hard-working people will appreciate being called a bottom feeder.

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11 hours ago, donaldsc said:

 

 

Can you show me anything that specific says that you can enter into St Lucia w just a BC and ID.

 

DON

Your own post (#6 on this thread) quoted  the provision:  “Those traveling  to St. Lucia on a cruise may use another Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document.”

 

The essential purpose of WHTI was to permit cruise lines to carry passengers with other-than- passport documentation.  The BC/DL combination  is defined as WHTI compliant documentation.

 

I am not advocating traveling anywhere outside the US without a passport - while the odds are that you will be OK on closed loop Caribbean cruises  — because of this gift to cruise lines - enabling them to sell cruises to people who arguably cannot really afford to travel outside of the US.

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6 hours ago, Ashland said:

We've been on port stops at St Lucia many times and we've only needed to show our SeaPass to get off and back on. Nothing special about this port stop requirements when sailing from Florida or San Juan.

While you don’t need a passport for St Lucia I would not make any conclusion from not having to show a passport to get off and back on. The cruise line verifies your documents when you board and they will deny boarding at embarkation if a port requires a passport and a passenger does not have one. Document requirements must be checked with the cruise line. I have been to a lot of ports that require passports and only at one, Russia, did I need to show a passport to get off the ship. Having to showing a passport to get on or off means nothing. 

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10 hours ago, ldubs said:

I think the best advice for the OP is in Post #3. 

 

I agree

 Our cruise line of choice  require passports  for ALL   no matter  the itinerary

We carry ours 

as Canadians  we need them in most Countries

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4 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Your own post (#6 on this thread) quoted  the provision:  “Those traveling  to St. Lucia on a cruise may use another Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document.”

 

The essential purpose of WHTI was to permit cruise lines to carry passengers with other-than- passport documentation.  The BC/DL combination  is defined as WHTI compliant documentation.

 

I am not advocating traveling anywhere outside the US without a passport - while the odds are that you will be OK on closed loop Caribbean cruises  — because of this gift to cruise lines - enabling them to sell cruises to people who arguably cannot really afford to travel outside of the US.

The WHTI is much broader than you make it out to be and covers air, land and sea travel. There are exceptions to the general rule for using a passport when two conditions are met 1) the risk is low to the national security and 2) the traveler can be vetted in a timely manner for the mode of travel they are using.

 

I can travel outside the US on a tank of gas, but I do know that isn't what you're referring to. There are people in all income levels who arguably cannot really afford to cruise, it's not just those dirty, good for nothing low-income bottom feeders (and I know that no one used that specific language but that's how many of these posts sound). 

 

I still don't understand why so many are hung up on what documentation another traveler is using since if the traveler in question chose wrongly all of the consequences fall squarely on their own head.

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5 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

The essential purpose of WHTI was to permit cruise lines to carry passengers with other-than- passport documentation.  The BC/DL combination  is defined as WHTI compliant documentation.

 

 

The essential purpose of the WHTI was not to permit cruise passengers to carry documentation  other than passports. It was to have exceptions to carring a passport in the Western Hemisphere for non air travel. Other approved ID, like EDL for example. The closed loop cruise was added at the behest of the cruise lines. The lines believed that the application process and costs of requiring passports would discourage sales. 

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23 minutes ago, Charles4515 said:

Your cruise line of choice is an exception. Why bother to tell us you are Canadian? I am not Canadian and also need a passport for most countries. I could travel without a passport on a closed loop cruise but choose to travel with one. While I think it is not smart to cruise without one in case I had to fly back because of an emergency I don't get upset about people who are doing what is legal to do. If i lived along the Canadian border and crossed it a lot by car, train or truck I probably would aquire an EDL. 

 

 

I'm not sure why you are annoyed that LHT28 mentioned they were Canadian.  What matters here is whether the cruise line requires passports.

 

We are US citizens and we have also have been on closed loop cruises that *require* every passenger to have a valid passport.  (I don't remember the exact wording about "at least x months", etc.)

 

I have no idea how many cruise lines have requirements like this, but it's up to each of them if they wish to be more strict than the minimal requirements for any given itinerary.  As stated before, having everyone on board with a valid passport (including any useful "extended timing") would give the ship more flexibility in case a change in itinerary were to become necessary.

 

Bottom line, it doesn't matter what any of the countries require *if* the cruise line has more strict requirements.  There is no law that requires the cruise line to allow passengers to board if they don't meet all the requirements that the cruise line stated were required for boarding, even if they might separately meet lesser requirements of any countries/ports to be visited.

If someone doesn't like the cruise line's requirements, there may be other lines with different requirements that one finds less burdensome.

 

GC

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1 hour ago, GeezerCouple said:

If someone doesn't like the cruise line's requirements, there may be other lines with different requirements that one finds less burdensome.

 

You might not like it but most cruise lines do not require passports on closed loop cruises out of US ports. OP who asked the question said the cruise was on NCL.  NCL does not require a passport on closed loop cruises. I think you are the one along with others that are annoyed that US citizens can cruise without a passport. I also have been on a small cruise line that requires passports on closed loop cruuses. But so what? The vast majority cruising out of US ports are cruising on mass market lines like Carnival, NCL and Royal Caribbean that allow passengers to cruise on most closed loop itineraries without a passport. Of course all should check with their cruise line tor document requirements for their itinerary.

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5 hours ago, Charles4515 said:

 

The essential purpose of the WHTI was not to permit cruise passengers to carry documentation  other than passports. It was to have exceptions to carring a passport in the Western Hemisphere for non air travel. Other approved ID, like EDL for example. The closed loop cruise was added at the behest of the cruise lines. The lines believed that the application process and costs of requiring passports would discourage sales. 

Do you read what you post?  What other significant NON-AIR international travel in the western hemisphere are we talking about?  Bus trips from Miami to Nassau?

 

Your closing sentence acknowledges the interest of the cruise lines in lobbying that their passengers not be forced to buy passports.

Edited by navybankerteacher
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53 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

Do you read what you post?  What other significant NON-AIR international travel in the western hemisphere are we talking about?  Bus trips from Miami to Nassau?

 

Your closing sentence acknowledges the interest of the cruise lines in lobbying that their passengers not be forced to buy passports.

Seriously, you have no knowledge of the significant non air  trade between the US and Canada and the US and Mexico over land and by sea border? Sheesh.

 

 

Edited by Charles4515
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