Originally Posted by You
Excuse me, but that is not possible, or at least wasn't until recent cruises. We frequently have been forced to relenquish our passports (Canadians and other 'foreigners') to the ship's authority. Supposedly dependent on the ports visited. Americans loved to tell us this was for our own security "you wouldn't want to lose something as important as a passport!"
But apparently Americans could be trusted with theirs. I always thought this was downright illegal as it says right on the passport not to let it out of your possession. I don't know if this is still being done or not. Most ports ie. Caribbean or Mexico, I will use only a photocopy of passport. Perhaps when I visit Turkey, Asia etc. I will take the original. I think it is more secure in the safe than in a beach bag!
There's actually a very good reason why cruise lines sometimes collect passports. When the ship arrives in a port of call, the laws of many countries require the immigration officials to inspect, and sometimes stamp, the passports of all onboard. The procedure of collecting all passengers' passports allows the ship's staff to present your passport to immigration officials for you, sparing you the need to appear in person at "oh-dark-thirty" when the immigration officials come aboard.
Alas, that process does not work when ships arrive in our ports here in the United States because our laws require our immigration officials to match each passenger's passport with his or her face....