Giving Up Your Passport---How Does That Make You Feel
On our last cruise of 38 days our passports were taken by H/A starting at the time we boarded in Rio. The passports were returned after about 30 days. Our passports was returned in the same condition as it was when they retained it. We saw others complaining about their passports. Seems like some had inserted a paper or two inside the passport and such may have been misplaced. It was our understanding these passports may have been shown to and handled by various port officials in some countries. I have done that in the past when I inserted money that I wanted to carry in a different location when I was in port. When traveling in Europe several decades go it was almost standard procedure that when staying at a hotel you were ask to leave your passport with the innkeeper. What are your thoughts on the holding of your passport by the cruise line personnel? Does it raise any concerns or am I just overly concerned about a trivial matter?
I have never had this experience, having never cruised that long, or to where I was expected to turn it over....I would have no issue with doing what is expected, from the ship. I do think that, if I as turning it over, I would know, not put anything in it, that was of any importance.
Yay for you, and that 38 day cruise!!
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I have no problem with it. It makes the process of the ship clearing immigration much faster.
However: I do want the ability to retrieve my passport when I do my own longer excursion or overnight in a port in a truly foreign port. Most of the time it is easy to get your passport back but I've had one time, in China, where I basically had to go to the Hotel Manager to get it.
The funny thing about that was that EVERYONE who did the ship's overnight tour to Beijing had to wait over three hours to get into their hotel because they did not have passports and someone had to drive back to Xingang, retrieve the passports and return to Beijing. This process cut a lot of their tour time due to waiting at the hotel to find a solution.
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"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me
I always hand over passport. At some ports, for example in China, they have handed back the passport which I again gave back to the ship after the visit. On one cruise, Southeast Asia, I had a half dozen new stamps in my passport by the time I got it back.
I think it really helps clear the ship when they can show all the passports without having to bother the passengers.
We've done 13 cruises, all Caribbean save for one. We are Canadian citizens but have always traveled with a British Passport. When we cruised in the 90s, we were always asked to relinquish our passports when we boarded and they were returned before we debarked. We had no problem with this but I wondered why passengers with a U.S. passport did not have to do the same. After all, when visiting Caribbean islands, U.S. citizens would be just as much foreign as us Canucks or Brits-unless of course it was the USVI. However, most cruise lines don't seem to be doing this anymore. And besides, Homeland Security now requires all Canadians to carry a Canadian passport,which we got rerady for our next cruise!
Splendor of the Seas 1997
Regal Empress 1998
Sovereign of the Seas 2003
Princess Sun 2006
Princess Sea 2007
I think the reason that US citizens did not have to relinquish passports has to do with the embarkation port, more so than the destination ports. For as far back as I can remember, even the brochures discussed different procedures for non-US citizens. Used to travel quite a bit with a Canadian friend and they made her jump through hoops. It didn't help that she was very disorganized. Forgot to take the documentation once that let her get her passport back! I vouched for her, since we worked together and they finally kept everything she had in terms of doc's then made her come back to their office with correct info to get everything back. But, the basic issue was not going on the cruise, but coming back into the US.
I also remember when ships used to always hold all the passports. It does help clear the ship.
One of the hardest experiences is if you board a ship in Barbados and sail to the US Virgin Island (st Thomas USVI for example). They usually ask every passenger to come and "be seen" in a public room by US border officials before anyone can get off the ship. You walk in the room and they hand you your passport, you carry it to border official who looks at your picture and says "thank you" then you take it back and return it to a ship's purser.
and then you go back to bed.
Non U.S. citizens have to do this all the time when ships land in USVI, no matter where they start out, if I recall correctly.