From what I read, non-US citizens are required to surrender their passports to the cruise line when they board the ship. Is this true?
What is the reason?
I really don't feel comfortable handing my passport over. Who is going to be responsible if it is stolen/lost? The cruise line?
I don't have a problem showing my passports every time I go in and out of ports. The passport is a property of the issuing country and in our country it is very difficult to get it replaced. Being a foreigner in US, this is my single most important identification document.
Can someone please explain how the system works?
I am really nervous. If we had known they will take the passport during the entire cruise, we would not have booked a cruise.
Thank you very much for any insight on this matter.
We are UK citizens, and have had to surrender our passports on all cruises we've taken out of the US, or in the Caribbean. I imagine it's so that they can clear each island's immigration quickly.
We've never had a problem (other than the usual one of having to go to the theatre very early in the morning to reclaim them from US immigration), but as a matter of course we carry copies of the important pages with us all the time we are away - this applies if we are in Europe as well. We actually have several copies - one in my wife's possession, one in my camera bag and so on.
I wouldn't worry too much; the cruise lines have plenty of experience of not losing important papers.
Sounds the same as when I applied for my passport...I was REALLY surprised when the clerk took my birth certificate & stapled it to my application, put it in her pile, and said "Have a nice day!" I stated that she still had my birth certificate, and she said they keep them while the passport is processed. I wasn' t comfortable w/that either, but I did get it back, so I guess they are experienced in NOT losing those documents....
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Richard and Jean:
Thank you for your replies. I feel much better now. This is our first cruise. My sister was quite upset when she learnt about the passport situation (she wanted to cancel the trip) but after I told her about your experiences, she feels much better. We will go as planned and will make copies of the passport to carry with us as well.
It is customerary to surrender your passport to the Purser of all ships that visit foreign ports. Imigration personnel from the country the ship puts into examines the Passport and mostly places a stamp into the Passport. This is very convient for the cruiser in not having to appear in person to have it stamped. The Purser always gives you a receipt for the Passport and it is in good hands until they return it to you at the end of the cruise.
There should not be any worry about the safekeeping of the Passport.
Cruising on Ruby Princess: September 22, 2015. 10 Days, From New York to Quebec City. My 98th Cruise!