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Old September 22nd, 2007, 09:29 PM
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Default To carry passport or not to carry on excursions what to do ?

I have been debating what is best. Do you take your passports on your excursions or leave them on the ship. I have heard two side. One side is if something were to happen and you had to leave by air you now need a passport coming into the united states.
The other side is if you carry your passport and it were to be stolen on land then you could have identity theft and this could cause you future problems.
Some say take a photo copy with you but others say the photo copy is not a passport and can not be used .

Still unsure which way to go.
What do you do and why

Thanks
Ed J
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 10:21 PM
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I'd bring a copy with you rather than the original. Chances are greater that you'll have your passport lost, damaged or stolen than you will need to be airlifted back into the US directly from the foreign port.

If I remember correctly I remember reading an account of someone who at embarkation forgot their passports at home. They had to call and have someone fax the cruiseline a copy of it and they were on their way. I'm guessing that they will accecpt a copy of the passport, but maybe I'm wrong.
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: To carry passport or not to carry on excursions what to

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed J
I have been debating what is best. Do you take your passports on your excursions or leave them on the ship. I have heard two side. One side is if something were to happen and you had to leave by air you now need a passport coming into the united states.
The other side is if you carry your passport and it were to be stolen on land then you could have identity theft and this could cause you future problems.
Some say take a photo copy with you but others say the photo copy is not a passport and can not be used .

Still unsure which way to go.
What do you do and why

Thanks
Ed J
Ed -

Where are you cruising? If it is in the Caribbean/Mexican Riviera, I would say leave them on the ship.

If you are cruising to the Med/Europe, my understanding is that the cruise ship will be holding your passport for you anyway, so it will not matter.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 09:09 AM
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I concur with lumofny. In the bahamas, I left our originals locked in the cabin safe, but kept a photocopy of it with me when on shore. With the copy you can prove you have a valid passport if you ARE left behind. If the original is stolen or lost on shore, THAT is a big problem!
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 09:16 AM
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Default Will be cruising the Western Carib on liberty in November

Thanks for the great replies
I guess Europe ,they take it ,so you don't have to worry about it

So it comes down to a photo copy may be best if you are going to
the Carib

Thanks
Ed J
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 10:31 AM
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Just remember to take a picture ID with you when in port. In Nassau we had to show one in order to leave the dock to get back to the ship.
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 02:05 PM
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If you are cruising a standard Caribbean itinerary: Cozumel, Grand Cayman, St. Maarten, etc. I would just take the copy and a, government issued, picture ID. This would be a driver's license or equivalent. Basically, the copy of your passport is a copy and not a valid ID but is helpful in the event you are stranded. It will help expedite in receiving a temporary passport for you to return to the U.S. or to the ship's next port of call.

If you are going to do your own thing and have a "chance" that you may not make it back to the ship then take your passport.

In exotic itineraries such as China, Russia or other places and ESPECIALLY if you have a private tour then, definitely take your passport, even if the ship is holding it. You can ask Customer Service for it and they will return if for you while you are on shore. You must return it to the ship's personnel when you are back on board. They need it in order to expedite immigration for the next port of call.

In less cruise oriented destinations you will have problems cashing a traveler's check, doing an overnight hotel stay or producing a form of ID that is suitable for the local governments. I also suggest taking an ATM card. Bank ATM's are plentiful and convenient. Many merchants in less touristy places will not take travelers checks and will only take native currency. This is also true of cab drivers. I saw this first hand in China when some "well traveled" cruisers thought they could use U.S. dollars for taxis and other purchases and were left in the lurch because many taxi drivers would not accept dollars and they had no ATM or passport to cash a travelers check. The ship did not have Chinese, Yuan on board. Merchants who do accepts dollars, may not give a favorable exchange rate. It can also be in your best interest to use U.S. dollars so ask before paying.

I also found a number of cruisers who on a "ship's overnight excursion" did not have passports and had to wait over two hours until their passports were retrieved from the ship before they could check in to their hotel.

So the final recommendation is: If you are going to the Caribbean or most European destinations and not doing anything too out of the ordinary, take the copy. Otherwise, take the passport but keep it in a secure place, on your person.

Take care,
Mike
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Old September 23rd, 2007, 05:18 PM
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Default Thanks Mike

Mike
Thank you for that very thoughtful education on passports
I do appreciate it.

Ed J
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