I heard there were less expensive passports that are good in the Caribbean only about 55.00 we are going on a western sailing do we need passports and will these lesser ones do?
You are referring to the "Passport Card."
It is only valid when entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry. Not valid for international travel by air.
The price is $55.
My recommendation is to go for the actual passport. It will allow you to travel by air and to many more destinations than the passport card. If you're going to go through the application process (which is almost identical) go for the actual passport. You won't regret it.
Here is the State Department link that gives you all the information.
My Passport cost was $100 total (plus the picture at Walgreens)...
$25 check to local gov. & a $75 check to the US gov....
The $25 check cleared my bank withen 1 week BUT the $75 check never cleared...
So guess I got the Passport for $25
__________________ Bob & Kathy
Littleton, Colorado (near Denver)
Conquest .... Nov /03 (New Orleans)
Conquest .... Dec /05 (Galveston)
Celebration.. Sept /06 (Jacksonville)
Fantasy....... Dec/07 (New Orleans)
Splendor...... Nov. 29th, 2009
I think if you are going on a "closed loop" cruise (cruise from US port back to US port), a birth certificate will work. However, if you miss the ship, you will probably have issues trying to get back into the US. Better safe than sorry.
I believe if you go to the Post Office the $25 charge is not charged. That is what I am being told. Have 2 sons and a DIL who will ge getting theirs for our Family Cruise in 2012.
If not correct please let me know.
2003-NCL Norway-Never got the pleasure. We all know what hapened to her.
Nov. 2003-Carnival Paradise-Family Cruise-Awesome
Aug 2004-Disney Wonder-Had a great time between 2 hurricanes
Oct 2007-Carnival Liberty-First "Kids Free" Cruise
April 2009-Carnival Splendor-Swine Flu Cruise-Enjoyed San Fran
April 2010-Carnival Dream-Loved the cruise
Jan 2012-Family Cruise on the Mariner of the Seas
I would go ahead and just get the passport, it will be good for 10 years....Its just the way to safely travel these days....You also have to consider, in case you have to leave the cruise for some emergency, you'll need that passport to travel, go just get it and be safe.
Yes, get the passport book. The thing is, although the card would work on a cruise, since you are reentering the U.S. by sea, closed loop cruises don't require a passport, just a birth certificate and picture ID, so the passport card won't give you anything you don't already have. HOWEVER, if you have to cut your cruise short because you miss the ship, become ill, or have to come back to deal with a family emergency, then you will need to come back by air, in which case you must have the book, not the card.
So, if you need the passport, you will need the book. And, although some people will tell you that you can get by without it, I think it's a big gamble. If you don't need it, great, but if you need it, you'll really need it, and not having it may slow your reentry when speed is of the essence.
I'm not familiar with giving any money to the local government but then my first passport was in 1948 with my parents and I have done 5 renewals. The passports years ago were only for 5 years. You need to check around about the photos. Some Post Offices can do it, some not. I had my last photo done in the local mall where they take little kids pictures. I found out later I could have gone to a little tiny post office in a small community about 8 miles from me and they do photo's. Also getting the paper work can be different. I had to go to the county court house and go the the clerk of courts to get the paperwork. The time before was in the same county but got the papers at the post office but they changed that so the post office doesn't have it any more. Always something to keep you guessing. By the way I use my passport even for domestic air travel. Easier than fumbling through my wallet for a drivers license. I was subject to overseas travel on short notice so I kept my passport close to me. Also you don't have to renew on the expiration date. You can have, I believe, a 4 year gap and be able to renew without doing the complete form again, its just a one page form.
SS Washington 24,289 G/T 7/48 Eastbound North Atlantic
SS Ernie Pyle 10,000 G/T10/48 Westbound North Atlantic in a hurricane in October - Barf
Carnival Destiny 3/05 Southern Caribbean
Norwegian Sun 12/05 Western Caribbean
Carnival Legend 12/10 Western Caribbean
The best way to get your passport paperwork filled out is to go to Welcome to Travel.State.Gov. You will be guided through a series of Web pages where you answer various questions, and, at the end, the site will generate a PDF document with all your information filled in. All you have to do is sign. However, be aware that you are not supposed to sign the document until you are in front of the official who is taking your application. Also, be sure to shred any extra copies of the form that you might print out, as they will have your SSN on them.
Where you go to file your application varies by location. In many places, you can do it at the post office, but there are some areas where that isn't the case. In these places, someone at your county courthouse often handles it. In a few locations, you may be able to apply at several locations. Take your checkbook because you will be making out two checks: one to the Dept. of State and one to the government agency taking your application. The passport Web site will tell you where you can go in your area to apply.
Along with your application and fees, you'll need two passport photos and an official copy of your birth certificate. The passport photos can be obtained at many different places. As for the birth certificate, if you don't have a copy to send, check with the state where you were born to see how to get one. Many times, you fill out a form to mail in, but, with some states, such as Alabama, you can stop by any health department location, and they will print it on the spot. If your name has changed from what is on your birth certificate, such as due to marriage, then you will have to also send in documentation, such as a copy of a marriage certificate. The instructions on the passport site will tell you about this. And don't worry, they'll return all your documents to you after you get your passport.
Once you have a passport, you can renew by mail if you send it in within a certain number of years after it expires (5, I think). When renewing by mail, all you have to do is fill out the form on the Web site, print it, and mail in the form, your old passport, new photos, your birth certificate, and your check. A few weeks later, your new passport is mailed to you.
EDIT: Looks like the link to the State Dept. passport site got converted to the title of the page, so let's try this another way. The URL is travel.state.gov.