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Old February 27th, 2011, 10:03 PM
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Default Birth certificate or passports

We are taking our first cruise a western Carribean from New Orleans in September. Carnival and our travel agent say we only need birth cert. and pic ID's, but everyone I have talked to that has taken a cruise says we should get the passports. There are 5 of us traveling and I don't know if we will ever have occasion to use them again, so what do you experts think, should we bite the bullet and spend the $$$$ for 5 passports or just use what we have? Thanks for any advice.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 07:40 AM
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We are taking our first cruise a western Carribean from New Orleans in September. Carnival and our travel agent say we only need birth cert. and pic ID's, but everyone I have talked to that has taken a cruise says we should get the passports. There are 5 of us traveling and I don't know if we will ever have occasion to use them again, so what do you experts think, should we bite the bullet and spend the $$$$ for 5 passports or just use what we have? Thanks for any advice.
Here is what I was able to pull off the Carnival site -
Although a passport is not required for U.S. citizens taking cruises that both originate and terminate at the same U.S. port, we, again, strongly recommend all guests travel with a passport (valid for at least six months beyond completion of travel). Having a passport will enable guests to fly from the U.S. to a foreign port in the event they miss their scheduled embarkation or to fly back to the U.S. if they need to disembark the ship mid-cruise due to an emergency.
ALL guests need proper proof of citizenship in order to travel and failure to present a valid document at check in will result in denied boarding and no refund will be issued.

I would recommend you get the passports.. you never know where you might want to go in the next few yrs
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Old February 28th, 2011, 08:01 AM
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It's hard to part with the money, agree. And you never know if you'll need it. That being said, there's a great satisfaction having one, making any form of travel available without a hassle, you are already prepared without a last minute panic to get one.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 08:55 AM
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It's hard to part with the money, agree. And you never know if you'll need it. That being said, there's a great satisfaction having one, making any form of travel available without a hassle, you are already prepared without a last minute panic to get one.
I absolutely agree. Always better to have something and not need it then need it and not have it.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 10:35 AM
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If you expect to do more cruiseing I would get a passport. As long as life is great and you never have a problem on a trip go with the BC and picture ID. You will learn the lesson if something happens not in your control. Same thing with insurance. When something happens right away people think the cruise lines should help them with whatever problems they have. Don't work that way. Throw the dice and save the money.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 10:51 AM
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I think the problem may arrise, if for some reason you have to depart the cruise early and get back home, then you would need a passport. It has happened, even happened to me once, so just go ahead and get a passport, chances are, you'll cruise again in the future and you'll be set.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 11:15 AM
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I got mine a few years ago when the "panic" hit and so many applied that there were back ups so extended time getting it. Then, only mine arrived. My cruise partner's didn't, there was a glich in his birth certificate which needed to be straightened out, so the process began again. Panic mode set in as we were booked for Alaska and had to clear Canadian customs to get to Vancouver. Things got fixed, but sometimes there may be a glich even getting a passport.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by cruise_mom View Post
We are taking our first cruise a western Carribean from New Orleans in September. Carnival and our travel agent say we only need birth cert. and pic ID's, but everyone I have talked to that has taken a cruise says we should get the passports. There are 5 of us traveling and I don't know if we will ever have occasion to use them again, so what do you experts think, should we bite the bullet and spend the $$$$ for 5 passports or just use what we have? Thanks for any advice.

US law, not Carnival law, says that if a cruise is a "closed loop" cruise, no passport is needed by American citizens. A closed loop is a cruise that starts and ends in the same US port. So a passport is not required. However the reason it is not required should be noted. ALL the island, and mainland nations of the Caribbean do require a passport to enter their nation by any means. But all of them have 'waived' that requirement for cruise passengers only, that will spend less than 24 hours in their country. So the requirement is there, it is just on waiver. And if you have to leave the ship and will be in that country for more than 24 hours, you are now an 'illegal alien!:eek: If you need to fly back to the US, OR to another island to catch the ship you missed, YOU MUST have a passport to fly, period. The US Embassy will help you get a passport to return to the US. How much and how quickly they would help you get a passport to catch the ship, I don't know, but wouldn't count on a very quick handling of what they would see as a non-emergency. The passport is good for 10 years. Next year, 2 years, 5 years from now, a passport could be required to enter or leave the country[as is the case for all European travel of any kind] and the passport will cost more then.

Wisest to get the passport, even tho not required.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 01:26 PM
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I called Carnival and asked this very question sometime before my Conquest cruise this past November and was told as long as I was departing from a US port and returning to a US port, a birth certificate is all that was required along with picture ID, but as Donna has posted above, you never know what might happen to any 5 of you during that week and airlines do require a passport to fly now. If not for that reason, then I'd say don't bother with passports but it wouldn't be worth your hassle if anything were to go wrong. Bite the bullet and spend the $$$. Sucks, I know, but passports are good for 10 years and you very well may find use for them again in that time frame-- like another cruise for instance...and I believe once you sail, you'll find you're addicted to cruising like so many of us here on cruise mates....

Happy sailing,

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Old March 7th, 2011, 12:51 AM
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My husband and I had the same dilemma but we just bit the bullet this weekend and got them expedited!! I was annoyed because we had to pay an extra $120 total because he couldn't make up his mind (I should have just went to get mines without him!) But, we paid the $170 each, and we will be covered for the next 10 years, so its well worth the investment!

What sucks is I already had a passport that expired years ago, but because I was under 16 when it was issued, I had to start completely all over and pay the full fee- boo!
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Old March 7th, 2011, 02:59 AM
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My husband and I had the same dilemma but we just bit the bullet this weekend and got them expedited!! I was annoyed because we had to pay an extra $120 total because he couldn't make up his mind (I should have just went to get mines without him!) But, we paid the $170 each, and we will be covered for the next 10 years, so its well worth the investment!

What sucks is I already had a passport that expired years ago, but because I was under 16 when it was issued, I had to start completely all over and pay the full fee- boo!
Well, in Canada the passport is only issued for 5 years and with the six month rule of non expiry prior to a trip then it is only 4 1 /2 years.
Regardless, the cruise line is following the guidelines it currently knows to get you on board but you are solely responsible for all documentation by each port visited regardless if it is a closed loop trip.
As many have said, you cannot predict who will change the rules on you but what is a common agreement by all countries is that the PASSPORT is accepted as a valid identification and proof of citizenship.

Please , please , buy your passports
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Old March 7th, 2011, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by cruise_mom View Post
We are taking our first cruise a western Carribean from New Orleans in September. Carnival and our travel agent say we only need birth cert. and pic ID's, but everyone I have talked to that has taken a cruise says we should get the passports. There are 5 of us traveling and I don't know if we will ever have occasion to use them again, so what do you experts think, should we bite the bullet and spend the $$$$ for 5 passports or just use what we have? Thanks for any advice.
Carnival, your travel agent and your friends are all correct. You do not need a passport for this cruise. Your birth certificate and picture ID are all that is required.

However, if you must return, by air or sea, from a foreign port during the cruise you will need the passport. If you are going to travel anywhere outside the U.S. it really is worth the money to get the passport.

I would get the passport. If you don't do it for this cruise perhaps you can get one or two at a time. A U.S. passport is good for 10 years and if you travel again you won't have any issues and you can take just about any cruise or vacation you want.

Take care,
Mike
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Old March 7th, 2011, 04:58 PM
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Our oldest son has a passport.....but naturally it was locked up in the safe at home and he is off at college.

He and his friends decided to do a cruise at the last minute....so he got on the Destiny TODAY with his birth certificate and driver's license.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 12:12 AM
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For the cruise... your TA and CCL reps. you have spoken to are correct... problem lies IF you miss the ship and need to catch up with it or have to fly back home from a foreign port of call... thats when the passport would be required.

Bite the bullet???... thats a financial issue only you know how to handle. Perhaps to purchase say the adult passports first then add another family member passport purchase later in the year.

Ther will be many that swear you must have that passport, but in the end, only you will know what you are willing to risk or expense. Good Luck
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Old March 11th, 2011, 12:27 AM
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Fun2cruise is right, it is a risk game and the monies do not compare to the risk of being left in a foreign port to fly home.
Those airport authorities will be wanting a passport and ( if they let you on board) your friendly American welcome home Airport security and immigration will be wanting to see your passport as well.

Best case, the foreign port folks might deport you sans passport except you walk into fun on arrival or you have to request an emergency passport from the American Consulate which is not on every Island.

In all probability you will not have a problem as long as you get back on board in time and are a model passenger so you are not removed from the ship.
Me, I'm too cautious, I go for passport
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