Originally Posted by You
My travel agent tells me that you need either a passport or birthcertificate to travel on the cruise. I called Celebrity and the rep told me that I need a valid drivers lic. as the "new" laws will not take effect until January 2008.
I am traveling on Feb 4 2007, can anyone tell me if the drivers is OK?
Thanks for your help..
At this point, it's best to get a passport and be done with it.
Under the current laws, a peson arriving in the United States as a passenger aboard a cruise ship must preent BOTH proof of citizenship AND proof of identity. A passport is the only document that meets both requriements. Alternatively, you may present an original official birth or naturalization certificate (issued by a goverment authority and embossed with a raised seal) as proof of citizenship and a photo identification issued by a government authority, such as a driver's license or a voter registration card, as proof of identity. Nonetheless, the processing is usually much faster if you have a valid passport because passports are machine readable so the immigration agents don't have to enter the information into their computers manually.
The real catch, though, is that everybody arriving in the United States on an airplane MUST present a passport. There are at least two direct implications.
>> 1. If a family emergency forces you to cut your vacation short and fly home from foreign soil, you will need a passport to fly back to the United States. (Yes, there are special provisions for emergenies, but you'll have to go to a U. S. Embassy or Consulate to shuffle papers, which may take a couple days because the paperwork may have to go to Washington for approval and, in the Caribbean, the ambassador or other diplomatic official who needs to sign the paperwork, either before submittal or upon receipt of electronic approval, may be on a diferent island that happens to be a different country -- and that's precisely the sort of hassle and delay that you don't want to confront in the midst of a family emergency.)
>> 2. If your cruise ends in a foreign port, you will need a passport to fly back to the United States even though the cruise itself might not require it.
And it's actually quite easy to get a passport. Here's how to do it.
>> 1. Go to a local camera shop that does passport photos and get two photos of the proper size. (If the camrea shop advertises passport photos, the clerk will know what to do when you ask for passprot photos.)
>> 2. Go to your local post office, get a passport application and fill it out, and then take the completed application, your passport photos, your proof of citizenship, your proof of identity, and two blank checks to pay the passport fee and the processing fee to the passport window during passport hours. The passport clerk at the post office will complete the necessary certifications on the passport application, return your documentatoin, collect the fees, and submit the package to the U. S. Passport Office that serves your community.
Your passport will come in the mail a few weeks later. The two fees will add up to about $100 and the passport is valid for ten years from its date of issue (which will be a few weeks after the clerk submits it. Thus, the cost of your first passport works out to less than one dollar per month.
And renewal of a passport is even easier. You just get two new passport photos in the same way, pick up an applicaiton for renewal, fill out the applicaiton, and make the applicaiton, the photos, your old passport, and a check for the passport fee (there is no processing fee) to the passport office. Again, the new passport will come in the mail a few wesks later.