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Old October 4th, 2006, 03:08 PM
AR AR is offline
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Default Passport "reprieve"

"There is hope within the cruise industry that. . ." began an article in CM's news releases a number of days ago. Hardly an unbiased position, it indicated that the cruise industry is completely in favor of the latest delay in requiring passports for ship passengers, a delay which was subsequently approved in Congress' mad dash to get out of Dodge at the end of the week.

In today's New York Times, the State Department says that only about 27% of Americans have passports. That's a fact which might explain a lot of things, but I won't go there.

The Times also says that the supposed reason for the latest delay is that government officials (encouraged by travel industry special interests?) fear that imposing the new requirement this coming January could cause a glut of passport applications from lazy and/or clueless cruise passengers that could bring the passport system to its knees.

So here's my question: what will happen between now and 2009 to prevent the system from collapsing then, when the requirement is now scheduled to take effect?

The answer is that nothing will happen, and the same argument will be made at that time.

Meanwhile, there are plans to institute some silly intermediate stopgap thing called a "passcard" which I take to be a "passport light," which will only be good for certain kinds of travelers' returns to the US. It does not take a mental giant to imagine the confusion, anger, and rank bleating that will be heard across the globe when Americans start showing up in Paris, Berlin and Prague with these goofy cards, thinking that they're full-fledged substitutes for passports.

We don't solve problems by postponing them. The whole point of a universal passport requirement is enhanced national security. A passport is a small thing to require of us for the privilege of seeing this still magnifiecent world. Our government does not honor us by compromising a security issue because of simple administrative issues and self-serving warnings from the cruise industry.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 03:15 PM
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As a less-than-American, I need a passport wherever I travel. So I have one. It's a bother every three years.

The cruise lines even impound my passport for the duration of the cruise. I never did fully understand why. I might need it, ashore in Honduras or wherever...... if the Policiaras decide to question me, and I don't have enough hush money on me.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 03:31 PM
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I agree that the "proposed" delay and that silly passport card thingy is simply ridiculous.
All you last-minute folks out there, suck it up, get your passport now, stop whining, if you wait, there will be a backlog and you could be out of luck to cruise after 1/8/07 if the changes do not pass.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 04:51 PM
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I am so glad they are trying to postpone it again. Not for the reason you might think. I have to renew our passports, and called the post office, to see what I needed for a renewal. Guy said a week ago they were swamped, but now that this news has come out, they are not. Let me get mine first, and then they can call for it to be mandatory.

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Old October 4th, 2006, 05:59 PM
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I agree that this "reprieve" while being good for the industry is not good for the country.

I personally feel that American's are spoiled and feel it's their right to travel anywhere outside the United States without a passport and the lobbying interests of the cruise lines and the Caribbean Tourism agencies have undue influence on our foreign and State Department policies. The cruise lines need to get their act together and put some of that lobbying money together and work together to get people on their ships and upgrade their image rather than stone walling one of the valid national security issues we have.

I still say that everyone should get a passport but I give up on saying when they should get one. If my own government can't figure it out when it should be then why should I bother trying to.

Take care,
Mike (Who is a little irritated)
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Old October 5th, 2006, 02:29 AM
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AR - I totally agree with you!!! I am tired of the postponing and wishy washy bureaucrats!
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Old October 5th, 2006, 09:02 AM
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I believe that "whenever" the final deadline approaches, there will still be a rush to get passports. I'm sure there will be some who will get their passports during the interim, but the majority will still wait, with the same effect.
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Old October 5th, 2006, 09:22 AM
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As I understand it the requirement for a passport for air travel is still in effect. Jan 8 is the start date if I remember right. As I stated on another thread what happens if someone misses the boat, is injured and needs to air evac into the US. Are they just gonna say Okie Dokie you left on a ship so your OK to re-enter without a passport. Ohhhhhhh me I see trouble on the horizion with 2 different standards.... Just get the passport is what I advise all those who will listen.....
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Old October 6th, 2006, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruise Cynic
As a less-than-American, I need a passport wherever I travel. So I have one. It's a bother every three years.

The cruise lines even impound my passport for the duration of the cruise. I never did fully understand why. I might need it, ashore in Honduras or wherever...... if the Policiaras decide to question me, and I don't have enough hush money on me.
Im gussing its a condition the cruise line does to allow people off without visas, since you are from a country that isnt where the cruise originates.

Never the less I wouldnt be comfortable with it if I was in your shoes either.

R
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Old October 6th, 2006, 12:16 PM
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Cynic:

You can go to the Pursers desk and ask for your passport when you leave the ship. They will give it to you.

The next, best, thing is to take the photocopy on shore with you. It isn't legal but it's better than nothing. Or a picture of "Pizza the Hut".

Take care,
Mike(Who doesn't think you are "Less than an American", unless you're a Blue Jays fan.)
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