The only thing I have ever been asked to show my passport for in Europe (other than airports) is checking into hotels.
Warn your credit card company that you'll be in overseas, and in several countries, so they don't stop any purchases you might want to make. I've used ATMs in Europe with no problems as well. Use bank ATMs, and don't use the sidewalk money exchanges.
Don't exchange money on the ship because their rates are way too high.
I carry my passport with me when I am taking my own excursions and tours.
Is it really needed? I have only had to show it a couple of times when using my credit card and in places like China and Russia it is a requirement.
The choice is yours but I would definitely take it in Croatia.
Like Kuki said, use bank ATM's and do not use the sidewalk no-name ATM's. I also do not use travelers checks. Get some Euros when you land at the airport and if you need more just get them at the ports.
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From John's blog...
While we will not be taking your passports onboard or require you to go through customs and immigration it is still possible to get your passport stamped in many of the ports of call. The places you will visit with the exception of Dubrovnik, Croatia, are all part of the European Union and thus have open borders. However, if you take your passport to the local post offices in Naples, Venice, Cannes and Florence or Livorno they will stamp them for you. I have not heard of anyone being able to do this though in the Vatican. I don’t think that is possible as they don’t have an official crossing area just a ring of different coloured pavement marking the boundaries.
You will need to take your passport ashore in Croatia as everyone needs to have their proof of citizenship with them when they proceed ashore and if you ask the inspectors they will stamp the passport for you.
I hope this helps and if you have any questions about these ports and what to do there please let me know. See you soon and thanks again for those kind words.
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Always in Croatia by land and not by ship the passport is not needed once you leave the airport. (other then hotel check in)
John H. states that there is an inspector checking passport so I would take the passport with you.
This could also be something new that they are now doing.
However you may take your passport just to find out that there is no inspector. :|
I would take it if that is what the Cruiseline is telling cruisers to do.
This is what you can say to the inspector.....
Ovoya moi pachaporat....Hvala
(Here is my passport....Thank you)
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KUKI has the best advice...first of all photocopy your passports and have those with you...and buy one of those wallets/hangers you can attach to your neck (inside your shirt) or your belt with the actual passport. We always keep our passport in the safe in our cabin or hotel Never have had a problem...then again we had never been to Croatia.