We will be cruising with about 25 people next Spring and have a question about passports. None of us have a passport and at $100 a whack it can get quite pricey for our budget travelers. I know that closed loop (we re going Eastern Caribbean) dont require them, but I don't feel ok traveling w/o one due to medical emergencies, etc, etc. The new passport card looks to cover most bases and is only $45. What are everyone's thoughts on this? In my family there are 2 adults and 2 children. I want to advise my group cruisers on which way to go.
GET THE PASSPORT! Granted, the iniitial cost is more than the card, but the passport is good for ten years - $10 per year! We would never consider leaving the USA without some proof that we are citizens. There are all sorts of things that can go wrong - a broken leg that requires evacuation from South America, etc., and a passport proves you can get back into the US with no problems.
OK, maybe a passport card will do the same, but as someone who traveled the world when I was working, I found there was nothing more valuable than a US passport.
Forget about the cost. Get the passport.
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We will be cruising with about 25 people next Spring and have a question about passports. None of us have a passport and at $100 a whack it can get quite pricey for our budget travelers. I know that closed loop (we re going Eastern Caribbean) don't require them, but I don't feel OK traveling w/o one due to medical emergencies, etc, etc. The new passport card looks to cover most bases and is only $45. What are everyone's thoughts on this? In my family there are 2 adults and 2 children. I want to advise my group cruisers on which way to go.
Thank you in advance.
Sorry to burst your bubble but the passport card is only good for land or sea entry. If for some reason you need to leave the ship for a medical emergency or other reason you would have a hard time getting back by air. Air travel is how you would be transported back to the U.S.
Here is a segment of the description of the Passport Card from the U.S. Department of State website:
The new wallet-size U.S. Passport Card is a travel document that can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry. Note that it cannot be used for international air travel. The passport card is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book.
Go with the passport.
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I'll have to agree here, doesn't look like having the card has many benefits, other than half the cost, but its not the same thing. Go ahead and advise your group to get a passport, its good for 10 years...If you enjoy cruising, chances are, you'll go again within 10 years and will be ready to go, no hassles..
When I renewed my passport recently, I got both the card and passport. Other than cruising. They didn't charge me additional for it. It was a fee for both. I like having the card in my wallet for ID purposes. I always travel with my passport when going overseas.
All good advice.
If you can afford it , having the Passport as your prime ID and the Passport Card as a wallet Identification makes a lot of sense.
Remember to make a copy of your passport (the page with your picture/signature. number et etra and keep in your wallet.
This way with your passport in the cruise ship cabin safe, cruise ID on you, you still have a backup on you.
As a person born in the UK and now a Canadian, I can tell you the problems I had years ago going into the US when the first question was 'where were you born'?
Soon as you said something that was not part of US , trouble.
So , I learnt eons ago to carry a passport when away and in my wallet is my citizenship card.
You just never know///
__________________ Rob Next Cruise: History: Celebrity Infinity-1, Dawn Princess-1, Sea Princess-2, Golden Princess-2, HA Maasdam-1, SS Cavina-1 Web site: http://robbarcruises.wordpress.com/
My wife and I have used the passport card exclusively the past few cruises, leaving our passports at home. We never gave a thought to an emergency arising, such as what Mike M pointed out. I think we'll take our passports along for back-up from now on. Thanks for the good advice, Mike.