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View Full Version : Would you cruise with just a passport card?


mrsklamc
02-28-2010, 10:55 AM
The only reason I can see for hesitation is needing to be airlifted for medical reasons- but that's a pretty big 'if'!

disneyfaninaz
02-28-2010, 11:32 AM
The passport card is intended for border land crossings between the US and Canada and the US and Mexico. You cannot use it for international flights. Therefore, it would do you no good if you had to fly home from the Bahamas for a medical emerency. You are not required to have a passport for closed loop cruises, but if you wanted one for piece of mind, go ahead and get the passport.

msmayor
02-28-2010, 11:59 AM
The only reason I can see for hesitation is needing to be airlifted for medical reasons- but that's a pretty big 'if'!

Or missing the ship and needing to fly somewhere to catch up with it. You can't fly to a foreign country without a passport, and you can't fly to another US port to board.

HappyPeach
02-28-2010, 12:01 PM
I would not. If there was an emergency at home and you needed to disembark and fly home from an int'l airport, you couldn't do it. The difference in cost isn't that great so I would recommend anyone get the regular passport book.

disneyfaninaz
02-28-2010, 12:20 PM
Or missing the ship and needing to fly somewhere to catch up with it. You can't fly to a foreign country without a passport, and you can't fly to another US port to board.

Good point! :thumbsup2

lbuher
02-28-2010, 01:05 PM
OK, I voted yes because we DID cruise with just passport cards for our kiddos in January (DH and I already had passports). But the only reason I got them the passport cards was because of info that our SWV TA sent to us, strongly recommending them. That was before I found this board and learned a little more about what was actually required and what passport cards WOULDN'T do. If I had to do it all over again, I would have just used the birth certificates for the kids and saved the money - the passport cards honestly seem to be a complete and total waste of money.

Live and learn......

kcashner
02-28-2010, 01:08 PM
As above, the passport card has very limited use--border crossings. It is not good for international flights, and is not required for the cruise. Thus, I'd either go for the real thing (the passport), or not spend any money and cruise on a birth certificate.

With a passport card, you'd still have to jump thru the hoop of getting a real passport "in the unlikely event of a real emergency." So what is the point of spending the bucks of the card?

clten
02-28-2010, 01:24 PM
I wouldn't spend the money on a passport card. I just sent for my passport renewal. Before I sent it in, I racked my brain to come up with a situation that I would use the passport card (was thinking of getting one with my passport book, not instead of one). I couldn't think of one situation where I would need it (I don't ever drive to Canada or Mexico).

On a cruise, they are as useful to you as a birth certificate. If you have an emergency, neither one (passport card or birth certificate) is going to provide you with the id you will need to fly home!

tvguy
02-28-2010, 03:08 PM
I've had a current Passport for over 30 years, and my now adult kids have had them since age 2. I'd say either get a Passport, or use your birth certificate on the cruise, the Passport cards seem like a gimick that often is useless. Just get a passport.

DVCconvert
02-28-2010, 03:22 PM
... the Passport cards seem like a gimick that often is useless. Just get a passport.

I agree with what most have posted. For the purposes of cruising the PP is the way to go. For some however, whose only international travel is relative short distance via ground into Canada or Mexico the PC is a good, cheaper option.

b00kw0rm429
02-28-2010, 09:39 PM
I think we are just going with birth certificates...4 passports is a bit much at the moment when we are saving every penny. Our children will be with us on this cruise (and hubby's side of the family), everyone else can fend for themselves for the 4 days we are gone! When we cruise the following year for our 20th anniversary, we will have passports because our children will be at home and we will want to be able to be there quickly in the case of an emergency.

Princess April
02-28-2010, 10:48 PM
We are cruising with my grandfather who is 82 and suffering from prostate cancer. He's fine for the most part, but he does have a catheter in, and sometimes it gets blocked up and need to be changed... :scared1: immediately! I told him..... no passport, no cruise! :lmao: I said, look I'm paying for the cruise, and I WILL loose the $$$ if you don't have a passport at the time of travel, cause I won't let you get on the ship!!! ... He knows I am 100% serious... he raised me!!! :lmao:

Anal Annie
03-01-2010, 08:27 AM
We all keep valid passports - we booked a Med cruise for 2011 and we're all set with valid passports. If we'd have purchased the ID cards they would've been a waste. They were all ordered at different times / years so we don't get hit with renewal fees all at once. I just have to remember to check their expiration dates and make sure they're all still valid for at least 6 months after our travel dates. I am glad I didn't skimp on them and try to take a shortcut. We have no worries about leaving the country now for any reason.

Tarabra
03-01-2010, 10:56 AM
We're not doing either for our closed loop cruise next month. Just using birth certificates.

NancyIL
03-01-2010, 11:47 AM
I agree with the others: either stick with birth certificates or get passports. I see no advantage of a passport card.

poeticdiabetic
03-01-2010, 12:00 PM
Now if there is some sort of emergency, you need to contact the US embassy immediately. And be prepared to pay for a passport.

OurDogCisco
03-01-2010, 12:14 PM
Now if there is some sort of emergency, you need to contact the US embassy immediately. And be prepared to pay for a passport. I wonder how long it takes to get a temporary passport from the embassy when you are under a medical emergency? I don't know if I could handle that kind of stress especially if you have kids involved. But that is me... so, I'd definitely get the passport but understand the cost is an issue especially if you will never use them again. So, I'd still choose either between the passport or crusing with birth certificates.

b00kw0rm429
03-01-2010, 01:24 PM
The only advantage to a passport card is if you were to live on the border of Mexico (I think) or Canada (for sure). We are an hour away from Niagara Falls and sometimes like to drive over in the summer. It is, unlikely that we will travel abroad anytime soon so the savings is pretty good on 4 people. If you suspect that you will need a passport in the future, get that...not the card. Or if you might never need it, just go with the birth certificates. I got mine today and they were $10 each and I had them in hand in 10 minutes. If we decide to do Canada any time soon, I will do the cards, most likely.

Illini_Fan
03-01-2010, 04:26 PM
Although our boys don't need the passports for this cruise -- the piece of mind and the fact that we will probably use them in the next five years, is more than enough to justify the cost. I don't expect to have a medical emergency and I don't expect to miss the boat in Nassau, but.......... by having the passports, it just eliminates one potential roadblack associated with solving those emergencies.

Plus, I just want them to have them and I'll pay to keep them renewed until they get their 10-year passports after they turn 16.

mrsklamc
03-01-2010, 04:29 PM
Well, here's our situation. We have a trip to Niagara falls in the works and were thinking of just getting the card for that as I'm told there's 'nothing' to see on the American side.

We don't have any cruise plans in the works but it's quite possible we will in the next ten years- any other international travel is unlikely though.

Angelhalo
03-01-2010, 07:18 PM
ok I haven't read the whole thread yet so forgive me if this is answered, but I am helping a friend at the moment who is freaking out. Somehow she managed to not know that she might need a passport for her cruise that is coming up fairly soon. She and her BF don't have passports. Does she or does she not need one? It is a Bahamas cruise. if not, then what DO they need to get on and off the ship?

b00kw0rm429
03-01-2010, 07:54 PM
Well, here's our situation. We have a trip to Niagara falls in the works and were thinking of just getting the card for that as I'm told there's 'nothing' to see on the American side.

We don't have any cruise plans in the works but it's quite possible we will in the next ten years- any other international travel is unlikely though.

It's definitely true that there is more to do on the Canadian side and the falls are a bit better viewed, but NOTHING on the American side? There is plenty to keep you busy. Shops, restaurants, casino. Cheesy wax museums and haunted houses are on the Canadian side. Not being derogatory...I love the cheesy tourist traps ocassionally...but there are things to do on the American side.

disneyfaninaz
03-01-2010, 08:33 PM
ok I haven't read the whole thread yet so forgive me if this is answered, but I am helping a friend at the moment who is freaking out. Somehow she managed to not know that she might need a passport for her cruise that is coming up fairly soon. She and her BF don't have passports. Does she or does she not need one? It is a Bahamas cruise. if not, then what DO they need to get on and off the ship?

Passports are not required for closed loop cruises, meaning you start and stop at the same port. You will be required to have an official birth certificate and gov't issued picture ID, i.e. Drivers License. The cruise line takes care of all customs, so all that is necessary to get on and off the ship at ports is your KTTW card (if DCL) and driver's license.

Angelhalo
03-01-2010, 08:51 PM
Passports are not required for closed loop cruises, meaning you start and stop at the same port. You will be required to have an official birth certificate and gov't issued picture ID, i.e. Drivers License. The cruise line takes care of all customs, so all that is necessary to get on and off the ship at ports is your KTTW card (if DCL) and driver's license.

Thanks a bunch. I called customs and they confirmed this. I appreciate your answer:goodvibes

smoof
03-01-2010, 10:42 PM
I agree with the other posters. I think the US jumped on the idea for cards, because they are being used among EU nations. For example my friend lives in London and her mother lives in Normandy. She can fly between England and France with only the passport card. It is nice, it fits in your wallet like any other card. If she were going somewher outside of the EU, she would have to use her passport. If someone lives near the Canadian or Mexican border, it probably makes sense to have a card if you aren't interested in traveling anywhere else.