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luvndizny
12-26-2010, 11:24 PM
Hello!

We are looking at booking a "last minute" cruise for next year (husband is military and we can hardly ever book so far out because of his yearly deployments, etc.) and had planned on getting our passports re-newed for all 4 of us as a 'just in case', however, according to an email I recieved from a dreamsunlimited rep., she states, and I quote:

You'll find details about the documentation that will be required when you arrive at the terminal, as well as answers to other commonly asked questions. Please be advised that for any arrival or departure date after 12/28/2006, passport numbers and expiration dates will be required a minimum of 75 days prior to departure.

We were looking at booking a March cruise and, according to the government website, they are expecting passports to take the usual 6 weeks to return! Obviously this means there's no way we'd have our passports in time for that 'no later than 75 day' deadline. We'd planned on mailing our applications for renewal this week, but still there's no way we'd have them by Jan. 10th! Already, the cruise we're looking at taking has gone up $100 (or at least the lower categories were all booked up) just since I looked last week.

So she's telling me everyone going to the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Mexico is now REQUIRED to have a passport? I saw numerous posts about people cruising very soon and they said they didn't get one, just gonna wing it, etc... So what is the deal? Required or not? I have emailed the rep. back to ask her to clear this up for me... If I understood correctly, I can't even book now without the passport numbers, etc.:confused3

clawmachine
12-26-2010, 11:35 PM
I think you were told the wrong information. This paragraph is still found all over the travel.state.gov website:

"Cruise ship passengers: U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises (i.e., cruises that begin and end at the same U.S. port) will be permitted to depart or enter the U.S. with a birth certificate and a government-issued photo ID. Check with your cruise line to ensure you have the appropriate documentation. U.S. citizen passengers leaving their cruise ship and returning, for any reason, by air to the U.S. will be required to present their valid U.S. passports to airline officials before being permitted to board the aircraft. "

kcashner
12-26-2010, 11:35 PM
This statement has been up there forever. The government keeps changing the date when passports will supposedly be required. No, you do not need a passport to book a cruise. Some cruises currently need passports (Europe, etc). The last I knew, you did not need a passport on a closed loop (starts and ends at same port) Caribbean cruise. If that has changed, it's been very recent..

Bottom line--you do not need a passport to BOOK, you may need it by the time you actually cruise.

clawmachine
12-26-2010, 11:43 PM
I'm clicking around and ended up on the WHTI ("Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative" section of the site. Initially they show a chart that looks like maybe you need a passport for the Caribbean cruises, but then if you click on "Special Groups" they once again have this:

""Closed Loop" Cruises: U.S. citizens who board a cruise ship at a port within the United States, travel only within the Western Hemisphere, and return to the same U.S. port on the same ship may present a government issued photo identification, along with proof of citizenship (an original or copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization). Please be aware that you may still be required to present a passport to enter the foreign countries your cruise ship is visiting. Check with your cruise line to ensure you have the appropriate documents."

luvndizny
12-27-2010, 12:36 AM
See why I'm confused...:-) Yes, the cruise we're looking to book is an Eastern Caribbean, closed loop cruise, we are US citizens, etc. (Guess I should have mentioned that before.) Clawmachine-I saw what you mentioned also on the gov. website and thought it odd that DCL is requiring passport info NLT 75 days out...but the US itself isn't requiring a passport at all for a closed-loop cruise. :confused3

I re-read Disney's website info and I understood it to mean that if you were flying INTO the US from another country, US citizen or not, that a passport is required (like if maybe someone was booking a cruise/airfare combo from another country), then I could understand that. It also mentions when you should start that process and says to do it early because it takes a while and SHOULD it be required for your trip, Disney asks for that info 75 days out... I think maybe she is confused or didn't look at my info correctly...not sure.

I wrote the rep back and explained that we should have our passports back about a month or so before we cruise, but most likely not back before 1/10/11, which is the 75 day deadline.... I just don't want to put that deposit down and then have to pay the rest in January and THEN get an email on that 75th day out asking for that info and I don't have it for them...then what?

I'll let you know what she says...If I have to point her to the correct, current info regarding travelling to that area of the world, then I'm not sure I want to book through her!! This would be our first Disney cruise :yay: and I sure as heck don't want to mess it up!

If she insists on that info, then well, we'll just have to book later in the summer at a cost of $1000 extra and two nights less...not what I want. I would love to be able to book for a 2012 cruise, but hubby will most likely still be on his 5th deployment during that time.

Thanks for your reponses! I will get back with what she says for anybody curious.

ruadisneyfan2
12-27-2010, 02:44 AM
See why I'm confused...:-) Yes, the cruise we're looking to book is an Eastern Caribbean, closed loop cruise, we are US citizens, etc. (Guess I should have mentioned that before.) Clawmachine-I saw what you mentioned also on the gov. website and thought it odd that DCL is requiring passport info NLT 75 days out...but the US itself isn't requiring a passport at all for a closed-loop cruise. :confused3

I re-read Disney's website info and I understood it to mean that if you were flying INTO the US from another country, US citizen or not, that a passport is required (like if maybe someone was booking a cruise/airfare combo from another country), then I could understand that. It also mentions when you should start that process and says to do it early because it takes a while and SHOULD it be required for your trip, Disney asks for that info 75 days out... I think maybe she is confused or didn't look at my info correctly...not sure.

I wrote the rep back and explained that we should have our passports back about a month or so before we cruise, but most likely not back before 1/10/11, which is the 75 day deadline.... I just don't want to put that deposit down and then have to pay the rest in January and THEN get an email on that 75th day out asking for that info and I don't have it for them...then what?

I'll let you know what she says...If I have to point her to the correct, current info regarding travelling to that area of the world, then I'm not sure I want to book through her!! This would be our first Disney cruise :yay: and I sure as heck don't want to mess it up!

If she insists on that info, then well, we'll just have to book later in the summer at a cost of $1000 extra and two nights less...not what I want. I would love to be able to book for a 2012 cruise, but hubby will most likely still be on his 5th deployment during that time.

Thanks for your reponses! I will get back with what she says for anybody curious.


We just sailed on the Magic 10/30/10 with 19 total in our group. Many only took birth certificates. One didn't even have that, long story with huge delays for them, so I would not recommend that. Make sure they are official birth certificates, not the cute ones from the hospital. Used to be they had to have a raised seal but my youngest is 10 so maybe that's changed. It should have the name of a government agency at the top. Camden County Bureau of Vital Statistics or something like that.

I think when people say they're going to 'wing it', what they really mean is that they know they are taking a risk that if due to some emergency, they had to fly back to the US (breaking the closed loop clause) they would have problems with immigration but it's a risk they're willing to take.
In 10 cruises, we've never had to fly home but since we cruise often enough, we feel it's worth having a passport just in case.

If this TA is really pressuring you to get a passport or you feel she just doesn't know the rules, don't book through her. :scared1: It's not worth the headache. Even DCL will tell you on the phone that you will be fine with a BC. The whole point of booking through a TA is to have someone handle all this stuff for you. You already know more than she does. Find another TA or just book through DCL directly.

edith76
12-27-2010, 07:02 AM
In case you are interested, I booked a last minute cruise on another line and needed to renew my expiring passport. I mailed everything Dec. 2 (non expedited) and got my new passport Dec. 24.

Hendy Clan
12-27-2010, 07:58 AM
My family is booked on the DCL Eastern on February 26th, (60 days out). I still have to get passports for myself and two of my DS's. The cruise is paid in full and we have completed most of the forms required by DCL online. The only thing I can see that maybe the TA is confused about is the part about putting in your passport information on one of these forms. DCL have these forms available for you before you cruise as a convenience for both themselves and the people travelling. It will take less time to check in at the port if you already have these forms completed, but you don't have to fill them out until you get to the port if you don't want to. In other words you do not have to give your passport information to DCL until the day you cruise.

After speaking with a TA recently about another issue I asked if it was necessary to have a passport to cruise a closed loop, and she informed me that no you can have a birth certificate to cruise, but most cruiselines don't really mention it as they would prefer passports as it is easier for them to deal with (not sure why the BC would be difficult to deal with) but if you had an emergency and had to fly back to the US you would need a passport to travel that way.

I have an appointment to get passports done next week and was informed, when asked, that the turn around time was 3 weeks. Hope this helps you some and good luck with booking your cruise (and getting your passports too):santa:

morgansmom2000
12-27-2010, 08:04 AM
We just sailed on the Magic 10/30/10 with 19 total in our group. Many only took birth certificates. One didn't even have that, long story with huge delays for them, so I would not recommend that. Make sure they are official birth certificates, not the cute ones from the hospital. Used to be they had to have a raised seal but my youngest is 10 so maybe that's changed. It should have the name of a government agency at the top. Camden County Bureau of Vital Statistics or something like that.

I think when people say they're going to 'wing it', what they really mean is that they know they are taking a risk that if due to some emergency, they had to fly back to the US (breaking the closed loop clause) they would have problems with immigration but it's a risk they're willing to take.
In 10 cruises, we've never had to fly home but since we cruise often enough, we feel it's worth having a passport just in case.

If this TA is really pressuring you to get a passport or you feel she just doesn't know the rules, don't book through her. :scared1: It's not worth the headache. Even DCL will tell you on the phone that you will be fine with a BC. The whole point of booking through a TA is to have someone handle all this stuff for you. You already know more than she does. Find another TA or just book through DCL directly.

Hey, we were on that cruise too!

I decided to get passports for the three of us, because it would be just my luck to get hurt or sick in Grand Cayman and have to fly home. It wasn't worth worrying about trying to get back into the US and/or having to hire an attorney to come home. And, now we can go anywhere we want with our passports ;)

denas
12-27-2010, 08:39 AM
I would send in for the renewals right now. Don't pay the expedited fee. You need the passports for your departure day not the 75 day mark.

I think you are fine sending in your passports. You will have the passports back in plenty of time to either fill in the info ahead of time to register online or to take the extra time to give them the required info onboard. We are well within the 75 day mark. We didn't even supply the info for my youngest's passport until I went online to complete the paperwork a couple of days ago. My SIL still hasn't completed her on-line registration either to supply the passport number. We sail the end of January. No one from Disney has called us saying we can't sail if they don't have the number right now.


BTW - we got a renewal for my oldest and a new passport for my youngest in less than 2 weeks and the Thanksgiving holiday was thrown in when we did it through the Post Office. We just did the mail in renewal for my hubby and his is taking longer. Since you have to go to the post office for the kids anyway, I would take the time to renew yours through them instead of doing the mail in. I thought we didn't have to pay the extra 25$ by doing the mail in, but I was wrong - you still pay the fee!!

And as a military spouse myself, I'll tell you to make sure you keep up with the passports!! As you know, if something were to happen to hubby overseas, it is so much easier to get there to be with him if you already have passports. That's why we have always had them for our kids from right after their births.

Have a wonderful cruise.:cool1:

mousejunkie98
12-27-2010, 09:49 AM
I am a TA, and I can tell you that I have never had DCL require me (or any of my clients) to have a passport for a Western Hemisphere, closed-loop cruise if you are a US citizen. A birth certificate and photo ID are currently still acceptable, although for a variety of reasons they strongly recommend having a passport.

Some of those reasons include needing to fly home for some reason from a Caribbean country, or if for some reason a country decided to require you to have a passport to enter the country when you're in port.

Bottom line, it's best to get your paperwork in ASAP and get your passport in time if possible, but if you don't have one you are now (until the US government changes it) allowed to go on a closed-loop cruise with a birth certificate.

jakespop
12-27-2010, 10:41 AM
great information thx

luvndizny
12-27-2010, 11:23 AM
The TA emailed me back and explained pretty much what all of you have already said. :thumbsup2 She said it is a 'request' by DCL, not a requirement...So "phew"! That's a relief!

And as a military spouse myself, I'll tell you to make sure you keep up with the passports!! As you know, if something were to happen to hubby overseas, it is so much easier to get there to be with him if you already have passports. That's why we have always had them for our kids from right after their births.



Ya know, I am a person who tries to think of EVERYTHING, major planner, etc. and I can't believe I NEVER thought of this!!!:scared1: How right you are! We all have passports (had to have them to move from Germany to NC), but because we got them on base over there, for some reason they were only good for something like 3 years each...I did find out hubby's is still good until 2012. I will double-check, but I'm sure mine is expired and probably the kids' too.

I am so excited now that we have the 'all clear'! The TA just said we should provide that info to them when we get it and, like I said, we were gonna get them re-newed anys just to COA...;) Now I just gotta find where we put our printer...our house is slowly, bit-by-bit being remodeled (we're doing most of the work ourselves) which means everything is in disarray right now! LOL!

Woohoo!! Can't wait to go!:cool1: