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Old 01-15-2013, 12:56 PM   #16
lbgraves
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Originally Posted by setablaze View Post
Just got off the phone with helpful man at local post office that handles passports and such. He said "closed loop cruise" is a very loose definition. A BC gets you in and out of your own house (USA) but if any country we come into port requires a pass port to enter/deboard ship a BC will NOT do. ....
This is true, however, DCL doesn't currently dock at any country on a closed-loop cruise that requires a passport for you to enter except on the Alaskan cruises. It is very simple to find that information online at the State Dept's website for the specific ports you will be visiting.

If you are not on a closed-loop cruise you will need a passport. Also, if DCL ever goes to Cartegena with a closed-loop cruise you would need one because they require them. That port is only on the PC repo cruises though, so is already covered.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:06 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by lanejudy View Post
What is your destination and cruise ports? In all honesty, I think the only US based closed-loop cruise that DCL is offering right now that requires a passport is to Alaska due to Canadian requirements. The Bahamas, Caribbean and Mexican ports used by DCL all accept ID + BC.

Based on your logic, if the cruise destination doesn't require a passport, then the card is also a waste of money. If you don't want to spring for full passport books, then don't waste money on a passport card just because the post office said you should.

In the end it's your choice, but make sure you are making an informed decision. Post office workers do not know the rules at specific ports.
Ladyjune we are on Oct 26 Fantasy western 7 night. Grand cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Castaway cay. Do you NOT need a passport for these ports? Will a BC be enough. I agree that if a passport is a waste then a passport card may be a waste as well BUT the card still gets you entry via land and sea just no air travel.

So since so many are using the "what if" logic, I figured at least with a passport card I can still enter via modes of land and sea transpotation. Yes if I needed to come home, air travel would be MUCH better but at least with card it is still a passport for entering and leaving countries in the WHTI. My state does not offer enhanced drivers license.

Check out WHTI. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiave, just found it. Explains alot about what is needed, what will get you in and out and I was wrong. They do use "closed loop cruise". It means you left and returned to the same port on the same ship so a BC & Id are fine, you only need a passport to enter other countries in ports of call.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:22 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by setablaze View Post
Ladyjune we are on Oct 26 Fantasy western 7 night. Grand cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Castaway cay. Do you NOT need a passport for these ports? Will a BC be enough. I agree that if a passport is a waste then a passport card may be a waste as well BUT the card still gets you entry via land and sea just no air travel.

So since so many are using the "what if" logic, I figured at least with a passport card I can still enter via modes of land and sea transpotation. Yes if I needed to come home, air travel would be MUCH better but at least with card it is still a passport for entering and leaving countries in the WHTI. My state does not offer enhanced drivers license.

Check out WHTI. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiave, just found it. Explains alot about what is needed, what will get you in and out and I was wrong. They do use "closed loop cruise". It means you left and returned to the same port on the same ship so a BC & Id are fine, you only need a passport to enter other countries in ports of call.
Yep, I'm familiar with the WHTI. I personally am comfortable taking my chances on the "what if" emergency scenarios; others are not and they opt for a Passport. I do have a Passport Card which we use for cruising - but not because we got them for a cruise, we live 20 miles from the Canadian border and contrary to a PP the Passport Card was less expensive for us than the Enhanced Drivers' License (those fees and expirations vary by state, so another state may be more expensive than mine). However, I would not recommend a Passport Card just to use for a cruise because you'd have a difficult time getting land or sea transportation back to the States if had to leave the ship early at any port.

At this time, the DCL Caribbean cruises on the Fantasy do not stop at any ports currently requiring Passport for entry. IF a DCL cruise stops at a port requiring a Passport, it's not a question of "I just won't get off the ship there" - all passengers will be required to have a Passport to board the cruise. But the ports you mentioned will be fine using just a government-issued photo ID and certified birth certificates.

Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:24 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by setablaze View Post
Ladyjune we are on Oct 26 Fantasy western 7 night. Grand cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Castaway cay. Do you NOT need a passport for these ports? Will a BC be enough. I agree that if a passport is a waste then a passport card may be a waste as well BUT the card still gets you entry via land and sea just no air travel.

So since so many are using the "what if" logic, I figured at least with a passport card I can still enter via modes of land and sea transpotation. Yes if I needed to come home, air travel would be MUCH better but at least with card it is still a passport for entering and leaving countries in the WHTI. My state does not offer enhanced drivers license.

Check out WHTI. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiave, just found it. Explains alot about what is needed, what will get you in and out and I was wrong. They do use "closed loop cruise". It means you left and returned to the same port on the same ship so a BC & Id are fine, you only need a passport to enter other countries in ports of call.
No, you don't need a passport to get off the ship in any of the ports you've listed. You don't need to have your BC on you, either, you just "check out" from the ship with your KTTW card and check back on when you go back to the ship, the ship provides the port country with a manifest identifying your citizenship. That's if you're a US citizen - there may be different requirements if you're a citizen of another country.

There's another thread on here about a topic that comes up all the time - trip insurance. Yes, I get trip insurance. Yes, I have a passport. It's a one-time expense, and it's good for 10 years for adults, and you can use it for all domestic air travel, it's easier than prying the driver's license out of my wallet. In a way, a passport is a form of trip insurance.

In the event that you needed to be evacuated from your cruise due to health reasons, you have to fly, and would need a passport. Same if, god forbid, something terrible happened to a non-traveling family member at home and you urgently needed to get back. Look, it's extremely rare, yes, but people get injured, get gravely ill, get into car accidents, and die every day. It could happen to you or a traveling companion, and it could happen to someone you love who isn't traveling with you. Yes, there are provisions for you to get an emergency passport from the nearest US consulate, but that's a hassle neither you nor your family/traveling companions should have to deal with when facing a true emergency situation.

As mentioned numerous times above, a passport card is of no use to you in truly emergency situations where you'd need to fly to get home. You can't get home from Grand Cayman without flying, unless you're going to complete your cruise first. You're not really going to rent a car in Cozumel to drive back to the US, even if you were capable of doing so (and for what it's worth, it's a PITA to rent cars and have the property insurance coverage in foreign countries).

The passport card is an expense there's no reason to incur. Either just use BCs, or get a real passport. The passport card is simply of no utility to you in any situation that might confront you while traveling. If it's a closed-loop cruise, BC will be fine. If you need to get home in an emergency, only a passport book will do. The passport card only makes sense if you live near a border and regularly cross, and just want something easy to stick in your wallet.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:25 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by setablaze View Post
Ladyjune we are on Oct 26 Fantasy western 7 night. Grand cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Castaway cay. Do you NOT need a passport for these ports? Will a BC be enough. I agree that if a passport is a waste then a passport card may be a waste as well BUT the card still gets you entry via land and sea just no air travel.

So since so many are using the "what if" logic, I figured at least with a passport card I can still enter via modes of land and sea transpotation. Yes if I needed to come home, air travel would be MUCH better but at least with card it is still a passport for entering and leaving countries in the WHTI. My state does not offer enhanced drivers license.

Check out WHTI. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiave, just found it. Explains alot about what is needed, what will get you in and out and I was wrong. They do use "closed loop cruise". It means you left and returned to the same port on the same ship so a BC & Id are fine, you only need a passport to enter other countries in ports of call.
There's nothing that a Passport Card does that can't be done with just a birth certificate/photo ID. You are just spending money on something you really don't need.

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Old 01-15-2013, 02:27 PM   #21
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OK. Thank you all. Your points have been well recieved. Thats what Im growing to love/be addicted to about this website. Insurance is insurance period and it costs money. We live in Pa and have not/do not regularly cross any borders. Since there is no other practical way to get home before your cruise is over other than flying the passport card is worthless.

In this case with all things considered it really is kinda "all or nothing" in reguards to full on passport or just ID & BC. I see the light So weather to spend total $530 for 4 full passports or $50 to get certified BC's for my wife and I.We have the kids in hand.

So what I gather is you need BC & ID to "check in" at port then you would be placed on the ships manifest in our ports of call. Then you would just use KTTW to disembark and reboard since none of our ports require a passport......Correct?

Also, anything else anyone had to produce these documents for after beining checked in? And what if anything did everyone do to provide an "ID" for the kids or was BC by itself enough?

Once checked in and boarded did everyone leave original documents in safe or at least take copies ashore when deboarding?
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:43 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by setablaze View Post
OK. Thank you all. Your points have been well recieved. Thats what Im growing to love/be addicted to about this website. Insurance is insurance period and it costs money. We live in Pa and have not/do not regularly cross any borders. Since there is no other practical way to get home before your cruise is over other than flying the passport card is worthless.

In this case with all things considered it really is kinda "all or nothing" in reguards to full on passport or just ID & BC. I see the light So weather to spend total $530 for 4 full passports or $50 to get certified BC's for my wife and I.We have the kids in hand.

So what I gather is you need BC & ID to "check in" at port then you would be placed on the ships manifest in our ports of call. Then you would just use KTTW to disembark and reboard since none of our ports require a passport......Correct?

Also, anything else anyone had to produce these documents for after beining checked in? And what if anything did everyone do to provide an "ID" for the kids or was BC by itself enough?

Once checked in and boarded did everyone leave original documents in safe or at least take copies ashore when deboarding?
Once checked and we had our KKTW cards, that's all we needed to get off at Nassau and Castaway Cay. We left our BC (as well as car keys, phones, etc.) in the stateroom safe.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:02 PM   #23
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All adults need to have their DL in addition to thier KTTW card to get back on the ship in all ports, even CC.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:11 PM   #24
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A Passport is not reqiured for the Canadian cruises, East coast or Alaska.. Only a Passport Card or an enhanced State DL or ID. Only need the Passport if you fly, not land or sea.

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Old 01-15-2013, 06:26 PM   #25
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Don't forget about enhanced State DL ot ID's. We have used these for the Alaska Cruise and the Eastern and Western on the Fantasy with out any problems. Check to see if your state has them. They are cheaper than even a Passport Card. My 11yr old DD has an enhanced Sate ID as well.
Those will help, in case of emergency, just as much as the passport card would. In other words, they wouldn't help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by setablaze View Post
Just got off the phone with helpful man at local post office that handles passports and such. He said "closed loop cruise" is a very loose definition. A BC gets you in and out of your own house (USA) but if any country we come into port requires a pass port to enter/deboard ship a BC will NOT do. A BC is good in US territories. Simply explained a BC gets me in and out of my own house (USA) but a passport or passport card is needed to enter foriegn countries, like Mexico possibly, when you get off of the ship. So at mininum I think I need a passport card, which is specifically good for land crossings and sea ports but NO International air travel.
He might have been talkative, but I think he wasted your time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by setablaze View Post
Since there is no other practical way to get home before your cruise is over other than flying the passport card is worthless.
....

So weather to spend total $530 for 4 full passports or $50 to get certified BC's for my wife and I.We have the kids in hand.
glad you see the light. I, personally, use a proper passport. I've even been known to use it for domestic travel. It's a fabulous ID, very simple. And I love the idea that I might win a trip tomorrow and need to leave next week. We DO plan to travel elsewhere. But I'm not bothering with a passport card or enhanced ID. I just see no point.

Are you sure you do not have certified birth certs for you and your wife? You would have needed them to get your marriage license.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:03 PM   #26
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To reiterate I thank you all. Great responses. I am a very analitical type personality and have seen alot of subjective reasoning to justify spending on passport or not spending. A few have actually given objective reasoning as to why or why not and those are the ones I have paid most attention. When you give your reason but also explain that you understand why someone would/does make the opposite choice, it is clear to me that your reasoning is complete.

Everyone makes choices subjectively but must weigh the choices objectively.

Just FYI, I spent 40 min on the phone with DCL and the gentleman explain to me quite simply...........DCL has a reputation that they protect fiercely. So simply put......if you need/require documentation for the cruise, they will not let you on during "check in" if you do not have it in Port Canaveral. I researched and he explained "closed loop cruises" do exsist and apply in my case. BC & ID will get us through check in and then KTTW card gets us off and on the ship while in our ports.

I get/understand why anyone would purchase passports, but all things being considered I am hesitant to bleed that much $$$ just for a "what if".

With so many informed posts I now feel I have all the info to make an INFORMED decision.... and I choose BC & ID. I mean no ill will towards those who purchase passports if you need that warm and fuzzy feeling from the "what ifs" that is your perogative.

I personally have not entered any contests for travel that I may need a passport nor do I feel that it might be my best picture that I have on record, it simply boils down to cost/reward or risk/benefit.

Thank you all for input, I must say you have enabled me to make an important decision with all the facts/tools required to do so.
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