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Old 02-03-2013, 09:33 PM   #1
crundell
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Cruising without a passport

Hi all! I am new to the forums; however, have been reading a lurking like crazy. I am very tempted to schedule me and my 3 children on the 8 day Bahama's cruise in March; however, we don't have passports. My understand from what I have read is that US citizens can cruise on ships which begin and end in US ports. The cruise I am looking at is Galveston, CC, WDW, Key West, and then back to Galveston. With the exception of CC these are all US ports - will we be ok with just certified birth certificates or did my plans just come to a screeching halt as none of us have passports?
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by crundell View Post
Hi all! I am new to the forums; however, have been reading a lurking like crazy. I am very tempted to schedule me and my 3 children on the 8 day Bahama's cruise in March; however, we don't have passports. My understand from what I have read is that US citizens can cruise on ships which begin and end in US ports. The cruise I am looking at is Galveston, CC, WDW, Key West, and then back to Galveston. With the exception of CC these are all US ports - will we be ok with just certified birth certificates or did my plans just come to a screeching halt as none of us have passports?
As US citizens on a "closed-loop" cruise (begins and ends in the same US port on the same ship), the minimum that's required would be a certified birth certificate for everyone plus (for those 16 and older) a government issued photo ID.

You might find this thread interesting:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3058632
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:43 PM   #3
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You can. And lots do. However, you will not be able to fly back into the US should something happen. (someone gets sick, or hurt, or you just plan miss the boat in port). It's ultimately up to you though and you will find a lot of people who are comfortable with sailing without a passport. (I am not one of those people. I figure the more people in my family the larger chance I have of one of them needing that passport. ) All 6 of us have them and I wouldn't cruise without them. But that is me and I don't pass judgement on those who are comfortable going without.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:45 PM   #4
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Oh my gosh, you must have been reading my mind! I read that earlier and started looking into insurance options. However, I somewhat dismissed the passport issue as the only non-US stop would be in CC which from what I have read is a private Disney owned island. Am I deluding myself?
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:46 PM   #5
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We're doing the same cruise in April. DH&I have passports already. We won't be getting them for our boys.

I know the risk is there - but all that a passport will do is save me hassle in case of emergency.

I will not however be sailing without travel insurance.

If there was any chance in Hades we'd use the passports again in the next 5 years - I'd consider it. But due to our life circumstances ..ain't gonna happen.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by crundell
Oh my gosh, you must have been reading my mind! I read that earlier and started looking into insurance options. However, I somewhat dismissed the passport issue as the only non-US stop would be in CC which from what I have read is a private Disney owned island. Am I deluding myself?
Yes and no. It is a private island in the Bahamas -- so emergencies are routed to Nassau. But it's ONE stop in an 8 day cruise ... the risk is limited.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by crundell View Post
Oh my gosh, you must have been reading my mind! I read that earlier and started looking into insurance options. However, I somewhat dismissed the passport issue as the only non-US stop would be in CC which from what I have read is a private Disney owned island. Am I deluding myself?
Yes, CC is Disney-owned, but it's foreign soil.

And, when cruising, as soon as you step aboard the ship, you are out of the country, and many medical insurances don't cover out of the country.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by crundell View Post
Oh my gosh, you must have been reading my mind! I read that earlier and started looking into insurance options. However, I somewhat dismissed the passport issue as the only non-US stop would be in CC which from what I have read is a private Disney owned island. Am I deluding myself?
No you are right. It is less of an issue on that particular cruise. The only thing I don't know is what they would do if something happened on the boat?? (Meaning someone got sick or hurt and needed medical attention more than they can give on the boat) But that is unlikely. It really just comes down to what you are comfortable with. If you had to cruise without one, a cruise that doesn't stop in many places outside the US is probably the best way to go.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by wallawallakids View Post
You can. And lots do. However, you will not be able to fly back into the US should something happen. (someone gets sick, or hurt, or you just plan miss the boat in port).
You must have hit edit just as I was quoting. Key West is one port it wouldn't be a problem in.

There are emergency repatriation proceedures in place, however, so someone would be able to return via air if they did not have a passport. It would take a little time to process, but you aren't going to be stuck in a foreign country.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mbrocker View Post
We're doing the same cruise in April. DH&I have passports already. We won't be getting them for our boys.

I know the risk is there - but all that a passport will do is save me hassle in case of emergency.

I will not however be sailing without travel insurance.

If there was any chance in Hades we'd use the passports again in the next 5 years - I'd consider it. But due to our life circumstances ..ain't gonna happen.
You still have time to get them before April. (Just in case you were interested.) They seem to be coming quick lately.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:52 PM   #11
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You must have hit edit just as I was quoting. Key West is one port it wouldn't be a problem in.

There are emergency repatriation proceedures in place, however, so someone would be able to return via air if they did not have a passport. It would take a little time to process, but you aren't going to be stuck in a foreign country.
I wasn't thinking!! Haha. Too late and trying to half watch the game and half be on here.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:57 PM   #12
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Thank you

Thank you all for the quick replies : I am back to feeling ok about doing this without passports. As for the emergency medical and health insurance I have found reasonable travel insurance (thanks to this board) and also have a hefty balance in my HSA.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by wallawallakids

You still have time to get them before April. (Just in case you were interested.) They seem to be coming quick lately.
I know. I just can't get myself to pay $220 for two children's passports that I don't *need* badly. I guess you always need to weigh risk vs. value and It just isn't worth the $$ to me.

Fingers crossed I don't regret this post. Lol.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:03 PM   #14
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Yes and no. It is a private island in the Bahamas -- so emergencies are routed to Nassau. But it's ONE stop in an 8 day cruise ... the risk is limited.
Not exactly correct...the US Coast Guard can air lift off of Castaway Cay.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:05 PM   #15
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Not exactly correct...the US Coast Guard can air lift off of Castaway Cay.
Oh my gosh, now that makes me feel soooo much better. I really don't want to go through the hassles of passports for what seems like one port.
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