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Passport vs Passport Card


FManke
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I know you need a passport to fly internationally, but we have passport cards from a cruise to Canada. We would like to use the passport cards when going ashore at ports of call as form of ID. More convenient than carrying the regular passport, which we would like to keep locked in our cabin safe.

Is that acceptable or do we need to carry the regular passport?

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1 minute ago, FManke said:

I know you need a passport to fly internationally, but we have passport cards from a cruise to Canada. We would like to use the passport cards when going ashore at ports of call as form of ID. More convenient than carrying the regular passport, which we would like to keep locked in our cabin safe.

Is that acceptable or do we need to carry the regular passport?

It would really depend where you are going. Some places require (or recommend) you have a full passport, whereas others a card is fine. If you're just doing something like the Caribbean, the card is probably fine. If you're doing somewhere more far flung like Asia, I would do a passport.

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I agree with @Zacharius, it's going to depend on the port. If you're sticking to destinations in / around North America -- Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean, Canada, maybe even some Mexican ports -- the passport card should be enough. But I would assume that anything in Europe or Asia will require a full passport.

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Just now, JLMoran said:

I agree with @Zacharius, it's going to depend on the port. If you're sticking to destinations in / around North America -- Bahamas, Bermuda, Caribbean, Canada, maybe even some Mexican ports -- the passport card should be enough. But I would assume that anything in Europe or Asia will require a full passport.

We're going to Greece. @mom2mybugs Any thoughts on this?

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Just now, Zacharius said:

I would take it to be safe. If something happens and you miss the boat or need to get home or to another country, the passport is really critical. Passport cards are meaningless there.

We will have full passports with us. I just wanted a more compact ID choice other than regular passport for boarding and un-boarding at ports.

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20 minutes ago, FManke said:

I know you need a passport to fly internationally, but we have passport cards from a cruise to Canada. We would like to use the passport cards when going ashore at ports of call as form of ID. More convenient than carrying the regular passport, which we would like to keep locked in our cabin safe.

Is that acceptable or do we need to carry the regular passport?

Are you considering getting both? Or trying to figure out if you can getting by with just the card?

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8 minutes ago, Matt said:

Are you considering getting both? Or trying to figure out if you can getting by with just the card?

We have passport cards and will be getting full passports. Just want to know if we can get by with just carrying the cards when we go ashore on port days?

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17 minutes ago, Flacruiser99 said:

No you only need a government photo ID and your cruise card to go ashore. Yes you do need a passport enter the EU. This is not the same as going ashore during your cruise.

JWcompass.jpg

Only fine point I'll note here is that is what is needed to get on and off the ship, not necessarily to get through the security office on your way back in. Even in the Caribbean I have seen security entrances to the port where signs were out stating you must have your passport, and that driver's license or birth certificate would not be accepted. Rare, yes, but it has happened to me. And in the EU I could see where the security stations might also want to see a passport.

As others have noted, it's also useful to have in case you have the worst-case scenario of missing the ship and needing to catch a flight to the next port, or having a family emergency and needing to fly home. You will have no recourse if you don't have an actual passport at that point but to go to the embassy and wait for a new passport to be issued.

They last 10 years, are reasonably small, and are easy to carry in a backpack pocket or purse. And you need them to travel overseas anyway, so at that point just carry it around.

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49 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Only fine point I'll note here is that is what is needed to get on and off the ship, not necessarily to get through the security office on your way back in. Even in the Caribbean I have seen security entrances to the port where signs were out stating you must have your passport, and that driver's license or birth certificate would not be accepted. Rare, yes, but it has happened to me. And in the EU I could see where the security stations might also want to see a passport.

As others have noted, it's also useful to have in case you have the worst-case scenario of missing the ship and needing to catch a flight to the next port, or having a family emergency and needing to fly home. You will have no recourse if you don't have an actual passport at that point but to go to the embassy and wait for a new passport to be issued.

They last 10 years, are reasonably small, and are easy to carry in a backpack pocket or purse. And you need them to travel overseas anyway, so at that point just carry it around.

Cuba was the only Caribbean port requiring a Passport, as many folks board the closed loop cruises with only a DL and birth cert. The OP is going to have a Passport and asked.

2 hours ago, JLMoran said:

Just want to know if we can get by with just carrying the cards when we go ashore on port days?

Whether you take your Passport ashore or not is a personal decision. I personalty know of folks that have lost or had their Passports stolen. I never take mine ashore unless I have to. By the way a few/ships/itinerary's take your Passport and keep it until disembarkation.

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4 hours ago, FManke said:

We will have full passports with us. I just wanted a more compact ID choice other than regular passport for boarding and un-boarding at ports.

Whether in Europe or not, I don't carry my passport off the ship unless instructed by Royal -- too much risk of being stolen.  I am also talking business trips.  I keep the passport locked up.  With that in mind, I like the travel card as an ID just because it is federal and a driver's license is state-based.  For some places in the Med Royal actually collects the passports (I believe for Turkey) so that they can be processed by immigration.  I am with @Flacruiser99 ,who also commented on passports being collected on the ship at times....

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48 minutes ago, Flacruiser99 said:

Whether you take your Passport ashore or not is a personal decision. I personalty know of folks that have lost or had their Passports stolen. I never take mine ashore unless I have to. By the way a few/ships/itinerary's take your Passport and keep it until disembarkation.

In the Caribbean, I never take my Passport on shore, goes in the safe and stays locked up.

In Europe I take my passport with me on all excursions, I don't remember ever being asked for it, but I had it none the less.

As you say, it's a personal decision.

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On 8/21/2019 at 9:25 AM, FManke said:

We're going to Greece. @mom2mybugs Any thoughts on this?

You need your passport to go to Europe anywhere.  Once there, though, we never used it... It stayed in the safe the whole cruise.  We didnt even need it to get off, since we stayed in the EU the whole cruise.  Keep an eye on the Visa requirements that are coming though.... You will need to get that done depending on travel date.  Jane

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3 hours ago, mom2mybugs said:

.  Once there, though, we never used it... It stayed in the safe the whole cruise.  We didnt even need it to get off, since we stayed in the EU the whole cruise. 

That was my question @mom2mybugs, whether or not we could use our passport cards as ID, when in port to leave and enter the ship.

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On 8/21/2019 at 3:16 PM, ChessE4 said:

Whether in Europe or not, I don't carry my passport off the ship unless instructed by Royal -- too much risk of being stolen.  I am also talking business trips.  I keep the passport locked up.  With that in mind, I like the travel card as an ID just because it is federal and a driver's license is state-based.  For some places in the Med Royal actually collects the passports (I believe for Turkey) so that they can be processed by immigration.  I am with @Flacruiser99 ,who also commented on passports being collected on the ship at times....

I remember the same, our passports were collected by Royal for the Turkey ports since they are not part of the EU, so you could not go of the ship with them anyways. They were returned to us for Alexandria Egypt and we were instructed to have our passport books with us the whole time. 

To answer the question - in general, you should be fine with having the card as your photo ID and paired with your sea pass for most ports in Europe. However, I would defer to the cruise compass and captain's instructions at each port. There are alway's risks in losing your passport book if you bring it with you at ports in Europe. There is also always a risk of missing your ship, and how much of a hassle will it be to be left behind without your passport book. Either way there are trade offs.  

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Once you have entered the EU you are not required to carry a passport with you.  Many well known travel sources recommend not carrying your passport.  Pickpockets are common and a damaged passport such as water damage renders a passport useless.  

Ships have process in place when a guest misses the ship.  Before leaving a guest behind they will go into the safe looking for passports and secure them with the local port agent who will give them to a guest who has missed the ship.  This is standard protocol.

I often use a passport card as my form of ID when leaving a ship.  It's small, lightweight and waterproof.   Plus if I lose it or get pickpocketed my passport book is in the safe.  

On 8/21/2019 at 11:27 AM, JLMoran said:

...Even in the Caribbean I have seen security entrances to the port where signs were out stating you must have your passport, and that driver's license or birth certificate would not be accepted. Rare, yes, but it has happened to me. And in the EU I could see where the security stations might also want to see a passport.

I know you have talked about your St Kitts experience before but they were just wrong that day or there was more to the story like it was required for St Kitts residents only.  Many, many guests on closed loop cruises don't use a passport and use DL/BC.  How have those people left St Kitts day after day, week after week?  I have been there a dozen times and never had to produce a passport to leave or return to the ship.  No one on my dive boat took passports on the dive boat.  We all made it back onto the ship without any issue.  A wet passport is useless because water smearing is a common counterfeiting tactic.  A passport book on a dive boat would be a disaster waiting to happen.  If your passport ever gets damp or wet just start heading to a consulate right then and there because your passport is now useless.

Once you are in the EU you don't meet any immigration or customs agents as you move between countries.  Driving from Germany into France is no different than driving from Maryland into Virginia.  Reboarding a ship will not involve immigration or customs within the EU.  It's quite pleasant actually and on a B2B you usually don't have to leave the ship because there is no immigration or customs for cruises that stay within the EU.

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9 hours ago, twangster said:

Once you have entered the EU you are not required to carry a passport with you.  Many well known travel sources recommend not carrying your passport.  Pickpockets are common and a damaged passport such as water damage renders a passport useless.  

Ships have process in place when a guest misses the ship.  Before leaving a guest behind they will go into the safe looking for passports and secure them with the local port agent who will give them to a guest who has missed the ship.  This is standard protocol.

I often use a passport card as my form of ID when leaving a ship.  It's small, lightweight and waterproof.   Plus if I lose it or get pickpocketed my passport book is in the safe.  

I know you have talked about your St Kitts experience before but they were just wrong that day or there was more to the story like it was required for St Kitts residents only.  Many, many guests on closed loop cruises don't use a passport and use DL/BC.  How have those people left St Kitts day after day, week after week?  I have been there a dozen times and never had to produce a passport to leave or return to the ship.  No one on my dive boat took passports on the dive boat.  We all made it back onto the ship without any issue.  A wet passport is useless because water smearing is a common counterfeiting tactic.  A passport book on a dive boat would be a disaster waiting to happen.  If your passport ever gets damp or wet just start heading to a consulate right then and there because your passport is now useless.

Once you are in the EU you don't meet any immigration or customs agents as you move between countries.  Driving from Germany into France is no different than driving from Maryland into Virginia.  Reboarding a ship will not involve immigration or customs within the EU.  It's quite pleasant actually and on a B2B you usually don't have to leave the ship because there is no immigration or customs for cruises that stay within the EU.

Excellent information about the the ships policy retrieving passports. If someone still thinks they would be more comfortable taking their passports ashore, suggest a Pacsafe Coversafe X75 neck pouch worn under your shirt. They are RFID and have a wire cable in the neck strap. I use one just to carry ID, credit card and cash when traveling abroad. Overseas a passport card only serves as a government ID and not a passport

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20 hours ago, FManke said:

That was my question @mom2mybugs, whether or not we could use our passport cards as ID, when in port to leave and enter the ship.

I never had to show an Id... Just the sea pass card.  If you need a picture Id, the passport card definitely works but I don't remember showing any Id other than the sea pass card.  Jane

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