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I suspect it's because you can't fly internationally with a passport card.  If you test positive for Covid you will likely be disembarked at the next port and would have to return home by air.  This happened this week on Adventure of the Seas

Since the passport cards are limited in how and where you can travel, I have always advocated spending a few dollars more to have the full passport book so you can travel by any means to virtually any country.

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14 minutes ago, JimnKathy said:

It makes one wonder why the State Department would bother issuing anything other than a regular passport.

I live in Michigan. Before Covid, we would go to Canada often, sometimes even when Canada was not my destination. For that reason I carry my passport card. For real travel (sorry Canadians), I use my passport. 

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For round trips out of the United States, you can cruise with just a birth certificate. Passport cards would be similar level of residency proof, I suppose. I also didn't know that they were sufficient for a cruise.

But ya, travel to any country besides Mexico/Canada by car and round trip cruises out of the US requires a passport book. Cards are kind of pointless, really, unless you're driving across the border all the time.

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2 hours ago, Melodyjn said:

Does anyone have have an idea why Passport cards are not being accepted for a Caribbean cruise? 
we have always used our passport cards for these cruises . 

Yeah, that doesn't make sense if they are letting folks use a birth certificate + drivers license combo in lieu of a passport. 

If something happens, it really doesn't make a difference if someone has the Passport card or the DL/birth certificate combo as it would be a mess to fly home internationally.

That being said, if you have a Passport card, you likely also have a Passport so might as well use the Passport.  

I think Passport cards were mainly targeted for the Canada/Mexico/US land travel and became an alternative to a REAL ID compliant drivers license/ID as well while the states all switched over to it.

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Maine was one of the late adopters to Real ID compliant licenses, so we just got passport cards to be able to go to Canada (actually get back in the States from Canada) to see my in-laws.

Getting the cards was cheaper than getting books for myself and the three boys....my wife is a naturalized US citizen and already had both US and Canadian Passport books. 

The card works just fine for driving across the border, and if you never plan to travel anywhere else, it's all you need.

I never got my passport book until we booked our first cruise, and I chose to get it in case I needed to fly back to the States.  It seemed easier to be prepared to do so rather than jump through the required hoops if something happened.

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We got the passport card instead of the book because it was good for sailing the Caribbean, I do not fly so no plans on sailing anywhere outside of the Caribbean, so passport card was sufficient for us, but it does make sense about the rona thing and being out off in a port and having to fly home. Glad we are vaccinated! 

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Pre Covid we brought both the book and cards, just in case and used the book to board the ship initially. The cards were good for ID to get back onto the ship after excursions and we didn’t have to worry about losing our license or the passport book. Will the cards still be accepted coming back from the port? I don’t see why it would be an issue if you can use a regular drivers license for the same purpose. 

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Rarely did we have to show a passport or any other ID other than the Sea Pass card to reenter the port or ship at a stop which is now not the point. The Passport book is so you can fly home if necessary when out of the country. Would not even think of cruising now without a Passport book due to the possibility of having to fly home due to a positive Covid test, even though we are vaccinated.

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Does anyone know how strict they are on the rule that says passport cards must not expire for 6 months after the cruise date?   We are on a May 30, 2022 cruise, and my 2 daughters passport cards expire Sept. 11, 2022.  Do I need to renew their cards before we go?  Or will it be OK to cruise within 4 months of expiration?  Thanks.

 

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2 hours ago, bbowers said:

Does anyone know how strict they are on the rule that says passport cards must not expire for 6 months after the cruise date?   We are on a May 30, 2022 cruise, and my 2 daughters passport cards expire Sept. 11, 2022.  Do I need to renew their cards before we go?  Or will it be OK to cruise within 4 months of expiration?  Thanks.

 

You will be fine with 4 months validity. 

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5 hours ago, bbowers said:

Does anyone know how strict they are on the rule that says passport cards must not expire for 6 months after the cruise date?   We are on a May 30, 2022 cruise, and my 2 daughters passport cards expire Sept. 11, 2022.  Do I need to renew their cards before we go?  Or will it be OK to cruise within 4 months of expiration?  Thanks.

 

If it says 6 months, I would go with 6 months.  You have time to renew.  Why would you take that chance?

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1 hour ago, Pooch said:

If it says 6 months, I would go with 6 months.  You have time to renew.  Why would you take that chance?

I’d also confirm with Royal that passport cards are still accepted with covid protocols.  With the chance of being flown home, I’d think only the book would be accepted.

 

i’ve never understood the card option.  I get that it would be accepted in some instances,but the book is always accepted.  When we got ours we got the bookmark this reason. No need to keep track of two different things.

 

our state (KY) is doing the same confusion thing with licenses. You have the option of getting a regular license or a “voluntary travel I’d” (RealID). It’s a $5 price difference and so many people are not getting the RealID without thinking through where you may need it.

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3 hours ago, Reigert2008 said:

I’d also confirm with Royal that passport cards are still accepted with covid protocols.  With the chance of being flown home, I’d think only the book would be accepted.

then why is the Birth Certificate / Government ID an acceptable option.

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3 hours ago, CruiseGus said:

then why is the Birth Certificate / Government ID an acceptable option.

I have no idea.  According to this site you have to have a passport for air travel.  With the state of things now, I would not travel internationally without a passport. To each their own, but we have passports so that we don’t have to worry about these types of things.

https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-3618?language=en_US

If everything goes as planned, then maybe you don’t “need” the passport, but i certainly wouldn’t want to take the risk.

I’d personally be more worried that I would lose or damage my birth certificate, which I think may be harder to replace. It was a pain to get my birth certificate when we wanted to apply for passports.

i’m still confused about getting VISAs for s9me places, so not having to deal with the passport question is one less thing to worry about.  

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2 hours ago, AshleyDillo said:

The cruise lines really pushed for an exception to the requirement for Passports for roundtrip cruises from the US and won.  

passport cards are legal for entry into the US by sea from the Caribbean per the below quote from US State Department web site

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/travelers-with-special-considerations/cruise-ship-passengers.html

"You can use the passport card to reenter the United States at sea ports of entry from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. However, if you are not able to return on the cruise ship for any reason (e.g., for an emergency evacuation, you will need a passport book to fly back to the United States."

The passport card was acceptable 2 years ago, so this seems like some rule put in place by the cruise line for who knows what reason.  Certainly with all the various entities that handle issuance of birth certificates (us has a decentralized system with ~14000 issuing authorities per US Bar Association) the passport card is a better indicator of citizenship that the BC/DL combiation which could be more easily faked. 

 

But like other have said and I fully agree, I would not set foot outside of the US today without a passport book.  Hard to believe now that when I was in the Army in the early 70's we would go to Mexico with only a DL and had no trouble crossing back, sometime they didn't even ask to see it.

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