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The Passport Game


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51 minutes ago, Cakemeister said:

My wife sent hers in on June 7. She thought she had "plenty of time" before our September 5 sailing. She thinks that Royal will let her cruise with a birth certificate and driver's license. Is that true?

As long as it's leaving from the US and coming back to the US, yes.

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Mailed my kids passports to be renewed on July 20th. (Being minors under 16 we had to go in person to the post office ect like a new passport.) Paid for expedited and we recieved their new passports in the mail on Monday, just one day shy of 4 weeks. Of course, now that our late October cruise on Radiance is cancelled so we won’t need them until early next year…At least we are ready for the next 5 years now. 

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On 8/17/2021 at 6:35 PM, wozswoman said:

I haven't had a passport for 20 years so went to send mine in and at that time it still said 6-8 weeks.  As it is flying through the air to land on the desk at the passport agency the website now says 18 weeks! My cruise is on Sept 26.  Dummy me did not pay for expedited.  Thankfully per RCCL website as long as I have my certified birth certificate and drivers license I am good. ?  

We’re also on this sailing.  When we booked, I hadn’t received my boys’ passports yet so I confirmed with the RC agent on the phone that it was a closed loop sailing and a certified birth certificate would work for them.  Adults also needed their driver’s license.  

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/17/2021 at 1:39 PM, KWong said:

My older daughter just got her UK passport today. Application was July 20, mailed from Canada to the UK on July 22, and just received via DHL today (Aug 17). So exactly 4 weeks, which seems pretty good for a non-expidited overseas application.

Meanwhile, my wife's was just approved so I should see it next week.

As for the younger daughter's, nothing yet.

I should also note that HM Passport Office has been emailing every time we've gotten a step further in the process. Radio silence from Passports Canada. Definitely like the UK process better.

So I forgot to update this. My wife's UK passport arrived Aug 25 via DHL. Meanwhile my daughter's Canadian passport was delivered by standard mail, also on the 25th (exactly when they said I would get it). So just over 5 weeks for both.

Conclusion: the difference in non-expedited processing times between Canada, the UK and US is nuts. If you absolutely need a Canadian passport in 2 weeks, pay for the expedited service. Otherwise, don't bother.

And the UK gets top marks for being able to do the majority of the application online.

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Our friend who is going to Alaska with us in two weeks submitted hers 5 weeks ago and was sweating bullets that she would not get it on time. Didn't really need it since technically we never are out of the US but to be safe we had her get it. Received word that the check was cashed last Friday and it arrived Tuesday. Big sigh of relief and maybe they are beginning to catch up. FYI she forgot to expedite it thus the panic.

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I received my passport a few months ago and have been trying to update my info on the Global Entry website. After attempting this several times, I get a cannot validate window and to check my entries. I sent in several forms in the FAQ section with no response on how to update the information and link the two document numbers.

I called Friday and actually talked to a real person in a reasonable amount of time on line. They said this is a known problem and I have two options. If I am in a hurry go to a registration/interview site and have this corrected or if not in a hurry, check back in a few weeks. I guess their system is backed up.

The saga continues.

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On 9/13/2021 at 6:22 AM, Vagolferbob said:

I received my passport a few months ago and have been trying to update my info on the Global Entry website. After attempting this several times, I get a cannot validate window and to check my entries. I sent in several forms in the FAQ section with no response on how to update the information and link the two document numbers.

I called Friday and actually talked to a real person in a reasonable amount of time on line. They said this is a known problem and I have two options. If I am in a hurry go to a registration/interview site and have this corrected or if not in a hurry, check back in a few weeks. I guess their system is backed up.

The saga continues.

Was finally was able to update my passport info today. Seems patience is a needed part of your travel toolbox.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I had to renew mine and my 6 year old.  Minors only have option for new and not renewal.  I paid for all of the expedite fees that I could.

- 9/17 - Mailed both off

- 9/22 - Status online stated they were both officially received and "In Process"

- 10/8 - Received my 6 year old's new passport and card

- 10/22 - Received my new renewal passport and card

Sounds like it went smooth, but that last week I was checking the site every day, as my flight leaves 2 week of Nov. (and in the mean time I also ordered and received additional official copies of my birth certificate - just in case)

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  • 4 weeks later...

We have a family cruise coming up in April. 12 of us total. A Couple of my family members don’t have a passport yet and i’m trying to get them to get it done. This is a four-day cruise and the only stop is it in Costa Maya. Worst case scenario if they don’t get their passports in time.  Will they be able to get off the ship at port in Costa Maya? They would both be fully vaxed adults. 

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47 minutes ago, starbrat said:

We have a family cruise coming up in April. 12 of us total. A Couple of my family members don’t have a passport yet and i’m trying to get them to get it done. This is a four-day cruise and the only stop is it in Costa Maya. Worst case scenario if they don’t get their passports in time.  Will they be able to get off the ship at port in Costa Maya? They would both be fully vaxed adults. 

Will not be a problem. They did not even ask for state ID. Showed them Sea Pass card. 

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  • 1 month later...

We are playing the passport game. Our son and daughter in law sent passports for renewal. Hers was name change and his was for expiring soon. Passports received at office on 9/10/2021. DL got hers back 11-23-2021. Sons still has not come back. It never appeared to track on website. Both sent separately on same day. Both checks cashed in September. After reaching out to US Senator from our state to get them involved on 12-16-21 and paying the extra fee for expediting, bam finally it’s been shipped! Now awaiting it to reach him.  

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A few weeks ago you covered the topic of whether or not to bring passports to Ports of Call. A couple of years ago we departed out of Port Canaveral and a customs agent told us we would not need our passport for the remainder of the cruise. At our stop at the Bahamas the Bahamian gov were not happy with us not...

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1 hour ago, John Tcsmokey said:

A few weeks ago you covered the topic of whether or not to bring passports to Ports of Call. A couple of years ago we departed out of Port Canaveral and a customs agent told us we would not need our passport for the remainder of the cruise. At our stop at the Bahamas the Bahamian gov were not happy with us not...

The port in Nassau requires government issued ID.  Many people use their driver license.  

Many people use a birth certificate and driver's license to board cruise ships that stop in Nassau.  Thousands every month.  They have no passport to use in Nassau.  The DL works fine.    

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  • 2 weeks later...

US Passport arrived in 25 days from mailing to receipt (Expedited service, but not expedited mailing), including a holiday. Kind of impressive considering the mammoth backlogs a couple months ago.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The US Department of State website is currently quoting 5-7 weeks processing time from date of receipt for expedited service. Our experience was much better than this.

Wednesday, January 5 - sent in renewal applications for expedited processing with express return.

Monday, January 10 - checks were cashed and passport processing was in progress according to tracker on website.

Saturday, January 22 - got my USPS informed delivery notifications that the items were on the way with an expected delivery date of January 26. Website said the passports were approved and would be sent shortly.

Tuesday, January 25 - passports in hand. Just 20 days start to finish, including transit time both directions.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/26/2022 at 4:55 PM, SemperMom said:

My husband and I applied for our first passports this week, me yesterday and him today. We aren't going anywhere we really need a passport until August of next year but still curious to see how long it will take. lol 

Update: My application began officially processing on 2/3 and my husbands on 2/8. I hope they will come sooner just because I've never had a passport before 🤣 but according to the State Dept. website, we are looking at about mid-April. 

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Applied the first week of December. A few new applicants, a few renewals. Had them before Christmas. About 3 weeks. No expedited service no expedited shipping. Time frame varies by post office. Do a little research on town social media websites. This was my process and I went to a post office that people commented had fast turn around times. Nothing is a guarantee, but it worked for us. 

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