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Passports with expiration dates under 6 months


DunwoodyDad
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Ok, I am usually more on top of these things but we are on the Dec 27th (2021) sailing of Freedom and I just realized 5 of our 6 passports in our family expire in February 22. At this point, given the passport backlog and logistics involved (2 of my kids are out of town in college and they have to renew in person), I don’t think renewals are possible.

i called Royal about this and was told the 6 month thing was just a recommendation and that I should be fine. However, I’m starting to wonder if the passports will be considered valid given the things I’ve seen here about getting varied answers from the phone reps.  I realize since it’s only going to the Bahamas that technically I could carry everyone’s birth certificates but that seems extreme. Has anyone dealt with this before?  

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46 minutes ago, DunwoodyDad said:

Ok, I am usually more on top of these things but we are on the Dec 27th (2021) sailing of Freedom and I just realized 5 of our 6 passports in our family expire in February 22. At this point, given the passport backlog and logistics involved (2 of my kids are out of town in college and they have to renew in person), I don’t think renewals are possible.

i called Royal about this and was told the 6 month thing was just a recommendation and that I should be fine. However, I’m starting to wonder if the passports will be considered valid given the things I’ve seen here about getting varied answers from the phone reps.  I realize since it’s only going to the Bahamas that technically I could carry everyone’s birth certificates but that seems extreme. Has anyone dealt with this before?  

I would bring the passports and birth certificates.  It shouldn't be a big deal on the itinerary you are on.  Get them renewed as soon as you get back.

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On 11/11/2021 at 7:08 AM, DunwoodyDad said:

Ok, I am usually more on top of these things but we are on the Dec 27th (2021) sailing of Freedom and I just realized 5 of our 6 passports in our family expire in February 22. At this point, given the passport backlog and logistics involved (2 of my kids are out of town in college and they have to renew in person), I don’t think renewals are possible.

i called Royal about this and was told the 6 month thing was just a recommendation and that I should be fine. However, I’m starting to wonder if the passports will be considered valid given the things I’ve seen here about getting varied answers from the phone reps.  I realize since it’s only going to the Bahamas that technically I could carry everyone’s birth certificates but that seems extreme. Has anyone dealt with this before?  

I would bring your driver's licence and a birth certificate as a back up. Because you are only traveling to the Bahamas which is part of the western hemisphere travel initiative which allows US citizens to travel to certain countries without a passport. 

image.thumb.png.73fe97355c20c51fa3bd88623bebeb6a.png

that is from the US Customs & Boarder Patrol https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/western-hemisphere-travel-initiative/faqs 

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We were on Symphony 3 weeks ago and my husband's passport expires in March.  He didn't even get any questions about it.  I did have him take his birth certificate just in case, but he didn't end up needing it.  We went to St. Thomas and St. Maarten.  Might still be worthwhile to take the birth certificates just in case.  Better safe than sorry.

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14 hours ago, Cruiser05 said:

Can you travel to St Marteen on a cruise with a Birth Certificate and A drivers License? I know you can travel to St Thomas or Nassau with those two ids.

Yes. No passports are required on any cruise that leaves from the US and returns to the US (referred to as a closed loop cruise). Birth certificate and drivers license will work.

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18 hours ago, Cruiser05 said:

Can you travel to St Marteen on a cruise with a Birth Certificate and A drivers License? I know you can travel to St Thomas or Nassau with those two ids.

You can.  However, if something happens and you are stuck on St Martin (or anywhere else) and need to fly home, then birth certificate and driver's license is not enough to board an international flight.  It's probably rarer than a one in a million chance, but that's why passports are the recommended document.

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On 11/13/2021 at 1:06 PM, Atlantix2000 said:

You can.  However, if something happens and you are stuck on St Martin (or anywhere else) and need to fly home, then birth certificate and driver's license is not enough to board an international flight.  It's probably rarer than a one in a million chance, but that's why passports are the recommended document.

Amen to this, and the reason I would take a <6 month valid passport even if I were using driver's license and birth certificate. If you miss the ship or have an emergency and don't have a passport at all, you'll have to go the the US embassy and get an emergency passport. Very low risk, but very high impact.

When we got off the ship in Nassau in October, there was activity around the forward gangplank--ambulance, lots of HAZMAT suits, so I assume somebody tested positive for Covid. Royal Caribbean promises to pay to get you home if this happens, but you would still need a passport to fly home (after your quarantine).

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/13/2021 at 8:29 AM, AshleyDillo said:

Yes. No passports are required on any cruise that leaves from the US and returns to the US (referred to as a closed loop cruise). Birth certificate and drivers license will work.

Not exactly correct. Martinique (I believe) requires a passport for cruise passengers. (Cuba did as well, but that’s a moot point currently)

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On 11/11/2021 at 9:13 AM, Matt said:

Only a handful of countries have a rule that makes a passport expiring in less than 6 months a problem. So if you aren't visiting one of them, it won't be a problem.

Do you have a list of them? My curiosity is peaked now.... Our kids will be in tthat window (about 5 months) for spring trip... Thanks in advance...

 

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2 hours ago, deep1 said:

Do you have a list of them? My curiosity is peaked now.... Our kids will be in tthat window (about 5 months) for spring trip... Thanks in advance...

 

You can check individual country requirements at the Department of State website (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages.html). I'm not sure where a list of requirements for different countries would be found as they change and would be hard to keep up with. The US has what is referred to the six month club where the countries have signed an agreement with the US to allow folks with American passports even though they are within 6 months of expiration.

Technically to play it safe we should be assuming that our passports expire 6 months before the actual expiration date and make sure we get them renewed before the 9.5 years is up. 

If the cruise you are taking allows birth certificates and ID in lieu of passports, likely all countries the ship would port in are on that six month rule list and as long as the passport is valid until the cruise is over, there wouldn't be much to worry about unless you encounter an emergency situation and are stuck in that country.

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  • 11 months later...

Glad I saw this. My wife and son have their passports expire Sep 23. The problem is we cruise in Jan, March, May and June. So really don't have a window that will allow them to get renewed. I heard that they are testing out an online renewal process. It might go live early next year. Worst case I'll make sure to bring birth certificates.

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21 minutes ago, KevinJ said:

Glad I saw this. My wife and son have their passports expire Sep 23. The problem is we cruise in Jan, March, May and June. So really don't have a window that will allow them to get renewed. I heard that they are testing out an online renewal process. It might go live early next year. Worst case I'll make sure to bring birth certificates.

I have the exact same problem.  Not sure what I'm gong to do.

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I googled this question: How far in advance can you renew your passport.  Here is the answer:

 You can renew your passport whenever you want if you have good reason to do so. You should include a letter explaining the motive for the request along with the renewal application if it is submitted more than 9 months prior to the expiration date.

 

How long does it take? Routine is 6 to 9 weeks.  Expedited takes 3 to 5 weeks (with an extra cost).

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1 hour ago, KevinJ said:

Glad I saw this. My wife and son have their passports expire Sep 23. The problem is we cruise in Jan, March, May and June. So really don't have a window that will allow them to get renewed. I heard that they are testing out an online renewal process. It might go live early next year. Worst case I'll make sure to bring birth certificates.

I think you'll get them back expedited.  They ask for your travel dates and work toward them.  I would act today @KevinJ

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