Surrendering a U.S. Passport



Hello All,

We are thinking of our 2nd cruise next year, and someone told us that you have to give your passport to the pursor and he holds it until the end. That just makes me nervous if it's true. I'd rather not let that out of my sight. Is this now true?


I have never heard of the pursor holding passports.

The most common report I have heard is that you should store your passport in a secure location (the safe in your cabin) and carry photo copies of your passport off the ship when you port.

What cruise line are you sailing and where did you hear that?


We just got back from a cruise on the liberty and I did not hear nor see that. BUT, my wife and I figured that since we had to shell out dollars for a passport than we wanted them stamped. I asked the pursurs about that and I was told they would take care of that for me but I would have to give them the passports the night before. We did, got them stamped and got them back on the last day with no problems at all. As far as carrying them off the ship, we did see lots and lots of people with them. When we got back to the dock, the security there wanted to see passports and or photo id's and you sign and sail card. In the future word is, you will need to carry your passport with you off. Not sure if a copy will work or not. Just my two cents worth.

Gayle V

The only time we've ever had to turn over our passports to the ship was the one time we took a Windjammer Cruise. we had to surrender it at embarkation and got it back right before we left the ship. Never had to part with it on RCI. CArnival, Celebrity, Princess or HAL.

Irish Girl

If you are a foreign traveller such as Canadian or British, they will take and hold your passport at the Pursers desk. If you are a U.S. Citizen and sailing from a U.S. port, they will not take it.

It is in the Capers for foreign cruisers to pick up their passports in Immigration early on day of debarkation.


We surrendered our U.S. passports on cruises that visited ports where they were required for entry to that country (Japan, Korea, Russia, Brazil, Egypt, etc.). This makes it faster for the passengers as the cruise line gets everyone cleared at one time instead of some other method which relies on the passengers waiting in line, and bitching the whole time, to get cleared one by one. Yes, we were uncomfortable with the idea at first, but it didn’t seem to be open for discussion. If you want to embark, give us your passport. It did make us feel better that they gave us a “passport receiptâ€Â.
The United States State Department advised me before my first cruise NEVER EVER surrender your passport to anyone unless there is a gun at your head. :biggrin: For cruises, hotels, hostels, etc, give them a color copy of your passport, but the State Department says ALWAYS keep your passport on your person.


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Note : this thread originated in 2007 ..

Back then it was fairly common for one's passport to be held by the "SHIP"... A lot of things have happened since then of course and although it may still occur in some far distant countries I do not believe that it happens on the Main vacation routes that most of us here travel.