Okay, am I being too paranoid about obtaining a passport? We are cruising in June to GC and Jamaica. With the resent world events in respect to Haiti, I was wondering if it might be a good idea to obtain a passport. Any experienced cruisers out there with any opinions?
I think that we have reached the point where a passport is going to be a requirement in the very near future to go anywhere out of the country. In this day and age it is no longer an option but a necessity. Putting aside whether you have to have it or not, just the convenience of ONE document that will be accepted above all others is reason enough to get one. If you have done any cruising or extensive traveling in the past couple of years just watching people have to show several kinds of ID, keeping up with certified copies of birth certificates, picture ID's.... those who have passports only have to show that and it is done.
I would agree with Bruce. Anyone who travels even infrequently is wise to have a passport. Just look at it as a necessary cost of traveling.
As an aside, cruise stops at Haiti could be interrupted for a substantial amount of time if there is a government coup. The leaders of the revolution appear to be quite thuggish and I would not expect any type of stable government control to appear quickly after the fighting is done. I would not be surprised if your cruise ends up substituting another port IF Haiti is still unstable in May.
Your photo ID and birth cert. are now inspected much more closely.
Name differences are questioned, e.g. Maiden name vs. married name.
Raised seals that are no longer raised, etc cause problems.
You lose it, and replacement is difficult.
Is easier to carry.
Is immedate proof positive that you are a citizen of your country. This is important if for some reason, you need help at an embassy or consulate.
Even if cruise passengers are not required to have one. If something were to happen, (missed boat, etc.), that required you to stay overnight, or fly out, you could find yourself needing a passport to either stay, or get back off the island.
A passport has always been a good idea. Now it is even better. You never know, you may win a trip somewhere where you will need it and won't you feel smart that you are already prepared? Well, it could happen, couldn't it. I guess it is nice to dream.
I had one, and my wife didn't. I walked through and waited while they inspected her certified birth certificate.
I also knew a guy who had all of his family's certified birth certificates made to look alike, and the government official said one of them was a fake. Cost him $400 go get out of customs. You really don't want to hear the rest of the story. By the time he and his family were back in the US, it cost him about $20,000 (private jets home are expensive).
Applied for my passport last Friday at our local post office. Upon submitting my application, I was told that several places were already requiring a passport to enter. I'm all set for this cruise and "Next". Thanks for the feedback.