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gdjoslin 12-13-2008 12:01 PM

We are doing our paper work online for our July Alaskan HAL cruise. Our paper work is going thru fine, we have the normal passport. Our friends have the Passport Cards, the HAL site keeps telling us it is not a valid number. Has anyone had this problem? Will call and check on Monday, but this seems strange.

sparks1093 12-13-2008 12:10 PM

The passport cards are so new they may not be set up for them yet.

Dave 12-13-2008 12:24 PM

It could also be that the passport card is not legally considered a passport, even though it has passport in the name. Since they have many restrictions on them - one being they are not valid for air travel, even between Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean basin, and the U.S. - the cruise line may have to treat them as a different form of ID from the book passports. Just conjecture on my part. I look forward to hearing the HAL explanation when you call them.

gdjoslin 12-13-2008 01:11 PM

Just got off the phone with HAL. They are not set up to handle the Passport Card on line. They are hoping they will be within a few month. Anyone who has one will have to check in at the terminal until then.
Hopefully they will have this fixed before our Cruise in July.

Dave 12-13-2008 02:11 PM

Thanks for the update. Why did your friends get the card and not a real passport? Other than being a bit cheaper and perhaps more portable, I can see no good reason to get the passport card. If they have to fly home the passport card is no good for entry into the U.S. It was primarily designed for those who drive back and forth frequently between the U.S. and Mexico and Canada.

gdjoslin 12-13-2008 02:56 PM

They are not travelers. This cruise to Alaska will probably be the only time the need it.
There is a chance they will need it going to Mexico when they are in Yuma, but I doubt it.
We will be driving to Vancouver, so there will be no flight. Plus they need to watch there money.

Dave 12-13-2008 03:13 PM

I was just curious. I have the suspicion that a lot of people think the card is the same as a regular passport, so I like the hear more when people get one. I don't think the government has done a good job in explaining the differences. But then again, getting a passport still is needlessly bureaucratic and almost secretive.

gdjoslin 12-13-2008 03:43 PM

They live in Az. They go to Yuma now and then. They have not gone to mexico for drugs or dental work but have friends who do. I think people in some of the border states are more aware of this type of card.
With that said it is ashame that they need to go across the border to get affordable health care.

I am surprise that HAL is not more on top of it as far as the website goes. Especially when they push you doing your paper work on line so much.

Dave 12-13-2008 05:23 PM


I am surprise that HAL is not more on top of it as far as the website goes.
True, because not completing on-line check-in means you have to be at the pier all that much earlier.

Dwayne 12-14-2008 01:08 AM

The immigration officials at Port Canaveral were giving out the info brochures to anyone that came through with a birth certificate on debarkation this past October.

I read that those cards have RFID chips in them.


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