Naw, that makes too much sense. I have never seen that "must be good for six months from your return" nonsense anyplace but cruise line literature. Is that a government regulation or something the lines came up with?
What a headache this whole thing has been. I have been at this all day - literally! But we finally got the hard facts we needed from several sorces, and yeah... WE'RE BOOKED! My travel agent kept insisting a 6 month buffer was needed. After reading Dave's post I went into high gear, calling place after place from internet sites, each one referring me to the next! Meanwhile, my husband was working the actual airline route - figuring they were the ones who had to let us on in the first place. Well they assured us that no buffer was needed. Then I found a site that actually listed the countries that do require a 3 or 6 month buffer and Canada was not one of them! Finally, our travel agent called to tell us she was re-informed that only a 3 month buffer is needed. Conflicting still, but at least within our 4 months we have on our passports.
I'm almost too exhausted to be excited that we finally booked! I sure wish there was one, easily accessable place to get accurate info reguarding this matter. You have to be a detective, I swear!
I can't thank you all enough for all your help. If it wasn't for Dave's post I would have cancelled before finding out the truth. (And I was shocked to see all the posts following that one when I finally made it back to this site. I seemed to have stirred up quite a chatter!)
Now I can get on to the fun part - checking out the ports of call and what to do there! Don't be surprised if I rattle off a few questions in that area...
Again, thanks for all the input. I sure appreciated it.
Mary, I hate to add a new wrinkle to your situation after all the work you've already done. But... no matter what the regulations from the governments you're dealing with you are also contractually bound to Princess regulations for boarding. Be sure they don't have their own rule requiring the 6 month buffer. Simply call them at 800-PRINCESS (800-774-6237) to be sure. I, like your agent have always understood and advised that that 6 month requirement is in fact in place for cruise passengers. It may just be certain lines but you don't want to find out PCL is one of them at the pier.
I'd still strongly recommend renewing the passport. Renewal is not as high cost or as long a process as getting a new one. It's good for 10 more years (well, 9 1/2 with the buffer) and you'll have to have it in the near future anyway.
Good point, Neil. I've read of some cruise lines requiring passports when they legally were not required, just to cover themselves. I haven't heard any particular examples of people being denied boarding though.
Thanks Neil, I appreciate your heads-up. Hopefully PCL isn't one to require it since we already pulled the trigger and payed it in full! I will definately call though, just to know for sure. As for renewing the passports, we very much intend to, but didn't have the time to do it before booking this cruise. Found out even paying extra to expedite (sp?) the renewal still took 3 weeks and we only have 2. We will get right on it when we get back since you have to send in the old ones to renew.
Ok, PCL does not require it. (Heavy sigh of relief!) But get this, she did say 6 months was required to fly into Vancouver! When I told her my findings were different she said "well, we RECCOMEND 6 months, but it's not required"!!!
Aaaaahhhhhh........somebody stop this rollercoaster!
Congratulations Mary, I'm so glad you're going to Alaska! I hope you enjoy the suite and the fantastic views. I'm so glad to hear that US citizens with valid passports are having such a hard time going through Canada. Maybe if you were an illegal alien it would have been less hassle. Let us know what excursions you decide on. I know the helicopter tours are expensive, but if you can do one, it will be worth it. I haven't done them in Alaska, but have in Hawaii, they are awesome. You get such a different perspective. Best wishes for a relaxing and fantastic cruise, after all this hard work, you deserve it!
thank you Penny, we are looking forward to an exciting adventure!
I doubt we'll do the helecopter tour since we are already way over budget, but we've done it before in New Zealand and it was awesome. I imagine it's similar - glaciers and all. I suspect we'll just kick back and explore on our own. Hopefully we won't feel like we missed out on too much.