As a frequent cruiser on RCCL, it is good to know that they are not willy-nilly letting people board without proper documentation. Times are changing,and not everyone out there is nice, safe, and thinking of the wellbeing of the 3000 other passengers. The original poster, in her own post, states that the source she consulted indicated an original (which means government issued, not hospital or baptismal) or certified (which is a copy of the original with a raised stamped area showing it came from an official government agency). Armed with this information I am unsure how they came to attempt to board without it.
RCCL Nordic Empress 1993
RCCL Nordic Prince 1994
RCCL Explorer 2003, 2005
RCCL Navigator, 2004, 2007
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I don't think RCCL do anything wrong...
I am sorry for all of your trouble but here is my point:
If you don't want to pay for a passport
Why do you try to board ship with a copy??
Here on the island each birth certificate is stamped with an certified stamp at the moment you get them and we always have to check it in case they don't stamp it before leaving just in case. Rules are Rules
Why is so hard for some people to get a passport??
I got my passport during for my first cruise on 2005 and I did not need it by that time, also
ALL THE CRUISE LINES HAVE BEEN TELLING YOU TO GET ONE FOR MONTHS EVEN YEARS!!!
I am sorry but I have to give this fight to RCCL they are doing what they have to in this case.
Another very good reason for getting a passport EVEN IF they don't yet require one for travel by sea and EVEN if they manage to continue to get the date extended indefinately... If you leave the country via ship and miss that ship for any reason, you're stuck. You can't fly home! If there is a death or other emergency with your family or business, you're stuck. You can't fly home! If you have a medical emergency onboard and need long term care, you're stuck. You'll be recieving care where-ever you happen to be. But you'll only recieve care there with the ability to pay for it on the spot. A passport is more than a regulation or good idea, it's your lifeline to getting back home if things go awry. I know you can postpone it a little while and spend the $$$ on a nice dinner out, an iPod or an excursion for your cruise. I know the lines at the post office and forms are no fun. I know all the reasons why people procrastinate. If you really thought about it, you'd have one. It's like the insurance some people refuse to spend a few dollars on. It may be penny wise but it can be very dollar foolish.
Originally posted by GertscS:
We went to sail on Royal Caribbeans Vision of the Seas on Sept. 14, 2007. I had called R.C. before we went on our cruise and told them that we were thinking of getting our passports and they told us that we could but not to worry about it just as long as we had our birth certificates that it would be fine. I thought I would even double check and got on their website where it states in absence of a passport a birth certificate either orginal or certified was acceptable. When we went to board I was denied boarding because I did not have a certified copy of my birth certificate. They would not help us at all. We had to keep trying to find someone just to answer our questions. They told us to go over to some chairs to sit until we could figure it out. They would not offer us a refund or let us sail at a later date. We had to pay to get our plane tickets changed since we were not to fly out for another week. Everytime we have tried to contact us they just say we should of known better. I wrote a letter to the president of the company who had a secretary answer my letter who offered no help at all. Come to find out they are not even members of the Better Business Bureau. The BBB says that their advertising tactics are in question. I wonder why? I would never sail Royal Caribbean again a and would like to tell my story to everyone who has thought about sailing with them not to do it. We saved up for more that 2 years to take this trip for our 15 year anniversary. It was devestating to lose all that money plus spend that alone time with my husband.
I am so sorry this happened. I have to agree with all the other postings, Not RCCL's fault and the thing to do is get a passport.
However, for your current situation it seems to me that some of the money you paid was taxes and port fees. If you ask RCCL to refund these they most likely will. It could amount to $300 or so. I very nearly had to cancell a trip with only a week to go, I was informed by Carnival that I would forfiet all but taxes and fees which they would return, in that case it was about $150. It may not be much but enough to buy your passport.
Unfortunate situation. However, if one plans a cruise for 2 years, that is ample time to have the proper documentation. Birth certificate (original or certified copy) would have been fine. Just a photo copy of the original does not work. All cruise lines have the same regulations that must be followed. This is not RCCL's fault. You need to take the responsibility for this one.......Passports take away all the risk and doubt.
I have 2 points to make about the Birth certificate's. First,i know Carnival and RCCI web sites' say that you can use a birth certificate to board but it doesn't say it has to have a raised seal. My oringinal Birth certificate did not have a raised seal but was signed by a state enployee.Luckly before my first cruise on Carnival,my travel agent said it had to have a raised seal,so i got a copy of it with the raised seal.I was told by Carnival that my oringinal that was signed by the state( this was NOT a hospital copy either)would have not let me boarded.There web sites need to state about the raised seals because not everybody's oringinal have a raised seal.The only other thing is,the passport rules have been talked about for 2 yrs now and everybody should get one because soon it will be the only way to will be able to travel anywhere and besides it is so much easier and faster with a passport.You get checked in and out faster and you don't have to carry all those other papers. I am sorry to hear about you missing your cruise.
I've never understood the big deal about a raised seal. Not every jurisdiction uses them. At least my original bc was typed. My wife's Alabama bc was handwritten! However it did have a seal on it and was good enough to get a passport.
I lost my original bc years ago but I do vaguely recall that it didn't have any type of seal on it. As with Mike, it was signed by some bureaucrat and that was it. My replacement from New York State doesn't have a raised seal either, but it does have an official ink stamp on it with another desk jockeys signature, which was acceptable for my passport issuance.
I think I would have done a bit more leg-work to make sure my documents were in order. I got my passport because I didn't want to risk loosing my original BC. I was adopted at birth & there is alot of missing info. Everytime someone looked at it questions came up. I got my husbands passport just for the ease of travel. Sorry they missed their cruise but you have to do your homework.
Not to rehash the same thing everyone has said before but if you plan ANY travel in the near future you'll need to provide the original birth certificate or passport. They're changing lots of rules for just about all travel, even within the US.