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Cah1988

First time cruisers-passport question

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Hi all. Can anyone help clear up some confusion. I’m taking a carnival cruise from Tampa to Cozumel and grand cayman and we leave Nov 10. Per the website and someone via phone with carnival that we will not need passports, just id and birth certificate? I believe this is correct but want to be sure. Will we be able to get off the ship in Cozumel and Grand Cayman? Thanks so much

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You will be able to get off in Cayman and Mexcio. Officials from the country don't actually check anything getting off in the ports, but your ship will check ID/room key.

 

 

Cuba is the only country in the Caribbean I've needed a passport to get off in.

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You will be able to get off in Cayman and Mexcio.

Cuba is the only country in the Caribbean I've needed a passport to get off in.

 

Thank you!

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If you are an American citizen and you're on a "closed loop" cruise, BC and DL are all you need. You will want to take your DL ashore with you, as you should ALWAYS have ID on you!

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One caveat: are you flying to Tampa? If so, you now will need the newer "real i.d." driver's license (or a passport/passport card for domestic air travel.

 

And, of course, not having a passport in any international location, where some personal emergency may require flying home to the U.S., is a "pennywise/pound foolish" risk.

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One caveat: are you flying to Tampa? If so, you now will need the newer "real i.d." driver's license (or a passport/passport card for domestic air travel.

 

And, of course, not having a passport in any international location, where some personal emergency may require flying home to the U.S., is a "pennywise/pound foolish" risk.

 

I thought the "real I'd" requirement for domestic flights didn't start until 2020??

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Unless I've misunderstood, i think that 2020 is when there will be no more extensions allowed to non-compliant states. Maybe someone with specific knowledge can shed some light. I'm pretty sure that flying out of California requires Real ID license starting this month (October 2018).

I'm not worried though because we've got both passport books and passport cards.

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Unless I've misunderstood, i think that 2020 is when there will be no more extensions allowed to non-compliant states. Maybe someone with specific knowledge can shed some light. I'm pretty sure that flying out of California requires Real ID license starting this month (October 2018).

I'm not worried though because we've got both passport books and passport cards.

 

 

 

Just checked the DMV website: looks like it is 2020. My apologies.

Nonetheless, I still urge folks who do (or intend to) cruise to get a passport: essential for flights home from emergencies abroad; moving from closed loop cruises to cruises with other international ports; taking advantage of great deals you couldn't enjoy w/o passport; complying with the requirements of a growing number of cruise lines that require all passengers to have one for all itineraries.

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We live in Michigan and have the Enhanced Drivers License. We’ve never had any issues using that. We take it on and off the ship with us at every stop - no need for a birth certificate.

The enhanced drivers license acts as a passport for any travel by land or sea.

 

 

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And, of course, not having a passport in any international location, where some personal emergency may require flying home to the U.S., is a "pennywise/pound foolish" risk.

 

The only risk involved with not having a passport is a delay in getting home and travel insurance would cover any expenses associated with that. Depending on where you are and the nature of the emergency you very well may be allowed to board a flight to the US without a passport. It's up to each person to determine what risk level they are comfortable with and what documentation they need for their personal travel needs.

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Pennywise and pound foolish. That "delay" could be very costly in terms of lost work days, insurance limitations (covered reasons et al.), consulate/embassy locations (or lack thereof).

In this day and age, the cost of a passport(s) is "chump change" over its effective life. The same can be said for Global Entry.

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Pennywise and pound foolish. That "delay" could be very costly in terms of lost work days, insurance limitations (covered reasons et al.), consulate/embassy locations (or lack thereof).

In this day and age, the cost of a passport(s) is "chump change" over its effective life. The same can be said for Global Entry.

 

If anything even happens in the first place and since millions of people travel on closed loop cruises every year with something other than a passport with no issues at all, so the odds are heavily in most people's favor. Again it comes down to what someone's travel needs are.

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If anything even happens in the first place and since millions of people travel on closed loop cruises every year with something other than a passport with no issues at all, so the odds are heavily in most people's favor. Again it comes down to what someone's travel needs are.

 

 

You do realize that "odds" are irrelevant when you're today's loser.

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You do realize that "odds" are irrelevant when you're today's loser.

 

Yes, but the fact still remains it's a low risk proposition that is easily covered by good travel insurance. I know for my family not spending $850 for passports when we didn't have to for a 4 day cruise made a big difference.

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You're giving way too many CC visitors/posters too much credit for researching/understanding the ins/outs of insurance.

And, even then, you are minimizing all that it takes to make folks "whole" again.

As for the $850, didn't you eventually get passports?

Pay now or pay later....

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You're giving way too many CC visitors/posters too much credit for researching/understanding the ins/outs of insurance.

And, even then, you are minimizing all that it takes to make folks "whole" again.

As for the $850, didn't you eventually get passports?

Pay now or pay later....

 

Whether they do or don't do the research is completely on them, they are presumably adults who can make their own decisions.

 

Yes, eventually we did get passports, for two (instead of 7), in 2015 when we actually needed them for the travel we were doing. By paying later we ended up with a full 10 years of validity at a time when we would actually be using it, instead of letting over half of the clock tick away. Personally any expense I can push down the road I will, especially if it comes with an expiration date.

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Whether they do or don't do the research is completely on them, they are presumably adults who can make their own decisions.

 

 

 

Yes, eventually we did get passports, for two (instead of 7), in 2015 when we actually needed them for the travel we were doing. By paying later we ended up with a full 10 years of validity at a time when we would actually be using it, instead of letting over half of the clock tick away. Personally any expense I can push down the road I will, especially if it comes with an expiration date.

 

 

 

So, you saved $850 (actually $85 per year over the life of a passport) on a bet that, with "seven players," could've cost you thousands (in uncovered insurance items) and trouble on each cruise you took during a ten year span. You ARE a risk taker!

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One caveat: are you flying to Tampa? If so, you now will need the newer "real i.d." driver's license (or a passport/passport card for domestic air travel.

 

And, of course, not having a passport in any international location, where some personal emergency may require flying home to the U.S., is a "pennywise/pound foolish" risk.

Domestic Airline Travel ID Requirements for U.S. Citizens

 

As a result of the REAL ID Act, new airline travel restrictions will take effect in 2018 for U.S. citizens traveling by air domestically. The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards for official purposes from states that do not meet these standards. Beginning January 22, 2018, guests with driver’s licenses or state IDs issued by states that are not in compliance with the REAL ID Act and have not been granted an extension by DHS may not use these forms of identification to fly within the US. If the state is in compliance, guests may continue to use state-issued driver’s license or ID for domestic air travel only if your state has been granted an extension to the compliance deadline by DHS.

 

Guests should take this into consideration when planning travels for their cruise.

 

To find out if your state is in compliance, please*click here.

https://www.dhs.gov/real-id

 

For more information, including other acceptable forms of identification, please*click here.

https://www.dhs.gov/real-id

 

 

 

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So, you saved $850 (actually $85 per year over the life of a passport) on a bet that, with "seven players," could've cost you thousands (in uncovered insurance items) and trouble on each cruise you took during a ten year span. You ARE a risk taker!

 

For a 4 day cruise, yes, I considered it worth the risk. It's also worthy to note that 4 of those passports would have expired in 5 years due to the age of the players. If someone doesn't want to take the risk then obviously they should get a passport.

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We live in Michigan and have the Enhanced Drivers License. We’ve never had any issues using that. We take it on and off the ship with us at every stop - no need for a birth certificate.

The enhanced drivers license acts as a passport for any travel by land or sea.

Most states don't issue an Enhanced DL, which is not the same as a Real ID.

 

You still won't be able to fly home from the Caribbean with an Enhanced DL, which is the most common reason people are advised not to cruise with just BC/ID.

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For a 4 day cruise, yes, I considered it worth the risk. It's also worthy to note that 4 of those passports would have expired in 5 years due to the age of the players. If someone doesn't want to take the risk then obviously they should get a passport.

 

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2018/01/11/the-share-of-americans-holding-a-passport-has-increased-dramatically-in-recent-years-infographic/amp/

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Most states don't issue an Enhanced DL, which is not the same as a Real ID.

 

 

 

You still won't be able to fly home from the Caribbean with an Enhanced DL, which is the most common reason people are advised not to cruise with just BC/ID.

 

 

 

That’s not entirely true - we could fly home from Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands without a passport, should an emergency occur.

 

Both of those stops happen to be on our next cruise. And since my husband and I both already have the enhanced drivers licenses - we will take our chances [emoji1303]

 

 

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So? If you want to get a passport because it's just the right thickness to keep Great Aunt Matilda's coffee table from wobbling then go for it. Just don't expect me to use the same reasoning. I don't have an Aunt Matilda.;):')

 

I have a good number of neighbors whose only foreign travel is crossing the border that's 8 miles from my front door. They aren't going to fly to Europe. They aren't going to go on a cruise. They have either a passport card or an Enhanced Drivers License (since Vermont is one of the 5 states that issue them) and would scoff at the idea that they need a passport.

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While I don't advocate cruising without a passport, I do know that millions have done so and realistically, the odds of actually needing one is going to be low. Of course, that isn't going to comfort anyone the does need it for one reason or another.

 

JMHO but I feel that Sparks posts are valid....

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While I don't advocate cruising without a passport, I do know that millions have done so and realistically, the odds of actually needing one is going to be low. Of course, that isn't going to comfort anyone the does need it for one reason or another.

 

 

 

JMHO but I feel that Sparks posts are valid....

 

 

Speaking of "validity," the mathematical problem with "statistical odds" when it comes to cruising is that there are just too many "variables" to make them useful. It isn't horse racing.

 

And, as is the case with any odds, on any given day, you can be the "loser."

 

Moreover, any argument suggesting that it's "no big deal" if you get stuck in a foreign country (requiring air travel to return home) and/or that travel insurance will honor a "trip interruption" claim arising from intentional negligence (i.e., not bringing a passport as opposed to losing it) is just so fallacious.

 

Of course, where Sparks is correct is that each person needs to "assess their own risk." However, it is my contention that, like so many other arenas requiring human judgement (preparing for disasters, retirement, etc), a surprising number of folks are incapable and/or too lazy to do their homework and/or the "right thing." And, thus, they remain clueless as to what exactly they are risking and how much it would ultimately cost (money, time, effort) to rectify problems that may arise.

 

On a side note about "odds":

We live fairly close to the Hayward Fault. Though our last major earthquake was about 20 years ago (Loma Prieta), the "odds" of having "the big one" this morning are "slim to none." Yet, under our bed you will always find shoes, flashlight and a blue bar. Like a passport, small price to pay to make life easier if they're ever needed.

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Speaking of "validity," the mathematical problem with "statistical odds" when it comes to cruising is that there are just too many "variables" to make them useful. It isn't horse racing.

 

And, as is the case with any odds, on any given day, you can be the "loser."

 

Moreover, any argument suggesting that it's "no big deal" if you get stuck in a foreign country (requiring air travel to return home) and/or that travel insurance will honor a "trip interruption" claim arising from intentional negligence (i.e., not bringing a passport as opposed to losing it) is just so fallacious.

 

Of course, where Sparks is correct is that each person needs to "assess their own risk." However, it is my contention that, like so many other arenas requiring human judgement (preparing for disasters, retirement, etc), a surprising number of folks are incapable and/or too lazy to do their homework and/or the "right thing." And, thus, they remain clueless as to what exactly they are risking and how much it would ultimately cost (money, time, effort) to rectify problems that may arise.

 

On a side note about "odds":

We live fairly close to the Hayward Fault. Though our last major earthquake was about 20 years ago (Loma Prieta), the "odds" of having "the big one" this morning are "slim to none." Yet, under our bed you will always find shoes, flashlight and a blue bar. Like a passport, small price to pay to make life easier if they're ever needed.

 

From the first hand accounts that I've read it's not fallacious at all, it normally does not take that long for arrangements to be made to fly back to the US and a good travel insurance plan would pay for any expenses caused by the delay. It is one of the main roles of the State Department is to aid US citizens in need in a foreign country, up to and including loaning them money if necessary to get them home (as a last resort). Just because someone is making a decision different than what you would make doesn't mean for a minute that they are intentionally negligent, either.

 

As for someone not using their correct judgment well, that's on them. It's not your job or my job to think for them or to make decisions for them. If someone wants to forego doing their homework and it ends up biting them that's on them and it doesn't affect you in the slightest. The fact is getting home mid-cruise is going to be just as expensive with a passport as it is without it in most cases. You still need to pay for your flight, you still need to pay for lodging, etc. and again, that is mitigated by having good travel insurance.

 

As for your analogy at the end, none of those items cost $110 and none of them expire, although you have to change the batteries in the flash light from time to time.

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From the first hand accounts that I've read......

..... It is one of the main roles of the State Department is to aid US citizens in need in a foreign country.......

 

 

Without added time, energy and significant cost: Good luck with easily getting that emergency passport in some Caribbean countries/regions like Antigua and Barbuda; Dominica; Grenada; St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Lucia; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

 

 

As for that travel insurance: even with the "best" policy, read the fine print in the T&C where you may often find a statement confirming that the policy is not designed to cover "delays in obtaining a passport."

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Without added time, energy and significant cost: Good luck with easily getting that emergency passport in some Caribbean countries/regions like Antigua and Barbuda; Dominica; Grenada; St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Lucia; and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

 

 

As for that travel insurance: even with the "best" policy, read the fine print in the T&C where you may often find a statement confirming that the policy is not designed to cover "delays in obtaining a passport."

 

The easiest solution for a US citizen who needs to get home from a place without a State Department presence- put them on a plane and clear them at secondary inspection when they land. I've read about this happening at two Mexican ports and don't see why the result should be different at others.

 

Yes, people should be aware of the limitations and exclusions of their travel insurance. Personally I found it quite easy to purchase one without the exclusion that you mention.

 

And of course this is all relevant only IF something happens in the first place.

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I am one of those people does believe that people should have passports. We are on our 6th ones.

PA is one of the stated that hasn't complied with the new driver licenses -- they will start to be issued in March 2019 -- if there aren't any more problems.

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I guess more than 50 years of extensive travel have taught me that there are times to be cautious.   This Passport issue, as it pertains to closed loop cruises, has been an issue here on CC for many years.  I suspect that those who do not want to invest some money in Passports are not going to listen to anyone's advice.  But here is a very interesting story right from another part of CC:

 

Hank

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8 hours ago, Hlitner said:

I guess more than 50 years of extensive travel have taught me that there are times to be cautious.   This Passport issue, as it pertains to closed loop cruises, has been an issue here on CC for many years.  I suspect that those who do not want to invest some money in Passports are not going to listen to anyone's advice.  But here is a very interesting story right from another part of CC:

 

Hank

How many of those incidents have we read about in the last few years on CC? There haven't been many that I can recall. In any event, this does speak to the issue of risk- if you are going to be participating in a high risk activity when in a port (and I count ATV driving as high risk) then it might be prudent to have a passport. In any event, most of their problems stemmed from not having the resources necessary to arrange for the proper medical care, the hospital wanted $10k up front before they would perform the treatment and it took them a while to get that kind of money (which of course speaks more to the premise of having good travel insurance). As I recall the couple was home in two days and while none of the articles gave too many details that seems about the amount of time it would take to be stabilized with those types of injuries (and they flew home on a commercial flight since they didn't have the resources to pay for a medevac). 

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Depending on the medical issue, med evac may be on a commercial flight.  Or may not be required, just get on the plane and fly home.

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18 minutes ago, SRF said:

Depending on the medical issue, med evac may be on a commercial flight.  Or may not be required, just get on the plane and fly home.

True enough but at first they were trying to arrange a medevac. Since they had trouble coming up with $10k I suspect they weren't in a position to raise the money necessary for a medevac. 

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Everyone thinks it can never happen to them (something bad) which is human nature.  DW and I have been traveling together, all over the world, for more then 30 years.  And finally, a few months ago, while on a beach in Nha Trang, Vietnam it happened....DW suffered a freak accident (in the water) that severely injured one of her legs.  This led to a combination of circumstances which can best be summed up by "injured in Vietnam, outpatient surgery in Osaka, Japan, medical evacuation from Yokohama Japan to home where she received 3 months of additional medical treatment!   So trust me, things do happen and sometimes it is just fate.  A lifetime of extensive travel experience served us well, we were able to deal with many issues, and the outcome was good.  But, without valid Passports (which you had to have on this trip anyway), a few credit cards with very high credit limits, lots of travel smarts, decent medical insurance, and trip evacuation insurance...the situation would have been much worse.  

 

We do a lot of independent and cruise travel and it could be said we are addicted to International Travel.  Our philosophy is to do pre-trip planning, know all our options, and then just go and have fun.  But knowing your options and having the ability to know when to move to Plan B or even Plan C is an important part of successful independent travel.  When you travel anywhere outside your own country and do not carry a valid Passport, your options become very limited...or at best much more complicated.

 

Hank

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On 10/8/2018 at 10:41 AM, sparks1093 said:

 

... a good travel insurance plan would pay for any expenses caused by the delay.

...

You still need to pay for your flight, you still need to pay for lodging, etc. and again, that is mitigated by having good travel insurance.

...

On 10/8/2018 at 10:41 AM, sparks1093 said:

 

 

You have frequently made logical arguments against spending $110 for a passport if all you are going to do is take short closed circuit cruises.

 

But, you must be kidding if you think the “prudent” traveler who opts to save that $110 is then going to spend his money on “... good travel insurance.”

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2 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

...

 

You have frequently made logical arguments against spending $110 for a passport if all you are going to do is take short closed circuit cruises.

 

But, you must be kidding if you think the “prudent” traveler who opts to save that $110 is then going to spend his money on “... good travel insurance.”

To each his or her own, that's what it boils down to (and if someone opts not to have insurance then they are the ones that will pay the price for it, not me). And for a family it's much more than $110. There may be many people out there who think it prudent to spend $850 for passports for a 4 day cruise but I'm not one of them.

Edited by sparks1093

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2 hours ago, Hlitner said:

Everyone thinks it can never happen to them (something bad) which is human nature.  DW and I have been traveling together, all over the world, for more then 30 years.  And finally, a few months ago, while on a beach in Nha Trang, Vietnam it happened....DW suffered a freak accident (in the water) that severely injured one of her legs.  This led to a combination of circumstances which can best be summed up by "injured in Vietnam, outpatient surgery in Osaka, Japan, medical evacuation from Yokohama Japan to home where she received 3 months of additional medical treatment!   So trust me, things do happen and sometimes it is just fate.  A lifetime of extensive travel experience served us well, we were able to deal with many issues, and the outcome was good.  But, without valid Passports (which you had to have on this trip anyway), a few credit cards with very high credit limits, lots of travel smarts, decent medical insurance, and trip evacuation insurance...the situation would have been much worse.  

 

We do a lot of independent and cruise travel and it could be said we are addicted to International Travel.  Our philosophy is to do pre-trip planning, know all our options, and then just go and have fun.  But knowing your options and having the ability to know when to move to Plan B or even Plan C is an important part of successful independent travel.  When you travel anywhere outside your own country and do not carry a valid Passport, your options become very limited...or at best much more complicated.

 

Hank

I hope your DW healed well and yes, freak accidents can happen which is a better argument for travel insurance than it is for a passport for a closed loop cruise (and as stated many people will forego that, too). And actually your experience backs up what I've been saying- in 30 years you've had one incident and that's with traveling all over the world. It most certainly can happen but for most cruisers the risk is very low and it's really up to them to make the decision to spend money on a document that they may not really need for their travel pattern. I know that for us it didn't make sense to get them for the 4 and 7 day cruises we were able to do once every year or two.

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On 10/9/2018 at 4:06 AM, Krazy Kruizers said:

I am one of those people does believe that people should have passports. We are on our 6th ones.

PA is one of the stated that hasn't complied with the new driver licenses -- they will start to be issued in March 2019 -- if there aren't any more problems.

Totally agree. Had a passport continuously since I was 16. Now carry 2 passports and can't figure out why people would consider travelling outside the country without one.

 

Although we can cross into the US with an enhanced driver's licence, I still use a passport.

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19 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

Totally agree. Had a passport continuously since I was 16. Now carry 2 passports and can't figure out why people would consider travelling outside the country without one.

 

Although we can cross into the US with an enhanced driver's licence, I still use a passport.

I drove up to Montreal this past Monday to pick someone up at the airport and used my EDL for the trip. Left my passport in the safe deposit box and didn't even think about using it. Many people in my border town will only ever travel to Canada in their lifetime and would find it laughable that someone would suggest that they should have a passport when a passport card or EDL works perfectly fine. Everyone has different travel patterns and travel needs and someone who will only be traveling on closed loop cruises every year or two may choose to use something other than a passport for that travel.

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14 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

I hope your DW healed well and yes, freak accidents can happen which is a better argument for travel insurance than it is for a passport for a closed loop cruise (and as stated many people will forego that, too). And actually your experience backs up what I've been saying- in 30 years you've had one incident and that's with traveling all over the world. It most certainly can happen but for most cruisers the risk is very low and it's really up to them to make the decision to spend money on a document that they may not really need for their travel pattern. I know that for us it didn't make sense to get them for the 4 and 7 day cruises we were able to do once every year or two.

 

With the travel insurance, the one freak accident can have costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Few people can afford that.

 

And in case of the freak accident, add in having to take care of getting passports with one person critical in the hospital.  Yeap, like you need more stress.

 

And I have mentioned a number of times on this site, you can buy travel insurance without insuring the actual cost of the trip/cruise.  For a LOT less money.  Coverage for just the unexpected things that are not budgeted for my last cruise (9 nights) was $32.

 

 

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