Monday, May 23, 2011

The story of why I may not get to go on a cruise....

So, I mentioned last night that I may not go on my cruise, this weekend.

Here's why...............

My passport expired in mid-April. So, I went to renew it.

The last week of March (8 weeks prior to travel), I sent off all of my documentation to renew it. Only this time, I ordered a Passport Card, along with the Passport Book.

The Passport Card is relatively new. It is like a driver's license (ie, easily carried) and has some restrictions. You can travel to Canada, Mexico, and the Carribean via land or boat with it. So, as I'm going on a cruise, it would be perfect. Note: You HAVE to have the Book. The Card is optional.

I went to the Post Office to mail off my documentation. Again, last week of March. I even included my cell number and my email address, so I could "receive up to date information regarding my application."

April 12 - They take my payment.

Sometime mid-April - My friend who sent off for hers the week before me, received hers.

Late April - I wonder where my Passport is because my friend had hers weeks ago.

May 10 - I receive a letter in the mail.... regular mail, mind you..... that was mailed out on May 6th stating that there is a character limit on a Passprt Card and my name is too long. I could either change my name on both or just cancel the card. I call Passport Services. She confirms my declaration that there was NEVER any indication on the application and/or instructions that there is a character limit for a Passport Card. As in, I never would have ordered it if I'd known my name was too long.

May 11 - I overnight the letter (that HAD to be mailed out...... I couldn't do it via phone or internet) back to the National Passport Agency, cancelling the Passport Card. I just want the Book with my full and correct name on it.

May 13 - I call Passport Services and receive confirmation that they received the letter on May 12. My passport is back to being processed. The nice man I spoke with assured me that it shouldn't be a problem to have my Passport by my travel date (May 27).

Fast-forward to today.............

I've spoken to SEVEN people at Passport Services in the past two weeks, including an hour ago. My passport is "still being processed."

They can't tell me when it will be ready and sent to me.

They don't know how long it will take to finish.

They don't know what the hold up is.

They can't explain to me why it took them A FULL MONTH to tell me my name is too long.

They honestly don't know if I'll have my passport in time for travel.

They are going to have someone call me "within 48 hours" to discuss this and see about getting my passport to me in time.

Only 48 hours from now is 48 hours from when I'm supposed to be sailing off on a cruise ship.

I honestly don't know what to do, at this point.

All I know......... and, I'm not trying to sound dramatic........ is that this 3 day cruise with a couple of my girlfriends is the ONLY thing that got me through the past two months of work. Knowing that I'd have 3 full days without cell phone or internet or anyone calling me about inane things........ has literally saved my sanity.

I'm to the point of actually making plans for this weekend, so that I'll have a back-up to keep me occupied in case I can't sail.


Krystal said...

You can still cruise without a passport. Birth certificate and driver's license still does the trick. This was as of February 2011. They keep saying they've changed it but they really haven't. Call your cruise line and they'll tell you what's up.

Sonya said...

I pray they get it to you! You need that mini vacation!

Lil' Woman said...

I'd call the cruise line and see if they're are any other options.

Brittany Ann said...

Depending on the cruise line, I think Krystal is right. Call the cruise line and see what they can do for you.

Chris said...

I'm going through the same predicament right now (needed to renew, wanted to get the card because I'm only going to Canada for a few hours, etc.). Wife and kids received their cards within 2 weeks; I received a letter 2 weeks later about the name length. I have spoken to several people who have no idea how to help me other than "it's being processed" and today--4 days prior to cruising--still no passport card.