Which is better: carrying the Original or a Copy when touring?
If something happens to you, you will need to be able to produce the original passport. Period. Taking a copy of a passport and not the actual passport will be of absolutely no help to you, whatsoever, if an emergency arises. If you are fairly close to the hotel or ship, someone has to go back there and retrieve your passport. If that is not possible, you will need to visit the nearest US Embassy, apply for an expedited passport at additional cost, and have new passport photos taken. Acquiring the new passport will not be accomplished in one day! In an emergency situation, time is usually of the essence. Plus, while you are waiting for your new passport, you will, of course, be out money for hotel nights, transfers, meals, etc.