But compensation is being paid by the owners of the 20 million baht ferry that sank after burning to the waterline, with 117 passengers and crew jumping into the sea to escape the heat and flames.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are national holidays in Thailand. People who do not get new passports today may be forced to wait until next Thursday.
Phuketwan has learned that people who lost passports in the tragedy, which cost the life of a 12-year-old Israeli girl, included three Americans, two Indians, an Italian, an Australian and an Irish citizen, all based in Krabi.
More people among the 91 survivors bused back to Phuket on Wednesday night after the burning and sinking of the Ao Nang Princess 5 also lost everything.
Some had only the swimsuits in which they stood.
It has been established that passengers on the vessel included Thais, Hungarians, Australians, Israelis, Chinese, Americans, Canadians, British, Egyptians, Ukrainians, Dutch, Germans, Indians, Italians, a Colombian, at least one Irish citizen and a Lithuanian.
A spokesperson for the owner of the vessel said yesterday that having dealt with the problems of the people in Krabi, the staff deployed to help surviving passengers would move on to Phuket today.
''Dealing with the death of the young girl was a priority,'' the spokesperson said.
''The vessel was fully insured and the owner is keen to compensate anyone for out-of-pocket expenses involved in getting their new passports.''
The mother and father of Shanni Maril left Phuket yesterday bound for israel with the girl's brother and sister. Her body, recovered by divers from the wreck yesterday, remains in Krabi.
Passengers told Phuketwan reporters at Phuket City Police Station on Wednesday night that they heard Mr Maril calling out for Shanni as the flames spread and passengers scrambled to don life vests and jump into the sea as fast as possible.
Shanni had gone to the toilet in the stern of the vessel, near where the fire began in the engine room - possibly from a spark or an explosion.
Nati Hadad, an Israeli search and rescue worker who went to Krabi to assist with recovery of survivors and the vessel, told israelhayom.com: ''[The girl's father] had no choice but to save himself and his other children, as the fire had already grown stronger, putting everyone on the boat in grave danger.
''There was major chaos on the ferry, and the parents were forced to watch the ferry burn and sink with their daughter in it.
''The rest of the family members were saved, because they were at the front of the boat with the rest of the passengers, but the girl was at the stern where the fire had started.''
The Chabad emissary in Phuket, Rabbi Eliezer Leinz, told Israel Hayom about his encounter with the family: ''We sat down and cried together.
''They told me they took a one-day trip from Phuket to Krabi, and at a certain point their daughter went to the toilet.
''A few moments later a loud explosion rocked the boat which began to catch fire as a result.
''The father said he ran to the toilets to try and save his daughter, but it was too late as everything was already engulfed in flames and smoke and he realised he needed to save the rest of the family.''
Coordinating an appropriate response proved difficult but police on Krabi and Phuket coped remarkably well. The big deficiency was the lack of support from the embassies and the honorary consuls on Phuket.
Although translators were organised among tour guides and with the addition of expat police volunteers, police neglected to let the embassies and honorary consuls know what was happening.
The process of restoring documents should have begun for more of the survivors on Wednesday night, with telephone calls to the island's 24 honorary consuls.
Some even have responsibility for both Phuket and Krabi.
Relations between consuls and authorities have decayed since Governor Nisit Jansomwong and his predecessor Maitree Intrusud decided not to hold the scheduled three-monthly forums, where consuls, Phuket authorities and police got to know each other.
Chinese tourist Shiyu Ji, 22, told Phuketwan on Wednesday night that she had been travelling with a group of 11 and they were one week into a two-week stay on Phuket when the ferry sank.
''We haven't been given a lot of information,'' she said. ''Now I want to head home as soon as I can.''
Ironically, it's expected that reaction to the disaster will become a discussion point when honorary consuls do meet with the governor - after a long break of seven months.
The meeting, now scheduled for April 21, has already been postponed once. It's also not clear yet whether police and other Phuket administrators will join.
It's planned for a private hotel rather than the spacious forum room at Phuket Provincial Hall.