Do I Need a Passport to Cruise?
Cruises are a popular way to travel. They're an opportunity to visit multiple destinations, all while unpacking your suitcase just once! But what are the rules regarding passports when you're cruising from port to port in the Caribbean? Or what if you start your cruise in the states and finish outside the US? We're here to answer all of your passport requirement questions.
By law, passports are required for all travelers, including citizens of the US and Canada, who enter or re-enter the US by air, land or sea. However, regarding cruises to destinations in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda, there is a notable exception to this US passport rule, pertaining to land and sea crossings for US Citizens.
If you are a US Citizen traveling on closed-loop cruise (cruise that begins and ends in the same US port) and travel to destinations in Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Bermuda, you are able to re-enter the US with proof of citizenship other than a passport or passport card.
What is an acceptable proof of citizenship?
- An original or certified copy of a government issued birth certificate (raised seal and signature - no copies accepted)
- A laminated government issued picture ID (for example: driver's license)
- Consular Report of Born Abroad Certificate
- Certificate of Naturalization.
NOTE: Baptismal records and certificates issued by a hospital are not acceptable. They must be government issued. Voter registration cards or Social Security cards are also not considered proof of citizenship.
With this being said, Liberty Travel strongly recommends that all guests travel with a passport. Please take note of your expiration date and make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months past the end of your scheduled travel. There are many reasons why this is our suggestion, but here are a few:
- You may need to fly out of the country to meet a ship at it's next port if you missed an embarkation.
- You may need to fly home before the cruise ends due to an unforeseen emergency.
- You may be required to show your passport to enter any foreign ports your cruise is visiting.
- You may be asked to disembark the ship due to misbehavior.
Non-US Citizens, US Citizens on an open-loop cruise (cruise that begins and ends in different ports) and passengers on cruises that stop at ports in South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Antarctica, ALL require a valid passport. Some instances may even call for a visa; which is something your travel consultant can assist you with.
That's a lot of technical information to digest. But, our final words of wisdom: When in doubt, bring your passport. If you already have a one, then suggest you bring it (you can always lock it up in your stateroom for safety). And if you don't have a passport, we strongly recommend applying for one! We can hear Europe, South America, Asia, Australia and more calling your name!