Cruises are an interesting thing when it comes to passport.
Passport requirements for cruises will depend on where you are going.
But basically, you WILL need a passport to go on a Cruise, whether you are a U.S. citizen or a non- U.S. citizen. You will need to go through security before you are allowed to board the ship, and having a valid passport is required to get on your ship.
Also, when you port in a city and explore for the day, when you want to get back on your ship, many travelers prefer to use their passport to get back on their ship. Some Cruise companies will allow you to use other forms of I.D. to get back on your ship, but your passport will always work.
I want to list some popular cruise companies policy on passports and cruising.
Below is Carnival’s passport requirements for their cruises:
Passports are required for all travelers, including citizens of U.S. and Canada, who enter or re-enter the United States by air, land or sea.
Regarding Carnival Cruises to destinations in Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, the Bahamas and Bermuda, there is a notable exception to this US passport rule, pertaining to land and sea crossings for US Citizens.
US Citizens on closed-loop cruises (cruises that begin and end in the same U.S. port) and travel to destinations in Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Bermuda are able to re-enter the United States with proof of citizenship other than a passport or passport card. Acceptable proof of citizenship includes an original or certified copy of a government issued birth certificate (raised seal and signature) and a laminated government issued picture ID (typically, driver’s license), Consular Report of Born Abroad Certificate, or a Certificate of Naturalization. NOTE: Baptismal records and certificates issued by a hospital are not acceptable.
Carnival Cruise Lines Passport Requirements
Carnival Cruise Lines strongly recommends all of our guests travel with a valid passport. However, as of June 1, 2009, U.S. citizens embarking on a cruise that both originates and terminates at the same U.S. port are not required to have a passport, but will need proof of citizenship such as an original or certified copy of a birth certificate, a certificate of naturalization, a passport card, an enhanced driver’s license () as well as a government-issued photo ID. Children are also required to bring proof of citizenship, and if 16 and over, a photo ID is also required.
U.S. citizens calling on ports in Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica and Belize will also be exempt from the passport requirement.
Canadian and Bermudian citizens are required to have a passport for air, land and sea travel, including all Carnival cruises.
If a cruise begins and ends in different U.S. ports, or begins and ends in a foreign port (such as our Alaska cruises and Hawaii cruises) a valid passport or other recognized WHTI-compliant document is required. A valid passport is required if you are traveling on any of our Europe cruises.
Although a passport is not required for U.S. citizens taking cruises that both originate and terminate at the same U.S. port, we, again, strongly recommend all guests travel with a passport (valid for at least six months beyond completion of travel). Having a passport will enable guests to fly from the U.S. to a foreign port in the event they miss their scheduled embarkation or to fly back to the U.S. if they need to disembark the ship mid-cruise due to an emergency.
ALL guests need proper proof of citizenship in order to travel and failure to present a valid document at check in will result in denied boarding and no refund will be issued.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) when fully implemented on June 1, 2009 will require all travelers to and from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda to present a valid passport or other approved document that establishes the bearer’s identity and citizenship in order to enter or reenter the United States.
A valid passport is a requirement for air travel to / from Canada, Mexico the Caribbean and Bermuda
U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises (cruises that begin and end at the same port in the U.S.) will be able to enter or depart the country with proof of citizenship, such as a government-issued birth certificate and laminated government issued picture ID, denoting photo, name and date of birth. A U.S. citizen under the age of 16 will be able to present either an original, notarized or certified copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issues by DOS, or Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Note: Baptismal papers and hospital certificates of birth are not acceptable. Voter registration cards or Social Security cards are not considered proof of citizenship.
Alien Registration Card (Green Card)
U.S. lawful permanent residents will continue to be able to use their Alien Registration Card issued by the Department of Homeland Security or other valid evidence of permanent residence status to apply for entry to United States.
Card renewal is an important matter. ARC holders (United States permanent residents) with expired cards may be considered “out of status” and may be denied entry / reentry into the United States. If your ARC was issued over 10 years ago, you should check the expiration date printed on the front of the card. If your card is expired, or it is about to expire, you should renew your card before you sail.
If you are holding an old edition ARC WITHOUT an expiration date, you will not be detained from entering the United States but U.S. Customs and Border Protection highly suggests that you apply for a new card before you sail.
Royal Caribbean International strongly recommends that all guests travel with a valid passport during their cruise. This greatly assists guests who may need to fly out of the United States to meet their ship at the next available port should they miss their scheduled embarkation in a U.S. port; guests entering the U.S. at the end of their cruise; and guests needing to fly to the U.S. before their cruise ends, because of medical, family, personal or business emergencies, missing a ship’s departure from a port of call, involuntary disembarkation from a ship due to misconduct, or other reasons.
Guests who need to fly to the United States before their cruise ends will likely experience significant delays and complications related to booking airline tickets and entering the United States if they do not have a valid U.S. passport with them. For additional passport information visit www.travel.state.gov
You will need a valid passport and, in some cases, a visa. If you live in the U.S., you will also need the original copy of your Alien Registration Card (ARC or “Green Card”) and any other documentation the countries on your itinerary require due to your alien status.
Canadian Landed Immigrants
All Canadian Landed Immigrants (inclusive of those who are citizens of the British Commonwealth countries) who reside in Canada must have valid passports and US visas. Also required is the original copy of your Permanent Resident Card (PR Card) formally the IMM 1000 or with respect to any country on the itinerary any other travel documentation required because of alien status.
Please contact the Embassy (Consular Services) of each country on your sailing itinerary or the visa service of your choice for specific visa requirements, information, forms and fees for your nationality.
VISA WAIVER PROGRAM
Citizens from the Visa Waiver Program countries of: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunel, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom seeking to enter the United States will be required to have in their possession a machine readable, biometic passport with a digital photograph valid for the duration of the voyage.
So essentially, if you didn’t really read the two above articles from Royal Caribbean and Carnival, you need a passport to enter/re-enter the U.S. on cruises, or you need another valid piece of WHTI valid document.
And please note that you NEED a passport for air travel outside the U.S.
However, for lunch and dinner cruises like this one here, you do not need a passport, as you almost never pass over into another countries waters. But even if you did, you usually don’t need a passport anyways if you stay on the ship.