Today: Do I need a passport to cruise?
Want toÂ go on a cruise?
We find cruising a relaxing way to explore the world without unpacking more than once.
Weâ€™ve visited some of the worldâ€™s most unique spots, like the Polar Ice Cap, via a cruise ship.
A frequentÂ questionÂ question weÂ hear isÂ â€œDo I need a passport to go on a cruise?â€
Our simple answer is â€œYes.â€Â Why wouldnâ€™t you get a passport?Â Donâ€™t you want to see the world?
It is a valid question, since less than 30 percent ofÂ U.S. citizensÂ have passports, while the percentage of the Americans wanting to cruise–especially to the Caribbean and Alaska — continues to grow.
US Citizens Do Not Need a Passport for Some Cruises
As much as weâ€™d like to see you get a passport so you can explore the world, it turns out that U.S. citizens do not currently need a passport for some â€œclosed-loopâ€ cruises to foreign ports within the Western Hemisphere.
If the cruise begins and ends in the same U.S. port â€“ such as Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, New Orleans, or Seattle — for example, U.S. citizens are able to enter the United States with a birth certificate and government issued photo ID.
Check out this pageÂ of the U.S. Customs and Border ProtectionÂ website for more information. Be sure to scroll down to the paragraphy onÂ “Closed Loop” Cruises.
Just because you can get on and off the cruise ship in Miami without a passport does not mean that you will be welcome off the ship in the countries your cruise is visiting.
Many Caribbean islands and Canadian ports on Alaska cruises allow visitors from cruise ships without a passport, but check with your cruise line to ensure you have the proper documents.
After all, you donâ€™t want to be left at the pier.
Even if you are on a closed-loop cruise visiting non-passport required Caribbean islands, a passport is still a good idea.Â Why?
If you need to leave the ship to fly home due to an emergency, you would not have proper documentation required for a border crossing by air or land.
Additionally, countries can always change their positions about immigration with little to no notice.
Just Do It
Just get your passport.Â Â And get ready to explore the world.
Learn how to apply for a passport at the State Departmentâ€™s travel web site, or visit your post office.Â Â
Are you a cruise fan? Do you have a passport?Â Why or Why Not? Please share in comments.
Other travel tips posts:
- Visiting Alaska This Summer? 10 Tips on What to PackÂ
- 4 Things to Pack for a Better Cruise
- Got Frequent Flier miles? 5 Tips on Finding a Free Ticket Using Them