Business has been steady this time of year and there have been a lot of questions lately on documentation for travel – particularly for cruises. So I thought I would share a few tips and requirements for taking a cruise.
This is the kind of information that is not always clear to even the most experienced cruisers, who may have sailed with different documents in the past. So as a quick reminder – all U.S. citizens must bring one of the following WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) compliant documents in order to sail on a cruise that departs and ends from the same U.S. port:
- Valid U.S. Passport
- Passport Card
- Original or legible copy of a Birth Certificate (issued by the Department of Vital Statistics)
- Certificate of Naturalization
- Enhanced Driver’s License
- Trusted Traveler Program Membership Card (i.e. Nexus Card, Sentri Card or Fast Card)
- A Consular Report of Birth Abroad
Copies of the following will NOT be allowed by a cruise line:
- US Passports
- Naturalization Papers
Originals, or copies will NOT be allowed by a cruise line:
- Baptismal Certificates
- Hospital issued “Certificate of Birth”
It is always recommended that all guests travel with a passport (valid for at least six months beyond completion of travel). Although a passport is not required for U.S. citizens taking cruises that begin and end in the same U.S. port, traveling with a passport facilitates your disembarkation experience. It also makes it easier for you to fly from the U.S. to a foreign port should you miss your scheduled embarkation or need to fly back to the U.S. for an emergency.
By taking the time to familiarize yourself with these requirements and asking your travel planner questions, your overall cruise experience will be that much more enjoyable!