A common question asked when planning a cruise is whether you will need a passport.
To be truthful, if you are a US citizen for the FPBT cruise, no. All other countries, yes.
Now that we have that out of the way… I encourage you to get a passport if you can financially do so. You have plenty of time! Why do I say this? Well, a passport is just easier! You can sail through the lines much quicker whether it’s to board the ship or going through airport security or go through customs at the end of the cruise.
Yes, we do have a quick security check before we get on the ship similar to the airport. No biggie!
The reason most people say you need a passport for cruising is if something unforeseen happens while you are on an island and need to fly home. Medical emergency or you miss the boat because you are partying (yes, that happens frequently). You can cross back into the country by land or sea without a passport but not while flying. And you never know… But a lot of people cruise without one. I guess they are gambling on their chances!
Here are the Carnival rules:
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.
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.
Yes, they will deny you boarding if you don’t have the proper documents. I’ve seen it happen… sadly.
Here is a great link to the US government travel website with a lot of great advice and information. You can also get your application on this site:
This is another good site for more information from the Border Patrol:
Here is the information on Enhanced Drivers License:
I have heard it can take a couple of months to get a passport. So plan early. We have been very lucky and it has never taken more than a few weeks for ours. But, you need to have your documentation, photo’s, proof of citizenship, etc in hand when applying so that might take you a while to get everything together. And there is a cost to getting one. It’s a $135 for one at this time. But, they are good for 10 years so it’s not that bad!
More information can be found here on the fees: