what type of ID do I need for a cruise

Booking a Cruise – What Type of ID do You Need?

In February 15, 2017

You’ve found the perfect cruise for you and your family and it has all of the checklist requirements! The only thing left for you to do is to ask yourself the most important question – “what type of ID do I need for a cruise?” Without the right answer, your cruise vacation may turn into a trip to look at the ship from the dock instead of from your room onboard. Some cruises may require a passport while others may only require a government-issued photo ID and official birth certificate so pay close attention to these guidelines on documents needed to take a cruise.


There are two types of cruises, a closed loop cruise which starts and ends at a port within the United States and an open loop cruise which has a different starting and ending port outside of the United States. If you’re going to be on a closed loop cruise it means that passengers are not required to have a passport, but all passengers will be required to have a form of current government issued photo identification and an original birth certificate or naturalization papers. You can travel on a closed loop cruise with a passport or passport card as proof of both identity and citizenship to be exempt from bringing a birth certificate. This is the case for cruises that travel from the United States to Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Bermuda. However it is important to note that all cruise lines highly recommend all passengers carry a valid United States passport with them at all times in case of an emergency. Emergency situations include missing your embarkation time and having to fly to the next port of call, the foreign port may require you to present a passport to disembark the ship, or there could be a medical emergency that requires you to fly to a medical center. If you are taking an open loop cruise, you will be required to have a passport for all passengers in your party, including minors.
It is important to remember that cruise lines recommend for everyone to have a passport during their cruise vacation even if they are not required. It can help ease your mind during your trip to know that in case of a rare emergency, you will be able to get back into the United States. If you need help obtaining any government-issued forms of ID, such as a birth certificate, you can contact VitalChek to start your online order. Most importantly, enjoy your cruise vacation!


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