By Sarah Phillips
To me one of the best things about having a passport is collecting all the cool stamps. One day my goal is to fill an entire passport with stamps. With my first passport, I managed to collect some pretty cool stamps while cruising throughout the Caribbean.
While sailing in the Caribbean, you don’t typically get your passport stamped as Customs usually clears the entire ship, not each individual person. But, with just a little bit of effort, there are several ports where you can get passport stamps. Here are 5 places to spruce up your passport:
1. Grand Cayman. This is one of the coolest passport stamps in the whole world (at least I think so!); it’s a peg leg turtle pirate. Yes, seriously, a peg leg turtle pirate. This one’s pretty easy to get too. Once you’ve arrived in port, after tendering in, there’s a small building with Customs officials who will stamp your passport. The building’s usually pretty easy to find, but we did stop to ask and make sure it was the right one before we went in. This one is also a two for one – if you head over to Hell, Grand Cayman, they’ll give you a novelty stamp saying you’ve been to Hell.
2. Aruba and Curacao. When sailing on the Carnival Miracle a few years ago, we hit the jackpot of Passport Stamps. We got both of these on one sailing. In both Aruba and Curacao, we just asked where the Customs house (or office) was and then walked over. They do keep normal business hours, so you’ll have to do it during the daytime. Both islands were happy to stamp our passports though.
3. Cozumel, Mexico. This stamp is one of the few that’s not in walking distance. You’ll need to take a taxi into downtown to get your stamp here. I don’t have this one yet, but it’s on my list to get…soon! When you get downtown, check out the main post office and you’ll find your stamp waiting for you.
4. Nassau,Bahamas. This is another stamp that’s located in/near the port and usually not too difficult to get. As you’re heading back into the building to go through the security lines, there’s a building past the chain link fence and guard. You’ll need to show your sail pass and then head to the building for the passport stamp. Bonus, you should be able to walk back to the ship at this point and not have to wait in security lines.
5. Roatan, Honduras. This set up is very similar to Grand Cayman. There’s a small official building right as you debark the ship in port where you can ask to have your passport stamped. This one’s a simple stamp (kinda like a novelty stamp), but does say Isla Roatan and has the date you visited the island.
Just to note, on some cruise lines, you can take your passports to the Purser’s Desk or Guest Services and they’ll get the passports stamped for you. However, please be aware, not every ship and every cruise line offers this service.
What are some of your favorite passport stamps? Ever fill up an entire passport and have to order extra pages?