A lot of people don’t have passports these days and still want to go on a cruise. I got a question last night and it was a good one…
Can I cruise without a passport?
A common misconception is that you can’t cruise without a passport and if you ask 9 out of 10 cruise line agents they will tell you that you need a passport. But the truth is, while it’s wise to have one anyway, you don’t always technically need one. Hopefully this will clear things up for you.
EXCEPTION: U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises (cruises that begin and end in the same U.S. port) and visit Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and/or countries of the Caribbean will be able to enter or depart the US with a birth certificate and government issued photo ID.
Examples of a closed–loop cruise would be:
- JAX-JAX (visiting Bahamas)
- FLL-FLL (visiting Caribbean and/or Bermuda)
- BOS-BOS (visiting Canada)
- TAMPA-TAMPA (visiting Mexico)
If you are doing a repositioning cruise ( Fort Lauderdale-New York), under the new passport rules, you WILL need a passport. Returning back to the same port you left from, you will not need a passport.
Keep in mind that if you need to fly back to the United States for an emergency, not having a passport will delay the process significantly.
You should have a passport though. If you don’t, consider getting one.