Do you need a passport for your cruise? Well, it depends on what type of cruise you are doing! However, most cruise lines HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you travel with a valid passport. You don’t want to be stuck overseas without an easy way to get home. Always travel with a valid passport. Unexpected circumstances can come up that make it impossible to return to the United States on the cruise ship.
Here are some examples:
1. Illness or Injury – Depending on the severity of your illness or injury, you may have to be admitted to a local hospital overseas. If you cannot be discharged before the cruise ship is scheduled to depart, the cruise ship may leave without you. In this case, you would need a U.S. passport to fly home upon clearance from your doctor.
2. Damage to cruise ship – Occasionally cruise ships are damaged or have mechanical issues that cannot be fixed during your trip. In these cases, you would need a U.S passport book to fly home.
Sometimes the cruise company will require you to have a passport, even if U.S. Customs and Border Protection do not. Check here to see if you are required to have a passport for your upcoming cruise.
A passport card may also be a good solution for cruise travel. The passport card allows you to re-enter the United States at sea ports of entry from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. However, if you are not able to return on the cruise ship, you will still need a passport book to fly back to the United States.