Documents for a Cruise Vacation
If you're heading out on a cruise, it's important to have the correct documentation with you. This can be the difference between success and disaster.
For pretty much any cruise you take, it's adviseable to have a passport with you. That is true for everyone from grandpa down to the infants. A passport proves you are a citizen of your country. When you get back to your home port, it in essence proves that they should let you back onto the mainland!
Yes, some ships say they'll take a photo ID, or a stamped, notarized copy of your birth certificate. But to be honest, they can always be iffy about those things - and those birth certificates can get wet and warped pretty easily! A passport is MADE to travel. It's sturdy, it's small, and it is universally recognized throughout the entire world. No matter what disasters happen - including your ship being diverted to another port for some strange reason - you are covered.
Plus, the passport is good for many years. Having a passport on hand that is valid is always a good thing. You never know what will come up in life. Just get the passport, and keep it locked in your room safe. Also, have a photocopy of it at home with someone that can be easily reached. That way if there's any problem, they can fax a copy over to you at the ship.
Some destinations ALSO require a VISA. This is NOT a credit card! It's another type of diplomatic document giving you permission to enter the country. Your ship can tell you if the places you are visiting require that VISA. If you are taking a VISA too, then once again leave a photocopy of it behind with someone that can be reached.
Cruising Tips and Information Main Page