Cruising and Passports
Cruising has become an extremely popular vacation in the past few years. With all of the changes in our national security people are confused about the need of a passport on a cruise vacation. Years ago you didn't need a passport to take a cruise to the Caribbean. As long as you returned to the port you left from.
After 9/11 things changed. Our border security was tightened and more regulations put in place. You can still cruise without a passport, but its not a good idea! Three years ago we did it! We went on the Disney Wonder and you didn't have to have a passport, an original birth certificate was all you needed. Now, you can still use your birth certificate but it won't get you back in the U.S. if miss the ship, or something happens medically and you are transported to a hospital.
Protect yourself and your family. Get a passport. There are now two options when getting a passport. You can get the Passport Book which is the full passport. You can fly anywhere in the world, cruise on any cruise ship and cross any borders you want (as long as you don't need a visa to visit that country too!).
The Passport Book costs $110.00 plus a processing fee of $25.00 if you don't apply yourself online and/or are getting a renewal passport. There is an alternative to the Passport book. The U.S. Passport Card can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry and is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book. The passport card cannot be used for international travel by air.
The price for the Passport Card is $55.00 for first time adult passport applicants or $30 for an applicant that has held a passport before. That is a great savings if you never plan on flying to Europe!
Still confused? No worries! Consult a travel professional before making any decisions. It could be a savings and certainly a savings of your sanity!!