If you haven’t cruised for a while, remember that there are some important documents you should bring onboard with you, including your passport and COVID-19 vaccination card.
Your passport serves as an official ID and proof of citizenship. Bring your actual, physical passport; in some situations, a printed copy or an image of your passport may not be accepted. It’s also important to check your passport’s expiration date before you make a cruise reservation because many cruise lines require your passport to be valid for at least six months after the end date of your cruise.
Note that if you’re taking a “closed-loop” cruise – one that begins and ends at the same U.S. port – a passport is not required. But, you’ll still need to bring a government-issued ID that includes a photo (such as a driver’s license) and proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate). And, some ports of call may still require a passport before you’re allowed to step off the ship.
If you’re cruising from the U.S. to certain destinations – including Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and some Caribbean islands – you may be able to use a U.S. passport card instead of a regular passport. But some cruise lines always require each passenger to have a regular passport, regardless of the itinerary.
As with your passport, bring your actual, physical vaccination card, even if you provide a digital copy to the cruise line when you make your reservation. Many cruise lines now require most or all passengers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and some ports also require proof of vaccination for passengers who wish to come onshore. Tip: If you can’t find your vaccination card, contact the organization that provided the vaccine – such as your doctor’s office, a pharmacy, or the local health department – to ask for a copy.
Requirements for proof of COVID-19 vaccination status may vary between cruise lines, and even among the ships of the same cruise line; specific requirements may also depend on your port of embarkation or debarkation. Plus, these requirements can change, so stay connected with your professional travel advisor for the latest information.
A quick note about visas: you can visit most places in the world via cruise ship without a visa, but when one is required, the cruise line is likely to make the necessary arrangements.
Finally, remember to pack any other documents your cruise line requires; consult with Anita, your professional travel advisor, to make sure you have all the documents you need.
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