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Saturday, February 03, 2007

New Passport Requirments For Cruises

Proof of Citizenship/Proof of Identity

Don't leave home without proper identification. The cruise lines have a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY regarding missing or unacceptable citizenship documents. Make sure you have all of the necessary documentation to travel. IF YOU DO NOT, YOU WILL BE DENIED BOARDING, NO EXCEPTIONS. There is no room for flexibility on this policy. Guests who fail to provide the cruise line with proper proof of citizenship and photo ID will be denied boarding and will not receive a refund.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER
The information below is for reference purposes only and is subject to change at anytime without notice. You are advised to contact the cruise line for the latest requirements and if necessary the appropriate consulate, U.S. Embassy or U.S. Immigration office to inquire further about travel documents. Do not rely on the information provided below, as it could change. Check with your cruise line about the specific requirements for your cruise before you show up at the pier. Failure to have the proper documentation could result in denied boarding. If you are denied boarding you will not get a refund. Cruise Direct Online assumes no responsibility for advising guests of immigration, proof of Citizenship and Proof of Identity requirements.

Travel Direct Corporation ( Cruise Direct Online and other related companies ) assumes no responsibility for advising guests of immigration requirements. The information below is for reference purposes only and is subject to change without notice. You are advised to contact the cruise line for the latest requirements and if necessary the appropriate consulate, U.S. Embassy or U.S. Immigration office to inquire further about travel documents.

Don't Have a Passport? Time to Get One!


IMPORTANT: A VALID PASSPORT IS REQUIRED FOR A CRUISE
Please be sure to read items numbered 1-4
1. If you FLY to and/or from your cruise departing/returning port outside the United States

NEW... All citizens, regardless of age, including infants will be required to show a passport to re-enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, Panama, Bermuda, the Caribbean and the rest of the World. Guests sailing on or after January 23, 2007 will be required to present a valid passport during ship check-in formalities. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after sailing. Passengers who's Alaska cruise itinerary includes a port call to a Canadian city, or begins or ends in a Canadian port/city are required to have a valid Passport. You are responsible for having the proper documenation with you when you travel. In addition Visa's may be required to enter certain countries while on a cruise. So, well in advance of leaving home, check with the cruise line for the exact documentation requirements for your cruise or cruisetour. Failure to have the proper documentation ( Passport, Visa, Health Vacination Certificates etc. ) as required will result in denied boarding and you will not get a refund for your cruise.


2. If you FLY to and/or from your cruise departing/returning port inside the United States

US Citizens: If you are flying to and from your cruise ports of embarkation and disembarkation in the United States Only, a valid passport is highly recommended. In the absence of a passport, a birth certificate (original or a certified copy), plus a picture ID card issued by a federal, state or local government agency is required. A voter registration card or Social Security Card are not considered to be proof of citizenship. Children under 16 years of age do not require a picture ID. This only applies if your cruise leaves and ends in the United States. If a plane trip outside the United States is part of your cruise itinerary anywhere in the world, you will need a valid Passport. Passengers who's Alaska cruise itinerary includes a port call to a Canadian city, or begins or ends in a Canadian port/city are required to have a valid Passport, regardless if you drive or fly. Failure to have the proper documentation as required will result in denied boarding and you will not get a refund for your cruise.

3. If you DRIVE to and from your cruise departing/returning port inside the United States

US Citizens: If you are driving and not flying to and from your cruise ports of embarkation and disembarkation in the United States Only, a valid passport is highly recommended. In the absence of a passport, a birth certificate (original or a certified copy), plus a picture ID card issued by a federal, state or local government agency is required. A voter registration card or Social Security Card are not considered to be proof of citizenship. Children under 16 years of age do not require a picture ID. This only applies if you are driving. If a plane trip outside the United States is part of your cruise itinerary anywhere in the world, you will need a valid Passport. Passengers who's Alaska cruise itinerary includes a port call to a Canadian city, or begins or ends in a Canadian port/city are required to have a valid Passport, regardless if you drive or fly. Failure to have the proper documentation as required will result in denied boarding and you will not get a refund for your cruise.

4. Our recommendation

We strongly recommend that all guests travel with a valid passport during their cruise. This greatly assists guests who may need to fly out of the United States to meet their ship at the next available port should they miss their scheduled embarkation in a U.S. port; guests entering the U.S. at the end of their cruise; and guests needing to fly to the U.S. before their cruise ends, because of medical, family, personal or business emergencies, missing a ship's departure from a port of call, involuntary disembarkation from a ship due to misconduct, or other reasons.Guests who cruise after January 23, 2007, who need to fly to the United States before their cruise ends will likely experience significant delays and complications related to booking airline tickets and entering the United States if they do not have a valid U.S. passport with them.

Benefits of Having a Passport
If you don't already have a passport, now is a good time to apply for one! There are many benefits to having a passport:
1. No more juggling birth certificates and driver's licenses! A passport is a single document that provides photo identification, as well as proof of citizenship.
2. The convenience of not traveling with original birth certificates. You'll no longer have to worry about losing or damaging these precious documents.
3. Expedited entry into the United States for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors.
4. For Guests 16 years of age or older, a passport is valid for 10 years, and passports for Guests 15 years of age or younger are valid for 5 years -- so there's plenty of time to use your passport again and again when you cruise.


SPECIAL NOTE: Alaska, Hawaii and Canada/New England Cruises: Due to stricter Canadian entry requirements, immigration officials have advised that citizens from certain countries will require a visa in order to visit or transit Canada. Guests who are not US or Canadian citizens may check the following web site for a listing of restricted nationalities, to determine if a visitor visa is necessary:
www.cic.gc.ca.

Subsequently, all guests belonging to nationalities that require a visa to enter Canada may be denied boarding in if they do not possess such a visa. If you are a holder of a US Alien Resident Card or holder of a Canadian Residency Permit you may be exempt. Please note, visa requirements vary by country and are subject to change. As always, guests traveling abroad are urged to contact their local immigration office and/or respective embassy or consulate to determine the entry requirements for their cruise destinations. You and only you are responsible for having the proper documentation.

MACHINE-READABLE PASSPORTS

Effective June 26, 2005, travelers from the 27 countries participating in the United States' Visa Waiver Program (VWP) must have a machine-readable passport to enter the United States.
If you are in possession of a passport issued by any of the 27 countries listed below, please contact the passport issuing authority to ensure that you are in possession of a machine-readable passport. Please note that boarding will be denied to travelers from VWP countries that do not have machine-readable passports.
The 27 countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program include: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Additional information regarding the Visa Waiver Program is available on-line at
www.dhs.gov.
For information on obtaining a passport, click here:
http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html


Your exact legal name (first and last) must be shown on cruise documents. This must match the name shown on your passport. Middle names alone and nicknames are not allowed.

Guests are urged to read the information provided in the cruise lines brochure to see if a passport and/or visa is required and to check with the US passport office to determine the proper and current requirements.

**You are responsible for checking with your Cruise Line before leaving home for specific documentation requirements based on your ship’s Itinerary .

In addition to the above, Proof of Identity must be presented.

No matter what your status is: United States or Canadian Citizen, resident Alien or Alien, or a citizen of any country, an official proof of identity is required.

Proof of Identity consists of one of the following and is required of everyone:
1. Valid driver's license with photograph, ages 16 and above.
2. Government identification card including photograph and physical description.
3. A photo ID such as a driver’s license must be presented at check-in at the pier and if flying to the port of embarkation, as most airlines require them at check-in. In some cases you may also need a visa. Canadian citizens in the U.S. on a work-related visa, will also need a valid I -94 and/or copy of I -797.

What
if I’m not American or Canadian Citizen? Citizens of countries other than the United States and Canada (Aliens) are required to present both a valid passport and an unexpired U.S. multiple re-entry visa (B-2 Visitor’s Visa) or a visa waiver. Resident aliens need both a passport and an alien resident card. Guests will need to contact the consulates of the islands/countries they will be visiting, to inquire about necessary travel documentation. Immigrations determines the proper documents which guests must have available in order to sail.

For cruises that visit or transit in Canada, citizens of some countries may require a Visa.
Guests must check with the Canadian Consulate for documentation requirements. This includes cruises to Canada (from New York) and Alaska cruises .

As of the effective dates above, holders of non-machine-readable passports will need a valid passport and a valid U.S. visa to enter the U.S. for cruises departing the U.S., or a valid multiple-entry visa for cruises that depart and return to the U.S.


New U.S. Entry Visa Requirements
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin a new high-tech registration system on January 5, 2004 to fingerprint and photograph foreign visitors, who are required to have visas, as they enter through designated U.S. airports and seaports. The program will exempt permanent U.S. residents and foreign visitors from 21 countries who do not generally need visas to enter the U.S. Those exempted countries include Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. If you come from countries not included in the above list, besides holding a visa, you will now have digital photographs and electronic fingerprints taken or verified upon entering or exiting the U.S. For more information, please visit
www.dhs.gov/us-visit

Minors
For Minors (under the age of 18) traveling without parents,( say, going with a friend and his/her parents ) they must possess a notarized parental/guardian consent letter that authorizes the minor to travel, and that further authorizes medical treatment in case of an emergency. If only one parent is going on the trip, the other parent must sign a release form. If neither parent is going, then BOTH parents must sign. For example, Mexico requires a notarized affidavit signed by ANY parent not accompanying the minor. Furthermore, Canadian Entry Requirements stipulate that minors under the age of 18 traveling into Canada without both parents must have in their possession a notarized letter of consent that includes the actual dates of travel and signatures of both parents as authorization to do so.

Your Responsibility
Without exception, it is the responsibility of the individual traveler to obtain passports, birth certificates, visas and other documents required for entry into a foreign country, for embarkation and re-entry into the United States. Simply put: If you find yourself being turned away for a lack of documentation, your options for recourse are nil. You will not get a refund if you are denied boarding for lack of proper documentation. Always contact the embassy or consulate of any country you'll be visiting and request a copy of its entry requirements.


For information on obtaining a passport, click here:
http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html
Fees:$97 (16 yrs. or older)$82 (15 yrs. or younger) Processing Time:Up to 6 weeksUp to 2 weeks if expeditedValidity:10 years (16 yrs. or older)5 years (15 yrs. or younger) Passport FAQS First Time Passports: you must apply in person. Renewals: you can do it online.Where can I apply for a passport in the U.S.? Call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778), The National Passport Information Center (NPIC), the Department's public contact center for U.S. passport information, when seeking passport assistance. And before you submit to a photo session, do read "Guidelines for Producing High Quality Photographs for U.S. Travel Documents".
United States Passport Agency Offices
U.S. Passport Information
How to Get a Passport!
Download a passport application!
BOSTON Passport AgencyThomas P. O'Neil Federal Building10 Causeway Street, Suite 247Boston, MA 02222-1094(617) 878-0900Region: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Upstate New York, & Vermont


CHICAGO Passport AgencyKluczynski Federal Building230 S. Dearborn Street, 18th FloorChicago, IL 60604-1564(312) 341-6020Region: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, & Wisconsin

CONNECTICUT Passport Agency50 Washington StreetNorwalk, CT 06854Region: Connecticut and Westchester County (New York)Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., local time, M-F, excluding Federal holidaysAutomated Appointment Number: (203) 299-5443

HONOLULU Passport AgencyPrince Kuhio Federal Building300 Ala Moana Blvd.Suite 1-330Honolulu, HI 96850(808) 522-12713Region: American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Hawaii, & Northern Mariana Islands

HOUSTON Passport AgencyMickey Leland Federal Building1919 Smith StreetSuite 1400Houston, TX 77002-8049(713) 751-0294Region: Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, & Texas

LOS ANGELES Passport AgencyFederal Building11000 Wilshire Blvd.Suite 1000Los Angeles, CA 90024-3615(310) 575-5700Region: California (all counties South of an including San Luis Obispo, Kern and San Bernardino), and Nevada (Clark County only)MIAMI Passport AgencyClaude Pepper Federal Office Building51 SW First Avenue3rd FloorMiami, FL 33120-1680(305) 539-3600Region: Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, & US Virgin Islands

NEW ORLEANS Passport AgencyOne Canal Place365 Canal StreetSuite 1300New Orleans, LA 70130-6508(504) 412-2600Region: Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia (except D.C. suburbs)

NEW YORK Passport Agency376 Hudson StreetNew York, NY 10014(212) 206-3500

PHILADELPHIA Passport AgencyUS Custom House200 Chestnut StreetRoom 103Philadelphia, PA 19106-2970(215) 418-5937 Region: Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, & West Virginia

SAN FRANCISCO Passport Agency95 Hawthorne Street5th FloorSan Francisco, CA 94105-3901(415) 538-2700Region: Arizona, California (all counties North of and including Monterey, Kings, Oulare, and Inyo), Nevada (except Clark Co.), & Utah

SEATTLE Passport AgencyHenry Jackson Federal Building915 Second AvenueSuite 992Seattle, WA 98174-1091(206) 808-5700Region: Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, & Wyoming

WASHINGTON Passport Agency1111 19th Street, N.W.Room 300Washington, D.C.20524(202) 647-0518Region: Maryland, Northern Virginia (including Alexandria, Arlington County, and Fairfax County), and the District of Columbia

SPECIAL ISSUANCE Agency1111 19th Street, N.W. Suite 200Washington, D.C. 20036Applications for Diplomatic, Official, and No-Fee passport

In a Hurry?
Passport & Visa ExpeditorsNote: these are private companies that charge hefty fees for their services.
We do not endorse nor recommend any of them.G3 Visas3240 Wilson Blvd., Suite 150Arlington, VA 22201
http://www.g3visas.com/(888) 883-8472A Briggs Passport and Visa Expeditors1422 K Street NWWashington, DC 20005(800) 218-6284http://www.passportsvisas.com/ Travisa2122 P St. NW Washington, D.C. - 20037 Travisa at (800) 222-2589 http://www.travisa.com Visa Advisors1806 T Street NWWashington, DC 20009 (202) 797-7976http://www.visaadvisors.com/

For more Information visit www.cruisetravelermagazine.com

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