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Friday, December 18, 2009

What Travel Documents Do I Need To Take A Cruise? Do I Need A Passport?

Q. What travel documents and identification will I need for domestic and International  cruise sailings?


A. Here's The Vital Information You Need To Know Before You Go...

But before you read on....Know that 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 have changed or may change before you travel. The State Department has changed the regulations so many times that it is nearly impossible to keep up.

So, you must 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 Traveler Magazine assumes no responsibility for advising guests of immigration, proof of Citizenship and Proof of Identity requirements.



· Domestic sailings are all sailings originating and ending in ports located in the U.S., Canada and Mexico including Panama Canal sailings. Information about international sailinmgs can be found later in this document

Before Leaving Home:


· Please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the required travel documents you will be asked to provide prior to boarding the ship. Caution: The requirements described below are subject to change by governmental bodies without notice. So, you must check with your cruise line well in advance of travel for the latest requirements.
 · It is the sole responsibility of the guest to identify and obtain all required travel documents and have them available when necessary. These appropriate valid travel documents such as a passport, visas, inoculation certificate and family legal documents are required for ship boarding and country entry and/or re-entry.

· Guests who do not possess the proper documentation may be prevented from boarding their flight or ship or from entering a country and may be subject to fines. No refunds will be given to individuals who fail to bring the proper documentation.
 · The spelling of the guest(s) name above must match their proof of identification during ship check-in formalities.
 · Due to new government regulations, guests must be checked-in no later than 90 minutes prior to the sailing time or they will not be permitted to sail. To expedite boarding, check-in online at your cruise line's web site.
· Please immediately review all guest names printed on your booking confirmation or on Insight for accuracy. For Air/Sea reservations, a name change fee of $75 or more Domestic and $125 International may apply after ticketing. ( check with your cruise line about their fees ) Name changes may result in a new booking so that original flights, fares and seat assignments may be lost. Additional airline fees and penalties may apply to assigned air reservations.
 · The Department of Homeland Security requires all Domestic US Airlines to collect the following information for each passenger; Passengers Full Name (as it appears on government issued IDs), Date of Birth and Gender. Please contact your Airline no later than 72 hours (3days) prior to flight departure to provide them the required information.

Failure to do so may result in check-in delays or denied boarding. If you have any questions, please contact the Airline directly.


Consecutive Sailings.

· Guests on consecutive sailings must ensure they have the proper travel documents for their entire cruise vacation.
 Passport


· As of June 1, 2009, the U.S. government implemented the full requirements of the land and sea phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). This requires all travelers to and from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda to present a valid passport or other approved document that establishes the bearer's identity and citizenship in order to enter or reenter the United States. Passports must have at least 6 months to go before they expire from the date you return to the United States.
 · U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises (cruises that begin and end at the same port in the U.S.) will be able to enter or depart the country with proof of citizenship, such as an Original birth certificate ( photo-copies are not acceptable ) and laminated government issued picture ID, denoting photo, name and date of birth. A U.S. citizen under the age of 16 will be able to present either an original or a copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issues by DOS, or Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
 · A U.S. citizen under the age of 16 will be able to present either an original or a copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issues by DOS, or Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.


For further details about WHTI requirements and a complete list of approved documents , please visit


http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html#compliant_document
Alien Registration Card (Green Card)


· U.S. lawful permanent residents will continue to be able to use their Alien Registration Card issued by the Department of Homeland Security or other valid evidence of permanent residence status to apply for entry to United States.
 · Card renewal is an important matter. ARC holders (United States permanent residents) with expired cards may be considered "out of status" and may be denied entry / reentry into the United States. If your ARC was issued over 10 years ago, you should check the expiration date printed on the front of the card. If your card is expired, or it is about to expire, you should renew your card before you sail.
 · If you are holding an old edition ARC WITHOUT an expiration date, you will not be detained from entering the United States but U.S. Customs and Border Protection highly suggests that you apply for a new card before you sail.
 · For additional information, visit: http://www.usimmigrationsupport.org/greencard_renewal.html


Family Legal Documents


Should the last names of the parent and minor child traveling with them differ, the parent is required to present the child's valid passport and visa (if required) and the child's birth certificate (original, a notarized copy or a certified copy). The name of the parent(s) and the child must be linked through legal documentation.
 Adults who are not the parent or Legal Guardian of any minor child traveling with them are required to present the child's valid passport and visa and an original notarized letter signed by at least one of the child's parents. The notarized letter from the child's parent must authorize the traveling adult to take the child on the specific cruise, must authorize guardian to sign legal documentation/waivers for participation in any activities requiring them and must authorize the traveling adult to supervise the child and permit any medical treatment that must be administered to the child. If a non-parent adult is a Legal Guardian, the adult must present a certified certificate of Guardianship with respect to the child.
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Q: What travel documents and identification will I need for international sailings?

A: Please note: Domestic sailings are all sailings originating and ending in ports located in the U.S., Canada and Mexico including Panama Canal sailings.

All other sailings are considered to be international sailings. These include itineraries in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and Australia/New Zealand and most of rest of the World including re-positioning sailings originating or ending in their ports. U.S. citizens traveling on any international sailing are required to have valid passports. ( good for 6 months beyond the date you return to the United States )

Before Leaving Home:


Please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the required travel documents you will be asked to provide prior to boarding your ship. Caution: The requirements described below are subject to change by governmental bodies without notice. So you need to check with your cruise line for the latest requirements well in advance of travel.
 It is the sole responsibility of the guest to identify and obtain all required travel documents and have them available when necessary. These appropriate valid travel documents such as a passport, visas, inoculation certificate and family legal documents are required for ship boarding and country entry and/or re-entry.
 Guests who do not possess the proper documentation may be prevented from boarding their flight or ship or from entering a country and may be subject to fines. No refunds will be given to individuals who fail to bring the proper documentation.
 Consecutive Sailings

Guests on consecutive sailings must ensure they have the proper travel documents for their entire cruise vacation.


Passport A valid passport is required for travel.


For your protection, your passport expiration date must be in excess of six(6) months of the sailing termination date.


U.S. citizens carrying an Official (maroon cover) passport must also be in possession of a valid Diplomatic or personal (blue or green cover) passport to allow ship embarkation.

Visas It is the guests' responsibility to identify and to obtain the necessary visas before commencing their cruise.


Based on nationality, many countries still require an entry visa.


Suggestions on where to get visa information:


U.S. citizens can visit the U.S. Department of State Foreign Entry Requirements

Canadian citizens can visit Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada

the Embassies (Consular Service Office) of each country on your sailing itinerary


or the visa service of your choice, such as CIBT for specific visa requirements, information, forms and fees that apply to your nationality.

CIBT toll free telephone: 1.800.858.8579

INOCULATION / HEALTH


As detailed in our brochure, all guests must ensure that they are medically and physically fit for travel. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) provide guidelines as to which vaccinations are required in each country. In many cases inoculations are recommended but in some circumstances they are required. We recommend that you check with your health care professional or a Travel Medicine Specialist certified by the WHO for guidance. Other informational resources can be accessed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Traveler's Health website. or toll free at 1-877-FYI-TRIP, and the World Health Organization website.
 Family Legal Documents


Should the last names of the parent and minor child traveling with them differ, the parent is required to present the child's valid passport and visa (if required) and the child's birth certificate (original, a notarized copy or a certified copy). The name of the parent(s) and the child must be linked through legal documentation.
 Adults who are not the parent or Legal Guardian of any minor child traveling with them are required to present the child's valid passport and visa and an original notarized letter signed by at least one of the child's parents. The notarized letter from the child's parent must authorize the traveling adult to take the child on the specific cruise, must authorize guardian to sign legal documentation/waivers for participation in any activities requiring them and must authorize the traveling adult to supervise the child and permit any medical treatment that must be administered to the child. If a non-parent adult is a Legal Guardian, the adult must present a certified certificate of Guardianship with respect to the child.
 Please take a minute to review the passport policy below. If you don't already have a valid passport, be sure to avoid the rush and give yourself plenty of time to apply for one. Once you've got a passport in hand, the whole world is yours to explore.
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U.S. Citizen Passport Requirement

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) when fully implemented on June 1, 2009 will require all travelers to and from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda to present a valid passport or other approved document that establishes the bearer's identity and citizenship in order to enter or reenter the United States.

Passport Requirements

A valid passport is a requirement for air travel to / from Canada, Mexico the Caribbean and Bermuda

 
Effective June 1, 2009 only a valid passport (unless otherwise noted below) or other WHTI compliant document will be accepted for entry or re-entry into the United States. For a list of all approved documents visit: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html#compliant_document
U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises (cruises that begin and end at the same port in the U.S.) will be able to enter or depart the country with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate and laminated government issued picture ID, denoting photo, name and date of birth. A U.S. citizen under the age of 16 will be able to present either an original or a certified copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issues by DOS, or Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
 Alien Registration Card (Green Card)

U.S. lawful permanent residents will continue to be able to use their Alien Registration Card issued by the Department of Homeland Security or other valid evidence of permanent residence status to apply for entry to United States.

Card renewal is an important matter. ARC holders (United States permanent residents) with expired cards may be considered "out of status" and may be denied entry / reentry into the United States. If your ARC was issued over 10 years ago, you should check the expiration date printed on the front of the card. If your card is expired, or it is about to expire, you should renew your card before you sail.
 If you are holding an old edition ARC WITHOUT an expiration date, you will not be detained from entering the United States but U.S. Customs and Border Protection highly suggests that you apply for a new card before you sail.

 
For additional information, visit: http://www.usimmigrationsupport.org/greencard_renewal.html
Sea Travel Only (before June 1, 2009)

 
For domestic travel which includes: the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico, a Passport (valid or expired), valid U.S. Passport Card or State or Provincial Enhanced Drivers License is highly recommended.
 In the absence of a Passport, U.S. Passport Card or State or Provincial Enhanced Drivers License (when available - this secure drivers license will denote identity and citizenship) or any other Department of Home Land Security approved Identification / Citizenship document(s), a birth certificate (original or certified copy), plus a laminated picture ID card including photo, name and date of birth issued by a federal, state, or local government agency is required.

U.S. and Canadian citizen children ages 16 and under will be expected to present a birth certificate issued by a federal, state, provincial, county or municipal authority.


Note: Baptismal paper and hospital certificates of birth are not acceptable.


A voter registration card or Social Security Card are not considered to be proof of citizenship.

For U.S. Naturalized citizens, in the absence of a passport, Naturalization papers (either original or notarized copy) plus a laminated picture ID card issued by a federal, state, or local government agency is required.

International Travel

A valid passport is required; visas are required where they apply. This includes Europe, Asia, Central and South America.  For additional passport information, visit www.travel.state.gov.


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 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. For additional passport information visit www.travel.state.gov

Non-U.S. Citizens

You will need a valid passport and, in some cases, a visa. If you live in the U.S., you will also need the original copy of your Alien Registration Card (ARC or "Green Card") and any other documentation the countries on your itinerary require due to your alien status.

Canadian Landed Immigrants

All Canadian Landed Immigrants (inclusive of those who are citizens of the British Commonwealth countries) who reside in Canada must have valid passports and US visas. Also required is the original copy of your Permanent Resident Card (PR Card) formally the IMM 1000 or with respect to any country on the itinerary any other travel documentation required because of alien status.
 Visas

Please contact the Embassy (Consular Services) of each country on your sailing itinerary or the visa service of your choice for specific visa requirements, information, forms and fees for your nationality.


VISA WAIVER PROGRAM
Citizens from the Visa Waiver Program countries of: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunel, 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 seeking to enter the United States will be required to have in their possession a machine readable, biometic passport with a digital photograph valid for the duration of the voyage.


A machine readable passport is one having an alpha-numeric code on the bottom of the picture page.

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