Identification Requirements for Caribbean Cruises

Identification Requirements for Caribbean Cruises
Millions of Americans visit the Caribbean via cruise ships every year. U.S. Immigration advises all passengers to secure and bring proper documentation for access onto vessels and avoid losing their cruise fare. You will be required to present documentation at the time of embarkment.

Identification

As of June 2009, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) requires all U.S. citizens traveling by sea to present one of the following: passport, trusted traveler card (NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST/EXPRES), U.S. passport card, or state-issued enhanced driver's license.

Considerations

Although passports for children are recommended, children 16 and under can travel with only a U.S. birth certificate (or other proof of U.S. citizenship such as a naturalization certificate). An original birth certificate or a copy may be used.

Warning

Do not mistakenly think of the Caribbean as a single-entry destination, like Canada or Europe. The Caribbean is a composite of independent nations and territories with individual customs and entry requirements.

Exceptions

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises (cruises that begin and end at the same U.S. port) are permitted to enter or depart the country with a birth certificate and government-issued photo ID. However, passengers may still be required to present a passport to gain access to countries a cruise ship is visiting.

Fact

For a U.S. citizen traveling directly to or from a U.S. territory in the Caribbean, passport requirements do not apply.

Article Written By Tamara Thompson

Tamara Thompson has been an Internet content writer since 1999. Her work includes copy for email campaigns, articles and sales advertisements. She is also a reading tutor and enjoys building solid reading foundations in children. She has been featured on eHow. Thompson holds a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design from Savannah College of Art & Design.

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