Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cruising With Passport, Passport Cards or Birth Certificate?

I was reading a cruise forum and a question came up about using a passport card for children rather than spending the money for a passport good for only 5 years. So should you and your family travel with passports, passport cards or certified birth certificates (NOT certified birth record)?

There were many different answers on the forum. Some forum members said you don't need a passport if the cruise is a closed loop, departing and arriving at the same port. Others said you don't need one if the cruise simply starts and ends in the U.S. Others said it totally depends upon the cruise line.

I can tell you for a fact that a passport was required on our recent trip that started and ended in the U.S., although leaving and arriving at different ports. My TA told me it depends upon the requirements of the countries being visited.

So why get a passport? Another member of the forum brought up a very interesting point. Suppose 'something' happens....and you need to fly home from a foreign city. Without a passport you could, literally, not be allowed to get on an airplane to the U.S. Or, eventually make it, but after much delay, frustration and aggravation.

Certainly something to think about.

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