Did you know you can cruise without a passport? I just took my first no passport cruise. In this episode, I provide travel and cruise tips for cruising with a birth certificate. I talk about closed loop cruises and the passport renewal process. Watch this episode to get prepared for your next cruise.

Questions comments or business inquires. Send me an email to:


Well, after five years of cruising I have been on 42 cruises and well.

The very last cruise that I took was my first, my first no passport cruise and and I certainly learned some things.

Are you someone who cruises without a passport or somebody who's thinking about it? Well, I've got some tips and tricks for you join me in this episode.

As I talk about my very first no passport Cruise, everybody Welcome to La, lito, Luca I'm, your host Tony here with some Crews and travel tips, cruise and travel tips, specifically around cruising without a passport.

Now I think that many of us know that most cruises are a form of international travel and the majority of international travel requires a passport to do it.

However, in the crew space there is an exception.

You do not need a passport if you are going on a cruise that is considered a closed loop Cruise.


What pray tell is a closed, looped Cruise? Well, it is a cruise that starts and ends from the same destination in the United States, for example, you may leave Miami Florida for a trip to the Western Caribbean.

You may stop at Cozumel and Costa Maya and possibly in the Bahamas and then return to Miami Florida and because you started in Miami and returned to Miami.

Well, that's considered a closed-loop cruise and a close loop Cruise does not require a passport.

Interestingly, I have a passport.

So why would I cruise without it? Well, unlike diamonds, passports are not forever specifically, most US.

Passports are only good for 10 years and well.

My passport is expiring, soon, expiring in April of 2023, which is requiring me to get a new passport.

There is some conversation out there when you should renew your passport.

There are several countries across the world that require your passport to be valid for at least six months after you leave the country that you're traveling to so probably a best rule of thumb.

When it comes to passport renewal, is you should have your passport renewed at least six months before it expires? That means your passport, essentially really only good for nine and a half years.

The reason I say it's only good for nine and a half years is once you kick off that passport renewal process.

Your current passport is no longer valid and look that's the situation that I found myself in I needed to renew my passport.

I had a lot of trips coming up, and so I did the online passport renewal and unfortunately, I did not get my new passport prior to my cruise on the NCL breakaway.

So what do you do if you're someone who is not a passport holder and you have a cruise booked on a closed loop Cruise? Can you still Cruise? Well, yes, you can, because it is a closed loop Cruise.

You can travel with your birth certificate and a state issued ID.

Now, unfortunately, there are some pitfalls that come with cruising with.

Only your birth certificate and a state issued ID I'll cover that in a little bit, but the big takeaway is, if you're getting ready to cruise and you do not have a passport.

You want to make sure that you have an official copy of your birth certificate.

That means you need a copy that has the raised seal.

These are the copies that you get from state governments.

You want to make sure that they are official with the state in which you were born.

You have to be very careful.

You don't want to get to the cruise port and be told that the birth certificate that you thought was valid was not valid because it was just like a commemorative or decorative, not an official birth certificate.

That's one of the challenges making sure you have the right birth certificate, but let's say you've got the right birth certificate.

Let's say that you have your state issued ID.

That was certainly the case for me, but I did have a couple surprises cruising with a birth certificate.

The first surprise was that the check-in process for embarkation process for the NCL breakaway seemed like a normal check-in.

I made my way through all the different lines and I finally got to the point where I was checking into the cruise and well after they got me checked in I thought.

I was all done and as I started, to make my way away from the desk.

The guy said: oh wait, a minute, you have a birth certificate.

I need you to fill out.

This form and honestly, if you read through this forum, it's a little scary.

It basically says that if you are traveling on a birth certificate and you somehow get stranded in a foreign country and you need to fly home, it's just a reminder that you cannot fly home with your birth certificate.

That's a big gotcha right there! That's why the passport is so important.

If you get stranded in a foreign land, you cannot fly home with just your birth certificate and state ID, without working with the state State Department, without working with the local Embassy of the country that you're in you're going to have to jump through some hoops to fly home.

It won't be just as easy as going to the airport, which is completely different than if you had a passport where you could just go to the airport and get a flight back to the United States, but the good news is other than filling out this form.

The embarkation was essentially the same.

It wasn't any longer to check in using a birth certificate than it was to use a passport, and the other good news is that the crews that I was on a cruise to the Western Caribbean, the port stops there that I went to Costa, Maya and Cozumel.

They didn't require you to have a passport to get on and off of the cruise ship either way they didn't even require you to show your birth certificate.

The only thing you needed to get off and on the cruise ship in Costa, Maya and Cozumel.

As far as ID was just your state issued ID.

Of course you need the ship card to prove that you are a cruiser, but as far as the ID is concerned, just your State issue, ID no passport, no birth certificate required now.

The only other weird Nuance I had on this Cruise, because I was cruising with a birth certificate was was a letter that came to my cabin a couple days before disembarkation.

In the letter it said that they would need to identify me as someone who did not have a passport and to identify me.

I would need to stick this sticker on my chest when I got off of the cruise ship.

That said document.

This would help the workers in the cruise terminal direct me to the correct line when you are disembarking going through customs there's a line for passengers with passports, and there is a line for passengers who do not have passports, passengers with birth certificates and the way that they did it there at the terminal in New Orleans.

Is they give you this sticker? So the workers know where to direct you I, don't know if this is the process at other Cruise terminals.

This is my first experience with it, but on disembarkation day, I donned, my lovely document sticker and at some point during the disembarkation process there was a fork in the road passports.

One way, non-passports the other way and I was directed to the non-passport line, where I briefly showed my birth certificate to a customs officer, and then I was waived on my way.

It was a very simple process, I'm not sure if they were doing facial recognition for passports in New.

Orleans I have seen that at other Cruise terminals like Miami, but I would assume that if there was facial recognition there, the passport people would go through facial recognition and probably not interact with a customs officer, but because I physically had to show my birth certificate to an officer.

While there was an officer physically there.

All in all, the process of cruising with a birth certificate was fairly painless, but I still wouldn't recommend it.

My recommendation continues to be that if you are going to be a cruiser, if you're going to cruise more than once over, the next 10 years go ahead and invest in a passport.

A US passport is one of the best forms of identification that you can have, and it gives you the most Freedom as a U.S traveler, when traveling abroad you'll be able to fly home, you'll be able to go through border crossings.

You'll be able to do things that will not be as easily done or even possible.

If you do not have a passport like I said using the birth certificate was easy, but I did have an experience earlier this year here because of my expiring passport, where I thought I would not be able to travel at all I, don't know if you've seen this video make sure you check that out.


This is Tony for La, Lido Loca and until the next time we'll see you on the Lido bye.



U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises will be able to enter or depart the country with proof of citizenship, such as an Enhanced Driver's License (EDL), a government-issued birth certificate (issued by the Vital Records Department in the state where he or she was born) or passport, and if 16 or older, a government ...

Can I take a cruise without a passport? ›

U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises will be able to enter or depart the country with proof of citizenship, such as an Enhanced Driver's License (EDL), a government-issued birth certificate (issued by the Vital Records Department in the state where he or she was born) or passport, and if 16 or older, a government ...

Can you go on a Caribbean cruise without a passport? ›

Do you need a passport for a Caribbean cruise? If you are cruising to the Caribbean, you will need to enter with either your U.S. passport book, passport card, Trusted Traveler card (Nexus, SENTRI, or FAST), or an enhanced driver's license.

Can I cruise to The Bahamas without a passport? ›

Though most foreign travel requires that you have a valid passport to come back home, cruising makes it easier to enjoy your vacation without worrying about this paperwork. If you are a US citizen, you can take a “closed-loop cruise” (one that begins and ends at the same port) to The Bahamas without a passport.

Can I get off the cruise ship in Mexico without a passport? ›

Mexico Cruise Passport Requirements

US citizens on closed-loop cruises, meaning they begin and end at the same US port, can travel to Mexico with proof of citizenship other than a passport. Accepted alternative documents include: US state-issued copy of the birth certificate. Consular report of birth abroad.

Can you go on a cruise with just your ID? ›

American citizens do, however, need: Proof of citizenship, such as an Enhanced Driver's License (EDL), a government-issued birth certificate, a passport card, or a passport. Proof of identification, such as a driver's license or official picture ID.

Where can I go without a passport from the US? ›

U.S. citizens do not need a passport to travel between the U.S. and these territories:
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
  • Puerto Rico.
  • U.S. Virgin Islands.

Can you go to Jamaica on a cruise without a passport? ›

U.S. citizens are generally required to present a valid U.S. passport when traveling to Jamaica, as well as proof of anticipated departure from Jamaica. If you are traveling to Jamaica on a cruise, you may use another Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document.

Where can I cruise without a passport on Royal Caribbean? ›

Caribbean cruises to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico are a safe bet for those who don't have a passport.

What Caribbean islands require a passport? ›

Some Caribbean countries—Barbados, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, St. Barths, St. Martin (but not Dutch St. Maarten), and Trinidad & Tobago—will require you to have a passport to enter or exit.

Can I use my birth certificate to go to The Bahamas? ›

Acceptable proof of citizenship includes an original or certified copy of a government issued birth certificate (raised seal and signature) and a laminated government issued picture ID (typically, driver's license), Consular Report of Born Abroad Certificate, or a Certificate of Naturalization.

What happens if you go to The Bahamas without a passport? ›

It is legal to enter The Bahamas by sea without a passport, and if you return to the same U.S. port you departed from, you will probably be fine. However, the US. State Department advises U.S. citizens to have a valid passport in hand just in case they have to fly home in an emergency.

Do you have to have a passport for Carnival cruise? ›

Carnival highly recommends that all guests travel with a passport valid for at least six months beyond completion of travel (unless otherwise noted).

Can you cruise to Cozumel without a passport? ›

Closed-loop cruises from U.S. ports that visit Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico are part of an international agreement that allows U.S. citizens to cruise without a passport. In these cases, government-issued identification and proof of U.S. citizenship are acceptable alternatives to a passport book.

Can you go to Cozumel Mexico without a passport? ›

A valid passport book is required to enter Mexico by air, and those attempting to enter at an airport with a U.S. passport card only may be denied admission.

Can a non US citizen take a cruise to Mexico? ›

A foreigner of any country traveling to Mexico on leisure trips visiting Mexican maritime ports by cruise, are not required to obtain a visa or consular stamp. The passenger must carry a valid and not expired passport or travel document.

Can you use Social Security card for cruise? ›

Proof of identity, such as a certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, employment authorization document, permanent resident card, or foreign passport with an approved form I-94. Proof of your Social Security Number, such as an SSN card, W-2, or paystub with full SSN.

Does Carnival cruise accept temporary ID? ›

Photo Identification

A non-expired government-issued photo I.D. is required of all guests 16 years of age and older. The following are acceptable: Driver's License (a temporary Driver's License with photo is acceptable)

Do you need a passport to go to The Bahamas on a cruise Royal Caribbean? ›

We highly recommend that all U.S. Citizen's cruise with their U.S. Passport book that is valid at least 6 months after your cruise. Guests may also sail with their official US state-issued Birth Certificate and a supporting Government Issued Photo ID...

Can I come back to the U.S. without a passport? ›

While dual citizens may be able to travel abroad with alternative documentation, all U.S. citizens are required to present a U.S. passport to re-enter the United States.

Can I go to Cancun without a passport? ›

Posted by Frank Gogol in Immigrants | Updated on June 15, 2023. At a Glance: Yes, you need a passport to go to Cancun, Mexico from the United States. When traveling by air, a valid passport is required, along with a completed Multiple Migratory Form (FMM).

Do you need a passport to go to Punta Cana? ›

A valid U.S. passport is required for all U.S. citizens seeking to enter or transit through the Dominican Republic. Authorities have not made any exception to this policy for travelers arriving from Puerto Rico. Dominican immigration authorities will deny entry to persons arriving without a valid travel document.

Do you need a passport for Turks and Caicos? ›

A valid passport is required for entry and exit. Visit the website of the Turks and Caicos Immigration Department for the most current visa information. The nearest emergency U.S. passport facility is located in Nassau, The Bahamas.

What documents do you need for a cruise? ›

Documents needed for cruisers to board a ship
  • Identification. ...
  • Boarding passes. ...
  • Health information. ...
  • Visas and other destination-specific documents. ...
  • Cruise line luggage tags. ...
  • Permission to travel. ...
  • Other travel information. ...
  • Emergency contacts.
Mar 28, 2023

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Edmund Hettinger DC

Last Updated: 24/08/2023

Views: 5341

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (58 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Edmund Hettinger DC

Birthday: 1994-08-17

Address: 2033 Gerhold Pine, Port Jocelyn, VA 12101-5654

Phone: +8524399971620

Job: Central Manufacturing Supervisor

Hobby: Jogging, Metalworking, Tai chi, Shopping, Puzzles, Rock climbing, Crocheting

Introduction: My name is Edmund Hettinger DC, I am a adventurous, colorful, gifted, determined, precious, open, colorful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.