Most Americans will take a cruise at some point in their lives. The destination will determine travel requirements. Before you book a cruise, do your homework. Find out the specifications for the cruise. Like, what documents are necessary for entering the destination country or reentering the U.S. Also, if a visa necessary. Most of this information you will get from the cruise. The best advice is to get a passport even if one is not essential.

Provide Proof of Citizenship

As a U.S. citizen who will travel on a cruise, it is best to have proof of citizenship when returning home. You can have a passport book or a passport card. For minors, a birth certificate will do. If your trip is a closed loop cruise, it starts and ends at the same port; you can use a government-issued ID card. However, if your trip will stop at a port other than the one you started your journey, it is best to use a passport book.

Keep a Valid Passport

Make sure your passport has enough validity before you go on your trip. Enough validity is six months or more. Some countries require your passport has enough time for your stay. Also, to reenter the U.S. your passport must be valid. If your passport has less than six months validity, you should apply for a renewal. A renewal can take 4-6 weeks with routine processing or 2-3 weeks for expedited. An expeditor or a regional agency can get you a passport within 24 hours if your trip is sooner than two weeks.

Ask if a Visa is Required

Some countries will require a visa for entry. Since you are going on a cruise and most cruises stop in for a day, a visa may not be necessary. If you book an excursion that is not included in the cruise, you may need to get a visa. If the trip is part of the cruise, then a visa may be waved. Some countries also issue visas to cruise ships; therefore when this is the case, you don’t need to apply for one.


Know the travel requirements before you plan a trip. Make sure you have all the necessary documents that will allow you to enter the country on your cruise route. Also, a valid passport to reenter the U.S. If you will use a passport card, it must have enough validity similar to a passport. Once you meet all the travel requirements, you will not have any hiccups that will ruin your cruise trip.