Should Your Emergency Cruise Checklist Include a Passport?

2010 has been a bad year for cruises. From the 2010 engine room fire that crippled the Carnival Splendor and left passengers with no power and not enough food to the severe storm that kept the Carnival Inspiration fromarriving in port on time, stories of bad weather and near disaster have become unsettlingly common.


In fact, some travel experts are even recommending that you pack emergency supplies like high-calorie non-perishable foods and satellite phones. Another thing to consider as you pack is whether or not your emergency cruise packing checklist should include a passport.


While passports are necessary for cruises outside the Western Hemisphere, they are not required for cruises to Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean as long as the cruise begins and ends in the same US port. Instead, a cruise ship passenger on these “closed-loop” cruises can bring a copy of his or her birth certificate or naturalization certificate to use as proof of US citizenship along with photo ID.


However, passports are required for all international flights, even flights from our neighbors in Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Packing a passport makes it much easier to get home if you need to, as long as you can get to an airport and dry land.


More importantly, having a passport in hand for your cruise protects you against more common personal emergencies. If the ship sails without you, you can simply book a flight to the next port and catch up with it there. If you have to fly home for an emergency, you can do so without worrying about how you’re going to get on the plane.


If you apply with normal processing, it takes the US Department of State about 6 weeks to issue a passport. Pay an additional $ 60, and you can have it in three weeks. If you need your passport more quickly than that, you can make an appointment a regional passport agency or consider using a private passport expediting company like Rush My Passport.


Alison Kroulek is a freelance writer and blogger with a focus on the travel industry.

Obtaining Most Through your Cruise

The balmy ocean breeze blows through your hair, the clear blue water sparkles below, along with the warm sun shines regarding your back. Cruise liners. What amazing experiences. What costly experiences. If you’d like to carry on vacation but you’re cheaply, a cruise liner might just become your cheapest option, that is certainly, once you learn the insider tricks.

How could a cruise often be a low priced strategy to travel? i hear you ask. This will depend on where you’re going and what you would like to try and do. After you pay money for a cruise you pay for transportation, lodging, and food. Once you stop at expensive hotels in paying simply for lodging. By the point you factor in the extra cost of transportation and food, on many occasions, a cruise actually equates cheaper. If you are seeing several unique places, including scattered islands or elements of Europe, a cruise will be the best option.

For a cruise liner you can find tricks to lowering costs. Most cruise companies don’t include tours, or maybe sell them in expensive packaged deals. Do not buy them. You’ll save lots of money by going on your own tour. Research what you wish to find out, or learn in which the cruise ship tours goes, and go there yourself. You might miss out on a matching red hat, stopping continually for restroom breaks, or obtaining freedom for more information on, but hey, it’ll be cheaper.

Something else you can use to save cash would appear obvious. Only do the free things around the famous cruise liner. This doesn’t mean you can not have any fun; just don’t do those extra things like paying to find out a film as part of your room, requesting special services, or eating on the upscale restaurant fully briefed. While you are booking your cruise ensure the items want are included, swimming pools, rock-climbing, food, live performances, whatever it is you need. Once fully briefed, avoid any extra things. Many luxury cruise ships all have you’ll be able to eat buffets that will enable one to take food. You’ll be able to of saving the food, and after that eat it later while all on your own tour. Like that, you save money by not wanting to eat at costly restaurants on shore.

A cruise could possibly be the highlight of the year along with a wonderfully relaxing and refreshing time. Never let anything spoil that time. Once you step foot about the ship don’t get worried about what you left at home. Should you focused on the safety within your home, one simple method to chill would be to put in a cheap, but secure, home monitoring system. Doing this, when you get to the ship you have not concern yourself with and you may enjoy your cruise.

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US Passport Requirements For Taking a Cruise

In the economic times we are living in today, taking a cruise has become a very affordable way for a couple or a family to still be able to enjoy a vacation. Due to the growing popularity of a cruise, more people are questioning the travel requirements needed for U.S. Citizens.

Effective June 1, 2009, leniency has been allowed for U.S. Citizens taking a “closed-loop” cruise, where a U.S. passport will not be required to sail. A “closed-loop” cruise is defined as a sailing that originates and terminates in the same U.S. port.

Although a passport is not required for these “closed-loop” cruises, you will need proof of citizenship and a government-issued photo ID, such as an original or certified copy of a birth certificate and a driver’s license. If you are traveling with children, they will also be required to carry a birth certificate and a photo ID if over the age of 15.

However, if your cruise is scheduled to begin and end in different U.S. ports, or if it will begin and end in a foreign port, a valid passport or other recognized WHTI-compliant document is required. And note that a valid passport is required if you are traveling on any of the Europe cruises.

This new ruling will be great for a person taking a last minute cruise, and will not have the time to get a passport processed in time. But it is still highly recommended to cruise with a passport if possible. If for any reason you need to fly from the U.S. to a foreign port when missing your scheduled embarkation, or if you need to fly back to the U.S. midway through your cruise due to an emergency, this would not be possible without your passport.

Don’t misunderstand the leniency of the passport requirement with proof of citizenship.

All people going on any cruise will still be required to show proof of citizenship in order to take a cruise. If you can’t present a valid document at check in, you will be denied boarding and no refund will be issued.

Investing in a U.S. passport is necessary, and certainly a wise investment for anyone wanting to see the world. But it is good to know that a person can still get away for a 3 day cruise, or even longer without one. Just be sure your cruise will qualify for the exception to the rule. Happy sailing!

Let’s get away! Now there’s no reason not to plan the cruise of your dreams today! Go to for some of the greatest cruise deals around. Or contact Travel Agent Larry Buhandt: 615-824-9772 for assistance. To get more information, or to obtain a passport application, you can also visit

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