Has anyone cruised recently (land/sea package) using birth certificates only (no passport)? My family has a trip booked for May 2009. In going on government website for passport specifications it states passports will be mandatory starting June 2009. Birth certificates are acceptable until that date as I understand. I would feel better knowing someone else has used their birth certificates only. This is making me nervous as there are 11 of us traveling together (my treat by-the-way) and I would hate to incur the additional cost of passports if not required. Thanks for any input.


What cruise line are you going on? The Carnival site have the following information:

[I]U.S. citizens traveling on cruises that begin and end in the same U.S. port must show proof of citizenship (such as an original or certified copy of a birth certificate) and a government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license). Effective June 1, 2009, U.S. citizens traveling on cruises that begin and end in different U.S. ports, or begin or end in a foreign port, must have a passport or other recognized document. For a complete list of accepted documents, see Welcome to Travel.State.Gov.

U.S. Alien Residents need a valid Alien Resident Card. Canadian citizens must present a valid passport. Non-U.S. citizens need a valid passport and a valid, unexpired U.S. Multiple Re-entry Visa, if applicable.

Carnival recommends that all guests travel with a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the completion of travel. For more information or to obtain a passport application, visit Welcome to Travel.State.Gov. [/I]

It sounds like you’ll be fine unless your cruise ends after June 1st. However, a passport might make it easier.


DT has said it all - but I’d suggest that you do get passports. The time is coming when they will be needed for all travel, everywhere. It’s a bit of a pain and an expense, but it’s worth it in the long run.


I also read somewhere that it’s a good idea to have a passport in the event of an emergency and you have to fly home from one of your ports.


So not to confuse things more but just out of interest if you went on a cruise to another country, prior to June 2009 you wouldn’t need a passport? if the ship came back to a US port?- crikey I confused myself sorry all if that seems a bit odd-hopefully someone will be able to answer me.

And I think I would get a passport anyway I think LLama is correct, the way security is nowadays its always preferable to have a passport. I know in the USA I am asked for mine all the time as we dont carry ID because we dont have to in the UK.


Thanks for all input on this one. I did call the Disney Cruise Line directly and they told me that since our cruise is in May birth certificates are fine. No passports absolutely require until June 1,2009. If it was just my husband and I I would probably go for the expense of passports but we are also treating my two sons and their families to this trip and they probably won’t be using passports for any future trips. It has set my mind at rest talking to Disney personnell that we will be fine with birth certificates only for this particular trip. Again, thanks for in-put


Go ahead and get the passports. It’s just a matter of time now anyway.

If something were to happen and you had to fly back in an emergency you’d be stuck.


I would and did get passports last year for our cruise. They said we would have to have them by then. Did you know that they are more official than a state ID and you can use it as a second ID anywhere?

We never planned to use them after the cruise but ended up going to Mexico within the year and now have another cruise planned. Look at it as an investment smirk.

Ditto on the getting stuck part. I would be concerned about that. Especially if kids are involved. I am sure you could get home somehow but -the hassle? Maybe since you are treating for the trip, the others would be ok getting the passports? They are about $80 each or something like that.

I wonder how it works through customs and getting back from the various ports when they quick scan your passport? Anyone know?


Passports are much easier now with cruises since your Passport will be built into your room card I believe. So all you do is scan your room card and your out. I don’t even know if your allowed to use Birth Certificates anymore. I stopped like years ago. Don’t hold this against me cause i’m not sure.

  • Justin


[QUOTE=Justin;923705]Passports are much easier now with cruises since your Passport will be built into your room card I believe. So all you do is scan your room card and your out. I don’t even know if your allowed to use Birth Certificates anymore. I stopped like years ago. Don’t hold this against me cause i’m not sure.

  • Justin[/QUOTE]

Huh? When your are disembarking at the various ports of call you have your room key card scanned and then when you re-embark you scan your room key card again. This way at sail-away they know if they have everyone on board. Nothing to do with passports.

Passports or birth certificates are only needed at check-in (Disney wants to make sure you can return to the US) and when you return to the US. The only caviet is that most ports require you to show a gov’t issued pictured ID when you return to the docks after touring. A driver’s license or passport suffices.

For example. I have a Passport, once I get aboard the ship at Port Canaveral, it goes into the safe. I don’t pull it out until we get back to Port Canaveral. For the various islands, I only take along my room key, driver’s license and of course cash and credit cards and various other sundry items.


Here are the current/upcoming passport requirement, with a direct link to the gov’t website.

  U.S. citizens need to present either (a) a passport, passport card (scheduled to be in full production beginning in July 2008), or WHTI-compliant document; or (b) a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, along with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.

  On June 1, 2009, the U.S. government will implement the full requirements of the land and sea phase of WHTI. The proposed rules require most U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land ports of entry to have a passport, passport card, or WHTI-compliant document.

      o CHILDREN: U.S. citizen children under the age of 16 will be able to present the original or copy of their birth certificate, or other proof of citizenship such as a naturalization certificate or citizenship card.

        Groups of U.S. citizen children ages 16 through 18, when traveling with a school or religious group, social organization, or sports team, will be able to enter under adult supervision with originals or copies of their birth certificates or other proof of citizenship. See the Department of Homeland Security's for more information on the changing travel requirements.

Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative