One of the most commonly asked questions when someone is booking with a travel agent is: “what travel documents am I going to need for this cruise?” For many itineraries, a guest simply needs his or her passport; however, some itineraries require further documentation such as visas. It is important to note that a passport must be valid for 6 months from the date of return in order to be used for the sailing. The best way to find out what documentation is required for your sailing is to check with your individual consulates or your cruise line’s preferred visa vendor such as Visa Central.
While it is true that there are itineraries that do not require passports for US citizens, we recommend that all guests travelling on all itineraries have a valid passport with them when travelling. While we all want to believe that nothing bad could possibly happen during your vacation, we also have to plan for the worst-case scenario. If you are travelling overseas or in another country and something happens that requires you to cut your vacation short and fly home, you are going to need your passport and getting one in a foreign country by visiting the consulate takes time and typically quite a bit of money.
In addition to visas and passports, another important travel document that is needed when a minor is travelling with one or none of their legal guardians is a letter of consent from the other parent. While you should always check with the individual cruise line to see exactly what they require, at the very least you will need a notarized letter from the other guardian or both guardians stating that you have permission to travel with the child to the ports of call on your itinerary. Failure to follow these rules set forth by the cruise line on this matter can result in denial of boarding.
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