Twice, in one week, I received a call, from a client, in a panic because “someone told them” that they could not cruise, with their passport because it did not have at least six months validity on it. One client stated that she could not get off the cruise ship and see the ports of calls because her passport needed to be renewed.
These are the calls that I receive when my clients listen to other travelers. Thankfully, my clients picked up the phone to verify the information they received with their travel agent – me.
I explained to both clients that, they actually did not need a passport to cruise on closed-loop cruises that start and end in the United States. U.S. citizens embarking on a cruise that both begins and ends at the same U.S. port are not required to have a passport. You can actually cruise with proof of citizenship such as an original or certified copy of a birth certificate, a certificate of naturalization, a passport card, and a government issued photo i.d. Therefore, if they had a valid passport with less than 6 months of validity on it, they would be able to still cruise, as well, as get off the ship and enjoy each port of call.
At the end of the week, I thought to myself—-if these two travelers did not have a travel agent on speed dial, they would have spent a lot of money to get their passports renewal expedited for no reason, or even worse, took a cruise and never got off the ship for fear of their passport.
It is not always smart to listen to other travelers but it is good to have access to an expert in a particular area – in this case, have access to a travel agent.