Originally Posted by cruise_mom
We are taking our first cruise a western Carribean from New Orleans in September. Carnival and our travel agent say we only need birth cert. and pic ID's, but everyone I have talked to that has taken a cruise says we should get the passports. There are 5 of us traveling and I don't know if we will ever have occasion to use them again, so what do you experts think, should we bite the bullet and spend the $$$$ for 5 passports or just use what we have? Thanks for any advice.
Carnival, your travel agent and your friends are all correct. You do not need a passport for this cruise. Your birth certificate and picture ID are all that is required.
However, if you must return, by air or sea, from a foreign port during the cruise you will need the passport. If you are going to travel anywhere outside the U.S. it really is worth the money to get the passport.
I would get the passport. If you don't do it for this cruise perhaps you can get one or two at a time. A U.S. passport is good for 10 years and if you travel again you won't have any issues and you can take just about any cruise or vacation you want.