I am considering a western Carribean which includes Costa Rica. I am getting conflicting reports from two lines. One told me a passport was required, another indicated birth certificate/drivers license was good enough. A web site for Costa Rica says that a passport is required for all visitors, but no visa for US Citizens under 45 days.
I would get a passport. With the world situation, you never know when policies will change. Some countries flip back and forth between passport and birth certificate. Its easier to get through customs with one, its all in one id (no need to pull out a photo id and paper), its good for 10 years (adults), you have it for future spur of the moment trips, its probably cheaper now than it will be down the road, etc. I got my son one soon after he was born. You never know when you might have to travel out of the country (biz or pleasure) and I would have to hate to pay the rush price. My husband let his get to close to expiration and had to fly overseas at the last minute on biz. Thankfully his company paid the renewal fee which was pretty steep since he needed it quickly.
I would just get the passport and be on the safe side, especially if you plan on more travel in the next few years, they are good for 10 years. I find it much easier to travel with them, they are the best identification you can carry.
I will be on the Horizon this December and will be stopping in bothe Purteo Limon Costa Rica and Colon Panama. I was told I would need a passport for Panama not Costa Rica. I would get a passport anyway. For the cost it is the best travel ID to have.
You dont have to show your passport in any country if you come in on a cruise ship.But is a lot easier boarding the ship.What we do also is photo copy our passport and when we get off in the ports we leave the passport on board and take the copy.
Going on Coral Princess Panama cruise this April and saw the same information on Costa Rica - that they require tourists to carry their ID. Will see what is true when we get there. Actually the most useful place for the passport was getting off the ship in Fort Lauderdale. We sailed on the second Caribbean Princess cruise in April 2004 and walked right through immigration with our passports but the "birth certificate" line was several hundred people long. Never left the cabin safe during the cruise (west Caribbean).
When we traveled on NCL they took my fiancÚ passport before we boarded the boat, because he isn't a US Citizen. That was the only time we needed to show our passports, besides when we disembarked at the end of the cruise. He had to go down at 6:00 am the last day of the cruise to get his passport back and go through immigration. It was a real pain. (Well not for me, I was still sleeping). So, I don't think you need your passport when you get off the cruise line at the docks.
The only place we needed to show an id (our drivers license) was in cozumel. In Roatan, Belize and Grand Cayman, the only thing we needed to show was our room card from the boat. Everyone must have it when you leave the boat. This scans you in and out.
They FINALLY opened up the shore excursions, so have been busy picking things.
Trying to decide between river cruise or 4x4 in Limon,
speed boat/snorkel or airboat in Belize
Were not really planning on taking a tour in the Canal except that most
folks I am reading on these boards highly recommend the tour boat
through the Cut and the western locks. My understanding is we will
miss the CP locking back down if we do this. Tough choice....