I haven't been on a cruise for 5 years and have recently booked one. My question is, do I still not need a passport (port of call is Cozumel), only my birth certificate and a photo ID?
I know ideally I should get a passport but I don't travel out of the country nor do I frequently go on cruises so I don't see the need to spend the money for a passport when other documentation would be sufficient.
If your cruise begins and ends in the same US port you are on a closed loop cruise. US Customs and Border Patrol does not require you to have a passport. Check their website and Carnival's for exact ID requirements. That said, it is always advisable to have a passport in case some unforeseen incident requires you to leave the ship and return home from a foreign port on your own.
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I'm surprised your travel agent didn't give you the information about this, but all you need for a 'closed loop' cruise is an original birth certificate, not a copy, along with a government issued photo ID, such as a driver's license.
We just got off a Carnival cruise today and the customs agent didn't even asked to see our daughter's and our grandson's birth certificate, but it is required.
__________________ Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/13 yrs exp and 48 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!