Persistent rumors on social media have prompted Carnival Cruise Line to confirm documentation requirements for cruise travelers. This is specifically for roundtrip sailings from US homeports and whether or not passports are required, or will soon be required, by the cruise line.
Rumors Suggest Carnival Cruise Line to Require Passports
Rumors on different social media sites have suggested that Carnival Cruise Line will begin requiring all guests to have passports for all sailings beginning in 2024, regardless of the cruise embarkation port, itinerary route, or duration.
While all cruise guests are required to present proper identification before embarkation, Carnival Cruise Line has confirmed that passports are not required for all sailings and that the cruise line’s documentation requirements are not planned to change.
Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald spoke in detail about the concern, verifying document requirements for guests.
“There are no requirements from us that a passport will be needed next year except on specific cruises to places in Europe and other specific locations,” Heald said. “However for Caribbean and all closed loop cruises there have been no changes set by Unites States Customs and Border Protection so you may use your birth certificate and Government issued ID.”
A “closed loop” cruise is defined as one that both embarks and debarks from the same homeport – a roundtrip sailing.
Guests booked on upcoming Carnival cruises should note that one-way, repositioning, or transoceanic sailings, as well as voyages departing from homeports outside the US that require guests to travel to a different country before embarkation may have different documentation requirements.
Depending on the sailing, some cruises – even though they may be closed loop itineraries – still require all guests to have valid passports. For example, all Carnival cruises that visit Greenland require a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the last day of the cruise.
Similarly, all Europe and transatlantic cruises also require US citizens to carry passports valid for at least 6 months after their visit. These requirements are set by the countries being visited as part of their international security protocols, and are not determined by Carnival Cruise Line.
Cruising Without Proper Documentation
All cruise travelers should be aware that without the required documentation, guests will not be permitted to board their cruise ship and will instead be turned away at the embarkation terminal.
Documentation requirements are set by US Customs and Border Protection, and all cruise lines must abide by those guidelines.
Carnival Cruise Line’s online FAQ states “Any guest without proper documents will not be allowed to board the vessel and no refund of the cruise fare will be issued. Carnival assumes no responsibility for advising guests of proper travel documentation.”
Travel documentation requirements can change on short notice, and cruisers should stay updated about required documents well before their sailing date to ensure they have the proper documents.
Read More: Do You Need a Passport to Go on a Cruise?
Passports are often recommended and can make the check-in process faster at the cruise terminal, as well as being valuable documentation in case of any emergency during the cruise that might require guests to remain in a port of call or leave the ship to return home before the cruise ends.