Disney Cruise Line: Do I Need A Passport For Travel To The Bahamas and Caribbean?

One of the most common questions I'm asked about traveling on the Disney Cruise Line (DCL) to the Bahamas and Caribbean is "Do I need a passport?" The most basic answer for most US Citizens is "No." However, traveling abroad without one is highly discouraged and thus, my answer is always a resounding "Yes."

It's important to remember that if you are traveling abroad from your home you are subject to the laws and customs of the country you are visiting. Contrary to popular belief, the Disney Cruise Line is not a little piece of America at sea. The Disney Cruise Line ships are flagged in the Bahamas, while on board you will be subject to Bahamian and International Maritime Law, as well as those laws of the country where you are in port.

Do I Need A Passport For A Disney Cruise?Do I Need A Passport For A Disney Cruise?

For U.S. citizens a passport is not required for travel on closed loop cruises (a closed loop cruise is one that that both departs from and returns to a U.S. port). Exact identification requirements for all travelers sailing onboard the Disney Cruise Line can be found at the Passport & Documentation Page on the DCL website. However, if any sort of emergency were to occur while overseas, you would not be allowed to fly home without one. That is true whether the unlikely event is one where the ship is at fault, or a personal or medical emergency. All air travel into the U.S. from foreign countries requires a valid book-style passport. Therefore, both the Disney Cruise Line and I highly recommend that guests of all ages traveling onboard DCL have a valid passport to offer an extra level of security while visiting overseas.

Passport Cards may be used as identification cards. However, like any other state issued ID, they can not be used to fly home in an emergency from any foreign port. Therefore, optimum choice is to have a book-style passport book.

File Your Travel Documents With DCL 75 Days Prior To DepartureFile Your Travel Documents With DCL 75 Days Prior To Departure

The time it will take to get a passport once you have applied can vary greatly, and it is not uncommon for the process to take 8 - 10 weeks to complete. The Disney Cruise Line asks that all of it's guests provide their passport number a minimum of 75 days prior to your cruise departure date and it is each guests responsibility to acquire proper citizenship documentation (e.g., passport and/or green card). Passport numbers can then be entered on the Disney Cruise Line website under the travel documents "My Passport" page.

United States citizens can visit the U.S. State Department's travel website at http://travel.state.gov/ or call the U.S. National Passport Information Center at (877) 4USA-PPT (487-2778) for more information. Citizens of Canada can visit the Passport Canada site at http://www.ppt.gc.ca for more information to guide you through the application process for obtaining a Canadian passport.

Now You're Ready To Go!

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Travel safe my friends!

Stephanie baker wrote on Tue, 06/18/2013 - 13:56:

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Thanks so much, just had this conversation with hubby last night.

Kristen K. wrote on Tue, 06/18/2013 - 14:12:

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What great timing! Glad the piece is useful to you.

Anonymous wrote on Fri, 09/20/2013 - 09:54:

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Kristen K. wrote on Fri, 09/20/2013 - 12:09:

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Thanks so much!

Mynameisnotimportant wrote on Mon, 08/14/2017 - 23:09:

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This post is old so I don't know if anyone will respond to this but I have a question .. if someone can't get a passport for various reasons .. are they just not going to be allowed to go on the cruise? I'm in a situation where my significant other is not allowed to have a passport .. are we just screwed from cruising with Disney?

Kristen K. wrote on Thu, 08/17/2017 - 00:32:

Kristen K.'s picture

Hello Mynameisnotimportant!

Sorry that it took me a couple of days to get back to you. As I mentioned in the above article, there are alternatives for American citizens who want to take closed-loop cruises. Closed-loop means that it both departs from and returns to a US Port, such as most Disney Cruises leaving Port Canaveral.

Guests claiming U.S. citizenship must present the following as proof of U.S. citizenship.Government-issued photo ID along with one of the following:

  • Original or copy of their state-issued birth certificate
  • Puerto Rico birth certificates issued prior to 7/1/2010 are not accepted
  • Original Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State
  • Original Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • Guests under the age of 16 may present one of the following:
  • Original or copy of their state-issued birth certificate
  • Original Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State
  • Original Certificate of Naturalization issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

You can find DCL's Travel Document page on their website at the link below

So - you can go on a Disney Cruise. The caveat being that if you were to have any sort of emergency on foreign soil you would not be able to fly home.

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