Is a passport required if you sail out of Port Canaveral on a closed loop cruise and are a US citizen? Why is travel protection so important when you cruise?
These are questions that clients ask me every day. I always want to make sure each client knows what to expect on vacation. It is urgent that I prepare them for the unexpected as well. The unexpected when you are vacationing in your own country is tough enough. If you are at sea any emergency situation is going to feel much worse. Being prepared will honestly be such a relief if it does happen to you.
Why do I Need Travel Protection?
You need to be prepared for any medical emergencies that might happen to your travel party. We all know that there is no timetable on things like that. Contact your medical insurance company as part of the planning process to see if they will cover you while you are at sea. If they don’t, do you want to take a chance and not have any medical insurance while you are outside of the USA? The cost for medical emergencies at sea will be very, very high. If you need to see the ship doctor for anything at all it is not free. If it is a life threatening emergency and you have to be airlifted, you are looking at 100’s of thousands of dollars expense. From the smallest medical issue on the ship, to the life threatening ones, travel protection will have you covered. Here is the link to the travel protection insurance offered by Disney Cruise Line.
What Does Travel Protection Cover?
Disney’s travel protection plan offers cancel for any reason coverage that is very good. Cancel fees with a Disney Cruise Line reservation do vary by the type of category you have booked.
CANCEL FOR ANY REASON – Provided by Disney Cruise Line
Receive a future cruise credit up to 75% of the cancellation fee amount to apply toward a future Disney Cruise Line sailing if you need to cancel for any reason not covered by the insurance portion of the plan. Certain restrictions apply.*
*The Cancel For Any Reason cruise credit feature is equal to 75% of the non-refundable cancellation fee imposed by Disney for your use toward a future cruise. Credits are valid for one year from issue date, are not transferrable, and have no cash value. To be eligible for credits, notification of cancellation must be given to Disney Cruise Line prior to the ship’s departure and a cancellation claim must be filed with Aon Berkely. If the credit is applied to a cruise booking of lesser value, the credit will be considered used, and the difference will not be carried forward or redeemed for cash. Credit may not be used toward deposit. If, after credit is applied to a booking, that booking is cancelled, the credit will not be carried forward to any other booking. Blockout periods may apply.
Highlights of the plan are the following:
- Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption
Up to total trip cost ($10,000 limit) if you cancel or interrupt due to sickness, injury, death and other covered reasons.
- Trip Delay
Up to $500 if your cruise vacation is delayed for 12+ hours due to carrier-caused delays—including weather, unannounced strike and more.
- Accident/Sickness Medical
Up to $10,000 to cover medical treatment, hospitalization and more if you become sick or injured on your cruise vacation.
- Emergency Medical Evacuation/Repatriation
Up to $30,000 to cover emergency medical transport.
- Baggage Loss
Up to $3,000 to cover loss, theft or damage to your bags or personal possessions.
- Baggage Delay
Up to $500 to cover the purchase of necessary items if your bags are delayed for 24+ hours
You can also look for travel protection plans outside of Disney Cruise Line. A good website for help with that would be InsureMyTrip.com. I suggest calling them for the best service. You might find better coverage that will cost less.
What are the Government Requirements Regarding Passports and Cruising?
The US government page has specific details about passport requirements.
All adult U.S. citizens arriving by sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, or the Caribbean must have a passport.*
- Either a passport book or passport card may be used.
- All U.S. citizens may apply for a passport card.
- To learn more about the passport card, including how to apply and the differences between the passport book and passport card, please visit our U.S. Passport Card page.
*“Closed-Loop” Cruises: If you are a U.S. citizen, and you board a cruise ship at a U.S. port, travel only within the Western Hemisphere, and return to the same U.S. port on the same ship, you may present government-issued photo identification, along with proof of citizenship (an original or certified copy of your birth certificate, a Consular report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization). Please be aware that you may still be required to present a passport to enter the foreign countries your cruise ship is visiting. Check with your cruise line to ensure you have the appropriate documents.
What if the ship has an emergency? It can happen, and you might be stuck in a foreign port. Even if you can technically sail without a passport, can you even enter that port without a passport? If not, you have a big problem. That is only the beginning. If you don’t have a passport and can enter that port, you still can’t fly home. So, if the ship is out of commission, for whatever reason, you need to arrange for emergency passports to get home. It won’t happen overnight. The expense will be quite high.
The other passport issue is a medical emergency. If you become ill in a foreign port you may not be allowed back on the ship. In that case you are stuck in a foreign port that you can’t fly home from, and you are sick. You have to get medical care and arrange for emergency passports. If you are on the ship and have a sudden illness that requires you to be airlifted and you don’t have a passport, there arises another problem.
Being prepared to cruise is important and these parts of the planning process are not necessarily the fun parts. If you book through me you can be sure I will assess every part of the planning process to make sure you are prepared to cruise.
Contact me today for expert cruise vacation planning help. I will make sure every details is covered.