Do you need a passport for a Disney cruise? Anytime you leave the US, you should carry a valid passport- including on all cruises in international waters. While some cruises may not require a passport (if your Disney cruise starts and ends at the same US port), the US Department of State recommends always traveling with a passport. International plane travel always requires a passport, so you’d need a passport to fly home in an emergency. Smart travelers will be prepared for the unexpected, even when it comes to a relaxing Disney cruise.

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Disney Cruise Passport Requirements by Country

What if the only vacation photo you were able to take was your cruise sailing away while you watch from the pier? Having the right documents is the difference between a once-in-a-lifetime vacation and watching your ship sail away without you. So, let’s take a closer look at Disney’s passport requirements for cruises.

Disney Cruise Itineraries That Always Require a Passport

If you’re sailing to or from any of the following locations, the rules are simple: Everyone in your party, from newborn babies to senior citizens, needs a valid passport book. No exceptions.

  • Europe
  • The United Kingdom

Do You Need A Passport For a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas or the Caribbean?

Some of Disney’s most popular itineraries include stops in the Caribbean and/or the Bahamas.

For these itineraries, if your cruise begins and ends in the same US port, you don’t have to have a passport to sail. Instead, you could use:

  • passport card and passport book with a beach backgroundA passport card. This wallet-sized card is cheaper than a passport book. However, it’s not valid for air travel. See Passports Vs. Passport Cards for details.
  • A Trusted Traveler card (NEXUS, FAST or SENTRI).
  • A driver’s license, state ID card or other government-issued photo ID, along with a birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or Certificate of Naturalization.
  • Children under 16 can travel with just a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship, as can children age 18 and under who are traveling with a youth organization like a school group, church group or sports team.

However, if your itinerary includes a stop in Martinique, you must have a valid US passport with you to go ashore. This is Martinique’s requirement, not Disney’s, but you’ll be stuck on the boat for this stop if you don’t comply.

Do You Need a Passport For A Disney Cruise to Mexico?

Disney has Mexican cruise itineraries departing from California and Florida. For cruises to Mexico that begin and end at the same US port, you can use:

  • A US passport book or card.
  • Government-issued photo ID plus proof of citizenship (birth certificate, consular report of birth abroad or a Certificate of Naturalization).
  • A Trusted Traveler card (NEXUS, FAST or SENTRI).
  • Birth certificate only for minors under 16 or children 18 and under traveling with an organized youth group.

Do You Need a Passport For a Disney Cruise to Hawaii or Alaska?

sunset on a beach and mexico cruise passport requirementsAlaska and Hawaii are part of the US, so you shouldn’t need a passport, right? Not so fast. You wouldn’t need a passport for a direct flight to these locations, but you may still need one for your Disney cruise. Check your itinerary before you go. Disney’s Alaskan and Hawaiian itineraries leave from Vancouver, Canada. To fly into Canada, everyone in your party needs a valid US passport book (NOT a passport card). The passport card is not valid for international flights.

However, if you’re driving or sailing to Vancouver, you have more options:

  • A US passport or passport card.
  • A Trusted Traveler card (NEXUS, FAST or SENTRI).
  • Minors under 16 can use a birth certificate as described here, as can children under the age of 19 traveling with a youth group or organization.

Disney Cruise Passport Requirements for the Panama Canal

Disney’s Panama Canal cruises follow the same guidelines as cruises to Mexico or the Caribbean. Choose from one of the following options:

  • A US passport book or passport card.
  • A Trusted Traveler card (Nexus, FAST or SENTRI).
  • Government-issued photo ID and a birth certificate (or other proof of citizenship).
  • Minors under the age of 16 (or under the age of 19 and traveling with a youth organization) can travel with birth certificates only.

What Documents Do You Need to Get On a Disney Cruise?

At check-in, you’ll need:

disney cruise ship in MexicoWhen you check in, you’ll get a boarding number, your Key to the World cards and you’ll get your picture taken for your Disney Cruise account. The cruise agents will scan in your passport and/or your other identification documents, and you’ll keep these with you for the cruise.

What Documents Do Children Need On a Disney Cruise?

Just like adults, children need passports for international travel. The only exception is for land and sea travel to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, where the regulations are more relaxed than they are for adults. For these destinations:

  • Children under the age of 16 can use their birth certificates.
  • Children under the age of 19 can travel with birth certificates if they’re traveling with a school, religious, or other youth organization.

Plane travel to or from these destinations still requires a valid passport book.

Children Traveling Without Parents

Also, children traveling without a parent or legal guardian need an Authorization For Minor to Travel Without a Parent or Legal Guardian Form.

Yes, they need the form even if they’re traveling with Grandma!

Getting Off the Ship At a Port of Call

Ready to go exploring? For most ports, there’s no need to take your passport! Leave it in your room safe so it doesn’t get lost or stolen, and so the cruise staff can find it if needed.

However, you will need a photo ID and your Keys to the World to get off the ship. Children must be accompanied by an adult guest traveling in the same stateroom, unless you’ve signed a form giving them permission to go with another adult or by themselves.

Disembarking: How to Get Off the Ship When the Cruise Is Over

Young girl traveling with a large suitcase after a Disney cruiseFor closed-loop cruises that begin and end in the US:

After you collect your luggage, you’ll go through customs. All guests will need their passports (or ID and proof of citizenship). You’ll also need one Customs Declaration Form per household.

To speed through the process, make sure you have all of your documents together and organized ahead of time. Designate one adult per family to hand everything over. And be sure to check the list of prohibited items and dispose of anything you’re not allowed to bring back!

This process may be a little different for cruises that disembark in other countries. Check your Disney cruise account for detailed instructions.

Why You Should Always Cruise With a Passport

For US-based closed-loop cruises, carrying a passport is optional. However, if your cruise stops anywhere outside the US, it’s a good idea to carry a passport, even if it’s not required.

Here’s why: International air travel always requires a passport. So, what happens if your ship is in Jamaica and there’s an emergency? What if you need to cut the cruise short and go home? If you already have a passport, home is always just a plane ride away.

Getting a passport ahead of time also gives you some flexibility if you miss you the boat. With a passport, you can often book a flight to meet your ship at the next port of call. A hassle, yes . . . but much less of a hassle than trying to arrange to meet your ship or return home in shame without a passport.

General Disney Cruise Passport Requirements

If you already had a passport when you booked the cruise, you might think you have nothing to worry about. However, your passport also needs to meet certain requirements.

Disney requests that you enter your passport information into their system at least 75 days before you set sail. This is a good time to make a final check of everyone’s passports. Look for the following:

  • Expiration date: Make sure your passport will be valid for at least the length of the cruise. Also, some destinations require that your passport be valid for at least six months beyond the date your sailing has ended.
  • Travel visas: Some destinations require visas in advance. Check with the local embassy or consulate for your destination for details.
  • Damage: If your passport is damaged beyond normal wear and tear, get it replaced.
  • Name: The name on your passport should match the name you used to book your tickets..

For more details on passport requirements for your itinerary, see the My Reservations section of your Disney Cruise account.

What happens if you forgot your passport for your Disney cruise?

Unfortunately, Disney can’t let you sail without the proper travel documents. So, if your cruise requires a passport, you won’t be allowed to board unless you’re able to get your passport replaced in time. Likewise, airlines can’t let you board without proper documents. If you’re flying to Vancouver or Europe and you’ve forgotten your passport, you’re not getting on the plane.

But don’t give up hope just yet. With the right supporting documents, you can get a passport in as little as one business day. There are two ways to get your passport quickly:

  • Make an appointment at one of the 26 regional passport agencies serving the general public by calling the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778.
  • Use a private passport expediting company like RushMyPassport.com (no need to make an appointment or travel to an agency, but you must allow additional time for shipping).

At RushMyPassport, we’ve helped thousands of customers avoid last-minute passport disasters. Don’t let your ship leave without you- contact us today!