Even various cruise lines sometimes appear to have conflicting information on whether passengers must obtain and carry a US passport. Much of the confusion has resulted from the changes which have been made lately to travel requirements in America. Various modes of transport have different requirements. It is important that you decide what kinds of travel documents for cruises are essential, and to realize that these requirements may differ from land and air travel regulations. In the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was enacted. Since some of these countries share common boundaries, it became necessary to develop a standardized means of screening travelers so as to protect US borders. This initiative can help to fortify borders without making it prohibitive for American citizens and legitimate foreign travelers to enter and depart the United States. The initiative legislates uniform standards for travel documents for cruises, as well as for air and land travel across boundaries.
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was implemented in graduated phases since it was drafted. The initial changes were made and affected aviation only. Ever since then all foreign aviation requires a US passport. The latest change implemented in January directly affected land and sea travel. Prior to the date, oral declarations of citizenship were approved when crossing borders by land or sea. However, current regulations dictate that oral declarations are no longer acceptable. Now all land and sea crossings need a US passport or WHTI compliant documentation. When the last phase of this Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is headquartered in June, many travelers will be expected to travel with a US passport or passport card qualified for sea and land crossings only.
Despite the implementation of the last phase of this Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, the US government is urging all Americans who haven’t done so to apply for a US passport. While no further changes are made to travel documentation requirements, there’s speculation that a US passport may one day be a normal form of USA Visas personal identification. Experts feel that it’s plausible that the US will follow suit in a global effort to keep secure borders. Some cruise ship companies have tightened their own rules regarding travel records for cruises. Some have chosen to issue tickets only to holders of US passports or passport cards in a bid to expedite crossings and preserve safety. Check with your cruise company to discover exactly what it advocates for documentation.