Anyone took the Western Caribbean cruise before? We're scheduled for the July 28th one and just realized our kids passports expire a week after the end of the cruise. I read that there is no issue with the Mexico stops, but also read the Honduras one requires a 6-month passport validity. Do they really check at the ports when it is a closed-loop cruise?

Tags: Caribbean - Western Roatan Mahogany Bay Bay Islands Honduras

19 Answers

Having the Singapore run in left me a tad paranoid. However, every time someone mentions Western Caribbean countries it reminds me that some of those can be pretty lax entry wise. An experience two friends had down there comes to mind. Both are from the coast of Alaska and one bought, at a Federal auction, one of those luxury yacht type boats drug runners get caught using. He talked a friend, who is a long time Salmon seine captain, to go with him and help bring it to Alaska from Florida. It didn't appear that they would make Panama before a huge tropical depression hit them so they dove into a small port in one of those west Caribbean countries.

They tied their boat up and headed for the nearest bar, where they proceeded to get drunk with some local bar fly. At some point they questioned whether or not they should check in with some local authority or something. The local said he would take care of it. He took their passports and vessel info and left. After a period of time they began to wonder if they had made a very big mistake. But he came back, with all the necessary okays. The drinking continued. Proves, ignorance is bliss.

When it comes to travel and a passport i always steal that logo from those CC company guys ..... Don't leave home without it!

Because in my case trying to enter the states the rule is ... Can't leave home without it!

This question piqued my interest, as we will have 20 plus friends and family taking this same itinerary later this year. I am sure the vast majority have passports but probably not all. I looked at the US passport service guide page and it states Belize and Honduras both require passports but are both currently waiving this for cruise passengers. I am sure their biggest concern is tourist dollars. It would not be in their interest to leave all of those tourist dollars on the ship. I plan to contact the cruise line to clarify this, but as has been mentioned I have never been asked for a passport in either country.

Haven't read that site in years...don't know how old that "currently waiving" phrase is. I'd bet YANQUI $$ it was waived years ago, never enforced before it was waived, and now totally ignored. And for the reason ($$) you stated. Hard to believe you can cruise without a passport at all tho..isn't that info REQUIRED for online checkin???.And just keep on with those vignettes...why not put em together in some sort of misadventure cruising guidebook??

I have taken the Western Caribbean cruise but not to Honduras. Although it say that a passport is not needed for Mexico they always suggest that you take one because if anything should happen where you need to return by air you will definitely need your passport.

Totally agree. Would not leave anything to chance.

When traveling on USA departure closed loop cruises to WHTI countries there is no absolute need for a US citizen to carry a passport, as of right now. Please realise I'm not advocating not traveling without one, just stating that the passport is not a requirement by the USA or the POC country for "transit" arrivals by sea, nor for repatriation by the CBP upon return to the USA by the same vessel to the same port as departure. It is a very strong suggestion by most cruise lines to have a passport, some whom reserve the right to deny boarding without a passport, so it is best to call the cruise line or the travel professional that booked the cruise for clarification of the cruise line's policy and exceptions.

Typically the other documents accepted, according to, are a (copy of) birth certificate issued by the Department of Health or Vital Statistics of the state or county of birth (or US Consulate Certificate of Birth Abroad), certificate of Naturalization for US citizens not born here (or to US parents recognised by a consulate when abroad), and for those 16 and older a government (local,state, military, or federal) issued picture ID that matches the name on the cruise booking. If the names on the BC and photo ID differ, bridge documents linking the names such as adoption, marriage/divorce certificates, or court filings need to be available if asked for. Children 15 and under can be vouched for by their parents or legal guardians, but those traveling with only one parent named on the BC or as a guest of an ad hoc guardian should have a consent for international travel and medical treatment form (available free from sites like showing that all legal guardians are aware of he trip and have given their blessing.

So there are your other options if you feel the expiring passports are not enough and you don't want to risk not having the international expedited renewal not being delivered on time (the soon to be expired passport needs to be turned in at time of application).

Of course with the looming implementation of the real ID act things may change.

Now THATS what I call an explanation. ought to be read and reread...slowly...thanks for posting it. The OP had a big get together cruise coming up...some have expiring passports, and it would seem some might not have one at all. If the OP hasn't done it already, call the cruise line. don't know if everyone will get their EDOCS...that's one way NOT to cruise...

I would apply for the renewal now, but bring a copy of the birth certificates and a photo ID for each person in question, just in case.


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