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Lynette - Travel Advisor

Top 30 Virgin Voyages Advisor | Royal Caribbean l Top 150 Carnival Cruise Advisor

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Essential Documents for First-Time Royal Caribbean Cruisers!


Kicking off your Royal Caribbean cruise adventure is all about fun, chill vibes, and the chance to rack up some epic memories. But hang on, before you can hit the high seas or check out some cool spots, there's something super important you can't skip: packing the right docs. Making sure you’ve got all the essential paperwork sorted is your ticket to a smooth, stress-free trip. To help you out, we’ve whipped up a no-fuss guide especially for first-time Royal Caribbean cruisers. This way, you’ll be all set and ready to enjoy your getaway without a hitch.


1. Passport or Birth Certificate

For international voyages originating outside the United States, a valid passport is required. Make sure it's valid for at least six months beyond your cruise end date. If your cruise is a "closed-loop" one, starting and ending at the same US port, adults and children can sometimes use a state-issued birth certificate (original or copy) along with a government-issued photo ID. Cruises Sailing from One U.S Port to a Different U.S Port: Guests are required to carry a Passport valid for at least six months beyond the completion of travel, from their country of citizenship AND a valid Permanent Resident Card, that includes a photo I.D. However, a passport is still highly recommended for all sailings due to its flexibility and in case of unexpected international stops or emergencies. Verify Required Docs Here


Cruising With Kids That Aren't Yours (Age 17 and under)

When cruising with Royal Caribbean, special considerations are made for passengers traveling with children, especially when those children are not their own. It's crucial to be aware of "The Minor Policy" to ensure a smooth and trouble-free boarding process.


  • Documentation for Minors: All minors must have proper documentation, such as a passport or birth certificate, similar to adult travelers. Depending on your itinerary.

  • Traveling with Children Not Your Own (age 17 and under): If you're traveling with children who are not your own, you must have a notarized letter from the child's parent or legal guardian authorizing the trip. Download Minor Consent Form HERE. This form should grant permission for the child to travel with you and should include authorization to make medical decisions for the child and onboard activities if necessary.

Required ID for Guests Aged 16 and Older

All guests 16 years and older must present a valid, unexpired government-issued photo ID. Mobile or digital ID versions are not accepted. Acceptable forms of ID include:


  • Driver's License (temporary ones with a photo are fine)

  • Driver's Permit

  • School/Student ID (for guests aged 16 to 18)

  • Any government-issued ID card with a photo, including U.S. Military IDs (from city, state, or federal authorities)

  • Trusted Traveler Program Membership Card (e.g., NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST) - only for photo identification purposes


2. Cruise Documents

This includes your boarding pass, printed luggage tags, and any booking confirmations for pre-purchased additions like specialty dining, in-cabin drinks and snacks, and shore excursions. We highly recommend using durable luggage tag holders for your printed tags, which can be found on Amazon, ensuring they remain secure and easily identifiable throughout your journey. Having hard copies of these documents can be a lifesaver in the event there is no record of your purchase


Names on Travel Documentation

Ensure the full name (first and last) on your cruise tickets matches the travel documentation you'll use for travel. If there's a discrepancy due to marriage, divorce, or a legal name change, bring original or clear copies of relevant documents (e.g., marriage certificate, court document) to embarkation. Lack of this documentation may lead to denied boarding. See complete policy HERE


3. Travel Insurance Documents

While not mandatory, travel insurance is a wise investment for any cruise. It can cover everything from trip cancellations to medical emergencies abroad. If you have purchased a policy independent from Royal Caribbean, please bring a copy of your policy documentation


4. Visa Paperwork (If Applicable)

Some destinations may require a visa for entry, even as part of a cruise. Check the visa requirements based on your nationality and the countries you'll be visiting well in advance of your departure date.


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