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Do I need passport to visit Costa Rica on a closed-loop cruise to/ from Miami?

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I am a US citizen who is planning to go on a closed loop cruise to/ from Miami which will be stopping at various Caribbean and Central American ports.

 

These ports include: Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama, Mexico, and Jamaica.

 

I know that US citizens on closed loop cruises in Western hemisphere are not required to carry a passport and that most Caribbean ports of call only require that you show a picture ID along with your sail card to disembark. But I am not sure if this includes ports of call like Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia.

 

My questions therefore are:

  1. If any of these ports of call require a valid passport would I be denied access to the cruise at the port of origin (ie. Miami) if I only have a driver' license and birth certificate?
  2. Has anyone recently travelled on a cruise to central america and been required to show a US passport to disembark or reembark in either Puerto Limon (Costa Rica), Colon (Panama), or Cartagena (Colombia) ?

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When we traveled last year on the Zuiderdam, HAL had information in our documents that a passport was required overall. Further research on the website travel.state.gov revealed that for US Citizens, a valid US Passport was required for entry along with a 'ticket' that was valid for exit from the country.

 

My husband and I travel with a passport regardless of the cruise, so this wouldn't have been a concern of ours, but after reading that I wondered if anyone without a passport would be turned away from boarding for not having the proper documentation.

 

I'm from the camp that always believes better safe than sorry, so anytime I know I am leaving the country I bring my passport. This leaves only the visa requirements I need to research.

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If this is a closed loop cruise and you are from the USA then no passport is required.

 

With that said I also recommend getting a passport because should you need to fly home from outside of the USA due to some sort of emergency then a passport would be required.

 

Keith

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I sailed with only certified birth certificate and DL to Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao out of Port Canaveral without any issues. You shouldn’t have any issues either.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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I sailed with only certified birth certificate and DL to Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao out of Port Canaveral without any issues. You shouldn’t have any issues either.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

 

 

Caribbean islands are different from countries in Central America such as Panama & Costa Rica.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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So did you end up getting a passport and what happened because I didn't really see an answer here. Someone posted rules of travel into Costa Rica but they seem to only be mentioning air travel in.

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When we cruise round trip to Mexico from SF, we still have to have passports when we return to SF. Not sure why the Caribbean would be different.

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When we cruise round trip to Mexico from SF, we still have to have passports when we return to SF. Not sure why the Caribbean would be different.

 

You might consider the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) as it deals with 'closed loop' cruises. Google will return a lot of sources to help.

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I need to find this answer too. I have used only a birth certificate for travel to Belize, Roatan Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, Grand Cayman, Bahamas. (Jamaica would be the same as these.) I'm curious about Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama.

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My questions therefore are:

  1. If any of these ports of call require a valid passport would I be denied access to the cruise at the port of origin (ie. Miami) if I only have a driver' license and birth certificate?
  2. Has anyone recently travelled on a cruise to central america and been required to show a US passport to disembark or reembark in either Puerto Limon (Costa Rica), Colon (Panama), or Cartagena (Colombia) ?

 

In 15 years of cruising the Caribbean, including stops in Limon and Puntarenas Costa Rica, we have never had to produce any ID other than ship card and photo ID (drivers license) to leave/reboard the ship. Nor have we ever taken our passports ashore, always leaving them in our room safe. Again, this is at any port in the Caribbean, and we have been to the majority of them (tho not to Cuba [yet].)

 

To my knowledge, only HAL has a requirement for passports in Costa Rica...even that is suspect.

 

I recommend that you check with other lines that visit Costa Rica to see what they require for US citizens.

 

I have done several searches on this very subject. One source clearly referred to some form of agreement with Costa Rica that visiting cruise passengers did not need passports, however, frustratingly, there was no supporting document for the statement. For this reason I have never commented (until now) on this question.

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I am sure you will need a passport to go ashore in Costa Rica.

 

 

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I have been to Costa Rica several times and did not need a passport on a closed loop cruise. Unless this just changed, you do not need a passport. Going again in November and no passport needed that I am aware of. Will let you know.

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Contact the Cruise line or the State Department, but as mentioned earlier if for any reason you need to fly to U.S you must have a passport.  The folks here are not correct when informing you do not need a passport.  You need a passport because the ship is stopping in Costa Rica, it does not matter if you get off the ship or not.  Again check with the cruise line, but it is usually necessary to have your passport to board the ship, if the ship is stopping anywhere you need a passport.  Here is a link to the State department:  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/travelers-with-special-considerations/cruise-ship-passengers.html

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Just returned from a Journeys cruise that included a stop in Costa Rica.  I do not have a passport and used only my birth certificate and drivers license.  In Costa Rica, all I needed was my ship card to return and there were no questions asked.

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On 10/21/2018 at 3:00 PM, MikeD4134 said:

With respect, this link is nearly worthless for cruises that fall under the WHTI guidelines, which is where sailings to Costa Rica fall.?

 

Also, other than Cuba, no port in the Caribbean requires passports or visas for US citizens on a "closed loop" itinerary.

 

The ID requirement of a passport or birth cerificate/photo ID are contained in the CBP requirements for 'closed loop' cruises within the WHTI described region and are there to allow US citizens to enter the US at the end of their cruise.

 

With very few exceptions, cruise passengers are 'in transit' when on a port visit and do not need a visa to enter as a tourist.  (see Cuba, above)

 

 

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On ‎11‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 5:23 PM, thinfool said:

With respect, this link is nearly worthless for cruises that fall under the WHTI guidelines, which is where sailings to Costa Rica fall.?

 

Also, other than Cuba, no port in the Caribbean requires passports or visas for US citizens on a "closed loop" itinerary.

 

The ID requirement of a passport or birth cerificate/photo ID are contained in the CBP requirements for 'closed loop' cruises within the WHTI described region and are there to allow US citizens to enter the US at the end of their cruise.

 

With very few exceptions, cruise passengers are 'in transit' when on a port visit and do not need a visa to enter as a tourist.  (see Cuba, above)

 

 

A link to the U.S. State department is useless, but you are some kind of expert. I was just in Costa Rica for a port stop and we were required to have our passport in our possession when off the ship.

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38 minutes ago, MikeD4134 said:

A link to the U.S. State department is useless, but you are some kind of expert. I was just in Costa Rica for a port stop and we were required to have our passport in our possession when off the ship.

 

We've visited three different ports in Costa Rica in the last two years and never had to carry our passports ashore. Our cruise line did not even suggest that we take our passports with us, much less tell us it was required.

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Okay, I finally completed my journey. Costa Rica was removed from the itinerary by the cruise line and replaced with Aruba. That being said I could disembark in all ports, including Colombia and Panama, without the need to show a passport. I actually only needed my cruise embarkation card  at each port although carrying a photo id was recommended in each cruise port by the cruise line.

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