Disney Planning 101 – Passports

My family and I will be taking our first ever Disney cruise this December on the brand new Disney Dream. We are all very excited about our trip to the Bahamas, but planning for it is certainly different from our annual Walt Disney World trips. One of the things we are having to do is apply for passports. It is recommended that each member of the party applies for his/her passport at least 4 months in advance to allow time for processing and receiving the passport. It usually takes 6-8 weeks to receive it once the paperwork has been completed. Disney Cruise Line asks for all expected guests to supply their passport numbers at least 75 days in advance.

There are a couple of options when applying for passports: the Passport Book and the Passport Card. There are some very important differences between these two passports.

The Passport Book is the traditional passport as pictured above. It is the best form of proof of citizenship. It can be used for re-entry to the U.S. from all points of entry, including international flights. The cost is $110 + $25 fee.

The Passport Card looks very similar to, and is the same size as, a regular driver’s license. It may be used for land and sea travel between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry. It can be used if the cruise is departing and returning to the same port, as the one we will be taking from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas and back. The cost is much cheaper at only $30 + $25 fee.

The passport card sounds great as it would save us $80 per person, or a total of $320.00. If we were guaranteed that there was no chance we would need to get home for any emergency, we would probably opt to settle for that one. However, getting into the Bahamas and back on the ship and then back into port in Florida are not my only concerns. If something should happen back home that would necessitate us having to fly home right away, none of us would be able to get back into the U.S. on an international flight without having the passport book. So, we will pay the extra money to insure that we are covered all the way around.

Each person applying for a passport, even infants, must go in person to apply. Specific instructions on how to apply can be found on the U.S. Department of State website at http://www.travel.state.gov/passport. Be sure to note that there are special requirements for children under 16 years of age.

This task is tedious but it must be done in order for us to go and have an amazing cruise. Are you planning a Disney cruise soon?

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2 thoughts on “Disney Planning 101 – Passports

  1. Thank you Edith. The thing that I found to be strange is that I have a passport from 6 years ago when I was heavier and platinum blonde. I look totally different now. When I asked them if it would still work, they said yes. It doesn’t even look like me – to me so I thought it would never work. Go figure.

  2. I agree with you, although some people chose to travel without traditional passports, I felt they were the best bet for our family.  I lived abroad for several years and really understand the importance of proper documentation when it comes to citizenship.  Also, the adult passport lasts for 10 years, so it is not something you will need to renew after a single trip.  

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