One of the top questions I get from cruise passengers is “do I need a passport?”
The short answer is yes.
Sure, if you are sailing on a U.S. “closed-end” cruise (leaving and returning from a U.S. cruise port), you can get by with a government-issued photo i.d. and a certified-copy of your birth certificate.
The problem is if you miss the ship while in a foreign port, it makes it much more expensive to either rejoin the ship in the next foreign port of call or to get back to U.S. soil.
The passport book and passport card are both U.S. passports. If issued for the full validity, they are both proof of your U.S. citizenship and identity.
The problem is that the less expensive passport card isn’t valid for air travel outside the U.S. overseas, including to Mexico. You will need the traditional passport (more expensive) book if you’re heading out of the U.S. via air.
Click on the link below to see the importance differences between the traditional passport book and the passport card.
Also, click on the link for FastPort Passport if you need passports quick.