As you prepare to travel internationally, it is very important that you are informed of several passport related issues.  Please take these recommendations seriously, as failure to do so could adversely interfere with your vacation. 



Many cruises originating and returning to U.S. ports simply require a certified birth certificate instead of a passport.  However, having only a certified birth certificate will not allow you to break the loop.  This means that if you are on a ship or an excursion and you have an emergency causing you to miss the ship, or fly back to the States, you will not be able to do so without a passport.  It’s easy to say “that won’t happen to me”, but imagine you’re simply on a bike ride and have an accident that causes you to visit a local hospital, or you need to return home for a family emergency.   Without a passport, this is not possible.  Our advice:  Even on a closed loop cruise – have a valid passport.


Many countries will not let travelers to enter if your passport expires within 60 days of your planned departure. Check your expiration date well in advance of your travel.  Please contact me and I will help you determine the laws of your destination country.  Many airlines have their own policies regarding expiration dates as well, some up to 6 months in advance of travel.  Our advice:  Please check your expiration date and renew your passport if you are close to 6 months of your planned departure. 


Your passports MUST have at least 2 blank pages available and they must be free of rips/tears/water damage.  Any passport with damages must be replaced before travel. 


Be sure to make copies of travel docs and store them separately while traveling. While not a substitute for the originals, it will make the situation easier to rectify should the originals become lost.  Feel free to send a copy of your passports to me for safe keeping, as well.


If you need to obtain a new passport, give yourself enough time to order your passport. 

  • 8 – 11 Weeks for routine processing 
  • 5 -7 Weeks for expedited processing (extra cost) 
  • A passport can be expedited at the agency for cases that have international travel within 3 business days.

Passport cards are NOT a substitute for a Passport book and cannot be used for air travel. 


Information above regarding processing times has been sourced directly from the website of the U.S. Department of State. 


Passport and visa information may be obtained by contacting the Travel Section of the U.S. State Department at 202.647.5225 or by visiting the State Department’s Web site at Non-U.S. passport holders should be sure to contact the embassies of their destination and transit countries to obtain entrance requirements. To obtain medical information, you may contact the Centers for Disease Control at 404.332.4559 or visit the CDC’s Web site at