When preparing for a Disney Cruise, it is recommended that you apply for your passport at least 4 months in advance. This allows time for processing and receiving your passport, as 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.
Being a person who always does everything early, I will be gathering the pertinent documentation very soon so that we can schedule a time for all 4 of us to go together to our local County office to apply.
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. 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.
If all my family was going on the vacation, I might opt for the passport card as that would save me $80 per person, or a total of $320.00. 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 my having to fly home right away, I would not 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.
I am very excited about my first Disney cruise. I hope you will check into taking one very soon as well!
Brenda is a native Texan born and raised on the Gulf Coast. She visited Disney World twice as a teenager and always dreamed of growing her family Disney. She took her first-timer husband and their three children to Disney World in 2000 and they now spend every Thanksgiving there. Brenda writes with a comedic twist on various Disney topics. She will be sharing tips she has learned during her travels and also hopes to enlighten people on little-known freebies that Disney has to offer. She wishes she could have met Walt Disney and considers herself to be a student of Walt. In parallel to his dream it is her wish that everyone would take at least one trip to Disney World in order to share in its magic with their families.