Here's a heads-up for cruise travelers whose itinerary includes a stop at Barbados: Beginning March 1, that island nation will begin requiring U.S. and Canadian citizens to have a valid passport in order to debark in that port of call.
Or so it would seem. A representative from the Barbados Tourist Authority has confirmed the new rule but it appears the cruise industry itself is in flux about what, exactly, the requirement entails. According to CruCon Cruise Outlet's Sandy Cleary, "the cruise lines have given us the following warning: Although they are trying to negotiate a waiver with the government of Barbados for cruise ship passengers, there is no guarantee that this will get approved by March 1. Therefore, all travel agents should advise their clients to have valid passports to be on the safe side."
For official passport application information, American travelers should go to the U.S. State Department Web site. Canadian passengers should check www.ppt.gc.ca.
Typically, at least for U.S.–based cruise passengers on Caribbean itineraries, official proof of citizenship has included options that range from a valid or expired passport, to a U.S. birth certificate along with a government issued I.D.
At this point, other major Caribbean destinations, such as the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Aruba, Jamaica and Mexico, among others, are still adhering to the more typical requirement and are not requiring active passports.
We'll keep you posted should additional nations re-vamp their I.D. requirements.
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Barbados To Require Passports
January 29, 2004