What You Should Consider When Booking a Cruise Visiting International Ports

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If you’re thinking about booking a more exotic cruise than your typical Caribbean cruise like one that leaves from and/or stops at international ports, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need in order to have a carefree vacation.  Besides your regular documentation, there are other things you need to consider (like a visa) before embarking on your journey.  As always, Your Cruise Girl is here to help! ?

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Health Considerations

You should consult your healthcare provider or a certified travel health specialist prior to your sail date for any necessary immunizations/vaccinations.  The World Health Organization recommends talking to your healthcare provider before embarking about the following prevention guidelines, taking into account:

  • The health status of the passenger, the duration of travel, the countries to be visited and likely activities ashore;
  • All routinely recommended medical condition age-specific immunizations;
  • Influenza vaccination as available, regardless of season;
  • Immunization and other (e.g. malaria) recommendations that apply to each country on the itinerary; and
  • Medication against motion sickness, particularly if you are prone to motion sickness

Excerpt from the World Health Organization’s Sea Travel Advice page.

United States citizens can check the CDC Destinations page’s travel health notices about what vaccines you might need and how to stay healthy and safe while you travel. Canadian citizens can visit the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Destinations page.  Other Nationals should visit your country’s travel advisory page for more information.

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A visa is a permit issued by a country that gives someone permission to enter or exit a country.  It is a formal document stamped on your passport by an embassy.  It details the kind of visit and the length of time the visa holder can stay.  There are different kinds of visas based on the reason for your visit like tourist visas for vacationers, business visas for business meetings, and student visas for students attending school abroad.  The visa only tells customs and border officials that you have met the entry criteria.  Many countries also require a valid passport for entry.

Based on your nationality, countries may require an entry visa.  It will be your responsibility to identify and obtain all visas needed before your cruise.   You can generally find this information in your cruise planner. 

Suggestions on where to obtain visa information:

  1. U.S. citizens can visit the U.S. Department of State International Travel page.
  2. Canadian citizens can visit Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.
  3. The Embassies of each country on your cruise itinerary.
  4. The visa service of your choice, such as iVisa for specific visa requirements, information, forms, and fees that apply to your nationality.

Be sure to reconfirm your visa requirements 14 to 30 days prior to your cruise as requirements change from time to time without proper notice.  If you decide to use a service like iVisa, this will be done for you automatically.

What is iVisa?

iVisa is an online passport and visa service that streamlines the entire visa application.  They eliminate all the confusing paperwork and streamlined the visa application process making it a breeze for you.

How Does iVisa Work?

The process is so streamlined that it’s as simple as starting with this form. Try it!

Once you put in your nationality (the country from which you hold a passport) and tell them where you’re going, iVisa will provide you with up-to-date visa requirements, fees and timelines.

iVisa offers a 100% approval guarantee.  If your application gets rejected, they will give you a full refund for the government fee and the processing fee in the form of a credit for future use.

iVisa offers both electronic Visas (e-Visas) and traditional paper visas based on your destination.  They also offer the following services/documents that are required by certain countries:

  • ETA (electronic travel authorization)
  • Tourist Cards
  • Visa on Arrival pre-registration/approval form
  • Tourist Invitation Letters
  • Embassy Registration Service

With iVisa’s speed and simplicity, you’ll have a minimum chance of rejection on a secure website.  And their 24/7 customer support is absolutely awesome!

And you know what else? They have a partnership with to get your passport photos made easy and cheap (like 99 cents ?).  The photos can be printed for next day pickup or delivered to your home in 2-3 business days.

So go ahead and book that exotic cruise!  You now have all the information you need to cruise to those international ports like a boss! 

My job here is done. ?