Important: Processing times recently changed for both routine and expedited passport applications.

Passport card or book for my kids to go to the Bahamas via cruise.

by Alicia
(Hagerstown, Maryland, United States)

Question: We are traveling with a 4 and 2-year-old on a Disney cruise. We fly from Maryland to Florida where we board our ship and sail to the Bahamas. Four days later, we sail from the Bahamas back to Florida and then fly from Florida to Maryland.

The information on the Disney website states we need to obtain passports for our children. I saw the information about the passport card instead of a passport book and was wondering if that would work as identification for our children or if we need to get them actual passports.

Answer: Passports are not required for re-entry to the United States when traveling on a closed-loop cruise. Children age 15 and under arriving by land or sea from a contiguous territory may present an original or certified copy of his or her birth certificate. You may want to call Disney and verify the passport requirement.

The U.S. Passport Card can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry and is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book. The passport card cannot be used for international travel by air.

The requirements are the same for the passport card as those for the passport book. It also takes the same amount of time to process.

If you think that your children might need a passport book in the near future, then you might want to apply for this. If not, then the passport card should suffice for your trip to the Bahamas.

Due to an increased demand for passport cards and the time of year, the State Department encourages travelers to apply well in advance of their scheduled trip.

Routine service takes 4-6 weeks to process an application. Expedited service takes 2-3 weeks.

If you need to obtain the passport cards for your children in less than two weeks, you will have to visit the regional agency or request the services of a professional passport expediter.

For more information, click the links below.

How to Get a Child's Passport

Maryland Passport Offices

Washington DC Passport Agency

Get Passport Fast

Return to Passport Card FAQ.

Click for fast expedited courier service

Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers


High demand and mailing delays are impacting how long it takes to get a passport.

  • Standard service is currently taking between 7 and 10 weeks.
  • Expedited service is currently taking between 3 to 5 weeks.

NOTE: Processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center. Requesting 1-2-day mailing service is recommended.

Need to get a passport faster?

More Passport & Travel Information

Getting a Passport Expedited at a Post Office
Requesting express service at post offices and other facilities that accept application forms from U.S. citizens.

Applying at a Regional Passport Agency
Where processing centers are located. How to schedule an appointment. What documents to take with you.

Using a Registered Courier Service
How to pick a legitimate courier service company to assist in getting your passport quickly.

Routine vs. Expedited Passport Service: How to Choose
Guide to help you decide if standard or fast track processing is the best option for your situation.

How to Renew a U.S. Passport Fast
Learn to expedite passport renewals as quickly as the same day. Where and how to renew passport in a hurry.

Expedite Your Passport Now!