For security purposes, it is always a wise move to bring some kind of identification whenever you go out of your house. This is even more true when traveling.
Sometimes, you will be required to present different credentials depending on the situation you are currently at.
If you have plans to sail to the Caribbean, it is best to know what kind of ID do you need to go on a cruise to the Bahamas.
Proper documentation is necessary and obligatory before sailing to confirm your identity, not only for your safety but also for everyone on board.
What to Prepare for a Cruise Vacation in the Bahamas
Proper planning and meticulous preparation are essential for a successful Bahamian cruise escapade.
Below are significant must-haves for those who plan to go on a cruise to the Bahamas to ensure safe and fun sailing.
1. Travel Documents
Identification credentials are the topmost essential that you must possess when traveling, whether via land, sea, or air.
Different sets of documents are required for US and non-US citizens, which should be prepared before sailing.
We will further discuss the necessary identifications that you will need as we continue with the article.
Each traveler is allowed two complimentary luggage, which should not be more than 50 pounds each.
It will be better to invest in a portable luggage weighing scale to ensure that your baggage is within the required weight.
An additional fee is automatically added to your account in case of overweight luggage.
3. Cash and Credit Cards
Credit cards are another essential that you must have.
Most cruise ships require their passengers to create a spending account while onboard the ship.
Cash is also necessary when you wish to leave a tip for the crew for their exceptional service.
4. Electronic Gadgets
Remember to bring your electronic gadgets such as mobile phones, cameras, laptops, chargers, and extra batteries.
You will need all of these devices to capture and document your trip so that you have something to look back on after the tour.
5. Comfortable Shoes
Bring the most comfortable shoes that you can find in your collection because you will surely need them throughout the trip.
There will be a lot of walking while the ship is sailing as you move from one place to another so that you can enjoy all the offered amenities fully.
Flip-flops, sandals, and sneakers are some of the recommended footwear that you might want to bring along.
Choose either a flat or low-heeled shoes with rubber soles for added traction as the ship's floors can get slippery, especially when wet.
Cruise ships boast several swimming pools and Jacuzzis on board, hence the need for swimwear.
You will also need swimwear if you intend to take a dip on the beach once you reach the Bahamas.
7. Beach Bag
Fill your beach or tote bag with swimming necessities and goodies, so you are always ready for a swim.
Make sure that your bag has sunscreen, hand sanitizer, insect repellent, sunglass, chapstick, water bottle, and towel.
8. Medication and Toiletry Bags
Use separate bags for your toiletries and medications, and make sure that it is always in your possession.
You can easily find travel-size toiletries in most drugstores, so you don't need to bring the big ones you have.
9. Ziploc Bags
These versatile Ziploc bags come in various sizes that are useful for different purposes. They are both easy to use and dispose of.
The small ones are perfect for small items like rings and earrings, while medium-sized bags can protect your gadgets from getting wet.
The large-sized Ziploc bags are perfect for separating your wet clothes from the dry ones.
10. Motion Sickness Products
To make sure that you are ready when motion sickness kicks in, it is best to be prepared with products or medications that can fight nausea.
Sea-Band is one example of a non-invasive and drug-free product that you can wear on your wrist to help you battle motion sickness and relieve nausea.
You will also find medications meant to prevent dizziness due to motion sickness, such as Dramamine.
In case you forgot to bring any of these products, you can easily ask one of the crews for something available onboard.
What Kind of ID Do You Need to Go on a Cruise to the Bahamas?
The required documentation and registration should be completed online weeks before sailing.
These documents may vary depending on the cruise line, the type of cruise you wish to sail in, and the visitor's nationality.
All visitors going to the Bahamas via a cruise ship must present proof of identity and citizenship before boarding.
Ideally, a valid passport should always be considered by any traveler even if some cruise lines do not require it.
However, you will be required to present a passport if you decide to return to the United States by air.
If you are sailing on a cruise type that does not require a passport, you should present other forms of identification that show your proof of citizenship.
One example of a legal document is a government-issued ID, like a driver's license, supported with either a government-issued birth certificate or naturalization certificate, whichever is appropriate.
For other nationalities who wish to go on a cruise trip to the Bahamas, they must present a valid passport from their home country.
Different Types of Cruises
Travelers wishing to sail aboard a cruise ship bound for the Bahamas are given numerous cruise lines to choose from.
They generally offer four different types of cruises going to the Bahamas:
1. Contemporary Cruise
Some major cruise lines offer budget-friendly cruises to the Bahamas for medium-earner passengers.
However, less personal attention is given to passengers of this cruise type since larger ships are used for accommodating more travelers.
A contemporary cruise lasts typically as quickly as three days to as much as two weeks, which sometimes involves non-compulsory excursions on-shore with a separate fee.
Since the Bahamas is near the United States, many people are given a chance to experience a quick Bahamas cruise without spending a fortune.
2. Premium and Luxury Cruises
These two cruise types are more expensive than the contemporary one since the service is more personalized and extravagant.
They use smaller ships with fewer passenger capacity, allowing the guests to have more privacy and exclusivity.
Passengers from these cruises are also provided with stops to islands with fewer tourists as well as more private ports for docking.
3. Sailing Cruises
This small and informal cruise type is perfect for more adventurous passengers as they travel for one to two weeks around the Bahamas Islands.
A sailing cruise would typically start from Nassau, make sure that it docks on a different port every night, mostly less-visited islands, until they complete the travel.
Some ship operators will even allow their passengers to help with the sailing if they want to.
4. Day Cruises
The proximity of the Bahamas from Florida, USA, allows the passengers to enjoy a day cruise on board the Discovery Cruise Ferry.
The ferry typically leaves from Fort Lauderdale in the morning, heading to Grand Bahama Island and Freeport in the afternoon.
By late evening, after consuming the two meals and drinks included in the trip, passengers will find themselves back in Florida.
Major Ports in the Bahamas
Whatever type of traveler you are, you will always find the perfect Bahamas port that offers whatever you are looking for.
1. Half Moon Cay
In Half Moon Cay, you will feel like you are on a private island where you can enjoy horseback riding and kayaking.
Experience a close encounter with stingrays as you visit Stingray Cove and feel their smooth wings.
If you have kids, you can let them play in the pirate ship that is found in the water park.
Freeport in Grand Bahama Island is the resort center where you will find all the action. You can enjoy your evenings with lots of entertainment from bars, clubs, and casinos.
People who enjoy activities during the daytime are offered various adventures like diving, fishing, and jet ski.
Nassau is the cultural and historic center of the Bahamas, making it a famous destination for cruises.
The place is also renowned for its beautiful beaches where you can relax and enjoy the scenery, do water sports, go shopping, or go sightseeing.
You can also enjoy different activities for all ages, like swimming with dolphins and playing in water parks.
4. Princess Cays
If you are looking for an ideal vacation destination for the whole family, Princess Cays is the place for you.
There are airconditioned private beach bungalows that are available for rent for visitors. You can go biking, snorkeling, and other fun activities you can consider in this private resort.
Tips on How to Find Affordable Cruise Deals
All of us wanted to experience going on a cruise trip but may encounter difficulties when it comes to the expenses.
Below, we will provide you with some tips on how to look for budget-friendly cruise deals so that you can still sail without breaking the bank.
1. Check Twitter
If you are into social media, check tweets from various travel agents and agencies. They usually post their best cruise deals at the last minute.
You can also create a list of these accounts who love to post discounted deals of their cruise trips to find the information in one listing.
2. Receive Deals in Your Inbox
Most major cruise lines still send emails that offer bargain cruise deals; thus, it is best to create a dedicated email account so that you don't miss out on their offers.
3. Bundle Deals
There are booking promotions offered by some major cruise lines where your cruise vacation's total cost will include your choice of bonuses.
These bundle deals will allow you to save more compared to paying the individual costs of a service.
4. Book Ahead
The saying "the early bird catches the worm" is a perfect description for booking your dream cruise vacation.
Early booking will give you plenty of cruise itineraries to choose from plus the best price offers from different cruise lines.
5. Monitor Prices
Do some research to know the typical rate of a cruise trip that you like. You may want to diligently monitor its price, too, as it is likely to drop.
There is a cruise price tracker called Price Alerts that will inform you of any price changes on cruise trips.
6. Request for Cash Back
If the cruise fare suddenly drops after confirming your booking, you can still avail of the lower price as long as you have not made any final payment.
Coordinate with the cruise lines immediately so that you can cancel your initial booking and then rebook using the discounted price.
7. Last Minute Booking
Some cruise lines offer last-minute deals where the trip is scheduled to leave within 90 days.
There are specific cruises that are hard to fill, hence the last-minute bargain deals. However, you don't have the luxury to choose your cabin and where you will be seated during dinners.
8. Accept Cabin Guarantee
Most cruise bargain deals are inclusive of cabin guarantee, which means that you will be given a cabin based on the cruise category you have paid for.
Again, in cases like this, you won't have the luxury of choosing your cabin location and dining hall.
9. Book the Whole Family
Most cruise lines offer free beds and other freebies if you choose group bookings, depending on how many you are in the group.
Try to check what kind of promotion a particular cruise line has to offer in regards to group bookings for your awareness.
10. Choose Shoulder Season Sailings
If you are keen on saving some dollars for a cruise trip, opt for off-peak season travel dates, such as before or after summer.
Aside from discounted prices, there are also fewer visitors during the off-peak season, which means that you get to enjoy the beach privately (unless the weather dictates otherwise).
Knowing what kind of ID do you need to go on a cruise to the Bahamas in advance gives you sufficient time to secure all the necessary documents before your travel date.
Once you complete all the required travel documents, you can just focus on how to have fun and make memories throughout the cruise.