When you are traveling abroad you need a passport, but there are some cruises that you can take that don’t require a passport. Should you have one anyway?
For some “closed loop” cruises a passport isn’t required. Mostly Caribbean itineraries that begin and end in a US port. But a recent story tragically shows why it is a bad idea to travel without your passport. A couple from Myrtle Beach was travelling the Caribbean on a cruise in December and the husband had a stroke. The ship diverted to the nearest port with a good hospital where he could be cared for and then left them there.
Because they did not have passports with them on the cruise, they were not allowed to leave the island to get care from another facility. Unfortunately, the man passed away a few days later from his condition.
Becoming stranded without a passport is not as rare as you would suspect. A quick search of news stories brought up a number of occurrences of people getting sick or injured and then not being able to leave the country they are in because of the lack of a passport.
So even if it is not required, always carry your passport when you travel outside of the US. It may prove to be life-saving.