The buzz is starting “passports will be required” for domestic travel. The Real ID Act of 2005 is not “new”, it’s been scheduled for implementation since 2005! Real ID Act sets standards for the issuance of sources of identification requiring states to collect additional information when issuing drivers licenses and that they include the compliant security coding. Over 10 years, there’s been plenty of time and ALL but nine states have complied: their drivers licenses will no longer meet the TSA requirements for air travel.
Unlike a hotel room where you can often “show up” with an additional person or even “sneak” an addition person into your room, cruises are different requiring every passenger to be accounted for in advance, even babies. This has to do with coast guard safety requirements in addition to having the required boarding documents.
Not all rooms can accommodate more than two people; rooms that will accommodate more are often limited to exact number i.e. 3, 4 or sometimes more depending on the cruise line. Many of the promotions, specials, deals are based on double occupancy (two passengers). They are often offered on a guarantee basis meaning the room is not assigned until after payment is made and can be as late as day of sailing. During peak periods it is not uncommon for there to be no rooms available for triple or quad occupancy requiring the purchase to two rooms. Sometimes availability can be restricted due to ages of children due to caps on the children programs, especially with Disney Cruise Line.
Now is the time to be planning summer travel, especially families. Whether you’re thinking about a cruise from Port Canaveral, an All Inclusive Resort or one of the 1000’s of other options. Summer is a peak travel time and cruise ships often sell out of cabins that can accommodate third and fourth passengers requiring the purchase two rooms instead of one: and they must be together. Airline flights are in high demand making cheap seats harder to find as the number of passengers increases for both domestic and international.
Remember any/all air travel departing the US required a valid passport, the longer you delay the longer you will wait. Beginning the process now leaves some flexibility if plans need to be shifted a little here or there to capture better pricing. For those not restricted to the school calendars fall is a great option, less money and less crowded.