What Are the Requirements to Board a Cruise Ship?

By Alice Nichols

Cruising has become one of the most popular ways to vacation, and cruise ships offer a wide variety of activities, amenities and entertainment. But before you can enjoy the fun on board, there are a few requirements that you need to meet in order to board a cruise ship.

The first requirement is that you need to be at least 18 years old in order to board a cruise ship without an adult guardian or parent. This is true for most cruise lines, although some may have different age requirements depending on the particular itinerary or type of cruise.

The second requirement is that all passengers must present valid government-issued photo identification such as a driver’s license or passport when boarding the ship. This is necessary for both safety and security reasons.

Itinerary Requirements

Depending on your itinerary, there may be other requirements that you need to meet in order to board the ship. For example, if your cruise includes stops in countries outside of your home country, then you may need to obtain a visa or other travel documents in advance. You will also need proof of citizenship such as a birth certificate or naturalization papers if required by any port authorities.

Medical Requirements

You may also be required to provide proof of medical insurance coverage if your itinerary includes stops in certain countries that require it. Additionally, some cruise lines may require passengers with certain medical conditions (such as diabetes) to provide a doctor’s note prior to boarding the ship.

Other Requirements

In addition to these specific requirements, it’s important to note that all passengers are expected to adhere to their cruise line’s policies and procedures while on board the ship. This includes following posted rules and regulations, staying within designated areas of the vessel and respecting fellow passengers.


In summary, the requirements for boarding a cruise ship include being at least 18 years old; presenting valid government-issued photo identification; obtaining visas or other travel documents (if applicable); providing proof of medical insurance coverage (if applicable); and adhering to all posted policies and procedures while onboard. By meeting these requirements prior to departure day, you can ensure that your time aboard will be safe and enjoyable.