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October 2, 2006

Cruise Passport Requirement Delayed until 2009

U.S. cruise passengers will not need passports until June 1, 2009 under new legislation just approved by Congress. The current requirement of a photo ID and birth certificate will remain in effect until that time. Government agencies are also discussing implenting a less-expensive, alternative ID called a "PASScard" that may be made available sometime in '07 or '08.

At it stands currently, airline passengers will need passports to re-enter the U.S. beginning January 8, 2007. This will give cruise lines an additional advantage for passengers travelling to the Caribbean and should increase demand and probably prices. So if you're considering a cruise next year, it would be a good idea to book now to lock in your rates.

Keeping Track of your Favorite Ship

Some cruisers have such fond memories of the ships they have sailed on that they make it a point to return to that ship again and again, wherever it may be traveling. Not only is the layout familiar, but cruisers often get to know the ship's officers and crew on a more personal basis. If you are having a hard time finding a particular ship you once sailed on, it may now be sailing under a different name. Check out this list:

New NameFormer Name
Celebrity XpeditionSun Bay I
Costa EuropaHolland America Westerdam
Cruise West Pacific ExplorerTemptress Explorer
Discovery Cruises MV DiscoveryIsland Princess
Holland America PrinsendamSeabourn Sun
MSC ArmoniaEuropean Vision
MSC Melody StarShip Atlantic
MSC MontereyFree State Mariner
MSC RhapsodyCunard Princess & Cunard Conquest
MSC SinfoniaEuropean Stars
Norwegian Pride of AlohaNorwegian Sky
Norwegian CrownCrown Odyssey
Norwegian DreamDreamward
Norwegian MajestyRoyal Majesty
Norwegian SpiritSuperStar Leo
Norwegian StarSuperStar Libra
Norwegian WindWindward
Pacific PrincessRenaissance R3
Oceania Cruises InsigniaRenaissance R1
Oceania Cruises NauticaBlue Dream & Renaissance R5
Oceania Cruises RegattaRenaissance R2
Orient Marco PoloAlexandr Pushkin
Royal Caribbean Empress of the SeasNordic Empress
Sea PrincessAdonia
Seabourn LegendQueen Odyssey & Royal Viking Queen
SeaDream ISeabourn Goddess I & Sea Goddess I
SeaDream IISeabourn Goddess II & Sea Goddess II
Tahitian PrincessRenaissance R4
Windjammer Amazing GraceOrient Express & the Pharos
Windstar Wind SurfClub Med I

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