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Government and Official Information for Cruise Planning

Government and official information on passports, visas, inspections, travel alerts and more that will be useful in planning your first or next cruise vacation.

Ten Tips on Overseas Shopping to "Know Before You Go"
The regulations on what and how much you can bring into the United States from overseas are very complex. The U.S. Customs Service has Ten Tips to "Know Before You Go" with useful links to Web pages of information.

How to Get a Passport
Cruise passengers need official proof of citizenship. A driver's license does not suffice. Here's how to get a passport, which is the best travel documentation of citizenship.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC): Traveler's Health
Health information on specific destinations. What you need to know before you go.

CDC: Vessel Sanitation Program
A description of the program, a link to ongoing disease surveillance and outbreak investigations, and publications on cruise ship sanitation and disease outbreaks.

CDC: Sanitary Inspections of International Cruise Ships
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's summary of the most recent sanitary inspections of cruise ships under the Vessel Sanitation Program. See how your ship fares in this comparison. Any score below 85 is not acceptable.

U. S. Department of State: Travel Information
Index to all information available from the State Department.

Travel Document Systems
Not a government agency, but this company can expedite your passport or visa application. This visa company has been business since 1985, and (for a fee) can help you depart on very short notice. 

U. S. Customs and Border Protection
Official information for travelers from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Bureau. Good information on what you can/cannot bring into the United States, as well as guidelines for mailing items from overseas.

U. S. Birth Certificate Bureau
Private company that will help expedite obtaining a birth certificate or other vital document.

U. S. Department of State: Passport Information
Everything you need to know to get a passport. FAQs, downloadable forms, fees, how tos, passport offices, and more.

U. S. Department of State: Visa Information
How do you know when you need a visa? How do you get one? This site provides a list of FAQs that will help you cut the red tape.

U. S. Department of State: Travel Warnings & Consular Info
The State Department issues travel warnings when it decides to recommend that Americans avoid travel to certain countries. Consular information sheets are available on every country in the world, and contain interesting info to read before you cruise (or after).

U. S. Department of State: Travel Tips for Traveling Abroad
Link to travel tips from the U.S. Department of State.

U. S. Coast Guard Web Site
Coast Guard site has information on maritime safety and news articles about cruise security.

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