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VERIFY: Do you need a passport if you're going on a cruise?

A viewer wanted to know if a passport was necessary to cruise, so we verified.

Are you considering escaping the cold with a nice cruise to either Mexico or The Bahamas?

Well first -- GREAT IDEA! 

Second, you may be wondering if a passport is necessary for your cruise.

A KHOU viewer had the same question and asked us to verify. 

We reached out to the United States Department of State and press officer Noel Clay said he recommends everyone taking a cruise from the U.S. should take a passport -- but that's just in case of an emergency, like having to be medically evacuated to a nearby country or a storm forcing your ship to an alternate port.

But technically you do not need a passport on something called a "closed loop" cruise. That is a cruise that begins and ends at the same port in the U.S. And right now that is not expected to change anytime soon. 

So, we can verify for our viewer that needing a passport for a cruise is FALSE. 

But the state department strongly recommends you take one anyway. And if you have any questions you can always call your cruise company.