*k1 visa Closed Loop Cruise*
During our 3 day cruise from Long Beach, California to Mexico, I was worried that they would not let me on the ship since I am not a US Citizen. I am a citizen of the Philippines and my status in the US was that of a “nonimmigrant” in the process of getting a permanent residency card. At the time I had been issued an I512 parole card.
We called Carnival Cruise customer service and they said they did not have an answer on whether or not I could go. The next day another Carnival cruise representative called me and asked about the cruise. His name was Emmanuel. I was so thankful that he called me back saying that I can go on the cruise. Our cruise was only 3 days and was a “closed loop”. A closed loop means it is going back on the same port where it started. I also presented my passport and my I512 parole card and I was able to go.
When I returned, border patrol needed to see the same documents to determine my status in the US.
I had been researching the identification needed before we left for the trip. I have read in the cbp https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1139/~/documents-needed-to-take-a-cruise of what kind of identification has to be taken.
We were surprised that my mother inlaw couldn’t go with us on the cruise. For us citizens, a government issued ID is good enough but in the carnival cruise case, they require a birth certificate as a form of travel document or a US passport. She was confident enough to bring only her State card. She did not bring her birth certificate and did not get a US passport. This is a huge lesson for us. To always be prepared especially if you are planning on travelling outside the US. Because even when it is just a neighboring country. Their rules can get pretty strict.