We visited Cuba this year with TUI and have booked a Caribbean cruise next March with TUI. The cruise stops at US Virgin Island & Puerto Rico. TUI explained that we would need ESTAs for US Islands. Ok fine.

But I found out today that because we have been to Cuba we have to get a full US visa not ESTAs. I went into TUI shop, but they have no knowledge about Cuba & full visas for our cruise.

Can we get on the plane and can we board the ship without the visas? We were just going to stay on the ship for those two ports and not set foot on the Islands.


1 Answer 1


That's a question the cruise provider should answer, it depends on whether they expect the ships to be empty while in port or not.

Usually for most cruises you're allowed to stay on the ship if you don't want to disembark.

As to visas, it's your responsibility to confirm you have all the necessary visas for your travel.

  • 4
    "Usually for most cruises you're allowed to stay on the ship" - I believe the US requires everyone on the ship to clear immigration even if they wish to remain on board.
    – Midavalo
    Oct 3, 2022 at 15:11
  • @Midavalo any source for that? I'm not familiar with such a regulation. I also don't believe there's a US pre-clearance facility in Cuba.
    – littleadv
    Oct 3, 2022 at 17:39
  • only personal experience. EVERY cruise I've done that's stopped in the US (including those that have started in the US and then returned there) have required all passengers and crew to clear immigration. In fact they required all off the ship and would not allow any to re-board until the last one had cleared. This was always done at the US port, not pre-cleared. Which, to me, would suggest that all passengers would require correct travel docs for the US before the cruise started.
    – Midavalo
    Oct 3, 2022 at 17:55
  • 1
    I agree - the cruise line should know and provide info on the requirements and whether this would be allowed.
    – Midavalo
    Oct 3, 2022 at 18:15
  • 3
    The cruise line may well say what the requirements are — this prior question illustrates the point — but the cruise line's T&C will undoubtedly confirm the passenger's ultimate responsibility. "They gave me the wrong advice" will not be a productive response. Oct 3, 2022 at 20:20

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