How to Keep Your Cruise ID Handy When on a Cruise Ship

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1962
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a large body of water with a boat in the distance

There’s nothing like cruising on the high seas!

When you arrive at the port to board your cruise ship there are some steps required prior to embarkation. After completing all of the necessary check-in procedures, each passenger is issued a key card. Much like a credit card, your name appears on the front and there is a magnetic stripe on the back. Nowadays these cards often also include an RFID chip and most also have a bar code on the front or back. Royal Caribbean’s version is called a Sea Pass.

The magnetic stripe on the back contains a myriad of information, including an electronic image of the card holder. When a passenger boards or disembarks, the key card is scanned by security officers who control all movement on and off the ship. An image of the card holder appears on a security screen to confirm the card holder’s identity.

RCL’s Sea Pass has two other important functions: it’s a room key, and a debit/credit card. Without a Sea Pass you won’t be able to open your door, make on-board purchases, and get on or off the ship.

a hand holding a card and stapler

Because it has so many functions, I keep my Sea Pass within reach at all times. In the past it was very common to see passengers use a hole punch in order to hang their key card on a lanyard. With the RFID chip now common in most key cards, punching a hole in your card anywhere may very well destroy it’s functional use.

a group of lanyards with name tags

Instead you can opt for a pocket lanyard to simply put your key card inside. This can be even more convenient since you can also slip other small things in the pocket like smaller bills for tips or a credit card and photo ID when getting off the ship in ports. Another option you might consider for beach days is a watertight lanyard for these important items.

Happy cruising!
Freshman

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Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. @René +1 I have a mini wallet that I use specifically for cruises with the same room key, ID, and cash. In port I’ll also throw in a health insurance card and a CC.

  2. Another tip of mine is to ALWAYS place your keycard in the exact same place immediately when you return to your cabin – like on a shelf by the door. We’ve wasted too many precious vacation minutes searching all over for a kid’s card, so now it’s a family policy! Good advice for hotels, too.

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