You will most likely have your picture taken for your crew ID card within a day of signing on. Your ID card may also act as a credit card, or you may receive a separate card for all onboard purchases (in the bars, shops, spas, etc.). You must swipe your ID card through a machine at the gangway both when you leave and return to the ship. This way ship personnel know if you’re onboard or in port. This is a very important security feature, as it also keeps unauthorized persons from boarding the ship. Do not lose this card, as there’s a fee for replacing it. If you are a NON-US citizen, in US ports you’ll be required to present an I-95 slip to the customs official on the gangway.
When the ship returns to its embarkation port after your first cruise is over (if it’s a 7-day cruise, this will be 1 week after you sign on) you will be asked to go through immigration procedures. Your passport will be returned to you and you must present it to customs officers at which time you will be issued your I-95. You will be informed of your immigration day and time during your first week onboard. DO NOT BE LATE (it’s usually early in the morning) and do not lose or damage your I-95, as it costs over $100 to replace. You must bring your I-95 with you every time you wish to leave the ship in a US affiliated port – it acts as your passport due to the fact that the original is held in the crew office for the duration of your contract.