Blended family travel question

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#1
758 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
We are a group of 7 traveling together and I am uncertain what legal documents we need to bring with us...

Child 1 and Child 2's parents are divorced, custody order in place.

Child 1 and Child 2 are traveling with both their mom and dad as well as stepmom and stepdad respectively.

Child 3 is dad and stepmom's child and will be with them at all times.

If mom and stepdad are taking child 1 and child 2 on shore excursion in a specific port do mom and stepdad need notarized letter authorizing travel and the dates as required by consular affairs for minors traveling without both biological parents?

Dad, stepmom and Child 3 will also be on the same cruise but are doing something off on their own and may not be reachable although on the same ship/in same country/port?

If mom, stepdad, dad, stepmom, Child 1, Child 2 and child 3 are all traveling together on the same shore excursion do they need to have notarized letter? What if dad and stepmom and child 2 and 3 decide to stay in port and shop while rest of group return to ship?

Do Child 1 and 2 meet the definition of traveling with both parents?




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#2
New Joizey
872 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Wow.


Are biological mom and dad on good terms? I would hope so since they are vacationing on the same cruise together.

I know the whole notorized letter thing from the State Dept is to prevent a parent from kidnapping their child and extraditing them from US custody laws.

If the family doesn't have an amicable agreement on how to enjoy the vacation together, they may want to address the issue with notorized letters and enforcement. Otherwise, the cruise line may not really make too much of a stink about it.
#3
Oak Park, CA
5,692 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
The notarized letter is to board the ship, re-enter the US and for medical. You don't need anything for excursions except a ticket. Same goes for getting back on the ship from port. You only need their cruise card.
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#4
2,759 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by notentirelynormal
The notarized letter is to board the ship, re-enter the US and for medical. You don't need anything for excursions except a ticket. Same goes for getting back on the ship from port. You only need their cruise card.
I agree with this except when an excursion crosses a border, as often happens on Alaska cruises. We were questioned and had to show paperwork proving the right to take kids across the Canadian border when we did the very common drive into the Yukon territory in Skagway. Rule of thumb I follow is if I need a passport, I need the notarized letter/death certificate/birth certificate showing single parent.

Best,
Mia
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#5
Ewing, NJ
2,477 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
I would think since both parents are present at time of travel nothing should be needed.

When I travel with my daughter, whom I am the custodial parent of, I normally bring a notarized letter since her father is not with us. I was not asked for it each cruise BUT have been asked for it.
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#6
Oak Park, CA
5,692 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by Kerry's Girls
I agree with this except when an excursion crosses a border, as often happens on Alaska cruises. We were questioned and had to show paperwork proving the right to take kids across the Canadian border when we did the very common drive into the Yukon territory in Skagway. Rule of thumb I follow is if I need a passport, I need the notarized letter/death certificate/birth certificate showing single parent.

Best,
Mia
Yup, good point. Forgot about that. There are so few places it happens but I do remember your story earlier this year about this.
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#7
758 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Thank you everyone! Yes, both families do get along, we are going to check in together to the cruise which I think would be the biggest issue. Its my understanding each individual port does not check as that was done by the ship. We are going to together on excursions in Roatan and Belize it is only Mexico where we will be doing different excursions which is pretty strict about the child migration laws.

The cruise line has already linked our reservations so that there is a paper trail. The overly prepared part of me is thinking don't worry about the notarized letter but do bring the custody arrangement so then if questioned we can ask the ship to prove the other parent is on board.
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#8
Fredericksburg, va. USA
81,039 Posts
Joined May 2001
As long as all the parents are there, you don't need anything special. No permission is needed to take other's ashore.