Bottomline Can you cruise with your Birth Certificate ONLY?

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#1
Tampa FL
84 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Friends of ours do not have passports. They are an unmarried couple and she has a 7 year old Son. $450 is quite a price for them to pay, seeing how they do not travel often.

Will Birth Certificates get them on the ship and back into the States?

Another question.....The Son's Father is not in the picture. He is no where to be found. Will this cause any problem?
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#2
6,006 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by seasear[I
[/i]ider59;27541441]Friends of ours do not have passports. They are an unmarried couple and she has a 7 year old Son. $450 is quite a price for them to pay, seeing how they do not travel often.

Will Birth Certificates get them on the ship and back into the States?

Another question.....The Son's Father is not in the picture. He is no where to be found. Will this cause any problem?
BC's and photo ID (for the adults) are sufficient FOR THE CRUISE......BC is all the child needs......

If trying to get back into the US or missing the ship for some reason from a foreign port of call BY AIR, the passport is necessary.
#3
tennesse
77 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
I sailed in June with BC and DL only and just BC for my son's. I had a notorized letter from their mother giving permission to leave the country with them, but was never asked for it. It was a Key West/Cozumel trip. I have heard stories about denied boarding for parents traveling alone with a child and no letter from the other parent. May want to consult an attorney to see what is needed to show the father is missing in action.

On a side note, my next cruise I am getting passports for it. Since I have learned more since sailing, I don't like the idea of being out of the country without one.
#4
Hampton Roads, VA
330 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by travelntreats
BC's and photo ID (for the adults) are sufficient FOR THE CRUISE......BC is all the child needs......

If trying to get back into the US or missing the ship for some reason from a foreign port of call BY AIR, the passport is necessary.
You also need one if your port is different at disemarkment.
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#5
Richardson, TX
71,088 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Birth Cert .. AND a valid photo ID, like a drivers license for the adults.
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#6
Virginia
1,199 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by seasearider59
Friends of ours do not have passports. They are an unmarried couple and she has a 7 year old Son. $450 is quite a price for them to pay, seeing how they do not travel often.

Will Birth Certificates get them on the ship and back into the States?

Another question.....The Son's Father is not in the picture. He is no where to be found. Will this cause any problem?

Birth Certificate and State issued picture ID is all that is needed. For the child, it depends. On Carnival's website there is a section that explains that to disembark in some ports....Cozumel....you need signed permission from the absent parent to cruise and disembark. We had 2 children with that situation when we left on Legend in December. One of us was asked for the letter in Tampa and one of us wasn't.
#7
6 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by seasearider59
Friends of ours do not have passports. They are an unmarried couple and she has a 7 year old Son. $450 is quite a price for them to pay, seeing how they do not travel often.

Will Birth Certificates get them on the ship and back into the States?

Another question.....The Son's Father is not in the picture. He is no where to be found. Will this cause any problem?

When I booked my cruise for this thursday, I was told that a birth certificate and photo ID was sufficient. As long as you are in a closed loop ship and you are leaving and returning to the same port you don't need a passport.
#8
Ogden, Utah
1,615 Posts
Joined May 2009
As long as you are sailing "closed loop" from a U.S. port you can get by with an original birth certificate (not a copy) and a govt issued ID. As far as her child she may need to ( or should ) have a letter from the dad giving permission for the child to travel unless she has documentation showing her as the sole legal guardian. She will generally be ok.... most people never get asked about it. Enjoy your cruise.
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#9
Oklahoma
57 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Not that I don't believe everyone else. I just know that on the last cruise we went on we were told we had to have a passport. I just checked the State Department website and found this.
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#10
6,006 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by Chowder_17
You also need one if your port is different at disemarkment.
Originally posted by oklahomaeande
Not that I don't believe everyone else. I just know that on the last cruise we went on we were told we had to have a passport. I just checked the State Department website and found this.
"Closed Loop" cruises are excluded from the Passport requirement when departing and returning to the same US port.
#11
1,714 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by oklahomaeande
Not that I don't believe everyone else. I just know that on the last cruise we went on we were told we had to have a passport. I just checked the State Department website and found this.
"Closed Loop" Cruises: U.S. citizens who board a cruise ship at a port within the United States, travel only within the Western Hemisphere, and return to the same U.S. port on the same ship may present a government issued photo identification, along with proof of citizenship (an original or copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization). Please be aware that you may still be required to present a passport to enter the foreign countries your cruise ship is visiting. Check with your cruise line to ensure you have the appropriate documents.


http://www.getyouhome.gov/html/lang_eng/eng_sa.html

Perhaps the cruise you were on either 1) did not leave from a U.S. port, 2) did not return to the same U.S. port from which it left or 3) visited a foreign country that required a passport.
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#12
IN
1,114 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Since the dad is out of the picture you need a notorized letter from the courts stating you can take him out of the country. I read somewhere that if you are going to Mexico they are more likely than not to ask for that letter.
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#13
Texas
4,762 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
I sailed four times with only a BC and a drivers license.

The child whose father is no where around can cause a problem. Call Carnival and there is a for that either they or the state dept. has that you fill out in such a case. I do not know all of the details, but I would get the form and follow the instructions.
#14
6,006 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Originally posted by RoadTripFanatic
Since the dad is out of the picture you need a notorized letter from the courts stating you can take him out of the country. I read somewhere that if you are going to Mexico they are more likely than not to ask for that letter.

CONSENT FOR MINOR CHILDREN TO TRAVEL

Date:_____________________
I (we):_____________________________________________ _________________
authorize my/our minor child(ren):_______________________________________ ____
to travel to:_________________________________ on:_________________________
aboard Airline/Flight Number:________________________________________
and/or Cruise Ship:_____________________________________________ with:
__________________________________________________ __________. Their expected
date of return is _______________________.
In addition, I (we) authorize:______________________________________ to consent
to any necessary routine or emergency medical treatment during the aforementioned trip.


Signed:_________________________________ (Parent)
Signed:_________________________________ (Parent)

Address:________________________________________
_______________________________________________

Telephone:______________________________________


Sworn to and signed before me, a Notary Public,

this _______ day of _______________, 20____
________________________________________
Notary Public Signature and Seal
#15
Bethany Beach
4,804 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
My daughter, now 12, and I cruise frequently without my husband, her father. She has been on at least 7 cruises w/o him to many ports (Mexico, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Bahamas, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico and the list goes on..) and we've never been asked for anything other than the normal document..BC.

Honestly, I never really thought about it since we are married..I know it's silly not to, I mean how's anyone supposed to know that just because I said so.

Anyway, I think it's a rarity.

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#16
Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
22,025 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Have your friend make sure that the BC is a gov't issued one, NOT the one from the hospital.
#18
Casper Wyoming
308 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
I was really worried about this on my last cruise too, since my children's father is also completely out of the picture and there was no way to get a signed consent from him. After a call to carnival I brought my divorce decree stating I had sole custody of them. We were never asked for it. It would be wise to bring that along just in case.
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#19
Florida
2,018 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by travelntreats
BC's and photo ID (for the adults) are sufficient FOR THE CRUISE......BC is all the child needs......

If trying to get back into the US or missing the ship for some reason from a foreign port of call BY AIR, the passport is necessary.
Do you think you could never return to the US without a passport in an emergency? Like Charlie on the MTA?
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Your next question about Carnival is probably here:
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#20
Golden Valley, AZ
8,611 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Like everyone else has stated here, the BC's will work if you are leaving and returning to the same US port. Make sure they are certified copies of the birth certificate, issued by whatever state they were born in.

Now, about the child. I would hate for you to get to the port just to find out that you don't have the necessary document for him/her. I strongly suggest you call carnival (at least twice!) to get the exact truth on what you need to have to board.
I would think that if the BC doesn't state a fathers name, you wouldn't be required to have a letter. Or a divorce decree stating the custody of the child.
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