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Janeille

Cruising without kids passport?

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One of the best threads on this site; thanks to all for the different perspectives. We're taking 3 grandchildren cruising with us. All have same mom, but 2 different last names. Wasn't going to get passports for them. Figure on staying aboard when in Nassau & take advantage of lesser crowds to enjoy the shipboard amenities, & RCCL rep said passports not needed for Coco Cay. Great point on the odd chance medical situation would force going off ship. Since we're not the parents, the price of the extra 'insurance' aspect now seems worth it to me. Plus, it opens up future options to go out of country, even if it's just to go over the border to Canada. We live in Ohio, so Canada's not that far away.

 

 

If you are sailing without the children's parents you will also need a notarized letter from both parents giving you permission to take them out of the country and permission for any medical decisions that may arise for the children. On our last cruise we were witness to this as a set of grandparents had 2 grandchildren with them. They were stuck in the boarding/check in area for hours trying to get a notarized letter faxed to them in time before they had to be on the ship.

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If you are sailing without the children's parents you will also need a notarized letter from both parents giving you permission to take them out of the country and permission for any medical decisions that may arise for the children. On our last cruise we were witness to this as a set of grandparents had 2 grandchildren with them. They were stuck in the boarding/check in area for hours trying to get a notarized letter faxed to them in time before they had to be on the ship.

You watched them for hours?

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You watched them for hours?

 

 

Well we got there super early and boarding was delayed because customs or whatever had to go on the ship for some sort of inspection....or someone went on board to do something that delayed boarding...so yes. We were able to see them for about 2.5 hours working through the issue. We boarded and they were still working on it, not sure how much longer after that though.

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One of the best threads on this site; thanks to all for the different perspectives. We're taking 3 grandchildren cruising with us. All have same mom, but 2 different last names. Wasn't going to get passports for them. Figure on staying aboard when in Nassau & take advantage of lesser crowds to enjoy the shipboard amenities, & RCCL rep said passports not needed for Coco Cay. Great point on the odd chance medical situation would force going off ship. Since we're not the parents, the price of the extra 'insurance' aspect now seems worth it to me. Plus, it opens up future options to go out of country, even if it's just to go over the border to Canada. We live in Ohio, so Canada's not that far away.

 

You don't need a passport to get off the ship in Nassau.

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My two kids both have passports. I’m gonna bring their birth certificates as well just in case. Will a copy of the birth certificate be sufficient or will we need the original?

 

 

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If your kids have passports there is NO conceivable need for BC

 

 

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You don't need a passport to get off the ship in Nassau.

 

I'm confused so I want to understand this:

 

If the ship stops at a foreign port, even if they don't get off, will there be a problem getting back in the United States? Also, I've read of instances where because they didn't have a passport, they couldn't board just because the ship was stopping at a foreign port whether they choose to get off or not.

 

With the new requirements for state DL's for travel and some not meeting the requirements, it's just easier to get a passport.

 

The reason I ask is my MIL is going with us and will never leave the ship due to mobility problems. We were told she needed a passport because we would be docking at a foreign port.

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... The reason I ask is my MIL is going with us and will never leave the ship due to mobility problems. We were told she needed a passport because we would be docking at a foreign port.

If the cruise starts and ends in the same US port, your mother-in-law needs either a passport or a certified copy of her birth certificate and a government issued photo ID.

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It is a good idea to get a state issued ID for the kids. We live in NY and did. No need to take passport off the boat then.

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If the cruise starts and ends in the same US port, your mother-in-law needs either a passport or a certified copy of her birth certificate and a government issued photo ID.

 

Thank you.

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If the cruise starts and ends in the same US port, your mother-in-law needs either a passport or a certified copy of her birth certificate and a government issued photo ID.

 

 

 

Assuming she is a US citizen....if not, then she would need the passport.

 

 

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Assuming she is a US citizen....if not, then she would need the passport.

Very important point, thanks for adding that.:)

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You can take the BC all you want, no one is going to care. However, passports, do not show all the info that is in them. They have a RFID chip, and contain all the info and much more than you can imagine once it is scanned. It is the only document you ever need, even with kids. Immigration agents will never ask you for more info. If they think something is fishy, they will pull you aside for questioning, but they will not ask for BC after they have your passport. The picture on your passport? It's also scanned, and will show up on their screens. Entering and existing foreign countries? It is scanned. A record of your travels is scanned. List goes on. I watched a immigration agent during my global entry interview, scan my passport and saw two pages of info jump onto his screen. What you see on that small page, is not what is stored.

 

So you are saying the passport lists both parents on the chip? Are you sure? Also, what if you have one pre chip? Not sure when the last ones are expired pre chip but my recently expired passport had no chip. Also, what if you are in a foreign hospital and they need to know who the parent is and the kid has a different last name then the mom for example? Can they scan your passport for verification or would a BC be the only way. Again, I go back to the better safe than sorry. It took me no time to pack a BC with the passport as they are in my same file at home. Zero extra effort to do it. So why not in the rare case it might help quickly prove who had medical authorization? Again, all potential benefit and zero cost?

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Yes, we both have passports. It’s a closed loop sailing from Ft. Laderdale.

I know it’s technically ok to sail without the kids having passports. Now that we are leaving in 2 days I’m feeling like it’s idiotic to take the kids without a passport.

Thanks for the replies!

 

I wouldn’t call it idiotic. There is only a very very slim chance that you would need them. It’s just that if you are that unlucky, you’ll really wish you had them. But there are many anecdotes on this site about people being able to get back into the country without passports in an emergency. So there’s definitely a risk, but maybe not a huge one.

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So you are saying the passport lists both parents on the chip? Are you sure? Also, what if you have one pre chip? Not sure when the last ones are expired pre chip but my recently expired passport had no chip. Also, what if you are in a foreign hospital and they need to know who the parent is and the kid has a different last name then the mom for example? Can they scan your passport for verification or would a BC be the only way. Again, I go back to the better safe than sorry. It took me no time to pack a BC with the passport as they are in my same file at home. Zero extra effort to do it. So why not in the rare case it might help quickly prove who had medical authorization? Again, all potential benefit and zero cost?

 

Whenever I’ve taken my kids to hospital they didn’t ask me to prove I was their parent. They only asked for my ID to verify my insurance.

 

If it makes you feel better to take their BC, then just take them. Like you said, no extra hassle. Just be careful with them!

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I don't mean to freak you out, but DH and I were in a cruise 20+ years ago and were tablemates with a couple and their six year old son. One day they were not at the table and the Maitre D' came over and told the rest of table that the boy had gotten ill and they had to disembark in Cozumel to get him to a hospital. Hopefully something like that won't happen, but it would be a huge mess if you didn't have passports.

 

 

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I want to pipe in regarding taking children's birth certificates along with you when they have their own passports. Parentage may be questioned when the child is of mixed race, adopted by people who are not of the same race. My son has been questioned and had the police called on him by concerned citizens when he is out with his daughter. My D-I-L has been asked if she was alright when we've been out together and she calls me Mom. By the way … both of my grandkids have the same father, my son, so everyone has the same name.

 

Ramona

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Airline counter and gate personnel are giving some training about trafficking and child abduction. And to question if they have any suspicions, and to call law enforcement if they are not sure.

 

This is the culture today.

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One of the reasons we chose this cruise is that our travel agent assureed us we would be fine to travel with the kids birth certificate ony.

 

Fortunately I am in a position where- if all things were to go absolutely sideways- I would be able to hang out in a hotel with my kids for a week or two until their passport mess was straightened out.

 

However my anxiety is having its way & I’m worrying about all the what ifs.

 

Does anyone have advice for me in travelling with kids without passports? My husband and I are both the legal, stated, natural parents of the kids & I’m taking their stamped/embossed/official birth certificates with both parents listed. Any thing else I should think about? We are flying out in 2 daya, so its down to the wire.

 

 

 

We cruised with just a birth certificate for our 3 year old last year and this year as well. No problems whatsoever.

 

 

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It is a good idea to get a state issued ID for the kids. We live in NY and did. No need to take passport off the boat then.

 

Many states do not issue IDs to youth under the age of 15.

 

 

Florida is one of those states. My son got a passport at 15 so we didn't have to lug around birth certificates.

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Airline counter and gate personnel are giving some training about trafficking and child abduction. And to question if they have any suspicions, and to call law enforcement if they are not sure.

 

This is the culture today.

 

You make a very valid point. The world is a very different place these days. People are on alert for many "anomalies" that would have gone unnoticed years ago. It is a shame, really.

 

So, know what is required. Have that. If taking additional documentation makes you feel better, then do that.

 

We take a passport. Inside my passport holder is a certified copy of my BC. I also take my state issued DL. I don't care. I keep the BC in the passport. I know that's where it is if I need it. DL is in my wallet. No biggie to take. Have I needed them all? Nope, but no biggie. For those to travel on BC and DL.... I hear you and its all good what you do too. Each their own.

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I'm confused so I want to understand this:

 

If the ship stops at a foreign port, even if they don't get off, will there be a problem getting back in the United States? Also, I've read of instances where because they didn't have a passport, they couldn't board just because the ship was stopping at a foreign port whether they choose to get off or not.

 

With the new requirements for state DL's for travel and some not meeting the requirements, it's just easier to get a passport.

 

The reason I ask is my MIL is going with us and will never leave the ship due to mobility problems. We were told she needed a passport because we would be docking at a foreign port.

 

People are making assumptions about this post that may not be true.

 

Because this may be a general question and the cruise may not be on RCI but on another cruise line, I will add the following FYI.

 

There are times that a closed loop cruise from an US port may require a passport because of the requirements of the country being visited. A port call to Colombia is an example.

 

Holland America also requires a passport for all members of a family group when a child is traveling with only one parent or other non-parent family members. The requirement is to ensure that a family group will have no problems staying together in case of emergency where the cruise is disrupted and a return home from a different country is required.

 

As I said, just an FYI because people do cruise other lines and closed looped itineraries that may require passports for all passengers.

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So, only a couple of people have alluded to a very good reason to have passports for kids. Getting stuck in a foreign country. This can happen for a medical reason (heart attack, stroke, broken arm, sudden illness, etc) or it can happen from simple forgetfulness (return to the ship late, forget to set watch to "ship time", etc).

 

 

Without a passport, you will not be able to hop on a plane. Or at least not without extreme difficulty. You may be forced to visit an US Embassy or Consulate to get an emergency passport. You'll need a hotel, and you'll be on your own for food. Since this all causes more expense than just having a passport in the first place...

 

 

So as people have said, chances are you'll be fine and nothing will happen. But if you become the unlucky one...

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