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christa

passports for minors

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I have read that only a certified birth certificate is required for 7 night Caribbean cruise from US. Has anyone ever had any trouble or ran into disadvantage with NOT having a passport for children? Trying to decide if I should try and get expedited birth certificates before our cruise. TIA

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I mean its the same argument for kids passports vs birth certificates as it is for adults. For us, personally, we have passports for the whole family, including our 1yo. When we leave the USofA, we have our passports. Period. It also lets us do non-cruise vacations abroad. Others will disagree, and its not required for closed look cruises.

 

FYI, kiddo's passports are slightly less expensive, but also only good for 5 years instead of 10.

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Thanks elcuchio, I see how having passports is better for peace of mind. I meant to stay "expedited passports" above instead of birth certificates (we have those!). We are wanting to take them to an all inclusive in Mexico next year, so will definitely have to get them then. Thanks again and have a great day!

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8 minutes ago, christa said:

Thanks elcuchio, I see how having passports is better for peace of mind. I meant to stay "expedited passports" above instead of birth certificates (we have those!). We are wanting to take them to an all inclusive in Mexico next year, so will definitely have to get them then. Thanks again and have a great day!

 

Gotcha! We got our youngest his about 5 months ago....it was not expedited, but only took about two weeks. Make sure to check the current turn around times. Have great trips!

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Personal feeling only, I won't take any family member out of the country without a passport.

 

My reasoning is that I wouldn't fly them back home unless it was an emergency, and in case of an emergency I don't want even the smallest delay in getting them on a plane.

 

 

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100% agreed, would never leave U.S. soil without a passport

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Just now, coevan said:

100% agreed, would never leave U.S. soil without a passport

 

I understand its an added expense for folks. But in the grand scheme of things, $80/kid for 5 years of peace of mind I think is a pretty good ROI

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Count me in with the passport group. An emergency overseas would be harrowing enough without trying to negotiate bringing someone home without a passport. Way better safe than sorry in my book.

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I may go ahead and get them, port days make me nervous! I am also going to take photos of passports and take with me ashore.

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1 hour ago, christa said:

I have read that only a certified birth certificate is required for 7 night Caribbean cruise from US. Has anyone ever had any trouble or ran into disadvantage with NOT having a passport for children? Trying to decide if I should try and get expedited birth certificates before our cruise. TIA

Passports are always the better option, just in case you need to return home mid cruise due to any emergency. I’ve stressed this to all of my adult children, and they’ve obtained them for all of their children. Our one granddaughter has had her first passport since age 4 months, for a sailing we all did when she was only 10 months old. Keep in mind, that a child’s passport is only good for 5 years, where as an adult’s is good for 10 years.

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7 minutes ago, christa said:

I may go ahead and get them, port days make me nervous! I am also going to take photos of passports and take with me ashore.

 

 

we never take them ashore, leave them in the safe, no one will ask for a passport ashore

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4 minutes ago, coevan said:

 

 

we never take them ashore, leave them in the safe, no one will ask for a passport ashore

 I would never take a passport ashore. My post above said I am going to take a PHOTO on my phone and take with me ashore, in case of emergency and passport number is needed.

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We have passport pictures, Global Entry pictures, drivers license and a credit card all stored on my iPhone. 

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Here is my $0.02.

 

Lets say your child contracts mad cow disease in Jamaica.  Do you want to wait at the embassy for a passport or no?

Edited by ElCrappyTan

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We have passports and require whoever my daughter brings along to also have one.  The first reason is the emergency situation. The second is in case we don’t make it back to the ship in time from a private excursion.  Already having the passport would make this situation much easier and quicker to handle. We’ve always carried our passport ashore in a small crossbody bag. They go in a swim dry pack that has a rope secured to it and a carbiner clip which I run the string through a metal rivet at the bottom of my husbands swim trunk pocket then clip it to itself. I’ve read mixed stories on here about whether the cruise line will or will not go through the safe to retrieve passports so I’ve always just carried them with us.  

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DH and I have them, but we didn't get them for our kids for our upcoming cruise. It's only a 5 night with 2 ports, one of them being HMC which we couldn't fly home from anyway. We are taking a Carnival excursion in our other port. On my previous cruises I have never taken my passport off the ship.

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We live 8 miles from the border and our kids used to leave the country all of the time without a passport on school trips. When we started cruising it would have cost $850 for passports and for a 4 day cruise it didn't seem worth it, especially since most of them would only be valid for 5 years. We knew that we wanted to travel by air internationally but didn't know when that would be so we decided to wait to get passports until we actually needed them. The only risk in not having a passport is a delay in returning home if "something happens" and since the risk of "something happening" was so low for us we decided we were comfortable with the risk. Millions of people travel on closed loop cruises every year with something other than a passport with no issues at all.

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We all have passports including my 4 year old granddaughter who has had one since she was 2 months old

 

Even if it’s allowed on a closed loop cruise, you are entering foreign countries that needs to be feared in worst case situations

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9 hours ago, Jlk88 said:

DH and I have them, but we didn't get them for our kids for our upcoming cruise. It's only a 5 night with 2 ports, one of them being HMC which we couldn't fly home from anyway. We are taking a Carnival excursion in our other port. On my previous cruises I have never taken my passport off the ship.

Just because you are at a port that you can’t fly home from, it doesn’t mean you won’t have to. Accidents/emergencies happen everywhere, even just out to sea. When we were notified that there was an emergency back home in 1995 with our daughter, the ship got within a safe distance of an island with a small airport. We were tendered in, flown out on a little puddle jumper to Antigua, where we caught an Air Canada flight back to Toronto. If you need to get home, the cruise line will assist you in doing so, but a passport is an absolute necessity. I would never risk cruising without a passport AND good travel insurance. 

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16 minutes ago, grandmarnnurse said:

Just because you are at a port that you can’t fly home from, it doesn’t mean you won’t have to. Accidents/emergencies happen everywhere, even just out to sea. When we were notified that there was an emergency back home in 1995 with our daughter, the ship got within a safe distance of an island with a small airport. We were tendered in, flown out on a little puddle jumper to Antigua, where we caught an Air Canada flight back to Toronto. If you need to get home, the cruise line will assist you in doing so, but a passport is an absolute necessity. I would never risk cruising without a passport AND good travel insurance. 

 

We are comfortable with our decision. If freak accidents were requiring people to fly home with any sort of regularity, then the cruise lines would be requiring passports. Like pp said, hundreds if not thousands of people cruise each year without passports with no issues. If we were going on a long cruise, or knew we would be using them more in the next 5 years, we would have gotten them for the kids. For this trip, they won't have them.

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26 minutes ago, grandmarnnurse said:

Just because you are at a port that you can’t fly home from, it doesn’t mean you won’t have to. Accidents/emergencies happen everywhere, even just out to sea. When we were notified that there was an emergency back home in 1995 with our daughter, the ship got within a safe distance of an island with a small airport. We were tendered in, flown out on a little puddle jumper to Antigua, where we caught an Air Canada flight back to Toronto. If you need to get home, the cruise line will assist you in doing so, but a passport is an absolute necessity. I would never risk cruising without a passport AND good travel insurance. 

There are provisions in the regulations for waiving the passport requirements for emergencies and for humanitarian reasons so it's not an absolute necessity. I've read of a few instances where the poster was allowed to board a plane directly back to the US and they were cleared in secondary inspection by CBP. Of course that only applies for US citizens.

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22 hours ago, coevan said:

 

 

we never take them ashore, leave them in the safe, no one will ask for a passport ashore

In Cozumel when they are offering refunds of VAT taxes for large purchases, such as jewelry, a passport number is required.  They did accept a copy of my passport.  They made a copy of the copy and attached it to the refund request. 

 

And, yes, I did receive the refund of the VAT tax to the credit card I used to purchase the jewelry.  It took several months, but it did arrive.  

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