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Old 07-12-2005, 09:34 AM
heidiandsteve's Avatar
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my husband and i are going on our first cruise on 11/10/2005 on the ecstasy to cozumel. we are taking my 15 yr old son and his friend also 15. does anyone know anything about the ecstasy and what about notarized letters for the kids. i know i will need one from the friends parents giving me permission to take him but will i also need one from my sons father? my husband is not his biological father. these might be stupid questions but i just dont want any problems boarding the ship thanks in advance.
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:59 AM
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Not for sure but I think for your son you have to have BOTH parents permission..unless your husband has legal custody. I'm sure someone here knows for sure. We'd like to do cozumel next cruise, let us know how you like it.
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Old 07-12-2005, 12:53 PM
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I live right on the Canadian border and am also a children's lawyer and so I have some experience with this. You need a letter from the non-custodial parent IF you two have joint legal custody with you designated the primary residential custodian. That is to prevent kidnapping, as you can imagine. If you have sole, don't sweat it. You might want to bring a copy of your order of custody. The thing that I have found is that once the kid is about 14, with a school ID, the immigration nazis are a little more relaxed, as they can question the kid directly. The only problem there is if an agent looks your son in the eye and says "who is that man traveling with you?" and your son says "Um.. Not my real Dad, I don't see my real Dad too much since we moved away." CHECK PLEASE!

You absolutely need a notarized letter from the other child's parents- both of them, same letter. Make it as general as possible- don't spell out a specific port or precise time of travel in case your port gets switched on you. Also have them say EITHER you OR your husband OR both parties, in case you get separated.

The thing to keep in mind is that once these agents get started with their quizzing they don't want to stop, no matter how unreasonable they are and how obviously unlikely it is that you are kidnapping two teenagers via Carnival Cruise. Homeland Security is difficult enough to navigate at times, and I don't want to even think about what the Mexican authorities are like once they get their guard up!
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Old 07-12-2005, 05:51 PM
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That is great advice. A couple of years ago myself, my wife, son and his girlfriend were going on a surfing trip to Mexico. We flew from San Diego to Phoenix and then connected on America West to Puerto Vallarta. The America West gate agent would not board my son's girl friend (then 17 - 18 in 10 days) because she did not have a notarized letter from her natural father.

To make a long story short, the mother got a hold of the father and satisfied America West so that we ended up taking a flight some 4 hours later.

My advice would be to take your divorce papers as well as everything mentioned above.

Have a great cruise.

Tom
 
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