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Old 04-21-2008, 09:08 AM
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Cruising on Enchantment of the Seas, May 3rd. Our travel agent said we needed passports, but RCCL's website site and their customer service reps said certified birth certificate is fine. My family does have their passports, but my mother who is traveling w/ us does not. Will her certified birth certificate be accepted? We need clarification.
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:27 AM
 
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If I haven't already done so, welcome Mcgriff. If your mother plans on going on any more cruises, I would highly advise her to go ahead and apply for a passport. Don't wait until you book the next cruise. Just go ahead and have it ready to go. Since your cruise originates and terminates within the U.S., a CERTIFIED copy of a birth certificate and a driver's license will suffice (for now). This is directly from RCCL's website regarding travel documentation:
U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises (cruises that begin and end at the same port in the U.S.) will be able to enter or depart the country with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate and laminated government issued picture ID, denoting photo, name and date of birth. A U.S. citizen under the age of 16 will be able to present either an original or a copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issues by DOS, or Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:52 AM
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Remember, the certified (having a raised original seal) copy is good for seafaring travel originating out of a US port for now. Should you have an emergency and need to fly to or from a foreign port this will not cut it. Too late to get a passport for May 3 but get busy getting one for her for later.
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:44 PM
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And remember - certified does NOT mean notarized. The birth certificate your mother brings must be either the original issued by the state or a copy issued by the state with some sort of raised or other official seal applied. A point of warning - some original birth certificates from long ago may not have any type of seal on them. I have read messages on this forum by people who were denied boarding, even though they claimed they were using original birth certificates. You may want to eyeball your mother's bc as soon as possible to make sure it is good to go.
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Old 04-21-2008, 01:02 PM
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You will have time to get a certified copy, if you FedEx everything. They charged me $45/extra for doing so when mine had ripped. I had 2 weeks to go, but wanted to make sure there were absolutely no questions about it. Please have her apply for her passport as soon as you return, it is required for entry by air and will soon be required for all transportation. Best wishes and have a great cruise!
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:55 PM
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Starting in Summer of 2008 (this summer) everyone traveling through an airport will be required by TSA to have a passport. Not sure on an exact date but since she is going in May you should be fine. I had to have my passport expidedted because I used to work for a cruise line and I had to go to Germany as well as several other countries and this was back in 2005 and it took several weeks just to get it with me paying the extra money. I would defnitely apply for a passport as soon as possible because of the need for them the wait time is several months at this point.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:02 PM
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cubs, your information was correct until very recently. The date has once again been postponed. It has been delayed for passage until summer of 2009. I gave that same information to many, many people over the past several months. The curent and ever changing regulations are available on the US State Dept website at www.travel.state.gov

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Old 04-29-2008, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mcgriff:
Cruising on Enchantment of the Seas, May 3rd. Our travel agent said we needed passports, but RCCL's website site and their customer service reps said certified birth certificate is fine. My family does have their passports, but my mother who is traveling w/ us does not. Will her certified birth certificate be accepted? We need clarification.
The recent experience of the Cortez family in the Bahamas reinforces the fact that while you do not need a passport (at this time), it is wise to obtain one.

One of their children became ill and the family had to leave the Magesty of the Seas to obtain medical care in the Bahamas. They had no passports to get home and were forced to incur added cost and inconvenience when they had to find the American Embassy and obtain emergency passports in order to get back into the US.

You are going to need them eventually. Why not get them now and avoid problems like those incurred by the Cortez family?
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:04 PM
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Procrastinating could cause a lot of problems when it comes to obtaining your passports. Everyone is going to need one, so why wait?

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Old 04-29-2008, 01:26 PM
 
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Of course, you could use the Cortez family example. If you have extra funds to throw around, just travel to another country. Instead of planning a typical excursion, just take a taxi to the local U.S. Embassy, explain some overblown hardship,pay the extra money for an emergency passport and be on your way.
 
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