View Full Version : Father's Consent

John and Ari's Pop
12-28-2001, 10:26 PM
We're on the 2/23 departure of the Magic. My wife and I are taking a "crew" including my daughter and 2 grandkids. My daughter is divorced and has custody. Our TA mentioned getting a note signed by her ex (the kids dad) giving his approval to take the kids out of the country. Bottomline, I don't want to ask this guy for anything if I don't have to (It's a long story).

I've never seen a question this board can't answer. Any divorced folks ever have problems taking their kids on a cruise ?

12-28-2001, 10:32 PM
All DCL requires is that a parent or legal guardian sign the cruise contract that is included in the child's documents. Since your daughter is going, there isn't a problem. Even if the child's parent was not traveling all your daughter would have to do is sign the cruise contract before sailing.

Have a great cruise.

12-28-2001, 11:50 PM
Although gottaluvdisney's answer is correct, you'd also do well to bring a notarized letter of permission from your daughter as well as a copy of the court order giving her custody. Disney probably won't ask for that, but the Immigration inspectors at St Thomas might. My parents took my neice (their granddaughter) to Canada last year and they were almost stopped at the border because they didn't have a permission letter from my neice's mother (their daughter).

12-29-2001, 08:36 AM
I made sure I had a notarized letter from my X saying I could take our DD4 out of the country. I hated asking him. I just didn't want anything stopping me from getting on that ship! But, nobody ever checked or questioned us. The immigration inspectors in St. Thomas didn't care or ask. I think you would do just fine without the notarized letter. Just take the custody order.
Have a great cruise. :)

12-29-2001, 10:39 AM
I wasn't suggesting getting a notarized letter from their grandchildren's father... just their mother since she has custody but isn't going on the trip.

12-29-2001, 11:37 AM
I thought it read that the mother was going and had custody so they were asking about getting permission from the father who is not going.:confused:
They really don't want to ask the father and I can certainly understand that.:rolleyes:

12-29-2001, 12:04 PM
You're right, legs22. I mis-read the question. I thought they were traveling with their grandchildren but missed the fact that they were taking their daughter as well.

I agree with your prior response.

12-29-2001, 02:17 PM
I'm a single parent with a young son. We cruised the Magic a few months ago. We have different last names, but no questions were ever asked about custody or permission from the father. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it if I was you.

12-29-2001, 04:07 PM
I just spoke with the Department of State yesterday over this very issue. I'm divorced, and my ex and I live too far apart for a notarized letter to be really do-able, and more inconvenience than I'm willing to ask him for. I don't have a copy of my divorce decree showing custody, because they don't give a copy to you. (Not for free, anyway -- it's a dollar a page, and 50+ pages.)

The gentleman with the Dept. of State was very nice and said that just a plain old letter, in absence of the decree itself, would be just fine. I had also called about the birth certificate issue, since my son's is an official certified copy but has no raised seal (just an engraved border.) He said that was fine too, that there are states where the birth certficates don't have raised seals.

Anyways, if your daughter has a copy of her divorce decree showing she has custody, then that is officially all she needs. If she's like me and doesn't, then you might want to just try to get a note from the dad just to be sure.

The US/Canada border is *way* stricter on that kind of stuff than any of the many other borders I've crossed. I guess that Canada is where most non-custodial parents tend to bolt to if they're trying to escape with their kids, or something. I was almost denied entry several years ago because I didn't have a note from my ex. Luckily, they were able to reach him by phone to verify that he knew where we were. Otherwise, I'd have been S.O.L.!


12-29-2001, 06:00 PM
I had this same worry for my trip in December. As my daughters father and I are not on speaking terms - what if I had to have a letter... I wasn't using her birth certificate for id - I used her passport and no one said a thing... I wouldn't worry about it.

12-29-2001, 08:16 PM
I am divorced with custody of my 2 sons, on our first 3 DCL cruise I never had a letter and never had a problem. My last name is different from my sons and was traveling with my husband and our daughter and his son.

This year I expect no problems since both my sons from my first marriage are both legal adults now. Kathy

12-29-2001, 08:27 PM
We have a similiar situation with my step-daughter (11). She has a different last name than the rest of our family. When we cruised last May, nobody said a thing.

We had her birth certificate and that was all that was necessary. Plus, I figured if anyone asked, I had planned on responding that her father was deceased. How are they going to know any different?

12-29-2001, 09:52 PM
This is a little off the subject, but when we got our daughters passports in September, they needed BOTH parents authorization. Luckily, both of us were there ( we are married), or my husband would have had to come back and give his authorization. I believe:confused: this change just occured in June or July. So this leads me to believe that if a minor child, who has been issued a passport after June, and has divorced parents, will have the authority to travel with only ONE of the parents, and not need authorization, as it has already been issued. I am not too certain of this, but this was the impression I was given by the passport agency!

12-30-2001, 04:05 AM
The new western Itinery may be more strict if they go to Mexico.
I am a single mom who travels out of the country every year with my DD7 the only time we had to get a notarized letter from my ex was for a suntrips cruise that left out of Cancun/ Calica Mexico and it was my understanding it was because of the mexican Goverment . The trip included charter air from San Francisco and they would not let you on the plane with out a letter from the other parent . Their were a few frantic people calling the other parent trying to get letters faxed to them at the airport . Also on the cruisemates message boards last summer there was a post from some grandparents taking grandkids without the parents on a cruise to Alaska out of Vancouver can't remember which cruise line Royal Caribbean, NCL or HAL but after pulling several people out of line telling them they would not be allowed to board the people got pretty upset and the cruise company finally let them all get on . The 3,4,& 7day Eastern may not be a problem but If was booked on the western I would double check .

12-30-2001, 09:03 AM
The new passport rule is correct. When we got the passports issued for our children this fall, both parents had to be there to sign the applications in person. They wouldn't allow my husband to sign ahead of time...he had to leave work to meet me there. I'm not sure what they do in the case of parents who don't live in the same city. I think if a parent is deceased, it required a copy of the death certificate(but not sure on that...I didn't pay much attention because it thankfully didn't apply.)

12-30-2001, 09:34 AM
For our son's RENEWAL passport, they also required both signatures. My husband did a letter giving permission and they accepted that since he couldn't be there.

My husband is divorced and way back when we were going to take his kids on a cruise. Because of the permission issue we decided not to. His ex would not give us a letter if we asked out of spite. She wouldn't have wanted us taking them somewhere nice!

Mexico is much tougher than almost anywehre else. If the cruise goes out of Mexico I would defnitely have the ltter or the custody agreement.

12-30-2001, 09:50 AM
On the eastern cruise, after 9/11, you had to start going through immigration in St Thomas (U.S.) because the ship was coming from a foreign port (St Maarten). Before 9/11, once you boarded the ship, you did not have to go through any immigration.
Now, what will happen on the western? We first go to a U.S. port then two foreign ports then back to the U.S. Will we have to go through immigration on the western? Maybe when we get back to the U.S.?
Anyone? Dave?

Tay N Evie's Mom
12-30-2001, 11:38 AM
I went to Cancun with my mother when I was 17. My father was hospitalized at the last moment and couldn't go, but told my mom and I to go anyway. Even though my parents were married, our TA told us that we still had to have a notorized letter from my father giving permission to take me out of the country due to Mexico's strict laws. So, if anyone's taking a minor on the Western Cruise without both parents, whether married or divorced, you may want to get a letter to avoid any problems when you try to board.

12-30-2001, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by dbcruise

The new western Itinery may be more strict if they go to Mexico.

I am a single mom who travels out of the country every year with my DD7 the only time we had to get a notarized letter from my ex was for a suntrips cruise that left out of Cancun/ Calica Mexico and it was my understanding it was because of the mexican Goverment. The trip included charter air from San Francisco and they would not let you on the plane with out a letter from the other parent.I've heard that about flying to Mexico. It will be interesting to know if this will be required on cruises stopping in Mexico or if they are more relaxed than with air travel.

Originally posted by legs22

Now, what will happen on the western? We first go to a U.S. port then two foreign ports then back to the U.S. Will we have to go through immigration on the western? Maybe when we get back to the U.S.?I would speculate that U.S. Immigration will require an inspection upon return to Port Canaveral.

12-30-2001, 05:25 PM
Ahhh...no early morning immigration in the middle of the cruise like on the eastern.:)
What happens when we dock in Mexico- are they going to demand to see our papers?

12-30-2001, 07:17 PM
The airport check-in in San francisco was the only place I was asked for papers . Never in Mexico or when we boarded the ship or coming back into Us.Come to think of it Nov 2000 we took a Carnival ship to Couzmel also went to Belize and then I took my daughter on our own to Costa Rica i got a Notarized letter from Ex and i was never asked anywhere to show it . BUt I think it may be better to be safe then denied boarding the ship or plane at the last minute.

12-30-2001, 07:44 PM
Originally posted by dbcruise

The airport check-in in San francisco was the only place I was asked for papers. Never in Mexico or when we boarded the ship or coming back into U.S.

They didn't used to require the U.S. Immigration inspection on the Eastern Caribbean itinerary until after 9/11. That's why I suspect they will require it at Port Canaveral on the western itinerary.

12-30-2001, 08:51 PM
The immigration inspection at Port Canaveral with the western- do you mean at the end of the cruise?
It will be interesting to hear from single parents what actually happens once the western starts.

12-30-2001, 10:35 PM
Yes, I think there'd be an Immigration inspection at the end of the cruise at Port Canaveral because that's the first U.S. destination after having been in the Cayman Islands, Mexico, and the Bahamas.

Miss Jasmine
12-31-2001, 09:37 AM
To be on the safe side please get a notarized letter from the father. You may not like him, your DD may now hate him, but he is STILL and will ALWAYS be the father of your DD's children (your grandhcildren). Like it or not he will be a part of their lives.

I'm sorry but this is a sensative subject, and I know that children have better and happier lives when the divorced parents actually get along.

Back to the subject, since it is required for both parents to sign or give permission for a passport, I would be on the safe side and have a notarized letter. Wouldn't it be sad if you got to the ship and there was a problem and now it's too late? Do it for your grandchildren.

12-31-2001, 03:07 PM
We went to get passports in August, witht he new law, I had to write a letter saying why I could not get the fathers authorization (no contact at since custoday was established). They then contacted me and I had to provide them with orginal court papers stating that I had custody. The passport took a few months but it arrived the day before we left about 3 months in all.

01-01-2002, 11:18 PM
We'll be taking the Eastern 7 day cruise in June with my stepdaughter and her friend and until I read this thread hadn't thought there would be an issue. For passport purposes, does anyone know what age is considered "adult"? My stepdaughter will be 17 at cruise time and since she has little or no contact with her mother, it will be impossible to get her to sign the passport form. Maybe we'd better forget the passport and go with original birth certificate and a photo ID? Thanks in advance for you help...

01-01-2002, 11:22 PM
Hi Ruth Ann! DCL considers age 18 and over an adult, so if your stepdaughter and friend are only 17 at the time of sailing all that is required is the certified birth certificate or passport. :)

01-02-2002, 12:41 AM
If your stepdaughters friend is under 18 you may want to get a notarized letter from her parents just so there is no problem there .

01-02-2002, 07:38 AM
mickey4me: "Adult" passports are issued at age 16+, but I don't know if at 16 they require both parent's signatures. The state dept. has the forms you can print off. Look at the one for the 10 year passport and see if it has a place for parent's signatures. If you have time to get the passports, I'd get them. I read on another board that one cruise company is now requiring passports,(I didn't verify that) and DCL did recently tighten their ID policy. I wonder if DCL will continue to tighten and end up requiring passports?????

01-02-2002, 07:59 AM
On another note for people taking your childs friends.

Please make sure you also get a notarized note from the parents stating that they give permission for medical treatment. Have it include allergies, family, doctor,medications the child (teen) takes, and all insurance info.

An ED physician will provide life saving medical treatment while waiting for consent, but simpler things like ear infections, sutures, broken bone etc will wait until consent is given via phone. If the parents cannot be reached (shopping, out, etc) treatment an be delayed and you end up hanging out in the ED.

Most banks will provide notary service for little or no charge.


01-02-2002, 01:05 PM
I have been informed by DCL and travel agent that a notarized letter from the non-custodial parent is now mandatory to be able to cruise with them because of leaving the country. I am also divorced and have custody so this is an issue for me. Luckily I will have no problem getting it because we are on speaking terms for the sake of the kids. It is all legitimate and understandable reasons they give though some may not like the reasons given. In short, they don't want to be liable or responsible for helping anyone get their kids away from the non-custodial parent and leaving them in another country. Legal battles need to stay between the family and not involve DCL though most would not dream of taking and leaving the country permantly to keep the child(ren) away from the other parent. I was able to do this with no problem this past September as their new rule was not in effect at the time but is now and at our next sailing.

01-02-2002, 02:21 PM
Thanks everyone for your help. I'm going to check out the passport forms and see what signatures will be required. Since my stepdaughter and I have the same last name, I'm not sure how they'll know if I'm her mom or stepmom but will probably try and track down her birth mother and get her signature just in case. My stepdaughter's friend will be 18 at cruise time and I was told a letter from her parents wasn't necessary. Maybe we will take one though again, just in case.
Thanks for all your help!

01-02-2002, 02:30 PM
No problem if she's going to be 18 when you sail.