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Old 05-20-2013, 06:45 PM   #1
bgdyer916
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Passport for 18 month old?

My mother and I are taking my 18 month old son on a 7day eastern Caribbean cruise on the fantasy in September. I've read different views...but will a birth certificate be enough? Or should I go ahead and pay for a passport? I've read a bc is ok in an emergency to fly home with me( with my valid passport)...but if that's not correct, I think I'd rather be safe than sorry. What do y'all think?
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgdyer916
My mother and I are taking my 18 month old son on a 7day eastern Caribbean cruise on the fantasy in September. I've read different views...but will a birth certificate be enough? Or should I go ahead and pay for a passport? I've read a bc is ok in an emergency to fly home with me( with my valid passport)...but if that's not correct, I think I'd rather be safe than sorry. What do y'all think?
I believe that 125 dollars is worth the peace of mind. IMO, during an emergency, worrying about how I am going to get my 2 yo DS back home is not what I want to concentrate on....
Also, its a great way to have a photo id for your child. I know there are many arguments for why and why not and you have to figure out what is best for you and your family.

We are cruising in sept and I can't wait to get some miles on our ds's passport
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by bgdyer916 View Post
My mother and I are taking my 18 month old son on a 7day eastern Caribbean cruise on the fantasy in September. I've read different views...but will a birth certificate be enough? Or should I go ahead and pay for a passport? I've read a bc is ok in an emergency to fly home with me( with my valid passport)...but if that's not correct, I think I'd rather be safe than sorry. What do y'all think?
The passport requirement for children says:

All minors regardless of age, including newborns and infants, must have their own passport when traveling internationally by air

The same as for adults.

For a closed loop cruise the minimum requirement for anyone is a certified birth certificate and (for those 16 and over) a government-issued photo ID.

It's up to you where your comfort zone is in relation to having a passport or not for a closed loop cruise.

A childs passport costs $80.00 plus a $25.00 processing fee. Plus the cost of a passport photo.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:23 PM   #4
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Passports for kids are especially tricky because they expire so quickly (5 years instead of the usual 10), but by waiting until 18 months at least you won't have to buy four child passports before they turn 16, if it ends up being a regular thing.

I've read several cases where people without passports were able to fly home in dire emergencies, so it's not impossible, but for me it's peace of mind. I often go without trip insurance, but the knowledge that I'll unconditionally be able to board an aircraft without hassle is worth it to me. The real nightmare is traveling with one parent and the child, because then there's the possibility that you are removing the child from the country in a divorce, etc.

One tip for taking the picture, have them lie down against a white background, it's easier than trying to get a toddler to hold up their head straight in a seated position.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:28 PM   #5
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Both our kids have gotten passports before they turn a year old. The photos are not difficult to take and having unquestionable proof of citizenship for any possible need is worth it to me. And, by doing not all at once for everyone, the cost is easier to bear and think of as an investment over time.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:29 PM   #6
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One tip for taking the picture, have them lie down against a white background, it's easier than trying to get a toddler to hold up their head straight in a seated position.
Agreed. Got a passport for my newborn recently, and that's exactly how we did it. Getting pp photos for babies is not easy.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:08 PM   #7
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We got a passport for our daughter before her first birthday (when I was renewing mine) even though we didn't have a trip booked yet. I wanted to be sure we were prepared as soon as a trip came up. I felt it was money well spent. It's the safest option and compared to the cost of the cruise (usually) the passport price for a child is a drop in the bucket.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by wnissen View Post
Passports for kids are especially tricky because they expire so quickly (5 years instead of the usual 10), but by waiting until 18 months at least you won't have to buy four child passports before they turn 16, if it ends up being a regular thing.

I've read several cases where people without passports were able to fly home in dire emergencies, so it's not impossible, but for me it's peace of mind. I often go without trip insurance, but the knowledge that I'll unconditionally be able to board an aircraft without hassle is worth it to me. The real nightmare is traveling with one parent and the child, because then there's the possibility that you are removing the child from the country in a divorce, etc.

One tip for taking the picture, have them lie down against a white background, it's easier than trying to get a toddler to hold up their head straight in a seated position.
I'm going without my husband...will it be a problem? I've decided to go ahead and get a passport...but will I need something stating I'm traveling alone with my son and my husband knows?
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:49 PM   #9
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We went on an extended family cruise (closed loop) when my son was 2. Everyone in the party had valid passports except for my mother and my son. My mother has health issues so I freaked out that if she needed to get back to the states for medical reasons, she needed a passport. Well, I wasn't going to cruise with the only person in my party NOT able to fly back to the US be my son. So I got him a passport at the same time as my mom. Now I have a DD. Last fall took another cruise. Again, she would have been the only one in my party w/o a passport. Not worth the risk to me. Renewed mine, got her one. Renewed my husband's and sons for this years spring break cruise. Totally worth it to me. But it isn't cheap. Depends on your risk tolerance.
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:51 PM   #10
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You both have to appear together to get the passport. If he's unavailable a notarized form is required. Once that is done though, and the passport is in hand, no worries and no need for any additional consent. Just had to do this for my 8 year olds second passport even though we did it together for his first (they don't renew by mail for minors).
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bgdyer916 View Post
I'm going without my husband...will it be a problem? I've decided to go ahead and get a passport...but will I need something stating I'm traveling alone with my son and my husband knows?
While I don't think it is required, and may not be needed, it is strongly suggested that you have a notarized letter from the other parent any time you take a child out of the country without both parents. Like a passport, for comfort's sake I'd take one, especially considering it won't be a hassle (divorce, absent father, etc.). You never know when you'll get an ornery customs official who wants to question anything.

Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by bgdyer916 View Post
My mother and I are taking my 18 month old son on a 7day eastern Caribbean cruise on the fantasy in September. I've read different views...but will a birth certificate be enough? Or should I go ahead and pay for a passport? I've read a bc is ok in an emergency to fly home with me( with my valid passport)...but if that's not correct, I think I'd rather be safe than sorry. What do y'all think?
I went ahead and got a passport for my daughter who was 18 months at the time. And we are off to our next cruise in 9 months so it will be used again.
I think the better safe than sorry method is a good way to go.........
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Old 05-20-2013, 08:58 PM   #13
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I'm going without my husband...will it be a problem? I've decided to go ahead and get a passport...but will I need something stating I'm traveling alone with my son and my husband knows?
No, but you will need him to go get the passport. Two parents have to be there to get a child's passport completed and underway.
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Old 05-20-2013, 11:30 PM   #14
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I've read a bc is ok in an emergency to fly home with me( with my valid passport)
No, that's not true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgdyer916 View Post
I'm going without my husband...will it be a problem? I've decided to go ahead and get a passport...but will I need something stating I'm traveling alone with my son and my husband knows?
If I were traveling internationally without DH I would have him make up a letter and have it notarized, just in case there are questions.



to get the passport you either need to both be there, or the parent who can't be there fills out a form that's notarized, and then there are other ways beyond that. For you, it's the first two options, though.
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:57 AM   #15
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No, but you will need him to go get the passport. Two parents have to be there to get a child's passport completed and underway.
No...there is a form that you can down load from the Goverment web site,fill out,notarize and bring with you to get the passport...no need for both parents to be present. Just as a side note when our daughter was 14 I took her to get her passport renewed and was not asked for any other paper work.
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