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DaArsonist

Taking an underage Niece and nephew

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Hello,

we are going on our first cruise in August, it will be my parents, myself, my wife, my daughter, my brother, and my nice and nephew. My older brother passed away a couple of years ago and we are looking forward to bringing his kids with us on a first family vacation with all of us together. Their mother is not coming with us, So the questions is do we need to get some documents or written permission for them to travel with us to the carribean. Also they do not have passports so I know they can bring there birth certificate but they do not have a picture ID as they r 12 and 15. Any replies are greatly appreciated. 

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It's been several years since we traveled with out underage nephew but we had to get a notarized letter of permission from my sister to bring with us.  I don't recall anyone actually checking it but we were told we had to have it.  If you read the boards (this one and others), you 'll see differences of opinions on passports but imo a Passport would be preferable means to travel.  Our nephew had a passport when he traveled.  Not required but I just think it's easier and safer.

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The children should have a passport card (cheaper than the book) and a notarized letter from the mother,  allowing them to cruise, naming you, the ship and dates. The letter should also authorize you or another adult to act if the children need medical attention.

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We used birth certificates because my step son and niece didn't have passports. We also got an authorization letter signed from my niece's mother stating it was okay for her to come with us and for us to make decisions for her. Last year, they didn't ask for the authorization letter but we don't want to take the chance! Have so much fun!

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Attached is the consent form that we used last your for our Grandson, he did have a passport but the birth certificate would work. We took the original and a copy and we were asked for the consent form by the agent that checked us in. Having the original and a copy saves the agent time at check in from having to make their own copy.

Where we needed it and didn't think we needed it was when we went through customs on disembarkation day, the Customs agent asked my Grandson very pointed questions, was he alright, did he know who we were, he specifically had to say we were his Grandparents. If I had known I would have had the consent form out for the customs agent.

Hope this helps.

Parent consent_form_US_22Mar2018.docx

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Make sure they are the original birth certificates not copies, notarized letter from mom and a death certificate for your brother because typically both parents need to sign the form but you will need to prove your brother is unable to sign and has passed.  Enjoy your family vacation, so glad you are including the kids on the trip.

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@Hoski  I read your response and became concerned about having both parents sign as we are taking grandchildren in June and only 1 parent signed the letters. I found this info in the FAQ:Adults who are not the parent or Legal Guardian of any minor child traveling with them are required to present the child's valid passport and visa or the child's birth certificate (original, a notarized copy or a certified copy) and an original notarized letter signed by at least one of the child's parents. The notarized letter from the child's parent must authorize the traveling adult to take the child on the specific cruise, must authorize guardian to sign legal documentation/waivers for participation in any activities requiring them (i.e. Rock Climbing, Flowrider, Bungee Trampoline, Inline Skating, or Ice Skating) and must authorize the traveling adult to supervise the child and permit any medical treatment that must be administered to the child. If a non-parent adult is a Legal Guardian, the adult must present a certified certificate of Guardianship with respect to the child. 

Now if there is a custody issue, then it might be required by the custody agreement that both parents give permission.

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  One other thing is if the mothers name doesn't match the childs name on his birth certificate (remarried etc) then it might be smart to get a paper trail showing why they don't match.  It might sound like too much but you don't want to find out at check in that you needed it.  You can't have too many IDs.  Like most have said ....get at least a passport card but you will still need the permission letter.  Good luck! relax and have a good time.  

t

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Passport cards are NOT the way to go.. the number #1 reason is that they are NOT recognized for Air travel and certain Caribbean islands. We all like to travel but there may come a time when something happens that may force you to seek alternative travels due to an unexpected event.  Spend the extra $80 and get the passport book.

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