I'm wondering if a passport is needed when cruising into Cozumel?
My family of seven (kids ages 15, 11, 11, 9, and 5) and the best friend of my oldest daughter would like to cruise from Miami to Key West to Cozumel on July 5th. And we're wondering if we're going to need to buy passports for all of our children the the "extra" one...
Yep, Birth Certificate (make sure it's one with a raised seal - original) but that's it - photo id for those over 18. No need to pay the money for passports unless you're going to use them someplace else.
Once you get on the cruise (boarding procedure) they will ask you for this information for everyone in your party and then issue you all individual cards which you'll use to get on/off the ship in ports. You won't need to carry around your original birth certficiate in ports, etc. The card (along with your boarding paper (mine was pink at the time) is all you need for each person in your party going forward.
Going in to Mexico you'll need a notorized statement signed by both of the friend's parants that they have given consent for her to leave the country with you. The same thing is required for any children that are only traveling with one parent. Mexico is doing this to keep non-custodial parents from abducting their children.
The airlines don't allow children to fly to Mexico unless the have documented proof that both parents have give their permition for their child to leave the country. I was on a flight to Mexico where an entire family (Dad, kids & one niece) had to leave the plane because the nice didn't have documentation that her parents had given permition to leave the country. The whole family had to miss the flight because the niece was to young to leave behind and the kids were to young to fly to Mexico without an adult. You should check with the cruise line to see if they'll even let her board the ship with you.
Your travel agent should be able to help you with what exactly you'll need.
I just read on a Mexican government website that passports are not necessary, but highly reccommended for US travelers. Although US citizens are allowed to use BC and photo ID, some law enforcement officials may not be aware of this fact and detain you anyway.
Do not risk the time.. get the passport