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Southerngirl81 December 26th, 2013 01:31 PM

US citizen minors taking cruise with parents doc required
Hi all, we are taking our 8 and 4 years old on a closed loop Carnival cruise this summer going to Mexico, Jamaica and Grand Caymans. According to many websites that we have read, they all indicated that we only need to bring the kids' original birth certificates to travel to Mexico, Jamaica and Grand Caymans for US citizens. However, when I checked Mexico website, it said US Citizen need a valid passport to enter their country. Do we need to get passports for the kids or they can travel on the cruise with their birth certificates?

Dave Beers December 26th, 2013 02:52 PM

Unless something has changed that I don't know about, cruises are treated differently by Mexico and the passport requirements you found are for other methods of entering Mexico. As a hypothetical (a really big hypothetical!), if I arrived in Cozumel on my private yacht they'd want to see my passport.

Mexico is a signatory of the WHTI which allows for the closed-loop exemption. Thousands of people are taking cruises to Mexico every week with just birth certificates and a photo ID (photo ID for adults). Just make sure they are the original or a certified government copy and not photocopies of those birth certificates you made at the local Staples.

As always, you'll want to verify what I said with your travel agent or the cruise line if you booked with them because Cruisemates offers no guarantee that information provided here is accurate. But I suspect we'd have heard about any changes of this magnitude.

And also, as you know it is always a good idea to have passports for everyone. You never know if you might have to fly home from another country, and in that case you would need passports.

Donna December 26th, 2013 03:23 PM

I for one, wouldn't travel or cruise without a passport, for the very reason Dave stated. I did once, have to leave a cruise and fly home, so glad to have had passports...I would think twice about getting them... December 26th, 2013 10:24 PM

To answer your question; you are correct in that children traveling with their parents only need an original birth certificate (not a copy) on closed loop cruises from the U.S. to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico, etc. Parents need either a valid passport or an original birth certificate along with a government-issued photo ID.

This is the way it is right now - nothing has changed. We just did this two weeks ago with our daughter and her son, neither had passports, but did have their birth certificates.

Concerning the passports when going to Mexico, it's referring to flying or driving into Mexico, not cruising.

However, as others have pointed out, I also suggest to my clients that it's always better to have a passport. If you should ever have to leave the ship in a foreign country due to an emergency and have to fly back into the U.S., you have to have a passport. If you don't, then you'll have to go to the local U.S. consulate and get a temporary passport, which is alot of time and hassle.

But if you don't want to go to the hassle and expense of getting a passport, then none is required in your situation.


Southerngirl81 December 26th, 2013 10:40 PM

You guys are awesome. Thank you so much for taking time to read my post and providing me with tips, guidances and advices. I really appreciate it. There are so much info on the internet so it is always good to hear from people who have gone through a similar situation in real life!!!!! Thank u!

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