Which do you use? I am going to apply for passports for my kids and I to save time. I may have problems getting one for my daughter in time, so if it proves to be a big nightmare, have any of you taken a week long cruise and just used ID and birth certificates? I used this way on a 3 day cruise but not sure if it is harder on a longer cruise.
MARINER OF THE SEAS-JULY 2006
MONARCH OF THE SEAS-DECEMBER 2005
MARINER OF THE SEAS-JULY 2005
MONARCH OF THE SEAS-AUGUST 2004
Everyone in my family has passports, even the kids. If you have enought time I would definitely get them. If there is some emergency and you need to leave your cruise at some point many countries require them.
Celebrity Century 1/09
Carnival Destiny 10/07
Carnival Destiny 9/06
Monarch of the Seas 3/06
Carnival Inspiration 8/05
Carnival Miracle 4/05
Carnival Inspiration 4/04
Sovereign of the Seas 4/03
At least try to get the passports before your cruise, then you'll have them in the future. Althoug they still accept the birth certificate and photo ID, they will be a thing of the past someday and passports will be the way.
I just received my Carnival docs, and they clearly state:
"U.S. security procedures require all guest 16 years of age and older to present a photo identification card upon cruise line and airport check in. Guests without proper identification may be denied boarding."
So, to me, passports would be the best idea, since kids don't usually have photo ID like a driver's license.!
As of today you can sail with a state or county issued birth certificate and government issued picture ID, such as a drivers license or state ID card.
Having said that, I would do what you need to in order to obtain the passports. The travel requirements are changing and traveling without passports is no longer as easy as it was five years ago or even one year ago. What was fine for the last 20 years isn't going to be fine in the next two or three years. It may not be fine in the next six months.
If it is possible, please get the passport. The cost is well worth it.
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"There is a great difference between being well traveled and just having been to many places." ~Me
As everyone says, the passport is the way to go. You need the birth certificate to apply, if you misplace it, lose it or have it stolen when your traveling then you have to replace it before you can get the passport.
I've seen birth certificates that are literally in shreds from folding and unfolding. The passport is a handy little book, good for 10 years, a great investment.