So you’re ready to take a cruise with your kids? The rules and regulations regarding travel documentation and identification are rapidly changing for both kids and adults due to added security and travel restrictions during the past few years. The U.S. Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security have jurisdiction over all travel, cruises included, in and out of the United States. You will want to keep this in mind when determining which travel documents and identification will be required for your kids when planning your next cruise.
Contact the cruise line or your travel agent. They might be able to provide you with a list of documents and identifications that your children will need. Always check the travel document and identification requirements for every country your cruise will travel to. Check the itinerary on your cruise schedule to get the names of the countries you will be visiting. ;
Search online at the CIBT website for current requirements for children traveling in and out of the countries you will be visiting on the cruise. This site lists country-specific requirements. Travel documentation and identification requirements can change from country to country. ;
Prepare your child’s passport. If they do not have a passport visit online for a passport application. Apply for your child’s passport at least two months before your cruise. It can take up to eight weeks to receive their passport. ;
Consult the National Passport Information Center at 1-888-362-8668 or 1-900-225-7778 if you will be traveling in the Middle East or Africa at any point during your cruise. Many of these countries have specific travel document and identification restrictions concerning travel for both adults and children. ;
Pack all of the travel documents and identification for you and your children together in one secure waterproof travel container. You should hold onto the travel documents. They should be easy to gain access to so that you can present them as needed during the cruise.
If you have your child’s birth certificate with a raised seal and photo identification you can apply for the passport at the post office. ;
A ziploc bag is a great way to store all of the cruise travel documents and identification for you and your children. ;
Obtain a travel visa for your children if your cruise will be traveling near Brazil or other South American destinations. These countries specifically require that all visitors have their travel visa in addition to the regular travel document station and identification – your passport and your photo I.D. You can complete this step online at Travel.gov. ;
Beginning January 2007, United States residents, including children, visiting Mexico will need a passport; birth certificates will no longer be accepted. ;
Always make copies of all of your child’s documents and identification that you are traveling with in case anything gets lost or stolen.
Always check the CIBT website regularly in the weeks and days approaching your cruise. Travel document and identification requirements for children and adults can change without warning.