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OceanSea

Do I need signed letter allowing me to take my underage child on cruise without his father?

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Hi all,

 

Going on my first cruise as a mom. My mom, myself, and my 2 year old son will all be going on Oasis in May. My child’s father and I are not married. In the state I reside in unwed mother’s have full custody. Do I need a signed document permitting me to take my son on this cruise or will this not be an issue? ETA my child and I do not share the same last name. 

 

Thank you!

 

Laura

Edited by OceanSea

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You will need a birth certificate for your son, is your name (current name) on it? 

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I agree. You will need his original birth certificate with your name listed as his mother and your ID/passport.

 

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2 minutes ago, DCL2RCI said:

You will need a birth certificate for your son, is your name (current name) on it? 

Yes, my name is on the birth certificate. I have a passport. I’m debating whether to just get my child the passport card but I do realize this is not good for flying. 

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I cruised with my then 13 yr old. He had a passport and no questions asked. 

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Passport cards work for domestic air travel, but it would be a lot easier for emergency travel from a foreign country if you had a passport (and still the birth certificate). 

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2 minutes ago, DCL2RCI said:

Passport cards work for domestic air travel, but it would be a lot easier for emergency travel from a foreign country if you had a passport (and still the birth certificate). 

Mother's name would be on the passport. What's the BC for?

Edited by cruisinfanatic

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12 minutes ago, imlulu said:

I cruised with my then 13 yr old. He had a passport and no questions asked. 

The cruise line recommends you have a letter. It may not be needed, but better safe than sorry.

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Like medical advice on this forum ???

How hard would it be to get a NOTARIZED letter?  

 

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Unless only your name is on the BC, or you have some other document that gives you sole custody, I would have the letter.

 

Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and watch the ship sail away.  BTW, no refund if this happens.  And typically NOT covered by insurance.

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1 minute ago, boscobeans said:

Like medical advice on this forum ???

How hard would it be to get a NOTARIZED letter?  

 

Very hard if she's not in contact with the husband. I think the best thing to do is to ask Royal and get the answer in writing. 

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21 minutes ago, cruisinfanatic said:

Mother's name would be on the passport. What's the BC for?

 

Parent names aren't on passports, at least not in the US, though you need both parent's permission (or proper legal documents) to get a passport for a child under the age of 16.

 

If you are in contact with the child's father I would bring a letter giving you permission if that is feasible. If not, I would bring whatever documentation you have giving you full custody. It is just easier to have whatever documentation on you in case you run into trouble. 

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I would think that a letter from the father would have to be notarized - not just signed. 

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We are the grandparents but have been asked for the letter three times when we have taken our granddaughters.  Once by Royal, once by Customs and once by Disney.

 

On the Royal sailing their mother (not father) was sailing with us, but in another room and we still had to produce the letter even with our daughter (their mother) standing beside us at checkin.

 

I would have the letter just to be sure.  It would be ashamed to be denied boarding should they require it when you check in.  

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1 hour ago, ATC cruiser said:

Very hard if she's not in contact with the husband. I think the best thing to do is to ask Royal and get the answer in writing. 

That should say not in contact with the father. Sorry for any confusion 

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Without a notarized letter or evidence you have full custody, you are taking a big risk.  Might be ok or might be denied boarding. If you cannot get the father to sign the letter, consider contacting a lawyer in your state for a legal opinion.  If it is cut and dry in your state that unwed mothers have full custody, you should be able to get a legal opinion for a few hundred dollars. 

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Had the same situation several years ago sailing on Oasis.  Family cruise, son has sole custody of his daughter, sons last name and daughters last name do not match.  Son was told by Royal that a original birth certificate was needed as well as a notarized ok to travel letter from the mother. No picture ID needed if child is under 16.  Followed Royals advice, at the airport, at the terminal,  at checkin and at customs/immigration when leaving the terminal there was never the slightest question as to the daughters status. Daughter was 11 at the time. I would give Royal a call and ask for a print out of what is needed, better safe than sorry.  

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2 hours ago, ATC cruiser said:

Is the fathers name on the birth certificate? 

 

THIS is the million dollar question. If “yes” it would be very risky to proceed without the proper release document from the father. 

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when we took my husband's underage daughter with us we got her a passport but we also got a notarized letter from her mother just to be safe. We did not want to get there and be denied or God forbid we go and his ex wife have a moment of I changed my mind and then we'd have a big issue. So if you are on speaking terms (OP never said they weren't together just said they are not married) I would see about getting the letter. It is peace of mind that you will not have an issue getting on , or have an issue waiting when you get off if he has a " I didn't realize you were going that far away" moment.

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Father is on the birth certificate. I will get him a passport and take a notarized letter. 

 

Thank you all!

 

 

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I bring the notarized letter every time we have "Boys Cruise" and mom stays at home.  

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I have cruised without my husband (because my kids' school breaks don't always line up with his) and I've never needed a letter, but I've always had one just in case. It's also possible you could be asked for one in an airport. Again, I've flown solo with my kids a number of times and it hasn't been an issue, but it's worth having.

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I have taken my 10 year old daughter on 18 cruises starting when she was 3 and 2 overseas trips.  I have been divorced for years and have sole custody.  I travel with my parenting plan and  a notarized statement signed by my ex that he is aware she is traveling out of the country as advised by the cruise lines.  I have never once been asked for this statement or any documentation, but I look at it as insurance if I have it hopefully won't need it.  The one time I do not have it.....could need it!    

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