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  • Our 1st cruise is Apr '12. A passport is NOT required, but suggested. To get one is ALOT for a fam of 4. How can we guarantee our birth certificate is okay to use? I FEAR driving 12 hours and being told we can't board and crying as the boat pulls away.
  • - Asked by Amy from Virginia on 6/20/2011
  • Oh, Amy...I can't have you worrying about this -- the thought of you crying as the ship sets sail makes me want to cry!

    If anyone understands the cost and trouble of getting passports for the family, it's me. Because I lost mine and the rest of the family had never had one, we applied for SIX simultaneously last fall -- and it was expensive! Yet, I have never regretted one moment or cent we spent. It was well worth it to have the peace of mind knowing that not only did we have the proper documentation to get on and off the ship with no problems, but I knew that we could be identified as US citizens no matter what foreign port we visited. It's sort of like insurance...you don't want to have to use it, but it's great to know it's there.

    You can check out the Passport Information Page on DisneyCruise.com's Planning Center for the latest information on what is needed to apply for a US passport for adults and children.

    I don't want to scare you into applying for passports, but at the same time, I don't want you to be caught off guard either.  Rules and restrictions regarding travel for US citizens changes frequently in regards to passports. My recommendation is that -- since you have the luxury of time -- build your passport expenses into your family's vacation budget from now until the fall.  Have each family member apply for his/her passport each month until October. Then, you can recover from those expenditures well in advance of your spring vacation. You can also ask your friends and family for money instead of gifts during the holidays or for birthdays in order to help offset the cost.

    I wish I could give you an absolute guarantee that you don't need your passports next year, but I don't think anyone can -- including the US Department of State. Have a wonderful day and a magical vacation. Bon voyage!

    Andi
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