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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Problems with taking children on Royal Caribbean cruises

There's nothing quite as special as taking your kids on their first cruise, (apart from leaving them at home and cruising in the peace and quiet on your own - I'm joking), but if you're not careful you can have a lot of problems with some cruise lines; in some circumstances I've heard of people being refused boarding!

The family model has changed in recent years. Gone are the days of 2.4 children with two married parents, it's becoming increasingly common for parents to have different surnames to their children. Whether they be the child's step parents, Aunt, Uncle or Grandparent it's quite common for children to travel with an adult that has a different surname.
Now whilst this isn't a problem on an English cruise ship you will run into problems with an American cruise line like Royal Caribbean for instance.
I recently had a passenger I book cruises regularly for who was traveling with her niece and her nieces daughter. Her nieces daughter had her Dad's name not her Moms so all three passengers had a different surname. Now I warned my client in plenty of time to prepare for it but I know a lot of other travel agents out there don't because they either don't realise or they just can't be bothered.

If you're taking a child on an American cruise ship and the child has a different name to both of the adults travelling then you will be refused boarding.  To get onboard you will need a notarised letter from a notary public signed by the child's parent with the same name stating the child is ok to travel.
So in layman's terms if Mr Smith and Miss Jones have a child and call  the child Mstr Smith; if Miss Jones then wants to take that child on a cruise ship on her own she will need a letter from Mr Smith stating this is ok.
If you're not sure what a notary public is check out this link here.
I know it seems complicated but it's so important for people to know this. The last thing you want to do is turn up at the cruise ship and be turned away.

Happy cruising.

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