Sunday, October 24, 2010

Been Away...

Well, it has been a while since my last post.  Our family left for a cruise a few weeks ago.  We were so excited to go.  So, we drove 10 hours to Florida and anticipated getting on the cruise for a well needed family vacation.  We all love the cruise.  We don't have to think, just get on and relax and enjoy.  So upon checking in at embarkation we give all of our identification, which were the usual, drivers license and birth certificates.  Passports are not yet a necessity, so we didn't get them.  So they lady behind the counter asks if these are hospital birth certificates and I say yes.  She says wait one minute and walks away and we don't think anything much.  She comes back and says we have to move to a different line.  Now I am getting uneasy.  

We move to another line and the gentleman tells us as of last June they no longer are able to take this birth certificate and that it is not valid ID.   Due to homeland security laws it must be a State issued birth certificate.  Well, my husband and I are now in total disbelief and argue that we have gone on 4 other cruises with these very birth certificates and these are all we have and have ever had.  He suggested we call the vital statistics offices in the states we were born in to see if they would fax it to us, but it was Columbus Day and the offices were closed.  

We WERE NOT getting on that ship.  The manager came out.  We were all pulled aside.  Everyone was going through the line happy as could be.  The kids were upset, I was crying... My parents were already on the ship as well as our friends that we were going on with.  The manager plainly told us they could not let us on that ship under any circumstances due to the homeland security regulations.  There was nothing we could do.  Our hearts sunk as we realized that we would not be taking this cruise.  

Our children had the proper birth certificates so we had to decide whether to let them go on with my parents and our friends whom we trust completely or let them stay back with us in Florida for the next 5 days.  With much persuasion from my husband we decided to let them go.  After all they were so looking forward to it and why should we make them miss out if they had the right papers.  So as upset as we all were they went on the cruise and my husband and I stayed back in Florida for the next 5 days.  We were really in shock most of that first day not knowing what to do.  

The rest of the week we tried to make the best of a really bad situation.  We went to Orlando and went to Epcot one day.  We visited St. Augustine which we loved.  The whole week was bitter sweet.  We had a nice time but really missed the boys and the cruise.  

So, my tip for today is not a health or cooking tip.  It is to check your birth certificates and make sure they are issued from the State you were born in.  It should say issued from Vital Statistics on it.  Tip #2 is GET A PASSPORT.  You will need them soon to travel anywhere outside the USA.  If we had a passport we would be assured getting on that ship.  So, I am taking my own advice.  We have already applied for the State issued birth certificates and as soon as we get them, we are going to get our passports so this doesn't happen again. 

I don't know the reason or plan God had in mind for this.  All I know is that we are in his hand and our steps are ordered of Him, so I have to trust that.  I'm hoping next time we are all trusting his plan on the Lido Deck.  



1 comment:

  1. Ann Marie Kalie ~ TRAVELWORLDOctober 24, 2010 at 8:52 PM

    Follow tip # 2

    Get a passport....everyother county requires them...The US should get on the ball and make them madatory too!!! Keep in mind if you use your birth certificate to board the cruise and there was some type of emergency and you need to fly back to the US you would not be allowed to enter without that passport. It's worth the investment.