Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Passport Problems

So I don't know if I mentioned it before, Imac and I are going on a cruise to the Caribbean this may. I love cruises; I love going to new places; I love the boat; I love the food and I love vacations. This is only my second cruise and we are going to Jamaica and Grand Cayman, both of which I heard are gorgeous.
Who can say no to that view?

We opted for these spots because neither of us have been there. Imac has been to the Bahamas twice and I've been to San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten (I would move to St. Maarten). Originally we were supposed to go with Imac's family as a family vacation thing, because apparently his family does these things. Unfortunately not too long after we booked his family cancelled because one of his sisters found out she was pregnant. I can't blame her for cancelling. I would not want to be seven months pregnant in the Caribbean either.  But Imac and I couldn't cancel without losing our $200 deposit and frankly we didn't want to cancel, so we're going anyway.

I am so looking forward to this

This whole thing is very exciting, except that Imac demands that I get a passport. Now I'm not morally opposed to getting a passport, in fact I have wanted to get one for quite some time. I just didn't want to be rushed in the process. So at the end of January I went to the passport website to find out what I needed and I hit a whole wall of problems.

The biggest of which was my birth certificate. Now I have a birth certificate, in fact I have two copies of it because I lost one for the longest time. Neither of these birth certificates, however, have my parents names on them anywhere because the State of New Jersey doesn't do that. So for two weeks I went searching to find where I could get a copy of my birth certificate with my parents names on it. Finally I found out I could order one to the tune of $35 dollars from the NJ Department of Vital Statistics but it was going to take a month to get here.

So mid-February I ordered my birth certificate and I got it less about it a week ago. And guess what? It still didn't have my dad's name on it. Apparently my mother never put my dad on my BC, so the US government is just going to have to deal with it. I mean I'm almost-30 it's a little late to be petitioning the state of NJ to put my dad's name on it and even worse since I haven't talked to my dad in close to ten years as it is.

This is what it is starting to feel like.

So then I got up Saturday morning to go to the Post Office to get my passport only to find out that the Passport office was no longer open on Saturdays (what? a month ago they were open on Saturdays) and now only take passport paperwork by appointment. So now I have to call on Monday to make an appointment to drop off my passport stuff.  Now because its taken me so long just to get the paperwork in order, I have to pay extra to have my passport expedited and overnight shipped to me because the cruise is the third week in May and the Passport office takes 6-8 weeks for normal processing and that's cutting it awful close.

The worst part about this is I don't even need a passport to go on this cruise. As long as the cruise starts and ends at the same dock (Miami in our case) you don't need a passport, just a birth certificate. Imac, however, refuses to believe this even though I showed it to him in writing on Carnival's website and demands that I get my passport anyways. UNC-Sis is on a Carnival cruise right now (one of like 6 for her) and she doesn't have a passport either. I don't mind getting the passport I just don't want to spend 210 dollars in shipping and handling costs to have it for a cruise I don't need it for. But there is no arguing with Imac.

Sigh, men.

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