I am an avid traveler. I travel for work at least 5 times a year. I take family and personal trips a few times a year. I probably travel once per month on average. I have special bags that are packed just for traveling at all times. I have TSA pre-check to reduce my airport wait time. I know seven airports like the back of my hand and how to get from one end of these airports to the other in record time during my tight connections. So, when I made a rookie mistake… I was baffled.
This past summer I organized a cruise for my family and my husband’s parents (four adults and two children). I booked a cruise, arranged transportation to and from the airport for my in- laws. Ensured everyone (including my two young children) had passports. Booked travel insurance for all six cruisers, shore excursions, and even packing lists so that we would not forget anything.
Cruise morning, we woke up at Wilderness Lodge and headed over to the Beach Club for breakfast with Donald, Daisy and Goofy. This was a HUGE surprise for my father in- law because his favorite character is Donald. Breakfast: . Pile in the SUV:. Arrive at the port:. Bags checked:. Through security:. Get Key to the World card: two children and three adults: Wait… three?? UH OH!!!!! My passport was expired! You have GOT to be kidding me. My passport was expired. Me. Ms. Super traveler. Ms. Super prepared. Yep. Passport was three months expired.
The Disney Cruise cast member asked: Do you have your birth certificate? Do you have another form of identification? Umm… No and No. I had my birth certificate at home. I asked if he could accept my IATA card and a few credit cards… but that was not an option, sadly. A few more questions all answers still being no. I was convinced that I was not going on this cruise. I started planning for my husband and in- laws to go and I would go to Disney for a few days and wait.
I was almost in tears this cruise was not happening for me, a manager cast member came over to help me out. Here is what I needed: my original birth certificate and my drivers license. License:. How was I going to get my birth certificate that was six hours away when the cruise departs in 5 hours? The very nice cast member tells me that because I am doing a cruise that leaves from Port Canaveral and returning to Port Canaveral, they will let me on with a picture of my birth certificate. OK… Whew! I don’t have to go home.
This is when the story gets really good. I frantically call my neighbor, Renee who also travels for work A LOT. Lucky for me, she is home. I ask her for a HUGE favor. This is literally the conversation we had:
Me: “I need a huge favor. Are you busy at the moment?”
Renee: “No. Are you ok?”
Me: “Yes, I am fine. I need you to break into my house”.
Me: “Yes, I need you to break into my house”.
The rest kind of a blur but I walked her through the steps of how to break into my house. Told her where to go in my super messy house that we did not clean before leaving. Into the stash of extremely important documents. Remember the super awesome cast member manager? He was laughing at this entire process. Renee sends me three snap shots of my birth certificate. I thanked her profusely and hung up. Emailed the birth certificate to the Disney Cruise powers that be. About 30 minutes later they accepted my forms of identification and issued me a Key to the World card. Sigh. I need to keep the copy my birth certificate for debarkation after arriving back at Port Canaveral. Sigh again! Board the ship . Drinks . The cruise ended up be wonderful. We had a great time. Lots of play time and bonding with my kids. My oldest daughter rode the aquaduck 15 times in a row and went down her very first water slide. She was in heaven. My little one played in Nemo’s reef most of the cruise and was a prune by dinner every night.
Stay tuned for the sequel to this blog… How was stranded on an island with two children on this very same adventure.Tweet