Myrna Aquitana_LighthouseA couple of weeks ago, one of this writer’s sons surprised us with an invitation for a four-day cruise, just so we can all be together in one place and bond. Out of sheer excitement just for the thought of having a chance to bond, I immediately responded.

Last week, upon receiving a confirmed cruise line booking, I then searched for my passport which I must have misplaced somewhere. Out of panic, I went to the nearest Post Office and asked if I can have a new passport expedited within a week, showing them a photocopy of my current passport as well as copies of old passports.

The passport staff at the Post Office informed me that it usually takes them 14 days or more to process new passports. However, the passport office at the Federal Building may only take one day to process through a confirmed appointment.

The Postal staff handed me US Department of State Form DS-11 which had instructions on how to obtain a new passport. Following are the steps to follow in applying for US Passports for those born outside the United States:

1. Certificate of US citizenship through Naturalization;

2. Current Driver’s License as proof of identity;

3. Current colored passport photograph which meets passport requirements (full front view of the face and 2 x 2 inches in size);

  1. Proof of Intended Travel;

5. Fees for passports may be obtained by logging on the website at for current fees;

6. Passport processing are scheduled by appointments by calling the National Passport Information Center at: 1-877-487-2778 or by email at: Customer service representatives are available Monday  to Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Eastern Time.

Failure to have above requirements may further delay your application.

Thankfully, after a thorough search, I found my current passport which will enable me to join this personal bonding time with my son, daughter and grandson. Opportunities on bonding with family is always a priceless experience. Now it’s time to unwind, have a little fun and enjoy!  All aboard!