I'm a bit confused. We are a family of 5 - the kids are ages 8, 13, and 15. Getting passports seems like another added expense at this point - are they really necessary or will the official birth certificates with raised seals do okay? If so, do the children need photo IDs of any kind? Thanks.
Passports won't be necessary, but if you plan on cruising a lot, they are definitely a good idea. Your kids won't need photo ID's until they're 18 years old. You will, but a driver's license will be fine with your birth certificates.Your kids will need their birth certificates too. Have a great cruise.
I have to agree with Carole, passports are the best means of identification these days. Our last cruise over new Years we had to show proof of citizenship quite a few times and having passports made it a lot less of a hassle.
Here is some info on obtaining a passport:
The kids should be fine with their birth cirtificates with the raised seal, have fun.
Leaving Miami on a Carib or Bahamas cruise, after having watched the check in process a few times, one would conclude all you need is to be loud and agitated, refuse to speak english, produce a wadded up piece of notebook paper written by hand signed by heaven knows who, to be shooed aboard.