My husband and I and 4 kids will be sailing 12-29 on the Monarch for 5 nights. We are first timers and have several questions (lots of them actually). First of all, on luggage, what is the best type and size to pack in for ease of storage while on the ship? Also, what type of identification is required? I have the wallet size birth certificates for all kids, but I don't know if this is sufficient or if I should get the full size copies. Finally, for my boys, 6 and 14, is jacket and tie required for dinner?
I'm not sure if those wallet size birth certificates are sufficient, they need to have the origional seal on them, so check for that, you still have time to get the ones you may need. As for luggage, just take luggage that you can handle if you have to, I prefer any whith wheeles, they are also easy to store in the cabin, most luggage will fit under the beds with no problem. If for some reason your's doesn't, you can ask the cabin stewart to store them for you.
Here is also a link that has some great information for a first cruise, should help answer a lot of your questions:
If you cruise on over to the First Time Cruisers area you will probably find out more than you ever needed to know about luggage !!!
I think the 6 YO son would be fine with nice khakis and what I would call a "blazer shirt" .. long sleeved and well-pressed ... the 14 YO might be better of with "the uniform" of blue blazer, shirt, tie, and khakis. Don't worry about their shoes. Their feet will be under the table.
The birth certificates MUST have the official "raised seal" from the issuing office. You have plenty of time, you might want to get passports. For adults, they are good for ten years, for kids, five years. But you still need the raised seal birth certificates to get passports.