It’s Getting Easier To Cruise Without Clothes
Written by: Kuki
To those who haven’t been watching, there’s been a sea change in suggested dress codes, and what is considered acceptable attire, on board an ever expanding list of today’s cruise lines.
Harken back to the days of ocean travel, when every passenger was expected to be “dressed to the nines” “in all their finery” every evening when they left their cabins, and entered any of the ship’s public rooms.
You’re not going to find that on even the most tony lines anymore. But, from that tradition, the “cruise industry had adopted their 20th century version of “traditional suggested dress codes”; with that suggested code featuring formal nights, semi-formal nights, and casual attire nights.
For more than a decade any thread on cruise related message boards mentioning “dress codes” generated heated debates going on for many days, with one basic theme; those who “dressed up” calling those who did not “low lifes”, and those who did not favor “dressing up” calling those who did “snobs”.
As the calendar moved into the 21 century, there’s been a steady move away from what was once thought of as “traditional dress codes”. Using the “word of the week”, the view of the cruise industry towards what is acceptable attire on ships is “evolving”, from both the industry and the passengers.
Today spotting a male passenger in a tuxedo on any of the mass market (contemporary) cruise lines is as rare a sight as seeing a penquin on a cruise that isn’t on an Antarctica itinerary. While most lines still to offer at least one “formal night” during a cruise, the “evolved” definition of “formal attire” makes suits and ties (or even sports jackets and slacks) for men, and dresses (of almost any style) for women, the true present day acceptable norm.
And, frankly, even that relaxing of the definiion of “formal attire” is continuing to push the further relaxing closer and closer to what is actually very simple… casual attire.
In fact, several of what were the more stayed luxury cruise lines have already stepped ahead of the mass market, and have moved to making “resort casual” dress code the norm for every night onboard. I believe, in very short order, that is going to be the absolute norm on all cruise lines.
My own views on this topic have certainly evolved in this same direction. I used to be one of the proponents of having everyone adhere to the formal dress codes. I’d argue that is was disrepectful to your fellow passengers and the cruise line to not do so. I probably thought that if I were dressed up in a nice tuxedo and my wife in a beautiful gown, for at least a moment, we appeared to be at a higher “station” in life, than we were.
Today, I don’t really care about what I’m wearing, nor to I really care what my fellow passengers are wearing. My rule for what I’d like to see other passengers wearing is now determined more by what body parts I want to make certain are covered, than what brand of clothing they are covering it with.
My only caveat to completely accepting more relaxed attire on ships is I still do have a bit of a mental block about seeing the dining room staff dressed “better” than the passengers they are serving.
As the airlines, who still transport the vast majority of cruisers to their ships, have further reduced the allowable weights on luggage, and continued to increase the fees for overweight, over-sized, and extra bags, those policies have made it easier for passengers and cruise lines to rationalize the relaxing rules for acceptable attire.
I’m choosing 2017 as the date that all but perhaps 2 or 3 lines no longer even use the terminology of “formal night”, and transition to every night being “casual”. I guess I still do wonder how far the term of “casual” will go. Will that every be changed to “relaxed” or ” comfortable” attire “suggested”?
Or will there simply end being a list of body parts which must not be exposed?
– A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising –
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Posted: May 15th, 2012 under Kuki.