Originally Posted by You
I hear that men who do not own, nor wish to purchase, a tux for formal nights are permitted to wear dark suits with ties. My question turns on an upcoming cruise (our first) on Holland America -- seven nights with two of them formal.
I am an Anglican priest, and my "normal" public wear goes by the name "clericals." They are black slacks (not jean material); mine are wool and have pleated fronts; a special shirt -- long or short sleeved depending on the season, with buttons covered by a strip of fabric; a "dog collar" as one is accustomed to seeing on Roman priests and most Lutheran priests as well; and a black coat. So, I'm entirely clad in black, no tie, but a clerical collar.
I expect cruise lines don't get overrun by Christian priests of any communion who would ordinarily dress this way (Roman, Anglican, Lutheran, many Presbyterians, and the Orthodox). But, perhaps some of you have observed someone dressed this way and noted how it was "received" by the ship staff.
The only thing more formal is a black cassock. And, yes, THAT would really stick out, and possibly be a tad warmish (it's 100 pecent wool), not to mention taking a lot of room in the luggage.
The clerical costume ("clericals") of your denomination is always
proper attire for a "formal" (either "black tie" or "white tie") event.
If you have clerical shirts with French cuffs, that would be best.
As to reaction of the crew, I doubt that there would be a problem. I would be more concerned about reaction of other passengers. It seems that there are always a few who can't resist telling their problems to a "man of the cloth" even when he is on vacation. If you want to avoid that, the alternative would be to rent formalwear (which costs about $100 US). If you arrange it through the cruise line, you just submit your sizes and selections in advance, and the cruise line will deliver it to your cabin on embarkation day. At disembarkation, you just leave it in your cabin for pick-up.