Originally Posted by You
Hello all. I was talking with my kiddos today and mentioned the whole 'formal night' thing, and one of them tried to say that she was NOT dressing up! I told her yes she was, because one has to dress up to go to the main dining room on certain nights and we want the 'whole experience.' I don't want to skip formal nights just because dressing up is a pain or is too much luggage, etc. I am going to have to decide which specialty dining places I want to try. I am concerned that scheduling will be difficult, because I also plan to see every show there is and do as many other activities as possible.
I also mentioned that I'd have to get Little Man (my 9 yr old son) some nice dress clothes, perhaps a suit, and he informed me that, "I am not wearing all that CRAP!" I informed him he was mistaken.
First, I applaud you for teaching your children the right way. When they discover that cruise ships put on the best menus and the best shows of the cruise on the "formal" evenings, they probably won't be so rebellious next time!
That said, I do agree that it's not worth spending large sums on dress clothing that your children won't wear again.
>> For your son, you might find that it costs a lot less to rent a suit from a formalwear shop than to buy a suit. If he won't have enough other occasions to wear a suit before he outgrows it to make back the higher cost, renting would be more economical than buying. (Note that rentals typically include dress shoes, so you need to include the cost of dress shoes in the total purchase price if your son does not have them, and that most formalwear shops will include two shirts and two sets of accessories in the basic price of the rental if you tell them that it's for a cruise.)
>> For your daughters, I agree with the suggestion that a nice "party dress" that they will be able to wear on other occasions would be the best investment. They also probably will outgrow the dresses before they wear them out. They should have a couple different sets of jewelry and accessories to give their dresses a different "look" for each "formal" evening.
Also, don't buy anything yet because your children probably will outgrow it before next January!
Alternatively, if you really want to buy the suit and the snazzy dress clothes for your children, you could consider arranging
some special dress-up events -- perhaps a party for a "milestone" birthday or wedding anniversary, attendance at a concert of classical music that requires proper attire, the opening a new exhibit at a local art museum, or a gala evening to benefit some charity, for example, where such dress would be the norm -- before and after your cruise so your children would get maximum use out of whatever dress clothing you buy for them.
Originally Posted by you
One of the problems I am having is that I will have a completely different body by the time our cruise rolls around. I have been following Weight Watchers since January of last year, and plan to continue following the plan until I reach my goal. Since Jan. 19, 2010, I have lost almost 90 lbs. Unfortunately, I still have a lot to go, but it is completely do-able: if I lose 8lbs a month between now and the cruise, I can hit goal weight by then. I am really
enjoying fantasizing about cruising at goal weight- rock climbing, deck lounging, night club dancing! Shorts, sundresses, mini-skirts and skorts. Little black dress.
I will have to set aside some $$ to get myself an awesome new wardrobe right before we go, but it will be so great.
Congratulations! That's no small achievement!
And to you, I'll make the same recommendation: don't go overboard. A simple dress of suitable length with some simple jewelry (perhaps a cubic zirconia necklace and matching earrings, for example) can look quite elegant indeed! Gaudiness is not elegant.
Also, bear in mind that your weight might not be stabilized even if you attain your goal just before the cruise. It would be unfortunate to invest several hundred dollars in a dress and then not be able to wear it to a wedding a couple months later. It's much better to buy something less expensive and wait to buy something more expensive until you are sure that your weight has stabilized.
Finally, I should mention that Royal Caribbean Intenational's standards of dress for the "formal" evenings are not as "formal" as some of the other lines. IIRC, it's quite acceptable for gents to wear a sport coat, dress shirt, tie, and dress slacks rather than a suit or a "black tie" outfit.
Have a great cruise!