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lysolqn August 21st, 2005 07:39 AM

Dress codes
Hope I don't get slammed for this post. . .

Just wish the cruiselines that still have evening dress codes would somehow enforce (I know "enforce" is a tough term) those dress codes and not permit guests who are obviously inappropriately dressed into the dining room, especially on formal nights.

Barb Nahoumi August 21st, 2005 08:47 AM

Re: Dress codes
This is one reason why I am attracted to NCL. Formal night is optional, and guests have a choice.

Formal dress------gown or coctail dress for women, Tux or Dark suit for men.


Guests who do not choose to dress up may remain in Resort Casual.

I will wear a cocktail dress & DH will wear a dark suit.

TBug August 21st, 2005 03:09 PM

Re: Dress codes
I'm confused?

Isn't it optional on all cruises? If you don't want to dress up, then don't go. Order a pizza.!

browezilla August 21st, 2005 04:07 PM

Re: Dress codes
Most of the other lines though only offer 3 dining choices, formal dining room, buffet, or "in room". NCL has multiple dining choices, where it is formal in some, casual in others, etc. I tihnk more and more lines will be going this direction to attract more clients, however I will miss seeing the majority of the passengers dressed in their finery.

Barb Nahoumi August 23rd, 2005 04:39 PM

Re: Dress codes
Today, with airline luggage limitations, it is not easy to pack too many clothes. Cocktail dresses take up less suitcase space than gowns do. Of course, some cruiselines have formal rentals available.

WDL August 26th, 2005 01:07 PM

Re: Dress codes
I have no idea why people get so upset anyway....does it really spoil your dinner if someone is in a nice polo and khaki's instead of a suit......some people are toooooo anal.
I can see no torn jeans and such, but I have paid alot of money for nice jeans and khaki's and they look very nice and I am going to wear them to dinner. All the people who spend time getting an ulcer cuz of be it.....relax enjoy your cruise and talk about people when you get home.

Easy Goer August 26th, 2005 01:44 PM

Re: Dress codes

Just curious, how would torn jeans be any worse than a polo and khaki's when neither are appropriate formal dress? It isn't a matter of degree.

Ignoring the dress code isn't causing anybody ulcers, but does show disrespect to your fellow passengers and smacks of arrogance. ("WE shall dress as WE please and never mind you little people.")


lv2cruise August 26th, 2005 01:58 PM

Re: Dress codes
I enjoy getting dressed up for dinner but must admit, I like getting back into casual afterwards. We went on a 12 day Celebrity cruise and they expected you to remain formal the entire night on all formal nights (I think we had 3). I didn't enjoy walking around in heels and panty hose all night and hubby hated being in a suit and tie. Celebrity was nice, but we haven't gone back to that cruise line for several reasons, but the strict dress code is at the top of the list why we choose to cruise with other lines.

Jim Bragg August 26th, 2005 06:50 PM

Re: Dress codes
We pretty much have beaten this horse until it is dead and turned to dust here. <G> It appears that many do not want the dress code enforced and while I may be prejudiced a bit, it seems that more actually 'do' want the code enforced. I am one that votes for enforcing the dress code at all times except the first and last evening due to the packing issues.
As one pointed out, there are those lines that do not care about dress code such as NCL but I do not see this growing that much as there are many people like us that do not like this type of dining. Differant strokes for differant folks and of course there are differant lines for differant folks. The lines do not, and should not all be the same.

Texasmunk August 26th, 2005 08:03 PM

Re: Dress codes

Gee, do you think someone might read this to any crusie line exec...




PS>..if you don't like it, rent an RV and go vacation somehwere else.

WDL August 28th, 2005 09:30 AM

Re: Dress codes
I am not a "LITTLE PEOPLE" mind or BODY and I pay just as much for my cruise ticket as yours....maybe more.
I hate uppiddy people and that's what happens on dress up night.....snootty people look down on others that don't dress up....
Hey RV'ing is land based and I wouldn't mind it if I wasn't cruisin' the Carib....but saying that everyone MUST do something is wrong. Heck divide the dining room up and sit people differently.....nobody should come in looking like a bum, but clean decent clothes are just as ok as your formal.

Jim Bragg August 28th, 2005 11:05 AM

Re: Dress codes
Calm yourself WDL. You are voting for not enforcing the dress code, thats all. Other are voting that they feel it should be enforced. Name calling is not good. Also just because one wishes to enforce the dress code does not mean one is snooty. I am far from that I would very much like to see the dress code enforced. A cruise IS special and should be treated as such in my humble opinion.

K aka maleficent August 29th, 2005 11:55 AM

Re: Dress codes
I say MY cruise should be casual and lobster should be served in the buffet along with filet! If you pay the same price as the next guy what does it matter what you wear?

LisaK August 29th, 2005 12:34 PM

Re: Dress codes
I totally agree that the cruise lines should enforce their own dress codes. Not just on formal nights. The cruise lines give you plenty of dining options.
Its all about common courtesy to your host(the cruise line & its staff- who have to take the time and make the effort to wear the appropriate uniforms), and to your fellow passengers. Simple really.

Laurie M August 29th, 2005 01:37 PM

Re: Dress codes
Author: WDL (
Date: 08-28-05 09:30

"Heck divide the dining room up and sit people differently.....nobody should come in looking like a bum, but clean decent clothes are just as ok as your formal."

Think logically here WDL...How can you divide the dining room up when you are assigned a specific table for the entire cruise? If I'm sitting at the same table as you and I want to dress up on formal night and you don't, where does that put either of us?

Consider the buffet or alternative restaurants as the dividing line. If you don't want to dress up on formal night, thats the place to go if you want to remain casual.

luv2cruise August 29th, 2005 04:26 PM

Re: Dress codes
They could easily ask at the time of booking who would like "formal" seating and who would like "casual" seating and then divide the dining room up accordingly.

I actually prefer the buffet to the dining room, but I know most people would much rather dine in the dining room and it's just not fair to stick them at the buffet just because they don't want to play dress up. Judging by how crowded the buffet was on both formal nights on my last two cruises, it seems that alot of people dislike the formal night. Splitting the dining room in two might be the perfect alternative to make alot of people happy: casual dressers will no longer feel obligated to forego steak and lobster in favor of the buffet, formal dressers will no longer have to tolerate those dressed casually being within their line of sight during dinner, and, most importantly (to me at least), I would no longer have to see the buffet line swell to three times it's normal size or have to spend 1/2 an hour searching for a table just because it's formal night.

Kuki August 29th, 2005 05:18 PM

Re: Dress codes
I think they should have the staff dress like the passengers to set the ambiance.

Formal side - tuxedoed wait staff in white gloves
Casual side - cut off shorts, tanks tops and flip flops <G>

I think we should all look forward to our first cruise when we can hear.... Do you want fries with that? LOL

luv2cruise August 29th, 2005 05:37 PM

Re: Dress codes
Desiring to dress casually does not mean that you intend to show up in cut off shorts, tank tops and flip flops. Why does it have to be one extreme or the other? There are plenty of dressier casual outfits, that while not formal, are far from being slobwear.

PeterV August 29th, 2005 05:46 PM

Re: Dress codes
First off I do not care what others wear!

Secondly, I really don't care what the staff wears!

Thirdly A cruise is a vacation I paid for, not the cruise line or the other people on the ship and is a vacation in a normally hot environment and is hardly special!

Fourthly A dress code shows elitism as well "WE shall decide what YOU will wear! If you don't like it go camping!"



Kuki August 30th, 2005 07:07 AM

Re: Dress codes
The thing about the "ever lasting" dress code debates which amazes me is that the "formal nights" and the "ambiance" are part of what the cruise lines (which feature dress codes) advertise to entice and attract passengers.

Pick up a brochure and the pictures and descriptions make them clear in several areas. So it's not like anyone should be going in unaware. So, any problems I have are not directly with the dress code or what people are actually wearing, it's with the fact they think because "they paid for their vacation" that entitles them to behave in any manner they choose, regardless... and in the end that does impact other's cruise experience, because they very likely booked their cruise fully expecting to get the "advertised product".

Luv 2 asked why it has to be one extreme or the other. The answer is... of course there is all variety of "dressier casual", but then who right is it deciding what's "dressy casual" or "slobwear". Those who want to wear cut offs and tank tops also paid for their vacation.

The cruise lines have lots of "suggested rules of behavior"... if everyone has the right to decide which one apply to them because they "paid for their vacation", then no one should ever be complaining about people saving chairs by the pools, or in the shows, or smoking in non smoking sections, or cutting into buffet lines, or just about any behavior.

That said, there are cruise lines (NCL, WindStar .. for example) who advertise and encourage a more casual option, and set their suggested rules of behavior accordingly.

I'm still not quite sure why more people don't find and book cruise experiences that are more directly offering something closer to what they are actually looking for, rather than expecting to be allowed to do what they want on any ship because "they paid for it".

I do however agree... if the cruise lines have no interest in enforcing the rules of behavior they set out, they really should stop making them, advertising them and putting them in print!!!

luv2cruise August 30th, 2005 09:52 AM

Re: Dress codes
You're right, Kuki, with a dining room split into a dressy casual side and a formal side, there would still be some who showed up in cutt-offs and t-shirts. But they are likely the same people who are doing that now. Look at it this way, at least they would be on the casual side instead of sitting at YOUR table.

You asked why those who don't like formal night don't choose a line like NCL or Windstar? I can't answer for everyone, but for me, it's because dress code is only a small portion of the cruise experience and, unfortunately, NCL and Windstar don't offer the rest of the package that I'm looking for. Why don't you choose a line like Cunard where you know the dress code will be enforced?

They could (and they should and probably already do) turn away those obviously flaunting the dress code in cutt-offs and t-shirts. I have honestly never seen anyone show up dressed this way and I doubt this is what most advocating for a more casual dress code have in mind. I rarely eat in the main dining room, but when I do, I wear the same regardless of what night it is: nice slacks and a pretty blouse or sweater (the same as I wear to work everyday). I figure if it's good enough for work, it's good enough for my vacation. If the cruiselines started turning away people like me (nicely dressed but just not formal), they would be alienating too many people. Society has become much more casual than it was 40 years ago. What worked then, won't work now.

I predict it's going to get worse before it gets better. With each passing cruise, I have noticed the buffet getting more and more crowded with people who don't wish to participate in formal night. Apparently, judging by the complaints on these boards, there are many more people who don't dress but show up anyway. The cruiselines are going to have to come up with better alternatives to accomodate these people. Not everyone is as happy with the buffet as I am. Having large number of people feeling like they are being treated like 2nd class citizens is not going to work for long. It was fine when there were just a few, but their numbers are growing (and fast!).

LisaK August 30th, 2005 10:52 AM

Re: Dress codes
I totally agree with Kuki, take a close look at a cruise ships ad, on TV all the people are dressed up for dinner, they show men in suits, ladies in dressy cocktail dresses, etc, etc, even kids all dressed up for dinner. That is a huge selling point, selling the ambiance of the cruise ship experience. If you are going to sell it, make it work. I think that the cruise lines are trying to make this work, with NCL and its FreeStyle leading the way. I think that people want more than the choice of the buffet, pizzeria or room service on formal nights. I think that designating a specific dining room(s) for formal nights, and enforcing that is a great idea that the cruise lines should really look into. I would even go so far as to leave a reply card in your stateroom, check off yes you will be dining formally or no you choose not to,and leave the card with your room steward.

Kuki August 30th, 2005 12:07 PM

Re: Dress codes
Author: luv2cruise (
Date: 08-30-05 09:52
You asked why those who don't like formal night don't choose a line like NCL or Windstar? I can't answer for everyone, but for me, it's because dress code is only a small portion of the cruise experience and, unfortunately, NCL and Windstar don't offer the rest of the package that I'm looking for. Why don't you choose a line like Cunard where you know the dress code will be enforced?

Actually Cunard (and even the more luxurious lines like Radisson Seven Seas) don't enforce their dress codes either. And to be honest I'm not at all stuck on sailing lines that still have formal nights, and dress codes. I'd actually like to try NCL's Freestyle, which I haven't done yet... for example.

What I am for is the cruise lines enforcing all their "suggested rules of behavior", because people being people.... they see someone "breaking" one rule with no consequence, they then feel they too have the right to "break" which ever ones suit them.
My view (and suggestion to the cruise lines)... If you dont MEAN IT, don't bother putting it in print. A waste of ink!!!

WDL August 30th, 2005 12:58 PM

Re: Dress codes
I just want to have my prime rib and/or lobster and not have to dress to the 9's to be able to get it..............I am being penalized just because I won't bring a jacket and tie with me to dine.
Not fair to us either.
I do NOT like to be looked down on and I don't do it to others.
Cruise lines need to make alternative dining on every ship for every passenger....that's customer service for everyone.
Having to choose another ship does not make sense to me.

Easy Goer August 30th, 2005 02:26 PM

Re: Dress codes
I see your point, WDL. In that sense, you are being penalized. But consider the logical conclusion to that line of argument. At home I like eating lobster in my underwear. Why can't I wear only underwear to the dining room as long as it is clean and pressed? Why should other passengers care what I wear? Am I not being penalized in exactly the same way?

Dress codes are indeed a social construct and nothing more, but that doesn't lessen their importance, we being social animals. This is why not following them sends the same message that you say offends you: "I won't dress according to the social code because I don't think the rest of you are important". It is the person not following the code who is doing the looking down.


lysolqn August 31st, 2005 06:48 AM

Re: Dress codes
Thanks for the interesting responses to the original post. I know the subject matter often ignites heated discussion because most folks feel strongly one way or the other.

Like all contracts, a cruise contract is a two-party agreement - among other things,
the cruiseline promises to provide certain services and amenities; among other things, passengers agree to pay for said services and amenities and abide by what Kuki referred to as "suggested rules of behavior." I think we'd all agree It's not unreasonable to expect the cruiseline to hold up its end of the bargain. As a matter of fact, these boards are plastered with complaints from passengers who object to various cruiselines falling short of the mark, and most folks who feel they've somehow been "cheated" expect to receive remunerarion of some kind in exchange for their trouble.

Yet on the flip side, many passengers (IMHO, including those who ignore the dress code because it's their vacation, they paid for it and they can do as they please regardless) think it's perfectly okay for them to pick and choose which portions of the "agreement" they will abide by. The suggested dress code does not come as a surprise to any passenger - it's clearly stated in marketing materials and in the cruise documents received prior to sailing. Those who book on a line that has an evening dress code with the full intention of ignoring it, in effect make a unilateral decision to ignore certain provisions of the cruise contract. Just imagine if the cruiselines took the same stance!

lysolqn August 31st, 2005 06:51 AM

Re: Re: Dress codes
P.S. - my argument is not so much with those who ignore the dress code but rather more with the cruiselines who have a dress code and don't bother to require guests to abide by it.

DroopySails August 31st, 2005 11:15 AM

Re: Dress codes
lysolqn wrote: "Yet on the flip side, many passengers (IMHO, including those who ignore the dress code because it's their vacation, they paid for it and they can do as they please regardless) think it's perfectly okay for them to pick and choose which portions of the "agreement" they will abide by."

Right--and many people do the same when it comes to rules like no kids in the hot tub, no un-potty-trained babies in the pools and no alcohol brought aboard. You might call it a cafeteria-style adherence to the contract!

luv2cruise August 31st, 2005 04:02 PM

Re: Dress codes
I'm a little confused because I keep reading people referring to a contract between the passenger and the cruiseline whenever certain subjects come up (rules, missed ports, cancelled cruises, etc.). In 12 cruises, I have never been asked to sign a contract for a cruise. I call up the TA (I have used several over the years), book the cruise, pay my money and that's it. I know they may have a "contract" printed on their website and in their brochures, but I have never been asked to sign it or even acknowledge receipt so it can hardly be considered binding. What is this contract that everybody refers to?

Jim Bragg August 31st, 2005 05:33 PM

Re: Dress codes
It is legally binding simply because you bought the cruise. It is listed on your cruise tickets as well as on your brochure..

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