I had asked a couple of quesions as OnABudget, now I've registered and am now young@heart. thanks to everyone who answered my previous questions.
As a background, we are in our early 30's, with two young ones (7 & 8). We are travelling on the Nordic Empress for seven days, following four days at Disneyworld, and returning to six more disney days post-cruise. We are coming from the West Coast of Canada.
We are very down-to-earth people, and although we both make a good living we do not regularly participate in fancy dinner parties, nights out, etc. We are very earthy people, and prefer to dress casual, go hiking, or drink generous amounts of margaritas! =) We generally travel to the Caribbean and spend a lot of the time back-packing around, so a cruise may be a great departure for us.
Anyway, my question surrounds the formal nights on the cruise and dining. My husband, a Plumbing/Heating company owner, does NOT own a suit. I am a software engineer for a very relaxed company, and thus I also do not have ANY kind of formal attire. Nor are we interested in purchasing any for one night on the ship.
Are we going to have to miss this night in the dining room (and perhaps, as we've been told, miss the best night of food?) or can we go in casual attire such as slacks, blouse, nice shirts, (perhaps a tie) without disturbing others and soliciting stares of disapproval?
Also, are we going to stick out like a sore thumb? I mean, I picture most cruise-partaking citizens as being in an older, upper-class earnings set.
Boy are you in for a surprise! You will find people from all walks of life and income levels and age groups. Cruising is really a true melting pot nowadays. You can get away with a simple dress and nice pants, dress shirt and tie as some do. Almost everyone will be wearing at least a sports coat and of course others will be wearing tuxes and formal ball gowns. I wear a tux simply because a decent tux is cheaper than a good suit! Besides, after becoming hooked on cruising I have more than got my money's worth out of it. For the ladies the old standby that is always acceptable is the simple black dress. Enjoy your cruise and meet new folks and just have fun.
BTW The plumbers I know are pretty darn well off! <VBG>
Picture: Black slacks, dressed up top/blouse with scarf or jewelry. Or dressed up simple dress for you and trousers, shirt and tie for hubby. The kiddos in whatever they may wear to a wedding, or dress up function. Or go all the way to the nines ! This should work just fine. My family and I have done the tux/evening gown route as well as black suit and simple black dress ensembles. It all works well for formal night. You will do just fine.
Young@heart, my husband is a truck driver and I work at home so we are extremely casual but we take this opportunity (we are going on our 5th cruise) to dress up. My husband did buy a suit, black double breasted, and I have some evening gowns. I don't know what shopping is like in Canada but there are some very good sales going on. I have 3 evening gowns and the most I spent was $35. They were all 75% off and the suits my husband has which now total 3 he also got on sale. If you don't want spend the extra money then I would go with Sue's suggestion. Black dress pants with an evening style dress would be fine. But please, no jeans to dinner!
Golden Princess 12/04
Enchantment of the Seas 4/02
My husband and I are vary casual also, however he does own a dark suit, and i shop the after-prom, off-season sales and wedding store sales for great deals on dressy clothes. You might want to consider renting a tux for the guys for the cruise - for about $85(US dollars ) you will get a tux, 2 shirts, tie, studs, cufflinks and cumberbund) about the price for a decent pair of dress slacks- and you won't have to pack it. You can even rent a dress if you like. If this isn't and option you want to consider then the guys can get away with dark slacks, a nice shirt, tie dress shoes and a dark jacket. You can wear a nice cocktail dress or a dressy pantsuit. Nothing casual and no jeans please!