If your going on Paradise with your 3 teens should I tell them to eat somewhere else and let Mom and Dad be on formal dinner nights or include them? I can save a lot of money not having to worry about dressing them for just two nights....
I went on the Paradise 2 years ago..very nice ship. As far as Formal Night I didnt think it was all that formal. I didnt see anyone with a tux on. Im going on the Victory this Aug and am bringing all of my 4 kids all being teenagers. For the boys it will be dress pants and dress shirt with a simple tie. No jackets. And the girls will be in nice dresses. There is really no need for anything outrageously fancy for kids being that most of the adults that i saw didnt go overboard in there attire. Im really looking forward to dining with my kids theyll enjoy all that goes on.. Dont worry so much about the formal clothes just use common sense and no jeans allowed...Hahahaah Have fun..!
If they are girls: do they own a prom, homecoming or turnabout formal? On the 2 formal nights, this is what the teen girls in our group generally wear & fit right in. But they could also wear just long skirt or nice sundress, satin pants & a fancy top, etc. Iit's just not that structured. For guys, a pr. of khakis w/a shirt & TIE is common to see, but so are sports coats, or dress pants with a collarless (fancy) shirt. I've even seen (gulp) string ties! Some of the best food is often served on formal nights, so I wouldn't want my kids to miss it. They SAY the same food is available in the more casual cafes, but not to the extent & variety as the formal D.R.s in my experience. Just don't let your kids show up in shorts or jeans on this night.
I've usually relied on Easter suits for my sons and pretty long dresses for my daughter, and have gotten some wonderful portraits of them "cleaned up" on formal nights (drag them to several photo stations for pictures -- you're bound to love at least one of the portraits! If you get a lot of pictures the first night, you'll also have time to order duplicates or wallet photos of your favorite for family members) This year I'm going to stick with navy blazers, club ties & grey/khaki pants for my sons for the two formal nights. Boys don't want to stay dressed up, and typically change back into shorts or remove the tie after dinner. Girls enjoy wearing their finery longer, and you'll see a lot of teenage girls in prom or bridesmaid type dresses.
If you don't want to spend time at sales (or even good thrift stores?) looking for relatively inexpensive dress-up clothes, your teens won't be out of place dressed in shirts/ties or nice dresses.. Canival is our favorite since everyone is usually pretty relaxed -- tuxes and womens' gowns are more rare than white shirts/ties!! You won't go wrong with anything that the kids would wear to a school concert, and the kids will enjoy the special menus in the dining room on dress-up nights. Celebrity cruise line is a different story -- imagine figuring out what teenages are supposed to wear for "semi-formal," "formal" and "informal" nights!