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Old September 17th, 2007, 01:36 AM
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Default How many people forego formal nights with Carnival, etc.

Just wondering. We're cruising with friends next month and due to family stress, I sooooo wish we didn't have any seatings except for dinner and I wish we only had to do one formal night, if that. I would love to just pack my swimsuit and casual clothes and that's it. Fortunately my gf knows I prefer breakfast on deck and I don't want to be bothered going back to my room to get dressed for lunch. We're cruising on Triumph on 10/13 if anyone else is going.

Also does anyone NOT do any excursions just to relax????
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Old September 17th, 2007, 01:42 AM
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Default Re: How many people forego formal nights with Carnival, etc.

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Also does anyone NOT do any excursions just to relax????
The next cruise I book, I am not doing any excursions. I'll just stay on the ship and enjoy not having to fight the crowds for anything and take advantage of the "port specials" in the SPA... 8)
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Old September 17th, 2007, 06:43 AM
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I stopped doing excursions several cruises ago. Now, I just do whatever I want and pay less too.

Cruiseline shore trips are waaaayy overpriced in my opinion.

As for formal nights, for me it's just formal for dinner. I change right after dinner and get my comfortable clothes back on.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 07:42 AM
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We no longer do formal nites. Too much hassle packing suite, dress shoes, shirts, ties, even the dreaded SOCKS. Nope, dockers, obnoxious flowered shirt, and sandals for me. BUT, I'm glad we did it the first cruise and would recommend everyone doin it at least once. I also respect the folks that do pack all that junk for formal nite and stay outta their dining room those evenings.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 07:52 AM
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cruisecouple;
Hey it's your vacation, you do what you want to do. I know we do the formal thing for now, but I can see that changing. The bottom line is that it is all about YOU on the cruise. Go and have fun your way.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 08:06 AM
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My DW and I like to dress for dinner, for us, that is part of the cruise experience. We also like to get real dressy for formal night. But, this is just us.

It's your vacation, do what you want and do not do what you do not want to do.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 08:14 AM
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You don't have to do anything.. It's vacation--if it causes you stress--just forget about it!

and we made the choice to not do excursions anymore either. They're always right at 8AM... you have to wake up, you're hung over (well I always am), and it's expensive. The excursions seem like a good idea when you're behind your computer looking at pictures---then I get to the day and wonder why I just spent x number of dollars to wake up so early... ha
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Old September 17th, 2007, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marty30907
My DW and I like to dress for dinner, for us, that is part of the cruise experience. We also like to get real dressy for formal night. But, this is just us.

It's your vacation, do what you want and do not do what you do not want to do.
I also like ot dress formal as well. It is fun!
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Old September 17th, 2007, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: How many people forego formal nights with Carnival, etc.

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Originally Posted by cruisecouple
Just wondering. We're cruising with friends next month and due to family stress, I sooooo wish we didn't have any seatings except for dinner and I wish we only had to do one formal night, if that. I would love to just pack my swimsuit and casual clothes and that's it. Fortunately my gf knows I prefer breakfast on deck and I don't want to be bothered going back to my room to get dressed for lunch. We're cruising on Triumph on 10/13 if anyone else is going.

Also does anyone NOT do any excursions just to relax????
Dinner is the only "seating" that you'll have anymore. They offer open seating in the dining room on sea days, and debarkation day, for breakfast and lunch, but not your regular seating. If you don't want to dress on formal night, go to the buffet for dinner. No problem! The lovely Mrs. Jones (Vita) and I stopped doing the excursions years ago, and rarely leave the ship anymore. We just sit back, relax, and enjoy life as it should be. NO STRESS!
Hope you enjoy your cruise!

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Old September 17th, 2007, 09:51 AM
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We also do not book shore excursions any longer...we've done all the ones that were important to us at the different ports we have visited over the years. The only time I will book an excursion is if I am traveling with someone who has never cruised before and is interested in a particular excursion. Other than that, if we want to relax at a beach, we grab a taxi on our own. We exit the ship at the ports just to walk around on solid ground and maybe replenish our beverages.

As far as dressing for dinner, we thoroughly enjoy it.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 10:22 AM
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We dress for formal dinner, and surprisingly, DH really likes it. We live in San Diego, so at home it it VERY casual.
That is the only time we get nice photographs taken, so we look forward to it.

We still go on shore excursions, but, if we have visited a port before, we have opted to just remain onboard and relax.
It's also a good time to get discounts at the spa.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 11:06 AM
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I do formal night and excursions but I book my own excusions or get a cab to the places I want to go.

I like dressing up and the meals are amazing.. I want to explore the world and see all of the sights of places I've never been to before...
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Old September 17th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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If you really want a casual dress experience, you should really also give some thought to trying a Norweigan Cruise Lines cruise. No suggested dress codes, other than no shorts and Ts at dinner.

Also no set dining times. Go to dinner when you want, and with whom you want.

Other than their "Freestyle" dress and dining options, the experience onboard is very similar to Carnival.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 11:38 AM
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In July, when my son and I did our first cruise, he's 14 and I neither of us wanted to pack or wear dress up clothes. We even took a "formal" portrair in our casual clothes. We ate on Lido that night...

But when I cruise again, solo, in June 2008, I will be doing the little black dress for formal night.

Make it your cruise, and if you're not sure, bring dress clothes along in case you change your mind.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 12:56 PM
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I packed a different dress for dinner every night on my cruise and I have to admit, by the last night, I was so over it. I wanted to just take it easy but felt that I had to wear the dress since I paid for it.

I couldn't wait to get off the ship for the excursions. I like seeing new places. You can always book privately and not have to worry about the rush of people so much.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 01:20 PM
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I wear the same thing to both formal nights (if we are on a 7 day)....since I change back into comfy clothes after dinner.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 01:36 PM
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I travel solo and love it. I don't do formal dinners; I just go up to the buffet. In fact I just eat Breakfast and sometimes Lunch in the Dinner Room and go to buffet on lidodeck for dinner. I prefer it that way. If I've been to the ports before I'd rather take advantage of the ship at ports.
Less crowded and you can really enjoy yourself. Seems like you have the boat to yourself. Just go and have a good time and do your own thing. Mary49
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Old September 17th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhp
I wear the same thing to both formal nights (if we are on a 7 day)....since I change back into comfy clothes after dinner.
I am so with you IHP. Right after I go and change and head on up to the lido deck. I lilke that our room is right under the lido deck (not so far to stumble too!! ). We only did excursions on our very first cruise and decided that it was way to expensive and we could get a better deal buying them off the ship when we get into port. I always put out the room service that I want for Port mornings and what time it should be delieverd so I don't have to fight with all the crowds and I am usually at the head of the line to get off the ship. When we were in Jamaica, we took a cab all around the Island for $20 for 4 hours for 2 people. He then dropped us off @ Margaritaville and came back and picked us up and took us back to the ship. That was one of the best vacations ever! But what cruise isn't! Happy cruising to all!
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Old September 17th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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I believe there are only 2 formal nights. We go only because this is usually when they feature lobster or prime rib for dinner. My DH doesn't bother with the suit/jacket anymore-just nice pants/dress shirt & tie. I hate dresses myself so I just bring 3-4 pairs of dress pants and a nice blouse for each night. We sometimes change back into our comfy T's and shorts right after dinner too. Have a good time!
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Old September 17th, 2007, 04:16 PM
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I think you should do what makes you happy.

If it's too much stress for you...don't go!

Personally, I like to dress up for the 2 nights. It's the only time I really get to. My everyday wear is casual (very casual). We take pictures right after dinner and then it's a direct line back to the room to change into casual clothes. My heels come off first (sometimes before we get to the cabin). Ahhh, back into my tennis shoes and comfy jeans.

And the biggest reason why my DH and I dress up?
It's the only time we get to see our DS in a suit and tie.
Where else can you get a professional family portrait done for $25?

If Lobster doesn't interest you and you don't want to dress up, I think you'd be very happy eating on the Lido deck. If you want pictures, still get them. There's no rule that says you need to be dressed up.

As for the excursions. You don't have to book them. Leave the ship if you want or just get off to explore the town on your own, by foot or taxi.

Our DS doesn't like to explore so he usually stays on the ship. We fought about this for years but he really doesn't like them so unless it's something that he really really wants, we leave him on the ship.

Everyone has different wants so do what makes YOU happy (unless your married and a man...then do whatever makes your wife happy!).
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Old September 17th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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Just coming back from the Conquest, one couple never came to dinner, & the other 2 couples came once. So you can see, you can enjoy the experience as you wish. I also saw jeans on formal night, and most people changing from dress to casual after dinner.

We did a ship excursion in Jamacia, but in every other island, we book on our own..usual;ly you can negotiate a better price and longer tours.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 07:53 AM
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On our last several cruises we have noticed lots of empty tables at dinner every night not just formal nights. We had table for 10 and 4 showed up all week. Some tables were empty every night or only 2 show up. RCI and CCL.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 09:20 AM
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I sort of like the formal nights. If I were cruising on a longer cruise and there were 2 of them, that might be a bit much though. I think next cruise I'm gonna splurge and do the tux rental thing...packing the old suit is a bit much. I'm not nuts about having my pic taken, but the formal night photo in good clothes is nice to have. When your family is looking at old family photos a couple generations in the future, do you really want every pic of you to be in your tank top? lol.

I have to agree with what many say about the excursions. I'm not nearly as experienced of cruiser as most on here, but I think most people run up huge tabs on them just because they think they have to be out doing something. This past cruise, we didn't book any and didn't really miss it. We did at least get off the ship at each stop and walk around....Nice to get out and do a little browsing etc. Also, I do think it's better to spend a couple extra bucks and book excursions through the cruise line. If that jungle jeep ride breaks down and you booked it through your cruise, they will wait for ya to get back...Book it on your own and you're, well, on your own. Things can and do go wrong.
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Old September 18th, 2007, 10:05 AM
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On our first cruise, a five night, we ate in the dining room on formal night, but changed into comfy clothes after dinner (after we had a formal photo made). We ate one more meal in there, but the rest of the meals we ate on the Lido, much more to our style. This upcoming cruise (7 nights with 2 formal) we have a couple going with us that have never cruised and she is talking about the dining room for all dinner meals. Won't happen!! As far as excursions, we booked through cruise line both times. I like the idea of them being responsible if something happens and will be late getting back to ship, at least the ship will wait with a ship sponsored excursion. We are just more comfortable with a ship sponsored excursion.
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