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newtocruise May 10th, 2003 10:08 PM

Not the formal type
 
My husband and I are going on the Eastern Med cruise on Celebrity's Millenium. We're really not interested in bringing along all the formal trappings. Does anyone know what kinds of free options there are for dinner on the formal nights?

Lisa May 11th, 2003 02:40 PM

Re: Not the formal type
 
You can make reservations to eat in the buffet area those nights ($2 pp gratuity charged) or you can have room service.


Donna May 11th, 2003 03:45 PM

Re: Not the formal type
 
Hi Newtocruise,
You may want to re-think the "formal" nights, they are really special and I wouldn't want to miss dinner in the dining room because of dress, its actually nice to get dressed up every once in awhile, try it, I bet you will enjoy it and just about everyone else will be dressed up. There are some alternative restaurants onboard, but I believe they also follow the same dress code.


norm May 11th, 2003 05:36 PM

Re: Not the formal type
 
newtocruise,

You really do need to re-think something, because the evening dress code applies to all of the entertainment venues as well as to the dining room. Aside from the fact that room service and stateroom television are not my idea of how to spend an evening when there's so much else happening around the ship, all included in the fare, the formal nights usually have official receptions hosted by the Captain, which also are formal occasions. It's a major breach of social etiquette to decline an invitation from the Captain while embarked aboard his vessel.

Basically, you have two reasonable options.

>> 1. Re-think your attitude toward "formal" and "informal" nights (note that "informal" is not the same as "casual" and in fact requires coat and tie for gentlemen and cocktail dresses or the equivalent for ladies) and plan to dress as "suggested" (note that the word "suggested" carries an expectation of compliance in this context), as Donna recommended in her reply.

>> 2. Re-think your choice of cruise line, cancel your booking on Celebrity, and book on a line that does not have formal nights.

Here are some alternatives.

>> Radisson Seven Seas Cruises -- "casual" every evening

>> Oceana Cruises -- "casual" every evening

>> Disney Cruises -- I believe this also is "casual" every evening

>> Princess Cruises -- no "informal" or "semiformal" evenings, and formal attire available for rental aboard ship (reserve in advance) for the two or three formal evenings on a typical cruise of two weeks or less

>> Smaller ("costal") vessels (Abercrombie and Kent, etc.) and sail vessels (Windjammer, etc.) typically have only casual evenings

Your travel agent may have other suggestions, too.

Have a great cruise, whichever option you choose.

Norm.

newtocruise May 11th, 2003 08:11 PM

Re: Not the formal type
 
Thanks, y'all, for the information. Maybe we will consider the formal nights. For me, it's less of a problem than for my husband, since a formal dress is pretty simple to pack, but the tuxedo option is more complicated (unless he rents from the cruise line). I appreciate your combined wisdom!

Marc May 11th, 2003 08:18 PM

Re: Not the formal type
 
Norm:

A correction. Radisson is Country Club Casual on only certain itineraries: Alaska, Bermuda, and French Polynesia. Radisson Diamond is casual only for the extended Caribbean season this year.


daysatsea May 11th, 2003 10:43 PM

Re: Re: Not the formal type
 
Your husband does not need a tux for formal nights - a dark suit will do.

norm May 12th, 2003 04:37 PM

Re: Re: Not the formal type
 
Marc,

A correction. Radisson is Country Club Casual on only certain itineraries: Alaska, Bermuda, and French Polynesia. Radisson Diamond is casual only for the extended Caribbean season this year.

Thanks for the update. My understanding was that Radisson was "country club casual" all the time.

Norm.

Kathie May 12th, 2003 10:22 PM

Re: Not the formal type
 
Norm, "...the evening dress code applies to all the entertainment venues.." Does that mean you can't change into more casual clothes after dinner in the dining room on formal nights and still see the show? What about those who have eaten at the buffet? No show for them either? Is it that way on the Summit, too? Sounds a bit extreme to me.
We are doing an Alaska cruise/tour on the Summit in Aug. I like dressing up on formal nights and hubby tolerates it, but on our 2 Carib. cruises on Explorer we have changed clothes after dinner to be more comfortable for the rest of the evening. I find it hard to believe passengers would be denied entrance to the theater because they weren't formally dressed. I saw another post a while ago complaining about "dress code police" and never got a straight answer. What's the scoop?

cruznut6 May 13th, 2003 12:24 PM

Re: Not the formal type
 
Kathie

Although Celebrity "requests" that you remain formally dressed the entire evening, I saw many people in casual attire after dinner in the show room on the Summit last October. I prefer to stay dressed formally the whole evening because I enjoy it, but many choose comfort. I don't care if someone wants to be more comfortable, but wish those who change into shorts and tee shirts would reconsider their outfits; just MHO.

Regards...Bob

norm May 13th, 2003 05:12 PM

Re: Not the formal type
 
Kathy,

"...the evening dress code applies to all the entertainment venues.." Does that mean you can't change into more casual clothes after dinner in the dining room on formal nights and still see the show? What about those who have eaten at the buffet? No show for them either? Is it that way on the Summit, too? Sounds a bit extreme to me.

I'm hearing conflicting reports, but the most recent infroamtion I have is that Celebrity has begun enforcing evening dress codes quite strictly in response to a large number of passenger complaints about lack of enforcement. To set this in context, Celebrity advertises cruises to include formal nights, and that a major component of the formal atmosphere is that everybody dresses to the occasion. Thus, the passengers who come on a cruise expecting true formal evenings, with everybody dressed to that standard, have a legitimate complaint if the line does not enforce the policy. This really is a big deal to a large percentage of customers who enjoy formal occaions but who don't have many opportunities to attend formal occasions at home, and thos who choose cruise vacations precisely because they feature such occasions. OTOH, I have yet to see an advertisement from Celebrity Cruises that even remotely suggests that there is a "casual alternative" aboard ship for passengers who prefer not to dress up, or who wish to "dress down" after dinner. Those who don't want to conform should shun Celebrity in favor of another line.

Of course, social etiquette dictates that one wear the attire prescribed by the host or hostess of a party so such enforcement really should not be necessary in the frist place. Then again, I see an awful lot of people who have no clue with regard to social etiquette. On my last cruise (NOT on Celebrity), for example, there was a femaile person (obviously NOT a lady...) who not only came to the show in athletic wear -- and I do mean a T shirt, gym shorts, white athletic socks, and tennis shoes -- on both formal nights, but proceeded to sit right in the center of the front row where she was in the spotlight whenever the cast came to the front of the performing area (which was at floor level). If she had sat in the back, it would have been far less obvious. It really was quite distastful.

We are doing an Alaska cruise/tour on the Summit in Aug. I like dressing up on formal nights and hubby tolerates it, but on our 2 Carib. cruises on Explorer we have changed clothes after dinner to be more comfortable for the rest of the evening. I find it hard to believe passengers would be denied entrance to the theater because they weren't formally dressed. I saw another post a while ago complaining about "dress code police" and never got a straight answer. What's the scoop?

There's no doubt that Celebrity is much more upscale than Royal Caribbean and that "dressing down" for the shows on formal nights would raise the ire of a significant percentage of other passengers. Thus, I strongly advise against it.

Norm.

hcat May 14th, 2003 02:57 PM

Re: Not the formal type
 
If yourre-think & go with a dark suit for husb & cocktail dress for self--you will be able to get some beautiful photos & have a wonderful special evening. At least try one formal night. It is a pain to pack for but part of the experience that is special!

AR May 22nd, 2003 07:41 PM

Re: Re: Not the formal type
 
Hey Norm:

I agree with most of your reply. Except for this:

It's a major breach of social etiquette to decline an invitation from the Captain while embarked aboard his vessel.

First, it just ain't true. You are perfectly free to decline any invitation from the Captain you wish, including an invitation to eat with him. He is not entitled to command performances.

Second, to argue that not attending the Captain's cocktail party is a faux-pas is absolutely laughable. Nobody's checking you off a list, and gobs of people--including me--don't go. It's a silly mob scene that many don't attend.

That said, I completely agree that there's a certain lack of logic to booking a line that stresses the "old fashioned" liner traditions more than most, then try to find ways around the situation. There are so many lines that are more appropriate for people who feel this way, as you point out.

AR

English Voyager May 23rd, 2003 02:43 AM

Re: Re: Re: Not the formal type
 
It depends on the nature of the Captains cocktail party.
On our cruise on the Caronia,there was the Captain's general cocktail party,which one was at liberty not to attend.
However,there was also another held in the Captain's private quarters,when one's names were certainly checked off against a list.To decline that invitation would certainly have been a faux pas.

earl May 23rd, 2003 08:53 AM

Re: Not the formal type (Me either)
 
I'm going to be travelling alone, and I see no need for dressing up sinse my wife won't be with me to enjoy the event. I'll be happy with the buffet, but I will be wearing at least a sports coat. I'm sure there are other people like me who simply see no reason for dressing formal.
Earl

AR May 23rd, 2003 09:54 AM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Not the formal type
 
English Voyager:

In a case like that, it would be wrong to ignore the invitation, but formal regrets sent to the Captain would cover you completely.

You are a passenger, and therefore a customer. Your time and your personal itinerary are your own. This doesn't relieve you of the responsibility for a reply to a personal invitation, but the reply need not be affirmative.

In any case, this is about Captain's parties to which the whole ship is invited, which is the much more common situation. If you went to the desk and asked them to tell the Captain that you won't be attending, they'd laugh in your face.

AR

norm May 23rd, 2003 09:56 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not the formal type
 
AR,

In a case like that, it would be wrong to ignore the invitation, but formal regrets sent to the Captain would cover you completely.

Sorry, but you need to review the subtle points of maritme etiquette. Sending regrets to the master while embarked aboard his (or her) vessel is indeed a major faux pas -- just like sending regrets to a head of state (one may not, for example, decline an invitation from the President of the United States). More precisely, one may decline an invitation from the master of a vessel, while embarked therein, only to accept an invitation from a head of state. In fact, the rules of etiquette demand that one withdraw a previous acceptance of another invitation if one receives a conflicting invitation from the master of the vessel.

The fact that nobody may notice your failure to attend the Captain's "Welcome Aboard" Cocktail Party, or some similar event, does not mean that such a failure is not a major breach of etiquette. Rather, the lack of "RSVP" on the invitation reflects a presumption that one will accept the invitation because the rules of maritime etiquette do not permit one to do otherwise.

Norm.

norm May 23rd, 2003 10:08 PM

Re: Re: Not the formal type (Me either)
 
Earl,

I'm going to be travelling alone, and I see no need for dressing up sinse my wife won't be with me to enjoy the event. I'll be happy with the buffet, but I will be wearing at least a sports coat. I'm sure there are other people like me who simply see no reason for dressing formal.

I guess that depends whether you care that other people may regard you as an undignified social misfit who's totally lacking in class and propriety or not -- because that's how some passengers will perceive you if you act so arrogantly and contemptuously as you propose.

And "arrogant" and "contemptuous" are perfectly reasonable adjectives to describe anybody who books a cruise with the knowledge that it has certain expectations with regard to personal appearance and the manifest intention not to conform.

Norm.

AR May 24th, 2003 10:59 AM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not the formal type
 
Here's the deal, Norm:

I categorize "crime" into two groups: those with victims and victimless ones. If you fail to adhere to the dress code there are victims, namely those who did dress and who resent your being out of place in their presence. I recognize this, and I dress appropriately. I also enjoy the atmosphere.

If, on the other hand, you blow off an invitation from the Captain, there are no victims. The Captain (or the SoHo or whomever) will find somebody else to put at the Captain's table, or at the cocktail party, or wherever. Besides, it's a well known axiom that Captains hate the social aspects of their job and would just as soon you left them alone anyway. I'm glad to oblige.

I'm sure that you're correct that once upon a time sombody wrote on a piece of foolscap somewhere that you're not allowed to say no to the Captain. Those days are gone and they're not coming back.

I say we should aim at more realistic and meaningful targets like keeping jeans out of the dining room on formal night.

AR

earl May 25th, 2003 11:03 AM

Re: Not the formal type
 
Norm,

I don't feel thatI am being arrogant and conteptuous by not attending the formal functions on the boat. My situation is different, and therefore my actions will be different. As far as booking on another line, I could do that, but unfortuantely I am going to be onboard as the result of a gift trip to Bermuda. Somebody else has booked and paid for the trip for me. It would be more rude for me to turn down the passage which has been bought and paid for by somebody else. If I was paying for my own trip I would go on NCL and be free to dress without a tux or dark suit. That is simply not an option. There are exceptions to every rule, and on my trip. I am going to be an exception and avoid formal attire.

Earl

Rev22:17 May 25th, 2003 05:19 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not the formal type
 
AR,

Besides, it's a well known axiom that Captains hate the social aspects of their job and would just as soon you left them alone anyway.

Any master of a cruise ship who dislikes the social aspects of the job is imminently employable elsewhere -- for example, as the master of a container ship or other merchantman. Thus, your suggestion that captains of cruise ships don't like their work is absurd on its face.

I'm sure that you're correct that once upon a time sombody wrote on a piece of foolscap somewhere that you're not allowed to say no to the Captain.

You would find this in any book on etiquette that addresses the subject.

Norm.

Rev22:17 May 26th, 2003 07:27 PM

Re: Re: Not the formal type
 
Earl,

As far as booking on another line, I could do that, but unfortuantely I am going to be onboard as the result of a gift trip to Bermuda. Somebody else has booked and paid for the trip for me. It would be more rude for me to turn down the passage which has been bought and paid for by somebody else.

So you think that it's less rude to embarass the "somebody else" who has paid for your cruise by ignoring the prescribed dress than by turning down the cruise in the first place?

If that's your attitude, I really will stand by my original choice of adjectives!

Norm.

AR May 27th, 2003 10:51 AM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not the formal type
 
Norm:

Somebody borrowed my etiquette book in 1963 and never returned it!!

AR

Rev22:17 May 27th, 2003 05:24 PM

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not the formal type
 
AR,

... and never returned it!!

Sounds like that individual needs to take heed of it... sort of like somebody who steals a bible....

Norm.

PH8 May 27th, 2003 06:08 PM

declining Captains invite
 
Norm or Rev(whatever it is)..............

We committed a faux pas(in your eyes)..............we got invited to eat at the Captains table on our last cruise............It was a short cruise and for reasons known to us,we did not pack formal clothes........So of course,we had to decline the invitation(as well as another couple that we ran into later)..............We had considered renting the tux and buying a dress onboard(would have cost at least $250).Well, glad we didnt cause it seems the captain was a NO SHOW!!!!!!!!!! He was new to the ship and begged out of the dinner for a couple of weeks so he could get more familiar with the vessel.You think that was OK??????????



Post Edited (05-27-03 18:09)

Rev22:17 May 28th, 2003 05:16 PM

Re: declining Captains invite
 
PHB,

Well, glad we didnt cause it seems the captain was a NO SHOW!!!!!!!!!! He was new to the ship and begged out of the dinner for a couple of weeks so he could get more familiar with the vessel.You think that was OK??????????

No, it clearly was not okay. If the Captain did not wish to dine with passengers, he should have directed the staff not to send out invitations -- before they had done so.

That said, one must understand that the Captain can be called away due to navigational situations (for example, a lot of ships in the vicinity or receipt of a distress call from another vessel), and his first responsibility always is the safe navigation of the vessel.

Norm.

mbuckellew May 29th, 2003 08:41 AM

Re: Not the formal type
 
Norm,

I've agreed with you on most all your posts (except maybe the one about the speedo - to put it lightly, I am not a fan) and value your opinion, so I'd like to ask you about a dining etiquette situation. Just curious about what you think.

Last year on the Millennium we received an invitation one evening to dine not with the captain, but with a social host. There was an RSVP number "for regrets only" on the card. It turned out that we had already made reservations to dine in the ship's specialty restaurant, the Olympic, for that night. Therefore, I called the number and declined. Did I commit a breach of etiquette? Should I have cancelled my Olympic reservation and accepted the invitation to dine with the social host?

Cheers,
Michelle B.

http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/co...zone=GMT-0500f
Land Cruise, Britain and Belgium


AR May 29th, 2003 02:15 PM

Re: Re: Not the formal type
 
Michelle--

I'm not Norm, but to me it's clear that an RSVP that specifies "regrets only" means that regrets are perfectly OK. Actually, I believe that anytime you see RSVP it means that it's OK to regret, because the purpose of the response that's being requested it to tell them whether or not you're coming.

It seems to me that an invitation that you're "not allowed" to decline would not say RSVP, because you're expected to be there and a reply would be superflouous.

Of course, Norm and I disagree about whether you're allowed to decline an invitation from the Captain. He says it's written in the etiquette books, and it probably is, but I think that in common practice today you're perfectly free to decline such an invitation. I think Ernie agrees with this, although I don't want to put words in his mouth. In any case, there's certainly no penalty for doing so.

Anyway, I'm quite sure that you were on solid ground in declining an RSVP invitation. And, considering the situation, it looks to me like you did the right thing!

AR

seabee May 30th, 2003 04:52 PM

Re: Not the formal type
 
Hello all. I am thorougly enjoying this thread. As a retired (some might say retarded) Naval Officer, I do have some insight into the matters at hand. Norm is correct in stating that it is a major faux pas to decline an invitation to dine with the Captain except for certain instances i.e. sickness, etc. However, note that it is a major faux pas, just as failing to dress properly is. It is not a crime and the word "required" is probably a little strong. Nobody will place you in the brig if you decline but it is still a demonstration of poor manners. Some have suggested this is "old fashioned"...it is more than that, it is Maritme TRADITION and should be honored and respected. Maritime traditions add to the cruise experience and to ignore them means you will miss a wonderful part of the seagoing experience. You can call us stuffy or arrogant or aloof, but we shall enjoy the time honored traditions established through hundreds of years of sailing and we invite you all to join us.

Rev22:17 May 30th, 2003 10:29 PM

Re: Re: Not the formal type
 
Michelle,

Last year on the Millennium we received an invitation one evening to dine not with the captain, but with a social host. There was an RSVP number "for regrets only" on the card. It turned out that we had already made reservations to dine in the ship's specialty restaurant, the Olympic, for that night. Therefore, I called the number and declined. Did I commit a breach of etiquette? Should I have cancelled my Olympic reservation and accepted the invitation to dine with the social host?

By strict etiquette, yes. The proper course of action would be to the Olympic Restaurant's reservation line and request to reschedule your dinner there for another night because you had received an invitation from the Captain.

The caveat, in this situation, is how the restaurant applies surcharges to your shipboard account. If they don't assess the surcharge until you actually dine there, of course, there's no problem. OTOH, if they assess the surcharge at the time of the reservation, there certainly should be a mechanism to "undo" it if you receive an invitation from the Captain -- expecially if they cannot accommodate you on another evening. If you call the Olympic Restaurant and they can't do anything, call the social hostess at the "Regrets Only" number and explain the situation to her. She may well be able to take care of the charge -- which clearly should be the preferred option. In the extreme circumstance in which there's no way to get the surcharge removed from your shipboard account, of course, you have little alternative but to send regrets -- but regrets to the Captain always should be a last resort.

Norm.


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