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Old May 27th, 2004, 08:29 AM
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Default Help?!?!?What to pack?



My family and I are taking a cruise the end of June. Celebrity cruises...the Century. It is for my mother-in-laws 65th birthday so along with my husband, myself and our two girls will be my mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister in laws, brothers in law, and their kids!!! Now if we were taking a cruise alone dress wouldn't be a problem, but since my mother in law wants everyone together , every night, for 6:00 dinner in the dining room, for 7 nights, I'm at a loss as what to bring!!! Do we dress up every night? Are some of the dinners in the dining room formal (i.e. long dresses, tuxes etc.) and are they manditory? We are a very casual family, we live in Florida so most of our wardrobe consists of t-shirts and shorts. Does this cruise mean we need a whole new wardrobe? What about the kids how dressy do they need to get...they are 10 and 6.? I would welcome anyone with some REALISTIC advice. This is turning into more work than fun we only wanted to get away and relax. Thanks!!!
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Old May 27th, 2004, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

Celebrity's requested dress code is for all ages. In some cases those not dressed properly have been barred from the dining room. I think in this case you have some options if you are willing to take them. The childrens groups will feed the children on formal nights so the adults can have dinner time for themselves. Often the children prefer to be with their new friends as opposed to getting dressed up and eating in the dining room. Your mother in law is not being realistic in her demands and is unfair to the children.

You will have two formal nights on the Century, two informal and three casual. I would suggest you check Celebritys web site for the dress requirements. As mentioned, in some cases you may be denied entrance to the dining room if not properly dressed.

Don

Post Edited (05-27-04 10:09)
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Old May 27th, 2004, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

You are right about her not beingh realistic...she wants the children there everynight as well!! Is there a separate dining room for the formal events? Or is there only one when they ask you which seating you prefer (i.e. 6:00pm) How formal is formal...do the men need tuxes and the women evening gowns? we don't even own any of these! I would have prefered to eat at a buffet or maybe on an island on these nights? Help!!!
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Old May 27th, 2004, 10:29 AM
BMK
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Default Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

First of all, this should be great fun and the planning is half the fun. That being said on our recent Celebrity trip I took great pride in shopping for my girls 10 and 5and buying two formal dresses (Easter type dress) each. My 5 year old loved kids club so much that she never ate in the dining room with us so both those dresses were returned. My 10 year old loved feeling grown up wore both dresses, sun dresses on the informal nights and capris or skorts on the casual. My husband owns a tux and along with at least 50% of the other men wore his, a jacket and tie on informal nights and a polo type shirt on casual nights. I opted for a cocktail dress and a long black skirt (a bargain find at Lord and Taylor after the holidays) for formal nights, casual dress for informal nights and capris on casual nights. There is always the option of informal dining where I think you can wear shorts. Don't miss the fun of the dining room especially on formal nights and most of all have a great cruise.
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Old May 27th, 2004, 12:16 PM
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Default Re: Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

Thanks for the advice, I'll try!
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Old May 27th, 2004, 12:44 PM
denisey
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Default Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

Your husband can always arrange to rent a tux for the formal nights. That makes one less thing to pack and worry about. Here is the tux info from the Celebrity Web site:

Are tuxedo rentals available on my sailing?

Celebrity Cruises' tuxedo rental service offers a convenient way to have elegant formal wear delivered directly to your stateroom. To reserve a tuxedo contact Cruiseline Formalwear.

Cruiseline Formalwear
Phone: 1-800-551-5091 or 305-252-8572
Fax: 305-252-6855

For you and the girls, run by the clearance racks and see if you can find a deal on some pretty dresses. For you a long skirt and top with pretty accessories will work too!

Take a deep breath and remember to have a good time! Maybe your Mom-in-law will relax once she gets on board!

Denise
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Old May 27th, 2004, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

Thanks for the help but you don't know her very well!!!
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Old May 27th, 2004, 03:57 PM
jamiegunter
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Default Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

Hi, you will need the following:
MEN
Polos and khakis for men for casual nights(three)
Suit and tie for men formal nights(two)
Sport coat and pants for informal nights(two)
***Informal nights I was told by Celebrity that you must
wear a sport coat, well the first night my husband wore his
and we noticed only about 25% in sportcoats. Most looked
like casual night. So you can probally get away without the sport
coat, just wear a nice shirt and pants.

Women
Casual dresses, pant sets for casual night(three)
Formal gown or coctail dress for Formal(two)
Nicer dress(something you would wear to church), Pant suit for Informal night(two)

I have no kids so cant tell ya about them, Celebrity is a dressier cruiseline. I would think a nice shirt and pants for kids, no jeans. You can probally find some good buys on sale racks.

Shorts and Tshirts are fine during the day. We just got back end of April from the Century, so email me if you have questions
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Old May 28th, 2004, 02:32 AM
Henry
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Default Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

dr-dom,

Your Mother-in Law should meet my mother in a room with padded walls. I know exactly how demanding she and be I don't even know her. Please know that you are not alone.

Where are you cruising to? I don't know if you mentioned above.

My friend's husband recently won a trip from his employer for a job well done. There was a group of 20 going on this trip (no children). They have 4 children and live a fairly simple life. A cruise wasn't even something they would even dare dream of. They almost declined the gift because of the clothes situation. Having 4 children involved in sports and music took a big chunk out of their budget. To splurge on fancy clothes was just something didn't feel they could do. Luckily he had a dark suit that he wore for special occassions.

I love to shop the sales so I offered to help her find some things. We are not the same height but I was able to lend her two fairly nice tops. We have a store here call Foley's and quite often they put coupons in the paper for 20% off a sale item. We collected several from a couple days of papers and went shopping. One of stores has a clearance center so we started there then went to the regular sale stuff. We found the nicest pair of black dress pants. They were having an additional 40% off sale then the 15% coupon on top of that. She got those slacks for $12.99. We just went from there. Then we hit the men's department. Unfortunately they didn't have a clearance center for men but the sales were terrific. She borrowed an evening dress from another (taller) friend and she was set. Honestly she didn't spend very much money on clothes she wasn't going to have the chance to wear again and you know what? She does wear those clothes. She just never realized she'd have a chance to wear them again. Another good bet is Marshall's and Ross. You have to look through racks but if you don't mind you can find good priced things.

I'm sorry, I've just written the first chapter of a book. I'll make this quick. I know that you could find a nice dress or pantsuit for your girls at Target, Kohl's even K-Mart if you still have one near you. Even Ross and Marshall's. I wish you lived near by because I can shop! My husband can't believe what I can come home with. Mostly when I shop it's for gifts. We have 6 long distance grandchildren and getting a good sale makes up for the postage.

You can also get by with the same black or even white slacks which (would be great in Florida) to each of the formal nights and even informal if you find enough tops to match. Even a black skirt. Like black slacks, they never go out of fashion and you will certainly be able to wear them again sometime.

Don't let your worrying about finding the right clothes turn you off and get you all uptight before your cruise. It just won't be a good way to start. You don't need a different outfit for everyday day and night. Mix match. Lots of people do. You won't stand out. If your children are well behaved that's what people will see not what you're wearing (unless of course you try to go to dinner in jeans or shorts).

Have a great time.
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Old May 28th, 2004, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

Henry:

Just had to comment, what a great post.

Don
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Old May 28th, 2004, 03:51 PM
Henry
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Default Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

Don,

Thank you. I didn't realize I had gone on and on so much. I just hope the family going is more at ease and doesn't think that they have to go broke buying clothes.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 06:49 PM
tll
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Default Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

Check out ebay for formal wear. I just bought a beautiful cocktail dress for $14, with shipping it is costing $21. I also bought a wonderful top for $7 that I can use for either the formal or informal. Neither had ever been worn.
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Old June 4th, 2004, 07:40 AM
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Default Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

also look at consignment stores, Goodwill, Salvation Army stores for great deals on suits, suit separtes or sports jackets for the boys.
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Old June 22nd, 2004, 07:56 AM
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Default Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

Well our cruise is this week, and we did go crazy buying clothes...my in-laws are from NY the fashion capitol of the world?!?!?!?!? so you know how that goes!!! I'll let everyone know how it goes...thanks again for all of your help and advice! Wish me luck!!!

dr-dom
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Old June 23rd, 2004, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

Looks like you have alot of good advice. Except from Mr. retired...I've been on
13 cruises, 4 of them Celebrity and never seen anyone turned away from the
dining room. Take the advice and rent a tux, or a dark suit for your husband.
Also, I've never purchased an expensive formal gown...black dress pants,
with a fairly dressy top will do, black sandals and you're in!! Also, stop by the
consignment shops...maybe you'll find something nice there for little $$

Kids just love to go to the "kids club" and even eat with them if possible,
believe me they'll be happier than a looonnngg dinner in the dining room
they're safe there and you'll have a good time, too. My granddaughter just
loves cruising, and she ate with us twice in the dining room...first night and
one of the formal nights (she wore a sundress)

Relax and enjoy...you'll love it!! Hope mom in law is not too uptight.
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Old June 23rd, 2004, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

Thanks again for all of the advice...two more days until we leave!!! Idon't think my mother-in-law will let us out of eating in the dining room let alone the kids so I guess we'll just have to make the best of it. I'd be much happier with them at the kids club than in a formal dining room every night. But complain as I may we'll at least be out of our house for a week, and I'm sure we can escape them on occasion!!!!!
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Old June 23rd, 2004, 11:38 PM
Henry
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Default Re: Re: Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

dr-dom,

Have a great cruise. It could turn out that your MIL realizes that the dinners could go long and that the kids just want to do something else besides just sit there and listen to adults talk. It would be a shame if all the kids got to do was hang out with adulats and missed out on all the fun things the kids club has to offer. I'm sure it will turn out fine and everyone will enjoy themselves.
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Old July 6th, 2004, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

Just got back from my cruise and had to vent!!! Never go on vacation with family! Trying to please everyone for seven days was a nightmare, waiting for people for breakfast, lunch and dinner, every trip to shore, even for the shows! I guess I had high hopes too that my mother in-law would lighten up but her statement of "do whatever you want during the day, but make sure you are back for dinner at 6:00pm" went out the porthole the first day! We were the inseperable dozen for seven days!!!!

And as for the clothing...we completely overpacked!!! We could have stayed in shorts and t-shirts or bathing suits the whole day were it not for our dining restrictions! And nothing beats walking past 3/4's of the ship still in their bathing suits and shorts in a long gown or leaving a 5 hour stop over in Nassau, to run back, change again so we could all eat together in the FORMAL DINING ROOM. No local cuisine for us! Only family fun!!! Some days the dining room was so empty, except for us...the waiters had nothing to do but cut our meat!!! GREAT!!!

Celebrity itself was a good cruise line, but did not have much for the kids. The kids club was ok, but the pools were salt water which I didn't know, and the arcades were too small and most of the games were broken! There was no real hang out for the older kids, only a room for the 3-6 year olds. No kids programming on TV and not even a movie they could enjoy...the days at sea were kind-of-long!!!!!!

Also maybe all cruises are the same but the time on the islands was so short, and all so shopping oriented , the best time we had was when we were finally able to ditch my in-laws and spend the day on the beach of St. Thomas.

Ok so I guess I have vented enough, I feel better, thanks for listening...next time it's a Disney cruise for us ALONE. I'll forsake someone carrying my breakfast tray or cutting my meat for a little piece of mind and a few more kids activities!!!

dr-dom
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Old July 8th, 2004, 06:01 AM
happyks
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Default Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

I'm so sorry your trip didn't turn out as planned. I don' t know why people in a group think they have to stay in a group.

We have a group of 15 cruising together this August to Alaska. I have written several newsletters for the group, as most have not cruised before. I have always stressed that we should not try to stay together during the day, just meet at dinner every night. However, if someone doesn't want to go eat dinner with us, no problem, we'll see you later. To me, it is a recipe for disaster, bickering, someone always disappointed, not a good time for any. Besides, what can you all possibly have to talk about for a whole week together?

I love the long, relaxing dinners, but I'm very aware they are not for everyone. I can't stand to waste time shopping on vacation, but I'm sure it will be the highlight for some in our group. We are the only ones with kids and we have a few plans for time with just us and we have made it clear to the group that they probably want to do other things, no one should feel obligated in any way.

I hope the experience was a lesson for your MIL and that maybe someday you can all get together and actually have a fun vacation together. It's too bad some people have to be so selfish.....
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Old July 8th, 2004, 01:04 PM
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Default Re: Re: Help?!?!?What to pack?

I hope your trip turns out better than ours, it seems as though you have all of your bases covered. Unfortunately, my MIL believes the entire trip was a great success (So much for body language), but since it was her birthday, in retrospect I'm glad she feels this way. The only good thing that came out of this, was we all got our passports and hopefully this will be the first of many cruises/vacations not the last!!!

Have fun on your trip!

Post Edited (07-08-04 13:07)
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