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Old February 7th, 2008, 05:33 PM
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Default What to Wear, Part 2

I really want to have fun on my upcoming cruise - first time - Celebrity to Alaska plus CruiseTour - but I am concerned about the formal dress requirements. It is a very nice, romantic, old fashioned idea that would normally be great fun, but I am not a small person, and clothing is always an issue with me. I work from home and don't dress up very often (weddings and funerals come to mind . . ), and don't want to do anything stupid. Is there something a "person of substance" could wear - other than a silly attempt at slinky or sexy - that would be acceptable? Or are there ways to avoid the issue (and the packing thing) on a Celebrity cruise? I get the feeling that on a Celebrity Cruise, if I don't dress up on "formal nights" I will be required to hide in my room. And, btw, do they refuse to seat you if you don't meet their expectations?

Any advice?
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Old February 7th, 2008, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: What to Wear, Part 2

on2pland,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I really want to have fun on my upcoming cruise - first time - Celebrity to Alaska plus CruiseTour - but I am concerned about the formal dress requirements. It is a very nice, romantic, old fashioned idea that would normally be great fun, but I am not a small person, and clothing is always an issue with me. I work from home and don't dress up very often (weddings and funerals come to mind . . ), and don't want to do anything stupid. Is there something a "person of substance" could wear - other than a silly attempt at slinky or sexy - that would be acceptable? Or are there ways to avoid the issue (and the packing thing) on a Celebrity cruise?
Celebrity is now the dressiest of the major cruise lines, and the only major cruise line to hold "informal" evenings in addition to "formal" evenings. On a seven night cruise to Alaska, you can expect two (2) "formal" evenings, two (2) "informal" evenings, and three (3) "casual" evenings. Here's the information from Celebrity's web site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celebrity's web site
Formal attire calls for an evening gown or cocktail dress for ladies and a tuxedo, dinner jacket or dark suit for gentlemen. Elegant, formal evenings include the Captain's Welcome Cocktail Party and Dinner, the Captain's Farewell Dinner, and a third or fourth "formal" night for those cruises sailing more than seven nights.

For your convenience, arrange for tailored, elegant formalwear to be delivered directly to your stateroom with Cruiseline Formalwear. With an elegant line of eveningwear for ladies and classic, stylish formalwear for men, you'll look as famous as you feel. To order, visit Cruise Line Formalwear or call 800-551-5091 or 305-252-8572.

On informal nights, ladies may wear an informal dress or pants and blouse, while gentlemen may wear a jacket and tie with slacks. Casual nights call for casual, comfortable wear, so women may opt for a pantsuit or sporty outfit while gentlemen may choose a sport shirt and slacks.
Here, I should mention that the dress code prescribed for "informal" evenings aboard Celebrity's ships now makes the necktie optional. A shirt with an open collar, a sport coat, and slacks would be sufficient. The company has not yet updated its web site to reflect this change, which occurred two or three years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
I get the feeling that on a Celebrity Cruise, if I don't dress up on "formal nights" I will be required to hide in my room. And, btw, do they refuse to seat you if you don't meet their expectations?
Well, not quite, but "casual" alternatives are pretty limited. If you don't want to dress for dinner, the following options are available (in addition to room service, which offers the full menu of the main dining room during meal hours).

>> The poolside grill, which serves hot dogs, burgers, etc., remains open until 7:00 PM.

>> The buffet restaurant aft of the main pool area offers "alternative casual dining" with full table service for a charge of $2.00 per person. There's a printed menu, which is different from that of the main dining room. Reservations are strongly recommended.

>> The pizza and pasta bar, located to the aft end of the buffet resaurant aboard the ships of the Millennium class and on the starboard side of the solarium (labelled as a "grill" on the deck plans) aboard MV Galaxy and MV Mercury remains open until 1:00 AM. It also serves salad.

>> Aboard the ships of the Millennium class, the Aquaspa Cafe serves plated meals into the evening. Note, however, that this is not exactly fine dining.

The options for "casual" entertainment are considerably more limited. There's a musician by the aft bar, located in the solarium aboard MV Galaxy and MV Mercury and on the open deck aft of the buffet restaurant on the ships of the Millennium class.

And note that "dressing up" applies to four (4) nights of a seven (7) night cruise.

I should also point out that you will miss out on many memorable events if you elect not to participate in the "formal" evenings. These are the evenings when the main dining room serves up its best menus (and thus when entrees like lobster appear, for example) and when the cast puts on its best shows. Also, these are the evenings when the ship holds special events for which "formal" attire is appropriate. If you elect not to participate, you will miss many of the most memorable moments of your cruise.

But your choice....

Norm.
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Old February 8th, 2008, 06:05 PM
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Bring a pair of dressy evening pants, and a couple of dressy tops and you will be fine..trust me.....Don't despair over this, and please enjoy the formal nights...I am sure you will look lovely.
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Old February 8th, 2008, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Celebrity is now the dressiest of the major cruise lines
I sailed the 11 day on Celebrity Constellation just this past Dec.

It was an outstanding cruise... but IN NO WAY was it the "dressiest of the major lines". On informal nights a the men in jackets were rare.

And even on formal nights, a significantly large enough number of men to not, were not even wearing sports jackets.

Like it or not..... Think it's right or not.... on the mass market lines (and even some luxury lines) the trend is to more informal dress.

The reality is, no one need worry about how formal they dress anymore.... look good and enjoy.

If you like tuxes and gowns, by all means, but the reality is those are quite significantly the minority these days.
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Old February 8th, 2008, 10:26 PM
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Since you refer to "slinky and sexy" I am inferring that you are a woman. For a "woman of size" loose, flowy separates can be very pretty, comfortable and flattering. If it's not too difficult for you to shop, it may be worthwhile, if only for how good you will feel.
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Old February 9th, 2008, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip
Bring a pair of dressy evening pants, and a couple of dressy tops and you will be fine..trust me.....Don't despair over this, and please enjoy the formal nights...I am sure you will look lovely.
The problem with that advice assuming it is for formal nights is Celebrity's failure to consistently enforce its own rules. There have been many posts on various boards in which people have reported back that on some cruises they enforce the rules and on some they don't. I am only passing this on to you because I would hate for you to be denied entry into the dining room because someone gave you bad advice. It has happened and recently but then again it might not happen.

Don
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Old February 9th, 2008, 10:58 AM
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I have a standard that I wear on all formal nights on cruises. Black pants and a sparkly shirt. I also wear the same thing both formal nights. It cuts down on the baggage weight.
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Old February 9th, 2008, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Girl
I have a standard that I wear on all formal nights on cruises. Black pants and a sparkly shirt. I also wear the same thing both formal nights. It cuts down on the baggage weight.
I notice you have not been on Celebrity which is more formal than any of the lines you mention. Five years ago you would not have been allowed in the dining room without a dress. I'm sure you look wonderful but I'm just passing on the facts.
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Old February 9th, 2008, 10:23 PM
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thank goodness for Celebrity as none of the others are enforcing. Most of them are affraid of their cruise end rating.Last month on NCL on dress nite one man in formal and his friend in dress blues from Australien armed forces.If we are going this way why make our servers dress the part Maybe we should all go to the lido in our shorts and blue jeans.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 11:40 AM
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Thank you all for the advice - I feel better already! I will go shopping and enjoy - the idea of black pants and dressy tops is a good one - I can pull that off! Maybe even lose a few pounds - haha!

This is our first-ever cruise, and if this goes well, we might try Venice, Florence, Rome, etc., in 2009 - life is getting better!
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Old February 11th, 2008, 06:02 PM
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on2pland,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Thank you all for the advice - I feel better already! I will go shopping and enjoy - the idea of black pants and dressy tops is a good one - I can pull that off! Maybe even lose a few pounds - haha!

This is our first-ever cruise, and if this goes well, we might try Venice, Florence, Rome, etc., in 2009 - life is getting better!
I have to agree with those who say that black pants and a dressy top really are not appropriate for a "formal" evening on Celebrity. On any other line, that outfit probably would be fine. You might find some other female passengers (and note that I do NOT use the word "ladies" here because a lady would know better) dressed that way on a cruise to Alaska, but only because some travel agents wrongly tell their clients that cruises to Alaska are less dressy than cruises to other destinations. On a cruise to Europe where the ladies tend toward much dressier attire, such an outfit probably would be "in place" only on the "casual" evenings. If you are seriously planning a cruise to Europe, it would be better to spring for either a full length dress or a very nice cocktail dress to wear on the "formal" evenings and be done with it.

And there's no problem wearing the same dress on all of the "formal" evenings, perhaps a different sets of accessories to give it different looks.

Norm.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 06:26 PM
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Norm,

We sailed the Century New Years, a year ago, then Constellation on an 11 day sailing (with 3 "formal" nights).

On neither sailing was the "ladies" or passengers in general dressed as formally as you imply.

You keep pretending the black tie is the natural dress on Celebrity cruises. In my experience it doesn't even come close. Even in men's wear, less than 30% of men wear tuxedos, and women in various forms of dressy "fashion" pants is quite common.

I write reviews for CruiseMates, and part of that assignment is to observe. You can sure if I observed a more formally dressed crowd, I would indeed report it. But I think it's unfair to offer advice based on your expectations, rather than on the reality of what people will encounter on their Celebrity cruises.

The "nature of the beast" in the industry is trending toward less formal dress, and Celebrity is tagging along.

Informal nights on Constellation meant less than 50% of men in jackets.

Good or bad? That's open for discussion. But, sorry, trying to say it isn't happening on Celebrity is just disengenous.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 12:56 AM
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Oh, Lord, here we go again. My first Celebrity cruise was 4 1/2 yrs ago and I know I wore slacks most nights in the dining room. I think I brought two dressy dresses for formal nights and maybe one skirt.
On my recent Mercury cruise, I took one ankle-length black dress with a zig-zag, ruffled hem and three different tops to wear with it for the 3 formal nights. I wore slacks on informal nights and sometimes capris on casual nights, always with nice tops and usually an overshirt/jacket to match. The dining room was usually cool. The other women at our table dressed about the same and we fit right in. I didn't even bring another dress or skirt this time. I don't wear them much at home, either.
Don't obsess over the wardrobe issue. No one is going to bar you from the dining room for wearing pants, especially if the top is dressy. Sparkly tops seemed to be the norm with skirts, dresses or pants.
DH discovered to his dismay, as he was dressing for the first formal night, that the suit pants he brought to match his black suit were actually navy. That'll teach us both to look more carefully at things in bright light before packing, lol. He wore a pair of more casual black slacks with his black suit coat and you couldn't tell the difference.
A lot of men had on sport coats of lighter colors and light colored-suits and as far as I can tell, no one was denied entrance.
We stayed in formal clothes, but there were people dressed casually in the theater on formal nights. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if formal nights went by the board or became optional within 10 years or less. Sticklers will just have to suck it up and adjust. The sky is not falling.
While on our Aust/NZ cruise we booked a Galaxy cruise to the S. Carib. for next Jan. and will probably be booking her again to the Med. this spring for June '09. Not worried about wardrobe issues.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkjretired
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Girl
I have a standard that I wear on all formal nights on cruises. Black pants and a sparkly shirt. I also wear the same thing both formal nights. It cuts down on the baggage weight.
I notice you have not been on Celebrity which is more formal than any of the lines you mention. Five years ago you would not have been allowed in the dining room without a dress. I'm sure you look wonderful but I'm just passing on the facts.
I don't own a dress so I'll just have to see what they do. Women cannot be forced to wear dresses, that's archaic.
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