I've never been on a cruise. One of the reasons for this is the fact that you have to dress up. Morning noon and night I want to be able to wear my shorts/ jeans, t-shirts, and sandals. Can anyone recommend a good cruise for this. I've read about the Windjammer Barefoot Cruises but I'm not sure if this is for me. Are there any other such Cruiselines? I would love to go on one of the bigger ships. Or can you still do one of the cruise that have the formal nights yet avoid the formal wear and such?
On most cruises today, during the day you can wear your shorts, t-shirts, its just usually 2 "formal" nites that you have to dress up and its actually kind of fun, you may want to give it a try? Here is a link to some great information for a first time cruiser, may help answer some of your questions:
Tuesday Chat HOst
I just got off the Carnival Victory. As Donna said, the dress code only applies in the dining room for dinner. (real formal only on 2 nights) Breakfast and Lunch in the dining room and all dining on the Lido Deck is casual - shorts and T's.
To be honest with you, if you skip the dining room for dinner, you won't miss much, even on formal night. It's good, but no better than the quality on the buffet. The dining room food is mass produced just like the buffet and you're able to try different food on the buffet. Several times in the dining room someone didn't like what they got (or the menu described it poorly) and ordered something else, but we felt bad for wasting the food. Also, every meal in the dining room was way too rich for me, I didn't have any energy after dinner. But that's just personal experience.
Another positive thing about skipping the dining room is you don't have to be concerned about what time to eat. We were disappointed when our dining time interfered with the NFL playoff games. The problem was that it was the last night of the cruise and the buffet was closed. Pizza or room service would have been the only option (maybe the deli, but I'm not sure). In fact that night was the only night I didn't like the food, I was sorry I didn't have pizza.
It was an incredible trip and I'm dying to go back, but I'll leave the formal clothes at home. The alternative dining would be more than enough, and you can eat outside if you want. As Donna said, dressing up was kind of fun, but I did it once, it's out of my system for a while. I changed right after dinner because my feet were killing me. I was in pain for 2 days. Lot's of people stayed in their shorts and hung out in the casino, bars, disco, Lido Deck, etc.
If you do want to try the dining room, most nights the dress code is only pants and a polo shirt. You can wear that on the plane.
One more thing,
The 1st night, because a lot of people didn't have their luggage yet, we all wore shorts to dinner in the dining room, the dress code was not enforced. And the menu was comparable to the other nights.