Here's the deal. For my first cruise last year i had a very nice black suit fitted for me. I am thrilled with the way it fits and surprised I don't mind wearing it at all. I also took my off the rack blazer for semi formal nights. fell in love with cruising and plan to twice a year at least. So I was thinking should I buy a tux from the same shop and use my suit for semi formal? Or replace my blazer and get some nice slacks. Either way it costs pretty much the same as I've decided off the rack is just no good for big guys. It may fit but they never seem to be comfy. Opinions please. by the way I would not wear either outfit but when I cruise so usage doesn't matter much. thanks. dennis
I'd go with getting a tux as long as you do plan to cruise twice a year. We did that last year and my husband now always packs the tux and believe it or not, he does not mind wearing it. We've noticed on some cruiselines they have dropped the semi-formal nite and just have 2 formals and the rest casual, which is nice. Then you also have a tux for those formal wedding at home, so you may find that you do get some more use out of it and if you have it made to fit, I just know it will look great, so go for it!
We I found out that my wife and I were going to be cruising very often (we are now booked on our 22nd & 23rd in about 10 years) I went out and bought my own tux. It has paid off. Over the years I have bought new accessories (this year a vest and neck tie instead of bow tie) to keep the look new and up to date. I have also bought a white dinner jacket for summer cruises. You would be supprised how many times I have had the oppurtunity to use my tux other than on a cruise.
Since you already know you love cruising and plan to cruise again, go ahead and buy the tux. Your spouse can even buy accessories for you as presents. Gingas Formal Men's wear and the men's shop at Fruggal Fannies in MA both have reduced prices and alterations at reasonable costs. As Donna mentioned, skip the sport coat for now, as most lines are doing away with the semi or informal nights; Princess and Carnival for sure. It is so nice to see people dressed in their finast attire. It really creates a party atmosphere.
It definitely is worth buying your own formalwear if you plan to cruise a couple times per year. Be sure to buy a traditional style so that it won't look outdated after a few cruises.
Splitting hairs, though, you might want to consider whether to buy a true tuxedo or, rather, whether to buy a summer "dinner jacket" outfit. The summer dinner jacket is usually white or another light color. I opted for a white dinner jacket because nearly all cruises operate either in the tropics or in warmer seasons when it's proper to wear a summer "dinner jacket" outfit.