We are going on our first cruise this summer - it will be on carnival out of Jacksonville. I am very concerned about the formal night - we don't dress up - I was told that we could just skip the formal night altogether. I talked to someone yesterday that took a carnival cruise a few months back and both the men in their group wore khakis, shirt, sports coat and a tie to formal night and she said the men wore jeans to dinners on t he casual nights. Has anyone noticed men dressing this way? We may try going to the formal nights if this is allowed. I don't even own a long dress and I sure don't plan on wearing a long one. Pizza from the pizzaria sonds fine to me anyway.
Don't skip the formal night!!! My only experience is with Royal Caribbean but on formal night I just wore my Sunday best and fit in just fine. In fact, I out dressed the other couple at our table. The important thing is to have a good time, no one (with good manners) should make you feel out of place. My husband wore his (one and only) dark gray suit.
I agree with Cindy formal night is an occassion on the cruise ships. You don't need to wear a long dress, a dressy cocktail dress or a dressy pants suit with a sparkly top, heels & earings will be just. fine. Dark pants, dress shirt tie & blazer is fine for the men.
Fromal night is fun. You don't have to have a ball gown and a tuz. A nice sports coat and slack for him and you can even get by with a dressy top and slacks. On the regular nights, you can wear jeans as long as they aren't ratty looking. No tank tops and t-shirts and shorts. I usually wear slacks and a casual top on those nights. Formal night is not like it used to be. Some people do dress in their gowns and tuxes but they are not the majority.
Formal night is really a lot of fun. I have taken 2 Carnival cruises and jeans in the dining
room is not recommended. My husband wears dress pants and a nice shirt on non-
formal nights and a suit on formal nights. I think dress slacks, sport coat, and tie
would be okay. Wear your fanciest dress and get your photograph taken. You will
love it. I have always found good buys on formal dresses in mid-summer. I purchased
a $300.00 dress with cape for $15.00. Check out the bridal and formal shops when
they are changing from the summer season to the fall season.
If you hate formal night & it's not your thing, by all means skip it. This is your vacation.
I happen to love formal night & it's existance is one of the reasons I cruise.
What's supposed to happen, is certain dining rooms are supposed to be reserved for people who are "dressed" for dinner. If you aren't participating in formal night, just don't demand to be seated in that reserved dining room. There will be other places for you to eat if you do not wish to dress up.
At a bare minimum, dressed for dinner should mean a jacket for the men & a skirt, dress or really dressy / evening pants for women. Certainly no jeans on formal night.
On the flip side, if you think you might like to try it, whatever you wore the last time you went to Church, a funeral or a wedding would probably be fine. Don't feel like you have to rush out & buy a tux &/or a floor length ball gown. But, if you want to do that, that is just fine too. As the other posters mentioned, there are bargains to be had if you know where to shop and getting your formal portrait taken when you are all dressed up is a great memento of your cruise.
There will be people in both camps on every ship. Happy sailing!
You could get away with a skirt and fancy top for formal night.
Carnival does allow nice jeans on all nights except formal.
Carnival is not as fancy as other cruise lines. Alot of people
dress up for the first formal night, but then not as many for the
secound on a 7 day. My husband wore nice jeans and a polo
shirt on casual nights, and I wore long sundresses with sandals.
You can always do the buffet for dinner on those nights if you feel
more comfortable, hope you have a good time