in hopes (maybe in vain) of ending the never ending thread of what to wear in the main dining rooms - especially on formal nights let's try to break it down and remove some of the fears and myths about what is and isn't considered "appropriate attire" are you with me on this one? Here is my input:
MEN - FORMAL - a nice suit will do you just fine, you know the one you wear to weddings and funerals back home. If you don't own a suit then nice dress pants a nice blazer, dress shirt, tie & dress shoes will be perfect. Tux not required, but if you want to wear one that's great.
WOMEN-FORMAL - anything that you would wear to an evening wedding or any special occasion will do. The basic little black cocktail dress will always be "in". If you want to wear a gown or a long dress that is your CHOICE. Dressy pantsuits are beautiful as is a plain dressy long skirt with a nice dressy blouse. Any dressy cocktail dress will do you.
the same rules apply to childeren and teens - blazers not required for the little ones, but they do look so cute in them.
You don't have to mortgage the house to have clothes for your cruise, shop the off-season holiday sales at your local department stores for great deals on dressy dressess. Shop the thrift stores for blazers for men and boys - you can get some really great deals, shop on-line at Ebay and related sites.
What not to wear in the main dining rooms on formal nights:
shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops, sneakers.
now to address the whole jeans issue - now this is my own personal opinion here, but if you want to wear jeans in the main dining room then dress them up! Make sure they are neat, clean, pressed with no holes, rips or tears, add a nice dress shirt with tie or a dress shirt with banded collar, blazer and nice shoes and you are good to go, even on formal nights.
Ladies add heels, a sparkly top or silk sheath top, a nice blazer, and jewlery and you are all set. Some jeans can be very dressy especially white ones.
Thank you Lisa - I think thats a good attempt at ending this debate, however, I think it may never die.
Just a comment on the Ebay thing - I bought a beautiful silk shawl for $13.00 a few weeks ago and while I was searching did see some nice formal dresses on their as well. Think outside of the box so you dont have to spend $100 on a dress you may only wear once for this occasion.
I wont even start on the jeans issue
Happy crusing everyone!!!
Victory, here I come!! - October 2, 2004
We found boy suits at Wal Mart on clearence for $15 can't beat that price for our two younger boys. The two older boys have recently purchased blazers for school events. We have told the boys that if they want to eat in the dining room at night then they had to wear their dockers and golf/dress shirts except of course on formal nights.
I found a dress for myself on clearence at JC Penny.
We are looking forward to having our family picture taken on the cruise.
Good for you LisaK! A positive "educational" post about an extremely hot topic.
I think most folks will be surprised at how little effort it takes to dress appropriately. My son, an avowed casual dresser (as are most 13 year old boys) griped ahead of time, but once on board was fine with his collared shirts and nice khakis in the dining room. He was okay with his blazer and tie for dinner, but NOT with the formal portrait!!
I'm still in the "Jeans? In the tropics?" category. I just can't imagine hot, thick jeans......at least not for a Caribbean cruise!
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I am so looking forward to formal nights. I've never really had the opportunity to dress formally (high school prom was so long ago) and initially, I wasn't too excited about spending a fortune on a dress or outfit that I might wear only once. Anyway, back in April, I accompanied my husband on a business trip, and during an impromptu shopping trip to the local mall, I stumbled onto a sale in the formal department of one of the mall department stores. I scored $200 slinky, sparkly evening dress for only $45.00and a very dressy pant suit, originally $178.00 , for $38.00. I was sooo excited and can't wait to wear both....even if I never wear them again, at those prices, it's no big loss.
I'm not going to rehash the whole Formal night issue. Just want to say that if you don't want to dress for dinner, please respect the Ship's rules and have some consideration for those who do and eat upstairs at the buffet. Formal nights only apply to the dining rooms. I prefer not to wear a suit, but do so for my wife who love to dress up. She doesn't always get the chance to, so on a cruise I'm not going to spoil it for her. Besides, I have to admit, she's very beautiful when she's all dolled up and makes me very proud to be seen with her..
I've always bought my suits and nicer clothes at the Salvation Army and Goodwill and I'm not ashamed to say so. My wife is the queen of thrift and also frequents thrift stores as well as the above mentioned..
My son's wardrobe consists of shorts, tee shirts and flip flops. He was going on his first cruise and after I shamed him into it, he bought a used sport jacket, matching pants, shirt and tie.. When he got back he gave me several pictures of himself in it. Then he told me how good he felt wearing it. He still wears them to church on certain Sundays. He spent $33.00 on the whole outfit.... That's it, thanks for listening....
Why does everyone keep saying they're only going to wear these formal clothes once?!? In my opinion, once you've cruised, you will cruise again. I have been weaing the same formal night dresses on cruises for five years now. They are the type that don't go out of style, travel nicely, and keep fitting me cruise after cruise. They are sort of stretchy. (I'm a cruise addict) Also, my 14 year old stepson, whose wardrobe consists of sweats, LOVES to get dressed up for formal night in a suit from a thrift store!
Lisa K's message is a great rallying-point for consensus on this issue. The cruise line's suggestions are there to provide guidance on what to wear, so folks should aim to come as close to them as possible without ruining their own enjoyment of their trip. By the same token, there is a reason why the dress code is a suggestion and not a rule: That grants people the flexibility they need, and the respect they deserve, with respect to making their own choices regarding what is proper given their own situation.
It is important, for those who are comfortable with the dress code as written, to keep in mind that reasonable folks disagree about this, and to grant that their own perspective may not be shared by all. By the same token, folks who bristle at the dress code as written should keep in mind that, while they're not required to comply with the dress code as written, they shouldn't use that as an excuse to deliberately flaunt their decision to dress more casually. "I don't care about others," is not a defensible position. And I cannot imagine a legitimate excuse for attending the formal night dinner in anything but the best clothes you have brought with you on the trip.
Why do you even say that pants are acceptable for women. Why don't women want to look like women. Formal use to be a gown. Period. Society is so casual now. All anyone needs is a 40.00 tee shirt from whoever is in and that is accepatable. How sad.
Why do women want to look like men. What are they afraid of?
The "bashing" you expect is more a matter of the presumption of saying what you say, than what you actually say. What people rightfully object to is your apparent expectation that everyone else should share your preferences.
Why not simply suggest that YOU like wearing gowns? What is your motivation for suggesting that "women want to look like men"? Why the need to disparage the choice of others?
I hit the jackpot this week. I found a little black dress by Jones New York at Goodwill. Store tags still on it ($115) and I paid $5.95! I took it to the dry cleaner and it looks like I paid $115! Next, I hit Filene's and found a pair of $36 rhinestone earrings on sale for $4. So, for $10 I'm ready for formal night. I have two silk shawls, one black and one silver, that I can put with it and get two looks... I'll wear my new dress at least twice on this cruise.
WOW Stacey wish u were living close to me - I could make friends and go with u our if not at least follow u and save big too...congrats for your 'smarts. By the way 'bicker' lighten up a little - it's only my opinion and I did not suggest anything only agreed with 'tammars' posting and I am allowed it in a democracy as are u. Besides WHY do u take such exception - peculiar! Are u trying to impress with all your rhetoric - normally I enjoy your posts and like to chatwith u but this is too critical - thanks in advance - I accept your apology & happy cruisin' :-)
Sorry, but I don't take the disparaging of others lightly. You are, of course, correct that folks can say whatever they wish. That includes me. I'll ask you to afford me the same right you're demanding from me.
tammar i must take exception to your comment about women and pants. There are some very sexy, tailored, flowing, gorgeous pants outfits out there for woman. Just because a woman chooses to wear pants doesn't mean that she want to dress like a man or is any less feminine than a woman wearing a dress. There are lots of reasons why some women choose to wear pants. I wear pants to work, because that it what my job requires, doesn't make me less of a woman. When i get dressed-up i do like to wear a dress or a long gown, but i have worn flowing platazzo pants that made me feel good and looked very feminine, looked just like a skirt .
All members please remember that personal attacks are not tolerated in this forum on any of the boards, your message could be deleted.
Ok,I'm a first time cruiser so please take it easy on me lol.Hubby and I won't be doing the formal evening's.My question is.......If you don't dress formal,does that mean you can't be on all the decks of the ship?We will be dressed nicely,but casual.I must say I do enjoy this board.Our trip is on NCL Sun in April........man it's a long time to wait!
The suggested dress code is aimed squarely at the main dining room. From what I understand, many folks who participate in the formal night in the main dining room will wear formal dress on-deck and around the ship all evening, but many will not, nor will many who did not participate in the formal night in the main dining room.
Sorry 'bicker' but u berated me directly & that is a personal attack...at least it was the last time I looked - when did I attack any one person for that matter? However here is a solution - u can tell everyone u win - u get bragging rights - good luck & happy cruisin'!!
getting back on tract here to answer Chicklets question. The dress code applies to the entire ship for the evening. Many people go directly to the shows either before or after dinner so they usually stay dressed up. There are lots of events and photo opportunities going on for formal nights, that i would personally feel out of place if i was not dressed up. If you just plan on hanging out on deck or going to a movie then casual is fine.
Hi Chicklet - sorry I let my emotions get me off track and your question is very important!! Both Bicker and LisaK have given u good advice - don't worry about not going to the shows - u will see people in all types of dress 'cause the rules of 'dress' are not enforced so go and enjoy yourself..everyone else will - happy cruisin'! :-)
Chicklet - of course its not a "no-no" to go the casino or the shows in your casual clothes, lots of folks do just that, but a lot of folks stay dressed-up also, especially if they are planning on attending some of the special formal night gala events like the Midnight Champagne Waterfall on Princess