Cruising Western Caribbean Sept 5th on Carnival Inspiration. Will guyaberas (fancy dress shirts worn outside of dressy pants -- seen frequently on S. American men) be ok for formal nights. The ones we got are pretty heavily embroidered white on white -- not colors.
The Guyerbara is a very nice shirt from the Spanish islands in the tropics. However, by American standards, and you will be cruising with the majority of American's, it is not formal enough. A suit or tux is requested, even on the many wonderful Carnival ships! I found at least 50% of the men wore a tux on Carnival as they also did on Celebrity. When the ladies get dressed up, so don't the men. Have a wonderful cruise. If you don't own a suit, rent a tux on-board.
DeLane - are these shirts considered formal wear in their country of origin? They could make for interesting conversation. What i would do is to pack the traditional suit for your man and pack the guyabera & the dress pants, then go with the flow of the cruise. The first formal night is dressier than the second.
It is often considered polite for hosts to acknowledge the formal attire of a guest's culture as formal attire for the guest. However, I don't believe that rationale extends to cover guests adopting a style of formal attire unrelated to either the host's culture or their own.
My observations concerning guyabera shirts on the Latin American mainland is that they seem to becoming passe with many of the younger generation [sigh]. Male attire for the more upper-class Latin American parties I observed from a remove (after all, I wasn't invited) during my hotel stays seem more geared towards jackets and ties, although the older and more traditional guys do wear guayaberas.
I have packed guayabera shirts for my own cruises. I think that they are neat-o, and are suitable for smart casual and semi-formal, although the one that'll really catch attention is the long-sleeved version.
As an aside, I remember seeing a photo of Ronald Reagan on a wall of a Miami shop where I bought a couple of my guayaberas. There he was in a long-sleeved white guyabera at an inter-American summit that he bought at shop X.
I may have strong political disagreements with the 40th President of the United States of America, but I know for a fact that he was definitely a sharp dresser. If the Gipper wore it, you've got a strong argument.