We've never sailed on HAL before. We're booked on Maasdam, Canada/New England in May 2006. We've been on other ships and have noticed that "formal" nights are not as formal as they once were. But I get the impression that HAL is a more traditional cruise line. DH has a tux, but hates to wear it. He doesn't own a suit and doesn't want one. He's much more comfortable in nice sport jacket, slacks and tie. I have some things that will go with either the tux or sport jacket depending on the accessories I choose, so it doesn't matter for me. I'd like to hear from some of you who've sailed HAL recently. Did all the men wear tux and/or dark suits on formal nights or were there a few sport jackets here and there? Basically, how out of place am I going to feel if DH insists on leaving the tux at home?
cruisecrazy - i answered your question over on the Ask CruiseMates Staff board, but i will repeat basically what i said. A sports jacket will be fine as long as it is not of a casul cut or fabric (like linen) pair it with a nice pair of dress pants ( not Docker's type) a nice dress shirt/tie and dress shoes and DH will be fine.
You are correct that HAL is more on the traditional side of crusing and you will see more men in tuxe's and dark suits than on other more casual lines, but DH should be just fine.
If the line was Carnival royal or Disney he could get away with the sport jacket but I found HAL to be considerably more straight laced. On my one HAL cruise Alaska northbound on the Statendam I did not see sport jackets on formal night-plenty of suits and some tuxes but no sport jackets. Now on the semi formal night I saw sports jackets but not formal night.
I found the average passenger to be 65 plus. This was 4 years ago and at the time I was in my mid forties. Out of 1200 passengers over 60% were over 65. I felt like a "spring chicken" in comparision and as you know the older generation and by that I mean people who are old enough to be my parents-are much more fomal then even middle aged people are.