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Old September 25th, 2006, 04:58 PM
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Default FIrst time cruiser...what do I wear?!

I will be cruising in June with my family & am terrified of the formal nights. I am excited to dress up since we never do, but I don't know what to wear. I'm looking now so hopefully once I buy a dress I can make sure I stay the right size for it!

Anyway, my question is...for the formal nights, I know I've read people will be wearing many different kinds of things. Do the people who go "all out formal" look silly as opposed to the ones who wear cocktail type dresses or is it the opposite?

We're cruising for 7 days, so I'm told there are 2 formal nights. I'm looking at a variety of dresses but am not sure which way to lean. I'm thinking probably the more dressy dress and getting my hubby a tux - it is cheaper to buy one than rent one more than once anyway right? (He's not exactly a small man so sizing is crucial - the rental places almost always mess it up)

Can someone ease my worried mind??

One of the formals I'm looking at is

Is it too much???
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Old September 25th, 2006, 06:16 PM
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Default First time cruiser...what do I wear?!

h-e-a-t-h-e-r

I am sure one of the lady cruisers can inform you better than I, but putting in my two cents worth as a married man. That gown is beautiful and I think it would be perfect for formal night.

Your DH can also rent a tux on board. Don't know if they would be better at fitting than rental places ???????

But, don't worry about it. The ladies on this site will answer all your questions and by the time your cruise rolls around, you will only be looking forward to the cruise with your family, not the formal nights.

crabbie1
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Old September 25th, 2006, 07:18 PM
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Heather,

I will be cruising in June with my family & am terrified of the formal nights. I am excited to dress up since we never do, but I don't know what to wear. I'm looking now so hopefully once I buy a dress I can make sure I stay the right size for it!

First, take your finger off the "panic" button, take a few deep breaths, and relax!

Now, let me provide a bit of historical context for you. Traditionally, the "formal" evenings aboard ship were "black tie" affairs -- tuxedos or dinner jackets for gents and full lenght dresses for ladies. Alas, in the 1970's most cruise lines adopted a "modified black tie" standard that also also admitted admitted dark -- and I do mena DARK -- business suits for gents and elegant cocktail dresses for ladies as a concession to the fact that many prospective passengers simply did not own formalwear. The "premium" cruise lines have generally held the line there or even trended back toward more formal as passengers who don't own business suits now rent formalwear and those who cruise often actually buy it. OTOH, some of the "mainstream" cruise lines apparently have become even more lax, admitting light business suits and even sport oats (wth neckties) for gents and "mainstream" Norwegian Cruise Line, going to the extreme, now advertises "formal optonal" evenings rather than "formal" evenings. Nonetheless, a "tuxedo" or dinner jacket is still appropriate for gents and a full length dress or gown is still appropriate for ladies on any cruise line that still holds so-called "froaml" evenings. If you have doubts, you'll be safe on any line if you aim toward more formal rather then less formal.

Anyway, my question is...for the formal nights, I know I've read people will be wearing many different kinds of things. Do the people who go "all out formal" look silly as opposed to the ones who wear cocktail type dresses or is it the opposite?

In my experience (thirteen cruises on Princess and seven on Celebirty), gents usually split somewhere around a 50/50 between dark suits and "black tie" outfits (dinner jackets or tuxedos) and ladies split 50/50 between full length dresses or gowns and cocktail dresses. Many ladies also make appointments at the ship's beauty salon to get their har done during the daytime on the days of the formal evenings, and you'll see a fair amount of glitter make-up and elegant (but not necessarily expensive) jewelry even with the elegant cocktail dresses. Thus, neither group looks out of place.

We're cruising for 7 days, so I'm told there are 2 formal nights. I'm looking at a variety of dresses but am not sure which way to lean. I'm thinking probably the more dressy dress and getting my hubby a tux - it is cheaper to buy one than rent one more than once anyway right? (He's not exactly a small man so sizing is crucial - the rental places almost always mess it up)

If you plan to take frequent cruises or if your husband has other occasiona, such as "bladk tie" charity events or political fund-raisers, to which he would wear a "black tie" outfit, it makes sense to buy the outfit. If not, it's a lot less expensive to rent the outfit until you are sure that you are hooked on cruising. Many tuxedo rental outfits ashore offer cruise packages that include tuxedo or dinner jacket, pants, two shirts, a cummerbund with matching tie and a vest with matching tie to produce two different looks, and shoes for about $85 to $90. Many cruise lines have onboard rental services that offer a similar package for a slightly higher price, but they deliver the formalwear to your stateroom on embarkation day and pick it up after you vacate your stateroom. If your husband decides to rent formalwear, I recommend a white dinner jacket rather than a tuxedo, which is black, since it's more appropriate for wear in warm climates.

Is it too much???

I'm not aware of any cruise line on which the elegant dress in your picture would be "too mcuh" on a "formal" evening. Of course, I'm sure that it will look even better on you than on the display stand!

Again, relax, and have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old September 25th, 2006, 08:54 PM
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Hi heather!

What a beautiful dress! No, it's not too much! I just wish I could wear a dress like that !

I agree with Norm about the tux. If you're planning on cruising again (and I think you will!) buy DH a tux. You can find reasonably priced tuxes at Penney's, at a tux shop (used), or on E-bay. These will cost less than renting one on the ship and you'll be all set for your next cruise (or a "black tie requested" occasion).

I hope you'll post pics of your formal nights! We'd love to see how great you both look!
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Old September 26th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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That dress is absolutely lovely. It's not too much. Formal night on a cruise is the perfect place to wear it.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 10:32 AM
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h-e-a-t-h-e-r - first off don't freak out about the formal thing. That dress is to DIE FOR it is gorgeous, it will be perfect for formal night. The first formal night - the Captain's Gala Welcome Aboard party seems to be the dressier of the two formal nights, all out-glam. The second formal night is still formal but seems to be toned down a bit.
As for the tux, I agree with others, if you are planning on cruising again(of course you will) then purchase the tux. You can sometimes purchase a gently-used tux at tux rental shops at the end of the season for a very reasonable price.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 12:13 PM
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Thank you all so much for trying to ease my mind! I am going to go ahead & get the dress. I'm not planning on taking the kids to both formal nights, so I may just do one myself (I don't want to press my luck with the kids). I'm really excited about the whole cruise, some days I can't even sit still! I just want everything to be perfect! I'm so glad you guys n gals are here to help answer all of my millions of questions! It's nice to be able to turn to someone with experience!

P.S. I found the dress in black too, but the chocolate color is just so vibrant I don't know whether to sacrifice it to the black tie gods since it'll be easier to match us all if I go with black. (My 7 year old daughter is excited about getting fancied up too & I've found her a gorgeous burgandy dress)
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Old September 26th, 2006, 01:10 PM
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h-e-a-t-h-e-r: since you fell in love with the chocolate dress that is the one that you should get. Don't settle, you won't be happy.
FYI - most of the cruise lines have activites for the kids on formal night so that the parents can enjoy a special night out. You could do one formal night with the kiddies and have the second one just you and your hubby.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 02:43 PM
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LOVE IT...LOVE IT....That dress is beautiful!

Have a great cruise...like everyone posted...if you plan to cruise again..which you WILL...investing in nice cruise wear is easy and fun. You can buy things on sale or during season close-outs. We get most of our cruise items this way, from clothes to luggage and have found it very very inexpensive.
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Old September 27th, 2006, 12:36 AM
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Heather,

I'm not planning on taking the kids to both formal nights, so I may just do one myself (I don't want to press my luck with the kids).

You may well find that your children will want to be part of the seconf formal night because of the novelty of it.

BTW, the dress code for children is the same as for adults unless the cruise line explicitly prescribes a different standard of dress for children.

Norm.
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