My wife and I booked a 10 day carribean cruise for October on Holland America about a month ago. Now in reading the brochure that the travel agent gave us, it says "ties required" on formal nights in the dining room. We just returned from a trip on Carnival's Victory and the same was said for formal night on that ship. People actually came to dinner in shorts and tank tops! They were allowed in. Mind you , I don't mind wearing a jacket and dress slacks, but I want to be comfortable while I dine and I'm not comfortable in a tie! Can I expect a confrontation at the dining room because I won't be wearing a tie?
Formal nights are the only nights that a tie is required. You will find many men in tuxes, some in dark suits and others in slacks and sport jackets. I don't know whether they will turn you away or not, but how about at least wearing a tie on these nights and complement your table mates. It is only for a few hours.
If your wife is all dressed up, don't you want to make her feel good and get dressed up also.
On Informal nights a jacket is required, but no tie.
Then again you can opt to eat in the Lido and forgo the above. The dress in the Lido is casual.
HAL definitely does not allow shorts and tank tops in the dining room during evening meals.
You'll find the HAL experience a whole lot more "upscale" and refined than Carnival, and a whole lot nicer in my opinion. For formal nights other passengers will be wearing tuxes or suits, and formals or nice cocktail dresses, for the most part, and I think you'd feel out of place without similar dress, not that I think you'd be turned away if you were in casual (NOT shorts/tank top though!) attire. Not to sound like a cruise-dinner-snob, but I think people showing up in shorts and tank tops in the dining room on formal nights need some education! This kind of "in your face" attitude certainly wouldn't do anything for my cruise experience. If your ship has alternative casual dining, you may want to opt for that if wearing formal-type dress is not for you, and you'll still have a very nice dinner. Either way, enjoy your cruise!!
Hi and thanks for the info. When I retired from the corporate world, I vowed never to wear another tie. Looks like I may have to reneg on that one! I certainly would never wear cut offs and a tank top to formal night, but I just don't think that wearing a tie makes sense anymore. There are any number of very nice shirts that complement a jacket without having the restrictions of a noose around your neck. Carnival is just a little too rowdy for us, but I hope HAL isn't too far toward the other end of the spectrum. Thanks again, Jeff
Thanks for the info. We're hoping that HAL is somewhere between Carnival and the "we're too snooty for you" cruise line. We've been on Carnival three times and this last cruise was our final with them. I'll tell you one thing, we won't ever take another cruise while school is out! Man, did we learn that the hard way. I don't mind playing dress up, it's the idea that people still think you need a tie to be "formal". There are so many excellent options to a tie that it just doesn't make sense anymore to be "tied" down by one. They're just so passe'. I guess I'll acquiesce and bring a couple of them with me, just in case. Oh, one more thing. I would never wear shorts and a tank top to the dining room no matter what night it was. Just one more reason why we won't be on Carnival again.
Thanks again, Jeff
Thanks for the reply Jeff. I certainly didn't mean to imply I thought YOU were one of "those" non-formal dressers. And I think you have HAL in the right context, definately not "too snooty" class, but certainly a more refined experience than Carnival. Sounds like it may be just what you're looking for.
Have a great time!!
Please allow my few remarks....just got off 2 cruises on the Amsterdam in Europe...don't quite follow your remarks about a tie...that's what "formal" means...is complete dress up and the line only has about 2-3 of them in a long cruise...I really think you would feel out of place on a formal night without a tie..they would probably let you in but.....at least take comfort in that they don't require a tie on Informal nights anymore....
HAL runs "elegant" ships...my wife and I have spent several years trying this line and that line and we came back fast to HAL..can give you many reasons but this was about ties...think you will really like HAL....good cruising...Max