We are sailing on the Volendam in July to Alaska. We only have one formal night and rather than carry a suit, I'd prefer to carry a blazer. Also my wife has been told that a pant suit is acceptable as well.
I'd appreciate some feedback....and any info on the Volendam.
I am a big believer in formal night and the retention of some of the traditions of cruising.
A tux or dark suit AND tie is recommended. Regarding, your wife, unless her pant suit has some sort of sparkle to it, she will be underdressed. A simple black dress with jewlery will suffice, but many do go fancier, especially on HAL where many are long time cruisers and resent the lack of respect the new generation of cruisers has towards formal night. She can find wonderful inexpensive items at Marshalls, Ross or TJ MAXX and build a cruise wardrobe. Last year I purchased a beautiful Jones of New York long black formal gown on the clearance rack at Macys marked down from $299.00 to $49.00. Also, on formal night it means the NIGHT is formal throughout the ship and expected to be observed. Many people will tell you how they got away with wearing something more casual. Even in the Hawaiian Islands if you dine at the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton or other high end hotels you are required to wear a jacket in the fine dining restaurant or you wil be refused entrance. It's an ambience to the evening.
By the way, in case you think I sound like an old fart, I'm not. I've been cruising for 25 years and I'm only 38. After 36 cruises, I do know a thing or two!
"Evening dress falls into three distinct categories. Each night a daily program will be delivered to your stateroom announcing the suggested dress for the following evening. Comfortable, relaxed clothing is fine for evenings designated as casual; however, T-shirts, jeans, swimsuits, tank tops and shorts are not allowed in the dining room, Lido restaurant, or public areas during the evening hours. During informal nights, dresses or pantsuits for women and jackets (tie optional) for men are standard.
On festive formal evenings, women usually wear cocktail dresses or gowns and men usually wear business suits or tuxedos. There are approximately two formal nights per week. (Gentlemen: Although business suits or tuxedos are suggested attire for formal evenings, they are certainly not required. You are welcome to wear a jacket and tie on formal nights.) Formalwear for ladies and gentlemen can be pre-ordered for your use for the duration of your cruise. Just call Cruise Line Formalwear at 800-XXX_XXXX to reserve and it will be ready in your stateroom when you board.
In order to complement your fellow guests, Holland America asks that you observe the suggested dress code throughout the entire evening."
I like the part where it says " you are welcome to wear a jacket and tie", I hope I can wear pants also???
Post Edited (05-22-03 11:11)
" I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it. "
Thank you Thank you. We are old and do dress formal and semi formal every night. Casual night is a velvet pant suit and my husband wears a navy blazer always with shirt cuff links and tie. We have been cruising for many many years most times on HAL made one mistake and went on another line. We were standing in line for the welcome aboard cocktails whenI turned around and there to my horror was a young man with jeans complete with holes and a dirty worn out backpack. I asked him what he didn't understand about the word formal? He smiled and said I just want to get a drink. Thanks again.
I go to relax. Would rather NOT carry a suit at all but since..............
I am bringing one dark wool blazer, dress pants.
Most people tend to overpack anyway and who wants to carry a suit, especially a tux when it will be used only once or twice. NOT ME if I could avoid it. I will look as spiffy as the next one. Those who underdress, to me...........probably wear a suit or coat every work day.........those who dress fancy probably do so at weddings and funerals. That's just me, to each his own. More power to those who dress to the nines
There seems to be a variety of people who consider themselves "Fashion Cops".
A Navy blazer with grey slacks for the man and a Pantsuit for the lady on a HAL cruise is quite appropriate. As long as the clothes are in good taste and you look and feel good - you are appropriately dressed.
If some of the "Fashion Cops" wish to dress in a Tux and a Gown - more power to them and they can strut their stuff!!!! Don't be frightened off if you wish to wear a blazer - just enjoy yourself and the company of other fine people that you will meet on the cruise.
I understand completely - as you said you are - to put it delicately - "more senior"
You cannot tell me that on many HAL cruises that 30 to 40% of the men dressed for formal night are not wearing a navy blazer with dark slacks..........
As I said, if you want to be a fashion plate and a fashion cop - so be it! Most of us are delighted to enjoy the company of good people and a great cruise and not be looking people up and down to see what they are wearing and then making judgements about them.
Many people possibly do not have the resources that you do and save up for a life time cruise and just don't have a dark suit or tux or the lady doesn't have a gown. So it would be ridiculous for them to invest in clothes that they may never wear again......Don't judge others by your so called higher standards.
Its people like you who scare people off . As I said, as long as they are dressed as I suggested and don't show up in a plaid jacket, jeans or T shirt (which is not proper)- they will be OK.
Thanks for the imput. My wife and I are both professionals and I wear a jacket or suit, and tie everyday. Most of our 15 day trip to Alaska will be a land tour including hiking. We just hated bringing formal clothes for only one formal night on our HAL Cruise.
Actually it was our travel agent, who has dealt with HAL for many years, that suggested a blazer for me and a nice pant suit for my wife. As I plan on wearing my blazer to dinner more than one evening, I felt a Navy Blue Blazer, grey slacks, a white shirt, and silk tie would be appropriate.
As with everything, there are always an assortment of opinions.
Thanks for taking the time to reply. We're professionals and dress formally virtually every day for work.
The reason we were considering a blazer and pantsuit is that most of our Alaskan tour for 15 days is a land tour which will be involving hiking, rafting, and a casual atmosphere. Our HAL cruise has only one formal night and our Travel Agent, who has dealt with HAL for many years, suggested that we might want to opt for the pant suit and Navy Blazer option considering what most of our trip will be like.
A navy blazer, slacks and tie is perfectly appropriate- for informal night. That is exactly what HAL requests gentlemen wear on the one or 2 informal nights, though tie is optional. The dress code requested for formal nights is also perfectly clear- suit or tux. You will NOT find 30-40% of the men in a blazer on formal nights on any HAL cruise. In suit vs. tux, yes, you will find that %, but not in a blazer and slacks. Sorry. I am not an older senior; just telling you what the HAL requested dress code is and what you will find on HAL ships. Maybe you should consider a less traditional cruise line. I never understand why people select a cruise line and then immediately want to change what that line's policies are or rationalize their unwillingness to follow what the cruiseline requests.
ThiAs Barry pointed out - which is from the HAL site:
men usually wear business suits or tuxedos. There are approximately two formal nights per week. (Gentlemen: Although business suits or tuxedos are suggested attire for formal evenings, they are certainly not required. You are welcome to wear a jacket and tie on formal nights.) http://www.hollandamerica.com/cruise...cruiseprep.htm
Each to his own I suppose. As I pointed out - the intent is to enjoy your cruise not get hung up on how to out-dress the next person BUT to stay within the rules - and it looks like you and I are staying within the "rules" according to the above. (Note the "Certainly not required")
My wife & I are leaving for Alaska next month on the Maasdam and we have our FORMAL wear ready to pack - Navy Blazer, silk tie, dark gray slacks and Black dressy pantsuits for my wife.
Enjoy yourself Chet and listen to your travel agent who is the professional.
Obviously my 1st post above was ignored. As a business professional such as yourself if I saw you walk into the dining room on formal night wearing your outfit I would wonder A) didn't his travel agent inform him of the appropriate dress, why didn't he do his homework about this cruise ? B) does he not care and has so little respect to the tradition of formal night and the fellow guests at his table and around him?C) He can afford this cruise, but can't wear proper clothing, what's up with that? D) this is probably a person that talks on his cell phone in a restaurant and goes through a stop light when it's turning yellow to red. He feels he's entitled to do things his way, no matter what......Well, guess what ,this isn't Burger King, it's a 5 star ship serving cuisine not fast food!
So, whether my impression of you is true or not is irrelevant, you get one chance to make a good impression and that's my impression- you push your luck to see what you can get away !
Quite frankly in a business setting I wouldn't take you too seriously.
With 36 cruises and 430+ days at sea I can tell you this - for every 7 days, there is 2 formal nights (tux or dark SUIT with tie), 2 or 3 casual (no jeans) and 2 or 3 informal which is slacks AND jacket.
To the person who made the argument, maybe they are taking the once in a lifetime cruise and can't afford to dress up, then maybe you should switch to NCL or others that actually insist that you don't! I have found absolutely gorgeous items on clearance racks for 20-50 dollars that normally retail in hundreds. It is possible to dress appropriately looking like a million bucks while paying little!
HAL is not Carnival, Windjammer, or NCL let's try and keep it that way!
Thank you Mary, you have provided ratios that are honest & realistic. These ratios will vary depending on the cruise but your posting represents the "real world".
Calficornia Native, I find your post offensive (which is the way you intended it to be) and I would consider that your veneer of clothing is superficial and the human inside lacks true sophistication. Your arrogance outstrips common sense and one day you will grow up.
A lot of what you will see depends on the cruise- the ship and the length of the cruise. We were recently on the Rotterdam- HAL's flagship- for a 10 day cruise. On formal nights I would say it broke down:
For people to find out the real you, you have to make it past the 1st impression stages....
If the 1st impression you are putting out, is your total lack of respect for guidelines and others. It takes a lot longer for others to get past that impression
Two people may go into a professional job interview, both are more than qualified.
One of the people knows they dress casual at this company so he wears dockers and a golf shirt. The other person wears a suit and tie. Chances are the one who showed respect to the interviewer by dressing to make an impression will get the job.
Myself and others are paying quite a bit of money for an upscale cruise experience. If we wanted a cruise experience that was more lenient in the dress code we would have gone that route. Why is this so difficult to understand and why if that's so important to you, didn't you go that route.
Peaches above gave a very interesting demographic which is about what I have seen on all of my HAL cruises. It's worth pointing out that many long time cruisers that are traditional (myself) and older have fled from other cruise lines because they have loosened the dress code. Many of us consider HAL one of the last standing that can remotely provide the experience we would like and that's why we will passionately fight on this topic. Disagreeing with you and pointing out your lack of respect isn't cause for me to "grown up" , it's cause for you to take stock in yourself and your desire to break the rules and how that comes across to others.
I certainly don't want to turn this into a p-----g contest but I am following the dress code rules by HAL, please read them again. Before you jump on me - please read closely.
I also am paying upscale for my cruise as suites are not cheap and as far as the statement: "For people to find out the real you, you have to make it past the 1st impression stages" - I find this superficial as it sounds like a "Test". After 40 years in a successful business I am beyond the test stage and know how to mix quite well with people ranging from CEO's to mechanics.
We are not there for a test and to impress -Quite frankly my wife and I are there to celebrate a major wedding anniversary and for Renewal of Vows, which we look forward to very much.
Hope to meet you on a Cruise someday and buy you and your significant other a drink or two.
I am lost here, did I miss something??? As I pointed out in THE RULE'S you can wear:
" (Gentlemen: Although business suits or tuxedos are suggested attire for formal evenings, they are certainly not required. You are welcome to wear a jacket and tie on formal nights.) Formalwear for ladies and gentlemen can be pre-ordered for your use for the duration of your cruise."
So if you want to wear a JACKET and TIE you can, if you want to wear a TUX or BUSINESS SUIT you can. if you want to wear JEANS or SHORT you can NOT.
On formal nights I wear a suit, but most casual nights I wear a jacket, with a tie on in-formal nights. This what I would wear if I went out to dinner most anyplace that is nice, so I belive that this is what I should wear to dinner on HAL in there dinning room.
Post Edited (05-25-03 11:39)
" I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it. "
You may find it superficial, but unfortunately that is reality. Perception is everything, untill the real truth can be revealed about an individuals character. Your desire not have to dress to impress or do anything extra than what you want, is what this rambunctious debate is about. HAL is one of the last lines preserving SOME of the traditions of cruising, and the long term cruisers such as myself are also doing there part by dressing formally for formal night and asking others to do so also. Once this ends, no one will know how each line was diffrent, no one will know how spectacular it was to see everyone dressed up for at least 2 nights. No one will know what it means to have a cruise ship oooozzze elegance and class. The cruises lines will turn into the airlines and no one will know what was the true "art of cruising" , because all refrences will be gone and people such as yourself will then prevail, wearing what they want when they want. Just look at Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, NCL, and now Princess is not enforcing the dress code (all these cruise lines available to you) It will be such a pity when HAL becomes that way officially.
Relax. The statistical likelihood of you having to share a dining room table with one of these pompous stuff shirts is very remote!<wide grin>
The irony, of course, is they love to scream READ THE RULES, but when the rules are QUOTED to them by HAL, they decide to infer their own codes and expect you to CONFORM to them. Frequently when I run across one of these arrogant dressed to the nines disasters, complete with 4 pounds of jewelry and a half gallon of perfume, my first impression is "why didn't you spend the money on a good health club"?
I'll be on the Maasdam either late August or early September, and I'll have a very nice blue blazer, grey slacks, white shirt, and tie. I'm going to give HAL a shot also and I'm sure I won't need to worry about the FASHION POLICE. I know I'll have a great time as I always do, unless . . . .<big wide grin>.
I just pulled out my literature from the my last 2 HAL sailings. The Ryndam Sea of Cortez last Thanksgiving and the Statendam to Hawaii last Christmas, which DOESNT allow jacket and slacks for formal dress. I then pulled out my literature for my upcoming Alaska cruise. Turns out Holland America has changed it's fornal night policy for the last 20 years. You are right, you can now wear a jacket and slacks. I had no idea the decline in classiness had already begun. I will still be dressing formally in respect of cruising traditions. What I have found on the other lines is once you allow this to change, you then have people pushing these new rules trying to enter the dining room in just a golf shirt and dockers for formal night! Which I have seen take place on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Princess. NCL is freestyle so this isn't applicable to them.
Regarding Celebrity- Apparently we were on completly diffent cruises.
My 7 nights on the Mercury resulted in crew members sexually harassing my cabinmate and myself and only stopped when we threatened to call the FBI in St. Thomas.
3 years later my traveling partner really wanted to do the 1st sailing to Alaska on the new Infinity, we chose a B2B for 17 nights out of SFO. I was determined to not let one bad experience cloud my opinion on a cruise line.
Here's a few of the highlights:
The verandah door was not attached properly so the cold and wind came into our cabin and took 4 days for engineering to finally fix. After us calling 2x a day each day. We ended up catching colds since our cabin was about 40 degrees.
The hot chocolate in the coffee bar they advertise as European, it's really Nestles made with hot water which they charge 2.75 for plus tip
This is the 1st ship I have seen use fake flowers in plastic water throughout the ship and be so proud that they now advertise it!
One store dedicated to the purchase of pots and pans.
Our asst. waiter that disappeared for long periods of time and then reeked of cigarettes.
The buffett had restricted lunch hours causing the longest wait and traffic jam I have ever seen in all my cruises.
Staff in the buffett area watching elderly people carry their trays in rough seas, yet they never offered assistance.
Cleaning crew that never posted wet floor signs, I saw a woman fall and was in a sling the rest of the week, she said the ship admitted their mistake was covering all medical and offering her a shipboard credit. Generous, but doesnt compensate for the pain and the hassle of an injury. Thankfully it wasn't her hip or pelvis.
The food was not spectacular and seemed to be over salted.
Certainly not worth the large sum of money we paid this cruise.
The list goes on, as far as I can tell HAL is far superior and Celebrity is not even in the same category.
I have read all these posts and all I can do is shake my head!
Chet - We are also on the Volendam, but not until August and I believe there are 2 formal nights.
Last time we sailed Alaska, we did find the formal night dress not as fussy as say on a Carribean cruise as a lot of people were doing either a pre or post inland trip and certainly didn't want to have to pack a tux or a fussy evening dress.
Dizy, yes you are right.
As for the rest of this thread I been grouped with the non-dressers, and if you would read my last post you will see that I wear a jacket even on casual nights, here is HAL's web-site so you can see for yourself what the rules are.
I got an official response back from HAL directly on this issue and we are abiding by their rules and will be just fine.
Now regarding your new fashion suggestion, since we're taking an Alaska cruise, it may be a bit nippy with no pants so I would suggest that we wear either grey or khaki cargo shorts with our navy blue blazers. The question is...dark or matching socks? What do you think?
I want to thank all of you who responded with info regarding what I thought was a relatively innocent and simple question. To all of you who responded in a positive tone, no matter whether you agreed or not, I thank you. To those of you who responded in a negative and condescending manner, all I can say is that we are glad that we're not sailing with you.
Now, I sent the question directly to HAL , and guess what? HAL stated:
" For your Alaskan Cruise, a blue Blazer for gentlemen and a Pant Suit for the ladies meets HAL's dress criteria for the formal evening". HAL
With that said, I wish everyone a wonderful trip/cruise. We are looking forward to meeting and becoming acquainted with many wonderful people and I promise you that my wife and I will make no judgements about you based upon the clothes on your back.