I don't want to cause a firestorm but would like to ask a question about dress code.
My son and daughter-in-law are early 30's, no kids and are planning a cruise in September or October. They have sailed on RCCL, and the newer Carnival ships. They are not real late party lovers but do like to relax in the bars, listen to music and have a few drinks. They are interested in the Zuiderdam for various reasons. Is the dress code strictly enforced in public areas? Example, will they be kicked out in a bar with nice shorts and tee shirts at night? If they go to a nightly show and go back to their room after dinner, change into shorts, is this dis-allowed? I suggested calling HAL customer service. What do you guys think?
I doubt that the guidelines are enforced in common areas. Don't forget that many people will be dining in the informal option, so I'm sure they will not be alone. Shorts may be pushing it a bit but I'm sure Dockers or slacks and a nice shirt will suffice.
I am 37 and my husband 34. We were on the Zuiderdam in early July. We followed the recommended dress for the entire evening, as did our teen-age son. Casual night consisted of Dockers and a collared shirt for my husband and son, capris and knit top for me. Formal night was easy... formal. I wore a black cocktail dress, my son a suit and my husband a dress uniform (he's a Lt. in the Fire Department). It was not an issue to wear the attire for the entire evening. I actually thought the ship was a bit cool and needed a sweater... I don't know if they would be too chilly in shorts and t-shirts. We did see people wearing more casual clothes, and it wasn't an issue at all in any of the bars or lounges. I loved the Zuiderdam. I thought it was fairly casual and friendly with a good mix of ages. The staff was phenomenal. I will say that I wish they enforced the dress code a little more say in the Lido during lunch... I really didn't want to see people walking through the line in their bikinis and barefeet or some people dripping wet getting their meals (ew !!). We ensured that our son always had a shirt and shoes on when walking in the interior of the ship... one thing we said was that while this is our vacation, it is other people's also, and respect is the name of the game Enjoy !
I would not feel at all comfortable wearing shorts or a t'shirt anywhere but in our cabin/veranda in the evening. HAL dresS code requests no shorts, t'shirts or jeans after 6:00 P.M. and it is a courtesy to your fellow pax to observe the recommended dress IMO
Thank you, this is exactly the kind of answers that I was looking for. They both have managerial jobs and have to dress each day so while on vacation they definitely do not want to be dressed up all the time. They do like to dress for dinner but also like to dress down later. They would probably prefer the Carnival Legend.
Thanks for the advice. I read about your husband wearing his Fire uniform. I am also a firefighter and have debated about what I might wear at formal night, I don't own a tux and have no reason to buy one. I'll consider bringing my uniform. Out of curiosity how was your husband recieved while in uniform? I'd like to stay low profile. Thanks, A.O'H.
I would think you might be very well received with your firefighter uniform on without standing out so much. In my area firefighters are considered heroes every day even more so after 9/11. I know that you are just doing your job but it is just great that you can wear your uniform on formal night.
My husband, Rob, wore his Class A uniform (not the everyday work one... the fancy ol' suit with the collar brass etc... he didn't wear that goofy hat though !) and he was received very well. A few people came up and noticed the maltese cross and asked where he worked and shook his hand. It was kind of funny though, we were walking from the dining room to the lounge for the show and there was a group of older ladies sitting on one of the couches in front of a bar and they were just giggling away having a good time, and then they saw Rob and, still giggling, they all stood up and saluted him all the while giggling, Rob chuckled, turned and saluted them back, they then promptly fell back down onto the couch laughing !! It was hoot ! Rob didn't feel or look out of place on either formal night. And it was nice to see that Class A uniform on him in a happy setting... it seems too often it gets worn for funerals, and there's been way too many of those in the fire service these last few years. Wear your Class A's with pride and have a wonderful cruise !!!
Unfortunately -- in our opinion -- the staff on the Zuiderdam did not enforce the dress code at all. Thier web site clearly states no shorts, T's, jeans in the evenings in public areas, but some ignored the policy and the staff did nothing. We found passengers more in compliance on other HAL ships.
Personally. I don't like staying in my dinner clothes all night, either. But I can tell you that you would definitely feel out of place on HAL if you dress down and go in the public areas after dark. No one will "enforce" the dress code, but you will feel like a slob.
There are cruise lines that are casual 24 hours a day, and they are not second-rate. I love Windstar which is very casual.
NCL also has a no-dress-code enforced policy, though I haven't been on it since they passed it.
We took the Veendam to Alaska last week and the weather was in the 80's. (No complaints from us, we loved the weather!)
On either a formal or informal night, my husband and I were in the balcony of Rubens Lounge, and some of the people were dressed somewhat casually there, though nothing really "drastic." My husband intended to keep on his jacket, but removed it when he was one of the three to four there still in the balcony wearing one. It was very warm, and he enjoyed himself much more with his jacket off than on. He was still in dress slacks and a dress shirt, though maybe the tie had already been left in the stateroom. It was dark in the balcony, and it was absolutely no big deal that men who were very warm removed their jackets. No one was wearing shorts or similar, but a few were indeed sloppy (short-sleeved shirts worn on the outside of slacks [an older married couple dressed this way]).
I agree with Jodie, who wrote: "I really didn't want to see people walking through the line in their bikinis and barefeet or some people dripping wet getting their meals."
There was a paunchy man in the Lido restaurant getting lunch wearing nothing more than his swim trunks....very unattractive, and a lot more inappropriate to me than going jacket-less in the dark late in the evening on formal/informal night.
I don't care if a man dresses fancy all evening long, but please don't pollute the lunchroom with your hairy, bare-chested*, big-bellied self.