Just received our paperwork for our Alaska cruise in May. Concerned about the dress code for the dining room - no jeans? I understand the formal nights and having us dress for that. But are they sticklers for jackets for men even on non-formal nights? We're young mid-50's, outdoorsy, and can't imagine carrying enough clothes, esp. for my husband, to include chinos and jacket every night! He doesn't even own a suit and has 1 jacket which was to be used for formal night! We're first time cruisers looking forward to the scenery and adventure. Thanks for your input.
No expert here but just observations from my cruistour last August,,,on Formal night everyone on the ship was pretty dressed up,,not necessarilly tuxes for men but most men were in business suits or tuxes,,women in dressy clothes, my wife and myself in the buffet because , like you, we have no fancy dress clothes. On semi-formal night I used my one blazer (like you guys,,not our thing), my wife in ther dressy pants suit,,we fit in just fine. I wore the coat without a tie and it was fine although a lot of men still wore theri ties,,,,I may have been able to wear the coat with a tie on Formal night but really would have looked out of place. Informal night,,best to wear at minimum dockers and nice shirt,,but even though thats what I did, I would guess at least 50% of the men still wore coats and ties,,but I was following the rules and didn't get stared at by anyone. I did not observe anyone ever in jeans,,,jeans meant eating at the buffett,,or,,roomservice..
Now, there were no clothes police and probably you would not have gotten tossed wearing jeans,,but its the other passengers that would snob you if underdressed. Social pressure,,,,,can you take it?
You would think that going to Alaska would be more relaxed, but it was not. but I guess thats part of the allure of cruising
Casual = dockers & polo shirt or sleeved shirt. (no jacket-no tie)
Informal = dockers or dress pants w/ dress shirt and jacket. (no tie)
Formal = dk. suit. or tux (If it's a dk. jacket---- match up with dk. pants, throw in a white shirt w/tie. Voila! Bring a light colored shirt for second formal night w/tie to match. It's a dressy night not a snobby affair.)
Jeans = shore excursions.
Note: Some cruise lines don't have an informal evening. Just casual and formal nights.
I dressed accordingly and felt comfortable on both Holland America Lines and Princess Lines. I noticed a couple of passengers wore jeans (untattered) w/nice shirt to walk about the ship/buffet dining during day. No stares or glares. Never jeans in evening dining room, though.
Honestly, I don't think anyone is going to pay much mind if you don't match up exactly. Most are too busy enjoying themselves. Snobs are minimal....and for good reason. A waste of time.
We were on the Mexican Rivera cruise last year. One "gentleman" wore Bib-overalls to every meal in the dining room each evening regardless of dress code. He was not refused entry to dining room. He did stand out as "Different", although his wife was dressed nicely. They were booked in a veranda suite, so I doubt if money was the problem. If he didn't care................why should we?
Which cruise are you on? We are sailing on the Statendam on May 27th. We are both 48, we own our own business, periodically have to dress up for business meetings and conferences with our vendors and manufacturers so DH does own some sport coats - no suits - plenty of ties - but we were worried about the same thing. I did buy two really nice dressy pantsuits just for this cruise on HAL, but we know from past cruises that a lot of people dress up simply because they want to. The last cruise we were on was in October on Carnival and on one night, we were in shorts and went to the buffet. We passed a large group on the stairway and I asked one lady what was the occasion, because she was dressed to the nines, and she told me that she liked to dress up (said it a little snobbishly - like I should have realized that. !) It wasn't even formal night. Well, she made her entire group dress up, evidently. On other cruises, we dressed up for formal night, then went back to our cabin and changed into casual clothes and headed out for the shows and the casino. It was only recently (after 4 other cruises!) that we learned that formal night meant wearing formal clothes the entire evening, not just for the meal which is what we always thought. We have cruised and never took a piece of formal wear and did not go to the formal night in the dining room and don't feel like we missed anything. Well, if anyone looked funny at us after changing out of the formal wear into jeans or shorts, we never noticed. (Maybe its because we weren't looking for snobby looks?) But, we also decided that we would do at least one of the formal nights on HAL, as that is part of the fun of cruising on HAL versus our other cruises on Carnival and RCCL. We have figured that we would have to practice packing to see what all will fit in our suitcases. Have to fit everything in the airlines' limit of bags, so by the time we pack the parkas, the fleece, the jeans, the layers, the "everything" else, - whew! DH will pack a sport coat and a couple of dress shirts, dockers and ties, but no suits. Anyway, just curious if you are sailing on the same ship we will be on. Now that it is April, we can finally say we are sailing to Alaska next month! We booked back in October. Enjoy your cruise - what a wonderful first cruise - to Alaska on HAL. I'm certain you will have a cruise to remember.
Dixie Lee -- we're on the Statendam but a week earlier than you! Too bad. Thanks for your insights. I think what we'll end up doing is 1 jacket for him that will have to do for 1 formal night (we'll miss the 2nd one or wear the exact same thing!) and it will have to do for the Informal nights as well. We'll throw a tie on him for formal night I'm the easy one to dress up -- Chico's does wonders with travel clothes that can be dressy. And don't take a lot of room. Of course, there's the whole shoe thing. More fun to plan the shore excursions than the clothes! Also we're celebrating his return to health from major cancer stuff so who cares what we look like! He's alive and healthy. Just as an aside, what shore excursions have you planned?
Glad to hear about DH. Yes, good health is far more important than the clothes, plus I'm sure you both will look great no matter what you are wearing because you are celebrating his good health and there will be a glow about you that will outshine your outfits. Wow - can you wait? I am so excited that I bring myself almost to the point of hyperventilation (!) I do agree with you that packing is down the list from the other fun things like planning shore excursions. Great idea about the chinos - I had forgot that I had two pairs and they are among my most comfortable slacks. Shoes are a challenge - haven't quite figured that out yet. We just got back from an overnight trip to Tunica, Mississippi for a new home show and we had an industry reception to go to that evening - well, we each ended up taking 2 additional pairs of shoes each, one for the reception and a pair for the next day. Just can't seem to coordinate enough clothes to reduce the amount of extras we have to take - not counting coordinating belts, earrings, etc. Packing for a whole week takes a lot of planning and thinking through everything - even down to the little details. I have been working on my packing list for a couple of months, but will probably have to do a dry run to make sure everything fits in the suitcases. We have been in the process of finalizing our choices on shore excursions. We will do the dog sledding - there are three different ones offered and the one we want to do is not over a glacier and costs $109 or $119/person. The other two choices are on a glacier and include a helicopter flight and are around $400/person - just too expensive. Based on previous cruises that we have taken, we are limiting our excursions to those that are no more than 3-4 hours in length so that we have time to do other things and see the sights in town. There are SOOOOOO many choices! The Yukon Pass Train Ride is highly recommended as are the wildlife quests, the kayaking the Mt. Roberts Tramway, Lumberjack Show and on and on. We have found that on other cruises where we took long shore excursions, we ended up with no time to see the port town and also simply wore ourselves out trying to do everything. What have you been thinking of doing? We are open to suggestions. DH is getting his private pilot license and one of the air traffic controllers at the airport where he takes his lessons lived in Alaska for 6-7 years. He advised us to dress warm, stop at a bakery in Seward across from where we get on the ship and pick up a bag of sourdough sticks (says they are wonderful to snack on), shop in Ketchikan where everything is the cheapest and get out away from the towns to see the scenery and wildlife. Let me know if you have come across any good tips. Maybe talk to you again? Have a great cruise. Dixie Lee
DebSing...I went to Alaska last year for the same celebratory reason. Actually, I thought I would be dead real soon from kidney cancer (diagnosed last Jan) so last August I took the cruisetour as sort of a "I better go now because...",,turns out I may have a long life to live and the good news about that is,,now I can go to Alaska again!!!! One of the best, if not the best, trip I have ever taken.
Ford Racing Ron (catchy name by the way!) -- Glad you're here and able to look forward to more travel. Life takes such odd turns. Cancer is frightening but out of it sometimes comes positive life changes. Hope you're still racing!