Princess's "Cruise Answerbook" indicates that a typical ten-day cruise has two formal nights and three semiformal nights, but we had the reverse (three formal nights and two semiformal nights) on my only ten-day cruise. It seems to depend, to some degree on how many passengers are members of the Captain's Circle. We had a lot of Captain's Circle members on that cruise, so they had to hold separate Captain's Circle cocktail parties for each dining room (on separate nights) in order to accommodate all of the members. This might have triggered the third formal night.
I just returned from a twelve-night cruise aboard MV Royal Princess that had several semiformal nights in addition to three formal nights. Several posters here have indicated that MV Grand Princess no longer has a semiformal night on her seven-night Caribbean itineraries, but I have not heard that any other ships have dispensed with semiformal nights. Thus, I would plan on two or three semiformal nights on a 10-day Princess cruise.
> On a 10 day cruise, how many formal nights and semi-formal
> nights are there? I heard they are doing away with
> semi-formal nights. Is that true?
We were on the Crown Princess over New Years this year. It was a 10 day cruise to the Panama Canal. There were 2 formal, 2 semi-formal and 6 casual. Last week we got back from a cruise to Bermuda on the Pacific Princess. There were 2 formal and 5 casual. It was so casual that the men, including my husband, wore shorts in the dining room on casual nights. Even formal nights were more casual. We're going on the Ocean Princess for 10 days Dec. 20. I'm hoping it will be more like our Crown Princess cruise.
Don't always believe what you read. Our tickets stated 2 formal, 1 semi-formal and 4 casual (on a 7 day Alaska cruise). There were 2 formal and 5 casual. My husband wound up bringing a sport coat for no reason. We have been on 9 Princess cruises and this is not the first time this has happened.
Hi Cruiselover. We'll be on the Dawn Princess soon, cruising Alaska. Our TA told us that a sportjacket and tie is all we need for the "formal" and "semi-formal" nites. That's all I'm packing. This is a vacation, not a formal ball or wedding. I think that if Princess expects a tux (or even a "dark" suit) they need to clean up their own act with superior food, drink and entertainment. To expect us to go all out while they're cutting corners is absurd, especially at the price they charge for a cruise. I'm gonna be comfortable!
I have no idea what is happening with evening dress aboard MV Golden Princess or, for that matter, what will happen when she comes to the Caribbean in a couple months.
To date, I have yet to see anything official from Princess about any elimination of semiformal evenings. I have seen a couple posts on this board indicating that some cruises aboard MV Grand Princess did not have semiformal evenings in the Caribbean (the affected cruises reportedly had two "formal" evenings and five "casual" evenings), but it also is not at all clear that this is in any way tied to the "Personal Choice Dining" program. Additionally, MV Sun Princess, MV Dawn Princess, MV Sea Princess, and MV Ocean Princess were to implement the "Personal Choice Dining" program upon arrival in Alaska last May -- and I have not seen any posts indicating that any of those vessels have eliminated semiformal evenings, either.
As best I can tell, the reported elimination of semiformal evenings on at least some sailings aboard MV Grand Princess appears to be a local decision of that vessel's staff rather than a matter of corporate policy. Thus far, it does not extend to the rest of the Princess fleet. Also, there's no basis to be certain that it's a permanent arrangement aboard MV Grand Princess.
My recommendation is to "Be Prepared" -- just like a good boy scout -- for a couple semiformal evenings on a seven day cruise.
Thanks again for some good advise. Just hope when we get the doc that it does state exactly how many formal, semi/formal and casual nights there really are, sure will save on some packing, the husband will only need his tux then for the 2 formal. Will just have to wait and see and be prepared, thanks again :-)
On Princess, the final say on evening attire always rests with the staff aboard each ship. The chart in the Cruise Answerbook in the Princess's cruise information package gives the typical number of evenings that require casual, semiformal, and formal attire on a particular cruise, but I have taken several cruises on which the actual numbers have deviated. Generally, cruises with very few days at sea might have more casual nights than specified in the table while cruises with a lot of days at sea might have fewer casual nights than specified in the table. Additionally, exchanges of semiformal and formal nights are quite common. Anybody who is going on a cruise that's longer than seven days should plan on three formal nights -- and four or more formal nights if the cruise is two weeks or longer.
I always bring an extra semiformal outfit with me. An extra shirt and an extra necktie do not require much space in a suitcase, and that way I'm prepared for unforeseen circumstances that could happen a couple different ways.
>> An invitation to dinner at the Captain's Table demands semiformal attire (except, of course, on formal nights when it demands formal attire) -- and it's extremely gauche to "send regrets" to an invitation from the captain while embarked aboard his vessel.
>> I have been on a few Princess cruises where there have been opportunities to attend special events that required semiformal or "business" attire. It would be a shame not to be able to attend such an event just for lack of suitable clothing.
Although one can buy an outfit at the ship's shop if one is in a bind, but it would be unfortunate to have to do so. The ship's laundry and dry cleaning service can come to the rescue if you planned for too few semiformal or formal nights, but not if you didn't bring any attire at all in the respective category.
The fact that there are no scheduled semiformal evenings does not mean that one can safely leave semiformal attire at home. I would bring a sport coat, a dress shirt, and a necktie "just in case" on a cruise with no scheduled semiformal evenings. I'm bringing dress slacks, dress socks, and dress shoes for wear on causal nghts anyway, so they are no additional burden, and I certainly can wear the sport coat over a "golf" or "polo" shirt on casual nights if the dining room, the theater, the casino, or whatever other space turns out to be a bit chilly in the evening. For ladies, many dresses suitable for wear on semiformal occasions would also pass for "smart casual" so it's really just a question of bringing an evening outfit that can go either way.
Sorry to disappoint you, but your TA gave you very wrong information. Here are the guidelines for dress in the current version of Princess's Cruise Answerbook:
[i] Dressing Up
When you're in port, evening dress is casual; slacks, sweaters, blouses, open-neck shirts, etc. are typically worn. Shorts, cut-off T-shirts, "torn" jeans, and bare feet are notpermitted in the dining room.
For semiformal evenings, passengers dress as they would for a fine restaurant at home, with ladies in skirts/dresses/pantsuits and gentlemen wearing a sportcoat or a suit.
On formal nights, ladies perfer evening gowns or cocktail dresses and men turn out in tuxedos, dinner jackets, or dark suits. [i]
You have to return the forms in the information package with your measurements and selection of formalwear to arrange rental of formalwear through Princess. If you choose this option, Princess will deliver the formalwear to your cabin on embarkation day and you simply leave it there when you vacate your cabin at the end of the cruise.