8 more days to our cruise. We've heard conflicting stories about semi-formal night - all the way from sport coat and tie, to casual, to hawaiin night. Any recent travelers have the real scoop?
According to social etiquette, "semiformal" means standard "business attire" (business suit or sport coat with dress slacks and tie for gentlemen or either a dress or pant suit for ladies) or, for ladies, a cocktail dress. The standard of dress for "semiformal" evenings aboard a cruise ship is no different.
Earlier this year, several posts on this board indicated that MV Grand Princess had discontinued "semiformal" nights in conjunction with the debut of "Personal Choice Dining" -- but
>> Princess's literature does not indicate that the change is official or permanent,
>> Reviews of other Princess ships, including a feature article about MV Sea Princess in the most recent issue of Cruise Travel magazine, have stated that other Princess ships have retained "semiformal" evenings after their introduction of "Personal Choice Dining," and
>> The current edition of Princess's Cruise Answerbook still indicates that seven-night cruises normally have one "semiformal" evening and two "formal" evenings, with no reference to an exception aboard MV Grand Princess or a change of policy in connection with the shift to "Personal Choice Dining."
The Cruise Answerbook also indicates that the specification of attire for each evening may vary according to the ship's itinerary, as decided by the ship's staff. My guess is that the reported elimination of semiformal evenings aboard MV Grand Princess was a decision of the staff aboard that ship and that it could change at any time without notice.
Most Princess cruises in the tropics do have an "Island Night" -- which includes a party out on deck (around the pool area) and a really fancy buffet (served both on deck and on the Horizon Court) -- on one of the casual evenings. On that evening, most people do wear colorful ("Hawaiian") shirts and dresses. Be sure to bring your camera to the "Island Night" party to photograph the vegetable carvings and the ice sculptures that adorn the buffet, too. They really are works of art!
BTW, cruises over Halloween generally also have a Halloween party -- with a costume contest -- on that evening.
I was ready to 86 the blazer in anticipation of no semi-formal. Then I remembered on my last Princess cruise they were overly generous with the a/c in the dining room. So having the jacket on hand may not be such a bad idea after all, even if worn with a sport shirt.
Was on the 9/23 cruise & there was no semi formal night at all. 2 formal nights & the rest smart casual. People were in all states of dress on the smart casual nights. One tropical night when we & many others dressed a little more islandy.
We sailed the Grand 9/16-9/23 (which, with the other posts above, gives you someone who sailed every week in Sept). There was no semi-formal night. Same as the others. My partner took a sports jacket and never wore it.
Thank you all for your responses. As Peg said, I've heard from someone who was on every trip in Sept. Our documents also said Semi-formal, but thanks to this group I was able to discover what was really going on out there.
Just back from the Grand last night (30 Sep sailing).
Semi Formal night has been replaced by Casual/Island attire night.
Island night theme is very popular with many men wearing Hawaiian or Island shirts and ladies wearing suitable skirts/wraps etc.,
On the island attire night, there is an Island Party after dinner.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but "Island Night" has been a standard feature of Princess's Caribbean itineraries for years -- and attire for "Island Night" is always "casual." "Island Night" did not replace the semiformal night.