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  #1 (permalink)  
Old May 25th, 2002, 01:15 PM
Mike Sullivan
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Default Attire...

I have questions concernign attire: Formal and Non-Formal nights.

Our cruise ( Princess Grand departing 06/02/02) has 2 FORMAL and 5 INFORMAL nights in the dining rooms.

Can children wear shorts ( nice shorts with a tucked in shirt and belt) in the dining room on NON-FORMAL nights? Also, how about FORMAL nights? I guess I should also ask if the children can wear t-shirts for dining on NON-FORMAL nights in the dining rooms?

Does my son (age 9) need to wear a tie and/or coat on FORMAL nights? Also, must he wear pants (docker style of course)?

Thanks, MIke
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old May 25th, 2002, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Attire...

Mike,

Princess is an upscale cruise line owned by a British parent company, so traditional etiquette does apply. In other words, "formal" does mean FORMAL -- and you'll see passengers and staff alike dressed to the nines.

"Can children wear shorts ( nice shorts with a tucked in shirt and belt) in the dining room on NON-FORMAL nights? Also, how about FORMAL nights? I guess I should also ask if the children can wear t-shirts for dining on NON-FORMAL nights in the dining rooms?"

Princess is an upscale cruise line operated by a British company. Shorts and T-shirts are acceptable during the day, but not during the evening. On so-called "Smart Casual" evenings, gentlemen (yes, this includes your son) wear shirts with collars, slacks, and dress shoes. Sweaters, neckties, and sportcoats are optional. On "Formal" evenings, gentlemen wear a tuxedo or dinner jacket or a dark -- and I do mean DARK -- business suit and tie.

Note, also, that the prescribed evening attire applies throughout the ship -- not just in the dining room.

"Does my son (age 9) need to wear a tie and/or coat on FORMAL nights? Also, must he wear pants (docker style of course)?"

If your son does not have a dark suit, the easiest option is to rent a tuxedo for him. Many tuxedo shops offer a "cruise package" that typically consists of a tuxedo or dinner jacket, tuxedo pants, two shirts, a cummerbund and a vest with matching bow ties, and dress shoes for the duration of the cruise. Here in the Boston area, one can get such a package for about $85.

BTW, this is a great experience for your son! He might feel a little uncomfortable at first if he is not accustimed to dressing up for special occasions, but he will relax once he sees that other children of his age are wearing similar attire.

Princess also offers tuxedo rental onboard. You send in your sizes and selections in advance, and the same package described above will appear in your stateroom on embarkation day. Thus, you don't even have to pack it. You simply leave it in your stateroom at the end of the cruise.

Norm.
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Old May 25th, 2002, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Attire...

It appears Norm is certainly quoting the Princess company line here. Though I have only cruised Princess 3 times, I didn't find the formal nights any more formal than other cruise lines.
In fact, formal nights on our recently ended Celebrity Summit cruise the passengers were likely more "dressed to the nines" than what we witnessed on the Princess at New Years.
On Princess we saw less tuxes, and though most men were in tuxes and suits, there were definately many that weren't dark (and honestly, they didn't look any the worse for it)

If you nine your old has a jacket & tie, or suit, I'd sugget he wear it. If not, a nice pair of slacks with a dress shirt & tie will do just fine.

On casual evenings he should wear docker style slacks and collared shirts in the dining room, and he'll fit right in.

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Old May 25th, 2002, 06:03 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: Attire...

Kuki:
I agree. Princess is not that upscale - it is a 4 star line. Maybe a 6 star like Crystal would be a little more rigid.

We took our kids and grandkids on the Dawn last summer to Alaska. We bought the boys nice suits and our granddaughter nice dresses for the formal nights. On the casual nights, they wore nice collared shirts and pants like Dockers. Princess doesn't want shorts in the dining room in the evening but, depending on the age of the youngster and the niceness of the outfit, it probably won't matter. But if one is cruising Alaska, why are they bringing shorts anyway? (G)
Frank
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Old May 25th, 2002, 06:05 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: Re: Attire...

I double checked and it wasn't mentioned where this cruise was going but I thought by the 2 formal and 5 informal that it was Alaska and if so, that's why I questioned shorts.
Frank
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Old May 25th, 2002, 07:14 PM
Mike Sullivan
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Attire...

Thanks so much you guys! BTW, this cruise is Westrern Caribbean. The tickets say: 2 Formal nights and 5 Smart Casual.

I have a dark oilve/gray (?) suit and navy blue dinner jacket. My son has docker style pants and collered shirts, some polo/golf style. Would these Polo/Golf style shirts be OK or does he need all button up/oxford style shirts? For Smart casual night that is. On Formal nights, I don't have him a jacket but dress shirt and tie.OK?

Thanks again!

Mike
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Old May 26th, 2002, 06:53 AM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Attire...

Mike,

Norm is our resident expert and he can always tell you the Princcess rules & regulations. But in actuality, things are not as strict as the guidelines state. You are on vacation, and you are a paying customer! While they may want everyone in tuxes, they will not turn you away in a suit or even a sports coat.

Formal nights are fun, and you will see people dressed in a wide variety of suits and tuxes. Don't worry, your dark olive suit will be fine. My husband wears a dark charcoal gray suit with a dress shirt & tie. Last cruise he wore shirts/ties to correspond with my dress color. It makes a nice pic! Princess always takes casual photos at your table on formal nights and there are also opportunities for formal portraits on those nights as well. I think your son would feel better in some kind of coat, so maybe if he doesn't own one he could borrow from a friend. (I know at nine they grow too fast to keep them in formal attire.) Either way, it will be an experience he will cherish. Have a great cruise!! We are just back in April and are ready to go again!!

Gloria
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Old May 26th, 2002, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Attire...

Mike,

To answer your questions:

>> Your dark olive suit sounds fine for the two formal evenings.

>> Yes, "polo" or "golf" shirts (knit, but with collar) are acceptable on "Smart Casual" evenings. You can throw on a sport coat over it or not, as you see fit.

I'm not going to endorse the idea of your son wearing just a dress shirt and necktie, without a jacket, on formal nights. Most of the lads whom I have seen on Princess cruises have worn had either a tuxedo or a dark suit on formal nights. Your son might feel very uncomfortable if he turns out to be one of a small minority who does not have such attire. It's possible that MV Grand Princess draws a crowd that's less formal than other Princess cruises in the summer, but I can't advise you to plan on it because I have not gone to the Caribbean at that time of year. My recommendation is to rent a tuxedo for him unless he has other occasions when he could wear a suit, but only because it's the less costly alternative.

There's one oher possible complication with regard to your situation, and it really hinges on the disposition of your son. If your son might balk at wearing a tuxedo if you don't do likewise, it might be a lot easier to rent a tuxedo for yourself as well even though it's not necessary, by the book, to do so.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old May 26th, 2002, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: Re: Attire...

Kuki,

"It appears Norm is certainly quoting the Princess company line here."

I don't thik we do anybody any favors by suggesting that people should deviate from the company's guidelines. The company is trying to set a particular atmosphere that it advertises to its clients, and the attire of those present is part of what creates that atmosphere. Also, those who deviate -- especially in a big way -- tend to generate a lot of negative comments about failure to enforce the rules.

BTW, I don't have a pulse on this but I would not be surprised if the cruise lines are enforcing dress codes more strictly, or at least are preparing to do so, especially in he wake of your article on attire and the response that it generated. That response was not limited to this web site. Around the same time, Cruise Travel published quite a few letters to the editor (no, I did not write any of them!) saying that cruise lines should enforce their rules, including evening attire, and that those who don't want to wear the prescribed attire should book their cruises on a line that has a different rules. It appears that a lot of passengers are pretty hot about this, so I would be surprised if the cruise lines are not taking action.

Norm.
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Old May 28th, 2002, 01:41 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: Re: Attire...

Norm wrote:

> Around the same time, Cruise Travel published quite a few
> letters to the editor (no, I did not write any of them!) saying
> that cruise lines should enforce their rules, including evening
> attire, and that those who don't want to wear the prescribed
> attire should book their cruises on a line that has a different
> rules. It appears that a lot of passengers are pretty hot
> about this, so I would be surprised if the cruise lines are not
> taking action.
>
Norm:
I agree that people should abide by the cruise guidelines. For those that don't want to dress up, there is always the Lido deck to get their meals. (An exception might be when the airline looses one's luggage.) OTOH, I don't think a toddler up to 5 years old or maybe more, should be expected to wear a tux or even a suit. JMNSHO.
Frank-in-CA
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Old May 30th, 2002, 05:55 AM
Mike Sullivan
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Attire...

oops! Guess it's been a while since I wore the Dark Olive suit! It must have shrank. Darn cheap fabric! Purchased a new dark navy houndstooth. I can actually breath while wearing this one .

Still decided not to purchase a jacket for son (age 9) though. Nave blue pants, white long sleeve dress shirt and tie. Looks great.

I've read quite a few comments on this message board now concerning attire. I'm beginning to think that some people believe cloths change them in some way. Perhaps the clothing makes them feel more important, more professional or successful. Perhaps the fabric builds character or promotes self esteem. Just a thought. I enjoy dressing up but I never look at someone and judge them based on their cloths. I think this is poor character. I have friends who have tattoos and rings (everywhere), some are millionaires and others are not. You can't tell simply by looking at them. Actually by talking to them either. They all have a self sacrificing attitude in life. They would help anyone out in time of need. They would help you no matter if you had on a tux, suit or ragged shorts. These are REAL people.
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Old June 1st, 2002, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Attire...

Frank,

"I agree that people should abide by the cruise guidelines. For those that don't want to dress up, there is always the Lido deck to get their meals. (An exception might be when the airline looses one's luggage.)"

Princess is prepared to assist passengers who find themselves in this sort of predicament. The Purser's Office typically arranges for the ship's shop to LOAN formalwear (tux, etc.) from the rental inventory to such individuals at no charge.

"OTOH, I don't think a toddler up to 5 years old or maybe more, should be expected to wear a tux or even a suit. JMNSHO."

There obviously is a cutoff, though I would peg it a bit younger. Tuxedo rental shops regularly rent outfits for ring bearers in wedding parties, who typically are in the 3-5 age bracket, so some parents do rent outfits for such children. Other parents prefer to feed young children on the Horizon Court, especially on formal nights.

Norm.
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Old June 6th, 2002, 06:08 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Attire...

Norm wrote:

> Other parents prefer to feed young children on the Horizon
> Court, especially on formal nights.
>
Norm:
That might be a solution, if they have a baby sitter so they can dine in peace and quiet later.
Frank
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Old June 14th, 2002, 11:37 PM
nic
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Attire...

Maybe it is just me but when we first started cruising 2 years ago with our two young children we did not want to keep them from formal night so we could enjoy a dinner in peace and quiet. The main reason we brought our children was so they could experience things we were not given the opportunity to when we were their age. My son was 4 on our first cruise and we just so happened to have come across a small tuxedo that was left at a dry cleaners in our area. As he outgrew that one we came across another one for the next cruise. The only thing we had to do was get him a new shirt. Now that was a fun experience. It took us 2 days to find him a shirt we could buy. No tuxedo shop in our area could get him one. We had to go straight to there supplier. And that one still fits him for the next cruise in a few weeks. As a young man my son get more kids out of the ohhs and ahhs he gets from other passengers who are admiring him.

The main problem I have is trying to convince my husband to get out of the blue jeans to go to the main dining room for dinner. He will dress up for formal night but he normally wears his jeans for non casual nights. In the past this hasn't been a problem but it sounds like it might on the Grand. And Mike above has it right. My husband has tattoos up and down his arms and hair longer than mine. But talk to him and you will know how smart he is. I don't think we should have to conform to any strict standards when we are on vacation. But I do try to follow the rules when there are rules. I guess we may not be eating in the dining room this go round.
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