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Old February 13th, 2003, 09:45 AM
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Default Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

Hello Everyone,
Someone told me that Princess no longer has Semi-Formal nights. Only Formal and Casual. Is this true? If so, my Husband will only have to take his Tuxedo and not his Sport coats and ties. Thank You for your help if you know the answer.
We are on the Coral Princess next month and if they still have Semi-Formal we will pack for it.
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Old February 13th, 2003, 10:24 AM
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Default Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

Yes, it is true.
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Old February 13th, 2003, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

yes, Princess has done away with the Semi-Formal nights. The dress code for the cruise is resort/smart casual and Formal. Your hubby could get away without the sports coat & ties if he so desired and replace them with Dockers type pants and Polo type shirts or other collard shirts.
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Old February 13th, 2003, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

Suzette,
Very true, now I wish Royal Caribbean and Celebrity would follow.......

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Old February 13th, 2003, 03:13 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

Look forward to hearing what you have to report on the Coral. Our cruise on the Coral is still 10 weeks away.
Frank-in-CA
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Old February 13th, 2003, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

Suzette which Coral cruise are you booked on?

As to your question, here's a direct quote from the Princess Patter for Coral's inaugural cruise January 3: "DRESS CODES During the day, sportswear and casual clothes are suggested. However, we ask that you do not wear bathing suits or beach attire in public rooms or lounges, especially the Dining Rooms. Guidelines for wear from 5:30 pm and throughout the evening are: FORMAL: A Dinner Jacket or dark business suit for gentlemen and a full length evening gown, cocktail dress or trouser suit for ladies. SMART CASUAL: An open-neck shirt and slacks for gentlemen and a dress, skirt and blouse or trouser suit outfit for ladies."

There are only two formal nights - the second and the ninth night.

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Old February 16th, 2003, 09:26 PM
Michael R
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Default Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

Thanks for the update. I hate formal night(s). My wife loves them. Formal nights are a way for Princess to get rich selling photos.
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Old February 16th, 2003, 11:25 PM
Carole Dunham
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Default Re: Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

I hate formal nights too. My daughter and I just decided we'll never sail the big ships again, only the expedition vessels. I'm giving my formals away and will sell my jewelry (some of it anyway, the glittery kind). Love the sea, hate all the folderol.

Carole
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Old February 17th, 2003, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

I suspect that eventually Princess will do away with the formal nights as well. I have been cruising off and on for the last 20 years. Every year I have noticed the trend is turning to less formal. It use to be all the men wore tuxs. Now it seems like less than half are wearing them.
Princess will keep pace with what the majority want. I believe that eventually, the "majority" just won't go for formal nights. I saw a number of people on our last cruise that did not follow the dress "guide lines" for formal night.
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Old February 17th, 2003, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

Love Formal nights.. The only chance we get to dressed up. It is a big plus
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Old February 17th, 2003, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

connie,

Every year I have noticed the trend is turning to less formal. It use to be all the men wore tuxs. Now it seems like less than half are wearing them.

Actually, tuxedos have made a major comeback in the last few years. The reason is that many men no longer own business suits because many workplaces now wear so-called "business casual" attire for normal office work. Now, business suits are mostly the province of lawyers, bankers, and some senior executives.

Princess will keep pace with what the majority want. I believe that eventually, the "majority" just won't go for formal nights.

There are two distinct groups -- those who want the formal nights and those who despise them. Our society has become so casual that many people simply have no opportunities to strut their stiff in their normal lives. As a result, they welcome the chance to dress to the nines on formal nights.

Having said that, I don't see how it's possible to accommodate both groups on the same ship because there's an inherent conflict. If the shareholders of P&O Princess Cruises Plc. LSE: POC), the parent company of Princess Cruises Ltd., reject the propsed merger with Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL), Princess Cruises will have to choose one of three options.

>> 1. Maintain the status quo of 2-3 formal nights on most cruises.

>> 2. Drop formal nights completely and go all casual.

>> 3. Split the Princess Cruises fleet into two cruise lines, one of which would maintain the status quo and the other of which would go all casual.

If the shareholders approve the merger, the second of these is likely because Carnaival Corporation also owns Holland America Lines which competes with Princess Cruises in the traditional premium segment of the market. This would diminish the overlap between the two lines.

I saw a number of people on our last cruise that did not follow the dress "guide lines" for formal night.

There have always been a few social maladroits who don't comprehend the norms of social etiquette. Nonetheless, the failure to enforce dress codes has drawn a rash of negative comments on many recent cruises. Again, it does not seem possible to satisfy both passengers who want formal nights and passengers who don't want formal nights aboard the same vessel.

Norm.
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Old February 18th, 2003, 05:50 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

Norm wrote:

> There are two distinct groups -- those who want the formal
> nights and those who despise them. Our society has become so
> casual that many people simply have no opportunities to strut
> their stiff in their normal lives. As a result, they welcome
> the chance to dress to the nines on formal nights.

Norm:
I think this is a good compromise. My wife loves dress up and she likes me to wear a tux. I bought one many cruises ago and she keeps getting little additions for it. I never cared for the semi-formal nights though. The new arrangement allows one to pack less and still have those nights that make it special, especially for the ladies.
>
> Having said that, I don't see how it's possible to
> accommodate both groups on the same ship because there's an
> inherent conflict.

If Princess chooses to go all casual, we'll probably spend a few more bucks and upgrade to a cruise line that meets our needs better. However, I can't see them spending the money to import someone from Crystal and then regress.

> There have always been a few social maladroits who don't
> comprehend the norms of social etiquette. Nonetheless, the
> failure to enforce dress codes has drawn a rash of negative
> comments on many recent cruises. Again, it does not seem
> possible to satisfy both passengers who want formal nights and
> passengers who don't want formal nights aboard the same
> vessel.
>
Norm:
It's not that there aren't alternate places to dine on board for those that don't want to participate. And there will always be the first time cruisers that didn't read the information before they boarded either. But I still think the majority prefer a few dress up nights. On all of the cruises I've been on, the majority still seem to wear tuxes, followed by those in suits with only one or two that didn't dress up. And they not only look out of place but they don't look very comfortable either. (G)
Frank
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Old February 18th, 2003, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

Michael R wrote:

> Formal nights are a way for Princess to get rich
> selling photos.

Have you priced what those same photos would cost you at a studio on shore? These are bargain rates as far as I am concerned. And one doesn't have to buy any photo that doesn't come out right. We don't buy too many anymore but when we went with four generations of our family, we were able to take some very nice, studio quality photos of our entire family. And that was well worth the money. We'd never be able to assemble all of them back at home, much less to get them all dressed up so nice.

The only complaint I might have with photography is where they hold up disembarking to take photos. We always pass on those. They should have two lines, one for those that want a photo and one for those that don't.
Frank-in-CA
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Old February 18th, 2003, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

I agree - I love to dress up. It really makes the night special.
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Old February 18th, 2003, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

Frank,

I think this is a good compromise. (referring to replacement of semiformal with casual)

I agree. The standards of society have changed. Most "fine dining" establishments now admit diners in casual attire. The same is true of most highbrow entertainment (Broadway theater, major concerts, etc.), so Princess has decided to follow suit -- I think quite appropriately.

It's not that there aren't alternate places to dine on board for those that don't want to participate.

I have yet to see anything official from Princess saying that any "alternative dining" has a dress standard other than that prescribed shipwide for the evening.. On my last several cruises, the Princess Patter has gotten even more explicit with a notice that "The prescribed evening attire applies throughout the ship after 5:30 PM." (emphasis added) or similar wording. It's the lack of enforcement to back up such notices that has drawn many complaints from passengers.

Of course, there's always room service and cabin television....

And there will always be the first time cruisers that didn't read the information before they boarded either.

That's their fault -- not the cruise line's -- and it most assuredly does not excuse any failure to follow the rules. Princess does make formalwear available for rent onboard, and also provides formalwear on a complementary basis for use of passengers whose luggage is missing, even if it's missing through no fault of Princess.

Norm.
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Old February 18th, 2003, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

I think it would be fun to dress up but we've not done this in years.

I'm taking what I've and my husband is packing his very dark blue
blazer and grey pants + tie. I hope, this is etiquette. It was hard
enaugh for him to agree to this cruise and now comes the dress
code? If they enforce the dress code...I'm done with Princess Cruises.

Don't get me wrong, I like to look decent but renting a tax...out of the
question for a lot of reasons.

Also, I don't have a cocktail dress and not about to buy one, I'll never
wear again. Past experience.

My 2 cents. Sorry!

Karin
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Old February 19th, 2003, 05:14 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

Karin wrote:

> I think it would be fun to dress up but we've not done this
> in years.
>
> I'm taking what I've and my husband is packing his very dark
> blue
> blazer and grey pants + tie. I hope, this is etiquette. It
> was hard
> enaugh for him to agree to this cruise and now comes the
> dress
> code? If they enforce the dress code...I'm done with Princess
> Cruises.

I don't think you'll have any problem with his blazer but you might feel out of place. If you want to add a wrinkle to your fun, you could rent a tux on board for about $100. (You say it is out of the question probably because your husband is pretty adamant against it, but it could be fun.) They supply everything except the socks. I think they even rent woman's gowns now too. It would be like a costume party for you. You might have a good time. And your husband can keep it a secret if it is a macho thing since no one but you and the other cruisers would know. (G) No need to buy something you won't wear again. But if you get hooked on cruising, like the rest of us, you'll find occassions to wear them again. (G)

Frank-in-CA
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Old February 19th, 2003, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

There's really no reason to buy or rent a tux. And, you do not have to wear a cocktail dress. As I wrote above:

As to your question, here's a direct quote from the Princess Patter for Coral's inaugural cruise January 3: "DRESS CODES During the day, sportswear and casual clothes are suggested. However, we ask that you do not wear bathing suits or beach attire in public rooms or lounges, especially the Dining Rooms. Guidelines for wear from 5:30 pm and throughout the evening are: FORMAL: A Dinner Jacket or dark business suit for gentlemen and a full length evening gown, cocktail dress or trouser suit for ladies. SMART CASUAL: An open-neck shirt and slacks for gentlemen and a dress, skirt and blouse or trouser suit outfit for ladies."

There are only two formal nights - the second and the ninth night.

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Old February 19th, 2003, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

Karin,

I'm taking what I've and my husband is packing his very dark blue blazer and grey pants + tie. I hope, this is etiquette.

A sport coat is not proper formal attire under any circumstances, though I'm sure that your husband would look sharp and the ship probably would tolerate it. Nonetheless, it would be better either (1) to buy him a pair of navy slacks that match the jacket, so it will look like a suit, or (2) to spring the $85 or so to rent him a tux for the week. Many tuxedo shops do offer "cruise" packages that include rental of two shirts (with studs and matching cuff links), a vest and matching tie, a cummerbund and matching tie, the coat, the pants, and the shoes (if he needs them) for a week for about $85. He could get the cummerbund to match one of your dresses and the vest to match the other.

It was hard enaugh for him to agree to this cruise and now comes the dress code?

Princess became one of the more casual "premium" cruise lines by changing the evenings that were semiformal in the past to "smart casual" (casual eveningwear -- no jeans, shorts, or "T" shirts). Nonetheless, they have preserved the formal Captain's receptions and the formal evenings that followed -- which are immensely popular among the passengers, as you can tell from some other posts in this topic. These evenings correctly demand "black tie" attire, though cruise lines made the concession of admitting dark business suits years ago because most men do not own tuxedos. Now, unfortunately, most men don't own business suits, either....

If they enforce the dress code...I'm done with Princess Cruises.

If you don't want to play by the rules, please cancel the booking and go where the rules are more to your liking instead.

The truth is that there should not be need to enforce the rules because social etiquette dictates that guests should comply without question. Nonetheless, other passengers have signed up for a package that includes a certain number of formal evenings with the expectation that those evenings really will be formal. Believe it or not, many people actually enjoy that kind of environment. To fail to conform is an injustice to them.

Also, I don't have a cocktail dress and not about to buy one, I'll never wear again.

What do you wear to events such as weddings and to major religious events such as baptisms, confirmations, or bar/bas mitzvah's?

Norm.
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Old February 19th, 2003, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

Jane,

FORMAL: A Dinner Jacket or dark business suit for gentlemen...

By way of clarification, a sport coat is not a dinner jacket. There's a picture of a gentleman wearing a dinner jacket at http://www.premiertuxedos.com/homepage56k.html. Dinner jackets come in many colors, though black and white seems to be most popular right now.

The tuxedo, which derives its name from The Tuxedo Club where it was first worn, is one style of dinner jacket, but not the only style.

Norm.
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Old February 19th, 2003, 07:35 PM
Karin
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

I had a very beautiful long dress (Size 4) for my daughters wedding just a few years
ego but I ate myself to an 8 and needed to buy a lot of clothe, but I do have nice things,
just not a cocktail dress. Maybe I should get one.

Thanks for all the good advise. All this preparation is kind of fun. That's what also
makes a vacation so special. "Anticipation!"

Karin
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Old February 20th, 2003, 03:42 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Prince

Norm wrote:

> I have yet to see anything official from Princess saying that
> any "alternative dining" has a dress standard other than that
> prescribed shipwide for the evening.. On my last several
> cruises, the Princess Patter has gotten even more explicit with
> a notice that "The prescribed evening attire applies
> throughout the ship
after 5:30 PM." (emphasis added) or
> similar wording. It's the lack of enforcement to back up
> such notices
that has drawn many complaints from
> passengers.
>
Norm:
I think that is where the problem lies. If one chooses to go to the Lido deck instead of the dining room on a formal night, they should not have to abide by the evenings dress code. It doesn't make sense to be dressed up for a buffet. There should be the option for those that don't want to dress up, to go to the buffet on the Lido deck. JMNSHO.
Frank
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Old February 20th, 2003, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

Norm, Frank...
You guys are right on the money. Just off the Golden and there were too many non-dressed cruisers...jeans and tee's in the lounges...even a tee (designer perhaps) in the Alternative Trattoria, and not pleasant to look at. Bottom line...it's not the money people don't have to dress to the occasion...what they lack is Class. Why don't they do an Island resort where they can wear almost anything?
Any you're right...do they go to weddings, and church etc in jeans so they can be confortable. Last words...trust me ladies...YOU ALL LOOK GREAT IN GOWNS!

PS...Michael...with the pictures...yeh...why would you want a studio quality picture for about $25.00...you could buy 4 of the one-time use cameras and take your own pictures.
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Old February 21st, 2003, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Pr

Frank,

There should be the option for those that don't want to dress up, to go to the buffet on the Lido deck. JMNSHO.

There is an option for those who don't want to dress up. It's called "book on anoher line" -- and it's really quite easy!

Norm.
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Old February 21st, 2003, 10:44 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

Karin,

A long formal dress certainly is appropriate for formal night. A cocktail dress is one of several options. Many ladies find the cocktail dress to be more versatile (you can wear it to a company Christmas party, for example, where a formal dress might be too dressy), but either way is fine on a cruise.

I do hope that you and your husband enjoy the cruise very much!

Norm.
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

Norm you are really going to hate me for this but I purchased a Liz Claiborne Black paintsuit that cost enough for 2 ballgowns. I can not wear a gown for a multitude of reasons I will not go into here. It is a beautiful suit...but it is a pantsuit. I will wear it on formal nights and will not be made to feel ashamed, or lacking in class.
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Old February 22nd, 2003, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Is Semi-Formal out on Princess

Pamwinn - no way should you feel ashamed or lacking in class for wearing a pant suit. That's what I wear, too ... and so do a great many other women on Princess cruises.

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