Some great info in these message boards..
First cruise, Princess Sun, and I need to know what the usual "formal wear" is. Are silk pants & a nice top enough? Should I bring a long skirt or dressy pants outfit? How many nights are formal, and how/when are they designated? I'd ask my cruise advisor, but, so far, I haven't received much help there!
On a typical 7 night Caribbean cruise you will have 2 formal nights.
the first formal night is the Captain's Gala Welcome Aboard party - this is the dressier of the two formal nights. It is usually the night of your first FULL day at sea. The second formal night is the Captain's Farewell - usually the night of your LAST FULL day at sea.
As for dress, on Princess the majority of the women wear long gowns or dressess, long dressy skirts w/sparkly or silky tops, dressy cocktail dress, dressy dinner suits, or dressy platazzo pants suits. If your ship has the Midnight Champagne Waterfall and Party on the last formal night, GO! it is great fun, the MaitreD and his staff build this huge champagne waterfall, the mood is very festive, champagne, streamers and you get to party with the staff.
My wife has a variety of outfits that are perfectly acceptable for formal evenings on board. They range from long dresses to an outfit that I call her RockStar outfit, which is something like a silky pair of pants with a bodice top, except it's one piece. It's a real pain for her to wear, but she looks so good in it that she wears it just for me.
Don't get too stressed about dress. If you have doubts that an outfit doesn't quite fit the bill, just accessorize.
9 Princess cruises to date
Sea, Dawn, Grand, Golden, Caribbean, Royal
Congratulations on picking Sun Princess for your first cruise. I am an original crewmember on the Sun. She is a beautiful vessel. Consider formal nights FORMAL. Go all out. For men, bring your tux or rent one. There is a website called cruiselineformal.com (or something similar) that will deliver your tux to your cabin. It will be there when you get on board. You leave it in the cabin when you leave. Simple as that. Ladies: it's your night to shine. Pull out all the stops. Dont go semi formal on a formal night. Even if you normally dont dress in formalware, just do it. There are normally 2 formal nights per cruise.
If you are on the Sun Princess, it is probably at ten day cruise. There are two formal nights on a ten day cruise. The information posted by other responders is all correct. The Sun Princess seems to encourage getting really dressed up. It's lots of fun! Dressy pants...........and a dressy top will suffice..........sparkles are even better. If you want to keep packing light, you could bring a long skirt or pants, and two different tops, or a scarf/jewelry, to change the look. I dont wear high heels, on a ship, but lots of women do.................. You may wish to bring a pashmina or shawl, as it is sometimes chilly from the a/c in the dining room and theaters. My husband wears a tux, and about 33-50 percent of the men do, but the others wear a suit.......... There are always a few that do not dress up. The Princess Patter (onboard daily newsletter) posts the dress code for each evening.........mostly "dressy casual" with the two "formal" nights.
Have a great time!