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-   -   Formal Nights (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/princess-cruise-lines/310634-formal-nights.html)

Cdk523 March 13th, 2006 12:08 PM

Formal Nights
 
We're sailing on the Carribean Princess on 5/20 and are wondering - are the formal nights mandatory throughout the ship or only in the main dining room? Is it possible to eat at the buffet without getting dressed up?

Irish Shark March 13th, 2006 12:27 PM

You can eat in the buffet if you like. The "formal nights" are a mixed bag. I have seen folks in jeans and sweatshirts in the dining rooms. Not just on formal nights, but every night. I was sure that they would not let them in, but they did not even blink an eye.

ohanafour March 13th, 2006 05:24 PM

I was on the Golden Princess cruise - Feb 24 - Mar 4 and they were wearing everything....I saw and entire family in the dining room (no children..all adults) wearing sweats, shorts, jeans and flip flops on formal night..now they stood out in the traditional dining room..I saw men in shorts and jeans on the other nights as well......I will say that most people were dressed very nice especially on the two formal nights.. :D

LisaK March 14th, 2006 08:43 AM

Chris, formal night dress code applies to the main dining rooms and specialty(pay) restaurants, technically it is the dress code for the entire evening aboard the ship(pool & hot tub being the exception)
On our last cruise on the Golden - 100% of the passengers were dressed appropriately in the main traditional dining room- late seating, and most folks stayed dressed - especially for the Midnight Champagne Waterfall party.

slotl March 14th, 2006 09:06 AM

In my opinion, Formal nights are an excuse for the photographer to make some money. The "picture" locations are set up throughout the ship and are very difficult to ignore. They assume that since you are "dressed to the nines" it would be a great opportunity for you to have a photo taken (in excess of $20).

My husband and I usually dress for dinner, then go back to our rooms to change clothes before heading for the casino in our jeans.

I absolutely HATE to pack formal clothes because it takes up too much room in the suitcase. I have to dress everyday for work, why would I want to dress for my vacation?

There are many positive and negative comments about formal nights. Do what you feel is best for you.

Slotl

danacline March 14th, 2006 10:27 AM

They may be an excuse for the photographers to make money, but we do tend to get our picture taken, and do tend to buy a few. Why? Well, the alternative is to convince the entire family to dress up once a year and go into a studio for a family picture. Much easier to do it on a cruise since we're all there and already dressed (and happy too).

Since I wear jeans and tshirts to work most days, this is one of the few times a year I wear a suit or tux. I enjoy it, and the wife/kids seem to also.

If you have traditional dining and wish to wear jeans on formal night, it might be nice to ask your tablemates the day before if they care, just to preserve friendly relations.

Dana

DougR. March 14th, 2006 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by danacline
They may be an excuse for the photographers to make money, but we do tend to get our picture taken, and do tend to buy a few. Why? Well, the alternative is to convince the entire family to dress up once a year and go into a studio for a family picture. Much easier to do it on a cruise since we're all there and already dressed (and happy too).

Since I wear jeans and tshirts to work most days, this is one of the few times a year I wear a suit or tux. I enjoy it, and the wife/kids seem to also.

If you have traditional dining and wish to wear jeans on formal night, it might be nice to ask your tablemates the day before if they care, just to preserve friendly relations.

Dana


Amen!!!! If you want to look like you just rolled off the turnip truck during formal night that is your business.

Cdk523 March 14th, 2006 11:28 AM

My husband and I certainly wouldn't want to look like we just rolled off the turnip truck, off the bed or anything else! That's why I was asking if formal attire is required only in the main dining room or throughout the ship because we wouldn't want to be offensive to anyone should we choose to NOT dress up. I have to dress up every single day for work and the thought of donning a dress with stockings and heels on my vacation makes me cringe! I just want to know that we have the option to be casual at the buffet or somewhere else we can grab a bite should we decide to opt out of formal attire. Maybe we can order room service and hide out, naked, in our cabin!

:D

tick1946 March 14th, 2006 11:48 AM

Here is a plain answer. We have been on the CP twice in the last two years. In the Main Dining Rooms, one is suppose to go by the Formal Dress Code. Some do not. At the Buffet, which on Formal nights has the same food, except you shell your own Lobster Tails. Smart or Resort Casual is usually the code. Again, some do not. On our first CP cruise we dressed both Formal nights. Last year we skipped the Main Dining Rooms on the Formal nights and wore Resort Casual. Basically, do what makes YOU feel comfortable. It is a cruise, a vacation, have fun and leave the trivial worries behind.

slotl March 14th, 2006 02:25 PM

Formal nights are a very "sticky" issue. Some people love them and others (like you and me, who have to dress up all week, hate them).

Just remember that in addition to the picture taking around the ship, there are also dining room table pictures taken on formal nights. If you want to be included in a "table shot" to remember your dining partners, in good conscience, you should attend the dining room on formal nights. If, you don't care about your fellow diners and don't want to be in the table picture, then of course, head to the lido buffet.

It is YOUR vacation. You worked hard all year to earn the money to pay for this vacation. #1 HAVE FUN!!

CAsailor March 15th, 2006 07:15 PM

You can dine at the buffet on formal night without getting dressed up. Jeans, shorts, anything but an uncovered bathing suit is fine at the buffet. After dinner, you can move about the rest of the ship in your casual attire since many people change after dinner (or do not attend the formal dinner).

Keep in mind, however, that depending on what ship you're on, the menu may be quite different from the main dining room. For example, I have never seen lobster tails at the buffet. Others have, so apparently it varies from ship to ship. If food is important to you, than you may not want to miss the main dining room on formal night since that is when they serve the best meals.

If you want to go to the main dining room, but you don't want to get all dressed up, I discovered on my last cruise that a dressier casual works well. I had not planned on going to formal dinner, but at the last minute my traveling companions decided that they wanted to go. I didn't want to dine alone, so I just put on the nicest outfit that I had with me which was a pair of black slacks and a plain button-down blouse with black loafers (this is one of my work outfits and I work in an office where business-casual is the norm). I really expected to feel out of place, but I didn't. Dress varies so greatly, that as long as you make an attempt to look "nice", you'll be okay. Now that I know how low the price of admission to formal night is, I will never skip the lobster again!

slotl March 16th, 2006 09:12 AM

I agree with CAsailer, a pair of "everyday" pants plus a nice blouse are formal enough to pass "formal standards".

There are no "dress police" in the dining room. Of course, jeans should not be considered for formal nights.

On one cruise to Taihiti , our luggage was lost for 9 of the 12 days. We had the blue jeans and t-shirts we arrived with. We learned to always pack a small suitcase with extra underwear as carry on. The ship offered to loan me some clothes for formal night, but a dress with sneakers, no make-up just did not feel right. So my husband and I both borrowed a Tux from the ship. Some people looked at me "funny", but........we did the best we could with what was offered. We survived! So did the other passengers!

The lesson to be learned from this is: Dress as you feel most comfortable. You should not care about the opinion of others. But of course, be respectful.

Slotl

LisaK March 16th, 2006 09:51 AM

FYI - it is up to the Matire D on each ship as to what he allows or doesn't allow into his dining rooms. I have seen Matire D's turn away passengers who on formal nights showed up wearing khakis, & a polo shirt.

proudpapa March 16th, 2006 10:40 AM

My wife and I have done "dressy" casual on all of our 14 cruises. We just don't wish to do the whole dress up thing, nor do we wish to be relegated to a buffet. I have to admit, for the first 6 cruises (all taken 10 or more years ago), I did feel slightly out of place not being dressed up, but for the past 8 cruises (all taken within the last 5 years) the overall dress seems to have become more casual and I feel that we fit in nicely right in the middle of the pack. Keep in mind that I am not talking jeans or shorts, but clothing that I might wear to work or a nicer restaurant back home.

DianeT March 16th, 2006 05:26 PM

I agree with the majority of postings - "dressy casual" is fine for formal nights. A long simsple skirt or a nice pair of black slacks and maybe a top with some "sparklies", a pair of open toe sandals and you are all set.


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