What does "smart casual" mean? What is the typical dress code for evenings that are not formal. Shirt and Slacks? Polo Shirt and khakis? How about on Formal Nights, I heard that a tie is not needed, just slacks, shirt and a sports coat? Sure does not sound formal to me. Are most people is dark suite and tie or dressy casual on formal nights? I am taking a 4 day cruise on Monarch of the Seas from LA to Mexico.
Sorry Donna and fitzla, I have never seen a man wear a jacket on "smart casual" night. Most wear nice button shirt, either short or long sleeve and nice slacks or khakis. Some even have silk t-shirts or hawaiian shirts. Even in Portofino and Chops, no one in our party of 12 wore or brought a sport coat. My DH did wear a tie but took it off since he was the only one wearing one.
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
#37-Allure of the Seas 11/11/12
7 night Eastern Caribbean
CA Cruiser...I just agree with everyone else on this subject now since when I dissagree, I tend to get my ass kicked. I have many different opinions on dress codes for non formal nights, but if I explain them, I get attacked by all the others who apparently have a much better sense of fashion than me. As for me, I would never wear a jacket on non-formal nights. No need for it unless it is cold.
I have to agree with you, we recently stopped packing the sports jacket.. The poster wanted to know what the smart casual actually meant. After we packed and wore the jacket and noticed that more than half were not, next cruise we didn't bother.
Both Carnival and Princess don't have these nights, I wish the other cruiselines would also follow suit.
Donna is absolutely correct in saying "smart casual" is a coat for the men with or without a tie.Ther is a difference between this and casual irregardless of what you saw on your posting.If you were on another line such as Holland or Celebrity you would most dressed with a coat as she mentions.
RCI has screwed up describing the attire they'd like to see worn with AWFUL terminology. Everyone sees the "casual" part, and concentrates on that, so that's what most of the passengers now treat it as.
That's ok by me, as I think the formal nights are enough. However RCI should quit playing the game (as Princess and Carnival have) and just designate (and call) the non formal nights, casual. Get rid of the ambiguous terminology!
It's not the cruiseline's fault. "Casual" ACTUALLY means a suit, as opposed to a tux, if you want to get semantic about it.
But really it just comes down to two competing things:
1). The actual deffinitions
2). What people actually wear.
Smart casual means a jacket and a button-front shirt. I would argue a tie as well, but if the rest of your attire looks like you give a damn, you can probably skip the tie. Smart casual does NOT mean dockers and a polo shirt. It doesn't matter if every single male on the ship and half the females are in that attire, it is STILL wrong.
But the fact is, on every cruise ship, there will be people wearing dockers and polos to formal nights, sneakers, shorts when they can, and just thinking that everyone else is nuts for dressing up on vacation. (6 men without a jacket is simply 6 wrong men, not 6 men who know how to dress properly)
So do what you want, you will almost always manage to fit in. You will be WRONG, but you will almost always fit in.
What really bothers me is those who get so BITTER about what other people wear. If you want to wear a coat on non formal nights, then do so. Don't sit a judge what others do on THEIR vacation. stop being such a bitter person, worry about YOUR OWN vacation and not someone elses, and just have a good time. If you would like to call the cruise line and ask them what causual means TODAY, and not in 1950, then they will tell you that NO COAT IS REQUIRED!!! In my world, causual does not mean to wear a coat....ever!!! I would tend to believe the cruise line, and not you. So, wrong or not, worry about yourself, and not what the true definition means. Things change with time, and just because that is what it USED to mean, does not mean that that is what it means now.
As I say over and over again on this forum, there is a DIFFERENCE between the formal rules of dress and the common usage of these terms. Someone was offering a semantic arguement about what casual means and I pointed out that technically (by the formal rules), it means a jacket. NOW, not the 1950's.
But I also point out that to most people in most situations, casual means something less than that. On a cruise ship, for example, that's what you will see.
So ultimately the answer is, yes there is a formal deffinition to all of these dress codes, but MOST people in MOST situations use whatever the current common usage is and also tend, whenever possible, to push even further away from the "Formal" end of the scale. That's why you see people in dockers on Formal nights. And why others, should they want to do so, get away with it as well. So wear what you want, no matter what you do, you will have company. But having company doesn't make you right.
Andre,Disagree with you on what constitutes casual which accordingtothe cruise line means a shirt with a collar and a nice pair of slacks no jeans.Smart casual is coat with a tie or not.If they said informal this would mean a suit as opposed to smart casual.At any rate none of the above calls for jeans or shorts in the main dining room period.
Again, I did NOT say that casual on a cruise ship means a jacket and tie. I said that the origin of the "casual" dress is an affair which is not formal (black tie), or informal (business suit). This is what it has meant on the past and what it basically means now in strict circles.
But I also said that a cruise ship is different, both because they redefine the word for themselves AND because people who don't know what a classic dress code even is have redefined it. To 90%+ people, casual means AT MOST dockers and a polo shirt. And that's fine - I'm not criticising that. That's what I do for casual (except I despise polo shirts, so I wear a button down). I'm simply saying that if one wants to get into a TECHNICAL or SEMANTIC arguement about what "casual" really means in the dress code sense, as someone did, then the cruise lines an common populace has it wrong, as a jacket/blazer is technically part of a casual outfit.
formal = black tie
informal = dark suit
casual = jacket (like a blazer over your dockers and polo shirt), no tie required, but it can be acceptable for some situations.
Everything else is less than casual.
This is from technical sense, not a cruise ship or party-at-home sense. It's for informational purposes, and I'm not telling anyone they have to wear a jacket to dinner on a cruise ship.