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Old July 22nd, 2007, 05:12 PM
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Default Formal dinners - Mandatory? Or are there other options?

Hi everyone,

So we're set to cruise on a 6 night Caribbean cruise (Me, my husband, our 3 year old, and Grandma & Grandpa). Were wondering about the formal dinner night - is that an absolute throughout the ship, or are there other dining options available that evening so we don't have to pack formalwear in our already over-stuffed bags (no more traveling lite once you have a toddler!). Plus, Toddlers and formal don't mix well, so we really hope we can just keep to casual and dine elsewhere. Perhaps one of the "pay" restaurants?


You are all such a wealth of knowledge - I truly appreciate those who've taken the time to answer my other 'newbie' questions...

Thanks!!!
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 05:25 PM
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KCOCAT, formal night is optional. I am not a big fan of it also. You can do one of the alternative restaurants where there is a small fee but very good, order room service and eat on your balcony if you have one or go to the windjammer which is buffet-self service. Many good options for you. Bob
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 05:50 PM
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If your ship has the alternate restaurants, they could be a good idea, but would cost about $20 per person. The buffet in the Windjammer will be open for all 3 meals every day of your cruise, and you can certainly go and eat there. The other option is room service. Room service is included in your cruise fare, available 24 hours, and you can usually get the same food as is on the menu in the main dining room. Although 24 hour room service is included in your cruise fare, it is customary to tip the waiter who brings your food a couple of dollars.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 06:12 PM
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All restaurants, including Chops and Portofinos, are considered Formal on Formal nights and they are definately not for a 3 y/o. Formal is the dress theme for the whole evening except the Windjammer which would be an option for you or room service as previously suggested.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 06:25 PM
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Portofino and Chops have an age limit. Only guests over the age of 13. There is allways the windjammer or room service if you don't want to attend formal night. While formal night is not mandatory, most cruise lines including RC have relaxed the rules, especially on Caribbean itineraries. You could probably attend wearing a nice pant suit or street length dress (no sundresses on formal night) for Ladies, and a dark suit or sport jacket for men. Blue jeans, and shorts are frowned upon at all times in the dining room.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 01:28 PM
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kcocat- formal evening attire applies to the main dining rooms, and the alternative restaurants. The only places to go casual are the Windjammer and if you are on the Freedom class ships, the pizza restaurant on the Royal Promenade. You can always order room service. Toddlers look so cute all dressed up! Actually you have enough people traveling with you to handle all your luggage so that you could put everyones formal wear into one garmet bag
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 01:42 PM
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Ok great - Thanks everyone!!! This will absolutely help us plan our trip!
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: Formal dinners - Mandatory? Or are there other options?

kcocat,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
Hi everyone,

So we're set to cruise on a 6 night Caribbean cruise (Me, my husband, our 3 year old, and Grandma & Grandpa). Were wondering about the formal dinner night - is that an absolute throughout the ship, or are there other dining options available that evening so we don't have to pack formalwear in our already over-stuffed bags (no more traveling lite once you have a toddler!). Plus, Toddlers and formal don't mix well, so we really hope we can just keep to casual and dine elsewhere. Perhaps one of the "pay" restaurants?


You are all such a wealth of knowledge - I truly appreciate those who've taken the time to answer my other 'newbie' questions...

Thanks!!!
Although you can go to the Windjammer in "casual" attire on the "formal" evenings, I really don't recommend planning to skip the "formal" evenings to anybody. The "formal" evenings are the evenings when the ship really pulls out all the stops -- the dining rooms break out the very best menus, the cast stages the best shows, and many cruise lines put on special events that are often quite memorable. If you don't participate, you'll really miss out.

That said, there are alternatives to packing a lot of formalwear.

>> Gentlemen can rent formalwear through the cruise line for about the price of a rental from a local "tuxedo" shop. The cruise line delivers the rental formalwear to your cabin on embarkation day and you simply leave it there for pick-up when you disembark. The rental formalwear offers a decent selection of styles and colors, too.

>> On most major cruise lines, ladies can wear a formal cocktail dress, which does not require all that much space in a suitcase, rather than an evening dress. Nobody will get upset if you wear the same dress on both "formal" evenings, though you might want to accessorize it somewhat differently. And some cruise lines also offer rental formalwear for ladies, though this does not seem to be universal.

In any case, the "formal" evenings do not have to be painful!

Norm.
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 10:05 PM
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My formal was black pants and a pretty top with a few sparkles. It was just fine. Yu will see a little of everything. I wore the same black pants on the second formal night also.
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Old July 24th, 2007, 12:04 AM
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Not opting for a formal night, especially with a 3 year old, would make sense. Go for the Windjammer buffet dinner.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 07:12 AM
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oh my gosh!!! IS THIS LADY CONFUSED NOW. OH BOY WHAT TO DO...WHAT TO DO.... I am sure they would have BABYSITTING.... on the cruise so the ADULTS SHOULD GO OUT!!! and enjoy there evening without missing out on there feature activities in the main dinning room...
Personally Im thinking that I would try that route before totally not going at all.
Sorry I have no idea about the babysitting thing as I am beyond those years unfortunately.
I AM SURE that the child will be fine while you dine for one evening without you.... Or should I ask would you be fine with going without your child.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 09:35 AM
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kcocat- another FYI - formal night dinner doesn't take any longer than dinner on casual nights, the difference is that the cruise line 'Puts on the Ritz" and has a great menu. so if your toddler does fine with dinner on the other nights he? will do just fine on formal night. Have seen quite a few well-dressed, well behaved toddlers on my cruises and the staff and your fellow cruises just see to go "gaga" over that! lol
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