the dress code knows no age, its the same for everyone.
Casual nights - a nice pair of cargo or dockers type pants with a polo or jersey top
Smart Casual - same pants as casual nights just add a button-down shirt, sports jacket and tie aren't required, no sneakers
Formal - suit, or dress pants with a blazer, shirt/tie dress shoes.
As for eating together- we traveld in a group and we insisted that the kids eat with us, we had early dinner so that they could eat and then go do some of the scheduled kid/teen events for the evening.
The Rev is correct, but that being said if your teen hates dressing up he can eat in the room or the buffet area on formal night.
Also - as long as he is in nice clothes he won't be ostracized. Just please don't let him wear jeans, sneakers or a t-shirt. I can personally live with clean slacks and a poloshirt, and if he has a jacket that is a real bonus.
Kids can get away with not wearing ties, but they look really good when they do wear them.
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.
My 13yrs old son wore a Tuxedo on the Formal nights.
Strange..... he kicked up a fuss about having to wear one but when he heard the ladies complimenting him, he couldn't wait for the second night!
And I hope that you tipped the ladies appropriately... ;-)
No, seriously, we should thank other adults who give teens reinforcement for doing the right thing, like wearing proper attire on the "formal" evenings. A couple Sundays ago, I commended a lady at my church on the job that she has done raising her adopted daughter, remarking how the daughter dresses and conducts herself as quite a young lady, while the daughter was standing there. She immediately turned to the daughter and said, "See, did you hear that?" as the daughter half grinned and half bent her head down in embarrassment at the attention. Nonetheless, teens really do respond positively to such obvious acceptance from strangers!
As a 17 year old senior in high school, I can relate directly to your situation. Our parents have two major rules when we cruise:
a) meet with the family to go to dinner
b) be in by their set curfew
On the cruise everybody in my family enjoys doing their own thing, and often times we end up participating in the same activities and seeing each other everywhere... but each night, dinner is a big deal. My parents expect my brother and I to be ready for dinner about 15 minutes before the doors open so we can mingle in the promenade and take pictures. On formal nights we get ready an hour early to mingle and to dance and enjoy meeting the captain. It is not unreasonable to ask your son(s) to join you at dinner because 95% of the teens go to dinner with their families so most of their newly acquainted friends and ladies 8) will be at their dinner, so no free time is lost! Dinner really is a special part of the cruise as it is really a bonding time and the food is absolutely scrumptious!
As far as our dress:
Casual Night - Khaki's with a tucked in collared shirt
Formal Night - Suit and tie
Its funny in that its all what you are accustomed to. As a woman, I would not want to wear a tie as it looks SO uncomfortable to me. However, my seven-year old has to wear a tie to school every day in the winter, and he really never gives it a second thought. I've seen him playing football and baseball after school with the tie still half on when he can't be bothered to change into play clothes. He goes thru a lot of ties! So, I'm figuring for formal nights can just bring along one or two of his school ties.