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Katzenjammer January 12th, 2010 06:31 PM

Seabourn dress codes?
Is Seabourn a formal ship, or is it "country club"casual all the time. I went on the Seabourn Sun a long time ago - but it had formal nights back then. i think it has changed with the smaller ships.

Does anybody know?

Paul Motter March 8th, 2010 08:18 PM

I am pretty sure the ships ar emore country club casual than they ever were. That is to say they have slightly younger people than before and so they tend to dress down during the day. At night they wear NICE casual clothes, however. They should look confortable, but also tasteful - not to trendy or contemporary, but more like a tropical party at a very nice restaurant.

Paul Motter March 11th, 2010 10:06 AM

Thank you winner - can you tell us how formal the formal nights are? Do people still wear tuxes?

Paul Motter March 11th, 2010 02:05 PM

Thanks for the update. I am hoping to take my first Seabourn cruise soon.

Paul Motter March 13th, 2010 01:49 PM

I hope to get on one of the new ships soon. Our culinary editor will be going on Odyssey in June and she is a real expert. I am sure she will give us a great article on everything food related onboard.

I'll tell you a secret. Seabourn is not that excited about inviting me because we don't have a lot of Seabourn people posting in our message boards. They think that means their people don't come here.

But if you look at every message, the few there are, you will see that each one has been viewed THOUSANDS of times.

People come here to do Seabourn research. Unfortunately Seabourn the cruise line, hasn't helped us build out our Seabourn community.

That is one reason I am very glad YOU are here. We need more regular posts in Seabourn and the other luxury cruise lines as well.

I hope to possibly go on one of the smaller Seabourn cruise ships to Asia this summer.

Iamboatman December 3rd, 2010 09:21 AM

The present dress code on Seabourn is one Formal Optional night per seven day cruise. So, for example, on my recent 9 day cruise on the Seabourn Odyssey there was 1 Formal Optional night, 6 Elegant Casual and 2 Casual nights.

Formal Optional is where you can dress formally (tux/dark suit and gowns) if you like, but the rest of the ship is requested to dress at least Elegant Casual. What does that mean? It means a jacket, but no tie for men and a dress, skirt or pants outfit for women. However, what you will find is that almost all men will wear a tie Formal Optional evenings.

BTW, casual is not NCL casual. It means a collared shirt for men and if you dine in The Restaurant you do not need a jacket. Jeans are not permitted...even $300 a pair jeans. (I mean who looks at price tags when what your fellow diner's see is denim?)

On my last cruise I did not see any issues to speak of. Seabourn does have some "emergency" jackets for men who do not bring them to The Restaurant and do not wish to return to their suites to retreive on.

That is, however, only The Restaurant. If you dine in The Colonnade or Restaurant 2 or the Patio Grill, no jackets are required.

lord of the seas December 4th, 2010 06:04 AM

Yes Iamboatman is correct.The newer larger ships that Seabourn now has are attracting a newer slightly younger crowd,which is good for the line.The smaller yachts are still attracting the more seasoned Seabourn guest and on some itineraries the dress code will be slightly more formal than the larger ships.So good news for all.Dress codes changing everywhere in this world,not always for the better especially at the Theatre.

Paul Motter December 4th, 2010 11:15 AM

It seems to me Cunard is the last bastion of pure formality, especially a transatlantic crossing on QM2. I have not seen that many tuxes on one ship since my days working for Royal Viking Lines back in 1982/83.

On RVL everyone wore a tux. Some men actually had custom made tuxes of powder blue or purple with paisly cummerbunds, etc. It was quite the show.

On Cunard you should not bring a white tux- that is what the dance hosts wear.
Does Seabourn still have gentlemen hosts? I heard they ended that program.

Iamboatman December 4th, 2010 11:37 AM

Seabourn hasn't had gentlemen hosts for as long as I can remember. Crystal does, though.

I would disagree that QM2 is the last bastion of formality. Yes, if stay in the confines of Grill Class, but venture beyond the Queen's Grill Lounge or the two Grill Restaurants (Princess and Queen), you are squarely in a mass market, not so formal, ship. In fact, I experienced dropping my son off at the kid's club and then having to walk through the King George food mall in my tux with people in shorts and t-shirts.

On Seabourn you will have a classy atmosphere throughout the ship. There are many tuxes and smart dressers, but with changing times and airlines looking at luggage as a profit center...

GrannyLorr December 4th, 2010 01:15 PM

Our last Seabourn cruise was late last year, 2 back to backs. I couldnt believe the difference in guests dress between the two cruises. Cruise 1, was Copenhagen to Copenhagen via St Petersburg, 14 days........on Formal nights there were a much smaller number of tux's etc than I have normally seen, then Cruise 2....Copenhagen to London, 12 days.....more Formal dress than I have ever seen!! Same general area, same temperature, same length of crusie, same age group....different dress code?? Seemed very strange.

Paul Motter December 4th, 2010 02:02 PM

Maybe it was the mix of nationalities onboard?

I have found the Brits to be pretty formal - like on Cunard.

But I have also been on MSC cruises and the French and Germans were the most casual cruisers I ahve ever seen. It was honestly as if they didn't even know what formal means on a cruise. They hadn't a clue.

Paul Motter December 4th, 2010 02:08 PM

I was on a transatlantic for QM 2 - and those crossings have a "Black & White ball" (obviously referring to tuxes) and an "Ascot Ball" - where it is the tradition for the lady to make formal hats from supplies given to them.

There were literally several hundred people at each ball and the vast majority of men were in Tuxes. They could not have all come from the Queens or Princess suites.

Here is a link to a pic I found online:

johnthed0g December 4th, 2010 02:18 PM

A bit off topic, but I wonder what it is that people don't like about dressing up, especially on a cruise where it is known that it is done. I don't mean anyone on this thread, just generally.

Paul Motter December 4th, 2010 02:33 PM

Well, obviously, there are a number of people who never dress up because their jobs don't call for it - and many of the guys (especially) don't feel comfortable doing it because it is unfamiliar to them

Then there are the men who dress up every day to go to work - and they just say "I'm on vacation, and I don't want to dress up on vacation."

And at the other end you have people who DO like to dress up, and many of those people go on cruises largely because it allows them to get dressed up, which they would hardly ever do otherwise.

I truly cannot say I enjoy getting dressed up. Once I'm done getting dressed I generally don't mind it, but the prospect of havung to get all gussied up generally does not thrill me.

But then again, half the time I am on a short media cruise and they generally give about 10 minutes to get ready - and that is not too much fun.

If I had an unlimited budget and a body like Matthew McConnahay I would probably enjoy buying formal clothes and looking good, but I don't and I don't.

Back in my Royal Viking Days I had a few different suits and I enjoyed doing the formal thing - matching kerchiefs, argyle socks - I was a regular GQ model, but that was 50 lbs. ago. :rolleyes:

GrannyLorr December 4th, 2010 04:40 PM

Dont think different nationalities was the reason on our cruise.....lots of Brits on both. The mix of nationalities was pretty much the same on both.

I dont "dislike" dressing up......but for us in Oz its the luggage on airlines that is the problem. We are more restricted than anyone else from what I have been able to find out. "If" we fly to the USA. we are allowed double the amount of luggage than we are if we fly to Europe or Britain....why?? no idea!! :confused: Our next cruise is 102 days.....have to fly to Britain....very limited luggage.....its a pain!

johnthed0g December 4th, 2010 05:09 PM

So what are the luggage limits then?
Our next cruise we have 23 KG each.

Iamboatman December 4th, 2010 05:18 PM


You or anyone else can arrange to ship luggage to the ship. Seabourn has this service and there are some independent companies that do it as well. It isn't cheap, though. I also wonder why people don't just do a quick shop before they board the cruise as it can be less expensive than the extra luggage charges. But I am a guy.:rolleyes:


There really is more to a formal evening than the clothes. On Seabourn you may be greeted by a 6 to 9 course Chef's Menu with elegant cuisine...and not a show with frozen lobster tails with people trying to consume as many as possible shrimp cocktails as possible. That isn't what happens in Grill, but in Britannia it is, alas, a different story (as it is on many more mainstream lines). When I was on QM2 the Black & White Ball was fairly poorly attended and there were more suits than tuxes. It varies from cruise to cruise.

There is no doubt the Cunard is a favorite for some, Regent is for others and Seabourn is for yet others. It is, alas, whatever floats an individual's boat. That is why it is important for folks to get information - from places like here and knowledgeable travel agents - so that they have the cruise experience they personally want and not what is perceived from brochures.

Just as clothes don't make the man/woman formal nights don't make the cruise's dining experience formal...high quality...enjoyable.

Paul Motter December 4th, 2010 05:30 PM

Well, just for the record on my QM2 crossing (was yours a crossing, Eric?) both of the balls were very well attended. Plus I would have to say it was one of the most formal experiences I have ever had on a cruise ship.

I would say we have about 60% Brits on that cruise, by the way. And everytime I have been on Cunard it has been in the Princess or Queens Grill, so I dont really know Britannia.

Lets just say that if I showed up on the cruise I was on without my tux I would have been just a little upset that I had failed to bring it.

I would say the formal nights on Crystal came close for ther number of tuxes, back in 2008.

But of course EVERY cruise is different - I was on the inaugural cruise of Liberty of the Seas and it had a lot of Crown & Anchor members, and I was astounded to see that at least 80%+ of the men had on tuxes.

So in the long wrong it is more about dressing formally if you personally it enjoy rather than worrying so much about what other people will think. I think it shows that you are an experienced cruiser to do so, and that you have the class to show up in formal dress even knowing maybe not everyone will agree. Even if I hear a ship is pretty informal, and I decide I want to go formal anyway - then I see no problem with that.

Paul Motter December 4th, 2010 05:34 PM

Those luggage limits are ridiculous!!! all they do is slow down the boarding process and then they need to fill the hold with sandbags to balance out the loads.

Its just another scam to get more "do-re-mi" out of "why-oh-ewe".

GrannyLorr December 4th, 2010 05:37 PM


Originally Posted by johnthed0g (Post 1332341)
So what are the luggage limits then?
Our next cruise we have 23 KG each.

Next trip we are flying a combination of Qantas and British, and I think the limit is 30 or 32 kgs each...thats in Business/First class....that may sound plenty....but dont forget our cruise is for 102 days, plus a few days pre cruise in London....and a week mid cruise in Singapore...and also covers a lot of varying temperatures......and also remember that I still havent managed to pack "light". :confused: How long is your cruise and to what area?

Boatman....I have used the Seabourn luggage service to get stuff HOME after a cruise......but it really is very expensive to here. We shipped one suitcase from Rome to Brisbane and it cost $800......on top of that, our luggage that we took home with us was so overweight Qantas wanted to charge us $1000 excess just from Singapore to Brisbane!! I will save my pennies and maybe ship one home again, if I do a lot of shopping!

GrannyLorr December 4th, 2010 05:42 PM

we now pack hubbys tux in our carry on luggage, squash it in, and get it cleaned as soon as we board....however last trip even our carry ons were weighed (at Brisbane) and we had to state which airline we were flying, as different ones had different regulations. That time we were flying Emirates and they had a very generous limit so we were ok.

Our first cruise, hubby took 1 tux, 3 formal shirts, 4 bow ties (colours to match my outfits....not that he would have had a clue!! :rolleyes:) and a few sets of cufflinks cruise there will be 1 shirt, 1 bow tie and 1 set of I am "learning....slowly"......

GrannyLorr December 4th, 2010 05:44 PM

*** I am getting closer to my signature *** :D:D:D

johnthed0g December 4th, 2010 05:45 PM

The dress code is formal not the meal itself surely, I think it IS the formal dress that makes a formal evening what it is.
I cruise mostly with P&O & consider them not quite a 4* line, on all the formal nights I have attended I would say 95% wear (as we call them) dinner jackets.

johnthed0g December 4th, 2010 05:51 PM

Not a money maker with P&O, 23 kg's & that's it....any more you have to leave it behind, no excess allowed. One tiny item of carry on luggage no more than 5kg's with strict size limits too.

Iamboatman December 4th, 2010 06:11 PM

This past month was the first time I was every questioned about my luggage. I am Elite as I do fly a lot. This was the scam: I had exactly the same number of bags flying from the US to Europe as I did on the return, but my first flight was on Continental over and Lufthansa back. When I went to check in at Rome they said I had too many bags. I said I would take two bags as carry-on along with my briefcase. They said that was too many...but I knew better.

Then they decided to weigh my carry-ons and said they weighed too much. So I took stuff out of my carry-ons and put them in my checked luggage...which I am allowed extra weight.

Then they said that my carry-ons were too large (they are TravelPro, so that wasn't possible) and made me take them to a measuring rack. When they didn't fit, I told them to get out a tape measure because their rack was undersized.

Net result: I got all of my stuff on the same plane without having to pay probably $500 in excess luggage charges.

Still fuming, when I got to security, they had measuring templates on the x-ray machines and my bags fit through just nicely.

If I hadn't known my rights the Lufthansa would have ripped me off. Plain and simple.

Think about this: The professed reason for the regulations is because the extra weight costs more in fuel. In my case (no pun intended) the weight was perfectly fine; it was the distribution of weight that Lufthansa tried to exploit.

Knowledge is power.

Iamboatman December 4th, 2010 06:13 PM

One other thing. Do you know why a good percentage of people cruise on the QM2? No luggage limits!

Paul Motter December 5th, 2010 02:36 PM

Wow, $500 is a lot. I am amazed the penalties are so high! unbelievable.

Yeah, like I said, all they are doing is causing people to carry more on, and if the baggage compartment isnt balanced they have to load in sandbags anyway.

Plus they have gotten so cheap about fuel they probably wait to see how heavy the plane is before they fuel it up.

I am no airline expert - so I am just shocked at this. Is our country going to nit-picking He** in a handbasket?

GrannyLorr December 5th, 2010 02:52 PM

"Carrying more on" is not an option here.....carry ons can be weighed as well....and they must fit in those thingys that say what size they have to be. So far I have always been able to manage to also sneak on a laptop bag and a huge hand bag (think you yanks call it a purse or something) hubby carrys my camera bag, (its quite big too)......*sigh* day I might learn to pack better, but when you travel for long periods is very difficult. Now if I lived somewhere near Florida....I could go on lots of shorter cruises....and take less luggage.
I think one thing that pushed our authorities into becomming so strict with luggage, was because of the huge influx of Japanese tourists we used to should have see what they carried!! :rolleyes: Some carried half our meat and fisheries industry home with them in styrene boxes....and where the hell all the shopping bags fitted on the plane, I cant imagine!! I used to wonder how the planes actually got up into the air!

GrannyLorr December 5th, 2010 03:00 PM


Originally Posted by Iamboatman (Post 1332360)
One other thing. Do you know why a good percentage of people cruise on the QM2? No luggage limits!

One cruiseline I have never had any interest in sailing is Cunard. Dont know much about it really to be able to make any judgement, but have just heard too much about "what class" you are in and simply dont like the sound of it. It always brings to mind The Titanic film, where the "upper class" ate, drank and were merry until "oh oh" time, and the Irish "peasants" were locked below decks....maybe it reminds me of my ancestors? (Aussie convicts) ;)

GrannyLorr December 5th, 2010 03:06 PM

ok....going just a wee bit off topic here, but I have just had a brain wave as to why I like the Seabourn yachts so much!! Its in my genes......none of my family have ever been travellers....BUT....the original one that came to Oz certainly was....not by choice of course......
This is his mode of travel to Oz in the 1860's.

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