I happened to see a thread on our Princess message board turn to yet another discussion of formal wear on formal nights.
I think these discussions are often interesting, and can get quite heated, so I thought I'd begin a thread on the topic again here, for general discussion.
[b]what do u think? Should formal nights become a thing of the past, or do u enjoy the ambience?[b]
In the Princess thread I sort of lumped all cruise ship "suggested rules of behavior" together.
[b] Should we be able to choose which of the "rules" are meant for us, and which we want others to obey?[b]
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Hi Moose Man,
I'm all for having the formal nights as they have always been, don't understand the big deal about getting dressed up for a night or 2, its actually quite fun, we sure don't do it often at home, so why not on vacation. These days there are other alternatives if people choose not to dress up. I hate seeing this disappear. I did notice on our last cruise they dropped one of the smart/casual nights to a casual night and thats fine too, so we ended up with the 2 formals and 1 smart casual and the 4 remaining casual.
This is a very interesting subject, that as you have said can get heated.
In everyday life, i guess we have the choice of dressing up to go out or to go casual. By this i mean, if anyone was to want to dress up and go out they could. Wear a tux go to the opera or play and out for an expensive dinner. There are many venues you can do that. If you want to dress casually you can and go to a wide variety of places from Mcdonalds to Outback steakhouse.
You dress up to a certain extent to go to church. You dress a certain way for work or school. It just seems funny there is a certain dress code for everything in life. So in everyday living you can dress up if you want to, not only on a cruise.
I guess i would go for a formal dress only night. No other attire will be allowed. I just don't want to be treated as a lowlife and be regulated to alternative dining. I want the same treatment of being waited on, no matter what i am wearing. That is my gripe. If i decide not to wear formal clothing, do not tell me to go to alternative dining where i have to wait on myself buffett style, or to get room service. I too paid for the chance to be waited on, no matter what i am wearing. I kinda find that discriminatory. To solve this they could have formal seating at 630 lets say and an 815 seating for everyone else. That way all the formal people could eat together and then enjoy all the shows together while in their formal wear. That would also solve the problem of people griping about others changing after dinner. They would be at the shows when the other casual people are eating therefore not disturbing their formal night. Sound slike a perfect solution, maybe that is why they are offering supper clubs and chargeing for certain eateries onboard now.
I do believe they should have a formal night for those who enjoy it. I personally have never enjoyed it and I never will. I will dress up for the formal nights but I find nothing enjoyable about it. I only do it in consideration of others. I mean no offense but I do not need fancy clothes to feel special and enjoy the evening. Just the fact that my wife still wants to be with me after all these years makes the night special enough for me.
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Please keep the formal nights. They allow a bit of culture and elegance in our lives that our everyday lives don't allow. Men need to remember what it is not to be slobs and women enjoy looking their best. I think it is the "fairy princess" thing going on.
My wife and I enjoy the formal evenings. As a former plant manager of a formalwear company I have always enjoyed donning the old tux. I usually take two tuxedos, one white and one black.
Formalwear is worn on special occasions, Proms, Weddings, Black-Tie Dinners and CRUISES (which are very special occasions.)
I can't wait until next February so I can slap on the old tux! As I have said on other boards, my wife sez I remind her of Bond, James Bond, when I am dressed in formalwear. (And we all know what happens to Bond at the end of a film.) :-)
Formal night. Keep them. So let's "explore" the civil rights of those that choose to scream loudly about the fact that they paid for their cruise....etc,etc.etc.
I paid too...
I did not pay to sit behind a guy that is wearing his Cozumel T-Shirt that is covered with sandy grit, and reeks from BO! But, let us not forget his civil rights!
This is the same guy that thinks his 19 items in the 15 item lane at the grocery store is ok. He is the same guy that thinks his breath ain't "that bad." he is the same guy that can't understand why them darn restaurants want him to not sneeze on the salad bar.
He is the same guy that thinks..."f..." is a verb, noun, adverb, adjective, etc.etc. But we need to protect his civil rights.
Come on! Even if you've got no class on land, one night out of your life ain't gonna kill ya to take a shower, shave, put on at least a tie, and pretend you are well mannered and your parents did try to teach you how to act in public.
That's the reason cruise ships have their "Lido" restuarants - for those who can't be bothered to get dressed up. I think its fun to get all gussied up - at least for 2 nights! You can always go back to your cabin immediately afterward and change if its just too uncomfortable!
I certainly wasn't talking about a t-shirt and BO. I wasn't talking about being a non-conformist for the sake of being different either. What about people who wear an ethnic outfit, or something that comes from their homeland ? Would that be formal ? Is the only thing you can wear are tuxes and gowns ? Nothing else would suffice ?
Then there is another argument regarding whether it is appropriate to change after dinner. Isn't it called a formal evening ? So changing after dinner would not be the thing to do either.
Last but not least , would it really bother someone and ruin your evening if someone else did not dress to the nines. Isn't that what it is all about anyways,being better than the next person? If you have a nice tux and paid $$$ for it, do you look at the next guy and snicker because you know his is cheaper ? I know for a fact women love to gossip, so don't they say something about someone elses' jewelry,or shoes or where did she have her hair done, or she forget to wax her mustache.
So thanks everyone for your great ideas, I truly enjoy them, and i won't be the stinky tshirt wearing thing who likes to be different.
On our 1st cruise we were lucky to be able to afford to go at all and I didn't have the $$ to rent/buy any formal wear. I pulled together a semi-formal/dressy outfit for me and my daughter and my husband wore a suit. On our ship I did notice people who had all types of outfits on. This cruise I am hoping to have fancier clothing.
Our first cruise is over and I have to say that I enjoyed the formal nights very much. I was apprehensive at first, but in planning the cruise got more and more excited about taking my wife out for our first "prom".
Rented the black and white combo. Bought the wife a new dress. Did the whole thing. Enjoyed every minute of it. Most everyone was dressed to the nines, although white tuxes were rare. Even enjoyed standing in line for all the photos. Came out with some great pictures.
Its an experience that everyone should try at least once.
I agree TOTALLY with Jim - This whole discussion is a matter of degrees! The guy in the smelly t-shirt LIVES; We've all seen him on cruises on formal nights! Frankly I don't care all that much whether its a Navy Blazer or a Tux; Fancy pants suit -or beads. But the T-shirt guy comes too -and the accompanying behavior! That is simply too much! And for those who think it IS OK; How would you like to be sitting next to Mr T-shirt in a fine restaurant? Or at the Opera? McDonalds -Fine, nobody cares, A neighborhood movie -same. IF you attend a "formal" function you are expected to at least make the effort to be "presentable" - Or Mom will spank!
I never dress ashore as I do on formal nights, unless for an exceptional event. Not having to wear a suit to work is one life's joys. That said, formal nights are about the only place left where it's expected - and I enjoy them a lot.
A couple of years ago, my father joined us on a cruise. Getting him to buy an inexpensive sports jacket was as close a he would get to "formal" - but he and the rest of the ship seemed to have a good time regardless.
Some years back, we did a 19-day eastbound Panama Canal repositioning cruise out of Vancouver on the Ryndam, and met some wonderful people among the pre-dinner "regulars" at the Ocean Bar. There were lots of formal nights, and a large crowd of HAL alumni was in full dress - in particular an amazing array of sequined gowns, some of which were way over the top. So much so that one night, well into our second round, our group established the International Save the Sequin Society....so at future formal nights, think about whether the couple at the next table - he in tux, she in elegant silk - might just be its roving agents.
Last year HAL gave us our copper 100+ days medallions - on a formal night, so I wore mine during the evening - and giggled at the realization that I needed only a little gold braid to resemble some tin-pot dictator. Dumb? yup - but fun? absolutely!
PS...there's always a risk, in contributing to this site, of offending someone - so let me assure you that the International Save the Sequin Society adopts only the kindest of means to advance its cause, uses only recycled products, is gender- and culturally- sensitive ---and locates its sequin rescue and rehabilitation facility at an ecologically-appropriate site. Cheers!
As a guy who is taking his lady on our first cruise on the QE2 in October I will sure be taking a dinner suite ( UK English for tux) and the lady will be wearing the full gear. Just think what an impact the lovely Kate Winslet would have made coming down the staircase in a t shirt and jeans. Let's vote for romance.
Just back from 14 night traditional cruise including 3 formal nights. Many people are really not dressing formal. Informal dress is the norm on formal nights. I took fancy gowns, etc., but after the 1st formal night, I wore my informal clothes(dress and heels) on those nights. Casual has become really casual. Jeans, shorts and tees are now accepted. A few years back,I was told to change for dinner. I even wore jeans (black) on an informal night. No problem. NOt that I don't enjoy dressing up now and then, it would be easier to pack if cruises were really all casual. IT's also more relaxed on casual nights. Walking on heels on a moving ship can be unsafe. Next cruise, I'm leaving the formal stuff home. Heels and nylons.. not for me. When I'm on vacation, I like to relax. And, I really hate buffet lines.
I choose to take a cruise for my vacation. I want to relax, be waited on for a change, ( I wait on people for a living ). I have to wear a tux shirt and bowtie working. I do NOT want to have to dress formally to dine. I paid to have a good time and dressing up is not my idea of fun on vacation, especially on a 3 or 4 day cruise. On formal nights, use 1 dining room for the casual crowd, and one for the formals.
Excellent suggestion. After my last cruise, I will never take a tux again. Leave the beaded gowns, etc. home. People are revolting. Even on formal nights, most people choose to play it down. They usually dress nicely, but not too formal. I agree that dressing formal is a hassle. In those small cabins, it's downright unpleasant to have to get dressed up. And, a lot of those who do dress formal look stupid in dressy clothes that are usually too tight. After 2 weeks of dressing on my last cruise, I really enjoy the comfort of casual dining when and where I want... kitchen, dining room, patio or at a local dive. No dress code, no hassle.I'm sure that there will always be some cruises with FORMAL nights, but in most cases I think the traditional cruise dress is a thing of the past. Many people are unwilling to DRESS. I'm looking forward to my next vacation. Hotel, beach, swimsuit, shorts and sandals. A little suntan lotion and a hat. Should be able to get it all into a carryon type bag. A nice change from the 4 suitcases that I last took(one of which the cruiseline lost)
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: Formal Wear Discussion
Men have it the worst… Women can get a way with wearing any old trash bag and claim it is a dressy outfit. Just need to tie that trash bag with a curtain tie and you are right to go. Men are stuck with the jacket and tie, big choice they have, will it be black or white…. Women can go to Nordstrom and find dressy shorts or a tent. Something isn’t right here. If they are going to make men dress in a tux/suit then they should impose rules on what the women can wear.
Not to mention… the men have to wait 2 hours for the partner to get ready and listen to all the garbage about “the sea air doesn’t agree with my hair” “ Why did you let me eat so much at the buffet” “let me put on the lime green pant suit and see if you like that better”.
I am sure there are many people that love to ‘dress up’ and that is fine. It is not for me and I am glad on those nights I have an option. I always bring the outfits just in case I change my mind. For the guy in the Coors tshirt who hasnt showered since left home, he should be turned away.
The way I see it is that all passengers paid for their cruise. So, each passenger should make the call of whether or not to dress in a tux or in smart casual.
If you like dressing up, then go for it, dress up! Don't force your rules on someone who would rather be comfortable in smart casual clothing.
I think it's actually kind of silly -- bunch of people dressing up, like it's some kind of masquerade party. I think it's just an excuse for the cruise line photographers to make some extra money.
I also don't think that people not in formal wear shouldn't be allowed in any of the dining rooms. Someone here had a great idea... make just one of the dining rooms formal, or just one of the two seatings formal -- that'll give everyone the option of dining in what they want, and where they want.