First of all, I really don't want to start an all out brawl here but...I have been thinking about this question for awhile. What is the problem with dressing in formal attire for the dining room on designated formal nights? Isn't the idea of having formal attire evenings partly to set a certain mood for the meal and occasion? It seems like the men have the biggest problem with this issue and to me they make it so complicated. Women by habit and custom have an easier time with this. But is seems the acceptable definition of Formal attire - Dark suit,tie, shirt, socks and shoes. Or, Tux .. should be a simple answer. If this attire is not in the plans for your vacation or in your comfort zone, then perhaps you need to plan on alternative dining for the formal evenings. Buffet, room service, Pizza? I know men who feel out of place in a suit. However, you will definetly draw more attention to yourself if you are not. I am not picking on the fellas, and am not looking for nasty remarks, I am merely posting this question and am open to positive disagreement and input. (Actually to me formal attire is alot easier than the "Elegant Casual" topic. maybe another time..)
I agree that men usually are the ones who have probs with cruise directed dress. That said, I do believe that the prob of people not adhering to the designated ship dress code rests with the Cruise line. The dress codes are generally not enforced or at a minimum enforced in an inconsistant manner. If cruisers dont adhere to the code......I don't blame the cruiser........I blame the cruise line. If they are not going to enforce the dress codes in the dining room on a consistant basis, then they should not have a dress code IMHO.
Good point Rick. To me it seems most folks do dress in formal attire as suggested and seem to enjoy it. I hope not dressing for formal night it's a practice that doesn't become an acceptable option. Well, it's something to keep in mind. I would imagine a positive move would be to let the cruise lines know. It's something to keep in mind for the comment cards.
My wife and I traveled on the SOS back in 1996 when she still did seven day cruises. There was one fellow, late thirtys wearing a tea shirt and a pair of worn shorts on formal night. How can anyone look like such a pig? He must have thought he was alone because he did not seem to care about his garb. You can spend a few thousand dollars to travel on a cruise, but you can't buy a suit? Now we have a cheap pig. Now I go all out putting my sons in suits. I even have their suits tailored. Thats what cruising is all about. Dressing up and enjoying an elegant dinner together. Now you have to start young. My parents dressed me in formal clothes when I was very young and now I do the same for my boys.
I also agree with y'all - if it says formal - do formal! My only reticent note is for those cruises that have a formal night at the beginning of the cruise - sometimes the luggage is lost (along with your formal wear). At that point, however, the cruise line should step in and offer their rental wear for free, so there's no excuse. I wonder if lines do this?
Agreeing with others - ships nowadays have enough alternate dining venues that a non-formal-ite should dine elsewhere.
Freestyle dining ships, though, raise a whole 'nother hairball ;-)
I had this happen last year. We arrived at the ship and found out that part of our luggage did not make the ship. Unfortunately, it was our formal wear and the kids clothes. NCL allowed me the use of a tux, free of charge. The wife and daughter got a new formal wear and my son wore what he had for a couple of days till we got to the first port and caught up with our luggage. Everyone sometimes has to make allowances on the first formal night.
Let me preface this by saying that I personally adhere to the 'suggested' attire and bring along my tux. (note: suggested attire doesn't mean manditory)
I don't care what anybody else wears. Why be so judgemental? I've actually done and about face on this topic. Unless you are on a ship or cruise that 'demands' formal (QE2, for instance), why get so uptight about formal nights on a tropical cruise? The cruise lines themselves have de-emphasized the formality of cruises. It seems to me that if it really bothers you, then you need to upgrade to the more traditional and premium cruise lines where people dress up even on casual nights.
Sometimes things aren't always what they seem. I used to grumble about the idiots who didn't have their paperwork filled out until they arrived at the terminal. That is, until I was one of those "idiots." I booked a cruise last minute and my documents were waiting for me at the pier. I couldn't fill out the forms, because I didn't have them. But to others in the terminal - they probably saw me as one of those "idiots" that couldn't follow the instructions that said to fill them out before arriving.
After 9/11, there are more important things to be so worried about than how someone else dresses on the so called *floating resorts*!'
. It seems to me that
> if it really bothers you, then you need to upgrade to the
> more traditional and premium cruise lines where people dress
> up even on casual nights.
I guess the question that runs through my mind is why those who want to dress casually aren't booking on the ships which encourage more casual dress. (NCL, Windstar, Windjammer, Paul Gaughin.. to name just a few) rather than book cruises where a dress code is still recommended,
In my view there is still a certain ambience created on formal nights on the ships, which is part of what sets cruising aside from other vacations. But, no question, it seems to be slip sliding away.
For a tropical cruise, dress code doesn't make sense. Formal night took away the feeling of being in the Caribbean. I am female and it's impossible to find a cotton dress that would meet the definition of "formal attire". And you can say all you want about the cruise ships being cold, but when 500 people are in the same dining room, it gets hot. And try finding comfortable dress shoes, they don't exist, and there's no such thing as a shoe-maker anymore. Couldn't they have had the formal night at the end of the trip, so I wouldn't be limping on my shore excursions?
I won't mind the dress code so much on an Alaskan cruise because I'm going to have to pack a lot of clothes anyway. I'll suffer through the blisters for a couple days. But for a caribbean trip, a back pack is all anyone should ever need. Next time, I'll try the the informal alternatives. I think it's great that they do have that option most evenings.
Elegant Casual?? For me it's coordinated non-formal/casual, dressed up but not too dressed up and somewhat more comfortable than formal type of attire for the nights the men don't wear suits or tuxes. Does this finally explain it all? Sue Sue
well since you all have debated again about guidelines and the such..here is another tidbit Suesue may have been looking for....
In general, many men have to wear a suit or shirt and tie to work. so when it comes to vacation, they view it as going to work if they have to dress up...i know a tux and suit are 2 differnt wears for 2 different situations, but i am coming from a psychlogical standpoint that people may not have thought about.
Grantd there are situations and guidelines for us in everything we do in life, but when it comes to vacations , people want to let their hair down, so to speak.I really don't believe people don't want to dress up to challenge a guideline or rule, they want to dress down to relax.
OK....here's my problem....I wasn't going to dress my boys up on our 3-niter cruise in March,because I am basically just wanting to see if they like it or not.We were just going to eat at the buffet am-pm and do our own thing, I didn't want to have to stop whatever we were doing to get dressed up,when we're not going to eat in the dining room anyway.
So....had I known that there were cruise ships that didn't have formal nights,I would have chosen one (if it was in my price range).But ,since I didn't know being a "newbie to cruisin" I picked the Sovereign for personal reasons. I'm assuming what some are saying here is my sons and I will look like freaks if we don't dress up? I had a friend suggest that we dress up long enough to get our portrait taken and then go back to the cabin and change.Has anyone EVER seen people
dressed up in Formal attire at the buffet on a ship before? lol I'm planning on taking them on a longer cruise next year for my oldest son's graduation and 18th birthday present,and doing all the "Frills" then,when it's going to be a "sentimental" time anyway. All I want is to enjoy what time we have on/off the ship because it's going to go by fast enough as it is,without people judging me for not dressing up on Formal night.After all...I paid for it..I should be able to do what I want!
....All I'm trying to say is I'm not doing this cruise to impress any one but my son's.
I don't have a problem with people who are not eating in the dinning room not wearing formal wear. Where I have a problem is with people attending the dinning room on formal night without the proper dress. I think if you do not like dressing in formal wear that is you choice but please follow the rules in the dinning room. I partly blame the cruise lines for people not always following the rules. We sailed on the Norway in May of 1995. One of the couples that were seated at our table chose not to attend the first formal dinner. When they arrived at the table the next night our waiter Simon asked where they were. The couples stated they ate in their room because they did not bring formal clothes. Our waiter Simon said "no problem the next formal night please come to the dinning room don't let not having formal wear stop you from joining us in the dinning room." It is no wonder some of the passengers don't follow the request attire when the staff does not enforce it and encourages the passenger. Ok sorry to be so long now I will get off my soap box.
Korinne, I think you are on the right track; Should your plans not include dressing formal, or taking the time for the dining room, you are right on in that it is your vacation and you will do what you think is best. Fortunately, you do have the option of the informal dining option of the buffet. Casual there is acceptable for all times of day. However, if you would like to have the more formal flavor of sit down dining , then, well, the proper attire should be in your plans. How old are your boys? For little guys, trousers, a shirt and tie would be adequate. Older boys and men, Suit or Tux. For Mother and girls- a "Sunday" dress or pant suit. Of course you could go to the nines if you want. My boys were 7 and 11 for our first cruise, in fact it was a 4 night cruise. I cherish the portrait of them in their suits. They were inexpensive suits, but the little jackets and ties were adorable. It is amazing what can be found at second hand shops. After a little home alteration and a dry cleaning they looked like new. It gave them an opportunity to rise to a special occasion and I must say they passed with flying colors. After dinner we went to the show and then changed into resort casual to participate in family activities. Since then, we have graduated to Tuxes and sequins on formal nights and love every moment of the pomp and circumstance. My husband is an executive and does not mind, in fact looks forward to the opportunity to dress for the occasion. We enjoy the mood set by all of the hoopla. Sue Sue
I have decided we will dress for Formal Night just long
enough to get our portrait done. I work in the warehouse for a men's Formal Wear company,and the employee's get 2 free tux's a year,so it won't cost me to dress them up anyway. In fact...my youngest son is now saying he's looking forward to dressing up and staying that way even after the portrait is finished! He's 14,and my oldest son is 17. So...maybe...just maybe.....if I can find a nice enough
dress to wear in the next few weeks...I'll stay dressed up too! But,
we're still not going to eat in the dining room! hahaha
Korinne - It's your vacation. You will have a wonderful time. What a bonus that your company gives you. You might as well take advantage of it. My boys were 16 and 19 on our last family cruise on the Paradise. We had a great time. I keep all of the formal portraits together to compare just how much we all have changed. The boys have grown and become men, my husband has grown as well and lost more hair, and I of course am still my shapely size 7...NOT! I must admit, I have always loved being the only girl , surrounded by my boys in suits or tuxes. Also, don't worry about your dress, especially if your boys are in tuxes. Even the most simple cocktail dress looks top shelf when it's standing next to a handsome guy in a tux. Hey, I rely on my good ole standard black sheath, pumps and pearls. Never have missed with that ensemble. And, what's great, is that it never goes out of style. Sue Sue