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Old November 7th, 2006, 01:38 AM
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Default Cruising Has Become Too Casual

You know, it wasn’t so long ago that there were no formal nights aboard ocean liners.

There was no need for that designation as every night was formal night.

Every evening was white-tie, white vest, tails, and top hat.

Cruising was an elegant affair.

And in the 21st Century, much of the elegance that made cruising special seems to have been lost. Casualness pervades our lives these days, and has overtaken cruising as well.

We’re casual about all too many things these days. We’re casual about our dress, we’re casual about our conduct, and we’re casual about our manners.

We interview in khakis, we go out on dates in shorts, and we enter the dining room in jeans. We’re disrespectful of others and ourselves, and we’re OK with that.

If I were a woman, and my date showed up in anything less than a double-breasted suit, I’d find another date for the evening. It’s a matter of respect – for me, for others, and for the occasion.

We treat others and ourselves with respect, or we don’t. It is reflected in our manners, in our conduct, and in our dress. We treat the occasion with respect, or we don’t. We dress appropriately for the occasion, or we don’t.

The pendulum has swung too far. We are far too casual. About too many things.

And it’s time for a change…….

Dean
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Old November 7th, 2006, 09:34 AM
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Default Now you are all set for the Righteous Indignation that is

is sure to come!

'It doesn't bother me, so why should it bother you?"

"It's my *#^@_*$% cruise, mind your own #&$*#@+ business!"

But! There is hope. Many companies that went with "business casual" have discovered that there is little interest inthe office for viewing a co-worker's belly piercings, there is a limit to that employee wearing a T-shirt that says '*#@& everyone! there is little interest in hearing rubber flip-flops coming down the hall past the executive offices.

The trend, very slowly, is turning.

I wonder if those that leap to defend the slobs would feel the same way if those slobs were at your table and decided that they should also exercise their freedom onf speech in front of your 8 year old child. Or choose to wear their muscle shirt after a day of beach volleyball and not shower before coming to dinner, after all, it is their cruise and according to the defenders, they can do any $^#*@&# they want!
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Old November 7th, 2006, 11:52 AM
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put on your fire-retardant suits, i am sure that you are going to get '"flammed" for your opinion - lol.
I agree that cruising dinner attire has gotten much to casual and lax on some lines. Cruise lines own fault for not backing the dress code and the Maitre D and waitstaff. But i do agree with Texas that the tide is starting to slowly turn, you hear more and more about passengers filling out the comment cards wishing that the dress code would be "enforced"(for lack of a better word) and you also are hearing more about Maitre D's who are very tactfully getting the message out.
We aren't talking about formal every night.
Business casual, resort casual country club casual has lost its meaning for alot of cruisers.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 12:34 PM
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Back when all cruise nights were formal, cruises were exclusively for the wealthy. If you didn't have a lot of money, you only had steerage as an option, which was not a vacation, but the only way to cross an ocean. The whole idea of cruise vacations is based on our having a large middle class. I just can't think of that as a bad thing. I also do not agree that more casual dress automatically means more casual everything.
And, Dean, as a woman, if a man showed up for a date in a double breasted suit to take me to picnic, I would suddenly find some reason not to go out with him. Dress style should be appropriate.. to the occasion.
Just my opinion here.
Marty
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Old November 7th, 2006, 12:44 PM
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I would like to see people at least not wear T's and shorts to dinner
Dress pants or dockers and a collared shirt for men & some dress pants or skirt for women.

There are some cruiselines that do enforce the dress code to a point but most people have that attitude
"I paid for the cruise & I will dress how I want"

So until the cruiselines start to enforce the dress code again you will see theose shorts & T's at dinner.

Most people do dress up a bit for dinner but there is always one in everycrowd.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colorcrazie
Back when all cruise nights were formal, cruises were exclusively for the wealthy. If you didn't have a lot of money, you only had steerage as an option, which was not a vacation, but the only way to cross an ocean. The whole idea of cruise vacations is based on our having a large middle class. I just can't think of that as a bad thing. I also do not agree that more casual dress automatically means more casual everything.
And, Dean, as a woman, if a man showed up for a date in a double breasted suit to take me to picnic, I would suddenly find some reason not to go out with him. Dress style should be appropriate.. to the occasion.
Just my opinion here.
Marty
I agree with you 100 percent!!!

The days of only the wealthy class cruising are long gone.
Cruise lines wouldn't survive if they geared their marketing only to the richest clients.
All these mega-ships ... they are designed for the middle-class average joes who want to take a vacation and relax.
The cruise lines are going to give them what they want -- because that's who they're marketing to.

If you really want to cruise with the uppercrust, there are plenty of options.
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Old November 7th, 2006, 08:47 PM
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Default Just my opinion

I am going on my first cruise soon & I am actually looking forward to not only the Formal Nights but also the dress code. It will be nice for a change not to see my hubby in jeans for dinner every night
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Old November 7th, 2006, 09:42 PM
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formal nights are great, we never get to look this great for each other on ordinary days, we go to work come home, go to dinner is in jeans or shorts, so formal nights are special for us and we enjoy!
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Old November 8th, 2006, 03:59 PM
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Okay I've been reading only when I can, but had to contribute to this.

You know this quote gives me joy from colorcrazie, as Marty hit the nail right on the head

"Back when all cruise nights were formal, cruises were exclusively for the wealthy. If you didn't have a lot of money, you only had steerage as an option, which was not a vacation."

It's that simple, back then 1,000 people on a ship "cruising" with dining rooms allocated through class and price paid... so maybe 30 - 50 people on the ship "dressed formally" EVERY night. As that is what they did in their class and world......even AT HOME every night to eat.

The rest of the us sat at benches or whatever to dine below decks, with no waiter service 8) , and it was a get it yourself and here is your food, and a scarce menu. So this "tradition" is bollocks, it was never a tradition unless you sailed in "First Class"

So thank God that today we do not have that class system, I may be inside just above the crew, and you maybe in the "owners suite", but we all have the choice of dining together, same food, same dining service (or you eat the same meal, but presented by your "butler" in cabin). Your choice, but no class destinction. It took us two world wars and civil rights to get that acceptance of people and their class, color or background

But dont forget that some minority people will still today look down their nose at others (you and me) as "we aint their class" on certain ships, but this should not happen on bulk.

I'll ask you a question: Are you going to do the same to todays fellow passengers, as none of us given the ships we sail on and the prices we pay have that right, dont forget that!

Today, if people on certain nights want to do the "glam" then do it only for yourself and dont look down on others that dont want to take part, there is no code that is worth bothering about, given the lip service to it from some ships/lines and the "tradition" that is only in some peoples heads and totally misunderstood.

Its only a fun thing for those that want to take part, it is not law.

mmm

And here is me telling Dorothy that I would chill and take some time out Thanks for the PM's guys its been a hard time and I will, just had to respond to this one
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Old November 8th, 2006, 05:03 PM
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Good to see you David!

As for some of the above comments about formal nights -- no one is saying there should be NO formal nights.
No one is saying there should be NO dress code.

The OP was talking about the bygone days when cruisers dressed formally for every dinner.
You've seen Titanic -- you know what he'd talking about.

And some of us are thankful those days are over, so the average person can enjoy a cruise.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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The point of the original thread i think was not that we want to go back to the old caste system of cruising, he was just using that to make a point. The point he was trying to make was that dining especially isn't like going to your local McDonalds for dinner. The dining rooms are still very elegant with waiters in uniform, tablecloths, cloth napkins, fine china, glassware & silverware, like a fine dining establishment at home, and that dinners should dress accordingly meaning no shorts,t-shirts or work jeans on casual nights and that on formal nights- formal means formal.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 12:47 PM
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I disagree.
He is talking about ALL formal nights. Not just dressing up nicely for dinner, but dressing formally every night of the cruise:

Here is what he said:

You know, it wasn’t so long ago that there were no formal nights aboard ocean liners.

There was no need for that designation as every night was formal night.

Every evening was white-tie, white vest, tails, and top hat.

OK ... when is the last time you saw a man dressed that way???
He is describing the cruising of yesteryear.

I remember my parents going on cruises -- let's say 40 years ago.
And they dressed formally every night.

But cruise lines were fewer, and they marketed themselves to the wealthier folks who could afford it.
Now there are more cruise lines, more ships -- and they are marketing themselves to the average-income families.
In doing such, they are relaxing their dress codes.

So whom do we blame?
The cruise lines that compete for vacation dollars? Or the passengers?

By the way, there are some pretty fancy restaurants at Epcot -- waiters in uniform, tablecloths, cloth napkins -- and because it's a vacation place, guests are expected to arrive in shorts and T-shirts!

By the way -- I am no way an advocate of shorts in the dining room on ships, I enjoy formal night and dress accordingly, and I sail HAL because I like the elegance.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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Lisa, I would wear my tux to McDonalds, except for the fact that I do not own one.

I agree completely with David on this subject. There is nothing to prevent those who like do like to dress up from doing so on every evening. I just feel that it is not their right to impose their standards on everyone else.

As with many other cruisers, I reluctantly wear a suit on formal nights, but I am certainly not comfortable. I applaud those who are comfortable in really formal attire. The vast majority of cruisers still conform to the suggested dress code on formal nights and dress nicely on the other nights. People with shorts, muscle shirts, torn off jeans etc continue to be the extreme exception.

I sincerely believe that no cruise line is going to impose and rigidly enforce formal standards on every night of a cruise, since their ships would be sailing with a majority of empty rooms. I still believe that one of the main reasons that there are still formal nights is the fact that the cruise lines make money from the photos.

Packing for any cruise is a problem for a lot of us, and the more formal nights on a cruise, the more difficult the packing will be. I feel sorry for the ladies with their formals, matching shoes etc. Then there is the expense for many who save a long time for a cruise vacation who do not have the resourses of our well heeled friends.

I still maintain, "Let and let live, and you will live longer!"
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Old November 9th, 2006, 01:08 PM
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When we first sailed on RCCI we were shocked to see the how shabbily dressed some of the passengers were. Not just casual but really shabby and careless.

It is one thing to have an attitude of self confidence which does not depend on what others think...BUT it's another not even to respect yourself enough to clean up.

If it was just one passenger, we might not have even noticed...but there were a number of passengers that looked like they just throw into a suitcase what happen to be IN the dirty laundry basket.

We've have sailed RCCI, Celebrity and HAL several times since, and think from our experience, that RCCI tends to be the most casual of the bunch.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fruitcake

I agree with you 100 percent!!!

The days of only the wealthy class cruising are long gone.
Cruise lines wouldn't survive if they geared their marketing only to the richest clients.
All these mega-ships ... they are designed for the middle-class average joes who want to take a vacation and relax.
The cruise lines are going to give them what they want -- because that's who they're marketing to.

If you really want to cruise with the uppercrust, there are plenty of options.
I don't think assuming the "middle-class average joes" all want to show up in jeans and t-shirts as you seem to imply, fruitcake, is accurate. Eating in a nice restaurant that offers wonderful service, for which I DRESS UP, is relaxing to me.

I certainly don't want formal night every night, but dressing appropriately for the surroundings doesn't make my vacation less relaxing or enjoyable.

Just because I'm not wealthy, doesn't mean I don't like to dress up. If I WERE wealthy it would make it a lot easier, though!

dorothy
p.s. good to see you, DavidB
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Old November 12th, 2006, 02:45 PM
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I think when another poster mentioned that a poster was wanting to impose their personal standards on other PAX, that it was the wrong interpretation.

The cruiselines publish their standards (recommendations) for dining room attire, whether it be a formal night or a "country club" casual night. The problems and disagreements arise among posters because those who choose not to comply with cruiseline guidelines for attire seem to feel that it is the OPs who are trying to impose standards of their own devising. But in reality, the OPs are reiterating what the cruiselines have stated in their brochures and online.

Unfortunately, this is one of those kind of threads that tend to bring out the worst in people, and the longer it is open, the more hostile and defensive the postings become.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 02:57 PM
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Hi Dorothy 8)

This is all back to, and it cant be denide, a position of respect.

Even having re read this thread 3 times, I dont think that Dean the poster meant or was talking TODAYS version of cruising. He was stating a fact that was true....but only for some passengers and that is maybe where he is getting mixed up.

But today, this about ONE or TWO nights on a cruise that are offered as "Formal Dress".

Now as a person I want to enjoy that night, be a part of it. So if Joe Bloggs turns up on my table that night not wanting to take part say in a nice shirt and slacks, then I accept.

But not if the same Joe appears at my dining table as if they just got off the beach. That to me is disrespect and him sticking his fingers up at me as he will "do whatever" and ""whenever they like" and that goes against the grain.

So although I am all for choice, some people can push that acceptance just a bit too far and not accept in their heads what others are doing, ie no respect to those around you and the night.

But dont cut out the guy who turns up smart, but not in a tux, thats wrong.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 03:42 PM
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David, you made an excellent point, and I agree. Fortunately, I have never seen some beach bum, as you describe, in the dining room on any night. Also, those who wish to dress up every night are certainly welcome to do so, although their tux might start getting a bit mouldy after seven or more nights in a row.

There is one thing that I would like to say. Why do some of the people who strut around the dining room in their finest revert to nasty T shirts, blobby shorts and dirty sneakers when they are off the ship to meet the natives?

Clothes do not make the man, the man makes the clothes..
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Old November 13th, 2006, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorothy

I don't think assuming the "middle-class average joes" all want to show up in jeans and t-shirts as you seem to imply, fruitcake, is accurate. Eating in a nice restaurant that offers wonderful service, for which I DRESS UP, is relaxing to me.

I certainly don't want formal night every night, but dressing appropriately for the surroundings doesn't make my vacation less relaxing or enjoyable.

Just because I'm not wealthy, doesn't mean I don't like to dress up. If I WERE wealthy it would make it a lot easier, though!

dorothy
p.s. good to see you, DavidB
I did not imply such -- I have no idea how you read that into my post!
Read it again.

I don't think the "average joe" wants to wear T-shirts and shorts to the dining room.
I do think the average joe does NOT want to wear "white-tie, white vest, tails, and top hat" as the OP stated, nor does the average joe want to dress formally every night of the cruise.

Even you yourself stated that you did not want to dress formally every night of your cruise.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 03:28 PM
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You know what... and this is my experience on this board.

People that have that gene of right and acceptance start to argue amongst themselves on a subject that they both agree on in principle.

Guys chill, war won we all agree on presentation and behaviour. Its the "target" that is not posting and they will not as they dont care :evil: .

So lets not fall out about something that we basically all agree on.

Respect
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Old November 14th, 2006, 03:00 AM
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Interesting responses to this topic.

We’ve discussed “white-tie and tails? to “t-shirts and flip-flops.? We’ve discussed the wealthy to the average Joe.

White tie, white vest, and tails are relics of a by-gone era, people say. And yet I see British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on the news tonight dressed in white tie, white vest, and tails……..

(And David B. Good, you look good in a tuxedo – you’ve got my vote for the next James Bond!)

But back to the subject at hand. Whatever the decade, formal is still formal.

I am not some maniac who thinks we should throw back the clock to an era long since past. I am not advocating corsets, leggings, and powered wigs. And yet, I believe formal dress means formal dress.

T-shirts and flip-flops are not appropriate dress in the dining room on formal nights, whatever decade we’re talking about.

Formalwear by definition means white tie, white vest, tails, and top hat. Anything else is not formalwear. A tuxedo (black tie, no vest, no tails) is by definition is semi-formal.

Dressing appropriately for the occasion shows respect for the occasion. Inappropriate dress shows disrespect for the occasion. It’s a matter of respect. For the occasion and for others.

And this is where I believe we’ve gone astray. We don’t seem to have much respect these days. We don’t offer our seat to the elderly lady. We don’t rise when a lady approaches or takes her leave from the table. It’s my vacation, and I’ll do as I like. It’s all about me, and if you don’t like it, too bad.

The pendulum has swung too far. We’ve come a long way, and yet not far enough.

Dean
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Old November 14th, 2006, 07:46 AM
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I agree - very interesting responses.

I suppose when I read Fruitcake's post I put my own interpretation on a phrase she used - the average Joe. Sadly the "average Joe" I saw on one of my Carnival cruises seemed to be the flipflop wearing, tank top Joe. If you wonder how I read what I did into your post Fruit, it's that we ALL apply our view to everything, especially with such a personally defined term as "average Joe."

So I hear Fruitcake and others saying they don't want formal night abandoned and I'm glad.

And technically you are right, Mean, formal DOES mean tails. The reality is most men don't own such attire and probably aren't going to get it or rent it, even.

Fun post!

dorothy
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Old November 14th, 2006, 11:58 AM
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While *formal* may mean the white tie, tail and top hat mentioned above -- have you ever looked at the *formal* outfits offered for rent to women? I have, on the "Know Before You Cruise" brochure from HAL.

It shows black skirts with dressy tops.
Now to me, that is a more *casual* type of formal.

HAL's brochure also acknowledges that men may wear a dark suit on formal night -- or a jacket and slacks.

Personally, I don't like seeing shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops in the dining room on ANY night.
I was on a Royal Caribbean ship once, and the people at the next table on FORMAL night were so garbed. I asked our server about it, and he said, "It is your vacation, M'am. So you wear what you want."

I have never seen T-shirts, shorts or flip-flops on formal nights on HAL.

I have participated in many, many dress code threads on the Internet.
My comments on the "average joe" are nothing more than the general consensus of what I've read, plus my experience in cruising.

Cruise lines are catering to the mass market ... and that market will dictate the dress code.
It's happening whether we like it or not.
HAL has even dropped the "no jeans" from its brochures for casual nights in the dining room.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 01:30 PM
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Because there is such a division of opinions on dress code matters, I really wish cruise lines would offer some "all formal" sailings --- and also offer some "all casual" sailings -- instead of having a "mish-mash" of dress codes on all sailings. The lines need to recognize that trying to please everyone with the "casual, informal, and formal scheme" is pleasing NO ONE! The darned airlines have added to the need for cruise lines to go to a single evening dress code (formal or something else) with their reduction in allowable luggage piece weight from 70 lbs. to 50 lbs.

I don't think selection of such cruises would be along lines of socio-economic class, either. Most people like variety in their lives -- that's why they travel. So the same person might well chose an "all formal" cruise on one occasion, and an "all casual" cruise another time.

Thanks,
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Old November 14th, 2006, 01:44 PM
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Formal night on a cruise should be an event and should be participated by those who are interested. It's not mandatory but an option and I bel

Below is an example of what a formal night should be on both land and sea.

http://www.internationalclubdc.com/S...07NYEGala.aspx

Now, after viewing this website there should be no reason anyone should attend a formal night in T-shirt and Jeans!!!
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Old November 14th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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Of course, there is no excuse for anyone to show up to dinner and after dinner events on formal night on a ship in jeans! All need to investigate dress codes on comtemplated cruises, and comply with them if booked and taken.

But formal night on a cruise is not an option, if the rules are followed and enforced. Formal night requires formal attire in any and all public areas after 6:00 PM -- period.

Thanks,
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Old November 14th, 2006, 03:08 PM
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Dean, can I take you up on this, just for clarification

"Formalwear by definition means white tie, white vest, tails, and top hat. Anything else is not formalwear. A tuxedo (black tie, no vest, no tails) is by definition is semi-formal".

In an aspect that is true here in the UK, we only go for the over the top "formal" at weddings, meeting the Queen or going to Ascot for the races.

And then to dine gentlemen after the formal "do" changed into-----

The tux or equiv black tie combination to dine, as that has always been seen as "formal" dining attire here in the UK and seen as doing it "right".

I do take your point....but some of us are only asking for people to turn up smart...but you want them in top hats and starched shirt fronts... ...Dont think you will ever win that battle bud, sorry but again you have in my opinion a mix up in dress codes. What you described is "morning attire" for formal dress and not "dining" or evening attire.

Take my word, I have a wardrobe with each of them and know when to wear them for what occassion. You dont dine at night in morning wear

As for James Bond,,,,eh thanks. but still laughing
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Old November 14th, 2006, 03:35 PM
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I enjoy the variety of nights on a ship -- formal, informal, casual -- and dress accordingly.
I would not book an all-formal cruise.
I would, however, book an all-casual cruise.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 05:39 PM
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This whole thing has gotten me a bit bewitched, bothered and bewildred.

I will continue to wear my dark suit and tie to dinner on nights designated as formal, but I"ll bet I will see no one there in tails unless some passenger has a seeing eye dog.

I will wear a nice collared shirt, polo or otherwise, and dress slacks on all other nights, no matter how they are designated along with the majority of other men on the ship. I will also wear such attire on formal nights after dinner. The whole ship can't really be designated formal after dinner, since there will be a great number of casual diners in the buffet area.

I will be friendly to the other passengers no matter what they wear on any night. To me, there is no such thing as boorish or low class. We are all citizens under the sun.

I will continue to open doors for others and to thank sales clerks when I pay for my purchase.

I will continue to say "Live and let live and you will live longer!"

I hope I do.
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Old November 14th, 2006, 05:53 PM
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All, please consult your cruise documents and brochures for you particular line's definition of "formal" for their ship. All I have seen (and I've seen many in all price ranges) say that formal (for men) mean tux, dinner jacket, or dark suit. So, if one wants to be within the rules of the line, any of these will do.

But to ensure that one does not only minimally comply, but "fits in" as well, the individual line cruise boards can be of great help in this regard.

Thanks,
Richard
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