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Old 03-07-2005, 01:07 PM
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First - how formal? There were at least two occasions where formal dress was appropriate. I think there was even a third time I chose to put on a tie; maybe it was for pictures with my wife or for a cocktail party. But, just how formal is formal? There were about 70% suits, 15% tuxes and 13% other, meaning sport jackets with or without ties. The other 2% - just don't ask! The degree of formality was not important. It is all about the enjoyment of a touch of style. Doing something a bit different. Personally, I am one who hates dressing up and I don't do it at work. But for me, it is very different on board a ship. It is FUN; something to do at the end of a tough day sitting on the beach or around the pool. Have a go at posing on the marble staircase for the ship's photographer. Don't like the picture? No problem, don't buy it. But I will be willing to bet that you will want to bring at least one picture home.

More suggestions?

1. The wine package - if you are a wine drinker, the combo of three reds, three whites, a rose and seven bottled waters for $91 is superb value.

2. The buffet in the evening - if you just don't feel like going to the dining room, the same food is served at the buffet.

3. The entertainment - this is my personal order. See every show and listen to every group that performs on board! Get ready for knock-your-socks-off European styled entertainment that got regular standing ovations.

4. Finally - start your cruise BEFORE you leave home. Do some pre-cruise shopping. Have a cruise warm up party. Have fun from the moment you leave your front door until the final "luggage scrum" when you leave the ship. And don't stop there. If you have multi hours of wait time at Fort Lauderdale airport, jump on one of the city buses that stop there and sightsee until the end of the line.