There is a dress code for the main dinning room. On Formal night you need to be dressed up. A suit for the guys a nice dress for the ladies. I have seen many women in pant suits.
On non formal night it is smart casual, no shorts, nice shirt and pants.
If you do not want to dress up you can eat at the lido buffett. You can wear anything there. Maybe even undressed! You will not feel out of place. However the best food by far is in the Formal Dinning Room.
Yes, you will feel underdressed on formal night if you don't dress up at all. You could always not go to the main dining room and just go to the buffet on formal night. Depending on which cruiseline your going on, you could wear a short dressier cocktail dress or even a long dark skirt/velvet pants with a really flashy/dressy blouse and some nice jewellery. (on some cruislines things tend to be "not quite as formal" on formal night ie. dark suits for men instead of tuxes, outfits as above for women) Carnival, RC, Princess, Norwegian this would be o.k. but I would not recommend the above dress on a Crystal, QE2 cruise etc. Hope this helps, have fun.
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Grandeur of the Seas-03/06
So, my husband could get away with a nice suit? Or shirt, tie, slacks? I have nice outfits I am going to bring and can dress up with jewelry, I just did not want to go out and buy a really fancy long dress. Is it acceptable not where the long dresses to the formal night? Or, maybe I could...and we could rent tuxes on the boat? Thoughts? Do you know the cost to rent tuxes on board?
You don't need a gown! Something that "looks nice" is fine. Most women seem to show up in cocktail dresses or something like that. As for the men - he needs a jacket too, not just a shirt and tie. You can rent a tux aboard, but they are overpriced and really not needed. I used to wear a tux but have given it up because I prefer comfort.