I agree with most of what you say and love your comment about matching the clothes you wear to the kind of experience you want.....However, as for dress code terminolgy: Some cruise lines have gone to formal, smart casual and casual as the 3 options - but smart casual is just another name for "semi-formal". So technically, there are semi-formal nights - they have just renamed them. It sure can become confusing, which is one reason I particularly like your clothing mantra.
I dont know, if you have special cruise lines in the U.S. like we have in Germany, named AIDA. They have different ships and the dress code is always casual.
So, when I book my cruise, I decide for a special cruise line and also for the dress codes they have.
When I book on a RCCL or Celebrity ship, I know that they have a dress code for the dining room.
So Ladies, most of us want to dress up in the evening. It has not to be an evening gown or a tuxedo (by the way I have a red one).
And when I am dressed up, I dont wanna see people in lets say too casual clothes.
When I dont wanna dress up, I choose the Buffet Restaurant and everybody is happy.
I know I'm in the minority when I say this but ... I don't enjoy the dress up nights. I have to dress up for work every day and when I'm in the Caribbean I want to be casual and comfortable.
With that being said, I would NEVER go to the dining room without appropriate attire. I have gone to one formal night and someone near our table with wearing jeans, another person was wearing shorts. I thought - why did I bother dressing up?
I did have an experience on Princess where my husband and I decided to go to the buffet on formal night. Most passengers were milling around dressed up for dinner and we were in our shorts and tops heading for the buffet. One lady I passed made a rude comment to the effect of "Look at them, wearing shorts!". I was very offended. I had no intentions of trying to sit in the dining room (or go anywhere near it) so casually dressed, but I do have the right to walk around the ship.
I agree with what was said earlier - I dressed casual and comfortable because that was the experience I wanted. I never intruded on other people's enjoyment of getting dressed up.
When I cruise to Europe next year, I will be bringing and wearing formal attire on occasion because I want that to be part of that particular experience.
RCI Sovereign of the Seas 2005
Caribbean Princess 2005
Carnival Paradise 2004
I agree with Kate. My husband and I do not like to dress, but dine in the buffet on formal nights. We are on vacation and I just don't like the hassle, but we would never intrude on those that do like to dress up by dining in the main restaurant.
In todays society you seldom get the opportunity to dress up. So I enjoy taking my cocktail dresses and long skirts on formal nights.We take a tuxedo and find it appropriate to wear formal attire for the captains cocktail parties.
There are always a small percentage who wear beach clothing to these functions and no one is going to say anything, but they sure stand out.
I vote for dress up since you've paid alot of money for the cruise why not go the whole way and enjoy the good times.
There is something I want to add to the discussion. Years ago some of my family members were intimidated by formal nights and hesitated to cruise because they lacked formal wear. I've run across friends with the same concerns. I encourage everyone to cruise. I tell them to wear their best but not to be discouraged, to take part in the excitement and magic of formal night. I know they could go to the buffet but I want them to come to the party in the dining room!
I started out cruising in long formal dresses but lately I've begun to wear dressy black slacks, evening wear, not something you'd wear to the office or mall. I pair it with lovely long tunics and blouses and a pair of shazam heels. These things travel so well and I love the way I feel in them.
I think you are discussing people who wear jeans or shorts but I kind of worry you might be discouraging the folks who wear their Sunday best and it doesn't quite measure up.
I want EVERYONE to cruise because it is absolutely the most wonderful vacation in the world.
I think when you cruise part of the fun of it is getting the opportunity to dress for dinner and I love putting on one of my gowns while my boyfriend dons his tuxedo. Neither of us judge others by what they choose to wear but I certainly would not be happy if I were enjoying my formal dinner in the dining room next to somebody in capris. You aren't forced to dress; you can always eat in the buffet or another venue that night but on formal nights in the dining room - on Princess, RCCL or Celebrity I would say the majority of the passengers are dressed up.
I guess you all have a point about dressing up for formal night. My guy gets so irritated if he sees anyone dressed casually. We both like the dress-up experience. But I also think everyone should lighten up. I couldn't care less if the couple next to me looks like slobs. If they don't mind making fools of themselves, why should I care. Plus, the slobs make the rest of us look better by comparison.
Golden Princess 2008 (Hawaii)
Caribbean Princess 2008
Norwegian Gem 2007 (Transatlantic)
Island Princess 2007 (Hawaii)
Caribbean Princess 2006 (Caribbean)
Diamond Princess 2006 (Coastal)
Island Princess 2006 (Coastal)
Splendour of the Seas 2006 (Caribbean)
Island Princess 2005 (Hawaii)
Rhapsody of the Seas 2005 (Caribbean)
Sapphire Princess 2005 (Mexico)
Caribbean Princess 2004 (Caribbean)
Star Princess 2004 (Europe / Transatlantic)
Golden Princess 2003 (Caribbean)
Golden Princess 2003 (Transatlantic)
Golden Princess 2003 (Transatlantic)
Monarch of the Seas 2002 (Caribbean)
Rhapsody of the Seas 2000 (Mexico)
Wow! I think too many of you spend too much time worrying how you fit in with everyone else. I wonder why it bothers you so much if someone doesn't like ball gowns and tuxedos! I myself like to dress up but don't care a bit if someone wore a carribbean calypso shirt and shorts if thats what works for them. Who cares... hope this is not like a stuffy country club where everyone likes to feel good about themselves and has to look like everyone else. Yikes how boring to be so in the box all the time.