"Formal wear" can be anything you want-Tuxes and Gowns, or dresses and suits. I'm on vacation and dress up for no one or nothing, but others do very regularly, and they usually look very nice. On formal nights there is usually a professional photographer to take dress-up pictures for anyone who wants them. On our last trip on Mariner, they had a Cruise Ship as a back drop, and the photos came out very cool looking; almost made me wish I'd brought a sport coat. There is NO requirement for formal nights/dinners to wear formal wear-it's up to you and your group
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Oceangirl, I believe you only asked for a photo... CLICK HERE and you will see me in a tux, my wife in a light blue dress, and someone we met on the cruise in a suit. This should give you an idea of what most people wear on formal night. The picture was taken on the Freedom on Oct. 17th 06
We love formal nights and the romantic feeling it has. I wear an evening gown. We rent a tux for my husband from www.cruiselineformal.com. For us, it is more convenient that packing a suit, dress shoes, dress shirts, ties, etc. But you will see both tuxes and suits for the men.
When we go on our cruise in 25 days (yeah!!), our three adult children and their spouses are also going. The women have gotten evening gowns and we are renting tuxes for the men. By the way, this was the men's choice--we didn't force them! How neat it will be to have a formal picture taken in all of our finery!
My husband and I don't go to places where we get formally attired, so our cruises provide this opportunity and we love it!
You will get a lot of opinions on this matter, and you just have to choose what is right for you.