I've never cruised before and I'm a little confused on how formal night works. We'll be on the Sovereign of the Seas. I know we've got the Windjammer for meals and that's the buffet. Is there only 1 additional restaurant that becomes formal dress for one night? Can my husband really get away without wearing a jacket?
You have the main dining rooms and you have the Windjammer. You will be assigned to a table in one of the main dining rooms. This is where the primary meals are served, with an assigned time for dinner (late or early seating), either open seating or an assigned time for lunch, and usually open seating for breakfast. This is also where the formal night is, and a jacket and tie is suggested for that night although they won't give your the husband the boot if he shows up without a jacket. However he will stand out in the crowd if he chooses not to wear one.
Windjammer serves a dinner menu too, in addition to the usual breakfast and lunch buffets. If you'd prefer to not dress up then this is an alternative for the formal night. Some cruisers don't ever use the main dining rooms, and take all meals in the Windjammer. I think they are missing out, but cruises these days are all about personal choice and the cruise lines have responded. All of them serve dinner in their buffets now.
Dave56 is so right about missing out on a great dinning experince.My wife and kids and I keep saying we are going to eat in the Windjammer but
never do because we like the service and personal
attention we get in the main dinning room.I am not
much of a dress up kind of guy but have to admit that it is fun to show off once in a while.
You don't want to miss formal night dinners. We had two formal nights on our recent cruise. The first served Fillet Mignon and the second Lobster tails. The food on these nights was a step above the others. We originally had reservations at Chops on the second formal night, but cancelled. We enjoyed the first one too much.
If he wants to wear a jacket/tux but doesn't want to pack it I highly recommend the onboard tuxedo rental. It will be waiting for you in your room when you arrive and magically disappear after formal night...which you don't want to miss.
I wasn't aware of tuxedo rental! Is this available on all ships? Is anyone aware of the costs? Our only issue is that he doesn't own a suit. The last one shrunk We don't have the opportunity to dress up much and hate to go buy something for one night.
i actually used the tux rental service on the enchantment, i got the shoes too. they make it very easy. IIRC price was around 99 for the whole cruise.
that said, i go either way on formal night.
i dont mind getting dressed up, but another side of me says, "i'm on freakin vacation, i dont want to wear a suit." the last couple of cruises, i have worn a shirt, tie and dockers for formal night. i am definitely in the minority. more people than not get dressed to the nines. a nice shirt, dark pants and tie seems to suffice though....
We have rented a tuxedo for my husband on our last four cruises. It is so simple. It saves us having to pack his suit, tie, dress shoes, etc. We enjoy the formal nights, the special meals that are served, etc. Have fun on your first cruise!
I say go for it! I'm not normally one for over dressing either but.. the formal nights give the whole experience that extra special feeling. In fact if you don't normally dress up it probably makes it even more special.
On the Explorer, it seemed like the majority of people did dress up to some extent on these nights. Not everyone went for tuxes but most at least made more of an effort than the other nights.
They manage to make the experience feel like you are attending a bit of an exclusive event. The atrium full of people in tuxes and formal dresses, drinking champagne (there was a glass or two free each on what I think was the Captains formal night) gives a great atmosphere.
As mentioned before the food seems to be better and the staff make even more of an effort - including dressing up themselves.
Give it a go for at least one night and I'm sure you won't be disappointed. After all, how often do you get the chance to go to a 'free' black tie event?
[As you can tell I'm a bit of a fan! Only 4 days to the Legend of the seas.....]
My husband used to be one of those guys who never wanted to dress up on formal night. After about our 4th cruise he decided he needed to purchase a tux. We went to a formal shop locally and he purchased one for less than he would have paid for suit. He just bought the pants and jackt. Now when we cruise we go back to the same formal shop, he rents the shirt, tie, cumberbunt or vest or both for the week. They usually charge him between 25.00-30.00 for the entire week. This way he can always match whatever my dress or outfit is..I had a gown that was a silver/black..he matched the vest and tie to it. One time I had a white gown so he went with the white vest and tie. Works well for us.