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SMA9497
August 13th, 2010, 08:31 PM
I wanted to post this here before I posted on the line specific boards (hoping not to get 10,000 responses as I'm sure I would on there based on other questions). We have only sailed previously on Carnival but are booked on a Celebrity Cruise in January. On Carnival, my husband has always worn his Class A Uniform on the first formal night and something a little less formal the second formal night. There are usually several people in uniform.

I know that Celebrity Dress code seems to be a little more formal and wanted to know if any of you who may have been on Celebrity know if it will be ok for him to wear his Dress Uniform (Army Dress Blues). I know it's obviously ok but I wanted to make sure there wouldn't be people who thought it was not appropriate. I can't imagine they would (but I want to enjoy my vacation and don't want anyone acting weird). He has nice pants/sports coat but I really don't want to invest in a suit for him considering in most cases where he would need to wear a suit- he has to wear his dress uniform anyway (and we're having to buy a new one since he still has his same Class A's from Basic 5 years ago and they are getting a little tight!)

Thanks for any input you might have!

prototype
August 14th, 2010, 02:43 AM
As a Army veteran I have no problem seeing someone wearing their Class A. so have your husband stand tall and wear them proudly.

kunapets
August 14th, 2010, 06:53 AM
Both appropriate and proper. We cruised with a retired General in uniform. Next formal night he was at the Captains table.

I, and probably more than a few Vets, would be likely to send over a drink.

Make sure to stop by the photographers on formal night. You don't HAVE to buy the pictures, but you may find one that you can't resist.

Thanks for serving - Ken S

SailingGrace
August 14th, 2010, 09:12 AM
Military dress uniforms are appropriate for formal nights.

SMA9497
August 14th, 2010, 10:44 AM
Thank you all for your input! I felt they were appropriate(considering he wears it for his Military Ball!) but it seems from the board the formal night dress code is a very sensitive subject for some and wanted to make sure the DH wouldn't feel out of place!

Thanks again!

bigque
August 14th, 2010, 10:47 AM
I have been retired from the Air Force since 1997. If I could still fit in it, I would wear it on a formal night, but it can't happen! :( Man wear it proudly, You have earned it!

dancing dragon
August 14th, 2010, 07:09 PM
I always wear mine on the first formal night and usually a tux (since I own one for Mardi Gras Balls) on the second....

He will be greeted proudly...

happy cruising...

spookwife
August 21st, 2010, 11:10 AM
DH always wears Dinner Mess Dress and on more than one occassion has not had to buy a drink the entire night( mostly anonymous poeple buy his drinks) or gets people walking up to him to thank him for his servioce.

of course he alternates and wears the white Jacket on the second formal night and is often mistaken for Crew.. BY crew! :D

NEVER feel ashamed or self concious about wearing the uniform. there will ALSO be police officers sad Firefighters wearing their formal unifrom as well.

utseabee
August 24th, 2010, 06:41 PM
On our cruise, DH (active Navy) wore his whites the first formal night, and his blues the second formal night. Lots of nice comments from people, also his fair share of questions why a Navy man would want to take a cruise. He got a good giggle, as he is a seabee, and after 14 years in, he had to pay to go on the water!
Definately get a picture taken! We get pictures taken at the Seabee Ball every year, but this was our first picture together in his whites. Guess what is going on our Christmas cards this year!

Pluto_fan
August 28th, 2010, 08:10 AM
Just wondering if anyone hesitates to wear their uniform depending on where they are sailing. Or have I just seen too many AFN commercials about Force Protection and "Keeping a Low Profile in Other Countries"? :)

Poohbeck
August 31st, 2010, 06:01 PM
Wow, I would LOVE to see my husband in his dress blues on the cruise!! I never even thought of him wearing them!

This is our first cruise and I'm learning so much on these boards.

CdnMessKit
September 17th, 2010, 08:19 PM
I always wear my Canadian Mess Kit. It really stands out since the army mess kit has a scarlet jacket. I always get asked if I am a mountie... they stole their uniform from the army.

I always love wearing it cause you meet brothers and sisters in arms from everywhere... had a US Army Colonel tell me he likes my mess kit more than his...

WesW
September 18th, 2010, 10:36 AM
For retired Army personnel, mess dress uniforms are appropriate at certain military functions (alas, not cruises).

Army personnel who are retired, in accordance with Army Regulation 670-1, mess dress is approved fo wear for “occasions of ceremony” means occasions essentially of a military character, at which the uniform is more appropriate than civilian clothing. These functions include, but are not limited to: military balls, military parades, weddings, and military funerals; memorial services, meetings and conferences; or functions of associations formed for military purposes, of which the membership is composed largely or entirely of current or honorably discharged veterans of the Armed Forces or reserve components.

Now that I am retired from the Army (from 2004-end of 2008 wore mess dress on our cruises) in order, to comply with the Army Regulation uniform regulation cited above, when on normal cruise vacation in general, for formal nights, I no longer wear mess dress but a Dinner Jacket w/my authorized minature medals. Per the Army uniform reg, am authorized to wear wear all categories of medals on appropriate civilian clothin (full size or minature medals) "Personnel who wear medals on civilian clothes should place the medals on the clothing in approximately the same location and in the same manner as for the Army uniform, so they look similar to medals worn on the Army uniform."

Thus, on our recent Silversea Spirit maiden transatlantic cruise taken in January our Navy Captain (retired) friend and I agreed to wear our minature medals on our tuxedo/Dinner Jacket for the first of three formal nights on board.

Imagine my wife's and my surprise and hearfelt pride we felt, when we saw my Navy colleague wearing the Silver Star, three Bronze Stars (w/Valor device), 3 Purple Hearts and the Air medal...I was in the presence of true American Hero. Doug was a POW in Vietnam, after his A4 was shot down in 1967, he was held for as a POW for 6 1/2 yrs before his release.

We enjoyed many wonderful toasts that evening on board.

CdnMessKit
September 18th, 2010, 10:52 AM
Wow that is a great story. I met a friend of mine from my youth who had joined the Canadian Forces. We hadn't spoke in a couple of years and when we got caught I realised he had been decorated for valour twice in Afg. I was humbled to be in his presence.

aliaschief
September 19th, 2010, 05:27 PM
Wear your uniform with pride...You have earned it and you will look great!

electro
September 27th, 2010, 06:20 PM
Any women wear their uniform for formal night?

CdnMessKit
September 27th, 2010, 08:21 PM
My wife does... same as mine except for the dress part... and less medals.

northernstar14
October 10th, 2010, 05:15 PM
I'm female and I'll be cruising on Feb 27, 2011 and will be proudly wearing my Canadian Forces Army mess kit.

electro
October 12th, 2010, 09:30 PM
I'm female and I'll be cruising on Feb 27, 2011 and will be proudly wearing my Canadian Forces Army mess kit.

What ship/line are you sailing?

I'm also sailing on Feb 27/11 on NCL Pearl.
I'm Airforce so mess kit isn't quite as nice.
I don't have one anyway, it would be my 1A's.

Lois

Rutland Gate
October 28th, 2010, 01:40 PM
My brother (retired Army Major General) and I (Army Captain, retired as totally and permanently service connected disabled) have worn Mess Dress on all of our cruises for the last twenty years. We have always met good people and made good conversation. Some of the comments have been touching. Never any disrespect.

Trainman-2
December 3rd, 2010, 07:12 PM
When my step son was in the 9th grade he joined the USMC Junior ROTC. He became a member of the drill team and was issued a Dress Blue Uniform. When we decided to go on a family cruise the summer after his 9th grade he suggested tyhat he and I both wear our Dress Blue Uniforms on the formal nights. So we did, all four years he was in High School.

His Mom, my wife, was so proud of both of us.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v329/Trainman-2/Cruising/Crusing.jpg

Today he is a "real" Marine, stationed in Hawaii.

JenEricTravelers
December 6th, 2010, 12:35 AM
From the other side of the coin... there is no way you'd get us in our Mess Dress in any way on such a free and relaxing vacation. First you'd have to get us in anything formal and then to convince us of Mess Dress, odds are not. For us, the reason to be on a cruise is to be away from the military and be regular people.

USA + USAF = 30 yrs

Hello_Sailor
January 12th, 2011, 08:01 AM
Great to read all the comments in here...they gave me a heads up on what to wear on our forthcoming cruise.

It will definitely be miniatures and tux..

Cheers, ;)

JMG680
January 13th, 2011, 11:31 PM
Thanks for the info and thoughts on the Mess Dress. My wife wants me in it and I wanted to see what others thought. Now it looks like a go.

bare_eyed_cockatoo
January 16th, 2011, 09:27 AM
Please, consider wearing some indication of your military status on formal nights.

We just got back from 3 weeks of cruising, and we were honoured to know that serving and former members of the military were our cruising companions. We knew this only because they wore their uniforms/medals on formal nights.

On the last formal night, I gave a bottle of champagne to the two fine young men who were seated near us, as my thank you for their military service. This led to a conversation where they learned that my sister works at the Royal Military College of Canada and I learned that they had served in Afghanistan with Canadian troops. It was a wonderful moment of mutual respect.

Tara Ballance
Montreal

Wildblue
February 26th, 2011, 08:37 AM
Just wondering if anyone hesitates to wear their uniform depending on where they are sailing. Or have I just seen too many AFN commercials about Force Protection and "Keeping a Low Profile in Other Countries"? :)
Personally, if it were an "American-centric" cruise that embarked and/or disembarked in the US/Canada, I wouldn't hesitate to wear it. I would think harder before wearing it on a cruise with a strictly foreign itinerary, but that's just me. (the thing that pops right in my head is the Achille Lauro)

On our last cruise, when formal night rolled around, I wished I had brought my mess dress, but the tux was still fun. Our next cruise is on Oceania, which doesn't have formal night. That's a bit of a disappointment for us, as we do like getting dressed up every now and then, but I know it's a definitely attraction for others.

stingau
March 13th, 2011, 07:00 AM
THe Australian Defence Force prohibits us from wearing ANY uniform for non military occasions. At one stage we were not even allowed to wear our uniforms when going to the local shopping mall near the base. To get around it we had to remove our shirts and headdress and wear the pants with an undershirt.

I have 2 dress uniforms one a ceremonial one c/w sam browne and sword frog and the other a mess dress which if im lucky to wear 3 or 4 times a year.

MerchyBum56
March 26th, 2011, 10:35 PM
You are correct Colonel; but the prohibition of wearing ANY military uniform by persons not ACTIVE in the armed forces on occasions, other than those you mentioned is against the law. Unauthorized wearing of the uniform is contained in Title 10, US code, section 772. Each of the military services has their own uniform regulations, explaining and clarifying this.
I am proud of my uniform and my service, and have worn my uniform on the occasions that you mentioned. As a retiree, (and not in physical shape to do the uniform proud) I do NOT want to "impersonate" an active military service member.
P.S I look forward to meeting on the "Riviera".

MerchyBum56
March 27th, 2011, 04:52 PM
You are correct Colonel; but the prohibition of wearing ANY military uniform by persons not ACTIVE in the armed forces on occasions, other than those you mentioned is against the law. Unauthorized wearing of the uniform is contained in Title 10, US code, section 772. Each of the military services has their own uniform regulations, explaining and clarifying this.
I am proud of my uniform and my service, and have worn my uniform on the occasions that you mentioned. As a retiree, (and not in physical shape to do the uniform proud) I do NOT want to "impersonate" an active military service member.
P.S I look forward to meeting on the "Riviera".

I'm inexperienced at replying on these boards. In my post above, I am referring to an earlier post on this site (#13) by "Col(ret)Wes". who cites Army regulations about the occasions that a miitary uniform can be worn by a former member of the Armed Forces.
I realize that people do wear their uniforms on cruises, recognizing that there are no MP's/SP's/FBI, on board.

stingau
March 28th, 2011, 01:55 AM
I'm inexperienced at replying on these boards. In my post above, I am referring to an earlier post on this site (#13) by "Col(ret)Wes". who cites Army regulations about the occasions that a miitary uniform can be worn by a former member of the Armed Forces.
I realize that people do wear their uniforms on cruises, recognizing that there are no MP's/SP's/FBI, on board.

Just because there is no authority on board does not give anyone the right to break Discipline. In saying that I am proud of the uniform that I wear and as an Officer I understand and accept the reasoning behind why it is not allowed. I will be cruising on 9/11 and would understand if on this date a formal night was held pers. would want to wear their dress uniforms.

crusinsteve
May 18th, 2011, 12:33 AM
I'm retired Army, and had four years in the Marine Corp and also of Scots descent so I wear my Combat Infantry Badge, Jump Wings and USMC Jump wings (all minature) on my Prince Charles Jacket with my kilt. No min medals or full size, as they would look strange with a kilt, but I served 2 tours in Vietnam and I'm proud of my service and wish I could wear my dress blues and jump boots, but I'm old and fat so I would not do justice to the uniform.
Semper Fi and Airborne!

Kiln Wood
May 19th, 2011, 01:44 AM
I'm retired Army, and had four years in the Marine Corp and also of Scots descent so I wear my Combat Infantry Badge, Jump Wings and USMC Jump wings (all minature) on my Prince Charles Jacket with my kilt. No min medals or full size, as they would look strange with a kilt, but I served 2 tours in Vietnam and I'm proud of my service and wish I could wear my dress blues and jump boots, but I'm old and fat so I would not do justice to the uniform.
Semper Fi and Airborne!

Thank you for your service to our country and WELCOME HOME!!

Navywife1
May 20th, 2011, 06:49 PM
First I want to thank everyone for their service. My husband always wears his uniform on formal nights.

waterdave
July 23rd, 2011, 11:56 PM
Ar 670-1
15-11.
a.
The Army green service uniforms are intended for wear during most duty, non-field, or utility occasions, and for travel and off-duty purposes. While both the class A and B uniforms are authorized for year-round wear, the appropriate uniform is worn based on weather conditions, duties, and the formality of the occasion. When a specific service uniform is not prescribed for formations or other occasions when uniformity in appearance is not required, soldiers may wear the class A or any of the variations of the class B uniform, with the accessories authorized for these uniforms.

15

MerchyBum56
July 24th, 2011, 11:19 PM
Thank you. This is accurate and applies ONLY to active duty military personnel.

waterdave
August 3rd, 2011, 02:18 PM
Question- if i ETS out of the army on September 3rd third year, and I am going on a cruise September 4th, can I wear my Class As at the formal night?
Im probably goign to do it anyway because Im cruising with my 81 year old army dad and it makes him proud, but wondering if i could justify it as travel home from being disharged from army (not retiring, only did one 8 year contract). The army reserves been good to me but it time to move on....

SSG waterdave

MerchyBum56
August 3rd, 2011, 09:16 PM
Question- if i ETS out of the army on September 3rd third year, and I am going on a cruise September 4th, can I wear my Class As at the formal night?
Im probably goign to do it anyway because Im cruising with my 81 year old army dad and it makes him proud, but wondering if i could justify it as travel home from being disharged from army (not retiring, only did one 8 year contract). The army reserves been good to me but it time to move on....

SSG waterdave

Go for it. I think you qualify with the spirit and intent of the law, if not the exact letter of the law. Thanks for your service.

waterdave
August 8th, 2011, 09:58 PM
Go for it. I think you qualify with the spirit and intent of the law, if not the exact letter of the law. Thanks for your service.

Thanks merchybum.

Also, my thoughts an prayers go out the families to those 30 soldiers that went down in the chinook over the weekend... We here are all so lucky to be out of the kill zone and enjoying our family life. And any of you guys still in we have so much respect for too!

I think that why a lot of us vets like cruises- it is such a safe environment with so much good people, and the best mess halls...

DrFootball
August 15th, 2011, 02:09 AM
OK. After having been "Out" (Hon./Med) since 1984 and fully "Out" since 1990(reserves w/ Med. waiver For Crappy Desk jb I never was happy in:-(

In 2009 I was Informed Through one of our serviceman's groups I belong to(and MY VET LAWYER!) That the DOD Was "Redacting" some info(also received "official letter from DOD & Dept OF VET. affairs informing me of "promotion" & Award), and that I would be receiving a "Promotion in Retirement" and a commendation from events of October of 1983(Urgent Fury). I was told, and given aid (as I was "In process" of getting my disability status changed to a higher %, and was also in process of medical ret. from civ. career) to go get a new Class A that FIT correctly(signifigant weight gain due to disbility) and did so. SO NOW DW wants me to bring it on our next Cruise...after aurguing with her up and down for weeks I was about to give in esp. since several of our VFW wifes make their husbands wear their's on Cruises as well. Now I can show her this thread!(esp. since I look like crap in it & I still can't put the Dammed Beret on correctly with one hand!!!) I'm "Perfectly Fine" with My Suits with auth. Minatures......(never one to be "bodacious"):cool:

So one ?: Does anyone wear their "Wings" of any type as a lapel pin? I have a Mini(Sr. Pilot) but if The Miniature medals are worn correctly, does the "lapel" pin belong on the Same Suit(or tux)? I also have "Mini" lapel Pins of my three Unit/Command assignments, Same ?: "670" is not clear to me on some of that & I used to go back an forth on this With DD(a Ret. SGM US Army & Federal Agent) & DFIL(Also RET. Army Combat Eng.& Ret. NYPD) but both are not with us anymore.. TIA..and welcome home to all my brothers(and Sisters) of all branches...

Bill(DrFootball)(CWO-4 (ret.)U.S. Army Aviation Branch-Active 1979-84, USAR 1984-90, ROTC & JrROTC Inst. 1992-99)

("All of my heroes wear uniforms. Some even wear flight suits...")
Bill's Brainiac Random Quote Generator V0.94 final beta for Mac

Two Tumbleweeds
December 15th, 2011, 05:08 PM
Wearing my class A uniform was great, but it sure added a lot of weight in the suitcase, so I bought a white dinner jacket and tux pants and just wear my miniature medals. Now I don't have to bring my uniform cover and worry about where to put it (no hat racks).
You could even wear your miniatures on a suit and that would be acceptable too. For veteran's meetings I wear a baseball cap showing my service. With Princess I get cruise credits starting at $100 for a 7 day cruise and on Veteran's Day they had a super program hosted by the Captain of the ship.

cj_one2000
January 3rd, 2012, 06:01 PM
We are USAF currently stationed in Germany. We have booked an RCI cruise in June 2012 that goes out from Barcelona. Hubby is active duty and has his blues as well as a nice suit. Is it appropriate on a sailing outside of the US to wear his blues? For OPSEC reasons as well?

JMG680
January 3rd, 2012, 11:06 PM
We are USAF currently stationed in Germany. We have booked an RCI cruise in June 2012 that goes out from Barcelona. Hubby is active duty and has his blues as well as a nice suit. Is it appropriate on a sailing outside of the US to wear his blues? For OPSEC reasons as well?


I wear mine any time I sail, I would check with the ATO office on the ports of call, but there should be no problems in wearing his blues. Enjoy your cruise.

2zhaus
February 1st, 2012, 04:49 PM
Wearing my class A uniform was great, but it sure added a lot of weight in the suitcase, so I bought a white dinner jacket and tux pants and just wear my miniature medals. Now I don't have to bring my uniform cover and worry about where to put it (no hat racks).
You could even wear your miniatures on a suit and that would be acceptable too. For veteran's meetings I wear a baseball cap showing my service. With Princess I get cruise credits starting at $100 for a 7 day cruise and on Veteran's Day they had a super program hosted by the Captain of the ship.

I have tried to get my DH to wear his miniatures. I am so proud of him and the service that he gave. Maybe I should just smuggle them into the suitcase. (lol):p

jaxfl
February 8th, 2012, 12:48 PM
Do not go out and buy them.... but... Dress Blues always draw attention and look better that Class A's.... in my opinon... I always liked wearing mine to functions back then.

americandream
June 1st, 2012, 10:51 PM
I wanted to post this here before I posted on the line specific boards (hoping not to get 10,000 responses as I'm sure I would on there based on other questions). We have only sailed previously on Carnival but are booked on a Celebrity Cruise in January. On Carnival, my husband has always worn his Class A Uniform on the first formal night and something a little less formal the second formal night. There are usually several people in uniform.

I know that Celebrity Dress code seems to be a little more formal and wanted to know if any of you who may have been on Celebrity know if it will be ok for him to wear his Dress Uniform (Army Dress Blues). I know it's obviously ok but I wanted to make sure there wouldn't be people who thought it was not appropriate. I can't imagine they would (but I want to enjoy my vacation and don't want anyone acting weird). He has nice pants/sports coat but I really don't want to invest in a suit for him considering in most cases where he would need to wear a suit- he has to wear his dress uniform anyway (and we're having to buy a new one since he still has his same Class A's from Basic 5 years ago and they are getting a little tight!)

Thanks for any input you might have!

I have worn both Blues and Mess and have always had a positive reaction from the other passengers.

Just wondering if anyone hesitates to wear their uniform depending on where they are sailing. Or have I just seen too many AFN commercials about Force Protection and "Keeping a Low Profile in Other Countries"? :)

This is a concern. I usually limit it to "domestic" cruises that depart and return to U.S. or Canadian ports where I know the majority of the passengers are going to be U.S. citizens seconded by our friends from the North. I haven't done it on the two Mediterranean cruises we have done. So far as I recall, we are technically allowed to wear our dress uniforms to any function where equivalent or similar civilian dress would be worn (i.e. Class A, now ASU, in lieu of a suit and dress blue or mess in lieu of tuxedo). In the past, service members were encouraged to always be in uniform to include all travel. That has changed over time with societal changes and current threats. When I wear my dress uniforms on cruises, I consider it to be keeping certain traditions alive. I also generally wear my uniform to funerals and sometimes to weddings as well for the same reason. I have received some grief from peers regarding the threat issue, but I look at it from the perspective that I put myself intentionally in harms way when I'm deployed when I know that people want to harm me, so why wouldn't I do it when people "might" want to harm me. It's for the same cause. In the end, it becomes a personal choice.

Anemix
September 4th, 2012, 02:48 AM
Wear your uniform with pride...You have earned it and you will look great!

Thank you all for helping me change my mind!

My DH mentioned that he was considering bringing his formal uniform to our upcoming cruise... I wasn't very encouraging. I do not like to be the center of attention, and I thought a uniform will make us more visible. After reading this thread, I will encourage him to wear it proudly!

Thank you all for serving this beautiful country!

frecgenswl82
February 5th, 2013, 12:11 PM
Great to read all the comments in here...they gave me a heads up on what to wear on our forthcoming cruise.

It will definitely be miniatures and tux..

Cheers, ;)

From what I have been reading my husband and I can wear our miniature medals on formal nights. Did not even think we could wear them on our cruise. More to pack. I thought we could only wear them on certain days like Veterans day, Memorial day and other days. Susan

Proseknitic
February 13th, 2013, 12:41 PM
From what I have been reading my husband and I can wear our miniature medals on formal nights. Did not even think we could wear them on our cruise. More to pack. I thought we could only wear them on certain days like Veterans day, Memorial day and other days. Susan
Don't depend on what is posted here. Go pull the uniform reg for your branch of service since they are updated on a regular basis. What you also have to consider is your service's force protection regulations. If they say "no wearing of uniform in non-military occasions out side the US" then I would conform.

There is also a difference with what is allowed for "formal occasions" and regular business attire.

If you are on a US based cruise (especially Alaska) there is likely going to be a security issue. If you are in the Med or Mideast, I would honestly exercise caution. Remember, there are two groups of people on the ships. The passengers are one, the staff - many of whom come from countries that may not have the best relationship with any military

-Holly

(now retired after 33 years US Army....)

AZbeachboy
July 31st, 2013, 01:12 AM
Be proud! I would not worry about it being on ship. Its a whole different world of attitude these days. I have seen others wear it on cruises, never a problem.

As a veteran, I do get offended by those who have not served wearing any uniform for fashion or decoration. But, if you did it, you earned it.

C130Nav
August 24th, 2013, 04:45 PM
When I was on AD, I wore my Mess Dress on Formal Nights. Received a lot of complements and always told folks that I was proud to serve them.

Now that I have retired, I will wear a tux for Formal Nights. I would only put military medals, wings, and so forth on a tux or business suit if there was some form of recognition for Armed Forces Days, Veterans' Day, or similar patriotic event or perhaps a military themed cruise.

eyeamacruiser
July 21st, 2014, 04:44 PM
Thank you all for your input! I felt they were appropriate(considering he wears it for his Military Ball!) but it seems from the board the formal night dress code is a very sensitive subject for some and wanted to make sure the DH wouldn't feel out of place!

Thanks again!

I have cruised with two Medal of Honor recipients and other Veterans who wore their uniforms. Wear it and be proud. Thanks for your service.:D

CmdrLeChat
September 23rd, 2014, 10:30 AM
On my last cruise, I saw a member of the USN wearing a different uniform... every... single... night. Except on the last night, where he wore a t-shirt stating facts about the US Navy. This may be a little too much, but nobody cared and everybody was nice to him, his wife, his kids, and he always had the same table for his family of 8 at the karaoke bar!

However, on formal nights, I'd say.... really... do what you want. You will see all kind/types of uniform, formal, service, mess, anything. Everybody will be nice, everybody will thank you. And no you won't be judged for being less formal than the other guy or wearing less medals. I am a cadet instructor... I'll be lucky if I finish my career with 2 medals under my "desk" pilot wings but any service, long or short, is respected.

Just wearing any piece of clothing with a regiment badge or your name/rank embroidered on it is well enough for many people to express gratitude. I never wore my uniform on a cruise, but still the 6th sense comes into effect pretty easily for many people. Last year, an old Marine spotted me by the way I kicked the straps under my back pack after placing it next to a wall (with my hat on top of it). And that's how I ended up drunk with new friends.

I've always travelled with Carnival, I don't know how it is with the other lines, but just having served is a big deal for them. Before every show on formal nights, the cruise director goes on stage, and asks every serving or retired member of any armed forces to stand up, waits a few seconds so the rest of the passengers get to look around, then asks policemen to stand up, then firemen, paramedics and first responders. Then the CD asks for a round of applause, and THEN he presents the show.