The virtues of formal nights & why we like them

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#41
New Mexico
4,910 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Any suggestions for "formal night" alternatives for men? DH has stopped taking a suit and now simply uses black slacks with white shirt and tie. I'm thinking maybe a white or ivory silk mock turtle-neck or banded collar shirt.
#42
2,239 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
It's nice to dress up. It makes the evening extra special and a great photo opportunity to remember the cruise by.
#43
Maryland
11 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by Alaskanb
Any suggestions for "formal night" alternatives for men? DH has stopped taking a suit and now simply uses black slacks with white shirt and tie. I'm thinking maybe a white or ivory silk mock turtle-neck or banded collar shirt.
Last cruise I did a pair of gray slacks, a nice sweater with a dress shirt underneath. Didn't feel out of place. Nice way to skip the tie.
#45
Virgina
3,556 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
One thing I like about Princess is people seem to agree to the dress code. There is a time and a place for a swim suit, kakhis and a polo, and more elegant wear.

DH and I both work jobs that require suits/dresses very day so dressing up is no big deal....but it is appropriate and part of classic cruising. I love the fact that it is another one of those times where my sons have yet again learned how to dress for the occasion. They both know how to tie a tie and wear a blazer and slacks. When my youngest gets his tuxedo through school in another year, I will be getting my DH one as well and we will use it in our travels.

As for me, I don't pack anything that wrinkles. But I have a lovely black dress that depending on shoes and jewelry can go to work with a jacket or on formal evening with sparkling grey strappy dress sandals and diamond jewelry. I also have worn a floor length purple gown with a large rhinestone broach creating and empire waist. The same sandals go with this dress.

When we retire and are able to take longer cruises I will happily find more such dresses and we will continue to dress for formal evenings as long as they keep offering them!


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#46
Virgina
3,556 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by floridalover5623
It quite understandable you like dressing up since you are British. Not being derogatory but from everything I've seen on cruise ships all Brits are typically like that.

People who suggest that others go elsewhere on formal nights really have't read what Princess deems as acceptable dress. It isn't strictly a suit & tie or a gown for the ladies any longer. They've relaxed their dress code many years ago although many people still quote only what they see posted at the door to the restaurant.

Enjoy your formal nights in any fashion you choose.


This is the dress code from the clothing recommendations:

Formal
When formal nights are held, please observe the dress code in the Traditional Dining and Anytime Dining venues for the enjoyment of all our guests.

Evening gowns and cocktail dresses for women
Tuxedos, dinner jackets or dark suits with a tie for men


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#47
NY
288 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
To be honest, not my scene. But I do enjoy to watch people getting all dressed up. I just try to make myself less visible, since I am typically in shorts/shirt/sandals, and would rather not ruin people's time and be "that guy" walking around Piazza while everyone is all dressed up.

Few times I did join formal night dinner, but honestly, I couldn't bring myself to wearing a tux. Just a nice button shirt, pants and shoes. Also, since I am not willing to bring my suit/tie with me on a cruise (too much scuba crap in my suitcase), I also do not barge into dining rooms with "I will wear what I want and you will have to tolerate me" attitude. We are fine with doing buffet or room service on these nights.

Come to think of it, I never actually wore a tux in my life....
#48
New Mexico
4,910 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by A&Jfamily
This is the dress code from the clothing recommendations:

Formal
When formal nights are held, please observe the dress code in the Traditional Dining and Anytime Dining venues for the enjoyment of all our guests.

Evening gowns and cocktail dresses for women
Tuxedos, dinner jackets or dark suits with a tie for men


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This is from the What to Pack section:
For more formal settings, men should bring a suit and a nice pair of shoes (or, at the very least, a shirt, tie and slacks), while women may want to bring an evening dress or a skirt with a good blouse.
#49
Great White North, Eh!
4,765 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
DH and I love to dress up. He has both a white dinner jacket and the black tux jacket and those things are bloody heavy. Oh man, the shoes I have had to jettison from our luggage due to the weight of the jackets. LOL
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#50
Northern California, US
2,210 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Originally posted by Lucky TGO
jwattle,
You guys are going to love your cruise on the Rowboat. Formal night is a big thing on the Rowboat.
I love wearing my tux!! Billy Chrystal once said it's better to look good then feel good.
The Captain of the Rowboat,
Tony
Tony,
For our Rowboat Cruise, I'll be packing our "formal oars"; they have Swarovski crystals embedded throughout, for that extra bling effect in the moonlight.
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#51
Columbia, Md
2,153 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
In the spirit of what the OP requested for this thread to be about.... We enjoy formal nights. My dh wears a tux and I wear either a long gown or mostly a cocktail dress. On our cruises we have seen most people dressing up nicely (even if they are not actually formal). I usually bring two dresses with me and have no trouble packing them. We each bring a large suitcase and each a roll aboard (21 or 22"). We have plenty of space for these items for our long cruises.

Our experience has been that most people dress up (even if not technically formal).
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#52
sw, Fl - Fort Myers Area
4,484 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Originally posted by Alaskanb
This is from the What to Pack section:
For more formal settings, men should bring a suit and a nice pair of shoes (or, at the very least, a shirt, tie and slacks), while women may want to bring an evening dress or a skirt with a good blouse.
There you go. Even what guys wear on casual nights in the DR will work on formal evenings. Most people only read the first part and stop right there failing to read what Princess now allows as minimum dress in the DR's on formal night. Hence all the arguments.
I'ts true that some people will stretch the allowance even further but that's few & far between.
I suppose this is why Princess has maintained their dress code as is & not relaxed it any further like Celebrity, NCL, HCL and RCI.
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#53
Coastal North Carolina
6,893 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
I would not be unhappy to see them do away with formal night and go to country club casual type of dress every night.

But what I would really like to see is to have a dress code in the MDR that is clearly communicated and consistently enforced throughout. If they say no shorts, baseball caps, tank tops, etc. then the maître d's should enforce it.
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#54
sw, Fl - Fort Myers Area
4,484 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Originally posted by sunsetbeachgal
I would not be unhappy to see them do away with formal night and go to country club casual type of dress every night.

But what I would really like to see is to have a dress code in the MDR that is clearly communicated and consistently enforced throughout. If they say no shorts, baseball caps, tank tops, etc. then the maître d's should enforce it.
That was not enforced in Feb on the Caribbean Princess at all. There must have been 25 to 30 people wearing shorts each casual evening. Not many baseball caps. Just a nice & relaxed atmosphere for vacation.
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#55
128 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by floridalover5623
I love formal nights....for everyone else but myself. It provides me entertainment to see people dressed up not realizing that it not a requirement but if they enjoy dressing up, then why not?
Cruise long enough & the novelty wears off quickly. The whole formal routine on Princess will be gone shortly so the formalists should enjoy it while it lasts. It's the last mass market cruise line that hasn't officially eliminated them.
Maybe or maybe not. On our most resent cruise on the Regal over New Years, people were dressed better than I have seen on a cruise in years. Maybe it was because it was New Years cruise not sure. The couples cruising with us made the same comment. We were talking with our waiter about it. He said they are starting to see a return to dressing up more, not just on formal nights but on other nights also. Princess may decide to keep their formal night for the reason you are saying they will get rid of them. Just as you say they are the only mass market line still doing them. We have been cruising since 1985, #38 coming up in July on the Crown. Flying to London for a 21 day cruise. We will have 5 formal nights out of our 21 days can't wait. My DH will wear dark suit, I will wear different cocktail outfits. Not being critical of others choices but as I witness how many people are still willing to dress up not sure princess will do away with it all together. Considering how many people line up to get their pictures made on formal night, it must be a money maker for Princess. If that is the case they will keep it around awhile longer in MHO. We used to do a lot of HAL cruises also. We have not booked HAL since they did away with formal night. I know others who feel the same way. For us formal night is one of our favorite things about cruising.
#56
sw, Fl - Fort Myers Area
4,484 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Originally posted by ksm77
Maybe or maybe not. On our most resent cruise on the Regal over New Years, people were dressed better than I have seen on a cruise in years. Maybe it was because it was New Years cruise not sure. The couples cruising with us made the same comment. We were talking with our waiter about it. He said they are starting to see a return to dressing up more, not just on formal nights but on other nights also. Princess may decide to keep their formal night for the reason you are saying they will get rid of them. Just as you say they are the only mass market line still doing them. We have been cruising since 1985, #38 coming up in July on the Crown. Flying to London for a 21 day cruise. We will have 5 formal nights out of our 21 days can't wait. My DH will wear dark suit, I will wear different cocktail outfits. Not being critical of others choices but as I witness how many people are still willing to dress up not sure princess will do away with it all together. Considering how many people line up to get their pictures made on formal night, it must be a money maker for Princess. If that is the case they will keep it around awhile longer in MHO. We used to do a lot of HAL cruises also. We have not booked HAL since they did away with formal night. I know others who feel the same way. For us formal night is one of our favorite things about cruising.
You hit on it when you said it's a money maker. Other than that I'm sure they would just follow the rest of the cruise lines but if they're known as being flexible they can get the best of both sides.
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#57
23 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Originally posted by Meanee
To be honest, not my scene. But I do enjoy to watch people getting all dressed up. I just try to make myself less visible, since I am typically in shorts/shirt/sandals, and would rather not ruin people's time and be "that guy" walking around Piazza while everyone is all dressed up.

Come to think of it, I never actually wore a tux in my life....
I'm right there with Meanee on this one, and I admire his not insisting on swimming upstream on formal nights. I enjoy seeing folks who DO enjoy getting gussied up out enjoying themselves in the MDR and wouldn't think of trying to go in "casual" those evenings. In fact, I've felt a bit out of place once or twice wearing nice slacks, an ironed shirt and a tie when being seated at a table with everyone in suits and evening gowns, but I'm over that.

People shouldn't be a distraction on formal nights, so if we don't want to play we eat someplace other than the MDR. It's only fair.

I've only worn a tuxedo once in my life, too. It was a work event, and that one time was quite enough.
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#58
Michigan
9,694 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
I still love the formal nights and was really sad to see them go on Celebrity.
The evening just feels more special when everyone is dressed up.
I love seeing my husband in his tux.

However, my VERY favorite part is seeing men in dress military uniforms and in kilts.
I know both are very heavy to pack and so don't expect to see them any more on Celebrity so I am extremely grateful to Princess for keeping them!
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#59
103 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Originally posted by floridalover5623
I love formal nights....for everyone else but myself. It provides me entertainment to see people dressed up not realizing that it not a requirement but if they enjoy dressing up, then why not?
Cruise long enough & the novelty wears off quickly. The whole formal routine on Princess will be gone shortly so the formalists should enjoy it while it lasts. It's the last mass market cruise line that hasn't officially eliminated them.
Did I miss a Princess press release?
#60
Columbia, Md
2,153 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Originally posted by elfinmagic
Did I miss a Princess press release?
No, they are speculating.
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