Dress code etc.

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#1
Wisconsin
254 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
What is the dress code for dinner on river cruises?
Are there always options other than seafood for dinner?
Do you tip your guide on shore (I would assume so), or is that included?
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Mary T.

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#2
San Francisco, CA
920 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Casual,
Yes,
Yes you should.
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#3
Northridge, CA
109 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Uniworld posts the dinner menu at lunch time. If you don't like it, you can tell them you want beef, chicken, or fish instead.
cb
#4
Largo, Florida U.S.A.
578 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
re: Dress Code.
There are usually two special nights - Captains Dinner and Farewell Dinner. Both nights most of the men where sport coats and ties. Some don't but I always felt better dressing up for those nights. The ladies where pant suits or dresses. Kinda a special nights. Your choice. One one river cruise a younger man showed up in a tank type t shirt and he stood out like a sore thumb. No one wanted to sit at his table. Your choice. Willard
#5
B.C.
139 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by npphotog
re: Dress Code.
There are usually two special nights - Captains Dinner and Farewell Dinner. Both nights most of the men where sport coats and ties. Some don't but I always felt better dressing up for those nights. The ladies where pant suits or dresses. Kinda a special nights. Your choice. One one river cruise a younger man showed up in a tank type t shirt and he stood out like a sore thumb. No one wanted to sit at his table. Your choice. Willard
Maybe depends upon the cruise line but everything I've been reading for our upcoming cruise and several other lines only about 5 - 10% of the men wear sports coats and even fewer wear ties for the special nights.
#6
2,434 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
DH never brings a jacket or suit on a river cruise. We have travelled on most of the lines and the only one where we saw men in jackets was on a Christmas market cruise with Vantage. On all the others it was dockers or slacks, golf shirts or open necked sport shirt. We have just booked #16 and 17. Be careful river cruisinf can be addicting. Pat
#7
Milton On Canada
938 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Agree with Pacmom, I've only been on 2 river cruises, different lines, and I can't remember seeing a tie at dinner. Very few men wore jackets even on special nights. Golf shirts, open neck collared shirts, dockers were absolutely the prime choice of dress for men. Ladies, slacks and a nice top was the norm although there were some nice dresses/skirts as well. No need to pack any very dressy clothes, save room in the suitcase for all the souvenirs. Yes, river cruising is addictive!
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#8
Northern California
216 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by LIV 2 CRUISE
What is the dress code for dinner on river cruises?
Are there always options other than seafood for dinner?
Do you tip your guide on shore (I would assume so), or is that included?
Re #1 - We've always done 'country club casual' with dressier sweaters or blouses for the less casual nights (e.g. Captain's dinner, welcome dinner). About 20% of men had sport jackets for those evenings, with maybe 5% ties and the rest without. The balance of evenings it was collared shirts/sweaters for men and sweaters or shirts for ladies w/ nice slacks or chinos. Almost no women wore skirts/dresses on our sailings, but the weather was on the cooler side so perhaps that explains it.

Re #2 - There should be 'always available' menu items such as steak, chicken etc on the menu in addition to the evening's offerings. I think there was also always a non-fish alternative main course, but I could be remembering incorrectly in the fog of rich meals and nice wine.

Re #3 - Yes, please tip the guides, unless they were just awful (this happened to us only one day out of perhaps 20 so far). We also give the bus drivers (when there have been buses) a small gratuity per person as well. Many times the guides are licensed and have mandatory education requirements before they are allowed to provide guide services; hopefully you will also find that a tip is well worth it for them as we almost always do.

Many river cruises charge gratuities or add them into the fare, but I do not believe the land-side tour guides are ever included in these arrangements unless it is specifically stated as such.
#9
Boston Area
7,873 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Thanks for the info everyone, very helpful for we newbies! I prefer to be casual- but even during the days I travel with no less than capris and shoulders covered with a blouse or sweater. Id prefer not to have to make a " costume change" every night ( as DH calls them)

On most nights that aren't the "special ones", are people usually wearing what they toured in, or add a wrap or sweater to it? One of the things that I don't like about some ocean cruise lines is all the costume changes. TIA
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#10
161 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Originally posted by npphotog
re: Dress Code.
There are usually two special nights - Captains Dinner and Farewell Dinner. Both nights most of the men where sport coats and ties. Some don't but I always felt better dressing up for those nights. The ladies where pant suits or dresses. Kinda a special nights. Your choice. One one river cruise a younger man showed up in a tank type t shirt and he stood out like a sore thumb. No one wanted to sit at his table. Your choice. Willard
What is a pant suit? Do you mean those polyester things that our mothers wore in the 80's?
#12
499 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
we have just returned from an avalon cruise on luminary, and a week prior on scenery.
they were our 5 and 6 cruises on avalon. can confirm comfortable casual, some smarter at dinner.

we had a really relaxed lady who came down to afternoon tea in the lounge in the white bath robe...never seen that before, and a couple who wore bedroom slippers a fair bit, perhaps their feet were sore, or they just felt at home.

relax and enjoy.

we had a few glitchs on the 2 cruises. on scenery we could not proceed passed lyon and were taken by bus from there to paris. on bus at 0730 and got to paris at 1800. it was too long and we would not do another land component and risk that. the fast train lyon to paris would have been a better option.

on luminary we could not get to maastrict because of an industrial event on belguim waters. we were taken on a 45 min bus ride each way to see the national museum. it was absolutely packed with people and children and difficult to see the art in a civilised manner.

we love river cruising and would do another its never dull.
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#13
Scotland
530 Posts
Joined May 2007
We always change for dinner. Dont want to wear clothes we`ve had on all day and like to make a slight effort at least in recognotion of the hard work the staff will have put in to producing dinner. We always change for dinner in hotels too - of course we`re British! DH positively likes wearing a jacket and tie so will have a couple with him for our forthcoming outing along the Douro! I usually have a couple of pairs of black trousers which I can wear with various blouses and accessorise a bit. Nothing fancy just not what we`ve been wearing as we trail about all day on buses and public places of varying levels of hygeine.
As to tipping- see various other threads regarding attitudes to tipping by nationality
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#14
Boston MA
4,735 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by npphotog
re: Dress Code.
One one river cruise a younger man showed up in a tank type t shirt and he stood out like a sore thumb. No one wanted to sit at his table.
UGH!! Tank shirts for men are for the beach. Period.
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#15
Long Island, NY
6,132 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Hubby likes to wear jacket and tie also! I am going to leave it up to him if he wants to bring it or not. The only issue is if we only pack a carryon each it might be a problem. But if we decide on a bigger suitcase, it won't matter. We get free checked luggage if we go overseas from the U.S.
Originally posted by Nippy Sweetie
We always change for dinner. Dont want to wear clothes we`ve had on all day and like to make a slight effort at least in recognotion of the hard work the staff will have put in to producing dinner. We always change for dinner in hotels too - of course we`re British! DH positively likes wearing a jacket and tie so will have a couple with him for our forthcoming outing along the Douro! I usually have a couple of pairs of black trousers which I can wear with various blouses and accessorise a bit. Nothing fancy just not what we`ve been wearing as we trail about all day on buses and public places of varying levels of hygeine.
As to tipping- see various other threads regarding attitudes to tipping by nationality
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#16
Tulsa OK
7,163 Posts
Joined May 2006
We always change for dinner too, and we are American. Don't like to wear the clothes that I have been walking around all day in. I am the one who is always overdressed, but I am happy with that. My husband just puts on a fresh shirt with dress pants. He may very well wear the shirt the next day to tour in, but at least it is nice for dinner.
#17
Largo, Florida U.S.A.
578 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Note to Got2Cruise - Tell your hubby to wear the sport coat on the plane, just put it in the overhead that way your suitcase will have more room.
#18
Northern California
216 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by npphotog
Note to Got2Cruise - Tell your hubby to wear the sport coat on the plane, just put it in the overhead that way your suitcase will have more room.
This works wonderfully - it's what we always do too. I also wear my heaviest coat and sweater onto the plane and divest them once on-board. Just be sure NOT to forget all your bits and pieces in the bin when you deplane if you have sleep deprivation 'brain fog' from an overnight flight!

We also put our heaviest pair of shoes in the bottom of our carry-ons (which roll) since for large intl flights they typically are not weighed, in contrast to checked baggage. But beware if you are connecting onto a small local flight within Europe, sometimes their overhead bins are small and carryon restrictions are tighter (smaller size and they DO check weights sometimes). Your airline can verify. But a sportcoat would always fit in the bin.

Re the tank top-wearing fellow at dinner - horrors! I can understand the slippers given foot trouble on walking-intensive days, but robes or tank tops - YIKES.
#19
Long Island, NY
6,132 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Thanks for the great tip. That solves that problem.
Originally posted by npphotog
Note to Got2Cruise - Tell your hubby to wear the sport coat on the plane, just put it in the overhead that way your suitcase will have more room.
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Got2Cruise
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#20
milwaukee wisconsin
496 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
it's nice to be comfortable and casual while on vacation.... I don't remember more than 5 gentlemen wearing sport coats at the Welcome or Captaiin's dinner while on Avalon. Most men wore nice button down shirts, khaki slacks and nice shoes. Most women wore nice blouses and slacks, some wore casual dresses. The passangers that did wear more fomral wear actually looked out of place. But HEY! if that's your style just go for it!!!!

A white robe at an afternoon tea or tank top at dinner??? I don't like to judge on looks but that verges on downright trashy! Have some consideration for your companion travelers. Your arm-pit hair is not something we want to remember from our journey.

Leave the formals at home and bring extra underwear and if you have to bring the tank tops wear a shirt over them.