The virtues of formal nights & why we like them

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#1
New Hampshire
5,565 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
OK, here goes. I'm starting this thread for those who enjoy the formal nights on Princess. I'm not talking necessarily about tuxes/gowns, but just dressing nicely for dinner on your cruise.Tell us what you like & why. Tell us what kind of outfits you have. They do not have to be traditional formal. There's some really cool stuff that's been seen on the Celebrity cruises with their "Chic" nights. There's also been some bizarre interpretations, too!
For those who like casual dress, you're more than welcome to read, but NOT to negatively comment. If you do so, it WILL be removed! You are more than welcome to start your own thread on what you like about casual cruising. This thread is dedicated to those who like dressing the part. As a warning to "US" as well: I will not tolerate negativity against those who like casual dress. Those that do will have their posts removed as well. I'm not always able to view the thread as I work long hours. If you see negativity from other posters, feel free to red flag that post & report it to the mods. They'll do the rest. I'm sorry it may seem as censorship to some, but as I said this is a site dedicated to those who love the thoughts of dressing for a great night aboard your ship.
For us, we just love the old style of dress from films such as Titanic(hopefully your cruise will end better!)or any James Bond film. When we did our first cruise in 2004 on the QM2, it was a blast! We don't bring our tuxes to Princess or Celebrity, as they are more subdued than Cunard, that & the fact that good eating has made it necessary to buy a new tux. We have good suits & that's what we prefer on these 2 lines. When we venture back to Cunard, we'll(ok, just me) bite the bullet & get refitted for a tux. Ok, music lovers, let's have fun & please play nicely! Thank you!
#2
Ottawa, Ontario
66 Posts
Joined Nov 2016
I love dressing up on formal nights because of precisely that: I get to dress up! Formal nights are my excuse to go shopping in stores in I would never otherwise have a reason to step into, buy something beautiful, and feel glamorous. Even if I go with a dress that isn't new (I don't have THAT much money ), I still love have an excuse to dress to the nines. Formal nights, here I come!
#3
Fenwick West, DE
922 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
I enjoy formal nights when I travel with my family. The ladies wear gowns and the men wear dark suits. When it's just hubby and I we skip formal night as he's not a big fan of dressing up.


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#4
36 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
You may have convinced me to dress up. My son got married last year & my dress would be perfect for formal night! Nice to get another use out of it!


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#5
354 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Would love to do "real formal". Neither one of my travel companions care for it too much. So I usually don't. But, everyone always looks so nice. Favorite: husband and wife celebrating their 60th anniversary. Him in a tux, her in a lovely turquoise colored gown. So beautiful.

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#6
Houston, TX
27 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
This will be my first Princess cruise (seven night northbound Alaska), but I'm planning to bring either a charcoal business suit or a tan sport coat along for formal nights. Will this be in keeping with the spirit of the event? I've looked into renting a tux, but right now I'm thinking about putting the money elsewhere.
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#7
Fenwick West, DE
922 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by steamsailor727
This will be my first Princess cruise (seven night northbound Alaska), but I'm planning to bring either a charcoal business suit or a tan sport coat along for formal nights. Will this be in keeping with the spirit of the event? I've looked into renting a tux, but right now I'm thinking about putting the money elsewhere.


You will be fine with either.


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#8
18,225 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
We dress up on formal nights. I am on my black suit while DW on her cocktail dress. We do it not because it is "suggested", but we do it for ourselves. Being retired with less social activities, we take it as an opportunity to be doing what we used to do before. We also make sure we have a portrait that we add to our compilation.

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#9
sw, Fl - Fort Myers Area
5,646 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
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.
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#10
Northern California, US
2,264 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Hubby and I love to dress up on a cruise. We dress well for standard nights and to the nines on formal nights. We enjoy the elegance of being on a cruise and being well dressed...just adds to the feel of being on holiday.
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#11
Queensland
6,894 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by jwattle
Hubby and I love to dress up on a cruise. We dress well for standard nights and to the nines on formal nights. We enjoy the elegance of being on a cruise and being well dressed...just adds to the feel of being on holiday.
Same for us.
#12
Las Vegas
411 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
It gives me an excuse to wear my mess dress that the military required me to purchase & only wore once while active duty.
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#13
107 Posts
Joined Apr 2016
we've only been on one cruise so far. I don't like dressing up much, but really enjoyed the 1st formal night. I wore black dress pants, teal shirt and a "trolls" tie from the Disney movie I grew tired of formal nights 2-4 on our 14 day cruise. Skipped the 3rd formal night and wore similar attire on the other nights, no coat.I did enjoy the people watching
Our 1st night was really heavy seas, some old timers said they had never seen it so rough even on a TA cruise. It was kinda scary watching all the ladies trying to navigate in heals that night. The one thing I didn't like was all the photographers blocking the stairs and every pathway each formal night. It gave me the impression that the main reason for all the formal nights was to sell photographs, but none of ours turned out nice enough to keep. The wife wanted a certain angle and would tell them so but they never got the angle she wanted in 3 nights of photographs we only kept one. I would have been content to have just one formal night each cruise.
Like the previous poster, I think it won't be too many years and the formal nights will go away with the next generation.
Even thought I wore the "troll tie" that's not what I'm doing here, I'm
Just sharing my opinion and had a great although less than comfortable time each formal night we attended.
#14
Los Angeles Ca.
5,059 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
I used to like formal nights but not anymore. I only pack one suitcase now , especially if I have to fly. I think those that like dressing up should continue to do so while those that don't shouldn't, personal choice.
#15
sw, Fl - Fort Myers Area
5,646 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Originally posted by cruzsnooze
I used to like formal nights but not anymore. I only pack one suitcase now , especially if I have to fly. I think those that like dressing up should continue to do so while those that don't shouldn't, personal choice.
If they would only serve the exact food in the Horizon buffet as in the DR most of the problems caused by people not wanting to dress formally would go away.
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#16
San Mateo, California
5,542 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
We have been cruising since l983... my dh is from Paris originally, loves to dress up, wear clothes well and shops for me, better than I can shop for myself, aren't I lucky. We both have an extensive wardrobe of cruise clothes... formal, informal and smart casual... we dress up every evening, because we enjoy it. We cruise Princes, HAL, Celebrity, Cunard these days... mostly Princess... Will be on the Royal TA out of Barcelona in October and on the Grand to Mexico right after New Years...
#17
California
318 Posts
Joined Oct 2015
I don't see formal nights going away on Princess. We will always wear gowns and tuxes on formal nights and I hope others feel empowered to do so if they choose as well. There is just something magical about a ship full of folks dressed up for the night. That said if others are dressed in suits and cocktail attire it doesn't bother me.
We cruise Princess and Cunard. And should we become outliers on Princess we will just stick to Cunard.
#18
Chelsea MA
3,967 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by jwattle
Hubby and I love to dress up on a cruise. We dress well for standard nights and to the nines on formal nights. We enjoy the elegance of being on a cruise and being well dressed...just adds to the feel of being on holiday.
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
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#19
Tasmania
26 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Growing up in sunny Queensland, I used to hate Christmas. It was the one time of the year that mum insisted on us wearing a shirt for dinner.
If Grandma was coming, I also had to wear shoes!

I haven't improved much over the last 60 years but I did buy a new jacket for our first cruise in May this year.

The wife enjoyed watching the other travelers who had gone to some (extreme) effort to dress up.

We were so uninspired by the food in the MDR we didn't risk a formal night but it was still nice to see the others who did.

If we go on another cruise and if we can be convinced that the food has improved, I will probably pack the jacket again.