New Dress Code Designations?


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#41
Shropshire
78 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
Originally posted by LB_NJ
If they remove the jacket requirement on the Smart Attire nights it means I have one less item to pack.
I would say "smart attire" still includes a jacket! Sorry!
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#42
Scotland
124 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
We are on V820 departing Southampton 8th June 2018. First night is 'informal' other nights are split 4 'Gala Evenings' with a named ball and all other evenings are 'Smart Attire'. So three different dress codes with no description as to what they mean. Were out shopping today with the intention for DW to buy another evening dress, thank goodness she didn't find one!!
#43
Iowa
1,872 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by goodsailors
We are on V820 departing Southampton 8th June 2018. First night is 'informal' other nights are split 4 'Gala Evenings' with a named ball and all other evenings are 'Smart Attire'. So three different dress codes with no description as to what they mean. Were out shopping today with the intention for DW to buy another evening dress, thank goodness she didn't find one!!
Yeah, it would appear you are on the voyage (V820) where the cutover to the new dress code designations is occurring for QV. Presumably that's why the first evening is still listed as "Informal" for you, the same as the first evening of our voyage (M822) where the cutover is occurring for QM2. It looks like the cutover for QE is occurring on voyage Q818 (June 10 departure). If the pattern holds, I would not be surprised to learn that the first evening of that voyage is also listed as "Informal" in voyage personaliser.
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#44
New Jersey
9,807 Posts
Joined May 2007
Here is HAL's evening dress code and definition of "Gala Night." Let's hope Cunard isn't going to this.
  • Most evenings smart casual attire is appropriate. Shorts, pool/beachwear, distressed jeans and men’s tank tops are best left to the daytime and are not permitted in fine dining restaurants.
  • Gala Nights evoke the grand traditions of cruising as guests dress to impress for special events on board, including our five-course gourmet dinner in the Dining Room. For gentlemen, collared shirts and slacks are required in all fine dining restaurants.
Collared shirt and slacks--polo shirts and khakis, as someone said--is not my idea of dressing to impress!

Sure, we can all dress up if we want to. But if Cunard dumbs down the dress code to this extent, the ambiance of formal (oops "gala") nights will be diluted to the point of nonexistence before long.
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#45
Mississauga, Canada
1,517 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by kohl57
...

Sad. Cunard is going down the same road as Holland America it seems.
...
My last cruise on Holland America was shortly before they changed "formal " to "gala." The definition of formal included "jacket or tie" and it wasn't enforced. The majority of gents, however, did wear jacket and tie and there were several in dinner jackets/tuxedos, including me. There were also two young men wearing T-shirts and baseball caps. HAL's definition of gala has been dumbed-down from what it was for formal.

Some on this forum have mentioned the number of dress codes. When we first started crossing on the Queen Mary 2 there were three dress codes: formal, semi-formal and elegant casual. Each had a definition.

If the dress standards are lowered, it is not mandatory for any of us to follow it. I think most regular Cunard travellers view the dress code as a minimum. I have never gone to dinner on a Cunard ship without a jacket and tie since our first crossing in 1973 and I don't intend to lower my standards.
#47
Pennsylvania
6,531 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I was on HAL at the beginning of March. Not everyone complied with their "Gala Nights" dress code. A few in polo shirts without jackets, a few wearing blue denim jeans...
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#48
Chicago, IL, USA
2,133 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Hi,

Cunard should have provided the definitions of "Gala Evening" and "Smart Attire" at the same time that it added these new terms to the Voyage Personaliser. Because it changed the terminology, there must be a change in the dress code. However, this change is not clear until it provides the new definitions. I am guessing that the new dress code will be similar to the dress codes on Holland America and Princess.

Chuck
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#49
New Jersey
333 Posts
Joined Oct 2017
Originally posted by seacruise9
Hi,

Cunard should have provided the definitions of "Gala Evening" and "Smart Attire" at the same time that it added these new terms to the Voyage Personaliser. Because it changed the terminology, there must be a change in the dress code. However, this change is not clear until it provides the new definitions. I am guessing that the new dress code will be similar to the dress codes on Holland America and Princess.

Chuck

Actually Princess is more formal than Holland America. I was on Princess in January and for the most part men wore suits or tuxedos on "formal" night and it was still called formal night.

Although there was no restriction on what you could wear in other parts of the ship outside the main dinning room.

Although I saw it on the itinerary Princess does not really do ballroom dancing.

On other nights the suggested attire was smart casual which appears to be more formal than Holland America's other evenings.

It will be funny if Princess lines is more formal than Cunard for a period of time.

If the ambiance goes away and the food on Cunard is not really much better than the other cruise lines they will have to reduce their prices.
#51
Vancouver, BC
19,142 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
I always try to pay attention to a cruise line’s marketing to see the tone they’re trying to set. So from this link, is it supposed to be lunch? Because judging by the comments here there aren’t any restaurants without a jacket except the buffet.

http://www.cunard.com/life-on-board/dining-and-bars/
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#52
NYC
4,033 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by Bell Boy
Stop Press !!! I had drinks in the Commodore Bar last night ( Q. Vic 26th March) with Angus Struthers , he informs me there is no change in the dress code descriptions. Hopefully, all this sounds like a glitch in the system.
I'd love to believe that this is all some glitch or April Fool joke. Sadly though we have seen things show up in the system before there was a formal announcement - like deck 13 statesrooms online before it was announced that there would be any up there. I'm so mad I want to cancel my June sailing because what they are delivering is a substantial departure compared to that at time of booking. I'm stuck unless I want to eat a huge cancellation penalty. Not too late to cancel my later sailing however.
#53
New Hamsphire
560 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
Originally posted by Shropshirekitkat
I would say "smart attire" still includes a jacket! Sorry!
While I wish that you were correct. Smart attire here in the US means clean jeans and no grass stains on your t shirt. It has been a slow decline in the US to the point where now the homeless look better dressed than the wealthy. Time to seek alternate vacations where one does not have to deal with the "unwashed".

One can sail on most lines now with a simple gym bag of clothing. One pair of shorts, a t-shirt no socks a pair of flip flops and if brave go commando. All can be rinsed in the bowl at night and be ready for the next days bucket of beer.
#54
New Hamsphire
560 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
Originally posted by david,Mississauga
My last cruise on Holland America was shortly before they changed "formal " to "gala." The definition of formal included "jacket or tie" and it wasn't enforced. The majority of gents, however, did wear jacket and tie and there were several in dinner jackets/tuxedos, including me. There were also two young men wearing T-shirts and baseball caps. HAL's definition of gala has been dumbed-down from what it was for formal.

Some on this forum have mentioned the number of dress codes. When we first started crossing on the Queen Mary 2 there were three dress codes: formal, semi-formal and elegant casual. Each had a definition.

If the dress standards are lowered, it is not mandatory for any of us to follow it. I think most regular Cunard travellers view the dress code as a minimum. I have never gone to dinner on a Cunard ship without a jacket and tie since our first crossing in 1973 and I don't intend to lower my standards.

Sadly what happens is that the atmosphere of the ship changes and while you might be in jacket or jacket and tie as I always do, it rubs to have to be seated next to those who chose to dress as if they are at a local fast food joint. It is not longer an elegant cruise but simply another means of transportation.

Eventually one ends up like carnival where they do not even offer linen on the tables nor a full compliment of flatware. Bar food and atmosphere at its worst.
#55
549 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Hi

It is clear to me that Cunard is going to dumb down the dress code otherwise why just change the terminology? Its like management is in a race to the bottom. Its like they are afraid of being different from the other lines in their wish to be all things to all people. Soon there will be no reason to choose Cunard over any of the other cruise lines out there with exception of the transatlantic crossings for which they have no real competition.


It is such a shame and it would not surprise me if Stein Kruse is behind this. He did such a great job with Holland America Line! Not! I think my days with Cunard are going to be very limited going forward if this change of dress code comes to pass. What is next? Reducing the number of musicians and staff which is what happened to HAL under Stein Kruse. Oceania, Azamara and Viking here I come!

I messaged Cunard on their Facebook page raising objections to this development. I hope everyone else does the same.

Deck Chair
#56
California
492 Posts
Joined Oct 2015
What if...........Cunard passengers kept wearing tuxes & gowns on (gala) formal nights and jacket and ties on (smart attire) informal nights? What if.......we still danced traditional ballroom dances?
Talk with your pocketbook by selling out their cruises and hauling on board all the stuff you need to maintain these standards.
We are taking our first cruises on the QM2 this June. The fjords and then a westbound TA. DH with two left feet is taking ballroom dance lessons with me to prepare for our wonderful evenings in our formal attire.
I hope we have the joy of cruising with Cunard traditionalists for our cruises. Please don’t cancel and abandon us!
#57
UK
208 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by BlueRiband
I'd love to believe that this is all some glitch or April Fool joke. Sadly though we have seen things show up in the system before there was a formal announcement - like deck 13 statesrooms online before it was announced that there would be any up there. I'm so mad I want to cancel my June sailing because what they are delivering is a substantial departure compared to that at time of booking. I'm stuck unless I want to eat a huge cancellation penalty. Not too late to cancel my later sailing however.
I share your pain, BR; we have just made final payment on our upcoming cruise on QM2 in June. We will wait to see what happens in the reality of being on the ship, but like you we feel we are being sold something that is different from what we booked and paid for. Of course we will still enjoy the destination, but the main reason we switched to Cunard in the first place was our perception of the elegance, ambiance and style, especially on QM2, and for us the dress code is a very big part of that.

We were planning a number of future cruises, which we were intending to book whilst on board in June. We also had ambitions for a future World Cruise with Cunard, but I’m feeling less confident about that now. Not that Cunard/Carnival will care, but I do feel disappointed. I also don’t quite get the logic behind it, if it truly is a dumbing down; wilfully removing your USP as a business makes no sense to me. It’s a huge part of their marketing, though perhaps that will change now. If it does, like others I’m struggling to see what differentiates Cunard from any other mainstream line.
#58
Surrey, England
9 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
We're due to go out on the QE on 01 Jul 10 to the Fjords, I have not yet paid the balance and am seriously thinking of cancelling. I have written to Cunard asking what the dress code policy is for 'Smart Attire' if I get a response I will let you know

Regards
#59
5 Posts
Joined Dec 2017
Originally posted by Blu-iTT
We're due to go out on the QE on 01 Jul 10 to the Fjords, I have not yet paid the balance and am seriously thinking of cancelling. I have written to Cunard asking what the dress code policy is for 'Smart Attire' if I get a response I will let you know

Regards
Post #31 on an earlier thread about avoiding formal nights is interesting. It reads:


"I just called Cunard and they think the dress policy is changing. My Voyage Personaliser now states Smart Attire for some nights (used to be informal) and Gala Evening for what used to be formal nights.

Will be a couple of weeks until new definition.

I think the changeover will depend on the date of your cruise."

For what would seem to be a major change in the marketing strategy of Cunard this all seems very amateur. It gives the impression of a real timidity and uncertainty about possible changes
#60
At Sea
5,460 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
These could just be marketing terms, mere words, and nothing will actually change.
The term "Formal" has, for many people, negative connotations. Furthermore, many would like to feel that their entire vacation/holiday is always relaxing and "informal".
So Cunard may stipulate that "Gala Night" means the dress-code is what "Formal" previously meant, and the same for "Smart Attire" and "Informal".

However, this could also mean that Cunard have finally thrown away their USP, something that set the line apart from other mainstream lines. If so, and they confirm that they are abandoning any meaningful dress-code (ie wear "anything you like" most nights and "please wear a clean shirt" on certain special evenings) then I for one won't be sailing with Cunard in future.

I was about to book 2019 voyages, but will hold back until clarification from Cunard is given, I could save myself a lot of money.
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