Formal Nights on Alaska Cruise (Princess)

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New Boston, MI
5 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Can anyone tell me if Formal nights are more or less formal in Alaska than, say, a Caribbean cruise? Are there usually 2 Formal nights? Will a sportcoat and silk tee be acceptable for gentlemen or must it be a suit and tie? Thanks.
New Boston, MI
5 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Coral:
There will be 2 formal nights and I found Alaska less formal then the Caribbean on my Princess cruise.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Coral -- What do you think about the sport coat and silk tee for my husband? Too casual?
Raleigh, N.C.
12,194 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
We brought and wore our tuxedos last summer on the Star Princess. I'd guess that 25 percent of the men wore tuxedos on formal nights. There was a higher percentage at the past passenger cocktail party than among the overall passengers.

I think a sports coat with silk T-shirt is too casual for formal night in the dining room. I had heard that Alaskan cruises are more casual than others, but did not find this to be the case. We had late seating traditional dining. Perhaps the passengers in the PC dining rooms dressed more casually.
8 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
What about for women? I am booked on Princess for July and I really don't have a desire to dress up. To me, it is just something uncessary to pack and I am on vacation! Do you have to dress up to eat?
207 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
I will be going to Alaska on a 7-nite cruise. For formal nights I am taking 2 different pair of black pants. Satin and black crepe with beading. I have got black sparkle tops for each pair of pants and Gold flat shoes. I'm also bringing a shwal along for one top which is thin spagetti straps in-case the d.r. is cool.

Hope this helps.
Raleigh, N.C.
12,194 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
Angela: There are casual alternatives to the dining rooms on formal nights. You can order anything on the dining room menu and have it delivered via room service. There's also the Horizon Court buffet. They serve many of the same dishes there that are served in the dining rooms. Since we had second seating, we would frequently go up there early (around 5) for a small snack.

The Princess website says, "On formal nights, typical black tie formal wear is appropriate. Items include evening gowns and cocktail dresses for ladies and tuxedos, dinner jackets or dark suits for men." As ajdegumbia said, women can also wear a dressy pants outfit if they don't want to pack a dress.
Westland, MI
1,365 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
I was on the same cruise as geoherb but had PC dining and there was a large number of tuxes and if not in a tux men had on dark suits.

Star Princess 7/03
15 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
I read that as well, and had planned to pack 2 "gowns" (ie long dresses like you might wear to a black tie wedding) but recently, all I've been hearing is "no one wears gown" and slacks and a sequin top are fine, or a cocktail dress. Am I going to look stupid in a long "gown"?
167 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
If my husband had to wear a suite, let alone a tux, he would never cruise! We do go to the anytime dining room, and or to the Sterling Steak House on formal night and have never ever been turned away.
He wears a very nice expensive Tommy Bahama's shirt and slacks, and I will wear a dress, or nice capri outfit. I figure Princess is not going to push me over board because we are NOT dressed formal! And that's what I tell people when they ask me if they have to dress up for formal nights. If other pax have a problem, OH WELL! We are on vacation and want to do as we please!
3,298 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Just recently returned from my 2nd Alaskan cruise. Having cruised the Caribbean 8 times, I noticed that people did not dress up for formal night as much for the Alaskan cruise as compared to the Caribbean cruises we have been on.

I saw few gowns, but did see cocktail dresses and nice pants with a nice top sort of outfit for the ladies.

The head waiter in the dining room on the Diamond Princess told a couple who was standing next to us that for men on formal night, either a tie or a jacket is required. So if your husband or male traveling partner does not want to risk being turned away make sure he has a shirt with a tie Or a sport jacket or suit. The man next to us was wearing a button down shirt with a sweater and was turned away from being seated in the dining room on formal night.
LA Area
101 Posts
Joined May 2011
I figure the best way to handle "dress code issues" is to read what the cruise line publishes on the topic, and do your best to adhere to those rules. They can't turn you away if you follow!

While I sympathize with the "it's MY vacation" theory, (and given free reign, would follow that simple idea myself!), you have to remember that you picked a vacation that freely admits to having certain rules.

So, going to the MDR in a golf shirt, (even a NICE golf shirt), on formal night just invites the embarassment of being turned away. Even if your cousin's uncle's brother says HE wore just a nice golf shirt, it's still open to new interpretation on YOUR ship.

I'll have my dark suit. I won't LIKE having to wear it....but I know the rules that are published.

more or less in TX
10,419 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
I don't take gowns (other than NIGHT) on Alaska trips.

What I pack for the formal nights is a long easily packed skirt and a nice top. Both are washable and can be packed any which way.

Haven't missed a dinner yet.
New Mexico
5,109 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Easy for the ladies --still bulky to pack jackets for the men! Any solutions for the guys?
East Brunswick, NJ USA
3,538 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Recently back from the Coral Princess. First formal night my brother and dad all wore sports coats with shirt and tie. DH wore a sports jacket with a dressy tee (not silk but nice). They all felt "overdressed" and on the 2nd formal night just wore the jacket and shirt without tie. No one said a thing.
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Boston, MA
884 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by Cookie Lady
Can anyone tell me if Formal nights are more or less formal in Alaska than, say, a Caribbean cruise? Are there usually 2 Formal nights? Will a sportcoat and silk tee be acceptable for gentlemen or must it be a suit and tie? Thanks.
We were on the Diamond Princess last month and most people did dress up. Most guys were in suits at the late seating. I think Alaska might be more "formal" then the caribbean IMO.
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Crown Isle, BC & Fort Mohave, AZ
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I have found the formal nights on Princess to be the same in Alaska as they are in the Caribbean. About 25/30% of the men will in tuxes, about 65% will be in suits, the rest will wear sport jackets and then there are a few who push the envelope and try to get away with just a shirt or shirt & tie. If you refer to the Princess FAQ on their website you see that no change is made for the dress code in Alaska.
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Feeding Hills, MA
684 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
On Island 2 weeks ago it was really a mixed bag. Not as many long dresses as I've seen in the winter, but enough so I felt comfortable wearing one. Fewer tuxes than in the winter also, but men (and even a few little guys) did wear them. The first formal night was a sea day, but the second was after Glacier Bay and fewer people seemed to dress up. Overall, I'd say there were more dressy cocktail dresses and dark suits.
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We cruised SB from Whittier to Vancouver on the Coral Princess 6/11-18. Our dining was in the Traditional Dining Room, early seating. On both nights it seemed that the majority of people on the ship dressed up. The majority of the men wore dark suits and ties. Women wore cocktail attire - either a short dress or black slacks with some type of beaded top. There were also several long dresses worn by women. It was nice that everyone dressed up.

In fact, the entire time we were there it seemed people dressed very nicely for dinner. In the Traditional Dining I never saw anyone wearing blue jeans/t-shirt.