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Jade13

HAL no longer requires formal dress

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I feel sorry for those that are so insecure or dissatisfied with their lives that they can only feel good if they are dining in the company of people of sufficient class. If it makes them feel better to play dress up, more power to them.

 

I couldn't give a flying flip if you came to the MDR naked. It's not about the clothes. It certainly isn't about "class" (whatever you think that means). For, perhaps the 1000th time, it's about obeying the rules. If you can't abide by your hosts recommendations for dress, what do you do about safety rules? Do they not apply to you also? Where do you draw the line...

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Though we don't agree on some things, I've never thought you an unreasonable poster. :)

 

Just because we have different viewpoints doesn't make one of us right or one wrong.

 

Question for you my Friend. Something has occurred to me and I would like your opinion.

 

I've noticed that most of the proponents of formal dining tend to be more experienced cruisers who often express a concern over the degradation of service and quality. I've also noted the frequency of the argument that cruise lines have 'dumbed down' the formal night menus as a response to those who do not dress-up.

 

My questions are these. Do some see the changes in the dress code as symbolic of an overall degradation in the quality of the cruising experience? IOW, do some oppose the changes in the dress code, not because they object to these changes per se, but because they see it as a slippery slope to even more degradation in the cruising experience?

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Although you address this question to someone else, I would like to reply.

 

For me, it is very much a degradation of the overall cruise experience. Of course we can blame this on the cruise lines. It is they who set the policies and they who decide whether or not to enforce them. The problem is, as people push the envelopes to a more casual and "the rules do not apply to me " attitude, the cruise lines either enforce it and make enemies or give in. They have chosen to give in

Edited by JPH814

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I couldn't give a flying flip if you came to the MDR naked. It's not about the clothes.

 

Trust me. It would bother you. You'd be running bow to aft, singing the praises of clothes. You'd rejoice in the sartorial splendor that is formal night. You'd give a hearty thumbs up to "jacket, no tie." You'd salute "Tropical Casual." You'd pray for "bathrobes in public."

 

There's a pit of despair at the bottom of the slippery slope. :D

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My theory has always been, and this illustrates it, that those that say they care about what others are wearing in the dining room are just snobs. Who cares what I drink my Merlot out of, and some of the best meals I've eaten have actually been served on a paper plate. Such people are just going to look down their nose at people who they perceive as a lower class then them.

 

My food tastes the same, and I enjoy the conversation with my wife just as much, whether the guy at the table next to me is wearing a tux or, God forbid, jeans and a polo shirt. Shoot, if he's wearing shorts I'll probably never know since his legs will be under the table (and certainly don't care).

 

I feel sorry for those that are so insecure or dissatisfied with their lives that they can only feel good if they are dining in the company of people of sufficient class. If it makes them feel better to play dress up, more power to them.

 

I feel sorry for those that can only make a point by putting others down. It speaks volumes.

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Question for you my Friend. Something has occurred to me and I would like your opinion.

 

I've noticed that most of the proponents of formal dining tend to be more experienced cruisers who often express a concern over the degradation of service and quality. I've also noted the frequency of the argument that cruise lines have 'dumbed down' the formal night menus as a response to those who do not dress-up.

 

My questions are these. Do some see the changes in the dress code as symbolic of an overall degradation in the quality of the cruising experience? IOW, do some oppose the changes in the dress code, not because they object to these changes per se, but because they see it as a slippery slope to even more degradation in the cruising experience?

 

I'm not Sail, but I'd like to respond to this. I've been sailing for decades and I am not happy at the loss of formal nights. BUT if that's what HAL wants to do, I'm not going to give the "stink eye" to some guy who goes to dinner on gala night in a collared shirt and long pants. That's HAL's minimum, and the guy is following the rules. Fair enough.

 

Considering how inconsistent the enforcement of the old dress code was, giving up on it is probably a good thing. I always felt bad for first timers trying to figure out what to wear for formal nights--I've seen jacketless men turned away, I've seen jacketless men given loaner jackets, and I've seen jacketless men allowed to walk right by the podium no questions asked. When posters report such varied experiences, what's a newbie supposed to think?

 

As Sail has said, it's the stupid fence-sitting. HAL needs to figure out who/what they are and then be that. The introduction of gala night was a way to avoid the "f word of cruising." Some people freak out when they hear "formal." But "gala" sounds fun and not at all scary. So those of us who like formal nights, can pretend we still have them. And those who don't want to dress up can come to the MDR on gala nights dressed as they would on any night. Maybe HAL thinks we're all stupid and won't see the inconsistencies in what they do? I hate being treated like I'm stupid. It's "formal optional." Dress up if you like, dress down if you like. That's the reality, and I just wish HAL would stop with the marketing gobbledygook.

 

Maybe it's because I'm older and from the NYC area, but my idea of "gala" sure is a lot more formal than HAL's. When I hear "gala" I think of opening night at the Metropolitan Opera, or one of the many gala events at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Heck, even in the "burbs," when I go to a "gala" event, men are in suits and ties, women are in cocktail dresses. Sometimes these things are even black tie. NOBODY shows up to these things in dockers and polo shirt.

 

As for the gala night menu, I don't know why it's dumbed down, but it is. How is it "festive" or "gala" to have only three choices at each course when "ordinary" nights offer more choices? And why don't they let you have the "always available" items on gala nights? (apparently, sometimes you can get them, sometimes you can't--we couldn't) Why is it "festive" to have to order my dessert when I order the rest of my meal, when the other nights I can decide on dessert later?

 

As for slippery slope, no I don't see the change from formal to gala as a slippery slope. I see it as one more example of HAL lacking a vision, an identity. I'll say it again. They need to figure out who/what they are and then BE IT. All things to all people doesn't work.

Edited by 3rdGenCunarder

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What HAL has failed to notice, or care about if they did notice, is that no matter how low they set the bar in terms of appropriate dress at night, there are people who dress below that bar. They will never please the minimalists, no matter how hard they try. They just keep degrading the experience even more.

 

When it's a Gala night on a cool-weather cruise, and there are men who can't manage to put on their "big boy" pants, the atmosphere is no better than a cook-out.

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Trust me. It would bother you. You'd be running bow to aft, singing the praises of clothes. You'd rejoice in the sartorial splendor that is formal night. You'd give a hearty thumbs up to "jacket, no tie." You'd salute "Tropical Casual." You'd pray for "bathrobes in public."

 

There's a pit of despair at the bottom of the slippery slope. :D

 

 

This Is my favorite post of the month. Especially the prayer for "bathrobes on public".

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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This Is my favorite post of the month. Especially the prayer for "bathrobes on public".

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Thanks. That means a lot to me, seeing as it's the 27th.

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What HAL has failed to notice, or care about if they did notice, is that no matter how low they set the bar in terms of appropriate dress at night, there are people who dress below that bar. They will never please the minimalists, no matter how hard they try. They just keep degrading the experience even more.

 

When it's a Gala night on a cool-weather cruise, and there are men who can't manage to put on their "big boy" pants, the atmosphere is no better than a cook-out.

 

I had meant to quote you with my last post; what does HAL do to make the experience a "gala" type experience? Or is it just throwing around words for the sake of using words (marketing doublespeak). And when you state "They just keep degrading the experience even more." did you mean guests or HAL?

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I had meant to quote you with my last post; what does HAL do to make the experience a "gala" type experience? Or is it just throwing around words for the sake of using words (marketing doublespeak). And when you state "They just keep degrading the experience even more." did you mean guests or HAL?

 

 

Both

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I...what does HAL do to make the experience a "gala" type experience?

They put dresses on the dining room chairs.

And when you state "They just keep degrading the experience even more." did you mean guests or HAL?

Ah! Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

 

Who knows who started the downward spiral. I can't remember that far back. I know that there have always been people who can't manage to meet the minimal acceptable level of dress. So, HAL lowers the level. Followed by people not meeting that lowered level, followed by ....

 

Ad nauseum.

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They put dresses on the dining room chairs.

 

That's it? No special menu or chef appearance or anything? I always viewed HAL as a cut or two above the fray. Maybe the marketing worked on me! I will have to experience a gala night, so I reserve final judgment.

 

Just wish these companies did something truly exceptional once a cruise.

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I have never seen anything worn by another passenger that caused me to not enjoy any evening, whether it be formal night or not. If the day ever comes when I allow other people's clothes to ruin my evening, I'll stop socialising. And that's not gonna happen.:D Yes there are times when I thought someone was inappropriately dressed. But I don't have to sit and look at them. Nor do I have to get all upset about about it - life is too short to get tangled up in knots about what others are wearing.

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I'm not Sail, but I'd like to respond to this. I've been sailing for decades and I am not happy at the loss of formal nights. BUT if that's what HAL wants to do, I'm not going to give the "stink eye" to some guy who goes to dinner on gala night in a collared shirt and long pants. That's HAL's minimum, and the guy is following the rules. Fair enough.

 

Considering how inconsistent the enforcement of the old dress code was, giving up on it is probably a good thing. I always felt bad for first timers trying to figure out what to wear for formal nights--I've seen jacketless men turned away, I've seen jacketless men given loaner jackets, and I've seen jacketless men allowed to walk right by the podium no questions asked. When posters report such varied experiences, what's a newbie supposed to think?

 

As Sail has said, it's the stupid fence-sitting. HAL needs to figure out who/what they are and then be that. The introduction of gala night was a way to avoid the "f word of cruising." Some people freak out when they hear "formal." But "gala" sounds fun and not at all scary. So those of us who like formal nights, can pretend we still have them. And those who don't want to dress up can come to the MDR on gala nights dressed as they would on any night. Maybe HAL thinks we're all stupid and won't see the inconsistencies in what they do? I hate being treated like I'm stupid. It's "formal optional." Dress up if you like, dress down if you like. That's the reality, and I just wish HAL would stop with the marketing gobbledygook.

 

Maybe it's because I'm older and from the NYC area, but my idea of "gala" sure is a lot more formal than HAL's. When I hear "gala" I think of opening night at the Metropolitan Opera, or one of the many gala events at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Heck, even in the "burbs," when I go to a "gala" event, men are in suits and ties, women are in cocktail dresses. Sometimes these things are even black tie. NOBODY shows up to these things in dockers and polo shirt.

 

As for the gala night menu, I don't know why it's dumbed down, but it is. How is it "festive" or "gala" to have only three choices at each course when "ordinary" nights offer more choices? And why don't they let you have the "always available" items on gala nights? (apparently, sometimes you can get them, sometimes you can't--we couldn't) Why is it "festive" to have to order my dessert when I order the rest of my meal, when the other nights I can decide on dessert later?

 

As for slippery slope, no I don't see the change from formal to gala as a slippery slope. I see it as one more example of HAL lacking a vision, an identity. I'll say it again. They need to figure out who/what they are and then BE IT. All things to all people doesn't work.

 

I'm glad you did respond. I am very interested everyone's opinion.

 

This statement of yours: "So those of us who like formal nights, can pretend we still have them. And those who don't want to dress up can come to the MDR on gala nights dressed as they would on any night."", does, I think, capture exactly what the cruise lines have been doing, pretending to have a formal night without actually having one. While it is clear that they're trying to displease the fewest, that usually winds up displeasing everyone.

 

FWIW, not on HAL, but I've seen reports of men told not to worry about the fit of the jacket, they only had to carry the loaner jackets over their arm to the table where they would surrender the jacket to the waiter who returned it to the matre'd. I've not had anyone explain how this contributed to the 'ambiance'. Why not just have the matre'd hoist a jacket on a pole and parade it through the MDR. Wouldn't that accomplish the same thing?

 

I've heard many echo your comment about "HAL lacking a vision". It was very prevalent on the thread discussing the video conference that rolled out HAL's new enhancements.

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I'm glad you did respond. I am very interested everyone's opinion.

 

This statement of yours: "So those of us who like formal nights, can pretend we still have them. And those who don't want to dress up can come to the MDR on gala nights dressed as they would on any night."", does, I think, capture exactly what the cruise lines have been doing, pretending to have a formal night without actually having one. While it is clear that they're trying to displease the fewest, that usually winds up displeasing everyone.

 

I agree.

 

FWIW, not on HAL, but I've seen reports of men told not to worry about the fit of the jacket, they only had to carry the loaner jackets over their arm to the table where they would surrender the jacket to the waiter who returned it to the matre'd. I've not had anyone explain how this contributed to the 'ambiance'. Why not just have the matre'd hoist a jacket on a pole and parade it through the MDR. Wouldn't that accomplish the same thing?
Have you been on HAL lately to see the crew parade in the MDR? This would be a fun addition. :D

 

I've heard many echo your comment about "HAL lacking a vision". It was very prevalent on the thread discussing the video conference that rolled out HAL's new enhancements.
That big announcement made me look at HAL in a new way. For the most part, I'm OK with HAL as it is. No, it isn't elegant or formal, and they don't offer a lot of activities. But they give me what I want, either a port-intensive cruise where it's all about the itinerary, not the ship. Or, a warm cruise to escape the cold, and I don't care where we go as long as I have a balcony, a comfortable lounger, and a good book. The decline in entertainment, especially the loss of the Neptunes and the classical quartet becoming a trio becoming a duo, is disappointing. But I can deal with that.

 

What I'm tired of is HAL's attempt to bamboozle people into thinking they're getting more than they really are getting. As I said earlier, the gala night is hardly "gala" to my way of thinking. The new enhancements to the booking procedure are just marketing bells and whistles, with very limited value. I don't care how clever their algorithm is, I don't trust that "tell us what you like and we'll match our product to you" stuff. It's a sales tool, it won't improve my cruise. To me, HAl's recent changes--gala night, tech partnerships, BBC videos--are just a lot of "sound and fury," as Macbeth says.

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I've heard many echo your comment about "HAL lacking a vision". It was very prevalent on the thread discussing the video conference that rolled out HAL's new enhancements.

Sadly this has been the case for several years now and I think many had high hopes that the new President would help guide them to find their vision but sadly I do not see that happening. I think the previous CEO/President still has his thumb down on a firm hold on HAL keeping them and Princess floundering out at sea but then that is just my opinion :o

I did want to make a comment about being concerned about how others look. On our recent NCL cruise I saw far more people dressed up and on the one night they consider their dress up night than I have seen on HAL in many years. That same evening they had a Cocktail Party in the Haven basically the VIP Party. I came up in the elevator with a lady who looked quite young but probably was not that much younger than me wearing a t shirt, leggings, tennis shoes and hair pulled up into a ponytail. She told me she was just returning from playing in the Casino. As we got off the elevator she realized she was immediately in the reception line for greeting the Officers including the Captain. She laughed and joined right into the group of us. Her an I enjoyed each others company for about 45 minutes laughing having a good time. Of course I noticed her Diamond Rolex, her and her family were staying on one of the two Villas. Those are three times the price of a HAL PH. No one put her down for how she looked no one cared, we were all having a good time, being well taken care of for any kind of adult beverage we wanted and amazing appetizers.

As I get older I am less and less concerned on how someone dresses, nor do I think of them as slobs or low class. Personally I think someone that does has an issue with their own self esteem or are trying to impress others to make them think they are better.

How you act says far more than how you are dressed. A cruise lines that sells many cabins at $399 PP and needs major over haul mechanically and in how the ship looks and feels is going to naturally draw a different class of person. But trust me I know of some people that maxed out 5+ credit cards to fake it on a Crystal Cruise :D

Over all the world and people in it are all interesting and entertaining, Life is far too short to worry about what someone is wearing and that it will effect your Gala Night. Enjoy Life.... we are all very fortunate to even be talking about cruising.

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I agree.

 

Have you been on HAL lately to see the crew parade in the MDR? This would be a fun addition. :D

 

Actually, I was joking. But, why not? If the cruise lines want to make a joke out of formal nights, then let's go all out.

 

That big announcement made me look at HAL in a new way. For the most part, I'm OK with HAL as it is. No, it isn't elegant or formal, and they don't offer a lot of activities. But they give me what I want, either a port-intensive cruise where it's all about the itinerary, not the ship. Or, a warm cruise to escape the cold, and I don't care where we go as long as I have a balcony, a comfortable lounger, and a good book. The decline in entertainment, especially the loss of the Neptunes and the classical quartet becoming a trio becoming a duo, is disappointing. But I can deal with that.

 

Wife and I have yet to cruise Holland but the more we hear comments like this, the more apt we are to do so. I do not wish to change our 2016 bookings but it is highly likely we will cancel our Mar 2017 cruise on Regal for Oosterdam. We're not big into entertainment. We're too old for flowriders. We are more apt to spend time with a good book and a glass of wine. The classical music fits us as well. We've also found that we're happier in the buffet than in the MDR.

 

What I'm tired of is HAL's attempt to bamboozle people into thinking they're getting more than they really are getting. As I said earlier, the gala night is hardly "gala" to my way of thinking. The new enhancements to the booking procedure are just marketing bells and whistles, with very limited value. I don't care how clever their algorithm is, I don't trust that "tell us what you like and we'll match our product to you" stuff. It's a sales tool, it won't improve my cruise. To me, HAl's recent changes--gala night, tech partnerships, BBC videos--are just a lot of "sound and fury," as Macbeth says.

 

I'm a bit more relaxed about this. I don't think this initiative is directed at the long-time HAL cruiser. I perceive that HAL wants to attract a passenger demographic that does not have extensive cruising experience and would likely be attracted to this kind of computer driven research. I also expect there Gala Night initiative is directed at the same demographic.

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I couldn't give a flying flip if you came to the MDR naked. It's not about the clothes. It certainly isn't about "class" (whatever you think that means). For, perhaps the 1000th time, it's about obeying the rules. If you can't abide by your hosts recommendations for dress, what do you do about safety rules? Do they not apply to you also? Where do you draw the line...

 

That argument is just a smokescreen. Most adults recognize the differnece between dress code guidelines and safety rules. Just because you go through the "10 items or less" line with 11 items doesn't mean you are also going to set fire to the store. In fact, what you wrote illustrates the point. There is a difference between "recommendations for dress" and "rules." I could pull out the dictionary definitions of "recommendations" and "rules," but I bet you already know them.

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That argument is just a smokescreen. Most adults recognize the differnece between dress code guidelines and safety rules. Just because you go through the "10 items or less" line with 11 items doesn't mean you are also going to set fire to the store. In fact, what you wrote illustrates the point. There is a difference between "recommendations for dress" and "rules." I could pull out the dictionary definitions of "recommendations" and "rules," but I bet you already know them.

 

What about "required?" Or "not permitted?" Where do they fall on your spectrum of I-don't-wanna-you-can't-make-me? Much of the discussion in the past few pages has not been about asking people to dress in "black tie" level of formality. The point has been that there is a minimum and it is hoped that people will not go below that. Here is what it says about gala nights on HAL's website:

 

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.

 

 

And about jeans:

Q: Are jeans allowed?

A: Jeans without holes, tears or embroidery are welcome on most evenings in all restaurants, but on Gala Nights jeans are only allowed in the casual dining restaurants.

 

 

So for the people who want to wear shorts to dinner any night or jeans on gala nights, HAL is saying "not in the MDR, go to the Lido."

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It says you've been on CC since 2005. If you've been a regular reader since then you've seen this argument come up (and been shot down) many times over those 10 years. Most cruisers wouldn't know a recommendation if they took a guided tour of a rule book. Cruisers such as these I've personally witnessed:

 

* In Finland, fellow pax on phone: "Guess where I'm calling from? Helsinki, Sweden!"

* On ship: "What's the currency in Hawaii?"

* On the dock in Ketchikan looking up at the mountains: "How high above sea level are we here?" (guide gazes over edge, replies "about 15 feet"!)

 

Bottom line: believe what you want, won't bother me. Just let me know where you'll be cruising so I can avoid those trips.

 

I call it the "DUH of the day." My favorite was in the little museum at Old North Church in Boston. There is a painting of Paul Revere riding out to deliver his message. His cloak is billowing out behind him, very dramatic. I heard a woman say to her husband, "Look, dear, it's the headless horseman."

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What about "required?" Or "not permitted?" Where do they fall on your spectrum of I-don't-wanna-you-can't-make-me? Much of the discussion in the past few pages has not been about asking people to dress in "black tie" level of formality. The point has been that there is a minimum and it is hoped that people will not go below that.

 

The only point I ever tried to make is why does anyone ever care what someone else is wearing? If someone wears a polo and dark jeans instead of slacks, who gives a hoot? Nobody's time should be ruined and sure as hell the ship ain't gonna sink. ;)

Edited by lawduck

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The only point I ever tried to make is why does anyone ever care what someone else is wearing? If someone wears a polo and dark jeans instead of slacks, who gives a hoot? Nobodies time should be ruined and sure as hell the ship ain't gonna sink. ;)

 

 

Who gives a hoot? Me and a lot of other people. Which is why they have the policy. If " nobodies" care, why do you think the policy exists?

 

Do you always pick and choose which rules you want to follow?

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The only point I ever tried to make is why does anyone ever care what someone else is wearing? If someone wears a polo and dark jeans instead of slacks, who gives a hoot? Nobodies time should be ruined and sure as hell the ship ain't gonna sink. ;)

 

 

And how do you feel about Stop signs and Red lights?

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