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The dreaded dress code question


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Hal would do well to re-work this line: 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.

 

"Dress to impress"?

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Hal would do well to re-work this line: 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.

 

"Dress to impress"?

 

I've said that ever since the Gala Night "blurb" came out. Who are they kidding? Dockers and a polo shirt are not impressive.

 

HAL is trying to make two groups think they'll get what they want. Those that want a formal night will read the description you quoted and expect to "dress to impress." And those that don't want a formal night will zero in on the description of the minimum and plan for that.

 

Although I like the idea of a true formal night, if HAL wants to change the dress code to formal optional, then I can accept it. Their ship, their rules. What I don't like is the pretense that it's still a dress-up night. Down on Deck 1, they still put out the table-top manikin with its tux jacket to encourage men to rent a tux. So maybe the answer to who are they kidding, is HAL is kidding themselves.

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There may be a dress code, but in many instances it is ignored by the matre'd or his assistants. On a recent Oosterdam cruise in December, there was a large (400 pax) political group, and on Gala nights, (and all other times) they wore their tacky, logo emblazoned Tee-Shirts in the MDR, even on Gala nights. These were not "Polo-type" shirts, just plain old cotton tee-shirts, no collars. The waiters were noticing, but the group manager was speaking to the matre'd and nothing was done. It appears that money talks, and any dress codes walk.

 

We agree that the Dress Code (Guidelines for those that insist) are sometimes ignored by those at the MDR door. But we saw this happening for the last few years when they still have so-called Formal Nights. We once had a friendly chat with a HAL Dining Room Manager who expressed some frustration. He was "old school" and still wanted to see everyone in true formal dress. But he told us that his job also meant being nice to all the passengers, even if they did not return the favor in kind. Bottom line is that sometimes its easier for those in authority to look the other way rather than alienate a passenger and later have to deal with a complaint. Personally, we would love to be on a cruise where all the men wore "Black Tie" and the ladies were in stunning Long Gowns. When we started cruising (in the early 70s) dress was much closer to this true formal ideal. Now, its everyone for themselves. We have an upcoming long HAL cruise in August and will take our Tux. Perhaps I will be the only guy in a Tux, but I will still enjoy dressing-up and the others can "eat their hearts out." :)

 

Hank

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Washington State Univ weighs in on the term "dress to impress" in the work setting:

http://amdt.wsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Dress-to-Impress-Professional-Handbook.pdf

 

The phrase seems inappropriate for cruising since most dress up because they like it, or want special photos taken that night. I don't think HAL passengers who overall are a very decent lot, dress to "impress" anyone. That would be like opening night at the SF Opera, where indeed they do "dress to impress". http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Glittering-gala-kicks-off-SF-Opera-s-opening-9214081.php

 

When HAL realized a lot of people did not like dressing up any longer for special occasions, we got the current word salad muddle that we see right now. Again, I vote "Black tie optional" if HAL is going to still offer this occasional change in the evening MDR dining atmosphere.

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I think your faux formal sounds fine if that's what you want to wear ... Both my hubby and I have worn jeans on gala nights without issue.

Just be comfortable with how you choose to dress ...it's your holiday and your choice . :cool:

 

Without issue. Even though it is not in the spirit of the evening nor the recommended minimum.

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We agree that the Dress Code (Guidelines for those that insist) are sometimes ignored by those at the MDR door. But we saw this happening for the last few years when they still have so-called Formal Nights. We once had a friendly chat with a HAL Dining Room Manager who expressed some frustration. He was "old school" and still wanted to see everyone in true formal dress. But he told us that his job also meant being nice to all the passengers, even if they did not return the favor in kind. Bottom line is that sometimes its easier for those in authority to look the other way rather than alienate a passenger and later have to deal with a complaint. Personally, we would love to be on a cruise where all the men wore "Black Tie" and the ladies were in stunning Long Gowns. When we started cruising (in the early 70s) dress was much closer to this true formal ideal. Now, its everyone for themselves. We have an upcoming long HAL cruise in August and will take our Tux. Perhaps I will be the only guy in a Tux, but I will still enjoy dressing-up and the others can "eat their hearts out." :)

 

Hank

 

If you want a true formal night, try Cunard. People dress for dinner and stay dressed up through the evening. Not 100% tuxes and gowns, but mostly. And the men who don't wear a tux opt for a dark suit. It creates a wonderful ambiance all around the ship.

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We agree that the Dress Code (Guidelines for those that insist) are sometimes ignored by those at the MDR door. But we saw this happening for the last few years when they still have so-called Formal Nights. We once had a friendly chat with a HAL Dining Room Manager who expressed some frustration. He was "old school" and still wanted to see everyone in true formal dress. But he told us that his job also meant being nice to all the passengers, even if they did not return the favor in kind. Bottom line is that sometimes its easier for those in authority to look the other way rather than alienate a passenger and later have to deal with a complaint. Personally, we would love to be on a cruise where all the men wore "Black Tie" and the ladies were in stunning Long Gowns. When we started cruising (in the early 70s) dress was much closer to this true formal ideal. Now, its everyone for themselves. We have an upcoming long HAL cruise in August and will take our Tux. Perhaps I will be the only guy in a Tux, but I will still enjoy dressing-up and the others can "eat their hearts out." :)

 

Hank

Try Cunard. Formal is truly formal when sailing with them. There are always a few who try for the minimum [which on Cunard formal nights is still dark suit and tie] but they are the minority. Almost everyone is in true black-tie unless they are eating in the buffet. It's really a wonderful atmosphere.

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You will be fine with your plans. Years ago, on these HAL threads, some would demand that if you didn't want to participate fully in formal night, you should stick to the rear stairwells and avoid common areas. Thankfully, probably most of those people are now dead, perhaps buried in their tuxes.

 

25 years ago, I carried a dark suit and tie, then just a tie, now just dress shirts. I've been invited to a Captain's dinner table when all I had was a dress shirt and tie.

 

Recently, I've seen people with shorts blocked from the dress-up dining rooms. But for some reason, ball caps persist even inside where the sun isn't shining.

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Tank tops and baseball caps? You are right -no bathing suits or terry robes either. I would love to hear what actually got turned away.

 

On our trans-Atlantic in November, one of the priests (we had 2) at our table was turned away because he was wearing a "henley" style long sleeved t-shirt. He was told he needed a shirt with a collar - he returned a few minutes later wearing a golf shirt and was allowed in. A couple of nights later at a table near us sat another fellow wearing a "henley" style t-shirt. There is no consistency.

Smooth Sailing! :) :) :)

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Don't sweat the small stuff. Read the cruise line suggestions. This is really not such a big deal anymore.

 

There are a lot of people on this forum in particular who like to color cruise line suggestions with their personal views on attire. Discount them and refer back to the cruise line suggestions. HAL is not Cunard. They have changed. Some people have not adjusted to this fact.

 

Even then, cruise lines are enforcing their so called suggestions in a very haphazard manner. We have also found that there are many people who may not be dressed according to Hoyle but certainly look better dressed than some of those who are. Specifically dress jeans with a tailered sports jacket vs a century old tux or suit that is about two sizes two small on the chest, and three on the waist.

 

Just go on your cruise and have a great time. Besides, formal night in the MDR is not longer the event it used to be. If anything, the selection is not great and the service times are elongated. A gala event in name only from our perspective. Jeans are permitted/in line with the 'suggested dress code' in the MDR at all other nights.

Edited by iancal
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,,........ Specifically dress jeans with a tailered sports jacket vs a century old tux or suit that is about two sizes two small on the chest, and three on the waist.

 

.......

 

Exaggeration for effect. People who do like to dress up today not only look wonderful but very comfortable doing it. They do it because it if fun for them; not because it is a forced march. Today's dressy fabrics for both men and women are lightweight, stretchy, and very packable.

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On Zuiderdam gala nights last week, they had a couple of suit jackets on hangers available at the dining room reservation desk for those that weren't appropriately dressed. ;)

 

Since jackets are not required any longer, I find this strange. I believe you saw it, but find it odd it happened. :confused:

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Exaggeration for effect. People who do like to dress up today not only look wonderful but very comfortable doing it. They do it because it if fun for them; not because it is a forced march. Today's dressy fabrics for both men and women are lightweight, stretchy, and very packable.

 

"Comfortable" is more than fit and fabric. If one does not like dressing up, then nothing 'dressy' will be "comfortable".

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Since jackets are not required any longer, I find this strange. I believe you saw it, but find it odd it happened. :confused:

 

I was thinking the same thing, but I figured maybe for those wearing shirts without collars, it could be a quick fix...😛

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I was thinking the same thing, but I figured maybe for those wearing shirts without collars, it could be a quick fix...😛

 

Lots of very nice men's shirts are now high tech fabric collar-less Tees and or Henleys... They wear them under Sports jacket. A very nice look indeed!

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Lots of very nice men's shirts are now high tech fabric collar-less Tees and or Henleys... They wear them under Sports jacket. A very nice look indeed!

 

I'm sure that would look nice and would probably pass muster. However, I would think you would have to keep the sports jacket on at all times to satisfy the dress code rather than hang the jacket on the back of the chair.

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Some people's horses are very high, apparently... rudeness knows no bounds.

 

It's all a matter of perspective. Being asked NOT to wear jeans in the MDR on Gala Nights and being happy to ignore this may be considered rude by others.

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This is great news. My husband is NOT wearing a Tux, or a Suit. He will do dress slacks and a sport coat and that is fine with me. I will have something fashionable yet comfortable and easy to pack. I don't think lack of a Tux or Suit for the Men or full length formal dress for the Ladies should cause digestive upset to anyone. I do agree that there should be a dress code and have it enforced for the main dining room. Slacks and sport coat/or dress shirt and tie for Men, dress or dress slacks and nice top for Women. I love seeing people dress up, but for me, wearing a formal would make me feel so awkward, it just isn't my thing. I will dress appropriately, nice dress or nice dress slacks and top for the main dining room, I hope this would be adequate for admission to the dining room. Knowing that HAL has a business casual dress code for the Main Dining room makes me more likely to book my first HAL cruise.

 

 

On our last 21 day cruise, there were only a handful of men dressed in tuxedos. And only a few men wore jackets and ties or suits.

The majority of the men wore slacks and a collared shirt on Gala Nights -- and that includes the specialty restaurants.

Ladies wore nice slacks or skirts with nice tops or dresses.

HAL's dress code has become very relaxed.

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It's all a matter of perspective. Being asked NOT to wear jeans in the MDR on Gala Nights and being happy to ignore this may be considered rude by others.

Somebody gets it, thanks! I simply think it's inconsiderate :(

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I think your faux formal sounds fine if that's what you want to wear ... Both my hubby and I have worn jeans on gala nights without issue.

Just be comfortable with how you choose to dress ...it's your holiday and your choice . :cool:

 

You are stating that jeans on Gala Nights are OK, even though HAL's WEB site specifically states that jeans are not acceptable? IMO you are doing a disservice by saying Jeans are acceptable on Gala nights to someone who has not cruised on HAL..

 

HAL's WEB site

Quote 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.

Unquote

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