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The dreaded dress code question


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We look at it this way. We certainly don't cruise for Gala nights. In fact we could really care less about them. Most especially on HAL. They are no longer a special event from a food or a service perspective.

 

How many hours on a cruise do we really spend on those few nights? Very few-a tiny percentage of our time on the ship. So for us it is really not worth worrying about. It comes down to the 80/20 rule for us. So we don't sweat the small stuff.

 

We don't care what others may do, it does not bother us if someone is not dressed to code if we happen to be dining in the MDR on Gala evenings. It is entirely their own business and we choose not to make it ours. Nor is it the end of the world if we see people walking around the ship or in bars wearing shorts or whatever on formal or gala nights. No issue whatsoever for us. Live and let live. It is all very far down on our list of priorities.

 

HAL is not Cunard. HAL is just one of the mass market cruise lines trying to get a piece of the market. They continue to move to where the market is albeit at a snails pace. The HAL of twenty years ago is gone. For better or for worse it is not coming back.

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...totally in agreement with iancal above, way too many folks get their knickers in a knot over how other people dress - it's their life... and who appointed the complainers as the dress code police force? I will be wearing black denim slacks with a short sleeve button down shirt, my wife hates ties and so do I, most uncomfortable piece of male clothing ever invented IMHO. If anyone has a problem with my 'jeans', that's their issue, not mine...!!

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...totally in agreement with iancal above, way too many folks get their knickers in a knot over how other people dress - it's their life... and who appointed the complainers as the dress code police force? I will be wearing black denim slacks with a short sleeve button down shirt, my wife hates ties and so do I, most uncomfortable piece of male clothing ever invented IMHO. If anyone has a problem with my 'jeans', that's their issue, not mine...!!

 

+1 here for both of you.

 

I think it is absurd that so many people get their panties in a twist because someone is not dressed to their standards, but apparently dressed to the standards of the maitre-d. If the maitre-d turns someone away, fine. If the maitre-d allows someone in, fine. It is no one's business but between that guest and the maitre-d. Too many turned up noses around here.

For those of you who are disgusted by your fellow cruiser's sartorial choices, I know HAL is always hiring - take a 6 month contract to be the dress code policeman onboard a ship. Until you are in the employ of HAL, keep your rolling eyes and "the sight of jeans ruined my night" to yourselves please.

 

This is what cruising has evolved into. You can't turn it back. If all you want to do it bitch and moan about the devolution of "making an effort", move up to a line that now has the dress requirements that you want. Something like Cunard or Crystal.

 

(no, I don't wear jeans in the MDR, but I don't begrudge or demean someone who does)

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I think Bruin Steve's original question was answered a few posts back:D

Yeah...it pretty much was...

But, what I've learned on these boards is that people just love to debate about dress codes. There are several dress code/formal night threads going on all of the other cruise line boards as well.

 

One comment I always love is the one that goes: "We love formal nights because it is our one opportunity to dress up". I hope those folks realize that there is nothing to prevent them from dressing up in formal attire on ANY night on ANY cruise. We've done a few cruises on Oceania--where every night has always been casual--never had a formal night--and yet there are always some people in the dining room EVERY night in tuxedos, dinner jackets, evening gowns. No one on any cruise line sends you back to your room to "lose the jacket".

 

Also, at least to me, as important as the "rules" is the "custom"...If most people understand the code, whatever it is, to be jacket and tie, I don't want to be the one guy in a golf shirt--even if the letter of the law says it's okay. And, if most people show up in a golf shirt, I don't want to have wasted valuable limited space in my luggage packing a suit. So, what I've really been trying to understand here is not really whether my "faux formal" is okay--I've assumed it is...but rather whether I even need to go that far--if I could dress it down further by not packing the dress shirts and going with the black slacks, the black blazer and a black/gray golf shirt under it for a slightly more casual look. Or by not packing the jacket and just wearing the slacks and a dress shirt. I am getting the general feeling that either of those looks might be okay as well. Leaving the jacket or the dress shirts at home certainly saves some room in the luggage and saves some on the resulting trips to the dry cleaners...

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Yeah...it pretty much was...

But, what I've learned on these boards is that people just love to debate about dress codes. There are several dress code/formal night threads going on all of the other cruise line boards as well.

 

One comment I always love is the one that goes: "We love formal nights because it is our one opportunity to dress up". I hope those folks realize that there is nothing to prevent them from dressing up in formal attire on ANY night on ANY cruise. We've done a few cruises on Oceania--where every night has always been casual--never had a formal night--and yet there are always some people in the dining room EVERY night in tuxedos, dinner jackets, evening gowns. No one on any cruise line sends you back to your room to "lose the jacket".

 

Also, at least to me, as important as the "rules" is the "custom"...If most people understand the code, whatever it is, to be jacket and tie, I don't want to be the one guy in a golf shirt--even if the letter of the law says it's okay. And, if most people show up in a golf shirt, I don't want to have wasted valuable limited space in my luggage packing a suit. So, what I've really been trying to understand here is not really whether my "faux formal" is okay--I've assumed it is...but rather whether I even need to go that far--if I could dress it down further by not packing the dress shirts and going with the black slacks, the black blazer and a black/gray golf shirt under it for a slightly more casual look. Or by not packing the jacket and just wearing the slacks and a dress shirt. I am getting the general feeling that either of those looks might be okay as well. Leaving the jacket or the dress shirts at home certainly saves some room in the luggage and saves some on the resulting trips to the dry cleaners...

 

You are free to wear the "faux formal" (I like that term and I like that look), as you are free to wear just the pants and a collared shirt (dress shirt, Tommy Bahama, or whatever collar you desire). It basically comes down to what you will be comfortable, mentally and physically, wearing in the MDR.

 

Bruins stick together ;)

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Yeah...it pretty much was...

But, what I've learned on these boards is that people just love to debate about dress codes. There are several dress code/formal night threads going on all of the other cruise line boards as well.

 

One comment I always love is the one that goes: "We love formal nights because it is our one opportunity to dress up". I hope those folks realize that there is nothing to prevent them from dressing up in formal attire on ANY night on ANY cruise. We've done a few cruises on Oceania--where every night has always been casual--never had a formal night--and yet there are always some people in the dining room EVERY night in tuxedos, dinner jackets, evening gowns. No one on any cruise line sends you back to your room to "lose the jacket".

 

Also, at least to me, as important as the "rules" is the "custom"...If most people understand the code, whatever it is, to be jacket and tie, I don't want to be the one guy in a golf shirt--even if the letter of the law says it's okay. And, if most people show up in a golf shirt, I don't want to have wasted valuable limited space in my luggage packing a suit. So, what I've really been trying to understand here is not really whether my "faux formal" is okay--I've assumed it is...but rather whether I even need to go that far--if I could dress it down further by not packing the dress shirts and going with the black slacks, the black blazer and a black/gray golf shirt under it for a slightly more casual look. Or by not packing the jacket and just wearing the slacks and a dress shirt. I am getting the general feeling that either of those looks might be okay as well. Leaving the jacket or the dress shirts at home certainly saves some room in the luggage and saves some on the resulting trips to the dry cleaners...

 

I understand your wish to know what is customary. As I said in my very early reply, it's difficult to know. My experience is that when I look around the MDR on Gala nights (we had a good "view" table last time), I'm seeing most men in jackets (haven't toured the dining room to count ties). Other posters on other cruises are seeing most men without jackets. So don't worry about it. Any of your variations will look good and won't be too dressed up or too dressed down.

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...totally in agreement with iancal above, way too many folks get their knickers in a knot over how other people dress - it's their life... and who appointed the complainers as the dress code police force? I will be wearing black denim slacks with a short sleeve button down shirt, my wife hates ties and so do I, most uncomfortable piece of male clothing ever invented IMHO. If anyone has a problem with my 'jeans', that's their issue, not mine...!!

 

I do not see anyone complaining about what others wear, just offering helpful suggestions and defusing tired complaints about what used to be called "formal dress".

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One comment I always love is the one that goes: "We love formal nights because it is our one opportunity to dress up". I hope those folks realize that there is nothing to prevent them from dressing up in formal attire on ANY night on ANY cruise.

 

Well, yes, the majority do understand that but they argue that their enjoyment will somehow be diminished if others do not dress up as well. Perhaps they don't want to feel overdressed? But, if that be the case, does one have the right to tell someone else how to dress just to please one's self?

 

BTW, there nothing that prevents them from 'dressing up' while at home.

 

Also, at least to me, as important as the "rules" is the "custom"...If most people understand the code, whatever it is, to be jacket and tie, I don't want to be the one guy in a golf shirt--even if the letter of the law says it's okay. And, if most people show up in a golf shirt, I don't want to have wasted valuable limited space in my luggage packing a suit.

 

Actually, that is the biggest reason some like dress codes. They know they won't be far outside the pack if they follow the code. To others, being over or under dressed is less important than dressing as they prefer.

 

So, what I've really been trying to understand here is not really whether my "faux formal" is okay--I've assumed it is...but rather whether I even need to go that far--if I could dress it down further by not packing the dress shirts and going with the black slacks, the black blazer and a black/gray golf shirt under it for a slightly more casual look. Or by not packing the jacket and just wearing the slacks and a dress shirt. I am getting the general feeling that either of those looks might be okay as well. Leaving the jacket or the dress shirts at home certainly saves some room in the luggage and saves some on the resulting trips to the dry cleaners...

 

Here's a suggestion since your main objective seems to be to blend in. Bring the golf shirts and the jacket. You can always add the jacket if the polo shirts seem too casual or ditch the jacket if that seems too much. You could even bring one or two dress shirts to wear with the jacket on Gala nights.

Edited by RocketMan275
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Yeah...it pretty much was...

But, what I've learned on these boards is that people just love to debate about dress codes. There are several dress code/formal night threads going on all of the other cruise line boards as well.

 

The constant bickering over the dress codes in the MDR is just one of the reasons we prefer to dine elsewhere. There is far less drama in the other dining venues,

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OP, I think you'll be just fine. Enjoy yourself.

 

DH and I flew the formal flag against all winds. We spend about 60 days a year at sea with HAL. This past South American cruise, I actually left some of my dress stuff onboard at the end. People are much more casual, and I felt like a goof trying to keep up pretensions of formality. After years of tux and gowns and pantyhose, when we hit the Med next, it's gonna be simple dark dress for me and travel sports coat for DH. And we plan to embrace the change and have fun. It is what it is.

 

That's our take on it. Have a great cruise!

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If all you want to do it bitch and moan about the devolution of "making an effort", move up to a line that now has the dress requirements that you want. Something like Cunard or Crystal.

 

(no, I don't wear jeans in the MDR, but I don't begrudge or demean someone who does)

HAL's Gala night dress code does preclude jeans. No need to "move up" to another line if that's the code you do want. HAL already says that's what they offer.

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I wore my tux on our last cruise. On the upcoming one I'm not bringing it. Just a sport coat and golf shirts. As to what other folks choose to wear, I really don't let it affect me. Unless someone is loud and obnoxious, it doesn't bother me. Too each his own.

 

Sent from my XT1650 using Forums mobile app

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OP, I think you'll be just fine. Enjoy yourself.

 

DH and I flew the formal flag against all winds. We spend about 60 days a year at sea with HAL. This past South American cruise, I actually left some of my dress stuff onboard at the end. People are much more casual, and I felt like a goof trying to keep up pretensions of formality. After years of tux and gowns and pantyhose, when we hit the Med next, it's gonna be simple dark dress for me and travel sports coat for DH. And we plan to embrace the change and have fun. It is what it is.

 

That's our take on it. Have a great cruise!

 

"Pretensions of formality"? I think some people just like to dress up, and often schedule special photos for that. evening. You point out one benefit of long dresses - no panty hose necessary. Just knee-high stockings.

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...totally in agreement with iancal above, way too many folks get their knickers in a knot over how other people dress - it's their life... and who appointed the complainers as the dress code police force? I will be wearing black denim slacks with a short sleeve button down shirt, my wife hates ties and so do I, most uncomfortable piece of male clothing ever invented IMHO. If anyone has a problem with my 'jeans', that's their issue, not mine...!!

 

How do you know this - how many people get their knickers in a twist? Do you read their minds. No one has a problem with your dress choices. They are even within HAL guidelines. No reason to look for trouble that is not there. Best to just enjoy yourself too.

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HAL's Gala night dress code does preclude jeans. No need to "move up" to another line if that's the code you do want. HAL already says that's what they offer.

 

Excellent reply, Ruth. Spot on. Why should we have to "move up" just because someone else chooses to go against the request of the line they have chosen to sail? Why don't THEY move down to the line that they will be more comfortable on?

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Excellent reply, Ruth. Spot on. Why should we have to "move up" just because someone else chooses to go against the request of the line they have chosen to sail? Why don't THEY move down to the line that they will be more comfortable on?

They can run over to RCCL as they just added shorts to the Dress Code in the MDR. Good for them and I don't plan on sailing with them! Shorts oh and Tank Tops for gods sake are considered acceptable. But hey it's their boat and they can let their guests dress in what ever manner floats their boat!:rolleyes:

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HAL's Gala night dress code does preclude jeans. No need to "move up" to another line if that's the code you do want. HAL already says that's what they offer.

 

The "code" may preclude jeans. But, it is up to the Maitre' d to either let people in or turn them away. If you have an issue, go to the Dining Manager and complain. Or, if you can't stand the sight of someone in jeans that has been allowed into the Dining room, you may have to move up to avoid this.

 

No one said anything about shorts - it was black Dockers and jeans. Next, someone will say that they've asked about basketball shorts... the telephone tree around here is silly.

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Well, yes, the majority do understand that but they argue that their enjoyment will somehow be diminished if others do not dress up as well. Perhaps they don't want to feel overdressed? But, if that be the case, does one have the right to tell someone else how to dress just to please one's self?

.

 

I think this is the nub of it. Though I would phrase it as that the people derive pleasure from being in a room full of people they consider to be well-dressed. The difficulties with that in an era of less formality and airline baggage weight restrictions are developed elsewhere in the thread.

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HAL are the authors of their own misfortune when it comes to attire in the MDR. I have zero sympathy for them.

 

This is a cruise line that wants to move forward with cruising trends but does not want to move forward. Their approach to attire is the same as their approach to smoking, ie essentially at the tail end of virtually every other cruise line in the mass market segment. And even then, they are completely on the fence with weasel words like 'suggested' and on board enforcement that ranges from non existent to intermittent.

Edited by iancal
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So, what you're saying is if you don't like the dress code, you should move up to another line. And if you do like the dress code, you should move up to another line.

Got it. :confused:

 

And this from someone in the hospitality business.

 

 

Let me see if I can dumb this down :rolleyes:

 

If you do not like that the Maitre' d is allowing people into the Dining Room in whatever, try another ship. Nothing about liking or not liking the dress suggestion...

 

I do not care a lick what people wear when they are in my Forbes 4-star resort. We do not have dress suggestions. Like most high-end resorts, we care about taking care of our guests and presenting a memorable experience. From someone who flew in from London on their G-5 to the family who drove up from the farm, everyone is welcome and treated equally. We do not expect everyone to "dress to impress" when they visit our Forbes-5 star restaurant - they are there for the food that is presented. People are there for the resort and the treatment they receive. We offer new experiences every season. If something is getting tired, we "repeal and replace" with something else. Big difference, I guess, from a ship where people expect things to be the same every time, every year, every decade.

 

Now, once a year, there is a Titanic Dinner held in town - perhaps you would be more comfortable there - it's only $250/person and formal wear is dictated. It's a charity event with the money going to the shelter for domestic abuse victims.

 

HAL knows the "loyal" crowd is getting old and feeble. They seemingly haven't done much to attract the new cruisers. They are now making changes that, while upsetting the old crowd, is possibly a way to attract new cruising blood (and income). It seems that every new thing that has come up in the past 2 years causes nothing but whining and cries of "how dare they change" among the "loyal" crowd. All all of this and the supposed "downgrading" of the Dining Room experience, I see plenty of people here saying they are leaving HAL. Don't let the door hit you on the way out ;)

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slidergirl,,,could not agree more with your comments. And our experiences at some higher end resorts is exactly as you state. It also mirrors what we experienced in my previous business life. The more senior the person's position or station in life was the less they seemed to be wrapped up in conformity and personal insecurity.

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.......

HAL knows the "loyal" crowd is getting old and feeble. They seemingly haven't done much to attract the new cruisers.......

 

The current "old and feeble" is getting replaced by the new "old and feeble". Demographics and time does just that, relentlessly. Not sure where you are going with your comment. Capturing emerging demographics is not the same as seeking entirely new demographics. The Baby-boomer bulge will be cranking out new "old and feebles" for a long time to come. Don't kid yourself if you think you are going to beat those odds.

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It is way past time this was put to bed. Some of you are repeating yourselves for the third, fourth, fifth time! Nothing is going to change (except which line you threaten to sail (or not) next)!

 

And ............... drop the mic!

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"Pretensions of formality"? I think some people just like to dress up, and often schedule special photos for that. evening. You point out one benefit of long dresses - no panty hose necessary. Just knee-high stockings.

 

I say that with no disrespect. I really love seeing people dressed up and anybody can go into their own mental "zone" and be as festive as they like. But the OP asked a packing question, and as an experienced HAL cruiser, when I look around the dining room on formal nights lately, they aren't overly formal. If I have a birthday or anniversary, I'll probably still get more dressed up, but I don't at all feel that I'm bringing down the tone of the room if more simply dressed. The tone is already simpler. Still very enjoyable, but not like the old days.

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