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How formal are "formal" nights on Caribbean cruises?

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I am deciding between very similar Southern Caribbean cruises on Princess and on Celebrity. One difference in the on board experience that I've read about is that men tend to wear black tie or suits on Princess formal nights whereas dress is at least one degree less formal on Celebrity. Is this the case?

 

And while I have your attention, what do you think are the relative advantages of one line over the other? I've cruised 14 times on Celebrity but only once with Princess, and that was back in 2001.

 

Thanks in advance.

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sorry, but have you even tried to research the formal night situation on Princess on this board? 100's of threads discussing this very subject - 100's;p

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I am deciding between very similar Southern Caribbean cruises on Princess and on Celebrity. One difference in the on board experience that I've read about is that men tend to wear black tie or suits on Princess formal nights whereas dress is at least one degree less formal on Celebrity. Is this the case?

 

And while I have your attention, what do you think are the relative advantages of one line over the other? I've cruised 14 times on Celebrity but only once with Princess, and that was back in 2001.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

I've sailed both. Men could go in dining room on 2 Celebrity ships I cruised on recently without suit jacket on formal night. On Sapphire Princess last week men were turned away from main dining room without a suit jacket on formal night.

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When we did Celebrity to Bermuda in 2016 we brought our normal formal gear and felt a bit overdressed...most were in the same clothes they wore on the casual dinner nights..maybe ladies had a bit more bling on..but slacks, dress shirt or hawaiin shirt.

 

When we are on Princess we see more suits and a couple tuxs. When on Princess DH wears a black/wht pinstripe suit with shirt and/or tie that ties back or matches my floor length formal dress...think updated bridesmade sorta.

 

Next time we do Celebrity we will not bring the suit or full length formal gown...hope that helps.

 

We liked both lines but to us Princess has a bit more calmer décor and a bit more activities...but then again we have done 1 celebrity and 8 princess cruises. We felt a bit more relaxed on princess but could be because we have done it before. Celebrity did have the cold towels and water (free) when coming back on board in Bermuda...princess I believe had cheaper internet plans, love international café on princess, celebrity doesn't really have that...MDR food was about same on both however X has softened butter like whipped in 3 different flavors that change each night, sometimes a bit more froo froo food in their mdr...the buffets I might give the edge to X on this one as I just loved the area I found WAY at the back where I could made to order scrambles and the options to put in seemed endless...whereas with Princess it is not always clear where to go and they show it as more an omelet station...but food we pretty comparable. Shows...I would give this one to princess as well as the trivia and games during the day. the one thing that got me on X was that I had to haul my carryon bag around with me until they unlocked the hallways to the cabins...at least on princess I can drop it even if the cabin is not fully ready for us I just toss it in the closet and can move freely. Those are my opinions...hope it helps.

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Posted (edited)

I cruised the Caribbean on the Crown Princess this past February and found the dress for formal night on Celebrity and Princess very similar. There was more men on Princess wearing suits but on our cruise the majority of men were wearing slacks and dress shirt or Hawaiian type shirt. Some with ties some without. Never saw anyone turned away.

Edited by franktown
wrong word

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Of the last 20 or so Princess cruises we've been on over the last few years on different ships and different locations around the world, I have observed that about 60% of men wear a suit or sports coat. About 30% wear dress slacks, white shirt and tie (that's me) and a good 10% wear dress clothes but no tie. At every formal night I have seen a few men wearing jeans with a dress shirt. We always choose early traditional dining.

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We were on the Caribbean last summer and found it very informal. DH has skipped the jacket for several years now; he wears dress slacks, dress shirt, and tie. He doesn't take dress shoes either; just wears loafers all nights. The airlines have ruined dressing up for us.

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the airlines? - seriously? - what are the fees for one extra garment bag - $ 100 or so?

 

seems insignificant in the total cost of the whole cruise experience if dressing to the 9's is your thing...:lips-sealed:

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We just finished a 10 day Caribbean cruise and I'd say 60% of men wore a suit, 15% wore a sport coat, tie and slacks, 10% were in full tuxedos and the remaining 15% either wore a tie and slacks or didn't dress up at all.

 

It was quite a bit dressier than I had assumed, with the men dressing more formally than many of the ladies. (Lots of Chico style jackets with slacks - very few gowns or formal dresses)

 

But being a longer 10 day cruise and not just 7 brought out an older, and probably more affluent crowd.

 

There were almost 400 Elites and 600 Platinum passengers.

 

Elite cleaning service did take 3 days

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you're basing numbers strictly on the people you saw, of course...

 

and , like you, "they" headed to the atrium to have those pictures taken and then to the dining room...

 

that's what you saw - so your %s are definitely skewed based on the entire passenger count...:evilsmile:

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you're basing numbers strictly on the people you saw, of course...

 

and , like you, "they" headed to the atrium to have those pictures taken and then to the dining room...

 

that's what you saw - so your %s are definitely skewed based on the entire passenger count...:evilsmile:

 

Of course, I didn't observe those in the buffet, poolside, or having room service those evenings.

 

I took the OP as a question regarding the public areas most commonly associated with formal nights and assumed they were already aware they could stay in their room or away from the entertainment areas of the ship

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Having a bad day????????

 

 

but lacked the special touch and attention we'd appreciated in the past. Like waiters remembering we like sliced tomatoes nightly and having them on the table when we arrive for traditional dining, or a little extra effort like presenting a cheese plate without asking.

 

the Ultimate Balcony Dinner, but they wouldn't honor our request to be served the Crown Grill tiger prawns instead of the smallish shrimp cocktail from the dining room. In the past, I believe this would have been done as a nice exception.

 

you seem to think you are "entitled" to those extras...you're beyond Princess now - maybe the Queen Mary is more your type

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Perhaps Scott is just remembering the good ol days...I have to admit our last princess cruise I could see the cutting costs and the staff feeling pressure to do more with and for less. If you look at past cruises..alot are princess and he is elite status...

 

Not that I am saying I am entitled to it but it was nice when the waiter pulled out my chair, laid the napkin in my lap and once situated presented me the open menu and gave his thoughts on the nights menu.....our last cruise our waiter barely grunted at us that he heard our order which he got wrong several times. He did not pull out our chair or anyone of his other tables for that matter, no draping the napkin...he barely waited for my butt to hit the sit before shoving the closed menu in my face then kept spilling water all over me and my chair each time he refilled the water glass. Then berated his assistant waiter for not changing out the utensils for the next meal while I watched him stand there and do nothing but hold the carpet down in the spot he was standing. Even after speaking to head waiter his attitude did not change. We pick traditional dining so we have the same wait staff that will remember when my DH orders a salad he can not have tomatoes on it, that I drink ice tea with dinner and it is brought each night without asking...this is why sooo many say that they do traditional dining for this little perk that is sadly slipping away with the pressure for the staff to do more more more with less and therefore we all suffer for it.

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but lacked the special touch and attention we'd appreciated in the past. Like waiters remembering we like sliced tomatoes nightly and having them on the table when we arrive for traditional dining, or a little extra effort like presenting a cheese plate without asking.

 

the Ultimate Balcony Dinner, but they wouldn't honor our request to be served the Crown Grill tiger prawns instead of the smallish shrimp cocktail from the dining room. In the past, I believe this would have been done as a nice exception.

 

you seem to think you are "entitled" to those extras...you're beyond Princess now - maybe the Queen Mary is more your type

 

I fail to see how any of this promotes the idea that we are "Entitled"....we didn't demand that tomatoes were waiting for us at the table, just appreciated the gesture when it happened in the past.

 

I also acknowledged the pawn request was clearly a special request which would have been appreciated, but we still had a fantastic meal that met the expectations of its description.

 

Do you feel any request a person makes while on-board should be considered displaying an entitled attitude? If someone prefers Tabasco with their eggs and it's not on the table, does it show entitlement to ask for some?

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We were on the Caribbean last summer and found it very informal. DH has skipped the jacket for several years now; he wears dress slacks, dress shirt, and tie. He doesn't take dress shoes either; just wears loafers all nights. The airlines have ruined dressing up for us.

Never had an issue bringing formal clothes if we wanted to. The old routine that it makes the luggage too heavy is bunk. Just figure what clothing is important & go with it. Afterall, Princess HAS on board self laundry. Bring a little less & do laundry on board. It's not rocket science. As to shoes, all mine go in the carry on. Again, not rocket science.

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but lacked the special touch and attention we'd appreciated in the past. Like waiters remembering we like sliced tomatoes nightly and having them on the table when we arrive for traditional dining, or a little extra effort like presenting a cheese plate without asking.

 

the Ultimate Balcony Dinner, but they wouldn't honor our request to be served the Crown Grill tiger prawns instead of the smallish shrimp cocktail from the dining room. In the past, I believe this would have been done as a nice exception.

 

you seem to think you are "entitled" to those extras...you're beyond Princess now - maybe the Queen Mary is more your type

Ever been on QM2? It's not the entitled ship, you say it is. Overall pax are very much like Princess. Their shtick is the dress codes, other than that they're very similar.

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We just finished a 10 day Caribbean cruise and I'd say 60% of men wore a suit, 15% wore a sport coat, tie and slacks, 10% were in full tuxedos and the remaining 15% either wore a tie and slacks or didn't dress up at all.

 

It was quite a bit dressier than I had assumed, with the men dressing more formally than many of the ladies. (Lots of Chico style jackets with slacks - very few gowns or formal dresses)

 

But being a longer 10 day cruise and not just 7 brought out an older, and probably more affluent crowd.

 

There were almost 400 Elites and 600 Platinum passengers.

 

Elite cleaning service did take 3 days

I'd agree with the "older" but not necessarily more affluent. If you're not in a suite, the cost of a 10-14 day cruise is actually quite reasonable.

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Dress codes are like speed limits. Some ignore them and get away with it. Some ignore them and get pulled over. A couple of cruises back on formal night, the MD gently asked a gentleman at our table to change or eat elsewhere.

 

Cheers

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The Caribbean cruises tend to be less formal than other areas. Men can get by with only a nice dress shirt and dockers with/without tie. Ladies can get by with a dark pair of pants and a nice shirt. There of course will be everything from tux to shirt/pants or formal dress to pant suits. One thing I have noticed is the growing trend for men in suits or sport coats and no tie. There will be a number of pax wearing the minimum on formal night. I have never seen anyone turned down but then I don't stand by the door and go only on what I see entering or leaving the MDR. Personally I have never worn a suit and did wear a sport coat sans tie in the past but for the last several years wear a button shirt and dockers with my sneakers.

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We were on the Caribbean last summer and found it very informal. DH has skipped the jacket for several years now; he wears dress slacks, dress shirt, and tie. He doesn't take dress shoes either; just wears loafers all nights. The airlines have ruined dressing up for us.

 

Not sure why the airlines are having the blame for not dressing up on formal night.

 

We usually have to fly internationally to cruise, with one suitcase each (23kg). We managed to carry everything we needed for our last cruise , 14 nts, for different types of weather in South America and Around the Horn, including suit and dress shoes, for husband and four cocktail dresses with strappy evening sandals and bag for three formal nights for me..like to have a choice!! We did wear our jackets to travel, then put them in Vacuum bags in hand luggage at B. A.

 

I am a self confessed over packer and assure you, it can be done,

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We were on the Caribbean last summer and found it very informal. DH has skipped the jacket for several years now; he wears dress slacks, dress shirt, and tie. He doesn't take dress shoes either; just wears loafers all nights. The airlines have ruined dressing up for us.

 

Not sure why the airlines are having the blame for not dressing up on formal night.

 

We usually have to fly internationally to cruise, with one suitcase each (23kg). We managed to carry everything we needed for our last cruise , 14 nts, for different types of weather in South America and Around the Horn, including suit and dress shoes, for husband and four cocktail dresses with strappy evening sandals and bag for three formal nights for me..like to have a choice!! We did wear our jackets to travel, then put them in Vacuum bags in hand luggage at B. A.

 

I am a self confessed over packer and assure you, it can be done,

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The Caribbean cruises tend to be less formal than other areas. Men can get by with only a nice dress shirt and dockers with/without tie. Ladies can get by with a dark pair of pants and a nice shirt. There of course will be everything from tux to shirt/pants or formal dress to pant suits. One thing I have noticed is the growing trend for men in suits or sport coats and no tie. There will be a number of pax wearing the minimum on formal night. I have never seen anyone turned down but then I don't stand by the door and go only on what I see entering or leaving the MDR. Personally I have never worn a suit and did wear a sport coat sans tie in the past but for the last several years wear a button shirt and dockers with my sneakers.

Since a majority of our cruises are in the Caribbean my opinion mirrors yours exactly.

Since ditching my long sleeve shirt a while back for a guayabera shirt, I would never consider returning to the jacket & tie routine which I gave up over 10 years ago on Princess.

It's enjoyable to be able to dress down & still feel relaxed when eating in the DR.

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Dress codes are like speed limits. Some ignore them and get away with it. Some ignore them and get pulled over. A couple of cruises back on formal night, the MD gently asked a gentleman at our table to change or eat elsewhere.

 

Cheers

That's exactly what I noticed last week on the Sapphire. First hand, recent experiences help us decide how to pack or decide to dine in a Specialty restaurant on formal nights.

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I've sailed both. Men could go in dining room on 2 Celebrity ships I cruised on recently without suit jacket on formal night. On Sapphire Princess last week men were turned away from main dining room without a suit jacket on formal night.

 

Turned away because they didn't have a suit coat?? I have never seen that on any cruise line. On formal nights I have been to the MDR on Princess several times without a suit jacket. Is this something new?

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Turned away because they didn't have a suit coat?? I have never seen that on any cruise line. On formal nights I have been to the MDR on Princess several times without a suit jacket. Is this something new?

 

Yes, it happened to 2 men right in front of me last week on the Sapphire. Then , during the same meal, the man sitting next to us came in holding a jacket he said head waiter lent him to hang on the back of his chair during main dining room formal night dinner.

There were 2 notices and formal dress code was in Patters. The ship sailed from Southamton, England May 5-12/18.

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I've sailed both. Men could go in dining room on 2 Celebrity ships I cruised on recently without suit jacket on formal night. On Sapphire Princess last week men were turned away from main dining room without a suit jacket on formal night.
Celebrity no longer have Formal nights, they were replaced some time ago by "Evening Chic" with neither jackets nor ties required.

 

Sent from my SM-J530F using Forums mobile app

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Yes, it happened to 2 men right in front of me last week on the Sapphire. Then , during the same meal, the man sitting next to us came in holding a jacket he said head waiter lent him to hang on the back of his chair during main dining room formal night dinner.

There were 2 notices and formal dress code was in Patters. The ship sailed from Southamton, England May 5-12/18.

It must have been all those English formalists that caused them to be so strict. :D

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Yes, it happened to 2 men right in front of me last week on the Sapphire. Then , during the same meal, the man sitting next to us came in holding a jacket he said head waiter lent him to hang on the back of his chair during main dining room formal night dinner.

There were 2 notices and formal dress code was in Patters. The ship sailed from Southamton, England May 5-12/18.

 

Wow. What a way to treat the paying customers? I have been to Southampton, England several times and can verify with accuracy that it is not in the Caribbean as where the original OP asked for information.

 

Cheers

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Has anyone been on Caribbean Princess in the last month going to eastern Caribbean that can comment on attire for men on formal nights as to if a tommy Bahama style shirt (plane not flashy) and dress slacks or dress slacks and a colored(blue or another color other than white) button down long sleeve without tie is acceptable on formal nights? Leaving very soon and need to know if we have to have tie or coat Which he would prefer not to bring. Thanks in advance.

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In my opinion, bring the tie, which takes very little space to pack. For formal night, wear it with the button-down collar shirt, and hope that you can get by without a jacket. That would be the minimum.

 

Tommy Bahama short sleeve Hawaiian-style shirts, which are worn untucked, would be fine for smart casual night.

 

Princess tries to have something for everyone. It depends how badly you wish to eat in the MDR. If you don't wish to eat in the MDR, there are many options for formal night:

 

1. Eat at the Horizon Court, which is completely come-as-you-are.

 

2. Eat at specialty dining, such as Crab Shack, Sabatini's, Crown Grill, Share, etc.

3. Order free room service.

4. Order Ultimate Balcony Dinner.

5. Order pizza from Alfredo's

6. Order hamburger, etc. from Trident Grill/ Salty Dog

7. Order wine and tapas from Vines, followed by dessert at International Cafe.

8. On a port day, eat at a restaurant onshore.

9. Or, simply book another cruise line.

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On a 7 day cruise, with 3 meals served per day in the MDR, that's a total of 21 meals served. Out of those 21, only TWO are formal night. So, only about 10% of the meals are formal night. It's a very low percentage.

 

You will find that the MDR is air-conditioned, regardless of the outside temp. In fact, the MDR often has cooler temps than the rest of the indoor spaces aboard ship.

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Has anyone been on Caribbean Princess in the last month going to eastern Caribbean that can comment on attire for men on formal nights as to if a tommy Bahama style shirt (plane not flashy) and dress slacks or dress slacks and a colored(blue or another color other than white) button down long sleeve without tie is acceptable on formal nights? Leaving very soon and need to know if we have to have tie or coat Which he would prefer not to bring. Thanks in advance.

Where what I wore to the DR on the CB last year in the Caribbean & it was fine without any jacket. I can't imagine wearing a Tommy Bahama style shirt with a tie?

Z

71zBf-JlV1L._UY445_.jpg

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Where what I wore to the DR on the CB last year in the Caribbean & it was fine without any jacket. I can't imagine wearing a Tommy Bahama style shirt with a tie?

Z

71zBf-JlV1L._UY445_.jpg

 

I love my guayabera and have been wearing it to formal night the last several years including a cruise out of Southampton. It looks quite nice with my dockers. Because of foot problems, I always wear my athletic shoes. I have never worn a tie on a cruise ship.

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I wore a short-sleeved TB shirt one formal night and "almost" got turned away..

 

Island Princess - Panama Canal - many years ago

 

we got me a long-sleeved Guay. type shirt at the next port and no problems since then

 

but now I always wear a long-sleeved shirt to the mdr on either smart casual or formal

 

that's just how I roll - no tie, of course, and sandals- no problem

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I am deciding between very similar Southern Caribbean cruises on Princess and on Celebrity. One difference in the on board experience that I've read about is that men tend to wear black tie or suits on Princess formal nights whereas dress is at least one degree less formal on Celebrity. Is this the case?

 

And while I have your attention, what do you think are the relative advantages of one line over the other? I've cruised 14 times on Celebrity but only once with Princess, and that was back in 2001.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Call Princess direct and ask them.....you will just get a lot of inaccurate opinions on here and falsehoods....for what it is worth (and we mostly do 20 and 30 day cruises) you can get in the dining room on Formal Nights in slacks, a dress shirt and tie....and if not complain to the Hotel Manager or Passenger services desk....that will usually get you in if staff is changing Princess Dress Code SUGGESTIONS!!! ;)

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I love my guayabera and have been wearing it to formal night the last several years including a cruise out of Southampton. It looks quite nice with my dockers. Because of foot problems, I always wear my athletic shoes. I have never worn a tie on a cruise ship.

You're the one who made me dig back in my closet to get my only guayabera shirt which I bought in Mexico some 20 years ago and never wore. I use to call it a taxi drivers shirt. :D

It's one of the most comfortable shirts I have.

I've been wearing it to all formal nights on all the ships even since & have retired my dark blue long sleeve dress shirt.

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