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Observations on Elegant Night

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I have not read all your reviews, and this is just "ME" talking.  I don't get to "dress up to the 9's", as the expression goes, so this is my way to do it on formal nights.  It does not bother me if someone dresses down, as that is what they "want" to do.  Does it take "work" to dress up, YES!  I have cruised for over 25 years, and I always get compliments from "strangers" on the ship of how nice I look.  Just the compliments alone, makes me want to dress this way. 🙂

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5 hours ago, coevan said:

 

where are you reading this? The dress code is very clear, jackets and ties are optional, long pants and no T's.

 

Crazy4Camping is the one who said:

'This topic has me wondering what on earth to wear.  The dress code makes it sound like wedding attire is what's acceptable."

 

I replied :

Low bar for dressing "elegant" on Carnival - which is fine with me   I wear black slacks, sparklie top and strappy sandles.  DH wears cotton slacks, button down collar shirt and driving loafers.  We fall in the higher half of being dressed up

:classic_rolleyes::classic_biggrin:

Edited by summersigh

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I need to remember to pack a pair of dress pants for DH. I'm trying to convince DH that we should wear the outfits we purchased for a Gatsby themed fundraiser last year, which would have him in black dress pants, crisp white shirt, black bowtie and suspenders (we'd leave the fedora at home) and I would wear my sparkly flapper dress and pearls (but probably not the feathered head piece as I don't see it making the trip unscathed).  The three girls and I have enough dresses to chose from but I always struggle with the two teen boys.

 

15 year old is so tiny around the waist that he kind of needs an adjustable waistband but his legs are too long to find any pants in the boys' section that fit him in length. Men's pants fall right off of him and he looks ridiculous in a belt as it looks like we're cinching a gunnysack. 😮 He's determined to eat many ice cream cones on the cruise so maybe things will start fitting him. 😉 

 

14 year old boy has it even worse, as he is 6'2" and growing, and just about as small around the waist. 

 

The only solution I can come up with is to have them wear the nice looking chino dress shorts I was able to find with button up short sleeve dress shirts. We spent an entire day shopping and while they were good sports, it is not a teen boy's idea of a good time to try on 25+ pairs of dress pants that don't fit. We live in a rural area so our options are limited. 

 

I hope nobody we dine near is offended that the boys are wearing shorts instead of pants but I literally cannot find anything that fits them correctly (that does not require tailoring). They mostly wear drawstring athletic pants/shorts but they do each have at least one pair of darker colored jeans that fit (I make them wear that to our church, which is fairly casual). I'm not sure which rule is worse to break, the no jeans rule or the no shorts rule. 

 

 

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On the past 5 cruises we have brought all the fancy clothes in the extra garment bag.  This time we're not going to lug the extra garment bag and pay the extra baggage fee.  The boys will wear button downs and dress slacks and the ladies will wear long maxi dresses.  We have noticed over the years that most are going with a more casual formal wear, if you enjoy going all out, then go for it!

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After years of packing and lugging formal wear on cruises, the hubby and I decided we’d had enough. Don’t get me wrong, we’d never show up in shorts on elegant night. I have lovely dresses that I wear, with a pair of nice sandals, and he wears khakis and polo on elegant night with his favorite loafers. We are always neat and presentable, but formal is totally out for us. 

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We just got off the sunshine. It seems that women dress up more than men. Many times I would see s couple the woman would have on a nice dress and her partner would be in shorts and a t-shirt

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On previous cruises husband has worn dress slacks, button down, and jacket, and I have worn bridesmaid dresses on elegant nights. This time we are going on a 5 night, so only one elegant night. We are bringing our small children and trying to keep extra unnecessary stuff to a minimum.  DH will wear a button down shirt with tan dress pants and brown shoes that he can also wear on another night or two with a polo. I will be wearing a dress that's nicer than a sundress, but not a cocktail dress. My daughter will wear a party dress and the baby will probably wear a collared romper.

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The only reason the cruise ships have Formal Nights is that they know more people will purchase their photo packages.  I honestly don't need any more pictures of hubby and me wearing formal attire.  We dress smart casual every night.

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13 hours ago, beshears said:

I have not read all your reviews, and this is just "ME" talking.  I don't get to "dress up to the 9's", as the expression goes, so this is my way to do it on formal nights.  It does not bother me if someone dresses down, as that is what they "want" to do.  Does it take "work" to dress up, YES!  I have cruised for over 25 years, and I always get compliments from "strangers" on the ship of how nice I look.  Just the compliments alone, makes me want to dress this way. 🙂

Same for hubby and I.

 

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Formal night used to mean something. I also think it depends on the cruise line. I know my last 2 CCL trips, There were very few who participated in elegant night. We still dress nice, just not a suit and jacket. As an expeirenced cruiser, we cut wayyy back on how we dress these nights. When they say "elegant" CCL is not the first cruise line that comes to mind. Just saying

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19 hours ago, coevan said:

 

 

where are you reading this? The dress code is very clear, jackets and ties are optional, long pants and no T's.

Dress code says dress slacks, dress shirts, suggest a sport coat, suit and tie, tuxedo.  Women-cocktail dresses, pantsuits, elegant skirts/blouses, evening gown.  This all sounds like what would be worn to a wedding, that's what I meant.  Just dressing up nice for a nice dinner out wouldn't be this dressy so that's what I was comparing-like a nice sundress and sandals is way different than a fancy dress worn to a wedding.  For him, a nice pair of khakis, polo or button-down, and nice shoes is way diff than a suit or tux.

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On 1/19/2019 at 8:01 AM, Aplmac said:

.

I was wondering the same thing myself.

People get dressed-up for the food?

I see why this comment was made-what else is formal night for than to get some better food(otherwise why bother to have a formal night) than a regular night so they can still compete with other cruise lines who have prime rib and lobster available all the time not just one night during a cruise?  

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On 1/18/2019 at 5:46 PM, jdemps said:

Your husband is like many people that don't want to wear uncomfortable clothing for, at best, 3 star service.   Now, if they had king crab legs and bone in porterhouse steaks, then maybe it warrants a nicer outfit.  The way it is now, it's like going to the outback steakhouse and really, who doesn't wear jeans there?  lol

 

 

 

Excellent point.  

Edited by Luckiestmanonearth

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On the last cruise, we saw an angry guy who was turned away from the MDR on elegant night. He was wearing cut off denim shorts, tank top, beach sandals, and a cap. We were very amused because he literally wore everything that was on the forbidden list. Wonder if it was a test...

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3 minutes ago, crooooze said:

On the last cruise,

we saw an angry guy who was turned away from the MDR on elegant night. 

He was wearing cut off denim shorts, tank top, beach sandals, and a cap.

We were very amused because he literally wore everything that was on the forbidden list. Wonder if it was a test...

.

Almost certainly that was a test!

 

I've heard of nitwits wandering the ship in their bath robes.

How tacky can you get?!

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15 hours ago, Stacie. said:

I need to remember to pack a pair of dress pants for DH. I'm trying to convince DH that we should wear the outfits we purchased for a Gatsby themed fundraiser last year, which would have him in black dress pants, crisp white shirt, black bowtie and suspenders (we'd leave the fedora at home) and I would wear my sparkly flapper dress and pearls (but probably not the feathered head piece as I don't see it making the trip unscathed).  The three girls and I have enough dresses to chose from but I always struggle with the two teen boys.

 

15 year old is so tiny around the waist that he kind of needs an adjustable waistband but his legs are too long to find any pants in the boys' section that fit him in length. Men's pants fall right off of him and he looks ridiculous in a belt as it looks like we're cinching a gunnysack. 😮 He's determined to eat many ice cream cones on the cruise so maybe things will start fitting him. 😉 

 

14 year old boy has it even worse, as he is 6'2" and growing, and just about as small around the waist. 

 

The only solution I can come up with is to have them wear the nice looking chino dress shorts I was able to find with button up short sleeve dress shirts. We spent an entire day shopping and while they were good sports, it is not a teen boy's idea of a good time to try on 25+ pairs of dress pants that don't fit. We live in a rural area so our options are limited. 

 

I hope nobody we dine near is offended that the boys are wearing shorts instead of pants but I literally cannot find anything that fits them correctly (that does not require tailoring). They mostly wear drawstring athletic pants/shorts but they do each have at least one pair of darker colored jeans that fit (I make them wear that to our church, which is fairly casual). I'm not sure which rule is worse to break, the no jeans rule or the no shorts rule. 

 

 

I bet the gatsby get up would look nice! as for your boys, they really just want people to make it look like they give a darn. If they're behaving well, and they look good with some nice tasteful shorts, I see no problem. Many people don't like to dress up, but when we look good, we feel good, right? It's fun to sit at a sidebar before dinner, especially by where they do pictures to people watch and see all the ladies and dudes all dressed up, at *feels* a little more elegant anyway.

Edited by splash_in_the_water

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22 hours ago, latitude918 said:

The DW and I dress up on elegant night for us, not for everyone else.  We like to get dressed up and have a fancy night out because it is fun to do it together.  The pictures, the dressing up, the whole thing is fun for us.  I really don't care what anyone else is doing or wearing because I'm too busy having a fun time... and minding my own business. 

I bought my tux after our first CCL cruise years ago and I still wear it with different dress shirts and ties for each 'elegant night'. We have cruised on Paul Gauguin and Windstar - both say no formal nights, on the captains reception night there were many in tuxes and gowns- and I left mine home. I won't be doing that again 🙂

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1 hour ago, Crazy4Camping said:

Dress code says dress slacks, dress shirts, suggest a sport coat, suit and tie, tuxedo.  Women-cocktail dresses, pantsuits, elegant skirts/blouses, evening gown.  This all sounds like what would be worn to a wedding, that's what I meant.  Just dressing up nice for a nice dinner out wouldn't be this dressy so that's what I was comparing-like a nice sundress and sandals is way different than a fancy dress worn to a wedding.  For him, a nice pair of khakis, polo or button-down, and nice shoes is way diff than a suit or tux.

That is exactly all we wear. No formal wear for this couple. A nice dress and sandals for me, and khakis and polo for the hubby. We are so done with formal wear. And now days, having to watch the weight on our suitcases, if anything is to be left behind, it is formal wear. So tired of lugging all that. But to each their own. We dress appropriately and neatly, but far from formal. This old gal hasn’t worn a pair of heels in many, many years. 

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On 1/19/2019 at 5:40 PM, Stacie. said:

I need to remember to pack a pair of dress pants for DH. I'm trying to convince DH that we should wear the outfits we purchased for a Gatsby themed fundraiser last year, which would have him in black dress pants, crisp white shirt, black bowtie and suspenders (we'd leave the fedora at home) and I would wear my sparkly flapper dress and pearls (but probably not the feathered head piece as I don't see it making the trip unscathed).  The three girls and I have enough dresses to chose from but I always struggle with the two teen boys.

 

15 year old is so tiny around the waist that he kind of needs an adjustable waistband but his legs are too long to find any pants in the boys' section that fit him in length. Men's pants fall right off of him and he looks ridiculous in a belt as it looks like we're cinching a gunnysack. 😮 He's determined to eat many ice cream cones on the cruise so maybe things will start fitting him. 😉 

 

14 year old boy has it even worse, as he is 6'2" and growing, and just about as small around the waist. 

 

The only solution I can come up with is to have them wear the nice looking chino dress shorts I was able to find with button up short sleeve dress shirts. We spent an entire day shopping and while they were good sports, it is not a teen boy's idea of a good time to try on 25+ pairs of dress pants that don't fit. We live in a rural area so our options are limited. 

 

I hope nobody we dine near is offended that the boys are wearing shorts instead of pants but I literally cannot find anything that fits them correctly (that does not require tailoring). They mostly wear drawstring athletic pants/shorts but they do each have at least one pair of darker colored jeans that fit (I make them wear that to our church, which is fairly casual). I'm not sure which rule is worse to break, the no jeans rule or the no shorts rule. 

 

 

I had the same issue with my DS growing up.  He is now 24 and 6'8" and still skinny as a rail.  I ended up special ordering him dress pants from Penny's without a hem and just kept adjusting the hem with safety pins as he grew taller during his high school years.  His normal day wear is a pair of jeans (Arizona jeans 34x36 work the best) with shorts under them to help bulk up his waist so they don't fall down but hang low enough to make them appear longer without looking like he has saggy pants.  They really need a "Thin and Tall" shop as the "Big and Tall" shops laugh you out the door when you ask for a waist that skinny for tall kids.

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What we decide to bring/wear on cruise elegant evenings is contingent upon:  1)  How many Elegant Nights there might be during the cruise we are on 2)  How we are traveling to the Port of Embarkation and how we are getting home (driving/flying, stateside versus overseas travel).  We've dressed to the nines (suits, ties, gowns and the like/usually on the first Elegant night at a minimum) and then modified our dress for the remaining cruise nights (slacks, dress shirts/ties, pantsuits, etc), dependant upon what we were able to bring with us (weight restrictions and luggage restrictions, when flying to/from). 

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On 1/19/2019 at 11:57 AM, summersigh said:

Low bar for dressing "elegant" on Carnival - which is fine with me :classic_biggrin:  I wear black slacks, sparklie top and strappy sandles.  DH wears cotton slacks, button down collar shirt and driving loafers.  We fall in the higher half of being dressed up

This is exactly how we dress!

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Nice top, black slacks and sandals is as 'formal' as this old gal gets anymore.  Actually, that's what I wear just about every night that I eat in the MDR. Did the formal thing the first few cruises and then stopped lugging all that extras stuff with us.  We didn't enjoy it and sure didn't want to pay extra baggage fees for it.  Never cared for the overpriced pictures. 

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Note that they don't use the word 'formal' in the description any longer.  But no one should be too put out by bringing a pair of slacks, a button down shirt, and a pair of shoes.  Personally, I'll still wear a jacket but that's just me.

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I've seen "elegant casual" on the three lines I've cruised.  Carnival pushes that envelope quite a bit, but I expect that from Carnival cruisers on elegant night.  Those cruisers who ignore any kind of elegant night dress code are in the minority.  Most of the folks I see dress nice and look great.  The ultra-casual dressers in shorts and t-shirts eat in the buffet. Everybody plays, everybody wins.

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We enjoy dressing up for dinner while on vacation. If it's a land beach type vacation, then we clean up & go out for dinner. Our kids were in high school & college when we first began cruising & they like to dress up also. (A boy & a girl). It's ok if other guests choose not to, we still enjoy it.

 

Formal night, they guys will be in suits. My daughter & I wear fancier cocktail or evening type dresses. I also have a black pair of chiffon wide legged pants with a beaded black & gold sleevless shirt.  On all the other nights the guys wear dress pants with shirt & tie or a polo. My daughter & I wear 'church' clothes or slightly fancier.  We have a section in our closet that is vacation/cruise clothes. When I see something on sale at Dillard's or Dress Barn, etc I get it then & have it when needed, so doesn't have to be expensive.

 

 

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