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Formal night vs Gala night

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I've read that Holland no longer does formal night and has replaced it with Gala night.  Have you noticed a difference in the dress since the name change?  Is a suit and tie still the norm or can hubby get by with just a tie sans jacket?  Thank you in advance for your help and insights.

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On the last few cruses we have taken my husband has not brought a jacket. He wears a nice pair of pants with a dress shirt and a tie with sometimes a sweater over it. There are still many men who wear a suit and tie but just as many who don't. He has never felt out of place without the jacket and it does save some space in the suitcase. Even I have scaled down what I bring and now it is just a nice pant suit or dress pair of pants with a dressy top and accessories that I can change for each gala night to make the outfit look different. 

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Just off the NS last week - had two gala nights. I think anyone can get away with wearing anything for gala nights. The first night seemed to "feel" more formal while the 2nd was less so - I wore full suit first night and just dark jeans, white shirt, black blazer for 2nd night - I didnt feel underdressed AT ALL. 

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On the majority of our cruises, including a 21 day cruise, we saw very few men wearing suits or jackets.  They wore nice slacks and a collared shirt -- no ties.

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Thanks to everyone for your sharing your experience!  It will certainly help with the packing!

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I still like to wear a Tux on HAL (call me a traditionalist).  But the reality is that the "formal" has disappeared from formal, gala, chic, or whatever you choose to call those so-called special evenings.  And the menus in the MDR have declined to match the quality of the passenger dress.   However, on HAL, the waiters will still be adorned in their formal wear.

 

Hank

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Is there a standard formula to determine the number of Gala Nights on board?  We have a 22-Night back-to-back of the Koningsdam (May 10-June 1, 2019) in the Med.  We are trying to figure out how many Gala Nights we can expect.

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54 minutes ago, PopPopB said:

Is there a standard formula to determine the number of Gala Nights on board? 

There is a formula, but I can't remember the cutoff points for an increase.
When dealing with a back to back (or Collector's) you need to consider the number of Gala nights in each individual cruise, which will likely be more than one cruise of the same total length.

If you are taking 2 11-day cruises you will either have 4 or 6 Gala nights, depending on whether an 11-day cruise gets 2 or 3. I know a 7-day cruise has 2 Gala nights, and a 14-day cruise has 3.

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Just did 21 day collector's voyage in the Caribbean on Koningsdam March 17 - April 7.

The gala nights were March 19, March 25, March 29, April 5.

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Here we go again... grabbing the popcorn as we speak. 😕

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13 hours ago, hubbard53 said:

Just off the NS last week - had two gala nights. I think anyone can get away with wearing anything for gala nights. The first night seemed to "feel" more formal while the 2nd was less so - I wore full suit first night and just dark jeans, white shirt, black blazer for 2nd night - I didnt feel underdressed AT ALL. 

Interesting.  While jackets are no longer required and ties are not required, it is requested that jeans not be worn in the MDR on Gala Night.  Some gentlemen have been turned away when they are wearing jeans on that night.

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12 hours ago, ithaca gal said:

Some gentlemen have been turned away when they are wearing jeans on that night.

And rightly so. I'm pretty flexible when it comes to dress, but once HAL or any other cruise line establishes a dress code, it should be enforced.

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On 4/10/2019 at 7:59 AM, hubbard53 said:

Just off the NS last week - had two gala nights. I think anyone can get away with wearing anything for gala nights. The first night seemed to "feel" more formal while the 2nd was less so - I wore full suit first night and just dark jeans, white shirt, black blazer for 2nd night - I didnt feel underdressed AT ALL. 

Nice to know.  I do not plan on bringing a second set of dress pants for one night, but I will have nice jeans that I can wear with a button shirt/nice sneakers.  No way am I dressing up for vacation :)  

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13 minutes ago, xiphoid76 said:

Nice to know.  I do not plan on bringing a second set of dress pants for one night, but I will have nice jeans that I can wear with a button shirt/nice sneakers.  No way am I dressing up for vacation 🙂  

 

remember, your jeans and sneakers effects the flavor of other peoples meals!! 

 

🤣

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16 minutes ago, xiphoid76 said:

Nice to know.  I do not plan on bringing a second set of dress pants for one night, but I will have nice jeans that I can wear with a button shirt/nice sneakers.  No way am I dressing up for vacation :)  

Just don't be surprised if you are asked to go and change. That happened to the gentleman immediately in front of us entering the MDR on a gala night in February. If you don't want to bring dress pants, you can always eat in the Lido on gala nights.

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56 minutes ago, xiphoid76 said:

Nice to know.  I do not plan on bringing a second set of dress pants for one night, but I will have nice jeans that I can wear with a button shirt/nice sneakers.  No way am I dressing up for vacation 🙂  

As has been mentioned, some gentlemen are turned away because the did not follow the dress code of HAL on Gala Nights.  Why would you want to chance being turned away?  The specialty restaurants are nice, as is the Lido.  Is it that important to push the envelope?

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We do not particularly care what others wear nor does it impact our enjoyment.  Never has.

 

Having said that we believe that HAL's revised Gala policy is very much a step forward in meeting the demands of most customers.   Additionally, it is not very difficult to meet these guidelines.  We only travel with carry on and it would be snap for us to meet the guidelines if (and it is a big if) we wanted to dine in the MDR on those evenings.

 

The rest is up to HAL.   They make the enforcement decision every day and on every ship.  I suspect that there is a great deal of inconsistency in this regard.

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On 4/10/2019 at 7:58 PM, RuthC said:

There is a formula, but I can't remember the cutoff points for an increase ... If you are taking 2 11-day cruises you will either have 4 or 6 Gala nights ... 

Thanks for your info!

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On ‎4‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 10:40 PM, ithaca gal said:

Interesting.  While jackets are no longer required and ties are not required, it is requested that jeans not be worn in the MDR on Gala Night.  Some gentlemen have been turned away when they are wearing jeans on that night.

A few years ago we were on a month long Pacific crossing (Oosterdam) when a couple came to the MDR (for open seating) and were right in front of us.  The lady was dressed-up in formal wear and looked lovely.  Her DH was wearing nice jeans and an open collar shirt.  The Maitre'd , who happened to be at the door immediately offered to loan the man a jacket...  There was some discussion and the gentleman left.  His wife told us that he was going back to their cabin to put on his Tux :).  She told us that she had warned her DH...and wanted to give the Maitre'd a big hug :).

 

Times have changed and we would not be surprised to see some men in the MDR on Gala nights...wearing backwards baseball caps.

 

Hank

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Havn't  been on Holland for a few years...was wondering if they still have the dance when you can dance with the officers and when the dance is over sometimes the officer will have an envelope to give you with free something or other in it.  Do you still get the white hat for the woman and black one for the men at a certain dinner???  We used to go the Circle the Caribbean out of Tampa on the Old Nordam...loved that ship  black smoke coming out of the back...limping into San Juan.  Did that itinerary for years....then did the New Nordam....when Carnival bought out Holland we just didn't like the new ships as much.  Oh well.

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7 minutes ago, myjillian said:

Havn't  been on Holland for a few years...was wondering if they still have the dance when you can dance with the officers and when the dance is over sometimes the officer will have an envelope to give you with free something or other in it.  Do you still get the white hat for the woman and black one for the men at a certain dinner???  We used to go the Circle the Caribbean out of Tampa on the Old Nordam...loved that ship  black smoke coming out of the back...limping into San Juan.  Did that itinerary for years....then did the New Nordam....when Carnival bought out Holland we just didn't like the new ships as much.  Oh well.

 

A lot has changed since you were on HAL. No dance where the officers are there. Ballroom dancing is gone from most ships, possibly all of them. And it sounds like the hats you mention were for "Dutch night," when the menu was Dutch foods, and the ladies were given Dutch hats. That's long gone, alas.

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22 hours ago, hubbard53 said:

 

remember, your jeans and sneakers effects the flavor of other peoples meals!! 

 

🤣

 

Silly argument. While it doesn't affect the flavor of ones food it does impact the flavor (ambiance for those living in Rio Linda) of the room! It would be like heading out for Trick or Treat and finding that no one has a costume on. Although your candy would still taste the same, the experience wouldn't be the same.

 

But the people have spoken! 

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On ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 11:43 AM, Fouremco said:

Just don't be surprised if you are asked to go and change. That happened to the gentleman immediately in front of us entering the MDR on a gala night in February. If you don't want to bring dress pants, you can always eat in the Lido on gala nights.

Nothing in the current suggested dress code about having to wear "dress pants". A nice pair of kaki pants will do just fine along with any collared shirt. I bet I could also get into the MDR in my black dress jeans that look more like dress pants than jeans.

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Too many CC members try to put their own ideas of what should or should not be worn in the MDR into their interpretation of the suggested dress code. And for that reason we have these endless dress code threads with a new one about every week.

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