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jlynchtx

A couple questions for first time cruiser...

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A couple quick questions for our first cruise coming up...

 

1. I understand Carnival has “formal nights” in the dining room? We are on a 7 days cruise, so there will be two? My question is, can we just skip the dining room that night and eat somewhere else? Is guys burger and the other free places to eat open for dinner? I have to dress up a lot for my job and dressing up on vacation doesn’t sound like my idea of fun. 

 

2. We plan on doing a little swimming at the ports. How does the towel situation work on carnival cruise ships? Or should we bring our own? If we can use theirs, do they track them somehow and make sure we bring them back, etc. How many can you take at once? 

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1.  Yes, there will be 2 formal nights on the 2nd and 5th night.  The attire is "Cruise Elegant", which loosely translates "What's elegant for you".

 

2.  You will be provided with 2 VERY nice beach towels.  In fact, they are the only towels allowed to be taken off the ship.  If you take one home, it will cost you $22.

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And yes, if you don't feel like dressing up, all other dining venues are open.

 

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On my last cruise in June, Guy's Burger was open until 6:00.  The buffet opens at 6:00.  When My husband wanted a Guy's burger for dinner, we would head up there right before it closed so that he could get his burger and I could eat at the buffet.  The pizza station and deli are also available for dinner.

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Guy's Burgers is legendary.  The line was always out the door on my last cruise, so I didn't get to try it.  

 

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27 minutes ago, jlynchtx said:

A couple quick questions for our first cruise coming up...

 

1. I understand Carnival has “formal nights” in the dining room? We are on a 7 days cruise, so there will be two? My question is, can we just skip the dining room that night and eat somewhere else? Is guys burger and the other free places to eat open for dinner? I have to dress up a lot for my job and dressing up on vacation doesn’t sound like my idea of fun. 

 

2. We plan on doing a little swimming at the ports. How does the towel situation work on carnival cruise ships? Or should we bring our own? If we can use theirs, do they track them somehow and make sure we bring them back, etc. How many can you take at once? 

You can go to dinner just as you do for non elegant nights. Guys Burgers closes at 6pm and Blue Iguana Burrito Bar in early afternoon. The deli, pizza , buffet and any specialty restaurants will be open. Towels, you can take as many as you need. You use you S&S card to sign for them and return them to the towel area by the pool. Make sure before you leave them the attendant signs them back in. 

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Formal nights are now called elegant nights and are much more relaxed.  Slacks and collar shirt is all that is required for men.  I usually wear dockers and a Hawaiian or Tommy Bahama shirt with deck shoes.  My wife wears slacks or capris and nice top.  Some folks will be dressed to max, but most will be like me.  Don't let a dress code interfere with enjoying a good meal.

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No need to sweat the "elegant, formal night" on carnival.  Many posts on the subject on this board.  You will see that many of us do not like to dress up on vacation.  May have opened the hornets nest.

Guy's Burgers will be fantastic any time you can eat there.  Not healthy food, but good.  

 

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1 hour ago, mexicobob said:

No need to sweat the "elegant, formal night" on carnival.  Many posts on the subject on this board.  You will see that many of us do not like to dress up on vacation.  May have opened the hornets nest.

Guy's Burgers will be fantastic any time you can eat there.  Not healthy food, but good.  

 

Guy's Burgers aren't healthy?  maybe so, but they sound good for the soul.  :classic_laugh:  Besides, I'm on a cruise and not overly worried about healthy eating.  That comes After the cruise.

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Just to add, the pizza place is open 24/7. The reason Guy's closes at 6pm is because those crew members also work in the MDR for dinner. Guy's has two lines, one from each side. Even when they're long, they move pretty quick. Those guys are fast.

 

You'll have a beach towel in your cabin for every person staying in that cabin. You can take those ashore with you, but must be returned or you'll be charged. Your steward will keep track of them. And when you use them, just lay them on the floor, on the bed, or in the bathroom and they'll be replaced. Or, as another user has said, you can check them out from the Lido pool area, but for us, it's just easier to use the ones in our cabin.

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Posted (edited)

Not a big deal but something to consider - when we have stayed ultra casual on elegant night, as in, stay in our shorts and T-shirts we’ve had on all day, I felt conspicuously underdressed at the evening shows, though we were not the only ones.  Just felt like a slob surrounded by folks running the range anywhere from country club garb to Prom. Not an issue on casual nights.

 

We still go casual and eat in the buffet on elegant nights but I do at least decent slacks or capris and a nice top and husband will do a polo.

Edited by KmomChicago

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7 hours ago, Carl Nival said:

Guy's Burgers is legendary.  The line was always out the door on my last cruise, so I didn't get to try it.  

 

 

You should have gotten in line.  The most I have ever had to wait no matter how long the lines were is less than five minutes.  The line moves real fast.  And what a lot of people don't realize is that there are two lines.  The one facing the pool and there is one around the corner towards the buffet.

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Just did a Carnival cruise and given these boards I expected lots of inappropriate dress on Elegant night.  Rather almost all folks looked great.  It was nice to see.  Ladies looked great and most men wore at least a jacket.  Some who were a little more casual also looked nice albeit a little out of place compared to others yet their choice.  I will say though that some folks on non-elegant night in the MDR were not dressed in accordance with the code: gym clothes, hats on men, etc.  Don't really care....Tony S might though

 

 

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Thanks for all the feedback. I will think we will just dress business casual and go ahead and eat in the dining room. I might bring one or two beach towels and then just plan on using theirs also. Thanks again!

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14 hours ago, Carl Nival said:

1.  Yes, there will be 2 formal nights on the 2nd and 5th night.  The attire is "Cruise Elegant", which loosely translates "What's elegant for you".

 

2.  You will be provided with 2 VERY nice beach towels.  In fact, they are the only towels allowed to be taken off the ship.  If you take one home, it will cost you $22.

2. Unless you bring your own from home.

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This is a good question I was asked recently from a friend new to cruising. You DO NOT have to go to Elegant Night, there are so many other options including the buffet, pizza, room service, and specialty eateries. I also abhor dressing up and the dining room scene. The MDR just takes too much time and cuts into our entertainment plans.

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We always bring 2 of these : https://www.amazon.com/RainLeaf-Antibacterial-Microfiber-X-Small-inches/dp/B01K1TXAN8/ref=sr_1_21_sspa?crid=160IAKE8LMQY2&keywords=microfiber+beach+towel&qid=1563644433&s=gateway&sprefix=microfiber+beach%2Caps%2C192&sr=8-21-spons&psc=1  We love these, light weight, dry quickly and take up no space in your beach bag. The Carnival towels are huge and heavy, 2 take up your entire beach bag

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@jlynchtx you can follow the 'business casual' dress code for the MDR, even on elegant night, and won't likely feel uncomfortable... yes there are folks who are dressed to the nines, but there are lots of others who are dressed nicely (no shorts, no tshirts, no hats) who enjoy the MDR but don't want to get 'all fancy'!

 

As for the towels, in addition to the ones in your room if you needed extras you can just ask your cabin steward and they will provide them for you- just remember to return all of them to your room or you could be charged!

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I used to be that mom that made my kids dress for elegant night.  Years, before kids, my husband would even bring a tux.  No tux anymore, and maybe my husband doesn't always wear a tie, but usually puts a jacket on for that night.  This next cruise, just a quick 4 day to celebrate my oldest son's 21st birthday, I told them that I really didn't care what anyone wore, just please no jeans or tshirts, and I really promised not to judge!!!   My 16 year old has already planned his outfit, a bow tie and evening jacket.  He has them from another event where he had to get really dressy, so I think he is trying to get use out of it while he can!!  Not sure what the 21 year old will come up with, but since he lives at school, I don't expect to know what he packs.  I am guessing Hawaian shirt or polo and khakies.  I might wear a maxi skirt or dress, but I do that a lot in the summer.  So really, almost anything goes on that night.  I am sure that we will be the only family where the 16 year old boy is dressed better than the rest!!!!

 

Towels we usually take from the room, but occasionally we trade in at the pool. I hate dragging a wet towel back to our cabin.  Occasionaly the room has been cleaned and new towels haven't been left.  We just let the room steward know that he didn't leave new ones, and he brings them to us.  Sometimes he was just waiting for fresh ones from laundry.  It happens.

 

Guys Burgers is my go to as soon as I get on the ship.  Usually we will also have it after a port like Key West where we are back rather early, before we head to the pool.  

 

Enjoy yourself and don't let other's dictate what makes you comfortable.  Your vacation!!!

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Most above comments are on point. Please don't miss "formal" night due to dress code. We 've seen jeans and nice t-shirts for men and capris on women. I usually just wear a simple sun dress. Husband wears golf shirt and dockers. You will  not be out of place.

 

Towels.... You will be provided one pp in your cabin. Just make sure to bring it back to your cabin and your room Stewart  will replace it daily for a fresh one. Occasionally they wil will exchange them for you when you return to the ship.

 

welcome to cruising! 

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As for formal dining, times have changed and relaxed quite a bit. Just wear what you would wear to Sunday service or to work, etc.  you’ll be missing out on a nice dinner just because of being worried you’d have to dress up like prom night LOL.  

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Posted (edited)
On 7/20/2019 at 5:47 PM, James4me said:

As for formal dining, times have changed and relaxed quite a bit. Just wear what you would wear to work, etc.  you’ll be missing out on a nice dinner just because of being worried you’d have to dress up like prom night LOL.  

 

That would depend on what you do for a living. 😉  I wouldn't advise it if you were a livestock farmer or a sanitation worker or a stripper.  I think you can thank or blame the airlines for the relaxed dress codes.  People don't want to get charged more for the extra luggage they have to pack just for one or two dinners.  

Edited by RWolver672

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On 7/19/2019 at 10:24 PM, jlynchtx said:

A couple quick questions for our first cruise coming up...

 

1. I understand Carnival has “formal nights” in the dining room? We are on a 7 days cruise, so there will be two? My question is, can we just skip the dining room that night and eat somewhere else? Is guys burger and the other free places to eat open for dinner? I have to dress up a lot for my job and dressing up on vacation doesn’t sound like my idea of fun. 

 

2. We plan on doing a little swimming at the ports. How does the towel situation work on carnival cruise ships? Or should we bring our own? If we can use theirs, do they track them somehow and make sure we bring them back, etc. How many can you take at once? 

I think everyone is trying to be helpful but completely missed the first question which is “can we just skip the dining room that night and eat somewhere else”

 

The simple answer is “yes” 

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We use the beach towels onboard only, they are too bulky and heavy (especially when wet) to carry around on shore. We either bring our own (if the suitcases have room) or take the white bath towels on shore.

 

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