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The Other Tom

How formal is dining on Viking Ocean?

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Yes.  You will be fine with that anywhere on the ship, other than the three more formal restaurants. World Cafe, the buffet, accepts all garb except swim suits. Some folks dined in robes and pool cover ups on our trip.

 

Viking prefers a no jeans, no shorts, and only shirts with collars policy in Manfredi's, the Chef's Table, and The Restaurant.  On our recent Trades Routes of the Vikings cruise, it seemed that most people observed the rule. I didn't see any obvious violations in these three restaurants.

 

On our Cuba cruise, I got by with a pair of brown jeans, and didn't hear a peep.

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From Viking Ocean website:

 

 

During the day, dress is casual including shorts (if the season is warm), slacks or jeans and comfortable shoes for walking tours. Swimsuits, brief shorts, cover-ups and exercise attire should be reserved for the Fitness Center, pool areas and Sports Deck. There are no “formal nights” in the evening; evening dress is “elegant casual” for all dining venues, performances and special events. On these occasions, required attire for ladies includes a dress, skirt or slacks with a sweater or blouse; for gentlemen, trousers and a collared shirt. A tie and jacket are optional; jeans are not permitted. The evening dress excludes World Café where the dress remains casual after 6:00 PM.

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While you can wear jeans for dinner in the World Cafe---I would recommend bringing mostly non-jeans so you aren't limited. Plus non-jean trousers will take less room, weigh less and dry more quickly. 

 

Quite a few people dress nicely for dinner, shows, Torshavn and and things like dancing in the Atrium. 

Probably 1/4 to 1/3 of gentlemen are wearing jackets in the Restaurant, Manfredi's and Chef's Table.

Similar ratio of women wearing nice dresses/heels in those venues.

Most evenings in the Atrium I saw very few people wearing jeans or casual attire.

 

So while technically, if you only do dinner in World Cafe, you can get by with jeans---you may feel more comfortable having dress pants for the evenings if you are not hanging out in your cabin.

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I wonder if the itinerary impacts this. We are currently in China aboard Orion and I think I have seen no more than two or three men in jackets at dinner (and one of those was outside at the aquavit where it was a little chilly). I have not seen any women in dressy dresses and heels. Nice outfits yes, but not near cocktail standard. We have been completely fine with our khakis and polo or casual long sleeved shirts. 

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Clay--you are 100% right. Our only 2 VO cruises were both Transatlantic--starting in Caribbean and ending in Spain for both. And khakis and a long sleeved shirt was pretty normal. But jeans and a golf shirt were not the norm in the evening on our cruises (other than in the World Cafe). Perhaps we just had some fancy people!

I'm sure it's highly variable. 

 

 

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11 hours ago, The Other Tom said:

Will I be ok with jeans and a golf shirt?

 

I have found that every cruise seems to have its own vibe and there is no way of predicting in advance what that vibe. Some times the vibe leans to the formal and some times to the more casual.

 

There are always outliers on every sailing--and of course, they are memorable because they stand out. Sometimes it is the couple that dress up every evening-- he in a double-breasted suit and she in a cocktail dress, heavily made up and bejeweled. Other times, you get generational throwbacks  -- hippies, Margaritaville -- actually a fun group, because they aren't hung up on how they look. And still other times you get those who simple don't understand what is meant by a collar on a shirt. It takes all kinds -- and you will see all kinds.

 

In the end, I think it is a matter of being respectful of the guidelines that Viking has provided and being respectful your fellow guests. But, it is your vacation and to some extent, you should wear what makes you happy and comfortable. (In other words, I'm not advocating dressing like you have just come in from mowing the lawn or the morning at the gym.)

 

 

 

 

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Thanks to all who have replied.  When I first posted, I assumed I'd be flamed for asking such a question, but it was just the opposite.  Your responses have been thoughtful and respectful.  If you guys represent the type of people that cruise VO, then I'm all in.  Thank you.

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there was a guy on the Midnight Sun trip we took who appeared to have packed nothing but sweats and jogging suits and not new ones at that. He was 'invited' to take all meals in the World Cafe . . . . 

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At least it's not like river cruising with no tables for two where you can end up seated next to folks who've just sweated through their day touring clothes and join your table.  Fortunately, this is rare and never happened to us.  Closest call was with a guy in a sleeveless sweaty shirt 2 tables away.  Vast majority are cleanly dressed on all cruises.
Occasionally, someone is a victim of lost luggage.  You never know.

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2 hours ago, The Other Tom said:

When I first posted, I assumed I'd be flamed for asking such a question

 

I am sure the anti-jeans, the way YOU dress ruins MY cruise folks will find their way here eventually. This is an open forum and we are all entitled to express our opinion with equal gusto.

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1 hour ago, Capt_BJ said:

there was a guy on the Midnight Sun trip we took who appeared to have packed nothing but sweats and jogging suits and not new ones at that. He was 'invited' to take all meals in the World Cafe . . . . 

 

LOL.  I wonder if this was the same guy that was on my Mediterranean B2B on the Star last year?  Sadly, we wasn't "invited" to only dine at the World Cafe.   Saw him several times in The Restaurant, though his sweats at least seemed in fairly good shape.   

 

 

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Don't know today's jargon, but I always dress "corporate casual" for dinner in the MDR. Neat slacks, shoes, and long sleeve knit shirt - either traditional collar or cowl/turtle neck. I wear a small medical device on my belt, so I do not wear shirts that need to be tucked into my pants.

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We were a victim of lost luggage on our last cruise.  Our friends wanted to go The Restaurant the first night. I felt weird as I only had a T-shirt and jeans that I had been wearing for a couple days as we missed a connecting flight and arrived at the ship a day late.  We went to the World Cafe the next couple days until our luggage arrived.  Luckily my wife's friend had a nice blouse for her to wear.  

 

Jim

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I will throw in my two cents...on our Sky cruise last year we started off with khakis and dress shirts (for my DH) and by the end We were in jeans (nice ones do exist) Both black and blue ones and the same Oxford shirts for both The Restaurant and Manfredi’s. In DEC when we visit Sky again we aren’t even bringing the khakis. This time we will do jeans and some of those newer style of golf pants that are made of that moisture wicking fabric (light and easy to wash)
 

You have to check in with the MD at each restaurant so I’m so when/if there is a problem they will let you know. 
 

The casual nature of this Line along with the gorgeous surroundings makes Viking one of our favorites.

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I wonder if the gentleman in sweats had back issues.  I know for me and, also, my brother wearing pants can be terribly uncomfortable.  They put pressure on our backs.  I'm not making excuses as I did wear slacks and dresses but I just wonder if it's related to health issues for him.   If no one took the time to talk to him you would never know his story.

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On 10/10/2019 at 7:37 AM, The Other Tom said:

Thanks to all who have replied.  When I first posted, I assumed I'd be flamed for asking such a question, but it was just the opposite

On some forums like the HAL one, you would have been. HAL has allowed nice jeans in the MDR for several years, something most of the HAL forum posters have never accepted. I am looking forward to my first VO cruise next year and I am impressed by the servility of the  people in this forum. 

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On 10/10/2019 at 10:22 AM, Capt_BJ said:

there was a guy on the Midnight Sun trip we took who appeared to have packed nothing but sweats and jogging suits and not new ones at that. He was 'invited' to take all meals in the World Cafe . . . . 

 

So this talk about sweat pants in the MDR reminded me of a description of  Mr. Hagen's wardrobe in an April, 2019 Forbes article: says Hagen, who’s wearing his favorite black blazer, worn brown loafers and specially made jogging pants that have the pleats and cuffs sewn on so they look like dress pants. 

 

Maybe he was asked to to dine in the WC because he lacked the required "shirt with a collar." But we will never know for sure. In any case, we can kind of understand why the understated, march to my own drummer vibe is part of the package.

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