Are Formal Nights Disappearing on Cruises?

We have all been noticing that many passengers no longer dress up for dinner in the MDR even on formal nights. One reason is the weight restrictions placed by the airlines. Also our society is just getting more casual. Well Celebrity, moving with the times, has just announced that it is eliminating formal nights starting next month on cruises after December 4. Instead the dressier nights will be called Evening Chic. Jackets and ties are no longer needed. Here is the link for more information:

I am happy to report, though, that lobster has not disappeared from their menu on these Evening Chic nights. How do you feel about this change?HappyCryingSurprised

Tags: Celebrity eliminates formal nights

26 Answers

I've seen people in the steakhouse on formal night wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Very disrespectful in my mind.

I'm happy not to have to pack a Tux or anything formal, I'm good in nice jeans and a dressy shirt. When sitting at the table nobody sees if I'm in jeans or slacks. Since I left the corporate world no need for a neck tie or a jacket. I'm om vacation to relax and have fun.

I'm glad to be seeing cruising move in this direction. If people want formal night they can go on Cunard. I don't force you to wear jeans don't force me to wear slacks, coat and a tie.

Just off Princess one week ago. Here is my pertinent comment regarding formal nights in my review of the voyage:

"Formal Nights--We do love formal nights, they had three on this cruise. Quite a few appear to prefer no formal nights at all. For us, it hearkens back to the days of yore, days of romantic ocean travel which many yearn for the return thereof. Those who shun the penguin suit nights try to avoid the MDRs in favor of the buffet and other venues. It appears that among those other "venues" the specialty high end restaurants are being targeted. So, Princess has responded by requiring formal dress in their specialty restaurants on formal nights, you have to agree to that or you get no reservation. They are supposed to not sit those who dress inappropriately. Humorously and coincidentally, as I was composing this review we had a formal night dinner reservation in the Crown Grill. Soon after being seated, there erupted a heated altercation between the maitre d' and a guest, the guest, dressed in a white short sleeve T-shirt with a collar, commonly called a "polo shirt", was getting the heave-hoe, and not liking it at all."

First order of business for us, after boarding, is to make reservations in the specialty restaurants on all formal nights. That allows us to enjoy what a formal night is all about and avoid any potential hassle that the MDR might subject us to.

It is the "formal" situation on other cruise lines that leaves us booking with Norwegian Cruise Line. Having seen videos and pictures of passengers dressed up to the nines in ball gowns and penguin suits, there is no way that my Wife would entertain cruising if every cruise line was like this. Cruising with NCL is exactly what we want. Casual wear and no formality at all.

It really has no bearing on my vacation. Whatever you wear (as long as I cannot see certain parts of your body) will not change my experience one bit. If I want to wear a tux and you want to wear jeans, the food and service does not change.

(Note that I am, however, fully supportive of some type of dress code. Ratty jeans, shorts and T-shirts, IMHO, cross the line)

Perhaps the lines could use a smaller dining facility for a real (Tux's or better) formal night for any interested passengers?

I agree that they can do away with Formal night but I do agree with BDRebel, there should be a minimum standard imposed and guests turned away if not met.

I work in the corporate world and wear a choker (aka: tie) daily and when I am on holidays, that is the last thing I want to pack. I do however wear a nice dress shirt and a pressed set of khakis. More than reasonable I believe.

However, I have seen many people dressed to the nines waiting to get in on "Formal" night and hats off to them.

I enjoy dressing up for formal night. I used to see the elegance of cruising in old movies, and I dreamed of being a part of that. Then came The Love Boat. Again, the cruisers dressed up. I'm old enough to appreciate dressing up and being seated in an elegant restaurant.

Sad to see Celebrity go this route. FROM: "Four- to six-night cruises have one formal night; seven- to eleven-night cruises have two; and Twelve- to fifteen-night cruises feature three. Celebrity Silhouette's passengers typically dress for the occasion, which means you'll see a fair share of suits and tuxedos on men, and cocktail dresses and gowns on women." TO: "The new dress code, which the line calls "evening chic", is dressier than the "smart casual" attire recommended for most evenings but less dressy than formal attire. The change, driven by the line's evolving passenger mix, is designed to enable passengers to express their own sense of sophistication where one couple might feel most glamorous in a tuxedo and gown, another might feel more elegant in a sport jacket and designer black jeans and a flirty sundress."

One guy in response said: "I certainly won't miss "Formal" nights or the judgemental posts on the boards. Does the way the guy next to you is dressed really affect your ability to enjoy your cruise? Sit back, pour the wine, raise a glass to the good ol' days and enjoy the dinner you didn't have to cook."

A lady responded: "I also don't have to cook at McDonalds - doesn't mean I want to eat there. And NO - I don't want to wear a formal evening gown at the same table while you are in jeans. What a joke that makes for all."

This all reminds me of the time we were on HAL in traditional seating. For some reason they put us with two other couples who had full "Neptune Suites", we had the simple equivalent of a mini-suite. We got along okay and dressed well on formal nights, I was the only one with a tux though. Half way through the voyage they saddled us with another couple, who had one of the big Pinnacle, 1500 sq foot, suites. The first formal night he came dressed with a cheap wrinkled Hawaiian shirt and reeking of sweat.

I can take or leave formal nights. It really does not matter to me. I take formal wear and I wear it when going to specialty restaurants or the MDR. If I'm not in the mood on formal night I go buffet. With that said, I really don't mind what other folks wear as long as it is in good taste.

I can understand how you feel. I would hate to wear a tie on vacation if I were a male. For mysel, I will wear what I always wear for formal nights on the Evening Chic nights - dressy pants and a dressy top. Perhaps cut back a bit on jewelry and fancy shoes and bag. I was at a cruise cocktail party tonight for my next cruise on HAL. These people did not feel as we do. They were quite upset.

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