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 guess if we all just have respect for each other we can get along better as far as dress code is concerned. I have found that sometimes the passengers with the most money feel that the rules don't apply to them because they have spent so much money on their cruise. They are the hardest to please. Rude behavior come in all forms.

I agree about no ratty jeans, tee shirts or cutoff shorts.

Remember when the ships had a storefront to rent a tux and buy a corsage ?

I don't think I want to see the formal night experience disappear, but I would like to see it be an option.

Concierge-style of cruising should include dining option preference when reservations are made just like when you select your preferred bed configuration and dining time.

Some might argue that this would be challenging for existing ships... but I think not.

For example, on Celebrity ships, there is a small capacity dining area "Luminae" intended for suite guests. Part of any MDR could be separated in this manner for the purpose of formal dinner service for those who appreciate and desire this on a cruise.

This sort of partition is very manageable on most of the big ships afloat today. If constructed correctly, the partition could be movable to accommodate more or less volume. If that were undesirable, then the capacity could be a set number of passengers and assignment to this area of MDR would be FCFS.

In any event, formal night is fun. We enjoy it within the limitations that we are faced with today due to physical disability. We would hate to lose out on having the op of formal night in the MDR simply because my husband cannot physically get into a dinner jacket. To us, that crosses the line into unnecessary and uncalled for snobbery.

I think another reason people don't dress up for a formal night has to do with the airline luggage restrictions. The extra weight of suits ( men and women ) could cost you at the airport. For the most part, I pack a jacket, a nice pair of pants, ( maybe a nice pair of jeans ) 2 dress shirts, 2-3 ties, and a pair of shoes. As long as I don't spill anything, that's good for 4 nights. Right after dinner I go back to the cabin and change clothes.

I agree with you about the weight restrictions when travelling. On Princess we had 2 suitcases each because they were long cruises with formal nights. Expensive for flights, while the last and the next will be a good sport coat and only on bag per person as it cost way to much now.

My tux with dress shoes weighs less than four pounds which is about the same as my suit. If we are on a cruise, which involves almost all port days or no formal nights, we only pack a sport coat and dress pants. The weight hasn't been a factor for us since we each are allowed two free 50 pound check in bags in coach on Alaska Airlines due our perks. We get by with 2.5 bags total for most cruises under 3 weeks and on which I usually bring my tux. As for our international connections we almost always book business class anymore.

I realize the extra weight is a problem for many. Even my Regent representative suggested that as one of the reasons Regent was cutting back on formal attire. Sometimes I think though it is more of an excuse than a logical reason. Anyway, not to argue the point, but I do find it rather bizare and humorous at times when I hear arguments like this---On another thread suggestions were being made as to how to hold the cost of meals down when traveling. More than one suggested packing food in your suitcase. For instance"

Poster about a frugal friend: "When they went to Hawaii for a week they took extra suitcases full of food. When we went to Victoria BC they made sure the motel we were staying at had a kitchenette, they bought a huge pot of spaghetti for dinner every night, along with everything to make lunch. When they come up to Alaska they always bring a suitcase or two full of food."

Me: "Bringing groceries up in your suitcase from the lower 48, come on now. Half the cruisers are bellyaching anymore about the restricted check in airline luggage situation, so they can't afford to put nice clothes in for formal nights, and now I read they are putting groceries in their suitcases. Wow."

I think that with cruising now being for the masses and the working world going business casual that a lot of people just do not own formal clothing anymore. Now that I'm fully retired I only keep one or two suit's. When I was working I'd keep a dark suit that I called by "WIF" suit, (Wedding, Interview and Funeral suit). The last job that I needed to be in a suit everyday was in 1999. Since then it is Dockers and a polo shirt for any contract jobs I took, even with a fortune 100 company in a professional position in down Town L.A. it was Dockers and a polo shirt.

I can understand that people do not want to go out and buy a suit for one or two nights on a vacation. It is more expensive for women to get a dress, shoes, hair done and jewelry. Mom used to say the ship would hold off on formal night so all the ladies would have to go to the beauty shop on the ship for hair setting before the formal nights to bring in $ for the beauty shop on board. (that was long ago when women had their hair set every week)

If people want to dress up on cruise formal nights good for them. I don't as I am on vacation. We eat on lido deck on formal nights. In the steak restaurant they have one casual night and we eat there then. What gets me is when we are eating on the lido deck some WHALE male or female in a string bikini or tong comes thru on the way to the pool...gross.some people need to cover up. I never go in a pool as I don't have the shape. We get our food and go to our cabin during formal night

Formal nights are a cruising tradition and a lot of people dress up and seem to enjoy it.


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