Cruise Elegant Events (Formal Night)

I will preface my question with the fact that this will be my first cruise ever, coming in Nov 2017, on Carnival.

So that I will know what to expect, is there a special event to meet the captain and officers during the Cruise Elegant night, or formal night? How popular/crowded is this event?
On this night, is the best time to have dinner early or late as far as minimizing impact of crowds?



Tags: Carnival Cruise Lines formal night

49 Answers


Bumping higherwill's post.

(we do this when we see the last person posting but the post isn't there. it's all good)

Unfortunately, I believe trenstravels might be correct: “We are seeing more and more causal cruisers on elegant night, wouldn't be surprised if it went away in the next few years.” It looks to me like Princess and Cunard are the only lines still maintaining "official" formal nights.

It appears to me that the entire industry is playing coy with this issue though. Heretofore dress codes were sort of stated like this "On festive formal evenings, women usually wear cocktail dresses or gowns and men usually wear business suits or tuxedos. In order to complement your fellow guests, we ask that you observe the suggested dress code throughout the entire evening." As a result, guests dressed "inappropriately" while sitting with others in more formal garb felt guilty and complained. Now, the official language runs something more like this for the same evening "For gentlemen, collared shirts and slacks are required in all fine dining restaurants." No more guilt.

A while back Princess sent out a questionnaire asking a select number of their faithful their thoughts on dropping "formal" nights. That was similar to the approach Celebrity took before dropping their formal designations. So I thought Princess was going to do the same, but nothing ever came of it.

When criticized for eliminating formal nights, most lines disagree and state you are free to dress in a tux if you want, and you always were able to use the MDR on formal nights without a suit or tux, you just couldn't wear something like a "polo" shirt though.

These evasive responses remind me of the heated exchanges among some Celebrity guests when they dropped formal. Here is one of them: One guy in response said: "I certainly won't miss "Formal" nights or the judgmental 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."

I've seen this issue debated over and over so many times on another site and it goes on and on. One faction refuses to sit with someone not dressed for the occasion while the other stands by their guns and rightly so, it's their vacation too and they'll dress in what is comfortable for them.

Seriously, if the cruise line wants to continue with these elegant nights, then maybe they should divide up the MDR one elegant section and one cruise casual and all will have their section. And if one section is full, they can stand in line and wait.

I will pack two suits, 4 shirts and 4 ties and will get a table for two and enjoy my meal with my DGF on elegant nights because she likes getting dressed up to go out to eat.

I understand both sides of this hotly debated topic and it's their vacation too. I have a great time walking around watching the couple's getting their pictures taken in their many posses and some are pretty.... well, young kids shouldn't be around.

well, hey. I posted a rant.

We enjoy being relaxed and dressing in casual attire while on vacation (not grungy or sloppy, just not dressy). On cruise elegant night, we eat at the buffet. We would feel out of place among all

the lovely gowns and nice suits/tuxes. We wouldn't go to an elegant restaurant at home dressed in casual clothes--what's so different about while we are on a ship?

I agree with others who have posted that the dress code is getting more relaxed for the elegant evening. We enjoy the MDR for dinner, not the Lido, and it's great to see so many different styles of dressing for dinner. Ive seen very few tuxes, but everything from dress pants and sports jackets to khakis, shorts and jeans on men. For the women, it's anywhere from gowns to capris, cocktail dresses, casual sundresses, and jeans. I like the diversity, and everyone seems so happy no matter what they are wearing.

Certainly no question about that. This is a much debated issue which will probably be around for some time. Similar to on board smoking. Although with so many lines becoming almost smoke free, that one is beginning to wane.

Like suggestions that smokers occupy one side or half the ship, splitting the MDR in two for formal and informal guests presents considerable logistical problems for the cruise lines. I was talking with a staff captain about this one time and the difficulties of managing a ship and trying to accommodate everybody’s personal preferences are not readily apparent at first blush, until one tries to deal with such.

My take on the formal dress situation is that most lines will eventually do completely away with it. Judging from my observation of pertinent comments in questionnaires and surveys leads me to believe about two thirds of today's cruise guests prefer casual all the time while one third likes to maintain the status quo and have formal nights throughout the ship. There are, of course, a significant segment within both contingents that are not overly adamant one way or another and will take what comes.

Watching the smoking policies play out over the years I noticed that about the time HAL became the only major player allowing balcony smoking in the North American market, only about 8% to 9% of their guests were smokers. Yet they held onto their smoking policy for about four years. So my guess is that when a major cruise line is willing to stick with a policy that is adverse to over 90% of their guests then perhaps at least one major line, or two, will continue to cater to 30% of their guests by allowing a few formal nights. I bet Cunard is going to be one of those.

OOOOOOO I am hungry already!!!

Formal nights are disappearing partly because of airline restrictions. IMHO. Packing extra clothes for one or two nights out of 7 or 10 is not worth the extra costs. If you are a family of 4, that could mean one extra piece of luggage.

There was a time you could rent a tux on board.

I think that on most lines they have an outside contractor who will deliver the tux prior to sailaway.

But at $100 per rental, its cheaper to pay the extra luggage.

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