Dressing for gala nights

I want to pack as light as possible for my Alaska cruise. I know that a dress shirt/dress slacks is acceptable on gala nights, but will I look out of place and get shamed if I show up for dinner in less than a suit?

Tags: Holland America Line Nieuw Amsterdam

10 Answers

I haven't cruise on Holland America, but according to their website, what you plan to wear on the gala evening is acceptable. If anyone shames you, they are the ones acting rude and inappropriate, not you since you are adhering to the dress code.

Hope you enjoy your cruise.

HAL is an older crowd with lots of loyal cruisers so they may dress a bit more then say RCI or Carnival. I say dress as you like. If you want to dress it up a bit more you can always add a tie (not much room to pack one) and gives a more dressy look. A well pressed shirt and tie looks nicer then a wrinkled jacket IMHO.

You could always pack one or two outfits for formal nights and casual for the rest of the nights and make a decision on board. That way you have something to change into and you can see what the other cruisers are wearing.

I do not think you will be shamed. I have seen folks come dressed in polos. On Holland you will see everything from Gowns and Tuxes to like i said polo shirts. Dress shirt & slacks you will be fine. Enjoy your cruise!

On an average Alaska cruise there is hardly any time for elegant evenings on most cruises, with so many ports and so few sea days few even bother bringing along dress clothes, us included. Meaningless for most I realize, but for us, formal attire hearkens back to the days of yore, days of romantic ocean travel which a few still yearn for the return thereof. I don't have the heart to tell my wife about the degree of this trend away from dress up, until I can find a new cruise line that still caters to guests who like formal attire. I'm looking hard for a line that hasn't acquiesced to the polo shirt trend, but not much luck. Cunard might be the last holdout but we have never been on them.

We have only cruised on HAL, Princess and Regent. Haven't been on HAL now for a few years and it looks like Princess might be considering doing away with formal like Celebrity and HAL did. Regent has done away with it too, even though, with their amble tables for two in every venue, one can feel a little bit comfortable dressing up regardless of the dress code for that evening. However, I'm looking hard for a line that hasn't acquiesced to the polo shirt trend, but not much luck.

It appears to me that the entire industry is currently playing coy with this issue in order to have it both ways. Heretofore dress codes were described something 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." So, guests dressed inappropriately while sitting with others in formal garb felt guilty. Now, the language runs something more like this for the same evening: "For gentlemen, collared shirts and slacks are required in all fine dining restaurants. (Note: short sleeve polo shirts are the minimum dress with this standard)" No more guilt.

In summary, dress as you want at any time and don't feel ashamed.

My husband intends to wear dark slacks, v neck dark long sleeve sweater, dress shirt, and tie to our upcoming HAL Alaska tour for the same reason. This worked well on our last HAL cruise that also had casual ports. We have taken enough dressed up pictures. Now only take suits if will use them in cities in Europe we have an extended stay in.

I cruise on HAL regularly. Although my husband always brings a suit, I see plenty of passengers wearing a dress shirt & nice trousers. This is especially true on Alaskan cruises. A nice v-neck sweater could complete the outfit. You will, I am sure find others so dressed on gala nights. believe me you won't be the only one. Relaz & enjoy your cruise.

*Cruiseline.com is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. Cruiseline.com does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. Cruiseline.com is not responsible for content on external web sites.