Formal nights? Or not?

Queen of the WDW Screne

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My parents went on a 15 night cruise in October/November and honestly they were a bit disappointed in the lack of formal nights.

10 years ago when you absolutely needed several formal outfits they actually had to purchase a couple of things because their lifestyle did not warrant them ever having clothing THAT fancy.

Since then they only ever wore their formal attire on NYE.

They were excited to wear it on a cruise again until the friend they were going with who goes on cruises all the time said you can now wear jeans/t-shirts/shorts/tank tops to dinner.

My dad did bring his suit and sports coats anyways and my mom brought a couple of nicer dresses/sparkle tops but nothing super fancy and they did wear them on "chic" nights.

They said it did feel a bit too casual when they saw girls in daisy dukes and tube tops in the main dining room but they figured well at least they looked dressy lol.
 

HauntedPirate

Sheltered-at-home Park nostalgist
Premium Member
I see nothing wrong with having a formal night. I will typically wear a polo shirt and jeans to dinner on other nights, but I don't really like the trend towards anything-goes as far as dining apparel is concerned.
 

Maelstrom Troll

Well-Known Member
We just got back from a 7 night E Caribbean cruise on the Fantasy and surprisingly we saw a much better dressed crowd than usual. A lot of couples wore slacks, sport or dress shirts, dresses, and evening jackets to the rotational dinners. We did dress up for Formal Night (and Remy) but I wore mostly polo shirts/sport shirts and shorts for the regular rotation.
Over the years we have really paired down our packing list and are down to one checked bag and our carry-ons. I read on the Brooks Bros website how to fold a suit for travel and had great success even with a cheaper Jos Banks suit. No wrinkles, no deformation, and much easier than bringing a suiter.
 

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Phonedave

Well-Known Member
I miss it on cruises, but oddly I don't miss it at work.

I work for a Fortune 50 company. Jeans were never worn. Now, our CEO shows up on stage wearing jeans, sneakers, and a T-Shirt. It is also about the image the company is projecting. As I said, I'm all for it at work, it makes things much easier when I can wear jeans and shirt as opposed to slacks.

But, I still miss it on cruises. To me, the formal nights are a special event, and warrant dressing up. Work is not a special event, so I don't feel like I miss it at work.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
I love cruising but hate dressing up. I hate, hate, hate wearing dresses or skirts and pants and a blouse are not perceived as "dressy" for woman. What I find to be hypocritical is that the only reasons that the cruise lines have formal nights now is to make money on the pictures. They could care less what you wear to dinner otherwise every night would require formal wear. We sail DCL and always pair our cruise with a stay at the parks making our trip at least 2 weeks long. We don't want to have to pack 3 more fancy outfits along with 3 more pairs of shoes since we are limited to only 2 suitcases for the 3 of us. I think that if someone wants to dress up, great! Dress up and enjoy your evening. I doubt that anyone needs to be pulling up the table cloth and looking to see if I am wearing a skirt to enjoy their dinner.
 

Nunu

Well-Known Member
I don't mind formal nights. Some people enjoy dressing up on cruises.

For those who prefer to keep things relaxed, there's always the option to have a casual buffet dinner on formal nights.
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
I love them. An excuse to wear old prom dresses that I only wore once before... or shouldn’t have bought in the first place... and feel like a princess for a night. I’m the opposite of many I suppose: I dislike pants. I’d much prefer a dress or skirt. More comfortable!

Definitely found we look overdressed compared to others though. But we enjoy it and do get some compliments amidst the “looks” ;).
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
I don't mind formal nights. Some people enjoy dressing up on cruises.

For those who prefer to keep things relaxed, there's always the option to have a casual buffet dinner on formal nights.
If we are talking about DCL, they don't want all of the people that do not dress up to skip the main dining room. That is why they are just fine with people not dressing up. They plan on the majority of the cruisers to use the MDR and do not have enough space or staff at Cabanas to feed all of those that do not want to dress up. There is no way for them to know ahead of time who is going to dress up so they can not possibly plan on what to order for food. It seems like there are only a small handful of you people who are more interested in what others are wearing then just enjoying time with your own family.
 

Nunu

Well-Known Member
If we are talking about DCL, they don't want all of the people that do not dress up to skip the main dining room. That is why they are just fine with people not dressing up. They plan on the majority of the cruisers to use the MDR and do not have enough space or staff at Cabanas to feed all of those that do not want to dress up. There is no way for them to know ahead of time who is going to dress up so they can not possibly plan on what to order for food. It seems like there are only a small handful of you people who are more interested in what others are wearing then just enjoying time with your own family.
I see your point, and just to clarify, we're anything like the people you refer to, on the contrary, we're very relaxed folks, specially while on vacation. :)

I was just trying to convey that there's the buffet option too. We've had dinner buffets at Cabanas a couple of times when we don't feel like changing clothes for dinner.

If there's something aplenty at cruiseships, it's food. We've always found plenty of selections to choose from at Cabanas, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
I see your point, and just to clarify, we're anything like the people you refer to, on the contrary, we're very relaxed folks, specially while on vacation. :)

I was just trying to convey that there's the buffet option too. We've had dinner buffets at Cabanas a couple of times when we don't feel like changing clothes for dinner.

If there's something aplenty at cruiseships, it's food. We've always found plenty of selections to choose from at Cabanas, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Cabanas does not, and never has had dinner buffet. They have a limited seated dinner that you can show up to during a select time. Their whole dining concept is to get everyone into the main dining room. A big part of the cruise for us is the food. The formal night dinner menu is good and I am going there with the whole, "I paid for it so I should be able to eat it". Nowhere does Disney Cruise line state that you HAVE to dress up. In fact, they state the opposite that it is completely optional. I still don't get why anyone cares what someone else wears. Are you looking under the tables to check to see if someone has their fancy pants on? Just as long as everyone is covered properly and are not being offensive, why does it matter? I know we don't spend our dinner time looking around at everyone else.
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
Cabanas does not, and never has had dinner buffet. They have a limited seated dinner that you can show up to during a select time. Their whole dining concept is to get everyone into the main dining room. A big part of the cruise for us is the food. The formal night dinner menu is good and I am going there with the whole, "I paid for it so I should be able to eat it". Nowhere does Disney Cruise line state that you HAVE to dress up. In fact, they state the opposite that it is completely optional. I still don't get why anyone cares what someone else wears. Are you looking under the tables to check to see if someone has their fancy pants on? Just as long as everyone is covered properly and are not being offensive, why does it matter? I know we don't spend our dinner time looking around at everyone else.

Some of us do care. We like the atmosphere. We like the fact that other people care about the atmosphere as well.

It is not that hard to dress up nicely. All these excuses about it being uncomfortable or too much to pack are laughable. People don't have to wear a different pair of 6 inch heels and a ball gown each night. A pair of flats works just fine, and nice pants on anybody is perfectly acceptable.

Now DCL does state that their policy is optional, so people are indeed free to show up as they want. Because that is their policy, I cannot fault the people for doing so. However, it does play into the fact that I don't sail DCL anymore. Of course it is not the only reason, but it is one of them. I much prefer cruise lines where people who show up to formal night wearing a graphic T get politely asked to back to their state room and change.

It's not like this is any great surprise, you know the policy when you book a cruise.
 

Surfin' Tuna

Well-Known Member
It never ceases to amaze me how passionate some people get about this topic. We no longer dress up on formal night(s) on the cruises, but I do not begrudge those who do. We do not, however, show up dressed like slobs to the dining rooms. As much as people should not judge us for choosing not to wear a fancy clothes, we should respect them enough to at least put on a nice pair of slacks or skirt, and a nice top. I'm just not going to bring a suit on vacation at this point in my life, but I'm also not going to wear shorts and a t-shirt on formal night. Their are people who look forward to dressing up and I now the shorts and a tee shirt put a damper on their evening. It's not a major inconvenience for me to wear pants.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
It never ceases to amaze me how passionate some people get about this topic. We no longer dress up on formal night(s) on the cruises, but I do not begrudge those who do. We do not, however, show up dressed like slobs to the dining rooms. As much as people should not judge us for choosing not to wear a fancy clothes, we should respect them enough to at least put on a nice pair of slacks or skirt, and a nice top. I'm just not going to bring a suit on vacation at this point in my life, but I'm also not going to wear shorts and a t-shirt on formal night. Their are people who look forward to dressing up and I now the shorts and a tee shirt put a damper on their evening. It's not a major inconvenience for me to wear pants.
I have never seen anyone have an issue with someone that wants to dress up. No one has a problem with that. It is the other way around, where those who do not dress up are the ones that are "ruining" the ambiance for those who do. I don't care if someone dresses up or not. I don't go around being the clothes patrol and I barely notice the other people when in the dining room. Unless they make some kind of ruckus, I couldn't tell you what someone is wearing, or what they look like.
 

C&D

Well-Known Member
The article above, uses the words: "grand cruising"; well quite a few of the cruises offered (from most cruise lines) really aren't 'Grand' anymore; more like family vacation, which has also accompanied the rise of the cruise industry. I do still like the formal night suggestion (and do dress for them), however I can see that a family having to pack for an additional set of clothing could/might be cumbersome. With this said, I firmly believe that the evening meal, at the main dining rooms, should maintain to a dress code though not necessarily formal; after all, cruise-casual is fairly well defined and shouldn't be a burden to anyone.
 

Maelstrom Troll

Well-Known Member
I’m not the clothes patrol either, but the 17 year old that comes in with cutoffs and a crop top to Animator’s Palette will get some looks from people. I think there should be some form of dress code enforced.
Clothes patrol no, but I wish DCL had a swimsuit patrol 😂

Nothing worse than being crammed in on the AquaDuck stairs behind a........cheeky swimsuit 🍑
 

Phonedave

Well-Known Member
Which cruise line is this?
I have seen it done on Celebrity. However, Celebrity changed their "Formal Nights" to "Evening Chic" nights now. According to the Evening Chic dress code, designer jeans and a dressy top for women or a dress shirt for men (or the other way around if you want I guess) is now OK. Still, no shorts, no t-shirts
 
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