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Cruise Ship Formal Night Attire

Alternative Dining Venues Speciality Dining

WHAT TO WEAR ON A CRUISE | *Real tips* for Day, Evening & Formal Nights

On most cruise ships youll find restaurants which are called speciality restaurants. These cost extra and are, in theory, meant to be of higher quality than the food in the main dining room. I have been to a number of speciality restaurants, all of which were very good but I still normally just eat the included food that Ive already paid for.

Speciality restaurants will often have a different dress code to that of the main dining room so if you didnt want to partake in the main dining room dress code on formal night speciality dining is a good option.

Some speciality restaurants will have more relaxed dress codes whereas some will have more strictly enforced codes, its important to research this before you go.

What Are Some Cruise Formal Wear Ideas

So what to add to that cruise packing list when it comes to what to wear on a cruise for elegant evening?

In general, its really up to you how formal you want to get.

There are people who really get into it and will wear more formal evening gowns.

And there are people who arent as formal.

I say this having been on over 80 Carnival cruises I think! I used to work on Carnival cruise ships so Ive been through a lot of formal nights!

So as long as you are some form of dressed up when you go to the main dining room, you wont feel out of place.

Cruise Formal Night Faq

Do you have to dress up for formal night on a cruise?

As long as you dont have dinner in the main dining room or a specialty restaurant with a formal night dress code, you dont need to dress up for formal night. Instead, you can eat at the buffet, a quick-service restaurant, or order room service.

Do men have to wear a jacket and tie for cruise formal night?

Some cruise lines do require a jacket and tie to enter the main dining room on formal night. Check your cruise lines formal night dress code for details.

Do women have to wear a dress for cruise formal night?

Cruise lines that have formal nights dont specify that women need to wear a dress on those evenings. Dressy evening separates, like an elegant top paired with a matching skirt or trousers are fine for formal night.

Do kids need to dress up for formal night on a cruise?

If your cruise line has formal nights, kids who are eating in the main dining room with their parents will need to adhere to the formal night dress code.

Which cruise lines dont have formal nights?

Several cruise lines dont have formal nights, including Norwegian Cruise Line, Virgin Voyages, Azamara, Oceania Cruises, Paul Gauguin Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas. However, there may be an optional dress-up night on your sailing.

Can you buy or rent formal wear on the cruise ship?

Many cruise lines offer tuxedo rentals, but you should reserve your tux at least several weeks before you sail.

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Carrie Ann

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What To Wear On Formal Night On A Cruise

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Have you booked a cruise that has a formal night or two? Formal night on a cruise can be a highlight of your vacation! But if you dont know what to wear on formal night, no worriesheres everything you need to know.

Read on to find out all about cruise formal nightfrom how to find out how many nights will be formal, what the formal night dress codes are for the major cruise lines, and what to do if the idea of dressing up on a cruise just isnt your thing.

Ive even put together some cruise formal night outfit ideas for men, women, and kids to inspire you!

Be sure to read my cruise formal night FAQ at the end for quick answers to the most frequently asked questions about formal night on a cruise.

In this article

What Are Formal Nights

What Cruise Clothing To Wear On Formal Night For Families

Formal nights are scheduled events during which passengers are encouraged to dress up in their finest attire. When most people think of formal night on a cruise ship, they picture men in tuxedos and women in ball gowns. Although this is not always the case , it is common for most cruises to host at least one formal night per week during the winter season (typically from November through March

Princess Cruise Lines formal nights are a great way to dress up, enjoy a delicious dinner and dance the night away. Formal nights are also a great opportunity for photography. Here are some tips on what to wear for formal night:

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How Fancy Is Formal Night

Despite the name, formal night is not nearly as fancy as you might think. Formal night is certainly the most dressed up evening attire required on your Royal Caribbean cruise, but it is not as ornate as you might imagine.

Evening wear for formal night will vary, and you will see some guests wearing tuxedoes and gowns. It is our observation that most guests tend to dress a bit less fancy than that, with men wearing suits or sports coats and women wearing cocktail dresses.

Essentially, it is clothing that is a bit nicer than you might wear on other nights of the cruise.

In practice, the dress code on any night is rarely enforced, so don’t expect any crew member to inspect what you have on. In fact, expect a lot of other guests to be dressed casually, regardless if it’s formal night or not.

If the idea of formal night really bothers you, the good news is you absolutely do not have to get dressed up on your Royal Caribbean cruise. The formal night dress code is only for the main dining room and specialty restaurants, so anywhere else on the ship is fair game for shorts, flip flops and tank tops.

The Windjammer and other quick service venues will be open and without any formal wear.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Dress Code on a Regent Seven Seas Cruise: Daytime attire aboard a Regent Seven Seas Cruise is typically casual and consists of resort-style clothing. After 6:00 pm, the dress code is almost always elegant casual, except for the final evening of each cruise, which allows passengers to dress in casual attire. Elegant casual requests passengers to wear slacks and collared shirts, blouses, sweaters, pantsuits, skirts, or dresses.

After 6:00 pm, t-shirts, jeans, tennis shoes, and shorts are not permitted in public areas of the ship, except for the pool.

Longer cruises have optional formal or semi-formal nights where passengers can wear elegant attire or a more formal look

Number of Formal Nights on a Regent Seven Seas Cruise:

  • 16 or more nights: 2 or more formal nights
  • Cruises less than 16 days are always elegant casual

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What Can I Wear Do I Have To Wear A Tux Or An Evening Gown

Perhaps the biggest question around formal night on a cruise is what to wear. Whats acceptable varies widely. And no, you dont have to go out and get a tuxedo or a formal evening gown unless you want to.

For instance, you can go all out and dress up in your best evening gown or tuxedo. And you will see some people around the cruise ship go this route. But you dont have to wear a tuxedo to enjoy the evening.

Women can simply wear a cocktail dress or a nice blouse with pants. For men, its fine to wear a suit, or even a buttoned-down shirt and a pair of slacks if you dont want to get too fancy. Nice jeans would also be ok, although wed suggest something slightly more dressy.

That said, not everything goes. There are some clothing items to avoid if you plan to eat in the dining room on formal night. This includes shorts, tank-tops, t-shirts, and swimsuits, as well as flip-flops. If youd wear it to the pool or the beach, you dont want to wear it to formal night.

  • Ok to Wear for Formal Night : Gowns, dresses, skirts, blouses with pants
  • Ok to Wear for Formal Night : Tuxedoes, suits, button-down shirts, slacks, nice jeans
  • Avoid Wearing : Shorts, tank tops, t-shirts, flip-flops

What To Wear On Princess Cruise Formal Nights

What To Wear On A Royal Caribbean Cruise

The first thing you should know about the dress code for formal night on Princess Cruises is that it is different for each ship. The second thing you should know about the dress code for formal night on Princess Cruises is that it is different from the dress code for other nights during your cruise. The third thing you should know about the dress code for formal night on Princess Cruises is that it does not have to be expensive or elaborate.

The fourth thing you should know about the dress code for formal night on Princess Cruises is that there are options available to anyone who wants them. The fifth thing you should know about the dress code for formal night on Princess Cruises is that there are no restrictions on how much skin can be shown by either men or women. The sixth thing you should know about the dress code for formal night on Princess Cruises is that there are no restrictions on how much skin can be shown by either

This is the time to get your best formal wear out and shine. Princess Cruises has several dress codes for formal nights, so its important to know what you should be wearing.

Princess Cruises has a very strict dress code policy. You will not be able to enter their restaurants or dining rooms if you do not comply with the dress code rules.

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The Best Cruise Lines For Dressing Up To Dinner

One of the great joys of cruising is the sense of occasion thatcomes when donning your best formal attire to join your fellowguests for dinner.

Whether it be a Captain’s dinner, farewell gala or simply aformal evening, for many it’s a highlight not to be missed.Although the current trend with many cruise lines is theintroduction of more informal dress codes, there are some that haveretained the classic approach. Here are four of ourfavourites…

What Should I Wear On A Cruise A Guide To Cruise Line Dress Codes

Cruise line dress codes are the subject of countless questions. What exactly is your cruise’s casual dress code? And what exactly does your cruise line consider formal enough for your formal night dress code? Few issues create as much confusion among cruisers as what they are allowed to wear onboard, especially the when and where of it all.

From a clean T-shirt and jeans to a jacket and tie, cruise line dress codes run the gamut from hyper casual to elegant . For example: You may be surprised to learn that high-end Viking Ocean Cruises dress code is closer to Norwegian Cruises’ dress code than to Seabourn’s. Or that the Royal Caribbean dress code may be enforced differently from ship to ship.

If you’re wondering what you should wear on a cruise, especially at night, here’s how each major cruise line would like you to dress. Once you’ve made it onboard, it’s important to know that most cruise lines reiterate the dress codes for specific times and venues in each day’s newsletter.

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How Will I Know When It Is Formal Night

Nothing would stop you in your tracks like heading down to dinner in a pair of shorts and then realizing everyone else is dressed up! Fortunately, youll get plenty of notice when it is formal night.

The most obvious spot will be with your daily cruise planner delivered to your cabin each day. There will be some mention of the dinner attire. It may be referred to as formal or cruise elegant or some other name. They all mean the same thing: Time to get dressed up!

As well, there are almost always announcements from the cruise director throughout the day sharing what is going on during the day and evening. They will usually mention it when it is formal night, so keep an ear out for announcements.

In the worst case, even if you dont see any notice at all, you will definitely not miss that many people are dressed up when you head to dinner that evening. That should give you a little time to head back to the room and dress up if you want to join in.

What Is The Dress Code Onboard All Ships

Formal Night Liberty Of The Seas

When youre onboard, the right look will vary by venue. But here are a few types of suggested attire youll see, grouped by item.

  • Casual: Youre on vacation relax! Jeans, polos, sundresses and blouses are all the right amount of laid back. Please keep swimwear to the Pool Deck. Shorts are welcomed for breakfast and lunch.
  • Smart Casual: Think of this as a step up from your typical dinner wear. Dress to impress with collared shirts, dresses, skirts and blouses, or pantsuits. Jackets, sports coats and blazers are snazzy and welcomed.
  • Formal: Make it a night out in your best black-tie look suits and ties, tuxedos, cocktail dresses or evening gowns. There can be 1-3 formal nights during a sailing and is at the ships discretion.

Formal nights

Think of our formal dress code as a night out in your best black-tie look suits and ties, tuxedos, cocktail dresses or evening gowns are all acceptable options. There can be 1 to 4 formal nights during a sailing and is at the ships discretion. Our Chefs Table dining experience also enforces a formal dress code policy.

  • 3/4/5 night cruises – 1 formal night*
  • 6 and 7 night cruises – 2 formal nights*
  • 8 to 10 night cruises – 2 formal nights*
  • 11 to 14 night cruises – 3 formal nights*
  • 15 + night cruises – 3 or 4 formal nights*

*The number of formal nights is at the ship’s discretion and can vary by itinerary.Main Dining Room/Specialty Dining Venues

Main Dining Room/Specialty Dining Venues

Casino Dress Code

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Dinner Or Smart Casual Attire

If youre having dinner in the main restaurant or any meal at one of the specialty restaurants, youll follow a smart casual dress code.

Womens smart casual dress code: Skirt, pants, or jeans with a casual top.

Mens smart casual dress code: Pants or jeans with a short-sleeve sport shirt.

Celebrity Cruises dress code for smart casual is fairly flexible, though there are some restrictions. T-shirts, swimsuits, robes, bare feet, tank tops, baseball caps, and pool wear are not allowed in the main restaurant or specialty restaurants at any time. In addition, shorts and flip-flops are not permitted during the evening hours.

The smart casual dress code works for all areas of the ship in the evening, including in bars and lounges and during shows and events at the ships theater.

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Other Names For Formal Nights:

In recent years a number of cruise lines have started to reduce the dress codes and formality of formal nights. On very few cruise lines will you see a night called a formal night anymore.

On other cruise lines, these may be called gala nights, elegant nights, or dress to impress nights. For the purposes of this article when talking about formal nights this means the most formal night of the cruise where many guests choose to dress nicely and some have photos taken with the captain.

On the majority of cruise lines wearing a shirt and trousers for men, and a dress or top/trousers combination for women is almost always enough for the formal night as dress codes have been increasingly relaxed.

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Do I Need To Dress Up At Any Other Time Than Formal Night

For the most part, the only time youll need to dress anything other than casual is if you participate in formal night. That said, there are some spots where some nicer clothes are a good idea.

Specifically, if you plan to visit any of the higher-end specialty restaurants on the ship, such as the steakhouse, then there may be a dress code.

Even if there is not, dressing up to fit the style of the restaurant is smart. So while its ok to dress casually at a burger joint on the ship, youll want to dress a little nicer if you go to the formal Italian or seafood spot for dinner.

Paul Gauguin Cruises Dress Code: A Bit Dressier But Be Ready For Polynesian Night

P& O IONA CRUISE SHIP | ALTERNATIVE Formal night dinner experience, whole restaurant to ourselves

What Paul Gauguin Cruises calls elegant resort wear is essentially a country club casual dress code and is requested for most evenings. Men should wear slacks and collared shirts, while women should don dresses, skirts or slacks with blouses or sweaters.

The line requests that passengers do not dress in casual wear, such as shorts, T-shirts, jeans that are frayed or with holes, baseball caps, flip-flops and Crocs in the evenings in restaurants and lounges. Bathing suits are likewise not permitted in the ship’s restaurants and lounges shirts and shoes must be worn in all indoor public areas.

At the once-per-cruise Captain’s Welcome Reception, some men choose to wear a jacket . There is also a Polynesian Night once every sailing, when passengers are encouraged to wear Polynesian-style attire, so pull out your tropical shirts and dresses.

Number of Paul Gaugin Cruises Formal Nights: There are no formal nights on Paul Gauguin cruises.

Nightly Casual Option on Paul Gauguin Cruises: Come evening time, it is country club casual in all public spaces and restaurants on Paul Gauguin ships.

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