Dress over Holidays



We have cruised several times over the Christmas holidays with our children and noticed the dress was on some ships a bit more formal or dressy during the holidays. This year we are cruising on the Zaandam over Christmas. We understand that HAL has two formal nights on a 7 night cruise. However, what is the "real" dress expectation on the other nights. We have no problem dressing for dinner and have done so on other lines but want to fit into the program. Looking forward to the first time HAL cruise.

Thanks, Hal Morris


Here is the real dress code for HAL, do they enforce it, not all the time.
You will see that they do not even have you wearing a suit anymore, only a jacket and tie.


"Evening dress falls into three distinct categories. Each night a daily program will be delivered to your stateroom announcing the suggested dress for the following evening. Comfortable, relaxed clothing is fine for evenings designated as casual; however, T-shirts, jeans, swimsuits, tank tops and shorts are not allowed in the dining room, Lido restaurant, or public areas during the evening hours. During informal nights, dresses or pantsuits for women and jackets (tie optional) for men are standard.

On festive formal evenings, women usually wear cocktail dresses or gowns and men usually wear business suits or tuxedos. There are approximately two formal nights per week. (Gentlemen: Although business suits or tuxedos are suggested attire for formal evenings, they are certainly not required. You are welcome to wear a jacket and tie on formal nights.) Formalwear for ladies and gentlemen can be pre-ordered for your use for the duration of your cruise. Just call Cruise Line Formalwear at 800-551-5091 to reserve and it will be ready in your stateroom when you board.

In order to complement your fellow guests, Holland America asks that you observe the suggested dress code throughout the entire evening."


On a 7 night cruise, it's 2 formal, 1 informal, and the rest casual. Although, I was on a HAL cruise once where they changed the informal to casual, so we had 2 formal and the rest casual.


We have cruised often over the holidays and it seems to me folks dress up a bit more. We were on Amsterdam for the Christmas and New Years cruises last year, and most pax were quite dressed on formal nights. Those cruises were lovely! We have had wonderful HAL holiday cruises.