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Whatever has happened to the formal in formal night??

Discussion in 'Royal Caribbean International' started by sheilauk, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. sheilauk

    sheilauk Guest

    Gayle V and Cruisebuddy brilliant posts. I have written to RC and have also spoken to them. When i spoke to them they admitted that 'yes it was becoming a problem and they are looking into it' I have also followed up my call with letter and email. The more who do this maybe we might get a result.
  2. cruisebuddy

    cruisebuddy Guest

    Thanks, Sheilauk, and you are correct. Don't just sit and grumble, SAY SOMETHING! Again, I don't have a problem with someone who doesn't want to dress up on formal night (ok, yes I do), but at the very least, adhere to the posted attire rules. That's all I ask.

    Hope to see you on my next cruise, sheilauk. Better yet, hope you are at our table!

    BTW - a guy can purchase a complete tux for about $150 at JCPenney. A nice dress (not necessarily a formal) can be purchased on the cheap anywhere. No excuse in my book.
  3. lizardstew

    lizardstew Guest

    This is such a hot-button topic and I always cringe when I see dress code related topics.

    My husband and I love to dress for formal night. He either brings his suit or rents a tux onboard. I have half a closet full of "cruise clothes" and buy more whenever I find them on sale. That being said...I don't really care what other people wear on formal night. I wish they would dress according to the suggested guidelines (and that's what they are on RCCL, suggested guidelines, not RULES) but I'm not going to get bent if they don't.

    My dad and his girlfriend are taking their first cruise in September. They're going to Alaska to celebrate her birthday. Dad lives in jeans and very casual shirts. He feels uncomfortable in dressy clothing. In almost 35 years, I've seen him in a suit/tux once - at my first wedding. It was like pulling teeth to get him to agree to that. (My second wedding was on the beach, and he was thrilled to find out he could wear jeans, a Hawaiian shirt and no shoes!)

    His girlfriend really, really wants to go to the formal nights on the cruise. She even compromised and said they could do one instead of the two. He realizes that this is important to her, so he's willing to dress up even if he will not be comfortable. He told me that he's going to go to a second hand store and look for something appropriate there. It's not a money issue for him, but an issue of buying something the might never wear again. (Although I have a feeling this won't be their last cruise....)

    My point is that you don't have to spend a lot of money on clothing for cruises. Those that say "this is all I have" aren't really tring very hard. They sell suits at Target now. I've never paid more than $40 for any of my formal gowns because I get them at places like Ross or on sale at Dillards.
  4. Libby

    Libby Guest

    If there weren't alternatives to other places to eat on formal night - that would be one thing. But with the windjammer, room service, etc. people still can eat those nights, and have good food. The rules/guidelines need to be inforced - some of the ships do a better job than others. They no more would let someone into to windjammer without shoes on (a rule)! and so they should be as firm as 'no formal dress, no dining room entrance. I'm not a snob, but when people come in with bermudas, baseball caps on backwards, and t-shirts, they're telling me they are more important than the rules and the people who follow them, and that's wrong. More people need to let RCCL know how they feel.
  5. mailew

    mailew Guest

    Since 1992 my better-half and I have enjoyed RCI ships like no others. In fact we have over 10 cruises on RCI ships. We always enjoy formal nights, or at least we used too. I guess you can count on us to be die-hard in our thinking since my wife loves to get all dressed in her formal gowns, and I wear my tux or dinner jacket to please her.Through the years we have been more and more dissapointed by the number of fellow cruisers who choose to ignore the dress code.Formal nights are special and on the last 7 day cruise we could count on our 16 fingers and 4 thumbs the number of people in formal attire.I must agree with other posters here on the forum that RCL should enforce the dress code to be at least a dark(Black or dark blue suit for men and formal or dressy attire for the ladies.)For those who "ain't gonna be told what I can wear to diner" few,show them the way to the buffet.We have a 12 day sea journey coming up and I have aready gotten my tux let out around the waist in anticipation of the food on board.
  6. Libby

    Libby Guest

    It never hurts to let the Maitre 'D know on the first night, and they do have presence walking around making sure everyone is settled in their assigned seats and are happy .... what your expectations are. Again - as a high ranking part of the management team - they can have a lot to say about the enforcement of the rules. We'll be on a 12 night cruise in Europe in the fall - where they tend to be a little more formal, but I know I'll be mentioning it.
  7. Travel itis

    Travel itis Guest

    It kills me that people debate this only for cruises. If a land restaurant requires jackets and ties, then it's a given, and they turn people away at the door or have a few complimentary jackets and ties to loan gents for dinner. Do people carry on about it or expect the dress code to be enforced? Why would a dress code for the main dining room be different than any other restaurant? If you don't like the dress code, it's no big deal. There are other dining options on the ship. It's just like on land.
  8. cruisebuddy

    cruisebuddy Guest

    Amen, Travel itis! What's the problem? If you were on vacation in Beverly HIlls and wanted to go to Spago's, you're gonna dress accordingly, or you're not going! I just don't understand it.

    Let me also add that there are several of you who have posted on this particular topic that I would honored to sit with on my next cruise, including Libby, sheilauk and mailew!
  9. chell75

    chell75 Guest

    OH NO!! Now I am terrified about going on a cruise!

    What exactly is formal attire for a female? Can a nice dress, nylons and heals do? Or does it have to be fancy (like prom attire?)

    I have fomal wear right now, but I know it wont fit in 7 months.See I am on a new meal and exercise plan (I refuse to call it a diet! LOL) and have been losing 5-7 pounds a month. We are spending $2500 on the cruise but would hate to spend a ton of extra money on a dress I can only wear once. I will not go to formal night in jeans or pants, I would maybe buy a $30-$40 dress from Sears or JCPennys. Man, that makes me seem cheap, but it the whole why spend money on a piece of clothing that will only fit for 2 months tops. And does a man have to wear a tux? Can he wear a button down long sleeve white shirt with a tie and black slacks? Is that acceptable formal attire? And are kids allowed? My daughter will be 5 then.

    Please know, I am not asking this to be rude to anyone. I just want to know how to dress without ruining everyones else night.:)
    We live in a small town that does not have formal anything. The last time I went someone formal was our wedding 6 years ago! But I would HATE to miss out on formal night, my hubby is looking forward to the food! LOL.

    Thanks for any advice. :)
  10. Libby

    Libby Guest

    Oh, don't worry - formal is considered something nice, special. I've seen everything from what some people might wear to church, or long black pants with a fancy top. Some people really go all out ..... and get real dressed up. My husband sometimes wheres a tux, but more often wears dark slacks, a tie and a suit jacket. Because there are sometimes two formal nights - I like taking black slacks and two different tops. You'll fine!
  11. Luv_Dance

    Luv_Dance Guest

    17f and been on 7 cruises and counting down for my 8th. I personally think that we should respect the formal night attire, some people are just really boring and dont dress up for the occasion. I love RCI even though i must say that they should re enforce the dress code on formal nights.
  12. Travel itis

    Travel itis Guest


    Don't fret about the formal nights. You can do it on the cheap, show off the progress of your fitness plan, and look like a million bucks! When you get close to the cruise, try to pick up an inexpensive, long, black skirt (tea or full length). Black makes everything look expensive, and you can mix and match blouses already in your wardrobe. Just my personal opinion, but if you go knee-length, then I think the top needs to be a bit more formal than if the cut of the skirt is longer. I found one at Marshall's for under $15. I got another one (dif size) on eBay. Now that one on eBay ($15 shipped) was an Ann Taylor, like new, and it retailed for over $100. I know this for a fact, because my SIL's bridesmaids bought that exact skirt. Another Marshall's deal I got was a beaded white top for $20 (regularly well over $100).

    Formal for a man really does mean a jacket but not necessarily a tux. If he's military, they have dress uniforms, which is what my dh wears. He'll usually packs a dark suit and his dress uniform. However, if he doesn't own (and can't borrow) a jacket, then go with the dark slacks, tie, and long sleeved shirt. The people who violate formal night who are irritating are the ones who dress like it's casual night. I don't think any of us are griping about men wearing ties but not a jacket.

    Kids are absolutely allowed always in the dining room! This is your chance to dress her really cute and get a great family portrait. Cruise portraits are less expensive than going to a local studio, and it's so painless to get your pic taken on the way to dinner, as opposed to getting fixed up expressly for the purpose of a picture. We had fun with formal nights, dressing our family to coordinate. We did a red and black night and a white and black night. The boys wore black suits (eBay and so cheap) and black ties, and we just changed the shirts. I already had a red and a white shirt to go with my black skirt. I picked up a dress for my dd (under $20 shipped - eBay). The kids got plenty o f use out of their clothes wearing them to church.
  13. phinnb

    phinnb Guest

    Wow! What is really sad here is that if RCL did enforce their own rules, none of this post would be happening. I personally love to get dressed up once in awhile, and my husband doesn't own a tux, but he will have a 3 piece suit on for formal night. Too bad RCL can't find a way to resolve this problem for everyone. What's wrong with someone at the door to the dining room saying, "sorry, formal dress only in this room tonight". Afraid they won't cruise again? I hardly doubt that. I don't really care how someone else likes to dress, but I do care if they follow the rules. Perhaps RCL and other lines should not make suggestions, perhaps they should state it is the dress code to dine in this room. Make a rule, follow it. Simple.
  14. Gayle V

    Gayle V Guest

    Chell, Travel itis is right that you don't have to spend a lot to be formal. You may have something that will do already. Most women own the proverbial "little black dress" that can be dressed up for the occasion. It does not have to be floor length and certainly doesn't have to cost a fortune. Just add some silky hose and heels, and your showiest bling (doesn't need to be real either) and you'll be ready to go. If you do buy something, remember that floor length may automatically look formal, but short can be formal too if it's dressy material, or merely if it's all black. On most formal nights the color for the night seems to be black. I'm sure you can find something you'll be able to use again.

    As for your little one, any cute party dress would be ok for her. And if you do buy a full length gown, and want the little one to wear one too, just go to e-bay, and type in flower girl dress, and include the size, like this "flower girl dress 4T" There will be hundreds of dresses that must have cost someone a fortune, but you can get them for maybe 1o or 15 dollars plus delivery.

    As for your hubby, that's a bit harder. I'm sorry, but I firmly believe the minimum qualification for calling a man's clothing formal is that it be at least a suit. Every adult man should own a dark suit for weddings, and funerals, interviews and events like this. JMHO

    That being said, it does sound from the boards that some men are showing up in much less, especially on Carnival cruises and apparently on RCI cruises too. So he probably won't look or feel so out of place in a shirt and tie on one of those ships, if that is all he'll wear. You will find a greater tendency to dress down on the shorter cruises also.
  15. cruisebuddy

    cruisebuddy Guest


    Take it from a guy, if your partner does have/like/want to wear a tux, not a problem. A suit jacket and tie is cool. Then again, I would think even a shirt and tie would be acceptable. For me, though, my wife and I do two to three cruises a year, and I love wearing a tux, so I bought one. I got a used Perry Ellis from my tux shop for $100. Talk about a steal! Vests/ties/shirts can be purchased at JCPenney. Don't mind me, I'm one of those GQ wannabees!

    Dressing up just adds a bit more class to a cruise. It's something that we as a society today just don't do much of anymore.

    Oh, and my wife says to hit JCPenney the week before your cruise and get a nice dress, you'll be all set.

    Have a great time!
  16. sheilauk

    sheilauk Guest

    Just to update you all on my progress with RC on the subject of formal nights! Well basically they said......too sensitive a subject for their waiters to have to deal with and gave me £150 on board credit! I have replied and thanked them for their offer to shut me up. I pointed out to them that other cruise lines can do it so why cant they.I await a reply............ I urge all those who agree with me to write to RC about this matter as whilst they are aware of it becoming a problem as far as they can see it isnt one yet. I also have warned them that if anyone is on my table at formal nights inappropriately dressed (open necked shirts etc) i shall ask for them to be removed. If people are going to be obstinate about dress codes then i shall be as well!
  17. boba

    boba Guest

    =twocents I've got 3 suits from Sears clearance sales for less than $100 each. They're not Armani,but I do look good.:)P). I don't get the people who dress down for formal night. I think they just do it to be differant.=huh
  18. Cruizer

    Cruizer Guest

    [quote sheilauk]Just to update you all on my progress with RC on the subject of formal nights! Well basically they said......too sensitive a subject for their waiters to have to deal with and gave me £150 on board credit! I have replied and thanked them for their offer to shut me up. I pointed out to them that other cruise lines can do it so why cant they.I await a reply............ I urge all those who agree with me to write to RC about this matter as whilst they are aware of it becoming a problem as far as they can see it isnt one yet. I also have warned them that if anyone is on my table at formal nights inappropriately dressed (open necked shirts etc) i shall ask for them to be removed. If people are going to be obstinate about dress codes then i shall be as well![/quote]

    While I do dress to the requirement for formal night, I sure hope I am never seated next to you. If you want to go on a cruise so you can pretend to be the fashion police, that is your choice. I could care less what anyone else is wearing, or not wearing. However, I would not care to seat next to someone who feels it is their job to make other people feel bad. Class is class, and you are showing that you have a lot to learn in that area.

    I was recently on the Freedom of the Seas. One thing I noticed was how empty the main dining room was on the second formal night. If a majority of the passengers no longer enjoy formal nights, then perhaps it is time for this tradition to end. I for one would not complain if it does.

    There are many different cruise lines. Some have higher dress code standards than others. If you go on Royal Caribbean, knowing that Royal Caribbean has relaxed its dress code, and you complaint about that, then as far as I am concerned, you are the poster person for the "its all about me" attitude.

    Simply put, if you were at my table and you tried to get someone kicked out, I would complain just as loudly that you were creating a scene and that you should be removed. And you know what, there is nothing you could do to me, because even though I don't like it, I do meet the dress code on formal night.
  19. Gayle V

    Gayle V Guest

    I have to say, that as much as I'd like to see everyone dress truely formal on formal night, asking to have someone removed is really extreme, and certainly not going to produce a pleasant evening for anyone.

    And Cruizer may be right, that cruise lines (like Carnival and RCI) who don't have the guts to enforce their own rules, really ought to just eliminate the formal night altogether. It would solve the problem and certainly make packing for those cruises easier. I would have no problem with that. Packing for our Windjammer cruise was a piece of cake.

    But when Cruizer says:
    I have to repeat this: There is a major difference between breaking the rules and changing the rules.

    It's kind of like the looting of stores that goes on during a riot. The looters may be numerous, and they seem to be taking stuff with no consequences, but that doesn't mean what they are doing is suddenly legal. They are breaking the laws, not changing them; just as those who dress casualy on formal night are still breaking the rules. What they are doing is still wrong,

    The rules are not changed until the ship's dress guidelines for the night indicate short sleeve shirts and khaki's as the recommendation for the night.
  20. Travel itis

    Travel itis Guest

    Chell - Yes, formal does mean men wear jackets, and those can be found for a bargain. My husband, who is jean shorts and tee shirts guy, would feel underdressed and out-of-place without one on formal night, and a dark jacket is a good staple for any man to have. After he owns it, I bet he'll find uses for it. That being said, if he is wearing a long sleeved dress shirt and tie, you're not the rule-breakers we're unhappy about.

    On our last cruise a couple at our table had booked within a month of the sailing. They'd never cruised and didn't use a TA, and they didn't know about formal nights until they got on the ship. They were going to skip the dining room, but all the rest of us at the table told them to wear the best they had and have dinner with us. It gave me a new perspective on the formal attire issue.

    On eBay search for a little' girl's dress under "formal" or "flower girl". Another keyword is "pageant", but you get that crazy stuff for the little girls with their big hair extentions and fake tans that makes my stomach turn. If you search for "pageant", just select "lowest price first" to find formal dress bargains that won't make your daughter look like mini Tammy Faye.

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