Cruise Line Dress Codes
The days of tuxedos and evening gowns are gone on most lines, replaced by suits, cocktail dresses, and even jeans. More and more cruise lines are following in Norwegian Cruise Lines footsteps, which started the move a decade ago toward freestyle cruising by loosening its dress code dinner policies onboard. Want to know whats appropriate dress on your next cruise? Heres our line-by-line breakdown:
What Do You Wear On Cruises During The Day
During the day, you can wear casual attire such as t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, sundresses, and skirts.
If youre spending the day at the pool, you can also have lunch or dine in casual pool clothes at the snack bar located next to the pool deck.
Just remember that while walking from your stateroom to the pool and vice versa, youll need to wear a swim cover-up.
Now that you know how effortless and stress-free it is to choose what to wear on a cruise, book your cruise and start planning out your perfect cruise vacation outfits. Browse itineraries, shore excursions, and staterooms, then book your cruise along with airfare and activities all in one convenient spot.
When Isn’t Formal Night
This may seem a strange way of wording things, but it’s often easier to work out this way. It’s very uncommon to have a formal night on the first or last night of the cruise. Beyond folks often just wanting to take it easy these nights, it’s also because on the first night you may not have your luggage in time – or you may want things pressed. Similarly, on the last night of the cruise many folks pack up all but the bare essentials before going to dinner. Unless you’re my maternal grandfather, a tie is probably not on your essentials list.
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Holland America Dress Code
Holland America’s demographics tend to skew a bit older, and passengers pay attention to looking their best while maintaining comfort. Casual is the order of the day onboard, with most people choosing nice jeans or shorts and t-shirts or resort wear.
Into the dinnertime hours, cruisers often dress up a bit more, even for “cruise casual” nights. Collared shirts with dress pants seem to be the bare minimum for men, with some going as far as adding jackets and ties. Women often lean toward dresses or elegant tops with skirts or slacks.
On its ships, HAL offers one “gala night” on each sailing of up to a week in length. Those between eight and 13 nights will see two gala nights scheduled, and there will be three on voyages of two weeks or longer.
For those, cruisers can be seen in cocktail dresses or ball gowns, pantsuits, suits with ties or tuxedos.
You Can Skip Formal Nights On A Cruise Heres How
If you are considering taking a cruise you may be wondering if you are able to skip the formal nights on board. Ive been on 32 cruises to date and have cruised on lines where the formal nights vary greatly. I am personally not a huge fan of formal nights and in this post, we will discuss how I often avoid them so that you can do the same if youd like to.
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Can You Skip Formal Nights On A Cruise
Formal nights on a cruise are not mandatory and it is almost always possible to skip formal night if you dont want to attend. Skipping formal night may mean dining in a different restaurant, the buffet, or having room service delivered.
Its important to remember that the type and frequency of formal nights vary by cruise line dramatically. The best thing that you can do is pick a cruise line that aligns with your requirements. There are many cruise lines which have very relaxed or no formal nights at all if you dont want to take part in formal nights and are able to choose the cruise line that youre cruising with, consider one of the following:
- MSC Cruise Line
If you are new to cruising and would like to learn which cruise line is the best fit for you, including how to book for the cheapest price, start here: How to Cruise For Less
For Passengers Who Don’t Want To Be Formal
The most important thing to remember about formal night is that like any event on a cruise, it is entirely optional. Even if the most formal thing in your vacation wardrobe is a new pair of sandals with the souvenir t-shirt you bought at the last port of call, you will still be welcome to see the show, attend most special events, and pose for portraits. The only restriction most ships employ is that formal dress is required that evening to enter main dining rooms, though there are plenty of casual dining options available.
Formal nights on cruise ships epitomize the grandeur of the ocean blended with the glitterati of the passengers. From spectacular wardrobes and exquisite dinners to elite events and portraits to capture every moment, formal night is one occasion that most cruise passengers will never forget.
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Evening Wear Evening Chic Dress Code
Our family on a Celebrity Cruise, Evening Chic
If youve been wondering how to dress on a Formal Night on Celebrity Cruises, there isnt one. Instead, Celebrity has an Evening Chic Night.
I love this dress code, as its still dressy, without the formality and stuffiness that sometimes comes with a traditional cruise formal night.
People are encouraged to dress their best. However, as youll see from the real photos of Celebrity cruisers throughout this post, theres room for personal style and choice.
First, Celebritys Evening Chic dress code:
On Evening Chic nights, ladies may want to wear a cocktail dress or another dressy outfit. Celebrity encourages elegance and sophistication, and includes pants and designer jeans and a blazer as possible outfit choices.
According to Celebritys website, the Evening Chic dress code for men includes dress pants or designer jeans, and a dress shirt, button down shirt or sweater, and an optional blazer or sport coat.
Is There A Formal Night
Before worrying about when formal night is, make sure there is one. Norwegian Cruise Line doesn’t have formal evenings with their “Freestyle” cruising. This is also true of a number of luxury lines, some of which may have a strict dress code most evenings, and others, like Oceania, which are more relaxed throughout the whole cruise. Before checking your cruise line website, you should also know that many lines have moved toward different names for these special evenings. This includes Celebrity’s Evening Chic, Carnival’s Cruise Elegant Nights, and Holland America Line‘s Gala Nights. Interestingly, Royal Caribbean has, in addition to formal nights, “Wear Your Best” nights on sailings of five nights or less – which is essentially “formal night light”, and their ship Empress of the Seas has no formal nights at all.
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Top Celebrity Cruises Restaurants
When it comes to dining, there is so much to love about Celebrity Cruises. We share our picks for Top Celebrity Cruises Restaurants.
There is a lot to love about dining on Celebrity Cruises. Cruisers can choose from a number of different specialty and complimentary dining spots on ships across the fleet. There are a variety of casual venues included in the cruise fare. There are also signature specialty restaurants that serve up mouthwatering meals, not to mention the three course feasts in the main dining room. In this post, we share our picks for the Top Celebrity Cruises Restaurants. Do you agree with our choices?
Below Are Just A Few Featured Celebrity Cruises
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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.
What Should I Wear On A Cruise A Guide To Cruise Line Dress Codes
Few issues create as much confusion among cruisers as what to wear to dinner. Some cruise line dress codes accept a clean T-shirt and jeans as acceptable evening attire, while others require a jacket and tie if you want to dine in the main restaurant. If you’re wondering what you should wear on a cruise, especially onboard at night, here’s how each major cruise line would like you to dress.
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Tipping Policy On Celebrity Cruises
For your convenience, Celebrity automatically add gratuities for your restaurant and stateroom services to your onboard SeaPass® account on a daily basis in the following amounts, which may be adjusted at your discretion:
- $14.50 per person, per day in standard accommodations
- $15.00 per person, per day in Concierge Class and AquaClass® staterooms
- $18.00 per person, per day in suites
This gratuity is shared by your stateroom attendant, dining services staff, and housekeeping staff members who help enhance your vacation experience. At your discretion, the gratuity payments may be adjusted onboard at Guest Relations, in which case they will not automatically be added to your onboard SeaPass® account. An 18% gratuity will be automatically added to all beverages, mini bar purchases, spa and salon services. Additional gratuities may be added at your discretion.
How Many Formal Nights Are There
This varies by cruise line, but even more, by cruise length. Here are some common guidelines – but of course, there are always exceptions.
- Unusually short cruises, like the two-nighter we recently enjoyed on Celebrity Infinity often have no formal nights.
- Sailings of ten or fewer nights usually have two formal nights.
- Most lines have three formal nights on sailings of 14 nights or more, though Royal Caribbean often features three formal evenings on sailings of 11 nights or more.
- If you’re on a back-to-back sailing, where you’re staying on for two cruises of seven nights , keep in mind the points above are based on the ship’s scheduled itinerary – not yours.
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Formal Night Dining Alternatives
The formal night dress codes usually only apply to the main dining room. There are some cruise lines such as Cunard where the dress code is applied ship-wide but generally speaking, the formal night dress code is usually only applied to the main dining room.
Even if you dont want to take part in the formal night youll probably still want to take part in dinner but fear not, there are other options where you can have dinner instead of in the main dining room.
Common Formal Evening Schedules
Many of the larger lines will, for cruises of around a week in length, make formal nights the second and next-to-last evenings. If however one of those nights you’re scheduled to be in port until after 6:00 or 7:00pm, they’ll likely not schedule formal night for that day of your trip, and instead, move it to another day. On Royal Caribbean it is a bit more predictable, with Oasis class ships’ formal nights on days two and five on Western Caribbean itineraries and days two and six on Eastern Caribbean itineraries.
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Celebrity Cruises Dress Code
Slightly more upscale than the “big three” cruise lines , Celebrity tends to attract passengers who embrace a casual-but-classy style. During the day, you’ll often find them in swimsuits and cover-ups or resort casual clothes, such as beachy button-downs or tank tops and khaki shorts.
Resort casual gradually transitions to “smart casual” on most days as evening approaches. That means a skirt, pants or jeans with a casual top for women and slacks or jeans with short-sleeved collared shirts for men.
On one night during every voyage of six nights or fewer — two nights for sailings of a week or longer — Celebrity has replaced its formal nights with “evening chic” attire.
Although passengers can still dress to the nines in tuxes and ball gowns if they want to, cocktail dresses, skirts or jeans with elegant tops are still permitted for women, while men can choose to wear dressy jeans or slacks with button-down shirts with optional sweaters or jackets.
What Can Kids Wear On Formal Night On Celebrity Cruises
Boys are required to wear full length trousers in the main and some speciality restaurants on chic night. However smart pumps are acceptable with a collared shirt or smart collared polo.
Joe chose to wear a suit on one night and shirt and trousers on another, and as we was the only child on our cruise got so many compliments.
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Cruising With Celebrity Cruises
Celebrity Cruises offers a modern and sophisticated style of cruising. Interiors on board ships are ultra-luxurious, sleek and modern with plush furnishings and elegant embellishments, making the vessels more akin to floating boutique hotels than traditional liners. The cruise line is currently in the midst of an extensive $500-million refurbishment programme known as the Celebrity Revolution, a project to update nine ships across the fleet and bring them in line with Celebrity Edge and the incoming Celebrity Apex. Celebrity offers a more relaxed and less formal style of cruising than some of her counterparts, with the dress code during the day being smart casual, while the classic cruise formal nights have been replaced with Evening Chic.
Who Should Travel With Celebrity Cruises
Guests who are looking for an updated and contemporary take on traditional cruising will love sailing aboard Celebrity Cruises fleet of ships. The modern liners effortlessly combine sleek and modern interiors with excellent food and entertainment. Celebrity attracts a broad range of travellers, with passengers ages typically averaging in the 50s. Families are kept well-entertained with a plethora of facilities and restaurants available, while couples who like being wined and dined are similarly well-catered for on board. Discerning guests with an eye for detail who appreciate the finer things in life will choose Celebrity above other cruise lines.
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Celebrity Summit Cruise Ship Tour
If youd like to see for yourself what people wear on a cruise, both during the day and in the evening, make sure to watch this Celebrity Summit cruise ship tour and review .
If you enjoy cruise vlogs, cruise tips and cruise news, please subscribe to the channel. Id love to have you in our Life Well Cruised YouTube community!
What To People Really Wear In The Evening On A Celebrity Cruise
Cruise line dress codes are changing and cruise passengers tend to bring less luggage than in the past. Yet, a cruise is still something special, and many do enjoy getting more dressed up than they might for a restaurant at home.
On a personal note, I like to look beyond the cruise brochure and hear from real people. For this reason, I asked cruisers in some large Celebrity Facebook groups, to share their experiences and real life photos of their evening chic outfits.
All the photos in this post are of real Celebrity cruise passengers. Here are a few more gorgeous cruisers, who kindly shared their photos with us.
Thank you so much to all who contributed your photos to this blog post. Its much appreciated!!
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Want more Celebrity info and tips you can use? Please check out this video:
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Travel Protection Options On Celebrity Cruises
Smart Casual and AboveLadies: Skirt or pants/trousers complemented by sweater or blouse.Gentlemen: Pant/trousers with collared sports shirt or sweater. Shirts must have sleeves.Note: T-shirts, swimsuits, robes, bare feet, tank tops, baseball caps and pool wear are not allowed in the main restaurant or specialty restaurant at any time. Shorts and flip flops are not allowed in the evening hours. As a courtesy to our guests, we respectfully require and enforce compliance with dress code at the entrance of your restaurant of choice. Additionally, guests are asked to follow the ‘Smart Casual and Above: dress code in the Celebrity Theater for all evening performances.Formal Ladies: Cocktail dress, gown or dressy pantsuit Gentlemen: Tuxedo, suit or dinner jacket with slacks. Specialty Restaurants The dress code at Celebrity’s Specialty Restaurants is ‘Smart Casual and Above’ for every night of your cruise. Formal attire is only required in the main dining room on your formal evenings.Renting Formalwear Formal evenings call for formal attire. Men can arrange for tailored, elegant formalwear to be delivered directly to your stateroom. To order, visit Cruiseline Formalwear.
The Demise Of Formal Nights On Cruises: How Dress Codes Are Tearing Passengers Apart
Gerry Eggert has taken a lot of cruises in his 78 years. But the Chilliwack, B.C., resident has noticed something recently: People arent dressing up like they used to.
He took his concerns to and quizzed a group of fellow Holland America Line fans: This should draw some controversy! he began. My wife and I dont particularly like the relaxed dress code HAL now allows in their main dining rooms, especially on gala formal evenings. He asked how fellow cruisers in the group felt.
The query struck a nerve and sparked more than a few squabbles, differences of opinion and downright insults.
Only undertakers wear suits in todays business environment! wrote one retiree who doesnt care to dress up on vacation.
If you want to dress like a construction worker eat outside with the construction workers! one woman wrote.
Dress like you are going somewhere nice, not McDonalds or Burger King, someone else suggested.
But the conversation revealed a deeper truth: Formal nights, a holdover from a grand cruising tradition, are becoming less formal when they exist at all. And while that might be welcome news for travelers who just want to relax on vacation, its a sad turn for many who love to dine with a dressed-up crowd.
The change in dress is a reflection of the change in times, said one user on the Cruise Critic message boards in November.
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