Posts Tagged ‘dress code’

What should I wear on a cruise? Destinations affect your choice

August 16, 2012

Many people are choosing cruising as a holiday option, and one of the first questions that arises, is what to wear.

One of the problems with this question, is that there are so many answers, and these depend on the cruise, the destination, time of year and indeed the ship itself.

We will concentrate on Destination

When booking  a cruise, one of the many options is the destination of the ship, the itinerary.  This is important to many people as it will have a huge bearing on the climate and the sorts of ports the ship will stop at.  For instance, if a cruise is travelling around the Mediterranean during the summer, there is a great likelihood that the weather will be mainly hot, and many of the ports the ship visits will indeed also be hot and dry climates.

For a cruise of this nature, men would want to pack loose trousers or shorts and a variety of cotton shirts or t shirts.  Ladies should consider packing long loose dresses with a variety of shawls or sari’s for both the option to mix and match, and also the chance to cover up bare flesh both from the sun, and any religious sites you may wish to visit. You should be well prepared for dirty, dusty roads, so although white is a great colour for reflecting heat, it will also show dirt very quickly.  Most ships will either have a laundry service or indeed a self-service laundrette.

Footwear is also important.  Men will need to be persuaded to take more than one pair of shoes A smart pair for on-board the ship and something for ashore.  Ladies are best to take some sensible flat shoes for walking and some nice ones on the ship, some ladies prefer not to wear very high heels, due to the rare chance of some movement on the ship, but this comes down to personal preference.

Evenings are a completely different affair.  Whilst on shore and around the pool, a relaxed casual dress code is normal, evenings on board the ship become a completely different entity.  All ships become semi-formal in the evenings after 6pm.  The degree of formality depends on the ship and indeed the evening.  Pool wear or ultra-casual clothing would be frowned upon.  After 6pm, passengers are expected to dress for the evening, with gentlemen wearing a shirt and trousers, and ladies some form of dress.  One of the best ways to describe the evening wear on most ships, is one of smart, the sort of clothing you would wear if you were going out in the evening to restaurant of some quality.

indeed, care should be made to enquire how many formal nights are undertaken on the ship, as formal nights take the dress code on step forward, and men are expected to wear a dinner jacket or at least a smart dark suit, with a shirt and tie, whereas ladies are expected to wear some form of evening dress or smart trouser suit.  Although formal dressing is on the wane, dressing on formal nights is the one occasion when dressing for the cruise comes into its own.

In fact, new passengers will find that it is not only the dresses and suits that appear in the evening on formal nights, but also the bags, and shawls and jewellery. Indeed, on a formal night, the ships are usually spending a day at sea, and a passenger new to cruising will be shocked to find, the on-board hairdressers, massage and treatment rooms all fully booked, as many passengers prepare for the evening.

If the fun and games of formal nights are really the sort of thing you enjoy on holiday, there is a steady and slightly growing trend of formal night avoidance.  This is where passengers who do not wish to dress up formally, actually keep away from the main rooms on the ship. This sounds drastic, however, there are usually alternate dining rooms, especially the buffet ones, which will operate as normal on a formal night, and will not expect the full dinner jacket and cocktail dress attire, however, some passengers feel awkward doing this, so again it comes down to personal choice.

A slightly alternative option is to choose an informal cruise and try to keep these occasions to a minimum or indeed removed completely, or chose a ship that offers the alternate dining and entertainment options.

Why not take a look at My Cruise Wardrobe, they have an outstanding selection of outfits, both poolside and evening wear suitable for cruising along with advice. You can also check out http://www.cruising4holidays.com for information on the various destinations and cruise ships, which will hopefully assist you in booking a cruise in the future.

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Is formal wear and formal nights becoming less popular on cruise ships?

August 9, 2012

When planning and booking a cruise holiday, is the chance to dress up part of the holiday attraction.

Many cruise ships are focussing on a more casual basis to enable passengers the choice whether to participate in the formal nights or not.

This can be seen in a number of ways, with the increase in buffet style restaurants, the removal of some of the formal nights, the removal of enforced dress codes after 6pm.

Personally, having sailed on over 17 cruises around different parts of the world, I would argue no.  Many passengers still look forward to those special nights, when the “posh frocks” and smart tuxedos appear.  Admittedly, there are a growing number of people opting to avoid the formal dinner and dine in the alternate restaurants, but in terms of percentage of total passengers, I would guess this number is less than 20%.  Now on a large new ship carrying 3,000 passengers, this is 600 people, but  this is not a majority.

Indeed, if there is one element of a cruise that still draws the gasps, the photo opportunities and the glamour of cruising; the formal nights are still loved by many.  You only have to glance at the photo gallery after a formal night, to glance at the familiar faces, seen around ship for the previous days, to suddenly notice the big beaming smiles and sparkling eyes, as the photographers have captured those special moments as a couple or family have been “snapped” as they enjoy the evening dressed in their finery.  In fact, it is probably these pictures which will grace a wall at home or mantelpiece.

I personally enjoy seeing the variety, from the full tuxedo, the full Scottish outfit including kilt to the official blazer of a former armed unit or organisation.  The trail of children following their parents, each immaculately groomed, always watched with a mental estimate on how these must have taken to prepare and indeed how long they remain that way. Each well presented by a proud wearer. Yes, passing to other areas of the ship, I will notice the occasional open shirt and top at the buffets and bar, but these do not stand out.   Even the waiters and waitresses, changed from their normal smart serving outfits, sport the working versions of fine evening wear.

As passenger preferences change, and cruise lines try to match passenger expectations to their services, I believe that the market will adapt to some ships specialising in casual cruising, whilst some retain or indeed capitalise on the fact that some passengers enjoy and insist on the magic of a formal night.

This can already be seen on some lines such as the Island Escape, operated by Island Cruises or EasyCruise One, operated by Easy Cruise.  These  ships have little or no formal nights, and the atmosphere created is intended to be less formal .

Websites such as www.cruising4holidays.com have been created to give passengers an insight into the ships themselves, whilst websites such as http://www.mycruisewardrobe.com have been made to highlight some of the fabulous outfits that can be worn on ships, be they formal or informal.

Whatever ship you decide to cruise on, cruising is very addictive and one cruise will soon become more.