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moonshine

Is this the beginning of the end for dress codes?

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After seeing Royal Caribbean relax their dress code once more, this time to allow shorts on casual evenings, do you think we’re starting to see the domino’s fall towards the end of dress codes altogether? I love formal nights, I think it’s a lovely thing that separates cruising from other types of holidays and I hope they remain but it seems as though more and more people prefer casual attire at night and the older ways are slowly fading away.

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You pay's your money and makes your choice??

My wife likes formal night ,I am not that keen , so the more relaxed approach that Celebrity have to formal night keeps us both happy.And providing we do not descend into  swimwear and vest at meal time ,that the trend at the moment ,the mega resort ship's are for today's families who may not wish to dress up for meals. Just look at how some people turn up for wedding's ,why buy a suit just to wear a couple of times a year.....Davybe

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In recent years we have cruised with Celebrity, Princess, HAL & NCL.  We haven't seen any really scruffy people on any of these cruises, even those with relaxed dress codes.  Formal dress seems to be more important to British cruisers than to other nationalities (I am aware that this is a generalization) and since the British do not make up a majority of cruisers it is inevitable that things will change.  Maybe P&O and Cunard will maintain their niche position as lines that cater for those who enjoy formal dress.

Sheila

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I don't think it's the beginning of the end just yet. I'd say the opinion poll over formal nights is probably evenly split still. It used to be that formal nights were more popular but the past few years have certainly seen a shift towards more casual attire on board. I do like formal nights but they're not essential for me and it would never put me off booking a cruise line. 

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I think it could be yes. There's been a noticeable change in the leniency from cruise lines towards dress codes in recent times and from where i'm sitting, it's down to the world changing. Times move on and more and more people do not wish to go on holiday to dress up. They associate a holiday with relaxation and often relaxation means casual. I think more and more cruise lines will adopt a casual approach as time moves on. There will, I'm sure, be some cruise lines that retain their formal dress codes, but I think they will become almost a niche themselves with the majority of the industry opting to go the other way.

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The reason for cruising is to have formal evenings. Dress codes are dropping everywhere but to have a formal evening and see everyone in their best attire is wonderful. I would prefer more formal evenings. We always cruise with P and O but have also been on the Queen Mary. The whole ambience of the ship changes on formal evenings.

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Over recent years my wife and I have detected a clear change in dress codes but most significantly on Princess.  On a recent cruise there was no enforcement of the tie-wearing rule in the restaurant on a formal night and few men were attired in tuxedo or dress suits - the ladies dressed much better, naturally.  However, what was really annoying was sitting in the theatre next to a large, and noisy, non-British passenger who appeared to still be wearing the vest, shorts and sandals that he'd been wearing all day.  No further comment is necessary...

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7 minutes ago, parki said:

The reason for cruising is to have formal evenings. Dress codes are dropping everywhere but to have a formal evening and see everyone in their best attire is wonderful. I would prefer more formal evenings. We always cruise with P and O but have also been on the Queen Mary. The whole ambience of the ship changes on formal evenings.

I would agree formal evening are part of cruising, problem being the new generation of cruisers are pushing for less formal approach, the two lines you mention are becoming less likely to enforce their own dress codes, proven by some of the reviews and comments I've read recently across most message boards I've read.

My personal opinion is I'm glad it's becoming less formal, but I still always respect dress codes whenever I sail.

Bottom line is cruise lines are dictated to by their customers, and the majority of those are drifting towards informal, I suspect all mainstream cruiselines in time will go the way of informal.

Just my opinion of course.

HLM.

 

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30 minutes ago, parki said:

The reason for cruising is to have formal evenings. Dress codes are dropping everywhere but to have a formal evening and see everyone in their best attire is wonderful. I would prefer more formal evenings. We always cruise with P and O but have also been on the Queen Mary. The whole ambience of the ship changes on formal evenings.

Sorry parki, but I disagree. It may be your reason for cruising but not the majority any more. Gone are the days when 'One Dressed For Dinner'. People are on holiday and want to relax. If you wear a suit 50 weeks of the year you certainly don't want to be wearing one on holiday. Many cruise lines have relaxed their dress code and this has found favour with the majority, especially the younger element that cruise lines are trying desperately hard to attract. Casual dress does not mean a drop in standards as some would have us believe, it is the way forward. I predicted several years ago that formal evenings would gradually disappear and few at the time believed me, it has happened. I don't believe that formal nights will exist in 10 years time on any line as the current wave of cruisers who like formal are gradually passing to that cruise ship in the sky and are being replaced by a generation with different ideas and expectations. Someone recently posed this question to me, 'Would you go to a local restaurant dressed in a DJ' and the simple answer is no. Go to restaurants in London such as The Ivy or Langans and see what they are wearing, it's certainly not Dj's.  Formal Nights were a tradition but like most traditions they are going as cruising ceases to be something special and becomes just an alternative form of holiday.  

As always just my personal opinion. 

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Just docked  this morning in Port Everglade after a week on Allure and noticed a big difference in dress code 

We dressed in formal however we were placed on  a table in American icon  dining room next to a table in shorts and a vest tops  ! 

Within 18 months I think RCI will be casual in the Caribbean 

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On 03/05/2017 at 0:55 PM, moonshine said:

After seeing Royal Caribbean relax their dress code once more, this time to allow shorts on casual evenings, do you think we’re starting to see the domino’s fall towards the end of dress codes altogether? I love formal nights, I think it’s a lovely thing that separates cruising from other types of holidays and I hope they remain but it seems as though more and more people prefer casual attire at night and the older ways are slowly fading away.

Just come back off independence of the seas and was refused entry to the main dining room as I had tailored shorts on with a shirt. 

No problem with that although the guy sat at the table next to me had shorts on and track suit bottoms were also seen. 

Come on RCI track suit bottoms in main dining ??

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As someone who has only done a couple of cruises I think if guests want to dress formally for dinner thats up to them, personally I don't enjoy dressing formally to dine, I left that behind when I left the Army and now I like to relax when I eat, having said that I think smart casual should be the rule when eating in the restaurants in the evening and no beach or sports wear.    

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I agree with the consensus that the trend is away from formal dining. My wife and I enjoy them when travelling with lines which still hold them - P&O/Princess - but it is not a deal breaker for us; the itinerary and quality of food are the main criteria. What we object to is setting a code and then not sticking to it, there is no reason for this as it is abundantly clear what is expected.

Having said this, our next cruise in on NCL 'Norwegian Jade' out of Southampton in June and, based on our previous experiences with NCL I would not expect to see many 'scruffy' passengers in the restaurants although the ambience is casual - the Grand Pacific MDR does in any event have some dress limitations in the evenings. In our view, the best compromise is with Oceania where the dress code is 'Country Club Casual' at all times so no formal, but appropriately smart attire for the time of day/venue. Passengers with Oceania certainly do seem to stick to the rules.

At the end of the day, there is a variety of lines to choose from so 'you pays your money and takes your choice'

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2 hours ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

Sorry parki, but I disagree. It may be your reason for cruising but not the majority any more. Gone are the days when 'One Dressed For Dinner'. People are on holiday and want to relax. If you wear a suit 50 weeks of the year you certainly don't want to be wearing one on holiday. Many cruise lines have relaxed their dress code and this has found favour with the majority, especially the younger element that cruise lines are trying desperately hard to attract. Casual dress does not mean a drop in standards as some would have us believe, it is the way forward. I predicted several years ago that formal evenings would gradually disappear and few at the time believed me, it has happened. I don't believe that formal nights will exist in 10 years time on any line as the current wave of cruisers who like formal are gradually passing to that cruise ship in the sky and are being replaced by a generation with different ideas and expectations. Someone recently posed this question to me, 'Would you go to a local restaurant dressed in a DJ' and the simple answer is no. Go to restaurants in London such as The Ivy or Langans and see what they are wearing, it's certainly not Dj's.  Formal Nights were a tradition but like most traditions they are going as cruising ceases to be something special and becomes just an alternative form of holiday.  

As always just my personal opinion. 

I agree you can be smart casual as the Celebrity ships started last year. But in reply to your quote about the dress code for the Ivy  or Langans, I doubt if you would be allowed In either establishment in shorts and tee shirt!! 

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Can't come soon enough for me.  Smart casual's fine for pretty much any restaurant these days, including the very best with 3 Michelin stars.  Outfits like P&O and Cunard cling to it solely because it adds to the perceived 'glamour' in some people's eyes and covers over all the inadequacies in the meals and service provided.

It's outdated, and the people who like it are slowly disappearing and being replaced by younger passengers who actually hate it and find it irksome.

The end is nigh..........

 

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4 hours ago, theweedons said:

I would not book a cruise without a dress code. Both my husband enjoy that aspect of cruising, to enjoy each other 'scrubbed up' and socialising with kindred spirits! 

We/I agree entirely.  It's part of the fun of cruising. we have experienced around 50 cruises on different ships and cruise lines and believe it's a little bit of escapism.  Where else can the majority of people go to feel that extra but special?

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4 hours ago, parki said:

The reason for cruising is to have formal evenings. Dress codes are dropping everywhere but to have a formal evening and see everyone in their best attire is wonderful. I would prefer more formal evenings. We always cruise with P and O but have also been on the Queen Mary. The whole ambience of the ship changes on formal evenings.

We agree whole heartedly with you. Cruising to the Baltics very shortly on the Eclipse. It will be very interesting to see how people dress now that they have relaxed their dress codes.

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The problem lies with the Restaurant Managers for allowing into restaurants people who don't comply with the dress codes.  My wife and I love the formal evenings which are an important part of the cruise experience for us.  If people do not want to dress formally they should use a restaurant on formal nights that allows formal attire.  I made a comment on my last Princess cruise to a Restaurant Manager about allowing in a man in jeans and a T shirt.  His attitude was summed up with a shrug of the shoulders and the comment, "we don't like to upset our guests."  We I told him that he upset those of us who complied with the code which is clearly made known before and during cruises. Someone mentioned the Queen Mary. Well when we went on one of their voyages the Restaurant Manager did exactly the same thing.  After a complaint about this couple they lent the man some formal clothes for the next formal night.

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Whilst most people will adhere to the dress code even though they don't like it there is nothing you can do to physically stop those considered 'Inappropriately dressed' entering a restaurant. Can you imagine the result if someone on the door got hold of a passenger to stop him/her entering. It would be filmed on a smart phone by someone and go viral on the internet within minutes costing the cruise line thousands. In the end you have to rely on the passenger being compliant to the dress suggestion and yes, that is just what it is, a suggested dress code. How do they put it on the daily paper "Tonights suggested dress code is ……." 

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I enjoy the formal nights, dressing up, and what used to be semi formal, I have spent a vast amount of money, on long dresses, and cocktail dresses, which, guess what I wear, and continue to do so, my husband would never go to dinner without a jacket. Dress codes are one thing which I like, but even if they become totally relaxed I will continue to dress up if I want too.

just my opinion don't shoot 

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This may very well prove to be the case but if so everybody will suffer. Progressively over the years each cruise line has reduced standards and value for money to maximise profitability. Entertainment and food standards have gone down and down and down. None mor so than P&O.

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