Do We Need A Tuxedo and Nice Dress To Go On A Cruise?

The answer is This depends on the Cruise Line.

If you cruise with Carnival you will not see to many tuxedos and long dresses on a formal night any more. Last Carnival cruise I found only six men wearing tuxedos, some dark suits, some sports blazers for men or coctail dresses for women. Most men seem to prefer just a regular shirt, some even believe that a t-shirt is formal if worn with jeans and a baseball cap. I used take my tuxedo even to a Cranival Cruise as I like to wear it, my wife now insisted that I leave it at home on Carnival, but men, please do not forget your tuxedo on Cunard's Queens. Norwegian Cruise Lines call their formal night "Dress UP Or Not Night". When I sailed with my family on NCL's Epic for my 60's birthday, we were dressing up and there were more people dressed up even on not formal nights, maybe they had some special celebrations also, it was in the beginning of December.
Some cruise lines, like Oceania do not have any formal nights when in the Caribbean, they asked for "Country Club Casual", which means a jacket for men, but no tie. The most formal nights you find on cruises that have a lot of sea days, like on Cunard's World Cruises some segments have a lot of sea days and also on the Transatlantic Crossings (where you only have sea days). When my wife and I went on the first segment of the World Cruise 2011 from New York to Capetown, we had a lot of sea days on the transatlantic part and from the Caribbean to Brazil. Therefore we had about a formal night every two days. Other cruise lines have two formal nights per week.

Please note that even Cunard relaxed the dress code somewhat, Seabourn discontinued formal nights, ....

If it is important for you to know about formal nights, talk to me. More here soon when I have the time.

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