Well almost everyone. I am not a real big fan of Formal Night. The concept is fine and once I am dressed and at dinner I’m fine. It’s kind of like flying. I don’t mind flying, it’s the process before flying that is bothersome. The fine customer service and care of the airlines (not), the baggage, TSA, and on and on. The same applies to me for Formal Night. It’s the getting dressed. I do not usually wear dress shirts, ties, and suites. Once in them I feel like I have been stuffed into the outfit. Anyways, here is my take on Formal Nights.
One of the traditions of cruising is Formal Night. That is when you get dressed up for dinner. Formal portraits are taken all over the ship and generally a festive mood takes over the ship for the evening.
I am often asked, “How many Formal nights are on our cruise?” Well, that depends upon the total number of nights you will be cruising and also how many sea days there are. A Formal Night is usually on one of the sea days but not always. A 7 night cruise usually has two Formal Nights while our current cruise of 12 night has a total of three. The first one was actually on our first full day of cruising as it will take two full days at sea to reach our first port-of-call, Ketchikan, Alaska.
The next question I am then asked is, “How formal do we have to dress?” It certainly is not as formal as it once was, during the ‘olden days’ of cruising. As our society has become more resort casual than formal, so has the cruise line guidelines for Formal Nights. Today you see gentlemen wearing anything from sweaters with button down shirts, to sport coats and slacks, suites with shirt and tie, to in some cases, usually the older gentlemen, a tuxedo that the individual has either brought with them or rented from the cruise line. The ladies can be wearing anything from a nice blouse and slacks to cocktail party dressed. Long gone are the days of the full blown formal dresses. The majority are in sport coats or suits and the ladies in fancy tops or dresses. Every couple looks as if they could be living wedding cake toppers. There is a special elegance for the Formal Nights. Even the cruise line waiters are dressed up a bit more. Usually wearing dark jackets.
The menu for the evening usually has special dishes prepared for you. Lobster is one of the bigger Formal Night options. For desert, Cherries Jubilee is often served or perhaps Baked Alaska. Formal Night is truly a very special elegant evening.