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Dinner Jacket/Tuxedo--Necessary for Cruise?

JLibourel

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Recently, to keep the peace of the house, I offered to take my wife on a short cruise sometime in the not too distant future. I have never been on one of these ships, and I have a strong hunch the whole business is not my cup of tea. However, she has and seems to enjoy herself immensely on these cruises.

Anyway, I am aware that they have "formal nights" on these cruises. I have always presumed that a proper black tie ensemble was at least the preferred attire on these evenings. Thus, I thought this would be a job for my good friends in Kowloon since I don't own such attire. However, my stepson, who has been on some of these cruises advises me that it would be a "complete waste of money" since "nobody" wears tuxedoes/dinner suits to these events. Is this true? Or has his perception been colored by having sailed with some of the cheapest cruise lines? Any advice would be welcome.

Also, can any of you suggest what some of the better cruise lines are? I was thinking of L.A. or Long Beach Harbor to Acapulco and back or something like that.
 

Captain Winky

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I've never been either, but I suspect your stepson is correct. FWIW, I have seen photos of my extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents) on cruises (nice ones) in the early 90s. My grandfather (in his mid-80s) was seen in an ivory DJ, everyone else in chinos/slacks and blazers, some with ties, some without, and I think things are certainly trending more casual today than back then even.


And while I hate to give advice in these matters, if this cruise is about taking your wife on a vacation to make her feel good, then spending your time worrying about your wardrobe may be counterproductive.
 

Bounder

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Originally Posted by JLibourel
Recently, to keep the peace of the house, I offered to take my wife on a short cruise sometime in the not too distant future. I have never been on one of these ships, and I have a strong hunch the whole business is not my cup of tea. However, she has and seems to enjoy herself immensely on these cruises. Anyway, I am aware that they have "formal nights" on these cruises. I have always presumed that a proper black tie ensemble was at least the preferred attire on these evenings. Thus, I thought this would be a job for my good friends in Kowloon since I don't own such attire. However, my stepson, who has been on some of these cruises advises me that it would be a "complete waste of money" since "nobody" wears tuxedoes/dinner suits to these events. Is this true? Or has his perception been colored by having sailed with some of the cheapest cruise lines? Any advice would be welcome. Also, can any of you suggest what some of the better cruise lines are? I was thinking of L.A. or Long Beach Harbor to Acapulco and back or something like that.
Two words: "Love Boat" First, IIRC, there are a bunch of threads about this exact topic on AAAC. Second, it depends, to some extent, on which cruise line you are using. If it's something like Carnival, you're going to be more concerned about the wet t-shirt contest than formal night. I suspect that's pretty much the level of what you'll find on the tequila run. If you were sailing to London on Cunard it might be a different story. But, I certainly wouldn't commisson a DJ for a three-night Carnival cruise to Acapulco. For one thing, it will probably cost more than your ticket.
 

Concordia

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Depends on the line, I would think. Many are going for family vacationers or spring breakers. Some of the older guard would probably still encourage proper attire.

The very highest end ships on the west coast are probably hoping VCs will come, however, and would forbid anything but polo shirts.
 

Piobaire

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I believe our forum-mate Sonik works for the industry. If you search in the Lifestyle forum, I think there's a cruise thread where he runs down the lines, in terms of ranking them and what they offer. As to the formal night, why what else? Prince Charlie.
 

LabelKing

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I fully support the notion of having a bespoke tuxedo made for a cruise.

However, I suspect that a festive dinner jacket--tartan perhaps?--might not be inappropriate.
 

KObalto

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Originally Posted by LabelKing
I fully support the notion of having a bespoke tuxedo made for a cruise.

However, I suspect that a festive dinner jacket--tartan perhaps?--might not be inappropriate.


I want to cruise with LK. Wait, that came out wrong.
 

makewayhomer

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cruises are pretty awful, lots all I'll say. you certainly don't need a tuxedo to match all the canadian tuxedo's you'll see on board
 

Harold falcon

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Originally Posted by makewayhomer
cruises are pretty awful, lots all I'll say. you certainly don't need a tuxedo to match all the canadian tuxedo's you'll see on board

^ This. I would imagine a T-shirt without vomit stains or holes in it would put you a the top of the heap style-wise.
 

Sartorial1

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Originally Posted by JLibourel
Also, can any of you suggest what some of the better cruise lines are? I was thinking of L.A. or Long Beach Harbor to Acapulco and back or something like that.

Bottom: Carnival
Lower Middle: Royal Carribean, Princess
Solid Middle: Holland America, Cunard
Upper Middle: Celebrity, Cunard First Class
Entry Upper: Regent, Cunard Grill Class
Middle Upper: Seabourn, Silversea
True Upper: Buy your own boat.
 

voxsartoria

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Mark from Plano has been on over 200 cruises, and I believe that he wore a dinner jacket each time.

Jan: why not? Better you spend your money than your heirs or dogs.


- B
 

TheWraith

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Most cruise lines are fine and have formal nights, but only the upper lines require you to wear a dinner jacket for their formal nights. The wife and I just came back from a ten day cruise in the Pacific and people just wore regular suits for the formal nights. The cruise itself was a wonderful experience, though, I can recommend it.
 

GoldenTribe

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As people have said above, "formal night" generally just means wear a shirt, tie, and jacket -- and on the cruises I've been on there are only one or two of these anyway (it's often only a certain sitting of dinner so those who don't wish to dress up can still eat at the other one and not even think twice about it).

There are always a few people decked out to the 9s but IMO they generally come off as trying too hard (you're sitting around on a boat, gorging yourself at a buffet 23 hours a day as likely as not, let's be reasonable about this).

Armed with a nicely fitting suit and some SF-derived knowledge of how to style it, you'll already be head and shoulders above most of the crowd.
 

Sartorial1

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Originally Posted by GoldenTribe
As people have said above, "formal night" generally just means wear a shirt, tie, and jacket.

There are always a few people decked out to the 9s but IMO they generally come off as trying too hard.

Armed with a nicely fitting suit and some SF-derived knowledge of how to style it, you'll already be head and shoulders above most of the crowd.


You've nailed it straight on.

My wife and I primarily sail with Regent, Seabourn, & Silversea.
For the last few years there has been "suggested black tie" on some evenings.
Most evenings were "country club casual."
Well, that's how one line described it.
Suits or conservative coat w/ odd trousers were required,
but dinner coats were not.
 

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