Tag Archives: formal wear

It’s all about the dress code

Did you hear about the massive brawl onboard one of the P&O cruise ships recently. It all started because someone dressed up as a clown.

So what was so upsetting about that?

Disclaimer – I don’t know what the cruise clown looked like – but this is what I imagine it to be to create such a fuss…

Well it was during one of the black-tie formal evenings on board – so a clown costume can hardly be described as formal wear.

But the main problem seemed to be that some of the other passengers were upset because they had specifically booked a cruise where there would be no fancy dress?? (I haven’t been on a cruise where people wear fancy dress at dinner – but maybe this is a British thing????) This is what was tweeted from the ship during the fight by a journalist –

“One witness, part of a group involved in the trouble, explained to staff that things kicked off when another passenger appeared dressed as a clown. This upset one of their party because they’d specifically booked a cruise with no fancy dress. It led to a violent confrontation.” 1:17 AM – 27 Jul 2019

By the way “fancy dress” is the term used in Britain to describe a costume – like a clown. This turned so ugly that chairs and plates were being hurled around but …. it was after midnight and a LOT of booze had been consumed.

It made me think about dress codes on board ships – lots of people say that they don’t want to go on a cruise if there are formal nights because of the dress code. Actually let me rephrase that – lots of MEN say they don’t want to have to wear a collar and tie in the evening – let alone a tuxedo! We women get away quite easily with a dress and maybe some sparkly jewellery.

However some cruise lines have done away with formal nights altogether and instead advise that the dress code is “casual elegant”. Well this means that the men can get away with no jacket and tie but a collared shirt is preferred and definitely long pants ….. BUT this code is open to interpretation as well. On the more casual cruise lines like Star Clipper I have seen men with shorts in the evenings – but then you are sailing on a tall ship and it is not quite the same thing as being on the Queen Victoria – no chance of having dinner with your shorts on that ship!

I somehow don’t think that would get past the Maitre ‘d

Breaking the code

Different cruises have different dress codes and planning what to pack can be a challenge sometimes.  The wording is oh so subtle…. Let’s take Celebrity’s dress code.  One of the descriptions – “Smart Casual & Above”.  That’s perplexing for sure.  So you can be smart casual both below and above?

Azamara Cruises goes for “resort casual” whereas Carnival calls it “cruise casual” while Norwegian Cruise Lines has no formal dress code.  In fact they are very laid back.  Jeans in the main dining room and speciality restaurants are acceptable as long as they aren’t overly faded, with holes or tears or worn below the hips.
baggy jeans

No dinner for you buddy!

Cunard at least holds tradition near and dear with either formal or semi formal and when they say formal – they mean it.  Evening gowns for the ladies and tux or dark suit with collar and tie for the men.  Even Cunard have decided however that they are going to cut down on the number of formal nights.  Most men are delighted but we women do love to dress up.
ugly dresses

But ladies – try not to get carried away.  Evening gown or cocktail dress does not necessarily mean sequins and when in doubt – wear black.  You really don’t want to stand out like this.
dress disaster

And guys – quit moaning about wearing a suit.  It makes you look handsome.  Look!
From this…..

to this….

Now that wasn’t that hard, was it?