Monday, November 5, 2007

What do the Dress Codes Mean on a Cruise Ship?

If you're preparing for a cruise, you may be wondering what clothes to take along. How do you have to dress on board the ship?

Different cruise lines have different standards (Norwegian Cruise Line is known for its freestyle cruising with relatively few requirements), but you'll always be able to relax in whatever you want for your daily activities. Where the dress codes come into place is with dinner dining.

Cruises may have formal nights, informal (or semi-formal nights), or casual nights. Here's the lowdown on each:
  • Formal nights -- This is big-time dress up time. If your ship has these nights planned, take what you'd wear to a nice wedding, i.e. tuxedos or dark suits for men, or cocktail dresses, gowns, or other fancy digs for women.
  • Informal/Semi-formal nights -- Think suits or sport jackets and ties for the men and stylish dresses or pants suits for the women.
  • Casual nights -- Despite the implications of the word casual, this probably means more than a t-shirt and a swimming suit. Consider decent pants and collared shirts for men, and dresses, skirts, or pantsuits for women.
If you enjoy dressing up, you may choose to go to every dinner in fancy digs, but if you hate dressing up (something I can sympathize with) or just don't own a lot of formal clothes, you might want to sail with the freestyle cruise line (NCL), though they still provide opportunities for folks to dress up who want to.

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