A traveler asked for advice on social media platform Reddit ahead of their very first cruise trip. The social media user explained: “My boyfriend and I are going on a cruise which departs November 1st. I’ve read that the dress code for normal dinner parties is ‘smart casual’.
“Men should wear collared shirts and women should wear skirts, dresses, slacks or blouses.
“I’m not a big girl and I don’t have a lot of these things in my wardrobe, so I was wondering if they actually enforce the normal dress code for dinner.
“Obviously we wouldn’t go in shorts and t-shirts, but we just want to know how they are with the normal dinner dress code.”
Other users shared their experiences and warned against breaking the strict rules. Traveler @pyro_sporks explained: “It depends on the ship and the people working.
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“We were turned away on Celebrity [Cruises] for not having a jacket on a formal evening or for men wearing Teva type sandals.”
However, they claimed they then went to the other entrance to the restaurant and “didn’t say anything”.
“I would say if it’s a formal night out, no shorts or t-shirts, no matter how good they look,” they recommended.
Social media user @slammy-hammy shared a tip to avoid shopping for formal clothes before your trip. They said: “On my last cruise I bought a long black dress and wore it with flip flops and changed necklaces or shawls to make it look different.
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“I only wore it to dinner, so I used a bunch of it before I ruined it by getting food all over it!”
Passenger @bethelns recommended, “I usually get away with black jeans and a smart top. I wore a lot of dresses because it was hot where I went.
“I wore the same dress for both ceremonies (on a week-long cruise). You can still dress up and go to the buffet, but you’ll miss out on amazing food and experiences.”
Another traveler going on his very first cruise asked, “I’m curious if for casual days in the main dining room I’m good with cargo shorts and a polo shirt?
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“I’ll bring pants and a jacket for the nice night, but I’m warm and prefer to be comfortable on my vacation. Is my wife good in jeans and a shirt? Or should we plan to eat in the one of the other places?”
Passenger @radrachelleigh explained that although not always enforced, “shorts and flip flops are not allowed”.
Likewise, the cruise guest explained that jeans aren’t allowed on posh nights.
However, @jwr410 said, “It depends on the queue, but in general if you’re reasonably well dressed, no one will make a fuss. You’re a paying customer. They want you to have a good time. “
Cruise passenger @sweetmona1 added: “The smart casual wording and description looks exactly like the description they used on the Celebrity cruise I just got off yesterday.
“Really, almost anything goes. I own a lot of dresses – casual to dressy – but not a single blouse or pantsuit!
“At smart-casual parties, I would wear either a casual dress or jeans and a tank top. Depending on the tank top and the shoes, it might look very ‘smart’, but rest assured there will be plenty of guests who will really only be wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
“As others have said, this may not fly in the main dining room (especially the men’s shorts), but is definitely acceptable in the buffet and any casual restaurant.”