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Formal Nights


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No. I'm not going to ask it there are formal nights on RC ships. I know that formal nights have been watered down and are now kind of a "get a little dressed up and you will be ok" nights. Caribbean cruises are even more relaxed than that.

My question is more about what do people do when they want to dress up for formal night? I am a s/w developer, so my normal attire is jeans/shorts and a tee shirt/polo shirt. My wife likes to get a little more dressed up. I would like to accommodate her and maybe wear a suit on formal nights.

When I pack for a week cruise, my medium size suitcase is pretty full. I have not mastered the art of packing light, but I am working on it. If I want to add a suit, dress shirt, dress shoes, etc. my packing budget is blown and I will probably have a very wrinkled suit. I don't want to look like the 1930's debutantes on the Queen Mary that bring 10 big trunks just to carry my clothes, because I do not have a valet to dress me. 

How do you pack your formal night clothes?

Steven

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I take either a blue blazer with khakis or a light gray sport coat with darker gray slacks for RC formal nights. I fold the dress clothes with each piece inside a thin dry cleaner plastic bag and put them in my suitcase. I never have wrinkle issues and I do travel light. I take only a carry on size suitcase that fits in the carry on bins on planes and a backpack. I always have plenty of clothes for 5-7 night cruises.

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Do you own any packing cubes? If you do, you can pack anything that will be okay being rolled as to not get wrinkled and then lay your formal wear flat. I always do this for work conferences where I have to take a blouse and work pants. I normally just have the standard carry-on so space is limited.

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We still dress up, and DH brings a suit every time. He's never wrinkly. He says use dry cleaner bags between garments (pants in one, shirt in one, jacket in one). Also he said there are some you tube videos on how to pack a suit and to look for the ones where you turn the jacket inside out. 

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As a business traveler I bought a sports coat with the criteria "must travel well".  It doesn't wrinkle easy and it goes with everything.  It's "good from far, but far from good".  It checks the box on formal nights.  Do I look like a million bucks?  Nope.  But I'm not trying to.    

I have worn it with my khawi hiking pants that have zip on legs.  They are shorts by day, and check the box of "long pants" by night.  

A travel ready sports coat with a white dress or collared shirt, no tie.

Sitting at dinner all everyone sees is a dress shirt and sports coat and it's very easy to pack.

For me that's good enough while keeping in the spirit of the intention.  

YMMV.

 

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On 7/24/2021 at 7:07 PM, Jill said:

Not anymore 

New post COVID?  Last rented a tux on HOS June 2019.  I had to ask on the ship the first day.  They sent a tailor up to the cabin for measurements that afternoon/evening and the tux arrived the next morning.

 

Sorry to hear.  I hope they bring it back.  Thanks for the update.

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I pack everything in dry cleaning bags.  4-5 items per bag.  I don’t know why this helps with not wrinkling but it does.  Also, when TSA invariably opens my checked bags (?‍♀️), they don’t actually touch my clothes.  I used to be a manager at a major retailer & would have the stock dept save all the large plastic bags that the towels came in for me.  I have tons!!

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So you know your wife likes to see you in a suit, absolutely you should wear one. Get a rolling garment bag, get a bigger suitcase, pay the fee and take an extra bag, ask for an iron or use the pressing or dry cleaning service on board. Having your wife think you are handsome is priceless, having her attracted to someone else may cost you a fortune. If I'm traveling with other couples I'll coordinate with the men to see of they are going with tuxes or suits. I let my wife pick out which suits ( I only only own one tux so that one is easy). There is no reason to not look your absolute best for her, if she hates suits then you don't need to worry. Personally my wife, who is in her fifties, looks great in dresses and heels and can still tun heads so I'm all about letting her be happy with herself and with me. I've got a large suitcase with a removable hanging garment bag that upon arrival quickly hangs up and stays wrinkle free or has minimal wrinkles. I dry clean everything anyways so I keep it in the bags and it folds just the once. That bag holds enough for the formal nights and dinners so I can wear slacks and a dress shirt to every dinner and it holds all her dresses. I economize by only going with one pair of black dress shoes and one black belt, so I keep to dark colored slacks. Once you add brown tones you double your accessories and shoes, grey still works with with black shoes and belt. . When going with a tux I wear the same black dress shoes not high gloss tux shoes and no tux shirt, a white dress shirt with a bow tie still gives you that 007 look, just avoid the buttoned down collar. We have luggage where the carry on has a sideways strap so it slides onto the checked larger bag so you push a single unit and I drag the garment included bag so for 5 pieces of luggage its three things, two for me, one for her.

Maybe your experience is different but many women, my wife included, spend lots of time and energy on hair, make-up, accessories, shoes, etc., you can dress up as a sign of appreciation. But then again my grandsons age 6 to 15 all wore a bow ties to formal night when we took them on a cruise, so I realize were outliers to some.

 

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One other trick but if you rarely travel it might not make sense for you. I have a few of the airline credit cards which gives each person in your group a free checked bag, so for a week or more if we have three checked bags I only pay for one but for less than a week were usually fine with one checked each. This only works of you fly more than once a year on a particular airline since there is often a $50 or $100 annual fee for the card. Just figure out who goes where you go often enough.

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On 7/23/2021 at 1:13 PM, stevendom57 said:

My question is more about what do people do when they want to dress up for formal night? I am a s/w developer, so my normal attire is jeans/shorts and a tee shirt/polo shirt. My wife likes to get a little more dressed up. I would like to accommodate her and maybe wear a suit on formal nights.

When I pack for a week cruise, my medium size suitcase is pretty full. I have not mastered the art of packing light, but I am working on it. If I want to add a suit, dress shirt, dress shoes, etc. my packing budget is blown and I will probably have a very wrinkled suit. I don't want to look like the 1930's debutantes on the Queen Mary that bring 10 big trunks just to carry my clothes, because I do not have a valet to dress me. 

How do you pack your formal night clothes?

Steven

My first couple cruise with Royal I had the same problem I thought I was packing my suit, dress shirt correctly and by the time I unpacked them they were a wrinkled mess.

Afterwards for about 5 years straight my husband and I dressed up for formal night, we had the nice suite, the shirt, tie, shoes, even cufflinks.  We purchased a garment bag to pack our formal attire in and hand carried it on the flight and also onto the ship to keep everything wrinkle free.  After about 5 years of doing this on at least 3 cruises every year we both just got tired of it and now we don't dress up for formal night at all. However if you are serious and still would like to be a light packer (one suitcase) my suggestion would roll up your suit pants don't fold them, do the same with the shirt but you have to button every single button fold the arms at the seam the roll up the shirt as well. Now the suit coat I can't help you with that because I could never figure out how to roll a 2 button suit while maintaining the shape I wanted which is why my suite coat (the one thing people see other than the pants) were always wrinkled and why I switched over to a garment bag.

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Dark colored sport jacket (material must be as wrinkle free as possible) folded inside out, one shoulder into the other…packed in plastic dry cleaner bag. Found some good videos showing how to do it. Dark khakis, belt, nice tie and dark dressy-ish comfortable shoes. Sort of ‘casual/formal’ wear. But I try to get out of the jacket and tie as soon as possible after meeting the Captain, or whatever formal event is over. I’m on vacation.?

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I can pack for a 7-day cruise (incl a blazer and slacks) in a carry-on.  In our technique, its all about "shoe space control" and rolling things up.   I can't stand waiting an hour in baggage claim at an airport when I'm on vacation.   If its longer than 7,  we both check and as such take a little more with us. When we first started cruising use to bring a tux - no more  - I'm on vacation.  Especially for Caribbean.    Overseas - is a little different, but need to bring more anyway since we usually stay longer - still no tux as that requires single use shoes.  

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1 hour ago, LovetoCruise87 said:

I can't even tell you when the last time I wore a tie was. I work in the medical field, so I get to wear scrubs, aka pajamas, every day. I will have to dust off a few for the upcoming cruise though. Now where is that video on tying ties??  lol

Toddler Ties * Clip on in 8 Solid Colors

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