Live From Carnival Liberty: Formalities

December 5, 2011 | By | 12 Comments

You can’t escape formal night. It’s everywhere, and every time I pack for a cruise, I panic. Should I bring a sundress? A cocktail dress? A ball gown? Something more clubby? Where the heck did I put that matching purse? And what about shoes and makeup and hair and nails?
Normally I go for something middle-of-the-road, but this time I decided to resurrect one of my old prom gowns for kicks — a bright mint-green mess of sequins and taffeta that makes me feel slightly like a princess (when I’m not busy sweating to death or hiking it up in all of its strapless glory, that is). In contrast, my cabinmate chose something short, lacey and elegant. We were curious to see which would be more status quo.
So we wanna know: Do you go with khakis and a blazer or a tux? A skirt and blouse or a full-blown gown? With so many options (and we saw plenty, including men in military dress blues and women in spandex), how do you lean? Or do you simply not participate? Tell us in the comments below.
See what most people said about formal night in our recent daily poll.
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    12 Responses to “Live From Carnival Liberty: Formalities”

    1. Mimi
      December 6th, 2011 @ 8:41 am

      Khakis & a blazer? Panic, lol? Why would you not bring the little club dress, something appropriate for “dinner” and sun dresses for casual evening & during the day. Khakis & a blazer is simply casualwear. Why would you not have compared a tuxedo with a suit & tie if the topic is formalities?

    2. Nikki
      December 6th, 2011 @ 9:06 am

      I have two formail dresses that are 3/4 lenght and I rotate them. The first one I bought new and it was V expensive aftr that I got wiser and bought a gently used dress.
      health icooff

    3. honeychile
      December 6th, 2011 @ 10:03 am

      I love formal night and felt really gypped recently when on a 4-night NCL cruise I was told that only cruises of 5+ days have a formal night. I try to dress for dinner every night — to me, it’s part of the fun to dress for dinner each evening. But my criteria for the dress is \what will fit in my suitcase.\

    4. Jennygirl
      December 6th, 2011 @ 1:06 pm

      During the day, I am super casual (think swimsuit with a sundress over it at all times), so I dress up every night for supper because I get a kick out of it. Dressing up for me means dress pants and a nice top. I guess I don’t go out of my way to look super nice on formal night, I just wear my dress pants a nice top. When my husband and I go to the steakhouse, I usually wear the one nice dress I own.

    5. Kate
      December 6th, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

      I do the nice slacks and top one night with dressy shoes and jewelry, other night I wear a dress ( usually cocktail length) and for steakhouse- definitely dress up. I like seeing the guys in jackets and slacks.

    6. Carolyn Terlouw
      December 6th, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

      Love, love love to dress up. My hubby wears a dark suit, not tux, but I have two formal gowns that I love. We always dress up for dinner as well. Not a suit but nice shirt and slacks for my man and something sexy for me. Heck I can wear my sweats etc., when at home.

    7. ARcruisin2
      December 6th, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

      I usually do a cocktail dress on formal nights and sundresses(most of which I wear to church in the summer) on the other evenings. Dressing up a little just goes with the special experience of the cruise.

    8. DMW
      December 6th, 2011 @ 7:39 pm

      formal nights on board is the only time I can dress-up! It’s nice to dress for dinner also (not formally). And I don’t worry how others choose to dress. Also it’s the time I really like having pictures taken of me.

    9. Nichole
      December 6th, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

      I love the formal nights and go all out. My last cruise I carried two long formal dresses one gold with glitter and the other cream coloured, one pair of shoes that could be worn with both dresses and purchased accessories from the funshops. My husband usually carries a tuxedo for the formal nights but we also dress up a bit for the regular nights.

    10. Angela Guptill
      December 10th, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

      My husband always goes for the suit and tie and I usually pack an evening gown. Last cruise however,I wore a blingie, circle neckline, black, short dress with black capri’s underneath. Black shoes and silver handbag and really nice jewelry finished the look. I’m going to take the same short dress but wear georgette palazzo pants under this time. Very elegant and doesn’t wrinkle or take up much room. :-D

    11. Cruise Critic
      December 11th, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

      @Mimi: I did bring all of those things, and “panic” was a bit of an exaggeration. My point was that every person seems to have a very different opinion of what constitutes “formalwear.” Regarding men’s formal attire, I don’t agree that khakis and a blazer are casual — especially not on a Carnival sailing. That’s why I didn’t compare a suit to a tux. I was purposely trying to catch both ends of the spectrum.

    12. Jody
      September 20th, 2012 @ 9:26 am

      Do men have to wear dress shoes for formal night?

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