Are cruise formal nights becoming a thing of the past? Yes and no!
Gala Night (formal night) is still going on most cruise lines, but the dress code is changing on some.
With airlines restricting baggage allowances and not everyone wanting to dress up, maybe this is a good thing.
(We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases).
Are cruise formal nights becoming a thing of the past?
A cruise formal night – Gala Night is part of traditional cruising and goes back in cruise ship history, but with cruise ships getting bigger and more people cruising things are changing.
Once upon a time travelling was much easier, and we didn’t have to worry about how much our luggage weighed, but today we are charged for everything on a flight – even hand luggage with some airlines.
So packing bulky formal dresses and dinner suits is becoming more challenging.
So are you ready for a change?
What Happens on the Captain’s Gala Night?
The Captain’s Gala Night is a cruise ship tradition where there will be a Captain’s cocktail party and you will see the Captain and his senior officers introduced. They will be wearing their formal night uniform. In the main dining rooms, there will be a special Gala Night menu.
Cruise Formal Night Dress Code
Cruise formal night dress codes can differ, and after cruising with MSC Cruises, the gala night dress code is called Elegant or Chic.
The elegant or chic dress code is whatever you find elegant. This is the part that covers everyone.
This is the current MSC dress code for Gala Night: ‘On Gala Night, dress to impress! Whether that means a tuxedo, suit and tie, evening gown or cocktail dress, or perhaps it’s your very best jeans and polo shirt, your attire should fit your own level of elegance.’
They do put a disclaimer on no shorts, flip flops, tank tops or t-shirts.
This elegant night dress code makes life a lot easier when it comes to packing for your cruise. As you can make the decision on how formal you would like to dress.
Of course, you can miss the Gala Night completely by going to the buffet and wearing what you want.
If your cruise still is holding traditional formal nights and requires formal attire, please read ‘The Ultimate Cruise Formal Night Guide’. This great guide tells you everything you need to know.
Cruise Formal Night Choices
When I was still working on board cruise ships, formal nights were not an option and you had to dress up if you wanted to go into the dining room. After dinner, you would see people had changed into something more comfortable. This makes me believe most people who cruise today prefer no formal attire.
When I cruise with my husband as he is still working on board and he has to dress in his formal uniform, I do dress up on the gala nights, but it is nice to have the option to just put a nice dress on. Sometimes I like it, sometimes not, it depends on the itinerary and if it was a port day or sea day.
If there is an elegant/chic option on your cruise, you can leave the dinner suit and long dresses at home. Also, ladies remember cruise ships are getting bigger so more walking! If you can’t walk in high heels, go for nice flats or low heels.
What do you prefer? Do you like dressing up for a cruise formal night? Or do you like an elegant option?
Here are some cruising products from Amazon you may find useful on your next cruise – have a look at my Amazon shop page and click here.
More Cruise Ship Tips:
What do you think? Are cruise formal nights becoming a thing of the past? Do you like or dislike formal nights? Please comment below.
I hope you have found this information helpful and now know more about the different cruise dress codes.
Please share on Facebook and Twitter so your friends and family can read it too or pin for later on Pinterest.