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Jade13

HAL no longer requires formal dress

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I think we're all missing the key takeaway here. The new policy no longer says anything about "out of respect for your fellow passengers...."

It also sets people up to be in compliance with the dress code by wearing the required items (slacks, collared shirts,) while still allowing them to be considered inappropriate.

 

I can see it now. Tuxedoed and begowned passengers running up behind the golf shirt and khakis crowd screaming, "Inappropriate! Inappropriate!" Meanwhile. the business casual crowd yells back, "Die, you foppish dandies!"

 

I think we best all order one of Ruth's (patent pending) Heavy Purses for when the mayhem erupts.

 

True and I believe the challenge will be at tables of 6 and 8, when people who never met each other are put together at one table. Some brought formal clothing and others did not. I could handle a variety of dress in the dining room at various tables. However, to dine at the same table with different levels of formality would be unpleasant and awkward.

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I find the quality of the food and the civilized behavior of my tablemates effect my dining experience.

 

What other diners chose to wear has nothing to do with my enjoyment of the meal.

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"Chutzpah"? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

 

Many of us thought that it was his humorous way of dealing with a foot problem, and an inability to wear dress shoes. Since he couldn't wear the appropriate shoes, he went from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Very effective.

 

I suppose we have different definitions of this term, which I've been using much of my life. In the contexts I've always known it to be used, it's about making the best of an unfortunate situation with a wink and a smile. This fabulous attitude can help us get through life's difficulties.

 

This sort of chutzpah is also what we breast cancer survivors sometimes express, if we must counter any resulting lymphedema after our treatment. Some of us choose to wear the required compression sleeves in a variety of colors & patterns, not simply the institutional bandage-colored "skin tone" one. We refuse to consider ourselves as victims sidelined by our health. I've also occasionally worn a black one--and its matching gauntlet-- to coordinate with my formal wear...nicely shows off my pearl bracelet.

 

Have a good day, all.

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On a different note but the same problem. Did anyone read about the girl who went to work in "career" shorts and couldn't understand why they were sending her home to change into something more appropriate for work? She felt because the store she worked in sold these shorts it was appropriate for her to wear even though they have a dress code that says no shorts. :eek:

 

Will some people think because shorts and jeans are allowed in the Lido that they should also be allowed in the MDR? :rolleyes:

 

I enjoy dressing up for dinner, my DH does not like the suit and tie bit. So I will continue to dress up and I will have him wear at least the dress shirt with his slacks (minus the tie) which should make both of us happy. :D

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Given the change in the dress language, I still believe those frequenting the Pinnacle Grill or other Gala Dinners ( requiring extra prices) will probably be dressed formally. If you pay extra for the meal, then you might expect your fellow dinners to 'dress up'. Thoughts?

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I find the quality of the food and the civilized behavior of my tablemates effect my dining experience.

 

What other diners chose to wear has nothing to do with my enjoyment of the meal.

 

Add to that the quality of the service/servers and I will agree 100% :)

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I find the amount of formal bashing on this thread to be unreal. Apparently everyone that dresses formal wears cheap jackets from Sears or dresses made of fabric that shouldn't be worn in public. These statements are far more harsh then anything I've heard from people who dress formal. Wow.

 

Break out the popcorn and the score cards.

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I just told my dh the news.

He said "we liked HOLLAND America, didn't we?"

 

Yes, indeed, we did.

 

We're looking to cruise again after an absence of almost two years.

 

"Why don't you look at HAL cruises in January."

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Paying extra?

 

We pay extra to eat at alternative formal night venues on Celebrity, Princess, and RCI. We are dressed in casual attire.

 

Cannot see us doing any different on HAL now that the guidelines have changed.

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I'm sorry to see formal attire go. I like to dress up. Wish they would ban baseball hats or any other hat on a man in the dining room.

 

I totally agree with your comment about baseball hats in the dining room. RCCL does state in their dress code, no caps in the dining room and on a cruise last winter I did see one man asked to take his off as he entered the MDR.:):)

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True and I believe the challenge will be at tables of 6 and 8, when people who never met each other are put together at one table. Some brought formal clothing and others did not. I could handle a variety of dress in the dining room at various tables. However, to dine at the same table with different levels of formality would be unpleasant and awkward.

 

On many cruises, with or without a traveling companion, I have been seated at a table for 6/8 where I was the only gentleman wearing a tux, but the other gentlemen above the age of teen-agers at the table were wearing a coat and tie. Not unpleasant or awkward at all; sometimes receiving nice comments about my appearance.

 

Being the only man at the table with a coat and tie, tux or no tux, I am not sure how I will feel about that. I hope I won't have to find out.

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My traveling companion and I will be sailing for the first time on the Prinsendam, aka The Elegant Explorer, for her 2015 Christmas and New Year's Cruise. I am looking forward to observing what my fellow guests will be wearing for Gala Nights, particularly New Year's Eve.

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Given the change in the dress language, I still believe those frequenting the Pinnacle Grill or other Gala Dinners ( requiring extra prices) will probably be dressed formally. If you pay extra for the meal, then you might expect your fellow dinners to 'dress up'. Thoughts?

 

No--I would expect them to be dressed in what I hope makes them feel comfortable as long as they meet what HAL now requires, just as I shall be.

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Given the change in the dress language, I still believe those frequenting the Pinnacle Grill or other Gala Dinners ( requiring extra prices) will probably be dressed formally. If you pay extra for the meal, then you might expect your fellow dinners to 'dress up'. Thoughts?

 

I'm not paying to see people dressed up, down, or sideways. I'm paying for the food and the service.

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I take pen in hand (or computer keyboard) to lament the passing of the formal dinners on HAL ships. I know times change and the cruise line, being a business, must go with the desires of the customers. But I am sad.

 

Karen and I have cruised quite a bit on HAL and I have travelled not with a single jacket/slacks or suit. I typically have cruised with six jackets (grey, charcoal, dark & light blue and dark & light brown), three tuxedo jackets (midnight blue, white and powder blue) and six pair of slacks (grey (2), black, dark & light brown, and white. During the day and for excursions, I usually wear jeans and a golf shirt.

 

Of course typically, we do go on longer cruises. For us, a short stay on a ship would be, say, 28 days. Most of our cruises are longer than 60 days and often more than double this.

 

When not travelling, Karen and I live in rural Arizona in jeans and boots. But when cruising, we like to dress nicely for dinner every night. Except for formal nights, I usually wear a jacket with an open, button down collared shirt and slacks. On formal nights we dress formal (and I do not consider a sport coat and tie as formal,) and our wearing $50,000 worth of jewelry was not uncommon. An interesting thing about our jewelry is that it is not bling and most people do not even realize we are wearing anything special. But it makes us feel good and on ship is one of the few places we can wear it and feel safe.

 

Unfortunately, it seems as though the nights of formal attire are ending. Some may say “you can wear a tux if you like”, but that is not really the entire story. On our recent cruises there were only a few or no other tuxes in the main dining room and I really felt out of place wearing one. To me, it is not enjoyable to be the only formal couple at dinner, we absolutely felt way overdressed.

 

We are not “suites” people, usually cruising in an inside cabin. I like to sleep late on sea days and that pesky morning sunlight can make it difficult. So our formal dressing has nothing to do with social consciousness.

 

On longer cruises, I wonder if it might be possible for there to be several nights in the Pinnacle Grill, not specialty Le Cirque or mystery nights, just exclusively formal nights where we might recapture the ambiance of the true formal dinners that have now faded into the sunset.

 

Scott & Karen

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I agree. They've changed the wording to "gala" to avoid alienating the passengers who don't want to hear the "f-word" of cruising. And they've changed the suggested dress description to be less formal than before.

 

At this point, I don't care if HAL drops "gala" or "formal" nights. I just wish they would either have some degree of formal night and enforce it or give up and admit they're giving up. Trying to be all things to all people doesn't work.

 

This might be the best comment in the whole thread. Either do it or don't but if you do, enforce it.

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What is there to argue about??

 

HAL now says collared shirt and slacks are acceptable attire for me in the MDR on formal/gala nights. I do not think that that it could be any clearer.

 

Why on earth would anyone criticize a fellow cruiser for wearing this on these in the MDR on formal nights if they are within the bounds of acceptable as HAL defines it?

 

Criticism and disdain would be better directed at the source-HAL.

 

This will end up being like the last earth shattering debate about the changes to the bringing your own wine on board policy. There will be lots of indignation, ands, ifs, buts, and I am switching cruise lines. My guess is that the vast majority of HAL regulars and HAL cheerleaders will continue to book with HAL and will consider HAL to be 'the best of a bad lot'.

 

I suppose it is. I've been cruising for a long time, and the experience isn't what it once was. To be fair, the prices aren't what they were, either, if you adjust for inflation. So I've accepted the dilution of services here and there, changes in the menus, etc. But HAL is still pretty good, especially compared to other lines. Except for one last trip on Norway before she blew up and an experiment with Princess (not to be repeated), we've stuck with Cunard and HAL for at least 15 years.

 

I don't think of myself as a cheerleader, but in recent years we've become HAL semi-regulars. Not because of their formal nights, although we've always participated. But because HAL gives us a relaxed vacation at a reasonable price. Small ships, interesting itineraries with US/Canada departures, peace and quiet (no endless Bingo announcements), pleasant service, no nickel-and-diming. I'm sure there are other things I could mention, but these come to mind quickly.

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No one has "outlawed" formal attire - wear it if you want. Wear it every night if you want.

 

And some men, for cultural or religious reasons, need to have their head covered at all time. A baseball cap is a socially acceptable (in North America)way of doing that.

 

 

Perhaps US. Not in Canada. That goes back to the comment someone made about cultural differences, I guess. Religious head coverings are appropriate in any restaurant on this side of the border. Cowboy hats and ball caps are supposed to be removed at the door.

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In the past, formal nights meant that the passengers dressed up for the most part and to varying degrees over the course of time. The dining room was fancied up a bit, the staff dressed up and the menus were special, albeit not in everyone's eyes.

 

Now all nights will be smart casual from a minimum dress perspective, but are the ships going to continue to hold the "Gala" nights and simply ignore the change for passengers? The fancy white slip covers might have been appropriate when people really did dress formally, but are they still necessary? Will the crew continue to dress up while the passengers dress down? Will "Gala" night menus continue to be special or will some of the better items appear randomly throughout the cruise? Or disappear completely?

 

It may take longer than the change in dress code for passengers, but I suspect that "Gala" night too will disappear in the not-too-distant future.

 

I also suspect that we'll see far fewer threads on CC asking which nights are formal/gala nights on this or that cruise!

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Perhaps US. Not in Canada. That goes back to the comment someone made about cultural differences, I guess. Religious head coverings are appropriate in any restaurant on this side of the border. Cowboy hats and ball caps are supposed to be removed at the door.

I was about to say that, but you covered it very nicely. :)

 

No doubt you'll see people in Timmy's wearing a ball cap, but even in an establishment like that we insist on our grandchildren removing their ball caps, toques or other head gear when entering. We don't insist with our kids because they know better!

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Just my personal opinion is that many are making a bigger thing out of this than what needs to be. There are always going to be those that want to dress up, guys wearing suits or a tux or white dinner jacket and women dressed in their best. A Holiday sailing will probably see far more because of many being first time cruisers with families and friends and many wanting to take advantage of photo opportunities. I honestly do not think any of this will change. The same holds true on NCL and Celebrity. I have witnessed far more dressed up on NCL and those dressed quite nice in Country Club Casual than I have on my last two HAL cruises. There are ALWAYS going to be those that have no common sense for dress such as the Gentleman I saw in the Main Show lounge on a HAL ship for Formal night in his T shirt, shorts and flip flops and this was several years ago. As well as you will not see the couple that dug out their 30 year old suit and dress out of moth balls because they had to dress formal. :D

 

One thing in all of the discussions here that has not been stated is that actually I feel HAL took the first step in making Formal nights less Formal and that was in the way of the Menus/Food offerings for Gala Night that was Introduced the start of Alaska season. Truly we found nothing special that would even be remotely "Formal" about the menu. Actually like the rest of the HAL menus we found them sliding a slippery slope of decline :(

Very soon if it has not started yet The Captain's Toast and introduction of Officers on the first Formal night will also be a thing of the past. HAL has taken away reasons to want to dress up.

 

We have one more cruise booked with HAL and it is the Premiere Cruise of the Koningsdam and sadly if Food Quality and menu has not improved for that cruise we have decided it most likely will be our last HAL cruise. We know being the first cruise it will be a shake down cruise with crew not knowing things and the ship most likely having problems with being brand new but the Food Quality and menu offered should be the Best HAL has to offer for a Premiere sailing and should not be what we have experienced on our last two HAL cruises.

Edited by LAFFNVEGAS

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Discussion on this board has wandered such that baseball caps are now the latest topic. After becoming confused about just EXACTLY what does HAL's "new" policy state I went (of course) to the HAL site.

 

What I found is that the OP's original comment:

"no jackets or ties are required in the dining room on "formal nights" which are now optional. HAL will only require collared shirts and pants"

is NOT accurate according to the HAL website.

 

The HAL website on the FAQ page (dress code option) in contrast says:

"Evening dress falls into two distinct categories: Gala Attire or Smart Casual.

Most evenings, Smart Casual is appropriate and can be defined as slacks and sports shirts or sweater for men and a skirt or trousers and sweater or blouse for women."

 

On Gala nights: "Jacket and tie are appropriate for gentlemen, while ladies wear a cocktail dress or gown. On Grand Voyages, many gentlemen choose formal attire."

 

The change in HAL policy, which will likely be recalled better by those who have cruised more recently than we, was as I remember "suit and tie or tuxedo for men" on "formal evenings".............

The new policy would apparently now downgrade Formal evenings to "Gala" evenings and the dress code to jacket and tie. The collared shirt and pants as discussed in this thread are pertinent to Smart Casual evenings only.

 

Whether the lack of a jacket/tie will rule out entry into the dining room will have to be determined..........seems like in the past there were several 'gentlemen" without jackets and/or ties on formal evenings if my memory is correct.

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In the past, formal nights meant that the passengers dressed up for the most part and to varying degrees over the course of time. The dining room was fancied up a bit, the staff dressed up and the menus were special, albeit not in everyone's eyes.

 

Now all nights will be smart casual from a minimum dress perspective, but are the ships going to continue to hold the "Gala" nights and simply ignore the change for passengers? The fancy white slip covers might have been appropriate when people really did dress formally, but are they still necessary? Will the crew continue to dress up while the passengers dress down? Will "Gala" night menus continue to be special or will some of the better items appear randomly throughout the cruise? Or disappear completely?

 

It may take longer than the change in dress code for passengers, but I suspect that "Gala" night too will disappear in the not-too-distant future.

 

I also suspect that we'll see far fewer threads on CC asking which nights are formal/gala nights on this or that cruise!

One can only hope the gala nights will disappear. It's the worst menu with the least choices of the cruise. It's not even close to what the formal night menu used to be even a year or so ago.

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This might be the best comment in the whole thread. Either do it or don't but if you do, enforce it.

 

That's the rub, though. HAL now enforces a different level of dress but that the bare minimum. Anyone can still wear a tux.

 

It's the best of both worlds and matches nearly every other service-oriented company on this planet.

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That's the rub, though. HAL now enforces a different level of dress but that the bare minimum. Anyone can still wear a tux.

 

It's the best of both worlds and matches nearly every other service-oriented company on this planet.

 

Best of both worlds? Not really. Now I have no idea what to do about my next cruise. I've always been a person that has worn formal out of respect for myself and others. Now it's wishy washy. I want to leave my formal clothes at home because the whole experience has been dumbed down for the masses. I'm afraid if I leave my formal stuff at home I'm going to feel out of place. If Hal wants the end of formal then draw the line in the sand and call it all smart casual. As usual, they try not to offend anyone with these wishy washy policies and end up with more of a mess.

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