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Jade13

HAL no longer requires formal dress

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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.

 

You've got a couple of months to read reports as cruisers return from their cruises. I expect you'll be able to see a pattern of how people are dressing before you cruise.

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I think HAL made it clear on the website that shall remain nameless when the social media co-ordinator said today

"...We do apologize about the frustration [this] has caused. On gala night the preferred attire for the gentlemen is jacket and tie however, collared shirt and slacks are required." (Emphasis added) So it's clear that you can wear a collared shirt and slacks; no need for a jacket, tux or even a tie.

 

Of course HAL also said there would be a "...five-course gourmet dinner in the Dining Room." Haven't seen that recently.

 

I'm also in the club of not caring at all what other people wear. Wearing a tux or nice slacks makes no difference to me.

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I think HAL made it clear on the website that shall remain nameless when the social media co-ordinator said today

"...We do apologize about the frustration [this] has caused. On gala night the preferred attire for the gentlemen is jacket and tie however, collared shirt and slacks are required." (Emphasis added) So it's clear that you can wear a collared shirt and slacks; no need for a jacket, tux or even a tie.

 

Of course HAL also said there would be a "...five-course gourmet dinner in the Dining Room." Haven't seen that recently.

 

I'm also in the club of not caring at all what other people wear. Wearing a tux or nice slacks makes no difference to me.

 

Thanks for the information. To me this seems like no change at all from before except that sometimes Hal would choose to enforce the dress code policy. Seems like the reservation person at Hal was not really correct. What are the chances of that ever happening :D?

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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.

 

The FAQ's have not been updated to reflect the new policy which recently went into effect. Express Documents and other sources confirm "On gala night the preferred attire for the gentlemen is jacket and tie however, collared shirt and slacks are required."

Edited by qsuzi

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After becoming confused about just EXACTLY what does HAL's "new" policy state I went (of course) to the HAL site.

 

Yes, the website has not yet been updated. However, e-docs and the 07/2015 "Know Before You Go" do have the updated language about what is required. Multiple HAL reservations agents have confirmed they received this in a memo late last week.

 

For more, see: http://www.hollandamerica.com/assets/cruise-vacation-onboard/KBYG.pdf

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I'm sorry to see the change. My husband and I enjoy the formal nights and there's just no other place to have that experience. And, yes, part of that experience is everybody being dressed up. For me it's the difference between eating in a restaurant with a lovely view vs. one overlooking a gas station. The food might be the same but the experience is different. I would think anyone could understand that even if they don't feel the same way.

 

DH has always rented a tux -- takes care of the baggage problem for him and my stuff doesn't take up much room. But now I'd feel silly with him in a tux. So I'm leaning toward slacks and collared shirts for both of us. I mean. it's either formal or it's not. As others have said "suggested" vs "required" attire is silly. You can't have it both ways.

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On my recent NCL cruise, I brought a little black dress and heels, just in case. I never wore it and that pleased me no end. :) I am a firm convert to Freestyle, country club casual after a great many years of loving formal nights.

 

Until/unless something more changes with HAL's wishy washy language regarding Gala Night dress code, I will do the same. I will bring one little black dress, just in case, and hope to not have to wear it. :)

 

They need to be clear and definite in expressing what they expect. Sitting on the fence and making us guess is serving no one.

 

I mean really....... In the past, suggested dress was vague enough but now 'preferred'........ what in the world does that mean?

 

 

Edited by sail7seas

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I mean really....... In the past, suggested dress was vague enough but now 'preferred'........ what in the world does that mean?

 

 

 

I'm not aware of anywhere that says preferred, other than here on CruiseCritic. It says required and it says appropriate. That gives us the following possibilities for "Gala" dress:

 

1) Fails to meet the minimum requirements and is inappropriate.

 

2) Meets the minimum requirements but is inappropriate.

 

3) Meets the minimum requirements and is appropriate.

 

I initially thought that this was a bad idea, until I realized the comedic potential. :D - I had fun with "Tropical Casual," but this has serious potential. It's got me bummed out that we couldn't do the Quebec City to Boston cruise next month.

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Dear POA,

You can do any cruise you wish I am quite sure. :) And am also sure will be dress totally as required, suggested and/or preferred. :)

 

I wish I had that cruise booked though I don't want to travel to Quebec. I much prefer the Boston to Boston. ;)

Edited by sail7seas

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On my recent NCL cruise, I brought a little black dress and heels, just in case. I never wore it and that pleased me no end. :) I am a firm convert to Freestyle, country club casual after a great many years of loving formal nights.

 

Until/unless something more changes with HAL's wishy washy language regarding Gala Night dress code, I will do the same. I will bring one little black dress, just in case, and hope to not have to wear it. :)

 

They need to be clear and definite in expressing what they expect. Sitting on the fence and making us guess is serving no one.

 

I mean really....... In the past, suggested dress was vague enough but now 'preferred'........ what in the world does that mean?

 

 

 

This will be my plan too. I normally take 2 dresses, one long and one short. I bring several dressy scarves/jackets to go with it. I think I'll take my long dress, 2 dressy scarves and then something that's a little more dressy than smart casual. That way I should be ok and I'll take a bit less formal clothes.

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I think the larger challenge about what attire is appropriate is very much dependent on where you live, etc.

 

A fair amount of people on this board assume that the standards where they happen to live are the standards for the country. Or worse, the standards in their country are what really should be the standard in the rest of the world.

 

The notion, for instance, that jeans are for home and fast food outlets simply does not take into account the fashion realities of high end designer jeans nor does it take into account acceptable dress in many parts of the world. Plus there is a huge generational and demographic gap in fashion sense.

 

This is so true.

 

It is pointless giving someone a lecture on what clothing to buy when you can only buy it online from overseas and then not ever wear it at home.

 

I know of only one restaurant here (population 4.4 million) that requires a man to wear a jacket.

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This will be my plan too. I normally take 2 dresses, one long and one short. I bring several dressy scarves/jackets to go with it. I think I'll take my long dress, 2 dressy scarves and then something that's a little more dressy than smart casual. That way I should be ok and I'll take a bit less formal clothes.

There are some really beautiful scarfs so that is a great choice. Amazing the different looks by just how you fold or manipulate the scarf.

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There are some really beautiful scarfs so that is a great choice. Amazing the different looks by just how you fold or manipulate the scarf.

 

I've got some beautiful scarves. I picked one up in Guatemala on one of my cruises. It's pink with some sequins. Every single cruise I've worn it on I've gotten several compliments. Scarves really do change an outfit.

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I initially thought that this was a bad idea, until I realized the comedic potential. :D - I had fun with "Tropical Casual," but this has serious potential. It's got me bummed out that we couldn't do the Quebec City to Boston cruise next month.

 

 

There's always "Alaska Casual" ....

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There's always "Alaska Casual" ....

 

Hoping to learn about that next year. I hope it's not just Aloha shorts with bears and salmon on them.

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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.

 

In my circle, a baseball cap worn indoors is not considered socially acceptable. Head coverings that are obviously worn for religious reasons are definitely socially acceptable. Ball caps, no.

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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.

 

I think it's pretty simple, honestly. You wear what you feel is most comfortable. If that's a formal dress, great. If its pants and a blouse and blouse, great.

 

Ignore what everyone else is wearing because you are a) most comfortable and b) following "rules."

 

I just don't get the "feel out of place" thing, I've not once in my life experienced it. Maybe it's because I'm a Millenial or whatever.

 

I don't mean that negatively, I just can't comprehend that confusion now when the acceptable clothing is much more varied.

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Hoping to learn about that next year. I hope it's not just Aloha shorts with bears and salmon on them.

 

 

Close, but here is the back of one of Tom's shirts

Although in all honesty his Alaska attire is one of the many Hal sweatshirts with a Hal ship on it, then he wears a collared shirt underneath. ImageUploadedByTapatalk1439172305.460879.jpg.14e4fa4c8c77707cf755c58876d2aec1.jpg

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I think it's pretty simple, honestly. You wear what you feel is most comfortable. If that's a formal dress, great. If its pants and a blouse and blouse, great.

 

Ignore what everyone else is wearing because you are a) most comfortable and b) following "rules."

 

I just don't get the "feel out of place" thing, I've not once in my life experienced it. Maybe it's because I'm a Millenial or whatever.

 

I don't mean that negatively, I just can't comprehend that confusion now when the acceptable clothing is much more varied.

 

I don't feel comfortable in formal because the situation doesn't dictate it. If it was a fancy party it would. To be underdressed in a situation is equally uncomfortable.

 

Somehow it doesn't surprise me that you don't understand. I was raised in a different generation when there seemed to be a different awareness then there seems to be now. Like you say I don't mean that negatively. When I worked downtown I would dress up because I felt I should dress in an appropriate way to my senior level. Others wandered in with hoodies and yoga pants. To me that is not smart casual. To them it likely was. By the way I'm 54, not 84.

Edited by cruz chic

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Close, but here is the back of one of Tom's shirts

Although in all honesty his Alaska attire is one of the many Hal sweatshirts with a Hal ship on it, then he wears a collared shirt underneath. [ATTACH]358552[/ATTACH]

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Nice! The map helps you to tell it's AKausual** and not BCasual, or Yukon Chic.

 

**Just made that up. Also Googled it, and it appears to be a whole new term. I hope, with all my heart, that HAL adopts the term. It will allow me to fulfill my lifelong dream of inventing a dress code that we can fight over.

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Hoping to learn about that next year. I hope it's not just Aloha shorts with bears and salmon on them.

 

I do have an "aloha"-style shirt with salmon on it...

 

but I was thinking more of short-sleeved plaid lumberjack shirt, with summer-weight boots...

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In my circle, a baseball cap worn indoors is not considered socially acceptable. Head coverings that are obviously worn for religious reasons are definitely socially acceptable. Ball caps, no.

 

Really? I've known a number of men who wear baseball-style caps (with no insignia, markings, etc.) for religious reasons.

 

Its also socially acceptable in Texas for a man to wear his Stetson in a restaurant - otherwise they'd need a seperate room just for the hats!

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Nice! The map helps you to tell it's AKausual** and not BCasual, or Yukon Chic.

 

**Just made that up. Also Googled it, and it appears to be a whole new term. I hope, with all my heart, that HAL adopts the term. It will allow me to fulfill my lifelong dream of inventing a dress code that we can fight over.

 

Be sure to get a sweater with deers, trees etc on it. Maybe even wear it for gala night :D. That will pull the outfit together.

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Be sure to get a sweater with deers, trees etc on it. Maybe even wear it for gala night :D. That will pull the outfit together.

Cal-Gala-ry? Galalberta?

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