Cruising for people who hate to dress up

We want to take a trip and have never been on a cruise. Now we are simple folk,
not taken to wearing evening finery or drinking tons of vintage wine. Since I am technically still recovering from hip surgery, we were thinking a cruise might be good - still get to see different sights without carrying luggage into a new hotel every few days.

The cruise we are considering is on Radisson Lines and goes from LA to Florida thru the Panama canal. We are generally pretty active and hate the thought of only guided tours on land. I think that the stops are San Diego, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, somewhere in Costa Rica, Panama and Cayman Island, then on to Ft. Lauderdale. It is a 14 day cruise. Since I am still paying off my hospital bills and such, money is an issue. However, this year has been horrible and we deserve a nice trip.

So who’s a cruiser? Pros and cons? Anyone taken this particular cruise?

Maybe that wasn’t the best thread title :smack:. I don’t wanna hear any jokes about driving around looking for slobs, ok? You guys are much more mature than that…

Yeah, sure we are!

My dad and his wife just went on a cruise, but they liked to do the dress-up thing. However, based on their stories, the dressing up is for when you eat dinner in the formal dining room. I’m under the impression that there are other food options outside of the formal dining room, and those don’t necessarily have such a formal setting.

So you might be able to just take a “normal” cruise and skip the formal dinners. (Note, I’ve never cruised, so YMMV.)

I’m not sure about that. C’mon, you’re a regular in the MMP, we LIVE for being juvenile. :smiley:

Anyway, on to your question. Although I’ve never been on a cruise, my MIL has. She told me there are different dining rooms, so you don’t have to dress formally, if you’re eating in the proper dining room. She went on a month long cruise and I believe she only dressed formally once. The rest of the time, she dressed comfortably and ate comfortably.

Your best bet is to actually check with the liner and find out.

First point: There are designated formal nights, it isn’t the whole cruise. I’ve never been on Radisson, but I can’t imagine it’d be any different–this isn’t 1900, people just don’t dress like that all the time anymore. It’s a costume, not wearing-clothes.

Second point: The formal dress referrers specifically to the main dining room, nowhere else, although some people will keep on their ridiculous tuxedos and wedding dresses for the show that may follow. I’d wear a shirt with a collar to it, but wouldn’t go much more out of my way than that.

Third point: There is no rule which states you must eat in the dining room. There will be numerous other restaurants and you can always eat in your room, where you can be naked if you so choose. I generally always eat in my room, usually on the balcony, but then I don’t like people. If you enjoy the company of strangers, again, their are other restaurants.

Fourth point: The formal dress is completely optional anyway. If you do want to eat in the dining room, just go. Some of the other guests may be upset that you disturbed their let’s-play-dress-up game, but the crew will not care in the slightest. I’ve been told this on numerous occasions when I’ve lost my luggage and had only what I was wearing.

You might check out Norwegian Cruise Lines, something they advertise as “free-style cruising.” No assigned meal times and all the tips are included in the price of the fare. (Tipping on cruises is another one of those things that are just a teensy intimidating, if only because there otherwise seem to be so many people to be tipped.)

The buffet is always no dress code. For the rest, it depends on what you mean by “dress up” - the cruise line did ask for slacks, no jeans on the men at the common dining hall during dinner hours - well, no, can’t say I saw anyone tossed out, at that. There were other dining areas on board that were probably fussier.

Me, I don’t think that a jacket and tie would be all that much to ask for, and on the other couple cruises I’ve taken, that’s all they wanted at the few “formal” dinners that were held.

Have fun.

Check out Windjammer Barefoot Cruises

There’s a buncha whole message boards dedicated to cruising. One of them is at

Everybody else already answered the dress-up question. And yes, there will be people who are horrified if you don’t dress up for the dining room on a formal night. Just so ya know.

We did a Disney cruise a few years ago.

We found that most people in the dining rooms lived by the dress code, which was just “no shorts, no jeans” I don’t find pulling on a pair of Dockers and a collars shirt to be a ridiculous requirement. There were people who didn’t follow the dress code, and frankly, its a little gross to be dining close to someone whose armpit hair is sticking out because they chose to wear a muscle shirt and cut offs. Its different next to the pool with a slice of pizza than in the dining room over lobster bisque. Perhaps that makes me a snob.

Formal night is a little different where a about half the people actually wear evening wear, or at least a real suit or a cocktail dress. But there are plenty of people that still wear whatever.

The advantage to the formal dining rooms is that the food is often better. Disney has a buffet, but the food isn’t as good. They have pizza and hamburgers, but it isn’t as good. And they don’t have a full room service selection. So it may be worth bringing a real pair of pants.

The pro is that all the food is included - even room service! You may ring up quite the bar tab though.