Q – What is the percentage of men wearing tuxedoes during formal nights? My husband is totally opposed to the idea of cruising on a ship that is formal but he will only at top tier resorts and hotels.
A – It depends – but the answer is not many unless you are doing an Atlantic Crossing in Queen’s Grill accommodations on one of the Cunard Transatlantic liners. Silversea and Seabourn, as well as Crystal, have formal nights. Sea Dream, Viking, Oceania, and Regent have none at all.
The “My Husband Won’t Go on Any Ship Where He has to Dress Up” question is still the one most frequently asked on our cruisetruth site. And our answer has not changed much. “If your husband doesn’t want to wear a tux at sea or a business suit – embrace him and let him know that he is normal and that his feelings will be respected.” But sometimes we get a different version of this question as in “My husband refuses to bring a sports jacket on a cruise ship. What would be the best line for us?” Our response is always “Take him on a Greyhound Bus or an Amtrak Train”.
But that is not a complete answer to your question: On those lines that do have formal nights on a sailing of two weeks or longer, you will find anywhere from 30-50% of the men in formal wear. Many luxury cruise ship guests own a tux and want to wear it and many like the elegance and tradition of dressing up once or twice for dinner. But the bottom line is that tastes are changing and even those lines that have formal nights are now offering alternative dining venues where casual dress is still the rule. This is what we recommend for any of the world’s top ten cruise lines:
For one-week sailings, men should bring blazer, some open collar shirts, and slacks to wear in the evening. For longer sailings, two sports jackets are recommended. Women should not bring gowns on cruise ships and blazer pantsuit combinations are always in style.