Dress - 2006 Carnival Valor Wine Cruise

Dress is always an interesting topic on cruises. Some people want to know "how much they can get away with" - i.e. they hate "dressing up". Others appreciate the reasons that there are rules and hope they will be enforced properly.

On this cruise, there were definitely a block of people who solely wore bathing suits and shorts. Nothing else. They ate in their bathing suits in the buffet lines, and never came to the formal dinners. They were completely content living this way. They never put on long pants at all, or a top more complex than a t-shirt. I talked with several people who said they solely lived on the buffet and pool decks and had pretty much not seen the rest of the ship.

I also ran into several people who had never eaten at the buffet nor gone in the pool area at all. They ate their meals in the formal dining room. For entertainment they relaxed on their balcony or went to one of the jazz clubs in the evening.

We ate in the Washington upper dining room at the 8pm sitting (the capers said 8:30, but our cards said 8pm and that is when the doors opened for us). Therefore it might be that people at the 6pm sitting were the more casual diners, maybe the families with kids. These people *had* to get in and out in under 2 hours, for the room to be turned over for us. We were sometimes having 2 1/2 hr + meals, especially if we had several bottles of wine open, so we were much more leisurely about our meals. So it definitely could be that eating the late seating, in the wine club part of the dining area, self selected the clothing and people I saw during dinner.

What I saw of the crowd for dinner pretty much never wore jeans, even on "casual elegant" nights. I never saw shorts or tshirts. I did see one pair of jeans the entire cruise at dinner, on a young guy. The guys all wore slacks. On formal nights they wore suits or tuxes. My boyfriend "only" wore a button-down shirt and a tie and felt a bit underdressed. Most women wore long dresses although some wore flowy pant suits.

Intriguingly, last year on the Liberty there were gangs of roaming teens. Here we pretty much NEVER saw kids - and when we did, they were very well dressed and behaved. We saw a pair of young men with their parents once, in button down shirts. During formal night we saw two girls in medium-length dresses. During one cocktail dinner we saw a couple with their young son, in a polo shirt. There were a few kids in the buffet area, but not many. I would say it was a time of year thing - but this was the exact same time of year that the Liberty went last year. The only real difference is that the Liberty was in the western Med.

Most of the "shorts" crowd on the ship went around in flip flops. Most of the "slacks" crowd went around in regular shoes.

Case in point - one of the couples at our table only showed up for one dinner, to see what it was like. The rest of the nights they ate in the buffet and hung out in the casino. They didn't like to get dressed up, they just wanted to wear shorts and eat casually.

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