Shorts on Cruise Ships: Travel Agents Weigh In

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When should you wear shorts on a cruise, and when should cruise lines allow it? Travel agents in a discussion on our Facebook page were split on the issue.

“A dress standard is a dress standard,” says David Andrew. “If you want to wear shorts to dinner, eat at the buffet.”

“Personally I like the idea of no shorts in the dining rooms at dinner time, same with t-shirts,” says Michael Lynch. “If one wants to wear casual attire like that, there are always the cafes.”

At the same time, Lynch says that cruise lines should keep “a few formal nights for dinner.”

“We've become such a casual world that no one dresses up anymore,” says Lynch. “On ships that have two tier dining rooms, if people want to go ‘casual’ on formal nights, have one level for that and the other reserved for those who wish to dress for dinner. Just my two cents worth. =}”

The question was prompted by an incident this week in which Royal Caribbean updated its dress code to allow shorts in the main dining room on casual nights, and then a few days later updated it again to remove shorts.

At the present time, the Casual dress code currently suggested on Royal Caribbean’s website does not include shorts, and also advises guests to “keep swimwear to the Pool Deck.”

Of course, Casual is not the only dress code Royal Caribbean outlines. There is also Smart Causal – “a step up from typical dinner wear” – as well as Formal, required on certain sailings for one to three formal nights.

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