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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Friday, August 23, 2013

Disney Cruise Line Changes Dinner Dress Code


Dressing for dinner--Night 1
Disney Cruise Line recently announced changes in the dress code for the three main dining rooms for all four of the ships.  Previously, dress code ranged from “cruise casual” to “semi-formal” to “formal” to an optional dress-up night with a pirate night sprinkled in for fun.  The dress codes varied depending on the length of the itinerary with longer cruises adding the semi-formal and formal evenings.  Dress-up night was reserved for shorter cruises and was optional for guests.

Dressing for dinner--Night 2
Cruise Casual was defined as slacks and nice shirt for men or boys—tropical prints or polo shirts, and casual dresses, skirts, or pant sets for women and girls.  It did not include shorts.  Yet, in seven years of sailing, we did see shorts worn by adults—especially men—in the main dining rooms.  And, DCL, being the service oriented brand that it is, never once made guests uncomfortable.  Guests, themselves, were sometimes uncomfortable. We would see dining room attendance decline for more dressy occasions, as it is possible guests were not prepared for these occasions and therefore opted out of the evening festivities. 

Dressing for dinner--Night 3 (Dress-up night)
So instead of raising the expectations or communicating them more clearly, Disney Cruise Line has now lowered the bar.  Shorts are now a part of the “cruise casual” definition when it comes to dressing for dinner.

The dress code for the adult only restaurants on the ships, Palo and Remy, remain the same with jackets expected for men for evening dining.

When I read the news, I was somewhat surprised.  DCL is adjusting its policy to what SOME guests were doing already.  There had been times when it would have been easier for the husband and boy to wear shorts to dinner rather than nicer clothes.  Yet out of respect for the ship, the crew, and the experience, we donned the appropriate attire for the occasion.  The only time that either of them have ever worn shorts to dinner was on Pirate Night.

Dressing for dinner--Night 4 (Pirate Night)

Note the change in shirt for the party and photos
Will the change in the policy change what we do?  At this point, I am not sure.  Maybe for our first night on board.  We enjoy dressing for dinner, as it is part of the experience.  Play hard all day, then change for dinner and the nighttime festivities.  The energy of the ship changes as well.  The dilemma for me isn’t the packing; it is the picture taking opportunities in which we take full advantage.

Dressing for Dinner--Night 5
It is 11 months until our next Disney cruise, so we have some time to think about. . . and to plan.  And, depending on guest reaction, the policy could change again before we sail.  In the meantime, I will be checking out the clearance racks after Easter for nice slacks for the boy.


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