And among those activities…
So it’s your first Carnival cruise and you’re wondering… what is the deal with cruise formal nights?!
First, a list of cruise formal wear outfit ideas!
Then, a list of things you should know about formal nights on a Carnival cruise.
There are affiliate links below. You should totally check out some of the cruise outfit ideas. And you might be able to find some general cruise outfits for 50% off here, some cute bikini sets on sale here, and some cute one-piece swimsuits here.
Also see possibly the most popular item specific for a cruise – these tags for your cruise luggage.
And also see these packing helpers to help you pack better and maybe even go carry-on only.
1. What are some cruise formal wear ideas?!
So what to add to that cruise packing list when it comes to what to wear on a cruise for elegant evening?
In general, it’s really up to you how formal you want to get.
There are people who really get into it and will wear more formal evening gowns.
And there are people who aren’t as formal.
I say this having been on over 80 Carnival cruises I think! I used to work on Carnival cruise ships so I’ve been through a lot of formal nights!
So as long as you are some form of dressed up when you go to the main dining room, you won’t feel out of place.
Here are some formal wear ideas for women:
- Classic glam off-the-shoulder bodycon dress
- Love poem lace dress
- Air of romance maxi dress
- Always stunning convertible maxi dress
- My beloved lace maxi dress
And more general ideas:
- Long-sleeve cocktail dress
- Short-sleeve cocktail dress
- Long-sleeve elegant dress
- Off-the-shoulder elegant dress
Here are some formal wear ideas for men:
You can also take a look at what Carnival officially says about what to wear on a Carnival cruise:
2. It’s actually called “elegant evening”
Carnival no longer likes to call it a formal night.
Instead, on the cruise schedules (and everywhere else) you’ll see it referred to as elegant evening.
3. How many formal nights are there on a cruise?
For 3-day, 4-day, and 5-day cruises, there will be just one formal night.
Anything more than that, including the popular 6-day, 7-day, and 8-day cruises, will have 2 formal nights scheduled.
4. What days of the cruise are formal nights?
This can depend on your exact cruise itinerary.
They generally won’t be on the last day of the cruise, and you won’t have a formal night 2 days in a row.
You can expect the first cruise elegant evening to be on the second day of the cruise.
And if you’re on a longer cruise (long meaning one week in this case), that also likely means that the second day of the cruise will be a sea day.
There’s a good chance that your second formal night will be on a cruise port day.
5. Does everyone dress up on formal night?
If you walk around the cruise ship on the promenade or main deck on a formal night, it’ll generally be hard to find people who aren’t dressed up.
Most people DO participate in formal night.
6. Do you NEED to dress up on cruise formal night?
There’s no requirement that you MUST be a part of elegant evening.
If you don’t want to get dressed up, it means that you probably won’t want to eat in the main dining room.
But that’s really not a problem.
All you have to do is head to the lido deck dining area on formal night.
7. There’s a lido deck buffet on formal nights
And all evenings of the cruise.
They start serving dinner around 6pm here.
And this is where you’ll find all the people who aren’t dressed up.
You’ll likely find more people on lido deck for dinner on the second formal night.
So if don’t want to have to worry about packing for your cruise 2 formal outfits, you could always just do one formal night. (Or really, you could just wear the same outfit for both evenings…)
8. Get your picture taken for free
Formal night is a GREAT night to take that family photo!
There will be all sorts of backgrounds to choose from, so you might as well just go down the line and get your picture taken in front of all of them. (Seriously.)
Well, simply getting your picture taken is free, but if you end up liking the picture, you’ll have to buy it.
But you’ll be giving yourself choices for your cruise souvenir by getting a shot with all the backgrounds!
The pictures won’t be available right away. You’ll head to the “photo gallery” the next day of the cruise to look for your picture.
9. Go for at least one formal night!
Travel is all about experiences! 😉
HAPPY CARNIVAL CRUISE FORMAL NIGHT!