I know this has been done to death, but I wanted to ask a very simple question. What is the suggested attire AROUND the ship (and LIDO) during evenings (not just in the dining room). Also when is the dress code in effect (what hours)? I am asking specifically for the Zuiderdam because I heard dress is unofficially (and unfortunately) different on this ship as opposed to the rest of HAL.
When we were on the Z last year they had 2 formal nights, one informal night and the rest casual I think it reads somewhere you are suppose to remain in the dress of the day for that evening, never happens. Many folks will dress for dinner and as soon as that last fork is dropped off to change. I never saw a dress code enforced. We do dress for the formal nights (tux etc) but that is our choice.
I sailed on the Zuiderdam last year, first cruise. Our cruise had only one formal night, however this was a gay cruise, and that may have been the reason. We chose not to attend the formal dinner because the tuxedo rental onboard the ship could not supply the proper sized tux for my partner and we had enough luggage without the formal attire. So we ate at the buffet restaurant that night with quite a few others.
On the non-formal nights, long pants were required, however one night I realized I had never changed and was still wearing shorts halfway through the meal. Nobody said anything to me or even raised an eyebrow, but I felt self-conscious about it anyway.
On this years cruise, I think we'll find room for the formal attire, I feel I missed out and I like to take advantage of all the cruise has to offer.
My husband & I were on Z in October, we had the same nights as Pete. There were some that did not dress on formal nights, but they were in the minority. We kept our formal clothes on through the evening (show, clubs, etc.) it was just more fun! What I thought would be a problem for my husband (dressing formally on vacation) pleasantly turned into him enjoying himself immensely. The night for us started at dinner & continued on through the night, but there were quite a few that changed after dinner, I guess to be more comfortable when walking the deck, shows, etc.
My sister just got back off the Carnival & I believe that it is not as formal as HAL ships. She did dress, but she said there were some that had jeans on in the dining room.
To be honest, everyone did their own thing. What works for you will be fine. Have a great time, we did. I'm curious as to the Disney line & how it is there. Happy cruising!
HAL Zuiderdam -October 2003
Disney Wonder - May 2004
HAL Statendam - May 2005
Disney Wonder - Sept 2006
Carnival Fantasy - Dec 2006
Carribean Princess - Oct 2007