Which Cruise Ships Have Formal Nights?

Which Cruise Lines Have Formal Nights?

Formal nights on cruise lines can be one of the few divisive topics when it comes to cruising, but it can often be tough to know which cruise lines have formal nights and which don’t. While in the past it was a given that there would be a formal night on your ship, or even formal attire required regularly for meals, formal nights can be a much rarer sight on the cruise lines of today. Formal nights typically refer to a scheduled night of your cruise where everyone wears formal attire to dinner. Depending on the type of cruise you enjoy, a formal night on your next cruise might be a positive or a negative! Keep reading to find out which cruise lines have formal nights and which cruise lines don’t have formal nights, as well as what to wear to formal nights on each cruise line!

Carnival Cruise Formal Night

All Carnival Cruises that are 2 days or longer feature at least 1 formal night called ‘Cruise Elegant Nights.’ Depending on the length of your Carnival Cruise, you could have multiple formal nights, or Cruise Elegant Nights.

On formal nights on Carnival Cruises, men are expected to wear dress slacks and dress pants but are welcome to wear a suit and tie or a tuxedo. Likewise, on formal nights on Carnival Cruises women are expected to wear their choice of a cocktail dress, pantsuit, elegant skirt and blouse, or an evening gown.

Disney Cruise Formal Night

There is at least one formal night, called a ‘Dress-up Night’ on each Disney Cruise that is 3 days or longer. In addition to formal nights on Disney Cruises, there are also other fun themed nights like Pirate Night and Casual Night!

Formal nights, or Dress-up Nights, on Disney Cruises are optional, so you don’t have to dress fancy if you don’t want to! Men are advised to wear a jacket on formal nights on Disney Cruises. Women are advised to wear a dress or a pantsuit on formal nights on Disney Cruises.

Norwegian Cruise Formal Night

There are no formal nights available on Norwegian Cruises, but there are still options for those that want to dress up!

To fill the void left by a lack of formal nights on Norwegian cruises, there are optional ‘Dress Up or Not’ nights. Like the name implies, this means that you can choose to dress in formal attire on special nights along with fellow cruisers or choose not to wear formal attire.

From personal experience, you won’t feel left out no matter what choice you make, with roughly half of the passengers choosing to dress up and the other half choosing not to.

Celebrity Cruise Formal Night

Fitting with the theme of other cruise lines on this list, Celebrity Cruises do not have an official formal night but have an ‘Evening Chic’ night. Celebrity advertises Evening Chic night as a less formal alternative to the traditional formal nights offered on cruise ships.

Men are advised to wear pairs or designer jeans along with a dress shirt, buttoned down shirt, or sweater. Women are advised to wear either a cocktail dress or either skirts or pants with an elegant top. You are still permitted to dress in traditional formal attire like a tuxedo or gown if you wish.

Princess Cruise Formal Night

There are formal nights on every Princess Cruise that is longer than 4 days, with longer cruises having more formal nights.

The dress code for women on formal nights on a Princess Cruise includes your choice of an evening gown, cocktail dress, or elegant pant suit. Men are expected to wear either a tuxedo, a dark suit, or a dinner jacket and slacks on formal nights on Princess Cruises.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Formal Night

You can find formal nights on every Royal Caribbean Cruise that is 3 days or longer. There can often be more than 1 formal night per cruise depending on the length of your Royal Caribbean Cruise!

The dress code for formal nights Royal Caribbean Cruises is a bit more stringent than the dress codes of formal nights on other cruise lines. Formal nights on Royal Caribbean Cruises are black-tie, with tuxedos, suits and ties, evening gowns, and cocktail dresses being the recommended attire for formal nights on Royal Caribbean.


Formal nights on cruise ships can be an amazing way to forge memories that will last for a lifetime, but choosing the right cruise is crucial to having a perfect formal night on your next cruise! If formal nights are important for your next cruise, you are in luck! Nearly every cruise line has some form of formal night available for you to dress up in your formal attire.

If you are planning on attending formal night on your next cruise, be sure to check the dress code for formal night on your cruise. As a general rule of thumb, most cruise lines require standard dress clothing for formal nights but do not require overly formal attire like a tuxedo or evening gown. Make sure to take lots of pictures at the next formal night on your cruise ship and you may have even more fun than you would expect!

Want to know more about the food on your next cruise? Click here to see which cruise lines have midnight buffets!

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