All you wanted to know about Carnival Cruises’ ‘Cruise Elegant’ and ‘Cruise Casual’ Dress Codes

Dress Code Requirements on Carnival Cruises

One of the topics that continues to be a mystery to many cruisers and leads to many threads on the cruisers’ internet forums is the topic of dress codes for the “formal nights” organized on many cruises.

Almost all cruise lines have a dress code of some type. If a tuxedo is required on a particular formal night, some cruisers might want to get along with just a suit. Interestingly, cruisers who follow the dress code tend to tattletale and frequently complain of leniency and lax enforcement by the cruise lines.

Historically, cruise ships and premium cabins in ocean liners required that their guests and patrons wear formal dresses after 6:00 pm in all the public areas of the ship. Men regularly wore a white tie and ladies wore evening gowns. Over the decades, the dress codes have become less formal. During the 1960s, when cruise lines started appealing to budget travelers that might not own formal dresses, cruise ships designated some evenings as formal evenings and others as informal evenings. Cruise lines that appealed to the mass market began to loosen their dress codes and required formal dresses of guests that dined only in the main dining room. Different cruise lines relaxed dress codes to different levels, created many variations between cruise lines, and these factors resulted in much confusion.

Carnival Cruise - Cruise Elegant Dress Code

Cruise Elegant Evenings on Carnival Cruises

On carnival cruises, most evenings are casual nights requiring patrons to adhere to their ‘Cruise Casual’ dress code. Some nights, depending on the length of the cruise, tend to be formal nights—Carnival calls them ‘Cruise Elegant’ evenings. The number of evenings designated Cruise Elegant depends on the length of the cruise:

  • 1-day cruises: no Cruise Elegant evenings
  • 2- to 5-day cruises: one Cruise Elegant evening
  • 6-day or longer cruises: two Cruise Elegant evenings

Carnival usually schedules the first Cruise Elegant evening for the second or third day of the cruise and the last Cruise Elegant evening the second or third day prior to the end of the cruise, with the rest of the Cruise Elegant evenings spread out during the cruise.

The Lido restaurants are exempt from the dress code requirements during Cruise Elegant evenings.

Carnival Cruise - Cruise Casual Dress Code

Dress Code / Requirements on Carnival Cruises

  • Cruise Elegant: Shorts, t-shirts, jeans, flip flops, bathing suit attire, sleeveless shirts for men, sportswear and baseball hats are not allowed in the restaurants.
  • Cruise Casual: Gym or basketball shorts, flip-flops, bathing suit attire, cut-off jeans and men’s sleeveless shirts are not allowed in the restaurants.

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