what to wear on an Alaskan cruise?

Q. I am going on the Holland American cruiseline in July. This is my first cruise. What do I wear in the evening? How formal are the nights? Do I need long dresses each night? How chilly are the days? Any tips regarding the cruise will be helpful. What about seasickness tips? We are also taking our 2 children, ages 13 and 9, on the trip. Any tips for them?

A. Check what the requirements for evening dress are with the cruise line. Definitely pack a coat for each occassion, casual, formal and semi-formal if evening wear is needed. Sometimes even in the summer in Alaska I needed a jacket. Temperatures are always cooler out on the water. Pack Dramamine for seasickness and eat light "snacks" till you get used to being on the water.

How should I dress for my cruise?
Q. This is my husband and I first cruise and I have no clue how to dress for formal night. We are going with carnival cruise and we are staying for 7 days, 6 nights. How many nights is formal night? What is the dress code? What do they actually do at the formal nights? Are long dresses or short dresses appropriate? Thanks:)
Oh and also how much is the alcohol? Is it open bar or cash bar? Do you have to pay for the food or is it included?

A. Lots of questions! I've been on a few cruises (Princess, NCL, and Celebrity were the lines I've taken), and while I can't answer all of them, I'll do my best.

Most cruises have about 2 formal nights per week. You'll want to check your specific journey to see how many you will have. On formal night, I typically wore a suit and my wife would wear an evening dress or a cocktail dress, or a nice top with a long skirt. You could probably get away with a Sunday dress or a sun dress, but you'd probably feel a bit underdressed at that point. I'd say the "minimum" attire for men is a shirt and tie with nice slacks or collared shirt with nice pants and a sport jacket. We're not talking horrible prom outfits here, just nice dinner party sort of attire. As far as short vs. long, I would tend toward longer rather than shorter. Then again, you are going on Carnival, which is generally less formal than the rest.

Alcohol on cruises is not cheap at all, and is almost always a cash bar. Food, on the other hand, is mostly included. Most ships will have a couple of "specialty" restaurants where there is a small charge, but the main dining rooms and buffets tend to be free.

A great resource for all sorts of crusing information is cruise critic:


The message boards there are just immense, and you can often meet up with people going the same cruise as you are ahead of time.

Is it slutty to wear a short dress to prom?
Q. I don't want to come off as a slut, but would it look slutty if I wore a short dress to prom? It's strapless and goes to my knees. I just cannot stand long dresses, especially if I'll be out all night. They're too much of a hassle.

A. OFCOURSE NOT! Around here, almost everyone wears a short dress to prom. I HATE long dresses too so I know where you're coming from. And it's up to your knees so that's not even that short! Have fun(:

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