Change of Attire for Meeting a Queen

I think Cunard is getting ready for me. A product of the sixties — well, just in some ways — I've never really been a dress-up kind of guy. I've never owned a tuxedo. At our wedding, I wore a royal blue jacket and striped pants…or trousers, as they would say in Cunard speak. I could count the number of times a tux has been on this body on three fingers, maybe two.

Get the picture?

Cunard has always been a dress-up kind of cruise line. Tuxes everywhere, right? No tux, no ship. Well, not any more. The pendulum has swung.

This week, the world's most famous cruise line announced an update to dress codes, a loosening of the ties, its ties with the past that is. Actually, it's been happening for a while, this shift to a more casual attire, but now — methinks for the first time — there are more casual nights than formal nights on Cunard's three ocean liners: Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth.

I loved Cunard's statement, positioning the news as a renewing "its commitment to the joy of dressing up" in explaining:

"In a world where everything seems to tend towards the casual, Cunard is proud to give passengers the opportunity to put on their best bib and tucker and really shine.  Dressing up heightens anticipation and brings an extra special sense of occasion to an evening at sea.  Our passengers tell us it makes all the difference to their enjoyment of a big night out on board.”

In other words, a shift to modern trends while trying not to annoy passengers who have always loved the elegance of formality.

On a one-week Cunard cruise, there will now be "two or three" formal nights and "four or five" informal nights where jackets are still required but ties are not to "heighten the sense of anticipation for formal nights even more."

Whatever Cunard calls it, I call it a move to get me on board one of the Queens.


Norwegian Jewel
7 nights
May 8, 2013
Los Angeles, San Francisco, Astoria, Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver
Inside: $319
Cost per day: $45
www.ncl.com

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