Saturday, November 12, 2011

All Dolled Up

I’ve noticed that one of the most talked about things before the cruise is what to wear. Theme nights, beach parties, dinners, meet and greets, etc. It’s a lot of outfits to coordinate, and of course we all want to look our best for our boys. I'm no expert in fashion, not even close. So I'll give you guys a high level overview on what people did for the last cruise and throw in a few tips based on my past cruising experience as well.

Meet and Greet
Fans really dressed in a wide range of clothing for the meet and greet. Everything from T-shirts to cocktail dresses. Overall it's whatever you feel comfortable in. Just consider that your full body will be in the picture so make sure to think about the whole look. You may also want to think about the fact that the boys themselves typically don't get very dressed up. My most recent picture with Nick was a lovely shot of me in my cocktail dress and Nick in a T-shirt. I love the picture but we definitely look mismatched. Last thing you might want to mull over is if you know your group ahead of time, perhaps you can coordinate your look with your friends. I've included a few samples below to help give you a better sense of what other girls do: 

Mostly dresses for my group pic
A lot of fans represented their home country with their clothing
Some girls donned their BSB shirts

Some even went in costumes

Theme Nights
As we are all well aware, there are three theme nights to prepare for. I've seen so many 80's outfits and prom dresses over the past few months. I swear I've been putting more thought into these outfits than I did my actual prom dress. As I mentioned, I am no fashionista, so I'm not giving specific fashion tips here. My two biggest pieces of advice are to dress comfortably and plan for it to be potentially cold. Oh, and be sure to wear something that you won't be upset if it gets ruined. So make that three pieces of advice.

Lets start with pajama night. There seems to be two very distinct schools of thought on this- slutty or not slutty PJs. I don't want to get in the middle of this debate. I'll just say that I have opted for the classic, comfy PJ look and I'm doing so for several reasons. One, I don't feel comfortable wearing lingerie in public. Two, I'm afraid it's going to be too cold to wear practically nothing. Three, I don't think its practical. I want to be able to dance and run around without worrying I'm going to fall out of my outfit. Thus I plan on hitting the lido deck with my comfy pjs and cute pair of slippers. That said, I have nothing against those who want to take the other approach. I learned my lesson last year that you should also plan for a cold night, just in case. If you have the suitcase space, you may want to consider packing a bathrobe so that it is theme appropriate. I'm going to call dibs on the free bathrobe in our cabin just in case.

Moving onto 80s night. This theme is pretty self explanatory. Leg warmers, neon, jellies, oversized shirts, acid wash jeans, etc. I've never dressed for this theme before, and I was only 4 years old during the 80s. Thus you're all on your own for this one!

Last but not least prom night. I'm a practical person, so for me the biggest point of consideration was whether or not my dress would fit in my suitcase and travel well. I was going for sensible over aesthetics, so I'm opting for the shorter cocktail dress. Plus I was afraid with a bigger dress, I wouldn't be able to fit in the bathroom stalls. Those things are small enough as is without a huge gown to squeeze in. But it seems like girls are doing a wide range of dresses from big ball gowns to shorter cocktail dresses so I think you'll be fine with whatever you choose. As you are selecting your dress, I would also recommend you consider the fact that it may get ruined so I wouldn't advise taking anything incredibly valuable. And by ruined, I mean girls might spill drinks on it. Also make sure to pack comfy shoes with it. No shame in wearing flats!

Day Time
During the day you may find yourself changing several times. A casual outfit of your choosing should suffice during the majority of the time. Whether it be shorts, skirt and a tank or T-shirt, or a sun dress, you'll fit in just fine. You'll also want to pack at least 1-2 bathing suits. If you plan on getting in the pool/ocean every day, you'll definitely want more than one in order to have a dry one every day.

You'll want to wear something nicer for dinner if you opt to eat in the main dining room. Carnival goes by the 'cruise casual' attire which is casual dresses, casual skirts or pants and blouses, summer dresses, capri pants, dress shorts and jeans (no cut-offs). I would say most girls abide by these guide lines, though a few will opt for a more elegant dress. Basically as long as you don't show up in your bikini or gym-wear, you should be okay. One dinner is also designated as the formal night, so this is the night to dress to impress. I would recommend a nicer dress for this night.

After dinner we will have the deck parties, which I've already covered above. But after the deck parties, a lot of fans were still up either going to the casino, clubs, or just hanging out. Depending what you wore to the deck parties, you may want to run back to the ship and change into a more night club look. However I'd say that most people didn't go as glam as they would typically. After all, you are on a Caribbean cruise, so it tended to be a little more casual. Maybe a cute skirt or jeans and a nice summer top should do the trick. 

Feel free to share any additional tips below in the comments section. This is most definitely not my area of expertise.

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