Disney Cruise Line Formally Revises Cruise Casual Attire to Include Shorts

Last week, Disney Cruise Line quietly revised their definition of cruise casual with respect to appropriate dinner attire by removing shorts from the list of discouraged attire.  Previously, the cruise casual stated “no shorts, swimwear or tank tops.” Now, according to Disney Cruise Line’s revised cruise casual policy, effective August 5, 2013, guests are permitted to wear jeans, shorts, khakis and Capri pants. It is recommended that guests refrain from wearing swimwear or tank tops in the main rotational dining rooms.

This policy change has not officially been updated on Disney’s website like the change in smoking policy. Since the policy was not clear, I inquired with Disney Cruise Line directly to see if the policy states which types of shorts that are considered appropriate in the dining room, such as perhaps similarly to a golf course dress code. I was simply told that “shorts are permitted.” Although swim trunks are discouraged, there is no differentiation between athletic shorts and khaki dress shorts.

Furthermore, I asked if the policy would be enforced on formal and semi-formal nights. I was told that because formal and semi-formal nights were considered optional, the fallback is still cruise casual. Nothing says modern classic like a combination of tuxedos and shorts. Disney Cruise Line did confirm that the change in the cruise casual policy was based upon guest feedback and Disney Cruise Line’s website will be update soon to reflect the change.

Royal Court - Pumpkin Carriage Light

I think Barbossa said it best when he was referring to pirate code – the [dress] code is more what you’d call guidelines, than actual rules.

It has taken me a while, but I’ve come to the realization that it does not matter what others around me are wearing; I am still going to have an enjoyable dinner with my family. However, I do take issue with the fact that there is no clear line between what is acceptable and unacceptable, especially on the optional formal and semi-formal nights. Clearly, the no shorts recommendation has been ignored and unenforced for years. Without a clearly worded policy on what is acceptable attire for main dining and enforcement from the crew, guests will continue to stretch the limits.

For now, I can just make a note on the guest comment card.

What are your thoughts on this change?

55 thoughts on “Disney Cruise Line Formally Revises Cruise Casual Attire to Include Shorts

  1. cfaletra

    Not happy about that change. We always dress for dinner and feel that is one of the things that made Disney Cruises special – dressing for the dinner and show. If you want to wear shorts and tee shirts go to the buffet.

    Reply
  2. Richard

    We have seen and commented to cast members about shorts, they say they just get verbal abuse. We like to feel that we are in a restaurant, not a beach cafe. Bad decision Big Mick.

    Reply
  3. Katie

    I don’t care what others wear to dinner in the main dining rooms as long as they aren’t in just a swimming suit. A shirt and shorts is fine by me, even though we choose to follow the “dress code” as outlined by DCL.

    Reply
  4. Aly

    I like that they changed the dress code abit for the main fact that I’m not the dressy type at all. I do have nice shorts, nothing with holes or frays and it combined with a nice shirt will be more comfortable to me than a dress every night. I did get a dress for our Palo dinner which is also to celebrate our anniversary.

    Reply
  5. Gina

    I think it’s a great! I don’t like the idea of having to bring long pants for my sons and husband when we are on a Caribbean cruise. My husband much prefers to wear nice shorts with a polo shirt or a nice button shirt. But I agree that I don’t want to see people wearing bathing suits or sloppy shorts/shirts to dinner. Nor do I want to see people start showing up in sweats. But I’m happy about the shorts!

    Reply
  6. Ted Amick

    I would have preferred that the rule be limited to Dress shorts.. there are lots of nice ones on the market and it still keeps the dress up attitude.. I do not favor jeans, shorts, khakis and Capri pants. Also, dress up night should require dark suits or tux’s for men ONLY… or go up to Topsiders or the other restaurants if you don’t want to dress up. No sport coats and open shirts either… Dress UP is Dress UP…OR drop the Dress up program…

    Reply
  7. Robert Yetman

    The problem is, and always will be, enforcement of the policy. Unlike the smoking/non-smoking policy, which is a simple yes/no decision, clothing always will be a judgement call. Any time you try to enforce a clothing policy, someone will throw a public temper tantrum over ‘You let him in, and my shorts are only 1 inch shorter, and just as nice as his!!! I’m paying good money for this cruise, I can dress how I feel!!’.

    Reply
  8. Janet

    Love it! Our family prefers to dress casually (and no, we shouldn’t be regulated to the buffet because of it). All of you complaining about how others dress should take a good look at yourselves and your values. I’d much rather share a table with a nice, kind family in shorts than someone who judges people by how they dress.

    Reply
    1. Renee

      Amen, Janet. I wholeheartedly agree. If your biggest concerning is monitoring other people’s dress/appearance, I fear for what type of values you’re instilling in your children!

      Reply
      1. Theresa Grimm

        I think that children should learn to take pride in their appearance…and accept that social cues sometimes require dressing up. My children don’t judge others, but they’ve learned how to present themselves well. I’m sad about this change. It just seems like one more bit of manners and good taste is stripped away.

        Reply
      2. James

        Totally agree! You are paying the same amount as everyone else! You are there for enjoyment, not to impress others you will most likely never see again nor owe anything!

        Reply
  9. Ed Rpmj

    I am very happy about this change. I packed long pants for my children to wear on our cruise and after the first night started letting them wear shorts and polos because they went straight to the clubs from dinner and it was more comfortable for them. Also, when I looked around the first night I noticed well over half of the people in our rotation in shorts and/or very casual clothing. Nothing inappropriate, but very relaxed and I wasn’t going to worry about it. It was a Caribbean cruise for goodness sakes, why wouldn’t you be wearing shorts?

    Reply
    1. LC

      I agree with you. I leave for my trip in a few days and I really want to enjoy it and be comfortable. I’m paying my money. However, if I choose to pay extra and dine at Palo than I should dress accordingly.

      Reply
  10. Cruise Gram

    When will people learn to RELAX! Its not what someone else is wearing that matters. Anyone able to go on a Disney cruise should go for the FUN. There are many reasons for not dressing up every night for dinner, like……room in the suitcase and being to afford many changes in attire. If you want to dress up and can afford it, do it if it makes you feel good. If there is going to be a “Grumpy” in the group because he has to wear fancy clothes, that may ruin an otherwise very fantastic meal…..Remember…..RELAX!

    Reply
  11. Susan

    I personally won’t be wearing shorts, but as Florida residents my husband prefers shorts when we go out to dinner due to the heat. He wears nice golf shorts and a polo shirt that looks tasteful. I think tasteful is the keyword we would all like to see when we are on the cruise. Without saying what type of shorts, then who knows what we might see. It still won’t affect my ability to have a great time.

    Reply
  12. Christy

    I love the change! On our last cruise, I dressed my son (age 5 at the time) in nice shorts and a button-down shirt for dinner anyway. He was going to the Kids’ Club afterwards straight from the dining room so it kept us from having to go back to the room to change. Now I won’t have to pack long pants for my husband on our upcoming cruise either!

    Reply
  13. Robbie

    I don’t see a problem with wearing shorts as long as they are “decent” – no butt-grabber shorts that show more than they should. I feel the same way about tank tops, etc. I think alot of people don’t realize how much they are exposing (nor how disgusting they can look) to young eyes. Some people go around mostly naked and I think that’s embarassing to both my husband and the children. I also don’t like to see the teens in their pajamas at breakfast time either but there are no rules for that. I realize everyone has free agency but people should consider others, too.

    Reply
  14. M

    Wonderful change. I have a feeling this is an age thing. The younger parents with young kids need the flexibility so their kids can wear shorts and then go to the kids clubs and/or otherwise enjoy after dinner activities. Thank you, Disney for being flexible.

    Reply
  15. Sandra

    So happy. I guess I’ll be considered the “redneck” of the cruise because I wear my shorts and tshirt instead of dressing up. ::::rolls eyes::::

    Reply
  16. Emily

    In all honesty, I did use to care. We always dress for dinner. I wear a skirt, dress, or dressy pants, Scott wears pants, and our daughter always wears a dress (and has since her first cruise at 3 1/2). For us, packing is a non-issue, as we are Floridians and drive over to the port (we will be testing this luggage thing in Oct 2014 when we have to fly to San Juan to board our Southern Caribbean cruise and I am praying that Southwest Airlines doesn’t change it’s two-checked-bags-pp allowance by then!!!). We overpack; often, we have a suitcase 1/2 full of shoes. Our daughter enjoys dressing up and in fact wears a different dress every night. Yes, if we aren’t going to a show after, we do have to schlep back to our room for her to change before she heads off to the kids club, but it’s no big deal for us (I can see how those with late dining that use the Dine and Play program would like to just have their kids club-ready). I have to admit, I used to notice what others wore, but looking back what stuck out wasn’t people in casual shorts; it was teens allowed to wear booty-shorts that had sayings written on the back, or the guy wearing basketball shorts on formal/semi-formal night, or, the lady who did wear a dress, but forgot that there might be children aboard and left very little to the imagination……. Really, this is how it has always been, as people have been wearing shorts for as long as we have been cruising; DCL is just making it “ok.”

    Reply
  17. Rob

    I’m good with this change, I have never worn shorts to dinner before but will now. This makes packing so much simpler as we typically go to WDW after the cruise. Now only need to pack a pair of paints for Palo.

    Reply
  18. Tiffany J L Alfonso (@talfonso)

    I’m pretty much indifferent about the dress code. Though I still dress for dinner (slacks, dresses, etc.) I really don’t mind people wearing shorts in the MDR’s. I’m going on my third DCL cruise in a few weeks on the Dream and still dress up for dinner but won’t mind others reveling the new dress code change by wearing shorts.

    Reply
  19. Jeff Macintosh

    People who wear shorts anywhere other than while swimming are nothing but scum. Unfortunately that’s what we are surrounded by day and night as modern society continues to fall toward the “common denominator.” Look at pictures of Americans in the 20’s and 30’s. Even farmers and poor blue collar workers on strike picket lines are wearing trousers and jackets. Now people show up to formal restaurants with short pants and t-shirts on. Ironically, even poor people in developing countries in Africa and Asia wear long pants and long sleeve shirts as common clothing when out in public, yet the people of the richest nation on earth chose to go around looking like slobs. It’s nothing a policy can change. It’s a symptom of a society in decline, much like the prepackaged artificial “fun” sold on things like Disney Cruises.

    Reply
    1. Nealioh

      You sound like a giant doucher, you must realize that, right? Loosen up a bit and enjoy life. Jesus it would suck to have to hang out with you!

      Reply
  20. Jennie

    Yikes, I hope I’m never seated at his table. Kind of a sourpuss. Anyway, I LOVE dressing up, but I also like shorts. I think this is just fine. I will fess up and the pplat hue next table can go more casual. It’s vacation after all.

    Reply
  21. Jennie

    Wow autocorrect, thanks for making me look illiterate. Lol As I meant to say, I will dress up and the ppl at the next table can go more casual.

    Reply
  22. annie

    This is perfect information for me, thank you. I’m planning my first cruise ever with my family for August 2014 and I had no idea what to pack. I’m so relieved that shorts will be allowed — my 6 year old son is autistic, and has issues with a lot of clothing types. The more soft, loose cotton I can put him in, the better! I’m sure my 3 year old daughter will wear dresses to dinner, but I’m equally relieved that they don’t have to be semi-formal. It’s fun to dress up when it’s just the two of us, but throw kids in the mix and we just want to be comfortable.

    Reply
  23. Karen

    Good to hear!! Makes packing much easier. If those who have a problem with others wearing shorts perhaps they should try another cruiseline not geared towards families! Some people are just so unbelievable! Worry about yourself not others. Thats what we will be doing in our comfy shorts!! Lol.

    Reply
  24. Kristal

    WOW I am shocked. I dress nicely wherever I go and like to dress up for dressy things. But flying in from Canada with two small children, I do not wish to pack 5 suitcases and head back to my room 2 hours before dinner to get all “dolled up”. I would rather spend my time with my kids enjoying the day! Isn’t family time what a Disney Cruise should be about?! You can call me a slob for wearing shorts but I’d rather be a “slob” than a SNOB anyday. You think are are so tasteful for dressing so perfectly? Try perfecting your manners and your respect for others, it is a far more important. “Scum” isn’t someone who thinks wearing shorts on a FAMILY Carribean cruise is ok, “Scum” is someone who is the kind of person who would call other nice people scum for no reason, someone who thinks they are superior to others, when they are clearly not. If I was seated with someone this awful, I would have many choice words to say. Keep your impolite opinions to yourself.

    Reply
  25. Ginger

    To Me vacation is a time to hangout with family relax not have to worry about bring stuffy clothes that you might never wear again… I have dress capries and beautiful tops that look fine and summer pants with some jewelry I will look great not sure I will attend formal night but semi formal I got nice clothes….THANKS DISNEY FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING WE ARE COMING TO HAVE FUN….

    Reply
  26. Damasa

    When my son was littel he would wear nice dress shorts and a polo shirt, he is 12 now , we are going on the Fantasy for spring break. He will wear shorts and slacks with button down shirts. My husband usually wears dockers and i dress in dresses for dinner. We live in Florida and nice shorts and capris are definitely okay, but that means covering body parts that do not need to be seen in a public dinning room.

    Reply
  27. Frank

    I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned the extra expense in bringing extra luggage to carry all these nice clothes incures. My wife likes to dress up for dinner ( and therefor, so do I, I guess ) but we don’t live in FL and get to drive to the port. Each carried two bags on our recent Fantasy cruise and paid American Airlines $35 per bag each way, total of $280. Glad my kids are grown because if you throw in a couple ( as any young family going on Disney probably will ) I can see where this could be a deal breaker.

    Reply
  28. Diane

    Wonderful change! So, for a 4 night cruise you can basically pack all your clothes in a carry-on. Cruises vacations on Disney are family oriented and as long as you look neat for dinner that is what is important. I wish all cruise lines would follow Disney’s lead.

    Reply
  29. FirsttimeDisney

    I like that they have given us a choice. Also flying, with two kids. I will pack fewer pants for my son 🙂

    Reply
  30. first7daycruise

    Does anyone know what is the best night on the Disney fantasy to do Biddidi Bobbidi Boutique would it be princess night or formal or semi formal night?

    Reply
    1. Alecia

      I’ve sailed on the Disney Fantasy twice and have booked the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique on the 1st sea day each time, which has always been a formal night. I book an early appointment because the Princess Gathering is the same day. My youngest loves going to dinner all dressed up and I’m relieved because I don’t have to do the Princess Gathering later in the cruise. Two birds with one stone. 🙂

      Reply
  31. Pingback: What is Cruise Casual Attire on a Disney Cruise?!

  32. Jennifer B

    Thank you, Disney! I don’t want to spend half my vacation getting my family of four dressed for dinner. It takes a lot of time. I’m on vacation, for crying out loud, why would I want to dress up?

    Reply
  33. Stephanie

    When they say no tank tops, does that count sleeveless tops as well? My daughters have some cute sleeveless sundresses that they were planning on wearing to dinner and I’m worried about packing them now.

    Reply
  34. Anna

    I find it extraordinarily entertaining that some are complaining about others dressing in shorts for dinner on a cruise where giant stuffed animals wanders about freely… It’s a DISNEY cruise! A company that believes in the magic of letting children be children… If you want an upscale formal affair go to the Celebrity cruise!

    Reply
  35. Cindy

    Can kids where crocs or chacos with nice shorts and golf shirt? Wasn’t sure what the typical shoe was with shorts? Does it matter?

    Reply

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