Formal Night: A Vision in Red, White and Blue

Friday night after the Birthday Booze Cruise in the Bahamas, our group had a short amount of time to head back to our rooms and quickly change into the red, white and blue clothing we packed for the cruise’s formal night.

As I previously mentioned, on a past cruise, our group decided to use the one formal night aboard the ship to get all gussied up, following a specific theme.

We’ve done ‘80s formal in the past and used the themes you guys selected to select this year’s theme of red, white and blue attire!

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Gotta love the plethora of random formal photo ops all over the cruise ship! Oh and yes, the white gloves I wore clearly brought out the Glamour Shot pose burning inside of me.

One of the best parts of doing a self-imposed theme for formal night was waiting for each person to come out of their room and debut their take on the red, white and blue attire. As you can see in the photo above, Ricky and Daniel ended up ordering the exact same vest off!

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The bow ties were a personal favorite. (For the record Ricky and Daniel are “negatively reviewing the crap out of those vests” on Amazon because they bled all over their white shirts… which made everyone else laugh.)

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Ryan was quite formal, sporting a jacket with a tailcoat, a cumber bund and a top hat that got passed around and hijacked throughout the evening.

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My dress came from the junior prom section at Ross while my shawl was sequin blue fabric that I had cut at Hobby Lobby. I actually paid more to have my dress altered than I did for the the dress itself and literally had people at the alteration shop dying laughing at the ridiculous layers of tulle in the skirt of the dress.

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Leslie added red, white and blue sequins and fringe to a velour dress that she found on sale and topped it off with a red star jacket she got at the Salvation Army store. Her dress looked like a leotard on top and was all kinds of fabulous.

Ross bought nearly his entire outfit for under $10 at a thrift store!

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Laurel’s floor-length red dress was her sister’s old prom dress. Jenn and Leah found their dresses online. Jenn’s dress ironically enough was ordered from the United Kingdom! 

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As we walked to dinner, we got high fives from other cruisers and a lot of smiles and even some picture requests. Yikes!

I even heard one woman ask her husband whether or not we were part of the evening’s show and others were convinced we were celebrating something special. Ryan’s cousin Daniel told people who asked that we were celebrating a wedding aboard the ship. Yep. A red, white and blue-themed wedding.


Dinner itself was delicious and I managed to capture my meal on camera – some of the only food pictures I took on the cruise, so please enjoy my food-loving friends!

To start, I ordered a Greek salad and ate every last bite. I was hungry and it was delicious.

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Formal night on Carnival cruises (and other cruises too, I believe) always comes with lobster tail as an entrée option at dinner and I always order it without hesitation.

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I cleared that plate too and loved the buttery mashed potatoes.

For dessert, my friend Laurel planned a surprise! She prearranged for a birthday cake to be delivered to our table for me so I could have candles to blow out on my birthday.

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It was so thoughtful and I was completely surprised! (I didn’t wear my white gloves during dinner because they made my hands sweat, but they somehow ended up covered in chocolate mousse! Naturally.)

We all split the chocolate mousse cake and it was fantastic.

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Formal night concluded a full day full of a lot of fun.

It was definitely a memorable birthday!

***Disclaimer: I received a thoughtful comment on a previous post when I mentioned the theme of our formal night and wanted to be sure to include a disclaimer with this post. I want to make sure that everyone knows that my friends and I are all very proud Americans. My grandfather was a veteran and many of the people in our group of friends have family and friends who are veterans or are currently serving our country and we deeply respect their service.

Just like Americans wear red, white and blue on the Fourth of July, we wore these colors together and American-flag themed clothing as a group simply for fun. We received nothing but positive feedback from fellow cruisers and veterans aboard the ship. Please know we mean absolutely no disrespect to anyone and did not hear anything negative from those on the cruise with us. I hold those who serve our country in the highest regard.***


  1. says

    Kudos for the disclaimer, but it annoys me you HAVE to include it. How the heck would anyone find what you did disrespectful?? besides… if they don’t like it, don’t like at it!

    keep rocking!!


  2. Katie says

    I’m such a loser – I’ve been waiting for you post about your formal night! Love the blue tights!!! Looks like a blast!


  3. says

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I’m very appreciative of the disclaimer. I’m actually impressed that you took the time to realize that this can come off seeming extremely disrespectful, like you are making a mockery of our flag. While I would have never thought that was your intention, I’m glad you took the time to explain.


  4. says

    This is so ridiculously funny! I love your groups idea, how fun! You have some great pics to capture the event! You are lucky to be able to take an inexpensive cruise!


  5. Elizabeth says

    As someone who serves in the military and is married to someone in the military I don’t see the respect in your attire for formal night at all…. In fact I see nothing but mocking of the flag and DISrespect.


  6. JN says

    I guess you can’t please everyone. I think your theme was fun and not the least bit disrespectful. This is America and last I checked, you have the freedom to do what you want, as long as you aren’t hurting someone else.


  7. MSD says

    Came across your blog accidentally after I googled what to wear on a cruise. (Our first cruise is next week.) LOL when I saw your 80’s formal night, I love theme birthday parties and somehow 80’s is always part of it…3 years ago 80’s celebrities, 2 years ago 80’s workout, last year just general 80’s…ROFL when I saw you guys did red, white and blue…my next suggestion for you is pimp formal!!!! Enjoy your pics/blog so much!



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