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Childrens meals are served in the self service around 5:15. There is also a night nursery available until 2am so you can go out on formal nights if this suits you, but you have to get them asleep before you leave so you might be best going for second sitting or anytime dining. Formal only applies from 6pm. Dress by the pool is very casual.
P & O are fairly strict on the dress codes. There are certain areas of the ship that you won't be allowed in if you are not dressed formally on a formal night. You can eat in the buffet restaurant in the evenings, but you still have to dress smart casual, no shorts I'm afrai, which I think's a bit mean! By smart casual, I'd suggest polo shirt or short sleeved shirt and casual trousers for men, cropped trousers, skirts, summer dresses for females. Hope that also helps.
We just came back from our first ever cruise (both age 26) - also on Ventura and had a brilliant time. We were nervous about the dress code but it went something like this. There were four formal nights - this was very formal! A suit for your man will be fine although some wore kilts or tuxedos. You can really go to town if you like but I just wore smart evening dresses - high street stuff, and seemed to slot in fine. A black dress is a good thing to pack, and a good pair of high heels that will go with anything.
There were four semi formal nights - again men are supposed to wear a jacket and my hubby only had one suit with him! So he wore smart jeans and shoes and a smart shirt and tie - most others were in trousers and shirts. I wore slightly more casual day dresses, or black trousers and a smart top.
On the smart casual nights it was fine to wear jeans/t-shirts etc, but not trainers.
Through the day we wore whatever we wanted - shorts, jeans, binkins, trainers, vests - just normal holiday stuff. But seriously, are they really going to give you a row for what you're wearing? I would think not. It's your holiday and you've paid to have fun!
As far as babies go - there seemed to be a great nursery, and mums all get a pager if they leave their baby there for any length of time. But we saw plenty out having dinner with babies, and it was a great chance for mums and dads to dress them up in all sorts! Gorgeous little dresses, and little tots in suits.
We were really nervous about the dress code, but we took part as most others did, and by the end of the cruise it just felt natural to glam up every night! But the dress code is only suggested - it's really up to you.
Just enjoy it! We had a brilliant time and hope you will too.
We went P&) last year. We had 4 formal nights: where I wore cocktail dresses with matching shoes (pain to pack)! I wore a white trouser suit on one evening when I felt a little less dressy and there were several smart/casual nights where I wore a dress or elegant outfits but NO JEANS. And the remainder were informal evenings which means anything including jeans etc. Perhaps elegant shorts in the evenings worn smart is ok but no beachwear in the evenings. My husband wore his tux/kilt for formal nights. Nice shirt and trousers for the smart/casual evenings and jeans or casual for the informal evenings. We enjoyed dressing-up but I must say it was a lot easier to pack when we went on Ocean Village this year for an informal cruise!
Can we eat in the buffet restaurant every night of our holidayif we choose without having to
dress up for the formal nights.