Cruise Tuxedo: Yes or No, Rent or Own

What woman doesn’t love to see the men in her life dressed in a tuxedo. With their flattering lines and classic appearance, a tuxedo can really make a man look elegant. Surprisingly many men would rather wear a tuxedo than a suit. Maybe it has to do with the fact that we tend to associate tuxedo’s with festive events like weddings, New Year’s Eve, Mardis Gras, and prom. Where as a suit might be associated with more somber events like business meetings and funerals.

Depending on your cruise line and length of cruise you may see many tuxedos or maybe just a few. In either case most cruise lines list tuxedos as appropriate attire for formal nights. With Celebrity on our last 4 cruises we saw many of the men in Tuxedos on the 11 day plus cruise, and a slightly smaller percentage on our 7 day Alaska cruise. On all these cruises the tuxedo wearers probably equaled at least fifty percent. What ever the percentages, men should feel comfortable in either a suit or tuxedo for formal night. It simply comes down to personal preference as to whether they choose a tux or suit.

If they decide to choose a tuxedo, then cruisers have to choose between renting or purchasing their tuxedo. Their are advantages to both.


In some cases renting may work to a cruiser’s advantage. They will have a wide variety of styles from which to choose. Cruisers can choose a different style or accessory package for each of their different cruises or itineraries. If they choose, they can rent through a vendor that works through the cruise line and have the tuxedo delivered to their cabin so that they don’t have to transport the tuxedo themselves. If a man tends to go up and down a size or two from time to time, he can rent his current size for a comfortable fit. For boys and young men who are still growing, a rental may also make more sense if the boy might only wear it once or twice before out growing it. Finally, renting may be cost effective for infrequent cruisers and short itineraries. Depending on the formal wear store, they may only charge you one to one and 1/2 “rentals” and throw in two shirts for a less than two week rental. However if you’ll have the tuxedo for more than two weeks they may charge more for the rental than it would be to purchase your own.


The main advantage of purchasing one’s own tuxedo is that it is cost effective for frequent cruises or longer itineraries. Men may not realize that they have many choices when it comes to purchasing their own tuxedo. They can go to a traditional men’s store and purchase everything from a $99 simple tuxedo to a higher end more expensive designer tux. There are also many options on the internet. Several sites sell previously worn rental stock for less than the cost of one rental. Prices start at under $100 for the complete package. Often these previously worn tuxes are high quality designer styles. These sites also carry a variety of shirts and accessories to complete the formal look. Cruisers may also want to check with their local rental provider. They may be interested in selling some of their rental stock items to reduce inventory. For young men who are growing, tuxedos are surprisingly adjustable. When my son was 9 we purchased him a tux from a retailer who was closing down her business to move out of state. She fitted him in a slightly big size 14 jacket and men’s adjustable waist pants. She simply hemmed both the pants and the jacket sleeves to fit. He was able two wear this tuxedo over the course of three years despite growing several inches during that time. I simply had the pants and sleeves let out again to match his growth.

Finally, many cruise lines offer alternative to formal night by having “optional formal night” or alternative “casual dining”. I know several cruisers who simply choose to skip formal nights all together. However, I feel that cruisers who opt out of the formal experience are missing out on a wonderful opportunity. If you haven’t yet partaken in formal nights, I would encourage you to give it a try before deciding it is not for you. You may find that the elegant evening is the highlight of your cruise whether it be wearing your suit, rental tux, or purchased tuxedo.

Recommended Tuxedo Sites:

I have purchased from My Own Tuxedo and Best Tuxedo and have been happy with the, price of the items, speed in which the order was fulfilled and the customer service at both of these sites