Carnival Cruise Line Addresses “Pajamagate” Controversy

Would you wear holiday pajamas onboard a Christmas cruise? Carnival Cruise Line is in the middle of pajamagate!

With holiday cruises now underway, Carnival Cruise Line has found itself in the middle of another dress code controversy – whether or not guests should be able to wear pajamas to breakfast in the Main Dining Room.

For many families, a cozy, pajama-clad breakfast is a holiday tradition, but some travelers feel such casualness should be reserved for while one is celebrating at home, not on a cruise ship.

Are Pajamas Suitable for the Main Dining Room?

The controversy has erupted as guests have asked Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald about whether or not pajamas will be permitted in the Main Dining Room on Christmas morning.

Matching pajama sets and a cozy, casual breakfast is a fun tradition that many families enjoy, and they would like to do the same even while onboard a holiday cruise.

Other travelers, however, point out that when one is on a Christmas cruise, they are not at home and not all traditions may be appropriate when there are thousands of guests onboard.

Heald has posted a poll on his popular Facebook page asking what experienced Carnival fans think about whether or not pajamas should be permitted on what is now being called “pajamagate.”

“Would you wear pajamas to breakfast on Christmas Day in the dining room?” Heald asked.

With more than 12,000 votes cast, the most popular response, with 68% of the votes, is “No, but I have absolutely no objection to others doing so. It’s fun.”

Wearing Pajamas While Dining
Photo Credit: sashahaltam

A total of 23% of voters say that yes, they would wear pajamas, while only 9% disagree and say that pajamas should absolutely not be allowed.

Opinions have been heated on pajamagate, with some Carnival fans noting that the Main Dining Room dress code is already relatively relaxed, and so pajamas should not be a problem. Others are “disgusted” at the idea and feel that pajamas should not be permitted in any public area of a cruise ship, and should instead be confined to one’s stateroom.

“Yes indeed, it’s Pajamagate and honestly, I don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong,” said Heald.

Carnival Cruise Line is permitting pajamas in public for a couple of seasonal holiday events – a Family Pajama Jam on the Lido Deck before the holiday-themed Dive-In movies, as well as a pajama parade for all ages. These special activities are not during meals or in the Main Dining Room, however.

What Type of Pajamas

It should be noted that no details of what type of pajamas will be considered acceptable for onboard activities have been announced.

Many stores offer matching family pajamas in fun holiday designs, which are usually long pants or shorts along with shirts. This would be similar to wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt, which would be permitted in the Main Dining Room for breakfast or brunch.

Family Wearing Pajamas
Family Wearing Pajamas

If travelers were to opt for skimpier or less modest pajamas, for example, such as silky Santa-themed negligees or other eye-catching attire, it is unlikely they would be allowed, even for a special holiday breakfast.

Read Also: Carnival Cruise Line Warns Guests About Inappropriate Attire

Even outside of holiday sailings, some guests do wear pajamas or robes to breakfast, at least to the Lido buffet. This occasionally raises eyebrows and complaints, but is not considered a significant issue. Because holiday pajamas have become a trend in recent years, however, the dress code comes into more question for holiday cruises.

Other Dress Code Controversies

“Pajamagate” is not the first time dining room dress codes have been called into question for Carnival Cruise Line. Heald regularly fields questions about hats, jeans, or other attire and whether or not it is permissible in the Main Dining Room.

Some discussions focus on daily dining room clothing, while others are directed toward formal night or “Elegant Evening” attire, such as whether or not a military dress uniform is suitable, or if a cowboy should be permitted to wear boots and a hat.

Carnival Cruise Line Ship
Carnival Cruise Line Ship (Photo Credit: Solarisys)

Ultimately, the answer to the questions is usually similar – while some clothing is not permitted for safety’s sake, such as bare feet or wet swimwear – guests are generally permitted to dress as they like, within reason. Crew members can always deny dining room entry to any guest who is inappropriately dressed, such as wearing shirts with vulgarities or profanity or severely torn clothing.

Carnival’s website does have a section on “What to Wear” that covers the cruise line’s overall dress code for casual days, evening wear, and dress codes in certain specialty restaurants. Pajamas, however, are not discussed in the overall dress code guidelines.

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