The moment Ensemble Vacations asked if I’d take an assignment to voyage on the Queen Mary 2, I said, “Yes.” There was no double-checking the calendar or deep  deliberations. Some things are lifetime must-dos and the chance to take a ride on the world’s last true ocean liner was one of them.

A glimpse of the Queen Victoria from the deck of the Queen Mary 2 in Hong Kong harbour.

But it wasn’t long after that I remembered a key fact: I don’t live a QM2 life.

Like, not at all.

The dress code rules for life on board weren’t as strict as I feared. As it turns out, except for a request for a lack of jeans after 6 p.m. and a request that dinner dress codes (semi-formal/cocktail at most restaurants) be respected,  it was a fairly easygoing affair.

Still, why take a classic ocean liner journey and not make the effort, right?

And then there’s the formal night. Do you have to go? Absolutely not. But why wouldn’t you? A chance to dress to the hilt isn’t one that happens often in my life and I was stoked for the chance to try it out.

Ish was game too. And you know what? It was a lot of fun.


Dressed to Travel | Formal Night

The Dress:


The Designer:

Dramatic, but still feminine, this is the perfect gown for your next black-tie affair. The black sheen bodice has a V-neck in front and back. The ribbon waist is perfect for those of us who aren’t as narrow there as we once were. And the bell skirt flows easily from there. The gorgeous beading in floral designs added to the delicate feel.

Travel Rating:

There is no doubt that it was a decision to travel with this dress. It is not lightweight. We carried it on to the plane with us and the flight attendants happily hung it for us up front. (They may have thought it was a wedding gown.) It definitely felt heavier in the bag then it did on my body but I was so happy with the end result that I’d say it was worth it. Still, to be fair,  it isn’t a roll and go kind of dress so you should pick your occasions carefully.


What I loved :

This must be what it’s like to float on air. It hugged where it should, flowed where it should and felt downright regal. I’m always a fan of a v-cut front and this one was perfect. Loved it. And the details: All that beading and lace. *swoon*

The Accessories:

The details are all in the skirt of this dress and I didn’t want to compete. A simple black choker and light touch earrings. The one accessory I didn’t think to bring that would’ve been handy: fashion tape. The dress fit would’ve benefited from a little tape to hold the shoulders in place.

Your Turn:

The dress is available for rent from Rent Frock Repeat. It retails for $695 and is available for rent for $165 for 4 days.

To learn more about this fashion travel series visit here.

Have you taken an ocean liner cruise? Want to? You can read my full story of our cruise experience in the summer issue of Ensemble Vacations magazine.