Tuxedos in the city of the Tzars

Trip Start Jun 05, 2009
Trip End Aug 21, 2009

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M/Y Grand Adventure

Flag of Russian Federation  , North-West Russia,
Monday, June 8, 2009

Saint Petersburg is an incredibly beautiful city. I didn't realize it at the time but moving out of the country and aboard a yacht overshadowed this city for me. I’m writing this a few months later, and in retrospect, although I saw St. Petersburg, I don’t think I saw it the way I could have now. For that reason, I would love to visit the St. Petersburg again.

Tuxedos in Saint Petersburg

I didn't find a Tuxedo that I liked in my home town, just a bunch of polyester one-size-fits all shops. Although each shop offered to order a tuxedo for me, I didn't want to buy a tux from a picture. In Saint Petersburg, we found a nice shop where I found a very stylish tux, completely different than what I had seen in the US. It had to be fitted, which I thought would take all afternoon. The guys were truly masters of their craft, because within minutes the tux had been marked up and we were on our way.

I wasn’t too thrilled about getting a Tuxedo. I have worn one before, but nothing this nice. In the tradition of evenings at sea, we would have many formal events while guests were aboard.

Formality Aboard

Although we are living aboard a luxury yacht, neither my father nor I are very formal people. He got his money the hard way, by working for it, so living in a formal world of stewardesses, and formal meals didn’t really appeal to either of us. So to solve this problem, Stee, short for Steven, had organized a system where the yacht crew had three different formality protocols that the yacht operated under. Casual is for days when no guests are aboard, or guests that are not use to the formality of life aboard a luxury yacht. On these days, the crew could wear tee-shirts and shorts all day, the crew addresses all guests by their first name, fresh flowers were not required, meals are more simple and often served family style and dinner isn’t preceded with a cocktail hour. For Semi-Formal days, the crew wears their regular uniform, dinners have multiple courses and the food is plated in the kitchen, like at a restaurant. Bed turn down is what you would expect in any luxury hotel. Formal days are nothing but opulent. There are fresh flower arraignments all over the yacht and all the crew are decked out in their formal uniforms. No crew is allowed to wear shorts after sunset and every guest and crew is addressed by their last name. Dinner is always preceded with a cocktail hour and dinner will have around seven courses which are served in the traditional "silver service" style and different wines are served with almost every course. The guests are dressed in Tuxedos, cocktail dresses or evening gowns and, if near land, the Captain will make an effort to cruise in scenic areas. (I always love cruising near large cities at night on formal days.) At bed turn down there will not only be a mint left in the room, but also a small gourmet pastry or other confection.
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MJ on

Mark I think your dad was very smart to come up with this system. I mean I would think that even with a system like so it would still be a little hard to get use to. Though I am sure this makes things much easier as well as relaxed and enjoyable for both you and your dad as well as for the crew. How long has it taken you to get use to this or are you still getting there?

mylifesjourney on

Thanks for the comment.

Everyone aboard loves the formality system Stee setup. I really love it. At first, since it was just the two of us for several weeks, every day was casual. But, once we got more guests aboard and changed around between the different formality levels, it worked very well.

Every evening as we discuss our plans of the next day, we'll also discuss any changes in the formality level so no one is caught off guard. At first, I didn't like dressing up so much, but after seeing our guests and even the crew really get into it and have a good time, I've learned to apprediate them a lot more.


Betty Moore, Ottawa Canada on

Really enjoyed tripping over your blog. Really delightful to enjoy your reactions to being introduced to luxury boating, as I'm sure I would react in much the same way. I'm curling up in front of my Canadian cabin fireplace to read your other entries.

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