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Let's Be Formal

September 24, 2000

After reading "Taking the Wind Out of Formal Sailing" (Cruise Views, Sept. 3) I had to put my two cents in. I happen to be one of the "younger cruisers" (I'm 34) the writers refer to, but, in fact, I think one of the saddest things happening in the cruise industry is the elimination of formal evenings and assigned tables.

It's fun to get dressed up in a beautiful gown and feel like a princess. And as for assigned tables, cruises are social occasions. Getting to know your fellow passengers is part of the adventure. Without that, the ship is just a full-service hotel that floats. I have wonderful friends I never would have made if we hadn't been assigned to the same table on a cruise ship.

LYDIA PAYNE

Los Angeles

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