Welcome, Jim! Glad to have you aboard, and thanks for introducing yourself.
There are many experienced cruisers who regret that the cruise lines have adopted a more casual dress code, and that some passengers ignore the dress code that does still exist. In our society in general, at least on this side of the pond, dress has gotten more casual in almost all situations. Saturday night at a Broadway show in New York City doesn't look anything like it did 20 years ago. I think the cruise lines have gone to a 2-track system on their ships, formal dining and casual dining, as a reflection of what's going on around them. The cruise lines are trying to attract a larger passenger base, especially new passengers, who may be been turned off by the stereotype of the strictly formal dress and set dining times.
There are still many passengers, dining rooms full of them, who prefer the more formal and traditional way of dining on an ocean cruise. These days, the ships are large enough to be able to accommodate passengers in whatever mode of dress they prefer, which has to help their bottom line.