We just returned from cruising the Victory and the Liberty in the last cople of weeks. I am going to say only 25% of men had a tie on at formal dinner and maybe 5% at any other given time. Everyone was dressed nice , collars on shirts and dress slacks..women had everything from capri's to sun dresses..I was wonderful and very resort caual.we truly enjoyed. My husband never put a suit on and truly looked handsome. There were a couple of weddings and a couple of tux's and gowns. But they were few and far between. I say do what you want it is your cruise and your dollar. Just live and let live. It is a wonderful thing to do when sharing a vacation with a couple thousand people.
I have been in the formal wear business for 14 years. People still ask how dressed up they have to get. Semi formal is suit and tie for men and cocktail dress for women. Forml is tuxedo for men and long gown for women. Pre 70s this was not a problem and everyone understood and dressed accordingly. Today people do not seem to have a clue. I feel the cruiselines need to drop the formal night or enforce the dress code. It is not fair for people who dress up to have to sit with people who prefer to wear kaki's.
I will say that we just returned from the Legend and it was a pleasent surprise to see so many people dressed "up". Many tuxedos and lots of long evening gowns. I would say at least two thirds of the men wore suits.
Just got home from a Alaska cruise, May 28 to June 4 2008 on the Spirit. The formal night is a joke. You can dress up if you like but why waste the space in your luggage? There were passengers wearing sweats, T shirts, and stuff that would not have been allowed on a regular dining night. Cruising is going more relaxed and carefree. Enjoy and do your own thing.