From what I understand, most men really do not wear tuxes, especially on the 3-4 night cruises. Shirt, tie with a dark suit or sport coat is fine. For casual, a sundress or dress pants for women and just pants with a casual shirt for men. For the smart casual night, it is suggested women wear a nice silk dress or pants suit and men wear a sports coat. Hope this helps you. Have fun!
Our first cruise, 9 years ago, was on the NORWAY. As a surprise for my husband, I had rented a tux to be picked up on the ship. All I had to do was ensure I'd packed some black socks, crossed my fingers that I'd ordered the right size! and encouraged him to bring his dressy black shoes...and told him he would need just one sport jacket. After we got to the cabin, and I knew it was OK to pick it up...I told him I had a surprise, and that we should explore the ship and try and find it! When we entered the "location," I think he thought we were going to buy him clothes. He was VERY SURPRISED! and just loved it; and that I'd planned it all ahead of time! The pictures from the 2 formal nights are so special to us, and just a great memory all around. The prices were so comparable to renting a tux "on land", too...not a single hitch in the process.
Now, we leave very soon for our 2nd cruise, and we're NOT doing the tux thing, he'll take suit, sport jacket, etc....but it WAS a great thing to do for him, and for me! And, he got lots of compliments, because he was the MOST HANDSOME man in the dining room - however, after almost 23 years of marriage, I can't be objective!
So, long answer: tux not necessary, but OH SO NICE!
You would be amazed to see what people wear. I don't recall seeing any tux's, and I'm glad, because the one or two guys that did would feel a little odd if you ask me. My husband wore one only once in his lifetime for our wedding and that was enough for the both of us. But he looks real sharp in a real nice suit. I think my husband enjoys dressing up too, knowing he's not over-stuffed in a tux and probably making him just as nervous as the day we were married. And woman wear such a wide variety of wardrobes, you should wear what makes you feel the most beautiful, because you will have LOTS of pictures to remind you of the event. Have fun, picking out that special dress was the best part for me!!
A lot depends on where the cruise is, and the length of the cruise. Not as formal in Alaska, to very formal on 2 week cruise in the Baltic's, where 80-90% were in tuxs and stayed that way for the whole night. Minimally, a dark suit is appropriate.
My husband and I have sailed 4 times on Celebrity. The cruise lengths were always longer than 7 days. On every cruise the majority of men were wearing Tuxs on formal nights and remained dressed for the evening. Considering Celebrity's current rebranding I would think twice about wearing a Tux which can be ordered thru the cruise line and will be waiting in your stateroom upon arrival.
We've been on 7 cruises, and on every one, about 70% of the passengers are dressed to the nines. In fact we figure the ones who aren't, probably feel out of place. WE always dress for the occasion and like it, as there aren't many 'other' times to dress up in life. We have cruised for New Year's Eve 3 times and that is awesome. 75% of a ship's guests partying intensely under the stars dressed to the nines. Great way to ring in the New Year!!