I knew you would come around eventually about as you wish dining!
I also think you make some excellent points about formal vs smart casual. I used to love getting all dressed up on formal nights. Now, I avoid them whenever possible. I just got tired of packing all the extra stuff for formal evenings...As I get older, I like to keep things simple!
Your description of why you cruise, "...vastness of the ocean..." was perfect. I don't cruise for the food, or even the destination-unless its Europe- I just love being on the water far away from the everyday world.
Continue to have a wonderful time, my friend!