Originally Posted by You
You cannot compare a cruise to any main land dining event. We are on a ship and in the middle of the ocean. It is not like you can just get up and go anywhere else to eat. A person who wants to dine in the dining room on formal night should be allowed even if that person is not dresses up. This person paid the same fare as you did and is ENTITLED to eat where he or she so pleases, dressed to the hilt or not.
That is factually false on two counts.
>> First, when you book a cruise, you agree to follow the cruise line's policies with regard to dress and conduct, whether you agree with those policies or not. Many cruise lines now have "zero tolerance" policies, whereby passengers who fail to do so have their cruises terminated in the next port of call -- especially if they act belligerantly toward staff whose job is to enforce the rules.
>> Second, when you book a cruise that is advertised to include a certain number of "formal" evenings, you have a right to expect that the advertised "formal" evenings will have the ambiance characteristic of such evenings. This is actually a matter of the "universal warranty of merchantability and fitness" that's a standard part of the civil contract law of every state of the United States and nearly every foreign jurisdiction as well. Since the formal attire of all participants is a major element in establishing the ambiance of a "formal" evening, a cruise line that fails to enforce the dress standards thereof is legally in breach of contract and in violation of the "universal warranty of merchantability and fitness" in a manner that entitles the consumer to legal redress that could include full reimbursement of cruise fare, all associated expenses, and legal fees in addition to substantial punitive damages.
Thus, fundamentally, a cruise line that advertises "formal" evenings has a legal duty
to enforce the respective standard of dress on those evenings.
BTW, a similar legal argument would pertain to standards of dress generally.