I had 2 very different cruise experiences this year, and the dress of the passengers was exactly the reason. I am not a stuffy, elitist type person, but I do believe very much in dressing decently during dinner and in other cruise ship venues. During my RCI cruise to Europe, I was pleasantly surprised that a vast majority of the passengers maintained the dress code, and also that the staff enforced the dress code. I saw them turn away passengers that did not meet the dress code, and even told some they had to remove their hats while in the dining room. The passengers were dressed nicely for even the casual nights, I never saw t-shirts or hats or jeans as they were turned away at the door.
On my recent Carnival cruise to Mexico, the very opposite was true. The dress code was not enforced. I saw passengers come into the dining room wearing sleeveless tank top t-shirts, cut off shorts, baseball caps and so on. I even saw one man come in the dining room wearing a bathrobe with no shirt and just shorts underneath one day at lunch! In the buffet, I saw numerous people just wearing swim suits. Many times I saw men walking around with no shirt on inside the ship, I mean really, inside the promenade, the lounges and casino, put a shirt on! I was really disappointed. I thought the Carnival Spirit was a beautiful ship with a fantastic crew and staff, but it really cries out for a better clientele in my opinion. That reason alone will probably mean this was my last cruise on Carnival, which is really sad because I really loved the ship.