I'm really enjoying this thread, so far. I am not going to come down on either side of the issue of whether there should be strict dress codes but I certainly agree that, if there are printed rules in place, then they should be enforced.
With that said, I have another twist on this original question. My wife and I are primarily Carnival sailors and she has platinum status. Our November 2011 cruise on Emerald Princess will be our first Princess cruise. I really enjoy wearing a tux for formal night because we often use photos of that night as gifts or Christmas cards. In the past five years I have seen the Carnival formal nights going from about 50/50 tuxes to dark suits or sport coats to our last cruise where I was the only guy in the dining room who was wearing a tux and was not a staff member. It was so bad that, while standing outside the main theater waiting for my wife to arrive I was approached by several guests who asked me questions about the show time.
I had already decided that I was going to drop back to a dark suit for my next Carnival cruise but it sounds like I might be able to get away with a tux on our Princess cruise without being so obviously over dressed. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.
Read and post cruise reviews
NCL - Pride of America - May 2011
Carnival Elation - February 2011
Carnival Elation - November 2010
Carnival Dream - October 2010
RCL Oasis of the Seas - May/June 2010
Carnival Fantasy - April 2010
HAL Ryndam - September 2009
Carnival Holiday - May 2009
Carnival Celebration - April 5, 2008
Carnival Liberty - May 2007
Carnival Miracle - April 2006
Windjammer Fantome - 1987