Originally Posted by johnthed0g
The O/P refers to "formal" so it was that I answered.
The point though was, why call it anything if they are not going to uphold what they say?
Another thing is it's about time the cruise lines made their minds up what they want to be, a cruise as it traditionally was or a holiday at sea.
I agree with you but I do think it has basically become, across almost all lines, a "Holiday/Vacation at Sea". I'm fine with that.
For my wife and I the true "formal" experience was getting old and we were beginning to look at other vacation options but the changes that the cruise lines made with relaxed dress codes and open seating dining revitalized my interest in cruising. We did try Anytime Dining on Princess but found they hadn't worked out the "bugs" at that time and always had a long wait even if we would take whatever was available. NCL's Freestyle is what brought us back. Then we cruised Azamara and that was the perfect type of cruise in regards to dining and entertainment. Now most other cruise lines have scrambled to institute open seating and less structure.
I will never forget when we did a February cruise, in the Mediterranean, on NCL and after a long day on shore we just wanted to eat and go to bed. We stopped by the Italian restaurant on the Norwegian Jade and they had an immediate opening. I was dressed in jeans and polo shirt. I felt very uncomfortable going into the restaurant wearing jeans. That feeling lasted about five minutes.
I still believe that if you are going to eat in the Main Dining Room or an upscale alternative restaurant you should make an effort to make yourself presentable but I am glad that the days of the tuxedo and formal gown are gone for most of the cruise lines.