traveljen, Suki and old man: Right on! I agree 100%...
Majika: HAL requests that the suggested mode of dress be observed for the entire evening. This helps create the elegant atmosphere that is desired by many long-time HAL cruisers. The past passengers on the "other" board (who are in NO WAY the minority) who don't share your obvious intention to enjoy the ship but ignore the dress request, cruise on HAL ships BECAUSE of the upscale atmosphere. I would not recommend asking your Roll Call members about how they are dressing. You have described yourself as "too old and fat...". Perhaps that is your problem - that you don't feel attractive in a dress and would prefer the unrestricted comfort of shorts and a T. There are many stores that offer affordable, comfortable formal wear.
Other lines offer a more casual experience and may be more to your liking.
DeeDee: The cruisers that answer questions on the "other" board are mostly frequent HAL cruisers and have experience on the line, rather than virgins or HAL first-timers who are just speculating.
ssca: In some areas, HAL and RCI are worlds apart. I was on the Majesty OTS in November and many of the pax looked like slobs. If the cruise hadn't been free, I wouldn't have gone.
westie: My husband also changes after dinner, to a nice tropical print shirt and slacks. I prefer to stay dressed appropriately, and I will NEVER be seen in the casino after dinner in shorts!