We just returned from the Zuiderdam and as far as an elegant atmosphere Im sorry but Royal Caribbean smokes Holland America!! We were on the RCI Vista class ship NOS and you are right Candy they are worlds apart ! As far as the dress, I was stressed out before we left after reading everything about changing and my teenage boys attaire,well stress no more because 75% of the pax do their own thing! And the biggest dress code offenders were the older crowd! They wore what they wore 20 years ago, good for them that they can still vacation.Out of all the pax in wheel chairs and canes they were the most fun to talk to. There were a mixture of everything and yes they do let you in the dinning room with out a tie on formal night as I saw several men with out. There were 8 at our table and my husband was the only one in a tux, one sport coat no tie and one sport coat with tie and my boys had just ties no sport coat. As teenagers there were a lot of just shirts and ties no jackets and a lot of short seleve shirts. There were women with capri jeans allowed in. We had the 8:30 dinner so walking to the dinning room through the casino there were a lot of people who had changed.It depends on where you are.We went to the Crows Nest one formal night and 75% were still formal. I had read this post before we left so I did pay attention to it and beleave me what people were wearing did not in any way effect our vacation!!! Just go have a good time and don't worry about what othere people wear. Be prepared for the heat it was almost unbearable at times.