Bob, I disagree that the average cruising public demand to wear shorts on formal evenings, it simply hasn't been my experience. Rather that a small segment appears to wish to change what a cruise has been historically into something it is not. The majority of cruisers are indeed middleclass and indeed enjoy living a little different from their normal daily life for 7 days. This is evidenced by the majority still adhereing to policies clearly identified in brochures, bb's like this and so forth. Income isn't the issue, proper adherence to the standards defined is. Arguments such as " I paid the same as everyone else so I can do as a wish " just don't cut it. If you live in a nice middle class neighborhood in middle America how would you react to a family moving in that had a different viewpoint on maintaining the standards of your neighborhood. If you believe in well kept grounds and reasonable behavior would welcome someone moving in that insisted on letting their property become overgrown and depositing their junked cars in the back yard or would you be upset that they were not adapting to the standard of your environment. You would probably suggest that they had selected the wrong place to live. Well I suggest if you wish having the " porter girl " keep your beer iced in the trash can while you dine in shorts on formal night that you have selected the wrong vacation. There are norms in every segment of society. Would you not have some objection to being seated in a local Burger King ( don't want to continue to pick on McDonalds, my favorite meal at home BTW ) with your kids and having the people at the next table being loud and obnoxious, perhaps dressed shirtless and shoeless? There are standards imposed and expected even in the fast food dining rooms of America.
I am a smoker. Would I select the Carnival Paradise and then demand to be allowed to smoke? No, they have set a standard and clearly identified it in their brochures, hence I would not choose that vacation and then try to explain to everyone that I have a right to smoke, I do not on that ship and I should not expect too. It would be offensive to those that selected that vacation based upon the defined norms identified in the brochure. Why then select a vacation that defines INFORMAL as a sports jacket and tie and CASUAL as dressy slacks and sports or dress shirt? Informal to me is not a jacket and tie yet, like a Marine, I adapt to the terrain.There definition of informal becomes mine for the 7 days.
The QEII designates your dining level by how much you paid for what accomodation, the last "class" designated ship. Would I book a cruise on her in the bottom categorey and then insist on dining in the top restaurant? Of course not, I do not select that ship since I do not wish to adapt to its standard. I do not book it anyway and then demand it conform to my standard.
I too have sailed numerous lines, Royal Viking, NCL, Carnival, RCL, Celebrity, and so forth and enjoy the varied experiences. Celebrity does little in the dining room in the area of singing waiters and so forth. Do I demand that they get everyone out to sing Ole Sol Amio? NCL does something almost each night like the bobaloo cake parade etc., do I insist they stop and serve my coffee? No I understand the different atmosphere and standards and accept that when in Rome.
Yes I think it is boorish to insist on dressing in shorts on formal night just as Ithink it is boorish for American tourist to visit a foreign country then get angry that they don't speak English. I get ticked off when a person sits next to me in a casino at a smoking table and then demands I put out my cigarette to. Just as they most assurdely would if I sat next to them at a non-smoking table and lit one up. Standards of behavior, decorum, and dress exist in every aspect of daily life. Why then should they not be adhered to wihtin a vacation that clearly defines them.
NCL has elected to modify its product to what it perceives as an American standard. " George, if you can't deal with the average cruising public, then you better stick with those ships that John Q. Public can't afford! Do us all a favor and stay away from NCL!!!! " In fact I no longer sail NCL but frankly I don't see where they are any less expensive than many of the lines. They have simply replaced the initial cruise charge in part with higher onboard revenues. They are the ones that started charging more when providing less after all. Alternative dining charges, ice cream charges, etc. Again it is not a case of costs. Check those lines that are on the stock exchange. They have higher revenues than ever before. Get rid of the wine stewards and make waiter serve it. Service level goes down, price of wine goes up, staff costs go down, line makes more money and MIDDLE America appears happy paying more for less.
BTW the attached photo is for BobL who has confused living in NY with living in NY City. The view is located near where I live and is that of the Hudson River near West Point Military academy. It is but 40 miles north of the Bronx and Yankee Stadium and is far more indicative of the majority of New York than his apparent conception. That everyone in NY lives on the East Side of Manhattan, not that there is anything wrong in doing so. The Gazebo might be remembered by some from appearing in The Sound of Music. Besides having that significant attribute it can also clain to be the site of my wedding photos and yes I wore a Tux. For some reason I fond that many woman are more appreciative and therefore more romantic when with a guy in a tux than one sucking a Bud and burping a chorus of dancing Matilda
I know, I couldn't resist again, I apologize up front.
George in NY STATE