I have to tell you, formal dressing for dinner stresses me out! It's the one reason, we have never cruised. I finally broke down and decided that we should do a cruise to Alaska as I have heard so many wonderful things about it.
We live in Central California and don't have occasion to dress formally. We go downtown for dinner and go to the theater. These are not formal events in our area. We dress appropriately, but not formally. We don't have formal clothing, and don't really relish the thought of having to get some for a one week cruise. My husband has a suit, A SUIT, ONE! He has worn it very few times and lucky for him, he hasn't gained any weight and can still wear it. We usually pack light when we vacation and it looks like cruising is not for light packers.
We don't intend to break the dress code, (mostly out of fear), but it would be much easier and more comfortable for us if the cruise lines dropped the formal nights.