The contract does not say "rude or boorish"! And, even "inappropriate behavior", which was not in the actual wording is entirely subject to the captain's interpretation...not mine or yours.
Actually, Norm, I would not mind being seated at dinner with you. You would not have a problem with my attire and, while we might disagree, the conversation would not be boring.
But, I do have one real issue with all of this. Cruise Mates has long been an excellent source of information and I used to refer people to it a lot. Having been a cruise junkie for a long time, people who are considering going on a cruise or have booked their first one, often ask me where to go for helpful hints. I no longer suggest that they come here, simply because of all of these "Don't come if you aren't dressed right" posts.
Whether you or I or anyone else likes it or not, the vast majority of middle class people do not own true formal wear. I used to have a closet full of ball gowns. Not anymore, and they wouldn't fit in the cabin closets even if I did. I do have plenty of suitable attire, but trust me when I say that, at my age, I would look downright silly in a prom dress. Haven't been a bridesmaid in decades, either.
Rather than trying to scare people into choosing a more casual line, I would like to suggest that you would be more comfortable going with one of the high end, luxury lines. I think that you would find that more to your liking. But, we are mostly talking about the mid-range lines here and the cruise lines have made it very apparent that they are not going to turn people off by putting down their formal attire.
I miss a lot of elements of old style cruising, but it's still the best vacation on earth. I am pleased that more and more people are able to enjoy what I think is a wonderful experience. And everyone has a right to enjoy their vacations without being worried that they will be put down and criticized just because they don't own a tux or prom dress. I welcome the diversity of people in life and, to me, cruises are a great way to really enjoy that.
Happy cruising to all!