Fieldmouse (love your name!)
I am basing what I said on actual reactions I have gotten from people. Ex., I have a 25 yr old friend whose grandmother is treating the whole family to a cruise (yeah grandma) and my friend is in an absolute panic. This is a very well bred young lady who cares deeply, maybe too much, about fitting in. None of them have been on a cruise before. Also, people are booking on line more often these days. While I do treasure a good travel agent, I understand that some go for the on-line prices instead. So, I really have had people read the board and get a very negative feel.
Re. ball gowns, yep, they are archaic. Thankfully! Even Oscars, etc. are not true old-fashioned ball gowns. The old style were sleeveless, with extremely full, floor length skirts. Required an amazing array of undergarments to pull the look off and one did everything possible to avoid needing a pit stop! That's why I think the whole idea of them for cruises is kind of funny.
Loved the comment about fitting into old prom dresses. If I still owned mine, it might fit as a hat, but that's about as far as it would go!
Still won't keep me away from the buffets, though!