Most ships nowadays have multiple dining rooms. Some people really enjoy dressing to the nines and love the traditional experience of all that. They don't want to sit next to someone in a baseball cap, and they shouldn't have to. Some people couldn't be bothered with formal night. It's their vacation and they have to dress in suits for work all the time. They want to let down their hair and leave the tux/suit at home. Others are somewhere in between. They're idea of dress up is a sport coat and slacks, with tie optional. Why can't the ships offer all 3 alternatives on formal night? (I'm not talking about the buffet or room service either. I'm talking real dining rooms for the casual crowd and an alternative for sport coat crowd). Then have the crew enforce the rules! No one gets into the formal dining room who isn't appropriately dressed, and so on. The host at the door could politely point an offending party to the appropriate restaurant for their type of dress. Ships nowadays are like floating cities anyway, so why not do on a ship what happens in any town or city? People choose their restaurants, at least in part, by how they feel like dressing. No one dines at a 5-star restaurant in Dockers. Likewise, no one dresses in a suit to eat at Applebees. Just a thought. But I think it may be an idea whose time has come, judging by all I've read on dress codes on these threads. It's definitely an area most people feel very strongly about one way or another, and the cruise ships all seem to be floundering around wondering what to do about the issue.
I would love to see this. We really enjoy the nice meals, but shy away from the BEST dinners because they are on formal night....and I always feel cheated. I don't mind casual dress such as nice slacks and tops, but to take formal wear is a waste of time and I just DO NOT want to do that on my vacation. And I do not want to have to pick another cruise line that offers it........I like my choice of ships too.
Similarly, I know people that don't want to eat in the dining room or alternate dining rooms at all. They prefer to eat at the buffet (e.g. in jeans or shorts, it is much faster). This should be an option when you reserve your cruise, i.e. no dining in the formal dining room. This would make planning tables and staffing much better.
Buffet dining is becoming more and more popular. We were seated at a table for 10 on one cruise and we were the only 2 that showed up! Eventually they assigned diners to us that wanted to change time slots. We've gotten to where we eat at the buffet 1 or 2 nights a cruise simply because it is so much faster and we have a lot we want to do.
I didn't mention it in my post, but of course the same wonderful meals should be offered in all 3 restaurants! And yes, the Maitre D must have that authority to enforce the dress code, and direct the staff under him to do likewise. I think this would put an end to all the commotion over formal night, and ensure that everyone on the cruise feels comfortable in whatever they choose to wear, in a dining room with like-minded (attired) passengers.
"Similarly, I know people that don't want to eat in the dining room or alternate dining rooms at all. They prefer to eat at the buffet (e.g. in jeans or shorts, it is much faster). This should be an option when you reserve your cruise, i.e. no dining in the formal dining room. This would make planning tables and staffing much better."
Good point! We've been told that 80 percent of cruisers NEVER eat in the DR--it's the buffet all the way for them! I can't believe so many would pass up delicious, hot food for the lukewarm glue that is most buffet food, but whatever makes them happy...it keeps the DR lines shorter for the rest of us who like freestyle/anytime dining.
But I suppose you couldn't limit people that way; people should have the right to change their minds and head for the DR if they wish.
Would be nice but not practical. How would you seat people? Open seating? I think I would prefer to have my own waiter that night and sit in the table I had already been assigned. My desire is for the Maitre D' to simply enfore the dress codes, period.
Well, Jim, I'd place them together in a corner of the room with large "Reformed Former Buffet Eater" signs around their necks. Just kidding, of course; like I said, there's no easy or fair way to address the issue.
But I can't count the number of times people have said, "We never saw our tablemates the entire week," and that does make it hard for the DR to plan. Or maybe not--they presumably know how many no-shows they'll get on any given night.
They should have tables availible for first come and ones with times. If you want the same everynight you pick the time and size like you do now. Just like they do when you go to the dinning from for breakfast or lunch. .Hal has 4 seatings starting at 545 that time could be your optional dress code and maybe the later one stricter dress then you can choose.