I recently went to the Dominican Republic for a week on my first voyage off American soil and was shocked by how European it was. and by European I mean women going topless. Should I expect this same attitude on a western Caribbean cruise? I don't really care either way, just want to know what I'm in for.
NO, difinetly not in the western carib. Espcially in Mexico. The population is mostly catholic and have a very strong bias against public nudity, or semi-nude. In fact it is suggested that women wear a wrap over their swim suit everywhere except on the beach on by the pool.
This also goes for the Caymans, not the catholic part necessarily, but the public modesty expectation.
Where you will find the more casual attitude about clothing optional is where there is a strong French influence such as 1/2 of St. Martin.
the french islands are where you will find topless and clothing optional beaches. St. Maarten, Martinique to name a couple. some of the islands have private resorts that are topless or clothing optional
Recently a co-worker spent a week in the Dom Rep also and said the same thing. He was amazed that they would walk all over the hotel property top-less, said it took some getting used to, but no you will not encounter that in a Western Caribbean cruise.