Ok, I hate that these days you don't seem to get much info from the agencies or lines when you book a cruise. My previous cruises have all been 4-5 days and I'm going on a 7 day in October to Mexican Riviera on Carnival. I know the 7 day-ers have 2 formal nights and I've heard one is "more formal" than the other (I think the night of the Captain's Reception). So are all the other nights "resort casual" or are some semi-formal?
I felt like we were true to the term "resort casual" last year on our Carnival cruise but we seemed over dressed as we saw people in jeans and sweatshirts in the dining room. I could understand (maybe even wear) a trouser cut in a dark denim material on a woman with a dressy top or shrunken jacket but I don't get the jeans and sweatshirt thing. The male portion of the couple we will be traveling with is planning to wear Levis to dinner on casual nights. To me, these are the most casual of all the jeans. LIke a regular 501 type cut Levi jean. I told my husband he still wasn't wearing jeans. He laughed but agreed with me. And my husband wears nylon workout pants to WORK (air traffic controller) and he can still grasp that you should dress appropriately on a cruise. Anyway, this other one will wear Dockers if it is semi-formal (I think Dockers are more casual than semi-formal, but oh well) but I'm not sure if there are semi-formal nights. Also, is the dress code followed more closely on a longer cruise than a shorter one. The jean guy has never been on cruise before but if we tell him no jeans he will see with his own eyes that there are plenty of jeans.
We recently sailed the Conquest. Didn't notice that one formal night was "less formal". I wore a long dress for the first formal night and a black lace/satin cocktail length dress for the 2nd (only because the long dress was more "clingly" and I thought it might fit better earlier in the week - ). For the other nights, I wore casual dresses with tropical prints. My husband and sons wore the usual casual night "uniform"--khaki pants (tan or blue) with a button down shirt. Most men were dressed that way, but, to tell you the truth, I really only noticed the people sitting near us and they were all dressed nicely. Only one night did we see a group of guys (late teens, early twenties) with jeans hanging down way too low and oversized football jerseys. They just happened to walk by our table during dessert or else I wouldn't have even noticed them.
The first formal night- The Captains Welcome Aboard night is the more dressier of your two formal nights.
I am not sure if Carnival has done away with semi-formal and gone totally resort casual for the rest of the cruise, check their web site, it will tell you.
You have it exactly right with resort casual. If your friend is going to pack the Dockers anyway then tell him that he doesn't need the jeans, one less thing for him to pack.