Well, I don't quite know how to respond to your post . It sounds as if you are saying that people who don't dress to the "brochure" standard's are "riff-raff" . I know you're all for formal dress when appropriate, but I can't believe you'd call someone "riff-raff" for not dressing to your standards ?
I consider myself "polite society" even when I'm dressed in shorts or jeans.
I'm hoping that I misunderstood!
I was meticulously careful not to call anybody anything, but speaking the truth about a situation like this obviously does stir the pot a bit.
That said, I can be vebally challenged on occasion. What term do you, as "polite society," prefer to use when referring those who habitually fail to observe the basic rules of social etiquette? I can think of several (boors, louts, etc.) but it's not clear to me that any of them are any better than "riff-raff."
One of the primary rules of polite society is to dress appropriately. And that means following the guidelines set forth by the cruise line. The brochures, like all advertising, are designed to make you think that you will be part of the crowd portrayed. They may be indicative of dress styles on high end cruise lines, but not for NCL or Carnival.
I personally find good manners a better indicator of class than clothes. You can fake the clothes, but not true manners. And that includes conversation, even online.
One thing people often say about dress code is you can't judge people by what they wear, well maybe not a deep down psychological analysis, but I reckon you can get a fair idea of someone's personality by the fact they ignore the dress code.
I did say ignoring the dress code, & meant really formal nights on ships where formal night means something.
I think that it's just as informative when people cruising on a line that explicitly states that jeans, "T" shirts, and shorts are not acceptable evening attire turn up for dinner in jeans and "T" shirts on a "casual" evening.
It's also just as informative when men fail to remove their hats on entry into the buffet or the dining room.
The French have a very fitting term for such things: mal eleve(e) (literally, "badly raised"). Such repulsive behavior reflects adversely upon the parents of the offenders as well as on the offenders.