i do think it's a cool experience and i love that it's a tradition carried out by cruising.
i always participate in formal nights.
but... i hate packing for it. i usually prefer traveling light. cruises are an exception because there's so many scenarios of what type of attire. as we prefer the traditional dining rooms over the buffet but still want to be in casual wear out side of meal times and especially when going offshore, it's basically packing 3 different types of wardrobe.
well... maybe even 4 different types since i also want to pack my athletic and yoga wear.
now i'm cruising for the first time as a parent so there's the additional packing for my daughter. oye!
in the end, it's worth it. everyone has fun and as i usually have always sailed as part of a group of 3 to 4 couples, it's nice when everyone's all dolled up for the evening!
I am just back from my first cruise, Serenade, RCI, we were not to bothered about formal nights, just black pants and some mix and match glittery tops for me, my friend bought one after five dress, the first 2 nights were easy, and we felt good, the third? well we had decided not to bother, tired after a big day tour, but after a rest, we had to change anyhow, so we made the effort, and had a lovely night, and got some great pics of ourselves, so yes, semi formal, or after 5 is good, maybe not the full on ball gowns though!