hi, i was on the fascination in december. most of the women that i saw were wearing long dresses and the men either tuxes or suits. for formal night i wore a long dress and for the semi-formal night i wore a velvet top and a black skirt. it was so much fun "dressing up" !!! happy cruising!!
Formal for men= dark suit or tux, shirt tie & dress shoes
Formal for women= long dress/gown, long skirt with a dressy/sparkly blouse, "little black cocktail dress", dressy suit, dressy pants w/dressy/sparkly blouse, dressy cocktail dress, & dress heels
yak, you are right on the money when you said that the definition is somewhat blurred.A safe general rule is to wear something that you would wear at home to an evening wedding at the country club, or a wedding at a fancy hotel/resort.
In truth there is nothing blurry about it, all the cruiselines state in their literature what the "suggested" attire consists of. The problem comes on two fronts
1st. Cruise lines say suggested instead of "we require" this is so as not to offend anyone, it is not to indicate just ignore this if you like.
2nd. Lots of cruisers today seem to be of the opinion that since they pay for their cruise they are free to disregard the cruiselines rules and guidelines that they have signed a contract to observe, and do whatever they please, to heck with everyone else on board.
If you want to know what is acceptable read the cruiselines literature on what is acceptable and assume they mean it.
I think that's the best part of cruising. You can wear whatever the hell you want to. Go as slutty as you want. As glamorous as you want. As fancy as you want. But I think it's of REAL POOR TASTE, to dress down. Most ships enforce the dress code and won't allow you in the formal dining rooms in casual wear. You get stuck eating at the pizzaria. And who wants to eat at the pizzaria when you can eat 2-3 lobsters?
Did have friends who cruised with us once that had their luggage lost for 5 of the 7 days. They were looked at strangely in the dining rooms but they ate there every night in shorts and shirts. Yes, it is best to dress up and not down, but unless you know the "rest of the story", don't be too quick to judge.