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View Poll Results: Would you like to see "Suggested Dress Codes" gone?
I would prefer that there be NO suggested dining room dress codes 5 2.02%
I would prefer there be 2 Formal nights, and the remaining nights casual 56 22.58%
I would prefer all nights be casual, but no shorts allowed 40 16.13%
I would prefer the dress codes remain as they are, but be enforced 124 50.00%
I would prefer to dress as I please throughout the cruise 23 9.27%
Voters: 248. You may not vote on this poll

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  #61 (permalink)  
Old May 16th, 2006, 11:09 PM
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The same thing happened where I work...when I started working there, dress code was business attire and strictly enforced...then it was changed to business casual...then the "jean queens" got together and decided they were sick of dressing in business casual and stormed the Human Resources office with letters of complaint, heated meetings, etc. Human Resources caved in and changed the dress code to casual. Well, you know where the dress code went real quick....in the toilet. Now, the "jean queens" and everyone else in the office except the VP's and people with high standards of proper business attire, come to work in everything from flip-flops, shorts, tank tops, T shirts, etc. This transition has taken its toll on productivity, work ethics, and the image we project over the phone and in meetings with our customers and vendors (internally and externally). The same thing will happen if the cruise lines lower their standards and not enforce the dress code in the formal dining room. As soon as procedures and standards are compromised, and the misguided come together to protest, I fear the cruise lines will bow to the pressure. Speaking for myself, this will be a sad day and not speak well of the cruise line's executive staff who are the decision makers. I personally don't understand what the big deal is regarding the dress code, it's very simple, if you don't want to conform to the requirements, there are plenty of other dining choices onboard.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 01:02 AM
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Kuki,

So... is it time for the cruise lines to abandon the dress codes for the dining room?

It's pretty interesting that the percentages of responses in each category have stayed fairly constant for the duration of this poll, with a solid 50% wanting to leave dress codes alone, but enforce them. It's reasonable to presume that a significant percentage of the people who chose some of the other categories -- i. e. "two formal nights and the rest casual" or "all nights casual but no shorts" -- also would want enforcement of the dress codes for which they voted. Even if it's only half of those who voted for such categories, we're looking at over 70'% wanting seriious enforcement of the dress codes.

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Old May 17th, 2006, 11:51 AM
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I don't want to spoil your day, but I don't really expect to see serious enforcement on RCI, Carnival or Princess. Celebrity, perhaps.

Too many people who wish for a casual, relaxed cruise will be on the three lines.

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Old May 17th, 2006, 12:17 PM
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Paul,

I don't want to spoil your day, but I don't really expect to see serious enforcement on RCI, Carnival or Princess. Celebrity, perhaps.

Too many people who wish for a casual, relaxed cruise will be on the three lines.


If this poll is any indication, such individuals are a small (but probably very vocal) minority (less than 10%) and lack of enforcement is ticking off the majority (albeit perhaps mostly silent). If you are running a business, to which group of customers do you cater?

That said, Carnival Corporation clearly controls enough cruise lines to cater to all audiences. Such a company can differentiate its products quite easily. Both, Carnvial Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International have enough ships to split into two lines, one becoming "all casual" and the other retaining and enforcing the present pattern of evening dress standards, though Carnvial Corporation also could use differences in dress standards to enhance differentiatoin between Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and Holland America Lines. I personally would welcome the variety of offerings as a better way to satisfy all tastes than the very limited casual alternatives on many ships today.

Norm.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 03:32 PM
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Norm ,Look at my post of may 16 and Iagree with your suggestion 100%Carnival with their clout could offer casual on certain ships and those liking their jeans and casual attire for the entire cruise will be in heaven and the dining room could be a large buffet for thos liking total casual to include shorts and anything goes.This would make my choice that much easier and everyone is happy.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 04:30 PM
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Norm, it appears to me that the 10% vocal minority greatly increased after dinner on formal nights on our recent cruise on Radiance. If fact, it appeared that the majority changed to casual clothing to see the show. Also, the number of sport coats on "smart casual" nights is also decreasing rapidly.

For many men, tuxes, suits, dress shoes and sport coats are not really comfortable in a hot crowded theatre or casino. I can't speak for what is comfortable on the ladies, but wearing panty hose would kill me. No matter what the cruise lines do about enforcing "suggested" dinner attire, I sincerely doubt that they will enforce such rules after dinner or will require the use of sport coats or blazers on smart casual nights. Again, Celebrity might be the exception.

I can remember when men dressed in suits and women in coctail dresses in the casinos in Las Vegas. Now shorts and t shirts seem to be the norm even in the evening except for in the upscale resturants and clubs. Whether some of us like it or not, clothing standards can and will change.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 12:51 AM
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big apple,

Look at my post of may 16 and Iagree with your suggestion 100%Carnival with their clout could offer casual on certain ships and those liking their jeans and casual attire for the entire cruise will be in heaven and the dining room could be a large buffet for thos liking total casual to include shorts and anything goes.This would make my choice that much easier and everyone is happy.

I have no problem with that, either. I think that they would introduce such products as distinct cruise lines, though, to maintain the consistency of each brand so that customers would know what to expect.

Norm.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 01:13 AM
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Paul B,

it appears to me that the 10% vocal minority greatly increased after dinner on formal nights on our recent cruise on Radiance. If fact, it appeared that the majority changed to casual clothing to see the show.

As I have said in several previous posts in this thread, I have no problem with a cruise line having a stated policy that the prescribed evening attire is required only at the Captain's receptions and in the dining room, and that "smart casual" attire (or whatever other standard) is acceptable elsewhere throughout the ship. The rub is with a stated policy that "the prescribed evening attire applies throughout the ship" that is not enforced.

Also, the number of sport coats on "smart casual" nights is also decreasing rapidly.

The norms of social etiquette define only "casual" (without modifiers) so terms such as "business casual" and "smart casual" and "resort casual" really have no normative standing. As a result, their introduction led to a lot of confusion at first. I don't know how Royal Caribbean defines "smart casual" but I do know that Princess's definition of "smart casual" matches the traditional social definition of "casual" exactly -- gentlemen wear a shirt with a collar, such as a polo shirt or a sport shirt, slacks (not jeans or other work pants), socks, and dress shoes. A jacket and a necktie are optional. Apparently Princess decided to use the term "smart" to suggest that shorts and bluejeans are not acceptable, but some people construed it to mean more than that. If there are fewer jackets on so-called "smart casual" evenings now, it's probably because people are catching up to the fact that these evenings are in fact "casual" rather than "informal" and thus do not require jackets.

I can remember when men dressed in suits and women in coctail dresses in the casinos in Las Vegas. Now shorts and t shirts seem to be the norm even in the evening except for in the upscale resturants and clubs. Whether some of us like it or not, clothing standards can and will change.

I don't know. My uncle who lived in Las Vegas for several decades before he died well over a decade ago always told us how casual Vegas was -- that you could go anywhere in bluejeans. In any case, there are still some establishments in major Eastern cities that do require proper attire.

That said, the extreme casual standards of our society are a major contributor to the popularity of the "dress-up" nights on cruises. There are many people who take cruises precisely because it gives them opportunities to dress up. I know that the "formal" evenings are not for everybody, but it's precisely the difference in preference that allows cruise lines to differentiate themselves by establishing different policies on matters such as dress.

Incidentally, you would find a very different experience on most Celebrity cruises. Celebrity still has "informal" evenings (sport coat required, but necktie optional) in addition to "formal" evenings, and consequently appeals more strongly to people who are looking for opportunities to dress up. On Celebrity, very few people change clothes after dinner and many passengers dress well beyond the "informal" standard on the "informal" evenings, too!

Norm.
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  #69 (permalink)  
Old May 18th, 2006, 07:24 AM
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I personally hate the idea of a dress code, but if one doesn't exist there will be too many people in shorts and jeans at night. And, this ruins the elegant ambience we all enjoy. However, even with NCL's "Freestyle" of dressing, everyone seems to look pretty nice.
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  #70 (permalink)  
Old May 18th, 2006, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
On Celebrity, very few people change clothes after dinner and many passengers dress well beyond the "informal" standard on the "informal" evenings, too!
Norm.. that certainly hasn't been my experience on Celebrity cruises, and I've sailed Celebrity quite a bit (Elite Captains Club).

I think perhaps you're seeing what you want to see since that's your line of choice at the moment. And that's likely a good thing, since it means what others are wearing really doesn't bother you, and you're simply enjoying your experience.

I've found that the "dress habits" are pretty much the same across the mass market lines. That of course can vary from sailing to sailing. Heck I've been on a couple of Carnival cruises where passengers were dressed up more than on cruises on Premium lines.

But.. that's sort of what drove me to start this poll, and include all lines, to try and get a glimpse into what people want in relation to dress codes.
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  #71 (permalink)  
Old May 18th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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Kuki,Disagree with your ans. to Norm.I have been cruising since the 50,s and have seen the move to more casual and personally like the old days however that will not stop my cruising.Would have to believe that both Celebrity and Holland day in and day out will follow the dress code much more closely and I have not experienced any Carnival cruise that dress codes were followed more than Celebrity;however am sure that I have not been on as many as you.
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  #72 (permalink)  
Old May 18th, 2006, 12:26 PM
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Kuki,

I think perhaps you're seeing what you want to see since that's your line of choice at the moment. And that's likely a good thing, since it means what others are wearing really doesn't bother you, and you're simply enjoying your experience.

I've found that the "dress habits" are pretty much the same across the mass market lines. That of course can vary from sailing to sailing. Heck I've been on a couple of Carnival cruises where passengers were dressed up more than on cruises on Premium lines.


It may vary with destination, dinner seating, or length of cruise, too. Most of my cruises with Celebrity hae been longer than a week, and three have been fourteen nights (which, by Celebirty's rules, count double).

Norm, also Elite Catpain's Club.
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  #73 (permalink)  
Old May 18th, 2006, 12:42 PM
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There's a similar thread over in the cruiseline suggestions forum.

I believe most lines say "Suggested attire". Hard to enforce a suggestion. If they worded it more strongly, e.g. "no shirt, no shoes, no service" or "Coat and tie required", then it is a requirement for service.

In the end, I think the problem is how dinner is structured. Not enough options. On most ships it is the buffet, room service, or the dining room. The dining room is the only place where you are served (on most ships), and everyone is expected to be in the mood to dress in the same style. I think a lot of this could be squashed with more dining options that have service, e.g. a formal dining room and a casual dining room. On existing ships, each floor could have a required dress. Here you run into the problem of "one waiter for the duration". I think the expectation that everyone will dine and dress the same is the root of the problem.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 01:29 PM
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browzilla,

I believe most lines say "Suggested attire". Hard to enforce a suggestion.

A "suggestion" by somebody in aurhority is not optional. It carries an expectation of compliance. For example, a police officer who stops somebody for speeding might "suggest" compliance with the speed limit. In a court of law, a judge might "suggest" that the observers stop talking amongst themselves. A school teacher might "suggest" that a student come for extra help after school. Such "suggestions" always carry clear expectations of compliance.

That said, I have noticed on my last couple cruises that Celebrty has changed the wording pertaining to dress codes in the daily programs, which now say that the prescribed evening attire is required in the dining room and in the theater.

In the end, I think the problem is how dinner is structured. Not enough options. On most ships it is the buffet, room service, or the dining room. The dining room is the only place where you are served (on most ships), and everyone is expected to be in the mood to dress in the same style. I think a lot of this could be squashed with more dining options that have service, e.g. a formal dining room and a casual dining room. On existing ships, each floor could have a required dress. Here you run into the problem of "one waiter for the duration". I think the expectation that everyone will dine and dress the same is the root of the problem.

Practically speaking, the alternatives would have to be in different areas of the ship and each would need associated entertainment options and lounges. This seems impractical.

I still think that separate lines offering traditional dress (with "semiformal" or "informal" evenings in addition to formal evenings), only "formal" and "casual" evenings, strictly "country club casual" (or "smart casual"), and ultra-casual (shorts or jeans and '"T" shirts are okay) are the way to go. The only drawback is that you would have to decide in advance whether you wish to book on a dress-up line, an ultra-casual line, or something in between, but it would remove a source of conflict onboard.

Norm.
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Old May 20th, 2006, 07:02 AM
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If you don't want to "dress up" there are other choices for dining. I couldn't imagine going to this style restaurant at home and wearing something casual. Wear your jeans and go have some pizza lol
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  #76 (permalink)  
Old May 20th, 2006, 08:41 PM
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I would prefer the dress codes remain as they are, but be enforced.
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Old May 20th, 2006, 10:07 PM
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I think "suggested" is just fine (but no enforcement because then what is actually formal enough is subjective). On my recent Enchantment of the Seas cruise, I did not see any of the "horror" stories I have read on these sights. Everyone was dressed nice and clean...even those few that wore jeans (not on formal night) had beautiful blouses and looked just as nice as everyone else. Though it seems to be a big deal by some here, I think the majority of cruisers don't really care what others wear (unless that person is smelley or vulgar which they would still probably be even if they were "dressed up").
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Old May 21st, 2006, 12:59 PM
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You said it so well!
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Old May 21st, 2006, 03:03 PM
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I would like the formal nights to be reduced to one instead of two. It's fun to do once, but after that, I'm over it.
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Old May 21st, 2006, 03:51 PM
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I for one do not desire to pack a formal for only one night.
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Old May 21st, 2006, 09:11 PM
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I loved dressing up and having pictures taken on formal night.

Call me old fashion.
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  #82 (permalink)  
Old May 22nd, 2006, 08:26 AM
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backheidi,

I think "suggested" is just fine (but no enforcement because then what is actually formal enough is subjective).

In most cases, the "enforcement" probably shows some tolerance at the fringes. For example, a cruise line that officially admits dark suits on formal evenings probably would not turn away a man who wears a light grey suit or even a sport coat and tie, but would turn away a man who shows up without a jacket.

Norm.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 09:23 PM
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LOOK,if they dont wanna dress appropriatly for either formal or casual,then they should eat at the buffet,period like the majority,who dont like to dress, do,now ocsionally ill notice,a hippie or two left over from,key west,stumble on in and I introduce myself and explain im a former marine,and that their attire is completly unsatisfactory,and then I would adminster to them a wood shampoo.
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 01:09 AM
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Somehow, I feel that there is some trolling instead of polling going on in this thread.
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 06:16 AM
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i think the dress codes should stay, and be enforced. if someone wants to cruise casually with no dress codes, they can go on norwegian or eat in the windjammer on RCI ships. most if not all decent hotels have dress codes in their restaurants, if you don't want to conform, you eat elsewhere, there's always a casual option on land and at sea.

i don't know what people complain about the dress code for because it's definately not enforced. they where whatever they want anyway. i've actually seen jeans and shorts in the dining room on formal night, i mean come on.
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 11:41 AM
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luv2B@sea,

i don't know what people complain about the dress code for because it's definately not enforced. they where whatever they want anyway. i've actually seen jeans and shorts in the dining room on formal night, i mean come on.

That's starting to change. Some lines have received so many negative comments about faulure to enforce dress codes that they are starting to enforce them.

Norm.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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Default Poll - Dress Code

A good afternoon

This thread was sent to me from past cruisers in my office.

The dress code (amongst other things) should be widely communicated and strictly enforced.
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The dress code issue is simply a symptom of the malaise and uncertainty in the cruise industry. Many former customers are leaving and being replaced with a different type of passenger.

Whatever the cruiseline product offering is (formal, casual etc), it is the cruiselines accountability to ensured it is delivered consistently. This is key to "branding" and ensuring repeat business - your most valued customer. Constant change, not delivering what you promise are key to customer discontent.

I have been bewildered over my many former years of cruising to see lines like Celebrity sink to an ever lower benchmark in ACTUAL cruise experience vs the Marketing garbage in their communications (you know, formal dress, exquisite food presentation). The GAP between the product offering vs the experience is why there is increasing discontent in cruising today.

My last Celebrity cruise consisted of jeans in the dining room on formal night, individuals arriving 45 minutes late without challenge, poor food, indifferent service, kids in the adult area - and not one staff did anything to address adherence to the Celebrity experience.

The nature of most people today is a "trend towards the middle to bottom" in conduct, dress, behavior etc (not so long ago RCL did not need security guards to monitor out of control kids). Informality rules - so the cruise lines have rushed down at the same time - they must remain in business.

I have not cruised in 2 years and many in my office decline to patronize cruising again. The product quality has declined rapidly and it is inconsistent vs 5 years ago.

While cruising has informalized and sinks lower into chaos, alternative vacation venues boom - golfing and spas - many (but not all) tend to have formality and rules and attract a high quality crowd. My former cruise $ now go to high end golf vacations where:

a) there is a dress code on the course and it is very strictly enforced
b) the club dining rooms also have a dress code and jackets for those who "forgot"
c) quiet decorum is expected and you are reminded to conform

I am comfortable knowing what I can expect for my money.

Where I give my $, there is little concern for "sensitivities" and "political correctness". The owners of these venues have no issue in reminding anyone of the rules of the establishment. Guess they have more principles than any of the cruise lines.

So, for all you folks out there who "do it yourway" - the backlash against your attitude is growing and return to decorum is on the up swing and you will be challenged. But, you are safe on the cruiselines for a while

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Old May 30th, 2006, 04:51 PM
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I would be very disappointed if they did away with Formal nights. I love the chance to get dressed up in attire I normally have no occasion to wear at home. Haha..I even call those clothes my "cruisewear"! On our first cruise, I didn't invest much in formal clothing because I didn't know if I'd ever go on another cruise. Silly me...I'm hooked like just about everyone else who ever takes a cruise.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 08:23 PM
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woodsy,

I would be very disappointed if they did away with Formal nights. I love the chance to get dressed up in attire I normally have no occasion to wear at home. Haha..I even call those clothes my "cruisewear"! On our first cruise, I didn't invest much in formal clothing because I didn't know if I'd ever go on another cruise. Silly me...I'm hooked like just about everyone else who ever takes a cruise.

Suppose Carnival Corporation decided to make Carnival Cruise Line "all casual," leave Princess Cruises as is ("casual" except on "formal" evenings) but with enforcement of prescribed dress, and make Holland America Lines a traditional cruise with both "formal" and "semiformal" evenings and only a few "casual" evenings, also with strict enforcement.

Or, suppose that Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. were to split Royal Caribbean International into two lines, one of which would be "casual" except on designated "formal" evenings (with enforcement) and the other of which would be "casual" every evening, while leaving Celebrity Cruises as is (with "formal," "informal," and "casual" evenings, strictly enforced).

Would those choices satisfy your preferences?

Norm.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 10:12 PM
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Norm, You are close to the best answer but it will never happen as there will be those who will defy the rules just like they do in everyday life.The next time you are in a nice restaurant look arround and you will see what I mean Was at a nice place for Sundaly brunch and there was mr. redneck with his baseball hat on shorts while most were in nice attire.This is their lifestyle and you are not going to change them on a cruise irregardlless of the rules.Their attitude is that they have paid the price of the cruise and that entitles them to dress as they so desire.
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