It's enjoyable watching the heads explode as people navigate through the minefield of what is appropriate attire.
I've read these threads before, although this is my first post to CC, so bear with me.
My wife and I will be sailing with HAL out of Venice on May 27th. (our 3rd cruise - rookies it seems).
I will, on the 2 "formal nights" be attired in my kilt and jacket, I as do for any formal occasion. On alternative evenings, I will be in either a suit or a sports jacket and dress pants (maybe dropping the tie on a whim) 🙂
On our first cruise in the Baltic in 2002, the most memorable part of the gala evening, was a long conversation I had with a bunch of Spanish teens (not formally dressed) about what one would wear under a kilt. On that evening the dress was about 60/40, as one would expect almost 20 years ago, for men in formal-wear vs suits. On our second cruise to Hawaii, there sprouted a third version of attire; there were likely 20-25% with no jacket, about 40-50% in jackets and pants and about 25-30% in formal-wear (incl. dark suit w/ tie). I fully expect that there will be a continuing number of people who will lighten there suitcase and forgo the ever-increasing baggage fees ($100/bag on our upcoming trip if we choose), and not bring so much "stuff" on vacation.
All that to say, I have no objection to others wearing whatever they want, within the guidelines ( i.e no beachwear etc.). We've seen what lots of people wear to other formal occasions (weddings, funerals, etc.) and generally speaking, we're on a trend to more casual attire everywhere - just an observation.
I'm 55 and the have always erred on the side of being overdressed, whether in the office or on vacation. When we're in the Caribbean, I wear dress pants and a collared shirt every night, although the majority don't...and I could care less...to each his (or her) own - as long as I can enjoy the evening with my wife, meet some people, and dance a bit.
Lastly, I will miss it if they go with a completely casual approach to attire, although its very likely, I would still "dress for dinner".