Gone are the days where cruising was left to the rich elite, with ship attire made up of shiny tuxedos and elegant flowing dresses. But should even family ships maintain a dress code?

When the topic of what to wear in the main dining room came up in a popular Royal Caribbean Australian Facebook group, it quickly became clear that cruisers are as divided as ever on this essential topic of cruising etiquette.

Linda Edwards posted on the Facebook group of her experience seeing people dressed casually for the Royal Caribbean main dining room, and 247 likes and 521 comments later, there was still very little agreement amongst cruisers.

Ms Edwards wrote: “I am a very casual person but I do make an effort for dinner. I observed a small but significant amount of passengers in tacky t-shirts, baggy shorts and wearing thongs on dirty feet. 

“Tonight I saw a woman in jeans and a top that stopped at her midriff. It looked like something you would wear to do some gardening. I’m giving her the benefit that maybe her luggage was lost.  

“There are lots of dining options where casual dress is normal. Am I being judgemental to say maybe it is not appropriate at the main dining room for dinner?”

The post exploded with reaction almost immediately after being posted, with many dismissing the idea that the clothing of other guests should matter at all, but many also supporting the idea that dressing for the Main Dining Room should adhere to a certain standard. 

User John Harlow wrote: “Adhering to dress codes is all about respecting others. If a person does not respect others then people will not respect them.

“I refuse to be sat at a table where others are wearing caps or hats.”

Nicola Tompkinsa greed: “Like you, we appreciate a certain dress standard, sadly the standards have dropped everywhere. Cruising gives us the rare opportunity to dress up every night and we love that.”

Donna Freeman wrote: “I think we all need to come to the realisation that some have pride in their appearance and some do not. I always dress for dinner.”

However, on the other side of the coin, many commenters found it laughable that people could be so concerned with what others are wearing. 

Chris Lawrence wrote: “If you’re worried about what other people are wearing, then you’re worrying about the wrong things in life.

“If they aren’t being turned away at the door because of a dress code, the ship and its company are fine with it. They will make the decisions if it’s unsuitable for entry.”

Meg Conca wrote: “I go on holidays to relax, not lug my entire wardrobe with me. It’s my opinion that some of you look utterly ridiculous wearing attire reserved for a wedding.”

Pam Correale provided a more indepth perspective as to why she and her family no longer dress up.

“My family used to dress up on cruises, and with four kids it was difficult packing dress shoes, sneakers, sandals, etc. We had to check multiple suitcase for flights. It was a huge hassle. We stopped doing it and just packed basics.

“Maybe some people cannot afford to check bags so they do not bring a lot. Maybe others were on an excursion that day you saw them dressed the way they were. Maybe they arrive back in the ship too late from excursion to fancy-up. There are lots of reasons people choose to dress as they do on a cruise.

“Worry about your own attire as wasting time worrying about others is unimportant.”

What do you think? Should cruisers dress up more when in the main dining room or should everyone dress only as they choose?