I think the MDR is a formal dining room, and is set up to reflect this. They give you umpteen utensils,bread plates,water glasses,wine glasses,butter dishes,baskets of bread ( served by waitstaff ) and an extensive wine list to choose from. We look forward to eating as many meals during the cruise as possible in there. Breakfast and Lunch are very relaxing and enjoyable in the MDR. Everyday life for us is very hectic, rush rush... Eating in a Formal dining area allows us to slow down and smell the roses.
We do eat dinner once a cruise in the Steak House , another formal dining area that is designed for a slow paced meal. It is like eatig at a Ruth Chris's, just as good for a third of the price.
We prefer to dress for dinner and go all out on cruise elegant night. We both have jobs Ron ( machinist) Stef ( medical field) that don't require us to dress up daily. When dinner is over we do change back to comfy clothes to enjoy the rest of the nightlife.
Everyone has the right to their own opinion, however I cannot understand why you think the MDR is not a Formal Dining room
A bit of background...my husband and I enjoy going out to dinner. We live near DC, and make it a goal of ours to try new restaurants, and to visit restaurants that make the 100 best list in "The Washingtonian" magazine. We enjoy dive bars, but for special occasions we go all out. So when I think of formal, I think of place like The Blue Duck Tavern, Citronelle, The Inn at Little Washington. Not only is the food 5 stars, but so is the service, the decor and the ambiance. Formal to me...is NOT bright overheard lights, waiters dancing, people in jeans, etc.
When I think of FORMAL, I think jacket REQUIRED for the men, and NO jeans..period. I think mood lighting, candles, etc.
NOW, don't get me wrong...I LOVE the MDR on the ship. One thing I do love about it, is that it isn't pretentious, which is another thing I think of when I hear FORMAL dining. It's inclusive, warm and inviting.
I've been to some formal restaurants, that are very welcoming, but they adhere to strict dress codes, behavioral codes, etc. A number of them even have times when those under 18 are not allowed. Some don't even allow photography. It's a matter of opinion, and that's where mine is coming from. Agree or not...no big deal, but don't call me dumb for having an opinion that is based on something different than yours.
NOT saying you did....someone else had less manners than you.