Leader of Birmingham.pm [pm.org] and a CPAN author [cpan.org]. Co-organised YAPC::Europe in 2006 and the 2009 QA Hackathon, responsible for the YAPC Conference Surveys [yapc-surveys.org] and the QA Hackathon [qa-hackathon.org] websites. Also the current caretaker for the CPAN Testers websites and data stores.
If you really want to find out more, buy me a Guinness
I for one do not feel comfortable in a suit. While I'm happy to dress smartly (and generally do whatever the circumstance), I really dislike having to wear a suit. I REALLY dislike having to wear a suit to any sort of "fancy" dinner occasion, as I don't like being false (among other reasons). Unfortunately, I would rather people get to know me as I am, and not by some notion that I can be clean and smart in fancy dress. It just feels fake.
The Perl Whirl is a "geek" cruise. A chance to learn some cool stuff and meet some great people. I don't see it as a chance to show off how "sharp" someone can look. For the record I don't go to MessageLabs Christmas Dinners for exactly the same reason. EVERY other conference I have been on has never expected me to dress up for dinner, and I think its a shame this one does. By the looks of things several others are of the same opinion that we would rather have a liquid lunch than have to wear suits.
I guess its an American thing to always want to wear fancy dress. Certainly from films it appears to be indoctrinated from High School. Over here in the UK, there is a much higher reluctance to dress in dinner suits for several reasons. A few of which are masonic, draconian and class societies, more likely to drum up images of the Colonial British Empire. They aren't always pleasant images. For others the idea of dressing up feels like siding with the enemy, such as marketing and sales folk (;)), presenting a false front, and thus never getting to know the real people. I'd rather meet the real people on the cruise and enjoy their company, than be asked to prented to be something I'm not.
(I just hope they serve a good stout on board, otherwise it's going to be very expensive to match it with spirits)