1)Best time to board: They start boarding around 11:30 to noon, and it starts with the pecking order of suites, pinnacle members, diamond plus, diamond, emerald, and platinum, and then everyone else as they checked in. Cabins are not open until 1:30 (maybe it is 1pm). So, I'd either get there around 10:30 or wait until 1pm. You won't be missing much. Eat a late breakfast so you won't feel a compelling need to go to the Windjammer. Or, better yet, skip the Windjammer and go to the Park Cafe or spend a few bucks each and hit Johnny Rockets. Never crowded there on embarkation day.
2) Bringing on a case of water. Would we just put a luggage tag on and leave with porter with rest of our luggage? Don't do that. I know some say they check in cases of water like suitcases but it isn't really a good idea. The staff is there to deliver luggage, not supplies. Split it up and have everyone bring a few bottles in their carry on luggage.
3) My Time Dining...how much time should we allow to be seated and for the meal itself? 75 to 90 minutes typically. They don't like dawdlers at My Time because they need to turn the tables over for others diners.
4) Shows. I have made the reservations except CHICAGO which doesn't seem to be up yet. What do you say are the no miss shows? Anything at the Aqua Theater. The Blue Planet aerial show.
5) Rita's Cantina...is it worth going there? I am not impressed with Rita's. The tables are cramped and the food is average. As you say, many of us have better choices at local restaurants. I'd skip Rita's if it was a choice between it and something else you want to do.
6) Giovanni's for lunch. I thought just the six ladies in our group. Do they have seating outside and would it accommodate the six or is it best inside? They have tables outside. They are for two and four as I recall but I'm sure they would be happy to set it up for six.
7) Prohibition Event. Never did it.