Forgot everything you've read so far....freestlye is great! I dont know why they didnt think of this before. Eating!!! I was so much easier knowing that at anytime you could go to dinner. The two main dining halls had the identical menus. No reservations needed, unless you had a big party then they took reservations to set up the area. The other resturants Royal observatory had a Italian menus which changed each night. The Bistro menu was posted and did not change all week. We thought the food was great so we didnt bother going to the Bistro which was very intimate and had food cooked to order. The other option, which is where freestlye really came into play was the buffet area up on the pool deck. The theme buffet changed each night. People who didnt want to dress for dinner just ate up on the deck in there shorts. Actually what we did was eat appetizers off this buffet after sunning and swimming then go back to room and change for dinner and eat a late dinner in the dining room. One night we actually went to the royal observatory for dessert because they were serving something we really had to have! And this was perfectly acceptable!
Dress code; Formal night had options that were for those who dressed up. PS Most people did dress this night. I wore my tux and so did many others. Dining halls and cocktails were formal only. Again some choose to eat the buffet that night and did not dress up at all. The rest of the week I wore dockers long pants and golf shirts. The only night they let the no shorts rule slide was the first night because some people, including me, didnt get there luggage until 730pm.
Tipping...no problem...it was $40 dollars a person added to our account. Didnt have to put up with the waiters bugging for there tips like on other cruises on the last night of cruise. I even tipped the porter girl extra (in cash) becuase she kept my trash can full on ice for me (I brought beer on and some at each port!)
Disembarkment: Very good...didnt have to go sit up on deck waiting to leave the boat, although many people did????force of habit??? Sleep in, grab breakfast, take a jog or walk, get a shower....GET OFF BOAT! Everyone is started off boat by 830
Very relaxed way to crusing because nothing was planned or structured unless you wanted to structure yourself...for example..if you wanna see the jimmy buffet sing along with Derrick Lewis at 8pm...better eat alittle early (or later).
Bob, feel free to ask any other questions...I brought home the menus and daily schedules in case you have questions!