After reading a bad review on this ship for this sailing I decided to put the facts straight. The reason you cant serve yourself is for health reasons. People do get sick on cruise ships and its nice to know they are taking steps to make sure this does not happen. As for the portion size, at no time was I restricted to eat as much as I wanted. I could go back and get whatever I wanted as many times as I wanted. After looking around at most Americans I would say we should eat smaller portion sizes.
As for dining in the main dining room. You did not have to wear a jacket. The men did have to wear long pants but they could be casual. Not jeans but something casual and nice. My son worn slacks and a shirt every night and the only nights it was required to wear a jacket was on dress up nights. Most night the woman in my group worn skorts, pedal pushers, slacks, nothing over the top. I do not know why it would be stated you had to wear a jacket because in our case this was not true. We did get lobster and creme brulee on the second dress up night. In fact our waiter asked if we wanted more dessert. The fact that you don't want to get so called dressed up is a personal choice but some people do and the ships try to make sure both are served. Service at all times was wonderful and we only had to wait one night.
Things did close a little earlier then expected on this ship. I was used to things being opened much later. The did have things on the back deck and most night when the movie was showing they offered popcorn. They could work on keeping things open a little longer for those of us who like something going on late at night. Its not a ship for those who like to party at night.
The shows I thought were wonderful. Not big and I too was surprised at the number of cast members. However, their talent was evident and they worked very hard to give you the best they could. I went to the meet the cast lecture and it was wonderful to see and hear them and what they wanted to do on the ship. I cant imagine that anyone would walk out or not think they are truly talented people. Its not like you are paying a big admission price. I would say see the shows definitely. We all loved them.
As far as the pool, I never used the pool. I figure that is mostly for families of young children. We spent most of our time on the back deck and always found a chair. Service was always prompt. I too was wondering where the retreat pool was since it was advertised on their ad. I was looking forward to that as was my daughter in law. Would like that explained to me. The pool was closed for part of the time on the way back but that was because of rough seas. It is a safety issue. They have to keep you safe.
Room service could not have been better. The rooms are large with a couch. Always clean, and the staff friendly and would call you by name. Never did I not get a good morning or hello. I truly believe these are some of the hardest working people I know. Americans should take a good look at how these people do their jobs. Never at any time did we have a problem with anything.
So for those of you who want to take this ship I would say please do. Just make sure what it is you are looking for. Its a quiet ship at night. Casino was open all night but not always staffed. Casino not open in port of course. I agree they should have some food available at all times. Something, somewhere.
On the last cruise I took, not on this line we did not have to go on deck for the drill. They just had us go to rooms and talk to us. My daughter in law got very sick at the stomach and dizzy waiting in the heat on deck. She did manage to push herself to the front but it was crowded and hot.
I liked the ship but as I said not the ship for the lively crowd. They have lots of things to do and being in Hamilton and not at the Dockyard I think is better. I also liked being in Bermuda three nights and the other ships I looked at only stayed two nights in Bermuda. Make sure you check that. To me it was important. I chose this ship for that reason. Was I disappointed, no, but there were a few things I would have changed. Just don't believe everything you read on here. If you have questions call your cruise line or travel agent. Always the best way. To me wonderful people work on this ship who try very hard to make your vacation the best it can be. You have to do the rest and complaining about every little thing is not the way.