Sooooo, hoping to not repeat info you've already read...here is a "Cliff's Notes" list of EPIC suggestions/secrets/tips/opinions that I hope might help others sailing soon...
1. Dress - seems q's about formal nights & how dressy etc, keep popping up. There are VERY few passengers that dressed up at night...and we were all over the ship every night til at least 1am. Most everyone we saw in the dining rooms had on dress slacks and nice shirts/blouses. For the FEW that we saw dressed up...they were doing so to take formal pictures. So, if your not planning on eating in the bars or at the buffets at night...trust me...dressy casual is perfect and will get you comfortably through dinner, any shows and any clubs!
2. Smoke - For non-smokers...here is the low-down. There is NO SMOKING in any of the inside bars/clubs (very nice)! However, everything you read about the casino is TRUE! *TIP*...plan ahead and use the deck above or below when you need to get from the front of the ship to the back or vice-versa. The casino is very big and holding your breath from beginning to end gets old fast
3. Getting around - The tip on the red vs. blue carpet color has also been mentioned. *SECRET* If the carpet in the hall of your cabin is blue...use the elevators with the blue lights and you will be on "your" side of the ship to get to your cabin quicker and without toooo much trouble There are lots of elevators ...red lights on one side...blue on the other, and they are roomy unlike older ships. There were waits at obvious rush times, but we had no problem waiting a couple of minutes when needing to go UP several decks. The stairs were great, roomy, and convenient, and we used them most times.
4. Food - You already know what to expect at the buffet and in the main dining rooms, so here are some *Suggestions* of the yummiest things to eat before you get off the ship!
---Lobster was excellent at Cagney's compared to main dining, and the creme' brulee' was delish!
---Cirque Dinner Show now serves steak... with shrimp instead of chicken for the entree'. And, you don't choose a salad/appetizers or deserts, you get all 3 listed on the menu on your plate. (just thought I'd mention that...as we were deciding who would get what so we would not duplicate and were surprized when they brought us each item for our 1st & 3rd course
---Fried potstickers at the Noodles Bar...oh me oh my...$2 and you get 4!
---Chicken Pot Pie and Warm Apple Crumble at O'Sheehan's...sooooo delish we did lunch there twice and ordered the same thing!
:::rumroll:::: please...and THE best kept secret on the ship is....
---Sweet Potato Fries at the Spice H2O bar (not at the outdoor buffet side...at the actual bar side). Can't get them until 6pm, but they are worth the trip to the back of the ship. You can also get them to go and they are served with a lime cream sauce YUM!!!! <mouth is watering for them now!>
5. Potty Breaks - You are allowed to leave and return to go to the bathroom during the Blue Man Group and Cirque. Maybe this is a change, but we read that you couldn't and just wanted to let the ladies know
6. Night Life - Second City actors are GREAT with their late night improv shows....the "Overboard" show was our favorite. Bliss and Spice H2O are fun dance club nights with live DJ's and Cruise Director Paul is always there to stir things up. Dance floor at Bliss is very small though. *IMO* Howl at the Moon was a blast! Love the singer/musicians too...(Dru, Richard & Colleen). If you remember...tell Dru that the "Joy to the World" interpretive dancer said HI! I LOVE him!!!!
Hope this helps and if anyone has a specific question, please ask! We had no children in our small group so we were able to do just about EVERYTHING the ship had to offer...well except the art auctions...not our thing!