Quoted so I can try to stay in order. We just got back from a CocoCay sailing in a balcony cabin last week, So I can hit most if not all of these 🙂
1. We got to our departure port late because of a bad accident on the only bridge in and out of Port Canaveral. We were about an hour *after* our scheduled check-in and still had no problems. We got there around 12:30-1ish and the security line took maaaaaaaybe twenty minutes and we have no kind of loyalty status. RCI doesn't really enforce their boarding "appointments" anyway, they're just trying to do a little crowd control by making people think they have to come at different times.
2. Skip, I sailed out of PC (sorry, no help there!)
3. I believe you can still request one; whether or not you have to buy it and keep it is another story.
4. Sometimes but it's hit and miss. I'd say for certain if you want one or you're concerned about the bed firmness, plan to bring your own and pack it in its own suitcase.
5. Just had a balcony cabin, can confirm: nope. JS and above get coffee makers but there are tons of venues around the ship to get coffee in the morning. And room service is very prompt but there is a charge associated. (Last checked...$7.95 per order. Not per item ordered but per room order.)
6. If you mean disembarking in a port of call, one or two bars will still be open but most will be closed. (Usually pool bar stays open to serve guests who stay on the ship.) On the final day when you get off for good? All are closed because of the myriad of things going on: supplies being loaded and unloaded, guests leaving and coming on, trash being offloaded, crew coming aboard and leaving. They try to keep it as simple as possible and all but the buffet and a few other key areas (think guest services) will be closed.
7. It's been a looooooooong time since I've been to Labadee, but on CocoCay the loungers, umbrellas, the buffet, pool access, beach access, beach wheelchairs, and a few attractions (think splash zones for the little ones) are free. Snorkel rental, cabanas, beach beds, the waterpark, the helium balloon, and the zip lines all carry a charge, as well as some food options.
8. I would not advise shorts in the MDR, but they won't stop you. Saw plenty of people heading in there in shorts on our sailing. If you can convince him to wear jeans (which undoubtedly someone is still going to call a faux pas, I call it a compromise) and a polo or collared shirt that might be looked upon more favorably, but they really don't enforce their dress code...anywhere onboard.
Hope that helps 🙂