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I would doubt that RCI will let standards fall to any extent let alone the amount you seem to worry about. Big ships have their own atmosphere and ambience which doesn't suit some but is loved by others. Best advice is that of my granny..."suck it and see". You may not like the total package but I am sure that you will like a lot of it so.... experiment and experience ...Nei.
We returned from a short cruise on the Indy a few days ago.
Embarcation & disembarcation at Southampton was very efficient with no delays or crowds. The entertainment, food and service was first class. The Cruise Director Ken Rush is excellent and runs a really tight ship!!
Apart from the parade on the promenade in the evening the flow of traffic was very good - there are so very many lounges etc that nowhere ever seems crowded with the exception of the British pub which is quite small.
With regard to the formal dress we also like dressing for dinner and was very pleased to see the amount of lovely ladies in beautiful ball gowns and men in dinner suits on the formal night- many more than on my previous cruises in the Med or Caribbean. On other nights in the dining room people were dressed in smart clothes, didn't see any shorts or flip flops :) In the Windjammer people were much more relaxed and casual clothes were worn there.
We are seasoned cruisers on several lines but our friends have never cruised before and I was so very pleased that this was their first taste of cruising.
I only wish I had had the advantage of these great deals on offer - we booked as soon as bookings opened to be on the inaugural cruise (didn't work as they brought the Indy into service 2 weeks early) so no deals - nevertheless I still felt we got a bargain - try geting a quality hotel and all meals and entertainment at that price anywhere else.
If you need to know anything else just ask.