1. See everything, do everything! Or as much as you want. Lots to do on the ship. You'll get a program each evening of the next day's activities. Also, you can look at shore excursions online for the tours at your port stops, and see what interests you.
2. Suit is fine for men for formal night. In fact, on the Majesty, you won't see many tuxedos, being a shorter cruise.
3. Official boarding time is around 2pm, but boarding could start as early as 11:30am or noon. It all depends on how quickly the ship is cleared from the last cruise. I'd get to the terminal around 11:30am or so, but be prepared to sit and wait a while if the ship happens to board later on that particular day.
4. Tipping: are you pre-paying gratuities as part of your cruise fare? If so, that covers your room steward, the waiter and assistant waiter, and the maitre d'. No other tipping is necessary. Tips for bar drinks are included in the bar tab each time you buy a drink. Tips that are not pre-paid are paid the last evening of the cruise; no need to tip during the cruise. Tips will total about $9 per person, per day. Tipping guidelines are available on the Royal Caribbean website.
5. The 8:30pm dinner seating won't affect the main show of the evening, which could occur after OR BEFORE dinner on any given evening. That late seating does give you time to refresh after the day, however, be aware that you probably won't get out of dinner until 10pm or later. If the show is after dinner, it will probably go from 11pm-midnight. All lounges, casino etc will still be open way after midnight, but it does get a tad late to start doing things. Are you sure your 7 year old can handle that schedule? You also have the option of going to the Windjammer Cafe for a buffet dinner, open any time from about 6-9pm, casual dress every evening.
We were debating that seating too but think its going to work out ok. Frankly, we're more worried about keeping the 7-year old's father up past that hour than anything! The Windjammer Cafe is a great idea though for nights that the youngest member in our group is going to be dragging a bit from all the activity!
Windjammer is a good idea, but in the past, my youngsters were treated like royalty by our waiter and assistant waiter. Yes, they were tired out from activities, but anxiously went to the dining room to see how special they would be treated by the wait staff....and they behaved.
With the addition of Sorrentos on the floor above Windjammer you now have an added bonus to eating in Windjammer. Our finiky son (12) ate from the buffet and always had the option to get a slice of "fresh" pizza if he was still hungry.