We did a 10 night caribbean cruise this year on the Lirica.We are a family who like to dress up and we got the chance on two formal nights and the captains cocktail night. (plentyiful supply of 'on the house' martinis/champagne made available - not just one drink and thats it!!) DJ for the men and long evening dress for the ladies will not be out of place (prob about 70%) at same time dark suit and tie and cocktail dress for ladies acceptable. Most other evenings most just wear smart casual. As previous answer, good 24hr self-service restaurant on pool level deck (also pizzeria and grill) Breakfast self service does get busy and worth getting a table before you get your food (and take turns to go to the buffet) We had never been with MSC before and were wary - dont know why though as this was a lovely ship that was spotlessly clean and with excellent service. Food was quite good and a varied choice.It is better to get the early sitting as the late sitting can go on to 10pm. Entertainers around the pool can be a bit noisy and can be a bit tacky whilst trying to get the more elderly passengers to do the YMCA !! (oxygen tanks at the ready) We are a couple in their 40's with two young children and found areas of the pool deck area that were just out of range of this commotion.(have to admit though that it was only for around an hour a day) We accepted that some people enjoyed this as it was their holiday as much as ours. Last thing - do make use of the wine packages etc as they are (were) great value (around £9 per bottle) classed as superior wine.We would definately go on another cruise with the Lirica - staff told us that the northern european cruise was one of the best. We are doing two cruises this year with princess cruises (one carib and one med) - we will be comparing and looking at whether all the extra money will be worth it !!
Dress code on the Lirica is the 2 formal evenings on a 7 night cruise which I suspect yours will be. The official line for formal nights is tux or lounge suit for men and cocktail or evening dress for women. Some dress very formally (probably more the women than the men) and others less so. You will see a wide variety on these evenings. If you like to really dress up, you wont be alone but likewise if you dont want to be quite so formal, you will alos not stand out. The rest of the evenings will be casual. they laos have a policy of no shorts, bare feet etc after 6pm in dining rooms or lounges which the majority of passengers 9especially on European cruises) adhere to.
Their is a self service buffet which is open for breakfast and lunch. You also have a grill on the pool deck that does burgers etc with salads. A pizza bar which is very good as they make them fresh all the time. there is alspo an ice cream bar (but this costs extra). They do a midnight buffet too in the same buffet area as breakfast and lunch. At dinner, normally the only choice is the dining room that you have been allocated too. However I've noticed a recent trend with MSC to keep the buffet open for part of first dinner sitting, when in the Caribbean (to cater for the US Market). They may extend this to European sailings too.