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I have been on RCCL ships with these types of windows numerous times. You can feel the breeze as you could through any open window. You can also hear noise coming up from the ground below. Sorry, as much as I feel sympathy for the family, I lost all respect for them when they tried to turn things around.
I think those gingerbread houses may have been made by kid passengers.We took a cruise on Celebrity last New Years and our waiter told us about a gingerbread house decorating competition for kids. You had to pay to enter but it seemed like fun so we signed up my 8 yo granddaughter. Ended up being canceled because they didn't get enough kids to sign up, but we were told the gingerbread houses on display by the grand foyer (which were set up and looked pretty much like your photos), were made by kids from the previous Christmas cruise. I know you're on RCCL, but both lines probably share certain activities.
Jim, you have a wonderful eye for photography. Enjoying very much.