A lot of new cruisers - and some experienced ones - don't realize that the assigned seatings concept was born out of necessity owing to limited space on ships. It is quickly becoming a vestige of the past, although many of us embraced it early and cling to it for traditions sake, and of course for the usually jovial times we have at an assigned table. For us I think I can say we prefer assigned, but it would depend on the itinerary. There are instances when I'd prefer flexible dining. Even now, we usually eat dinner at least once in an alternate venue - usually the buffet dinner.