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Old 02-14-2007, 11:31 AM
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Of course, there are reasons why they prefer to fill up tables as people arrive at the door - only a fraction of the staff is on duty for breakfast and lunch service, minimizing the cleanup they have to do, and it keeps things flowing quickly. We've certainly had our experiences with being seated with "dullards", and we've probably been annoying to at least some people too. But it usually isn't for more than 45 minutes so it isn't too much to bear.
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Old 02-14-2007, 11:38 AM
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can someone please help me? I went "free style cruising" last year to the bahamas....and it was wonderful. What is NON FREESTYLE cruising? Which is better; and what is the difference really? Do they tell you when and where to eat??? How does it work>
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Old 02-14-2007, 12:01 PM
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The only real difference is that Carnival, RCI, HAL, and the other non-NCL lines have assigned seatings for dinner in the main dining rooms. This is where you get either the main or late seating, with an assigned table, and you then need to show up for dinner at the same time every night and sit at the same table. People like this since you get to meet other people seated at your table, and have the same wait staff for the whole cruise. However, it has been our experience on some ships (the Holiday in particular) that we always get a table for 4 just for us (there are 3 of us). It is nice to have the extra space, although there is nobody new to talk to. I suppose if someone was traveling solo, they might get "stuck" with us, but it hasn't happened yet.

Princess has both dinner options. They have at least one dining room set up for assigned seating, and the other dining rooms are "personal choice" which is what they call their "freestyle".

But it is quite common on all cruise lines for dining room breakfast and lunch to be open seating, where you can come anytime during the open hours and be served.
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