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Old 07-17-2007, 12:39 PM
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Holland America has announced a new flexi dining plan. One level of the two level dining room will be designated as a dine any time from 5:15-9pm. The other level of the dining room will still be assigned dining. The new dining plan has been in place on the Noordam. The other ships will have the plan in the months to follow.
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Old 07-17-2007, 01:15 PM
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That's good news. When we tried the Anytime dining on Princess, I wasn't sure we'd like it. It is absolutely great, not having to rush to get to a table at a specific time. We might have to wait 15-20 minutes, but we just go have a drink and wait. You get to meet more people, which I like. I do miss getting to know my tablemates well and the waiters, but it has turned out to be a great experience. I'm sure more mainstream lines will be implementing it.
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:21 PM
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It will be interesting to see how they work "The Parade of the Baked Alaska" and the "Master Chefs Dinner" into that format; while it is two levels, it is essentially one large dining room. I guess those in the anytime level can just enjoy the spectacle even though they won't participate.

At least that's the way I would hope they go, and not eliminate these two very special events.

For those that may not know, the "Master Chefs Dinner" is a very special event, with each course punctuated with short entertainments provided by the dining room staff--a really wonderful event.
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:42 PM
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I wonder if the table staff gets less in extra tips? I always tip a little extra for the service I receive during the week. I guess I could always tip nightly...but not sure I would.
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:05 AM
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Most likely they will go to pre-paid tipping for those that choose open seating. Royal Caribbean is testing an open sitting on the Freedom of The Seas. In order to take advantage of the open seating tips must be pre-paid.
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Most likely they will go to pre-paid tipping for those that choose open seating.
If you mean the $10. a day that is standard on most lines, that is not what I am talking about. I mean the "extra" many of us give in cash at the end of the cruise. It looks like the server would miss out on that.
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:05 PM
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On Zuiderdam last fall, I was told by the purser's office that any tipping over and above the $10pp/pd is also required to go into the "tipping pot" that is split between everyone. We still extra tipped our waiter, assistant waiter and cabin steward - and felt kinda sad that there wasn't a way we could actually give them more. The best thing to do now is to make sure you give them a great review on your comment card. As I mentioned in the RCCL forum - what I most disliked about "Freestyle Dining" was the constant rush and manic activity in the dining room - bussing and setting up tables for the next set of diners. And while no-one actually pushed us out the door, you definitely feel the need to open up the table for the next folks.
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:41 PM
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I like to know when I am going to be fed and I like to know the exact time my table is ready. That is why assigned dining works for me first seating, then off to the show with a full belly.
I also love to get to know the lives of my table mates. When you sit at a table of 8 or 10 you change seats every night so that you can have more intimate one-on-one conversations with each person. And everyone gets to share sitting next to the boring person or the one with halitosis.
Also, the final night pictures with those you have spent the last 7 or more evenings with is memorable.
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Old 07-18-2007, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gdjoslin:
quote:
Most likely they will go to pre-paid tipping for those that choose open seating.
If you mean the $10. a day that is standard on most lines, that is not what I am talking about. I mean the "extra" many of us give in cash at the end of the cruise. It looks like the server would miss out on that.


Yes, the $10 is standard on most lines. That's automatic tipping. However; Pre-paid usually means paid in advance with your final payment before you sail. The ship can't adjust pre-paid tips.
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:25 PM
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With assinged seating I always give the waiter $20 the first night. I tell him if the service is good he will get more through out the trip. Also with the cabin steward the same thing.And most of the time my service is great!That has worked for me for years, even before auto tipping began,which I still do not like..
 
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america, american, anytime, cruise, dine, dining, dinning, holland, meal, meals, open, plan, review, reviews, seating

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