I am considering my first cruise on NCL - but not sure about the whole freestyle dining thing? What are others opinions? I have always liked getting to know my tablemates - is this greatly missed? Do you end up eating alone?
While Freestyle Cruising means that you do not have the same tablemates each night, I have found this to be not a big problem. You will have plenty of chances to make new friends onboard, and of course you can go to dinner with these new friends.
Personally, I have enjoyed both Freestyle Cruising and traditional dining arrangements, and I like both of them. However, in the rare case you don't like your tablemates, Freestyle Cruising makes it easier to get rid of them.
I especially like the number of dining venues on NCL's newer ships. The dining is the reason to take the Norwegian Star in my opinion. I make the assumption that you will be traveling with someone, rather than as a single?
We've cruised on Princess and they offer a similar alternative (Anytime Dining). We found that most of the time, we ended up going to the casual or alternative eateries anyway!
We pretty much kept to ourselves the last cruise because that's the mood we were in (though I met some fun people playing cards!). But Tom's right, there are lots of other opportunities to meet people.
RCI Sovereign of the Seas 2005
Caribbean Princess 2005
Carnival Paradise 2004
Do they have tables for 2 available in the dining room?OR would you have to go to one of the alternative resturants to get a table for 2.We are very seriously thinking about NCL for our next cruise.We love Celebrity but it is getting so expensive and the choices for the Caribean are very limited.JMHO.
Thanks in advance. Tom
sorry this is my first reply. we traveled as a family of 4 and LOVED the freestyle. The kids ate at the Market Cafe quite a bit (it was fine) but the dining rooms were all wonderful. We also ate at the Teppanyaki room and were very pleased with it.
sorry, I only saw your posting tonight. If I remember correctly, NCL's ships do have tables for two in the main dining rooms. I should be able to say this for sure (at least as far as "Norwegian Jewel" is concerned) in a month or so.
Thanks for the responses, but since I a not sure whether I will be traveling with a friend or going solo on my next cruise - I would still like to know if I am by myself - will that mean I will end up sitting by myself or will they put me at a table with others? I sure don't look forward to eating alone, but then on the other hand I am concerned about being an unwelcome guest at a group table.
I have sailed on NCL as a single and think I would suggest that you go for traditional dining instead. Unless you hook up with someone and have a prearranged dinner date, you will be seated at the next available table when you enter the restaurant. You would have no input as to where you sit and would probably not have the greatest dining experience. The alternative restaurants are very difficult as the tables are usually reserved well in advance and limited to those making the reservations.
I once ended up in one of the alternative restaurants and felt like a total loser dining by myself.
Traditional dining can offer you the opportunity of joining other singles for dinner, as the Maitr d' will make those arrangements for you (especially if you offer an up-front gratuity),
Either way, you are bound to have a great cruise. For some great tips about cruising as a solo, read Nancy Norris' article on how to meet singles at sea;