I just returned from a 5 night cruise on the Pearl. I LOVED Freestyle cruising! Traveling together were four 18 year old boys and their moms. We loved having the option of eating WHERE we wanted and WHEN we wanted. Some nights we all ate together...other nights the boys chose to eat with some teenage girls they met on the cruise. We did make reservations for 3 nights, but the other 2 we just decided where we wanted to go and were seated with no problem at the time we showed up. The only other cruise I've been on was with Disney and they have the standard early or late seating. I absolutely loved the Disney Wonder, but I definitely preferred the NCL Freestyle option! Hope this helps!