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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 03-16-2007, 01:18 PM
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The inherent advantage is to the cruise line and not the guest. However, in defense of this failing line, you can still make a dinner reservation every night at the same table. Just "make friends" with the maitre'd and you'll be golden.

NCL's buffets are in my opinion, the worst but food in the dining rooms is okay to good and occasionally great.
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Old 03-16-2007, 04:44 PM
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My pros and cons, after three Freestyle cruises, keeping in mind that my preferences may not be the same as yours (or anyone else's for that matter):

PROS
Not having to rush back from a shore excursion just to have dinner
Variety of restaurants from which to choose
You can get your own table every night
No dining room "shows" by the waiters

CONS
Having to make reservations (although this is not hard to do -- just do it early)
Having to dine before 6 pm or after 8 pm to avoid lines
Having to look at your watch so that you don't miss the shows

Note that I did not put "lack of formal night" in the cons list. That is because on all of my NCL cruises since Freestyle was implemented, people still dressed up on formal night -- I'd even say it wasn't much different than on any other mainstream line we've been on other than Celebrity or HAL. Again, this is my experience. Others' may vary.

Overall, I prefer traditional cruising to Freestyle cruising. But I wouldn't rule out an NCL cruise because of it. I just go in with different expectations.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 03-16-2007, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by joergr:

So i guess you have to check out the ships restaurants quickly in the beginning and then make reservations for each night. Sounds like kind of stressful to me.
So far i fail to see the advantage of FREESTYLE except the dining hours
For people who prefer to dine on their timetable it is fine .... for those that need to be told what time to be there and do not like change ...i guess it could be stressful

I would suggest another cruiseline if you do not like Freestyle dining option.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 03-16-2007, 05:48 PM
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So i guess you have to check out the ships restaurants quickly in the beginning and then make reservations for each night. Sounds like kind of stressful to me.
So far i fail to see the advantage of FREESTYLE except the dining hours
That is the main advantage of Freestyle Dining.
You can dine early one evening, and late the next, or anytime between. With Traditional Dining, you dine at exactly the same time every night.

As for dress attire, most cruise lines are becoming more casual every year, aka NCL. There are some cruise lines left where Formal attire still means tuxedos, and Semi Formal attire means business suits and sport jackets. I won't mention their names on this NCL forum.

There's far more stress, in my opinion, worrying about what to wear for dinner, packing your formal clothes, and presssing out the wrinkles in your formal clothes, etc., and arriving for dinner on time, returning to the ship from shore early, etc., than making reservations.

You can make reservations for any Specialty Restaurant with your phone from your cabin, which takes at most just one minute. Just remember that eating four, and five course meals takes longer than the two or three courses you experience at home. Therefore schedule your dining around other activities you wish to enjoy aboard. You can also eat a few courses before an activity you must see, then come back to eat a few more courses later. That's something you can't do on other cruise lines in their Main Restaurants. In other words, Freestyle Dining means you're Free to Dine as you wish.
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:24 PM
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thank you all - i will keep it in mind for our next cruise.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 03-16-2007, 07:49 PM
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A cost cutting and higher profit for NCL

PROS A CHEAP CRUISE

CONS YOU ARE NOTHING MORE THAN MONEY FOR NCL. THE WHOLE CRUISE IS SET UP FOR NCL TO MAKE LARGER PROFITS.

IT IS A 2 STAR CRUISE - GREAT FOR THE FIRST TIMERS WHO DON'T KNOW BETTER.

DON'T DO THE 10 DAY CRUISE FROM HAWAII, VISITING FANNING ISLANDS. HUGE WASTE OF MONEY

SORRY. DON'T SET YOUR EXPECTATIONS TOO HIGH
NO ELEGANCE WHICH IS A BIG PART OF CRUISING!
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Old 03-16-2007, 09:43 PM
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Was it really necessary to SHOUT?
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Old 03-18-2007, 08:22 PM
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Wow, never knew cruises were just about the food. Always thought it was supposed to be about the fun too. Anyways, I have cruised many of the lines, and I just enjoy cruising. Each cruise lines have specifics that they do....just go with the flow on whatever line, be open minded, relax, and just enjoy yourself. It works for me, and I haven't been disappointed yet!
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Old 03-18-2007, 08:43 PM
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I like your attitude, carlg. Bravo!
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 03-18-2007, 08:47 PM
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We have been on several NCL ships within the last three years. "Freestyle dining" is why we return. We have "been there, done that" with traditional dining seating times of 6:15PM/6:30PM and 8:15PM/8:30PM. With Freestyle you get to eat when you want, where you want and how you want to dine.

Romantic table for 2? .....Conversations with new guests for 4? .....How about a table with 8? NCL lets YOU decide, the cruise line does NOT decide for you. Just one or two dining rooms to choose from? ...not on NCL. Most NCL ships offer 6 to 10 restaurants to choose from. Do you want Italian?.... How about French? ...American? ...Mexican? ...Premium steakhouse? ...Oriental? ...Burgers? ...Ice cream bars? ...Coffee bars? ....Martini Bars? ....Cigar bars? It's all on NCL. Want a buffet, how about casual?

NCL does have formal nights, but are totally optional. Even on formal nights, many guests are dressed as resort casual. You decide, to deck out or dress down. It's your choice. NCL lets YOU relax and enjoy the way YOU want to. Even though NCL promotes causal dining experiences, you will find, as we did, most passengers go resort casual and look very nice in the dining areas. Most ladies love to look good, especially on a cruise, because cruising is special. No blue jeans or shorts after 5:30 PM.

So I am sure that if anyone tries NCL they will like it.

As for reservations. NCL allows reservations 24 hours in advance. Just call the reservation desk from your stateroom, to make your reservation at the time you select. If they can't get you in at your time, they will tell you so.

Cruising is lot to do with dining and the eating experience. NCL has great NEW menus, offer a great buffet for the "all you can eat" passengers, and the quality is very good. If you don't like something that is presented at dinner, speak up, and the wait staff will be happy to make it right.

Enjoy......enjoy NCL, and discover "freestyle dining", and I am sure that you will be back for more.

Can't possibly believe NCL does this, as other say; because it's cheap and they make more money. That's an unwarranted statement.

Waiting in line for a table?.....this seldom happens, or if so, expect perhaps a 15 minute wait, no more than at rush hour times on a Friday or Saturday in a USA restaurant.

Want a five course meal, with great service?......then you want NCL. Just sit down and count the amount of plates that are used for each guest. Count the number of glasses used for each guest, the silverware, and you will soon realize, it's not cost cutting. Have you ever thought about using all those dinner plates, silverware and glassware at home for a dinner? No way.

To us, we have always had a great experience on NCL ships, and will once again sail on the NCL Pearl on May 20th, 2007 to Alaska. Since we where on the ship Feb 2nd, 2007 for 9 days, we already know the ship, the restaurants, and what to expect. We just can't wait to get back.

Simply put, NCL is "simply irresitable".

Happy cruising!

Richard & Mary
Las Cruces, NM USA
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