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Old 07-11-2008, 07:52 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 3
family - 10 adults 6 kids
Concerned w Freestyle concept. Discoverd additional dining charges after reservations were secured. No mention of charges on web site.
Please provide information on reserving for 16 and any discounts for eating early.
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:41 AM
penny3333's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 10,602
Hi kccruise, welcome to Cruise-Chat. Not all of the restaurants are extra charge. I don't think you will have any problems booking 16, it will probably be 2 tables of 8. I've never seen a table for 16, but they might have them. There are no discounts for eating early. Best wishes for a fantastic cruise and once again, welcome aboard!
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 07-11-2008, 08:52 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,043
Originally posted by kccruise:
family - 10 adults 6 kids
Concerned w Freestyle concept. Discoverd additional dining charges after reservations were secured. No mention of charges on web site.
Please provide information on reserving for 16 and any discounts for eating early.
If you are referring to the NCL website it does mention it here. Under What does my fare include?

As Penny mentions there are many options where you don't have to pay. You may have to wait to get seated with that many people. Especially if you go at peak dining times.
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Old 07-11-2008, 09:55 AM
TrvlPro's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 2,172
With a group of 16, 10 adults and 6 kids, I think I'd look at some of the lines that have fixed, assigned dining. Getting seating all available together for each night may create some delays as Cruise Fanatic said. With 6 kiddos, waiting for a table, even if not long waits may present challenges. Youngsters get restless standing and waiting quietly for a place to sit. Large groups are not easily accommodated in multiple smaller dining venues as they are in one large one. With that number of children, I think I'd look at Carnival or RCCL. If you're planning far enough out both lines would be ideal, if looking for something relatively soon, your only option may be Carnival as RCCL's most popular ships run out of triple and quad cabins very early. It would be nearly impossible to find space on a Voyager Class or Freedom Class ship for this summer or perhaps even Christmas/New Year time frame for this year for cabins of 3 or 4 occupants.

Pearl is also a very nice, new ship and lots for the kids to do. If you were going as a smaller group it wouldn't present the same challenges.

Cheers, Neil
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 07-11-2008, 02:16 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 151
Hi kccruise,

I haven't been on the Pearl - yet - but from other NCL ships, the large tables that seat 8 are often available, since with the freestyle dining a lot of people sit with their own foursome or twosome. I also think that if you want to "reserve" two of the tables for a specific time, the hostess will arrange that for you. The dining room meals are just excellent with four courses, all served professionally and in a friendly manner. The extra charge for the specialty restaurants is worth it if you want some very special cuisine.

I wish you all the best on your cruise.
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2008, 06:10 AM
LisaP's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 5,589
Hi kccruise, and welcome to cruise-chat.

While it's true that Freestyle created a problem for group dining initially, NCL has worked out the kinks over time. Don't kick yourself about booking NCL. I see from your other posts that you are booked on N. Pearl, which is a great ship for families. I toured sister ship N. Jewel and the kids facilities were superb, including those for teens.

As far as dining in the no-fee, no-reservation restaurants, we've found that arriving within the first 15 to 20 minutes of its opening resulted in little to no wait, and a wider selection of tables. So, if you arrive early, they should not only be able to seat you relatively quickly, but may be able to find tables close by.

As for the pay restaurants, reservations can be made in advance, with the window varying depending upon the cabin type in which you are staying. See here for another Member's response with the specifics.
Happy cruising!
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2008, 09:18 PM
Ron Clark's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 912
With that large a group, NCL will allow reserving a large table, or several tables in the Main Restaurants too. But be warned, they will suggest an early or late reservation time, not the most popular 7 pm.

As for the free, included with the fare, restaurants aboard the Pearl; here's a list.

Summer Palace (Main Dining Room)
Cuisine: Continental
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: No

Indigo (Main Dining Room)
Cuisine: Continental
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: No

Le Bistro French Restaurant
Cuisine: French
Surcharge: Yes
Reservations Required: Yes

Cagney's Steakhouse
Cuisine: Steakhouse
Surcharge: Yes
Reservations Required: Yes

La Cucina Italian
Cuisine: Italian
Surcharge: Yes
Reservations Required: Yes

Lotus Garden Asian Restaurant
Cuisine: Asian
Surcharge: Yes
Reservations Required: Yes

Mambos Latin/Tapas Restaurant
Cuisine: Latin/Tapas
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: No

Garden Cafe
Cuisine: Continental
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: No

The Great Outdoors
Cuisine: Buffet
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: No

Blue Lagoon
Cuisine: Snacks
Surcharge: No
Reservations Required: No
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 07-15-2008, 06:58 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 8
Our party of 14 was on the Pearl for a 19 day cruise in April We reserved twice in the Summer Place for all 14 of us, with no problem, and all at one table. The Summer Palace does not have any extra fee. In the Indigo restaurant, we were seated at three different tables. I would suggest the Summer Palace for a large group. All the staff was very accommodating.
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 07-20-2008, 04:43 PM
Berick1234's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,497
You will have a great time on the Pearl...I did a 9 day cruise on her last winter, and will be cruising on her again this winter...A very nice ship...we did see one large party and they did try to seat them near each other...but sometimes it's more fun to meet some of the other people on the ship......Happy Cruising..

Bob E
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