We got an email saying that for a limited time, select cruises will be offering open seating instead of assigned seating durning dinner. It is something we would sign up for and then go to dinner anytime between 6:00pm and 9:30pm. Here is a link to their website that was included in the email.
It'll work with some but not with others. I usually go to the buffet for breakfast as I am not a fan of sitting by different people every day. I like assigned table mates. Over the years of cruising, I have developed some lasting friendships and it's great to see what everyone did during the day. The Freedom will be a good test ship for RCCL especially at that time of year. Open seating dining is like drinking warm beer, it's an acquired taste.
I agree with drlivingston. One thing I like about assigned seating is the relationship with the waiter and assistant waiter. There's more of a personlized service. They know who you are and what you like. If I didn't have a choice, I'd probably eat at Chop's or Portofino's for most of the evening meals.
I think we are not going to use that option on this cruise. We have seating for the early dinner anyway and was told we could have a table just for the 5 of us. I don't really like sitting with strangers. But for other people it may be a great thing.
10-14-07 Freedom of the Seas
10-04-08 Liberty of the Seas
Originally posted by wesnlin:
I don't really like sitting with strangers. But for other people it may be a great thing.
I understand.. If you have a group of five it's great that you can be seated together. When it's just a couple it's different. The first night the other diners are complete strangers. The second night you are casual acquantances. The third night you are on a first name basis. The fourth night you are friends exchanging addresses. The fifth night you are all intoxicated at the bar singing "The Piano Man" at the top of your lungs to a less than enthusiastic audience. Ahhhh... the memories.
I, also, like the open seating arrangement but at the same time the reasons given for having assigned time and seating are great points. I know that on several occassions, we would like to have more time ashore and not be rushed to get ready for early seating.
We had "freestyle" dining on NCL. Didn't like it. We ended up eating too late everynight, had different servers everynight, and the activity in the dining room(s) was totally hectic with staff bussing and clearing tables constantly. And while no one actually pushed us from the table, you could feel the urgency to free up tables for more diners. I definitely like having an assigned time and place for dinner. The waiter and ***'t waiter learn quickly what your wants and needs are. It's so nice to know that a cup of decaf will come with desert without having to ask for it every night....