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queenofcruzin 05-07-2009 05:02 PM

Not happy
This new announcement has my October cruise in a flux....must be a demand for this, butgetting to know your waiter and asst waiter, knowing all your whims quickly. These are things I have counted on with RCI. Anyone else know details ?

Cruise Fanatic 05-07-2009 05:27 PM

This is something they have been testing on specific ships since 2008. It is an option, in addition to the traditional assigned dining.

billybuzzy 05-07-2009 08:03 PM

NCL has been doing this for several years and it has worked out quite well. There are, of course, a number of passengers who have not cared for it - what we learned to do was to ask for our favorite waiter/waitres/table and have always been accomodated.

The "anytime" or "freestyle" dining becomes quite convenient and enables greater flexibility to the those dining. Many cruiselines are imitating and experimenting with the NCL idea. As queenofcruzin indicates - it's not for everyone!


peter l 05-08-2009 04:20 AM

This was available to us on our Adventure cruise in April and we opted to stay with our seating as we really enjoyed our wait staff and our cruisers at our table.


Cruise Fanatic 05-08-2009 05:16 AM

Just about all the cruise lines have a version of the open dining now. They all call it something different..My time dining, As You Wish, Any time dining. However, they all offer the traditional assigned dining in addition to the open dining. With the exception of NCL, which is totally open dining with the "Freestyle".

penny3333 05-08-2009 08:43 AM

Costa doesn't have the option, right now, anyway, but all the rest have the option. As CF stated, traditional is still offered except on NCL.

queenofcruzin 05-08-2009 09:30 AM

Ok, I have calmed down...I know we can choose to stay with our traditional assigned seating, for now....and with the group of four this probably will not effect our Oct cruise. But this has certainly affects the great staff and the relationship they build with cruisers. I am not silly, I know this is part of the job, but it has made a big difference in the enjoyment of gathering for dinner. Ok, times change, some cruisers don't tip, skip the last night, but I wish it didn't change.

spoheat 05-08-2009 11:53 AM

Queenofcruzin: I am with you! We have learned about what life is like in Turkey, Arranged marriage in India (he gave his a big thumbs up), religion in India, political change in Romania, fishing villages in Portugal, growing up in Jamaica, the competitive atmosphere in schools in India, plus great suggestions of what to do in port on a budget--these people know where to go! . . . these temporary relationships have been some of the really high points of our cruise and an amazing cultural education for our kids.

Also having experienced "open" dining--no matter what they name it I think it is a code name for less service.

peter l 05-08-2009 12:17 PM

Speaking of arranged marriages in India; we had two wait staff at our table from India and the male mentioned that where he lives they don't do that any longer. We did enjoy our waiters on our last cruise and he does make a difference as many have stated. I would consider the open dining next time so that we can pick and choose the time we return to the ship rather than hustle for 1st seating.


susanmaz 05-08-2009 12:44 PM

We experienced "Freestyle" dining on NCL. I disliked the "lining up and waiting" for a table to open. I also did not like the constant bussing of tables all around us. While we were never overtly pushed to hurry up and finish, there were times when I felt it. I definitely do NOT like open/Freestyle/As You Wish, or whatever one calls it. Given the choice, I will always choose scheduled dining in the dining room. Just a personal preference.

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