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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 05-17-2008, 10:07 PM
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I use the diningroom as much as I can...I like the idea of being waited on....I can do the buffets at home.....Your assigned waiter had to get YOUR table ready and then strip it down...it was your choice to not eat at the diningroom...he, or she, still deserves their share of the tips...at least I think so...but you did a gracious thing for all the others...
Happy Cruising....

Bob E
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 05-18-2008, 04:19 AM
 
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I might as well add my 2 cents- Eating in the dr for me is a long drawn out affair at best with breakfast taking almost an hour & inevitably there's something on the agenda that begins at 9 AM that I'll be missing. The buffets let me eat at my pace & schedule as does the buffet lunch. If I had to change from my bating suit (shower included) I would spend the entire day either getting ready or dining.
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 05-18-2008, 06:28 AM
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Thanks for all your thoughts. My problem with the dining room is eating when I am told to go there. Having my kids poses a problem....the late seating is out of the question and sometimes the 1st seating comes by too fast after returning to the ship after a long day in port. (no time to shower and get ready). The one night we did go to the dining room with the kids (age 4 and 7) they were loud (kids will be kids) and the section of the dining room we were in seemed to be all older people (not one kid around) and we felt like we were bothering them. If we were around tables with other children (and there were lots of kids on this cruise) it may have been better. Maybe next time we'll try it again.
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Old 05-18-2008, 08:17 AM
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I can see your point. I've been there when our son was younger and I had to take him out of the dining room when he made a scene - on more than one occasion. Not his fault, he just couldn't sit that long

Our experience has often been that the waiter and/or assistant waiter will dote on the kids and help to keep them in line.

Our son now looks forward to the dining room. But that is us. If you feel more settled in using the buffet all the time, then by all means stick with it. Maybe when the children are older it will be different.

It won't be much longer before all the mainstream cruise lines have an open seating dining room option. RCI is testing it on three ships. Carnival too. I think Celebrity is either testing it or at least thinking about it.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 05-18-2008, 10:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Beers:
It won't be much longer before all the mainstream cruise lines have an open seating dining room option. RCI is testing it on three ships. Carnival too. I think Celebrity is either testing it or at least thinking about it.
That's what's great about open seating- I won't wind up at a table I don't like every evening. It give you a change of people at each meal.
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 05-18-2008, 11:10 AM
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I like the open dining concept. We had it the first time on NCL last December and it worked out fine.

For those people who like to eat with the same people there is an excellent option. On a roll call board for NCL there are posts like, "We like to eat with the same people at dinner. We are looking for 6 other people who would like to make up a table for 8." Once aboard they can agree on what time they want to eat each day depending upon ports and activities.

Not only do you eat with the same people each night, but you have a chance to meet and get to know them before the cruise.

When RCI goes open seating fleet wide, people will have a similar opportunity - giving open seating the best of two worlds.

Also, the tipping problem resolves itself if the ship rotates personnel. The person waiting on you in the dining room one night, is working the buffet line the next night. They can do this because in open seating you would not have the same waiter two nights in a row anyhow.

So tips are spread around evenly.
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:23 AM
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I have mixed feelings about the open seating. I have met some truly amazing people at the fixed seating and enjoyed getting to know them on more than a passing basis. My wife is not very outgoing she's very shy. It simply takes her longer to be comfortable enough to open up and join in the conversation with strangers. On fixed seating she gets to know the others at the table and get comfortable in her own time. By the second or third night she's normally comfortable enough with the others at the table to not just sit quietly and be a listener, she joins in and makes friends. When we sit at a table for breakfast or lunch with a new group of people, she's back to silent and hoping nobody asks her any questions at the table.

Being shy is not a fun way to travel or go through life but it's who she is. The fixed seating really makes for a more comfortable cruise for her so it's our preference regardless of the other benefits of flexible dining. Everyone has their own preferences and reasons why it works for them. I just hope as they introduce new dining options in the future, they don't ever eliminate the fixed option. As much as I'd like the flexibility, its just not the right choice for us.

Cheers, Neil
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 05-18-2008, 12:08 PM
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Despite my on-line image as a blabbermouth, I am quiet in person and so is my wife. Not shy, but really not big talkers. This is sometimes mistaken as being snobbish. An assigned seating allows us to open up - pretty much as Neil describes. I like the dining room for breakfast but with it usually being open seating, well, we are usually those people at the table who are looking off in the distance, constantly adjusting our tableware, etc. But then that seems to be the usual behavior, with those at the table keeping their conversations among their groups.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 05-18-2008, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Despite my on-line image as a blabbermouth, I am quiet in person and so is my wife.
Unlike Dave, I live up to my blabbermouth rep onboard and on here. I've always been the guy who never met a stranger. They say opposites attract, my wife and I are proof that in some cases its true.

Cheers, Neil
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 05-18-2008, 01:18 PM
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Dave, if we ever share a table, which I hope one day to have the privelege of, you won't get to be the quiet guy. I'll want to hear about the things we don't get much chance to chat about here. Guns, politics and cruising will probably fill the first dinner night. I have a hunch from reading your posts and between the lines of your posts, we have a lot in common. Then our wives will get comfortable and we'll be left listening to to stories about our kiddos when they were babies and other lady talk.

Cheers, Neil
 
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