Originally Posted by nmnita
Everyone has his/her personal favorite line I think. Some are not partial but many are. I can see from your list of cruises you really are seem to be a Carnival loyalist. I would like to ask you why you think Carnival's your time dining works better? We have never had any trouble with "free style" and have cruised on NCL many times. We haven't had trouble with Princess "anytime dining" either, but NCLs does seem to run smoother.
I agree with Paul, probably overall Carnival has better food. They also have larger cabins, but I like the bufffets on NCL better and the specialty dining room choices. You mention you tried alternative dining rooms but not extra charge dining rooms, that was 4 years ago right? It has changed since then. All the specialty dining rooms have a sur charge now and though reservations are required (per sey) often you can just walk up and get seated.
It is always good to get 2 sides, even if we do not always agree. I do think most mass marketed lines are more alike than different and for many the decision is based on itinerary and pirce which is what we use as guide lines. We happen to love the Pearl even with small cabins. Yes, the inside cabins are very small. We are about to take a cruise from Canada down the Atlantic coast and are getting an inside cabin (another line) we know to expect a small and tight situation.
why freestyle does not work? Yes you can VERY easily get a table in the MDR , because they are empty.but we found it was almost impossible to get in any other resturant, why because either no one answers the phone number you have to call or no matter how early in the day we were always told no table available at all that night. We ended up having to complain to the GSD and were finally given a reservation at the Italian resturant and guess what we found when we went, half the tables were empty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We like to eat with other people when on a cruise and the only time we did was at the Italian resturant and the people we sat with were not happy to share.
Loved Anytime Dining on Princess and while we had no trouble with Your Time on Carnival we have gone back to traditional.
And yes the food in the main dining room is much better on every other line we have sailed than NCL. As I said NCL wants you to eat in the extra charge resturants. The waiters that we had in the MDR on the Pearl spent more time talking to each other than working, of course for most it was easy to do that as there were hardly any people in the rooms, but even the ones we had as our waiters were not attentive. They rather complain about how empty the dining room was. We did not find the buffet to be any better than Carnival.
Actually the worse buffet has been on MSC, mainly because there are so few choices and the cold items never changed from day to day.
We wont go on another RCL cruise again mainly because the price is too high compared with Carnival for the same cruise and the food was not any better.
We have paid for the food with our cruise fare and do not like the idea that in order to get a decent meal you have to pay extra. That shows that the line does not care for the customer just that they care about MONEY!