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Old August 30th, 2000, 09:39 PM
Posts: n/a
Default RE: Free-style cruising

There are a number of pros and cons which have been brought out on these boards but I don't think it is yet as bad as you have been led to believe. I understand that you can request the same table and waiter, as well as a specific time if you wish. However I don't know how well equipped they will be to handle such requests, especially if a large volume of guests arrive shortly before your reservation time. Could be like the negative aspects of your land-based restaurant experience where you spend an hour in the lounge waiting for your table and watching others who arrive after you being seated before you. You can have the tips adjusted if you are either dissatisfied or very satisfied with the service you receive, but I believe that the tips will be pooled and distributed among the wait staff which means that your poor waiter may receive the same amount as the best waiters. My primary objection to this is that tipping is now a negative option where you have to act to request an adjustment of the tip and it may not have the desired effect on the less than adequate servers.

I don't think free-style cruising will limit your menu choices except in those special restaurants which may have a limited menu (Italian, Oriental etc.)

There is a fear that Star's system of charging passengers for their meals according to the class of stateroom they have booked may be the next step at NCL.

It is a work in progress and it already it appears that Princess is considering copying some of its features. To me, not a pretty prospect, in many ways.
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