Originally Posted by sail7seas
Do you care if you have the choice to Dine When you Wish vs. Traditional Dining? Is either fine by you or do you have a strong preference. How much does it matter to you?
I always said I would HATE flexible dining ... until I had it on the QE2 last April. It was wonderful having the luxury of going to the dining room when I was ready ... and not when the ship's staff told me it was time to eat.
However, I see a great conflict with flexible dining when integrated with my cruising style. I often travel solo, and I don't care to have to sit with different people every night, and maybe some nights having to sit alone in the dining room.
A big part of cruising for the solo cruiser is meal time. It's the time of the day where you get together with a group of people you've gotten to know over the duration of the cruise, and talk about how you spent your day. If you've got a great group of tablemates, you've become comfortable with each other ... can laugh easily ... and can share each other's interest. You talk about your lives at home and everyone leaves at the end of the cruise a bit more enriched and enlightened.
With flexible dining you're not gonna get that. Unless you are dining with your own traveling group, odds are you're gonna sit with different people every night. You're never gonna develop that level of familiarity and comfort that you would with a set group of tablemates over the duration of a long cruise. I would miss that with flexible dining.
I guess it's a trade-off. Again, if I were traveling with somebody and knew I had a dinner companion every night, I guess the lure of flexible dining ... with its advantages ... would be strong, and I would probably opt for that. But if I were traveling alone, I personally think traditional is the only way to go ... at least on a mass market line.
Blue skies ...