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View Poll Results: What style dining do you prefer
Classic Dining 37 58.73%
free style dining (like NCL has) 10 15.87%
anytime dining (like Princess has) 11 17.46%
Pay for restaurants 0 0%
Buffet works for me 5 7.94%
Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 14th, 2008, 12:23 PM
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Default What style of dining do you prefer?

Do you like classical dining where you eat at the same time every evening, at the same table, with the same waiters or do you prefer anytime dining or the pay for restaurants?
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Old December 14th, 2008, 10:14 PM
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I will opt of traditional dining, unless I was with a group. I like the comeraderie of the same tablemates, and, having our waiter get to know us. I dislike introducing ourselves over and over again. This way of dining may go the way of the dinosaurs eventually, but I will hang on till then
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Old December 15th, 2008, 08:30 AM
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I love the classic dining. Especially on formal nights. I like to sit at one of the lounges before dinner & see how nice everyone looks. Out of 35 cruises I have to say we have only one time had bad table mates. It was funny because for 2 nights the poor Maitre D was trying to find someone for them to sit with. They were really bad. Finally someone that had a table for 2 switched to another table.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 12:03 AM
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I don't necessaryily eat dinner at same time, with same people, or want same restaurant every night. I like to have options as sometimes I want a table for two, table for four, table for eight or even more. I prefer ships where tips are all included so you don't have to depend on same waiter every night looking for a tip; service should be good because that is their job.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 12:48 PM
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We greatly prefer traditional dining as well. Part of the "cruise experience" is meeting the same fellow travelers each night at our table, and discussing the days activities, and what's in store for "tonight". We always ask for the largest table available, and out of over 100 cruises, have only asked to be moved twice. Both times, we were at a large table, with a family, small kids, and us as the outsiders.

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Old December 17th, 2008, 01:11 PM
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We like traditional as well. It takes some time to get to know people and having dinner together every night is a pleasant way to do so.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 08:14 AM
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Since we don't cruise to get new friends we prefer to eat by ourself, we never share table with people we don't know when we go to a restaurant in our hometown so we see no reason to share on a cruise either.

Because of that, Freestyle Dining is the only way for us.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 10:34 AM
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I en joy meetring new people at dinner, but I also enjoy having the option of a quiet dinner for two - therefore I opted for Princess-style.

I am not a fan of set dining times and never have been, although I don't mind it. I think it depends a lot on the itinerary.

My favorite cruise is heavily port-intensive destination oriented itinerary in Europe or some other exotic place. In those situations I love being able to get a good dinner at any time between 5:00 and 9:00, such as in the Oceania bistro (outdoor) cafe. Some of our best memories are of spending a long day in Russia and then meeting on the rear deck of Insignia to eat their great food served a la minute accompanied by a full salad bar.

On the other hand - on a traditional Caribbean cruise - I like traditional dining just fine, because I am more like to tune my schedule around the ship rather than what I want to do in port.

Princess also offers the anytime dining (which is what I picked) so you get the best of everything - near traditional dining, anytime dining and plenty of alternative dining as on NCL.

The only reason I did not pick NCL is because I am still a little hesitant to pick an alternative dining venue every night - but it is a concept I am warming up to. On my next NCL cruise I plan to try sampling different restaurants more than I did before.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 12:56 AM
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Default I agree with Paul

I have to agree with Paul on this one. While conventional dining is nice, I love the way Princess works it's anytime dining into the conventional dining theme. Same waiters as everyone else, same menu, just you get to eat when you want too and not when you are told you have to eat.
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Old January 15th, 2009, 05:27 PM
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Have only enjoyed the "traditional" style... However, traveling with friends I would suggest the non traditional as long as all of us could agree on a time, especially after shore excursions. ...just my 2 cents
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Old January 16th, 2009, 09:13 AM
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I like it all, except for the the buffet. One thing that I really like about NCL and it keeps drawing me back is the big variety of eating venues. I really do like eating in a different place everynight and I don't mind paying a little extra for the quality of food and service we get there. We took 14 day repo last year and the dining is one of the things we enjoyed the most. We liked it so much we booked another 14 day cruise on the Jewel in October and we can't wait!
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 01:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikhag
Since we don't cruise to get new friends we prefer to eat by ourself, we never share table with people we don't know when we go to a restaurant in our hometown so we see no reason to share on a cruise either.

Because of that, Freestyle Dining is the only way for us.
You know....I never thought of it that way but it is true, in a land based restaurant you don't share a table with folks you don't know, so why should we on a cruise, whats the difference?
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Old February 5th, 2009, 10:23 AM
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I opted for classic dining this way you can have have a repor with your wait staff. I like having the same staff because they get to know you likes and dislikes. I always choose late sitting because it gives me a lil time to unwind from a long day before dinner
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Old February 16th, 2009, 09:33 PM
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I will allways do traditional dining. That is what we like and we will stay with cruiselines where that is available.

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Old February 17th, 2009, 10:18 AM
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I will take a "Freestyle Dining" type of concept anytime. There is nothing better than to have choices in what you want to eat, where you want to eat and with whom you wish to eat it.

Our last three cruises have been port intensive and on open seating cruise lines (NCL and Azamara) and the flexibility has been wonderful. The ability to have a table for two and to eat the type of food we want, after a long and tiring day in port, is worth the extra $100 - $200 in additional dining charges on a twelve day cruise.

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Old February 17th, 2009, 10:23 AM
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I second Paul's comment about Princess Cruises' Personal Choice Dining. It lets you choose from night to night whether you want to leave your dining time completely open, or make a reservation for a specific time and a request for a certain table. It's the best of both worlds.

Traditional dining is better for meeting new people when traveling with your spouse or a friend. Traditional dining or a standing reservation, is also IMO the best dining choice when cruising with a group that wishes to dine together every evening.

Anytime dining whether, personal choice of Princess Cruises, or freestyle of Norwegian, is great when traveling with a small group of family or friends that wish to remain flexible in dining times and places.

Itinerary does impact my preference for dining style, as I am very much a port person, and tend to make the most out of my time in port. Service in the dining room is important to me, but not necessarily having the same waiter every night.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 12:46 PM
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Good point, Mermaid. The itinerary does affect our preferences, too. Lots of ports means free style lets us eat around our schedules....and we are port junkies. ANd, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of service with free style on NCL. Just as good as traditional, I thought.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 08:36 PM
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I have a couple of reasons why I prefer classic. I find that with freestyle the entertainment is not wrapped around the dining hours, forcing me to lose out on some things I wanted to see, and requiring way too much planning for me when all I want to do is relax and enjoy. I also think on a freestyle cruise ship, so much space is taken up with the various restaurants, that there is no room left for musical venues and dancing, and I like to have a drink and a dance before and after dinner. Lastly, I do like my wait staff being able to get to know me, and vice versa, and being able to anticipate my desires. That is very special.

We always choose late seating; I find that works well for us even in the most port intensive itinerary since we have to be on board well before dining time.
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Old March 14th, 2009, 09:30 AM
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8) Freestyle for me. I want to eat where and when I want. Our last cruise we ate in the buffet alot because we had 2 toddlers and we loved it. We could get exactly what and how much we wanted and didn't have to wait for waiters. 8)
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Old March 14th, 2009, 01:24 PM
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Cruiserdad,
I'm not sure, but it sounded like you might be confusing freestyle with the buffet. If so, they are not the same. Freestyle, you eat in the dining room, with waiters, just whenever and whereever you like. If I read you wrong...sorry.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 01:54 PM
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Aren't freestyle and anytime dining essentially the same thing? Basically sit where you want, when you want. For the moment, I prefer traditional, but that is largely because I am going on my first cruise this year and it will be nice to get to know some people who are veteran cruisers.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 02:15 PM
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Yes, freestyle and anytime are pretty much the same. NCL just grabbed the freestyle "name". Carnival now allows you to choose on certain ships. But, once you choose anytime, yu can't change back. On our last cruise on the Legend, the lines for anytime were ridiculously long. People all waited until we started hitting ports, then changed to anytime. I prefer having the same tablemates and being able to breeze right in and sit down.
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Old March 17th, 2009, 04:41 AM
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The biggest difference between "anytime dining" and NCL:s Freestyle Dining is probably that they have many more restaurants to choose from on NCL (if you are prepared to pay the extra charge).
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Old March 21st, 2009, 01:30 PM
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Default fixed dining

my daughter ,son in law and I am going on inside passage cruise on the ryndam in May. when she made the reservations in august requested fixed dining and when she got our documents we are down for open dining. I will adjust but we reserved so early. If I were solo as I was in 2007 on the Princesdam just before they started I would have been unhappy. This will be my 11th cruise(10 HAL) since 1991 andthe first without fixed dining. my laate husband and I had 8 cruises together and all but 1 had fine tablemates, that was soso with a table that went from 10 to 4 with the other couple I believe why the others left. this was a last minute(30 days before) cruise. my daughter is contacting the TA to see if we can get our original request. I think I have read somewhere Suite customers get priority on dining requests. if I am wrong I apologize.
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