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  #31 (permalink)  
Old February 19th, 2008, 12:53 AM
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I'm a single/solo and LOVE traditional dining. Carnival puts me with other single/solos and that's the way I want it.
"freestyle" = lost in crowd ?
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old February 19th, 2008, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jlauntz
A friend of mine did the NCL thing and simply hated the so called freestyle dining. From all of the hype you see, I assumed you just walk to the dining venue of choice and enjoy. My friend said that if you want the best times you have to get a reservation early, sometimes waiting in line to do so. thereby wasting time waiting for your reservations to be made.Sounds like a large pain in the butt to me, give me the old fashoned way. If it ain't broken don't fix it
I have been on three NCL cruises now, in under two years. We never have waited more than five to eight minutes to be seated. It was great and I love going to a differant place to eat each night, even if the same restaurant, I like being at differant places in the place to eat. I must say also when we did take carnival, we also waited to be seated as the table was never ready on time. I personally have stayed away from ships that dont allow me to pick where and when I eat. So called freestyle fits our style far better.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old February 19th, 2008, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Delfthuis
I have been on three NCL cruises now, in under two years. We never have waited more than five to eight minutes to be seated. It was great and I love going to a differant place to eat each night, even if the same restaurant, I like being at differant places in the place to eat. I must say also when we did take carnival, we also waited to be seated as the table was never ready on time. I personally have stayed away from ships that dont allow me to pick where and when I eat. So called freestyle fits our style far better.
I'm glad to hear you had good luck on NCL. I took two NCL cruises and my shortest wait for a table was 15 minutes. Most were 25-30 minutes. We tried going at different times and there was still a wait time. Add the wait time to the mediochre service we received in the dining rooms and we were not fond of freestyle.

I find it unusual that you had to wait for your table on Carnival. Granted, I have only done 9 Carnival cruises, but we have never had to wait when we went to the dining room. We just walked right in at our dining time and our waiter was standing there ready to help seat us and give us our menus.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old February 19th, 2008, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by MTSFP
You know, reading these comments, I have to relate the tale of our dining experience many years ago on a St. Patrick's Day cruise.

As was the tradition of the Mrs & I, we were enjoying the sunset from a hot tub on the back deck of the Smokefree Paradise the first night out to sea, when a nice young couple approached and asked if they could join us. As we sat in the tub, the young lady would stick her left hand out of the water every minute or so - after this happened a couple of times, I asked "Newlyweds?". "Yes" came the answer. "When?" "Yesterday"

Needless to say, we congratulated them, I offered to buy them a drink and we had the drink of the day in the tub. We chatted with this sweet, young couple for 20 minutes or so, then left to get ready for dinner.

At dinner that night, the Mrs & I were alone in our booth. We had a nice dinner, but wondered if we were going to have dinner companions.

The next night was the first formal night - out came my Tuxedo and the Mrs looked marvelous. We left for the dining room and, when we got there, I inquired of the Maitre D' if we had companions or not - he responded "Yes", so we proceeded to our booth.

As we were going down the aisle, we noticed the young couple from the hot tub walking in the same general direction, but in another aisle. We saw each other and waved hello.

When we arrived at our booth, it was occupied - by the couple from the hot tub. We laughed, enjoyed each other's company at dinner each night and otherwise became friends.

That was over five years ago. They are now the proud parents of two children and we still correspond, although certainly not as frequently as we probably should.

Anyway, traditional or freestyle dining has nothing to do with this story, but it is, nonetheless, an example of what can happen on a cruise ship. We have never had bad dinner companions and the idea of making small talk with strangers doesn't bother me at the least - we introduce ourselves the first night and we are no longer strangers. The only question that remains is how good friends will we become.

We also were on the paradise when it was smoke free. I think it was back in March of 03 or 04. I loved the fact that it was smokefree
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old February 19th, 2008, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharHite
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delfthuis
I have been on three NCL cruises now, in under two years. We never have waited more than five to eight minutes to be seated. It was great and I love going to a differant place to eat each night, even if the same restaurant, I like being at differant places in the place to eat. I must say also when we did take carnival, we also waited to be seated as the table was never ready on time. I personally have stayed away from ships that dont allow me to pick where and when I eat. So called freestyle fits our style far better.
I'm glad to hear you had good luck on NCL. I took two NCL cruises and my shortest wait for a table was 15 minutes. Most were 25-30 minutes. We tried going at different times and there was still a wait time. Add the wait time to the mediochre service we received in the dining rooms and we were not fond of freestyle.

I find it unusual that you had to wait for your table on Carnival. Granted, I have only done 9 Carnival cruises, but we have never had to wait when we went to the dining room. We just walked right in at our dining time and our waiter was standing there ready to help seat us and give us our menus.
Well, I only did one carnival cruise, and it has clouded my perecption of carnival. We in fact waited almost every night to be seated at our table, and we were seated with a group of five women who simply did not talk even to each other, and for that reason alone and the fact we travel with friends and in a group and meet people easily, we wont do set dinning or seating times. We had a wonderful time being with loved ones, but compared to other cruises, carnival is not our first choice or even second or third, however the good thing is there are so many choices and options out there , it is just a metter to find what cruise line meets most of the needs you consider most important and luckily we have been able to really look at whats most important to us in a cruise and what is not, making it easier to choose which cruise to take.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old February 19th, 2008, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Style2k7
We also were on the paradise when it was smoke free. I think it was back in March of 03 or 04. I loved the fact that it was smokefree
We still miss that concept - I certainly understand business (being a Finance Director) and, from what I have been able to gather, there were numerous reasons why the Smokefree Paradise lost its first name. Problems with booking groups, low per passenger take (that's your Sign, Sail and Remember to pay for it when you get home card).

The one thing that Carnival never did that I wish they would have tried was charge a premium for the ship - instead of trying to keep the rate down close to the other ships, charge me a $100 pp premium on a seven day cruise. I would gladly have paid that premium for the ability to avoid the chimneys that exist on some ships.

Anyway, one day soon, I do believe we will see the rebirth of the smokefree ship. When we do, I am certain the Mrs & I will support the line that chooses to go in this direction.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old February 20th, 2008, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSFP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Style2k7
We also were on the paradise when it was smoke free. I think it was back in March of 03 or 04. I loved the fact that it was smokefree
We still miss that concept - I certainly understand business (being a Finance Director) and, from what I have been able to gather, there were numerous reasons why the Smokefree Paradise lost its first name. Problems with booking groups, low per passenger take (that's your Sign, Sail and Remember to pay for it when you get home card).

The one thing that Carnival never did that I wish they would have tried was charge a premium for the ship - instead of trying to keep the rate down close to the other ships, charge me a $100 pp premium on a seven day cruise. I would gladly have paid that premium for the ability to avoid the chimneys that exist on some ships.

Anyway, one day soon, I do believe we will see the rebirth of the smokefree ship. When we do, I am certain the Mrs & I will support the line that chooses to go in this direction.



I agree, charging more would certainly not stop us from going on a smokefree ship. While I don't mind people smoking I used to be one, If there was a choice I would take the smokeless path.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old February 20th, 2008, 11:18 AM
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Canival already has the Seaview Bistro for those who do not want to dine in the dinning room. I talked about this thread with my DF last we feel that meeting new people at dinner is part of the fun of cruising.
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