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Old February 15th, 2008, 04:31 PM
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Default Why doesn't Carnival move to Freestyle Dining?

I loved my last cruise on Carnival, except at supper time. My assigned table mates were fine for strangers. I did my best to make small talk with everyone but it is hard to make conversation with strangers who we have little in common with for two hours for seven nights in a row. By the time the cruise ended all of us were glad to end the small talk.

Please do not give us politically correct comments about how you loved your table mates and made life time friends. While some Carnival Cruisers may have experienced this, I suspect most people would prefer to eat with family or friends only.

Why doesn't Carnival get with the 21st Century and move to Freestyle Dining?
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Old February 15th, 2008, 04:43 PM
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There are plenty of cruise lines that do offer the open seating dining (Freestyle is trademarked). You can always sail on one of those ships. However, many people prefer traditional seating. On some lines that offer both, the traditional seating early dining tends to fill very quickly.

Just because you prefer the open seating concept, please don't insist that everybody must move to it. I sincerely hope that if Carnival does introduce it, they choose the model that Princess chose where people can choose either one rather than NCL's model where everyone has to elect open seating.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
I suspect most people would prefer to eat with family or friends only.
The cruise lines canvas on this topic often.

There has been a rush by some lines to jump on the bandwagon. Some have had mixed results. Like Princess who offers both a traditional and any time option. Traditional dining time is ALWAYS waitlisted, and guest forced to go with anytime. So at least in that situation it demonstrates most of those people prefer traditional dining... if given the choice.

I think if "the freestyle" approach is what's appealing to you, you should most certainly book on a cruise line that offers it!

It's the same as any choice... when booking a cruise pick a line that matches what you want in a cruise, DON'T just choose one, and expect to make it meet your preferences..... and be disappointed when it doesn't.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 05:12 PM
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Totally agree with you SharHite.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 05:16 PM
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Also you could just ask for a table for 2, or more if your family or friends are going.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
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Also you could just ask for a table for 2, or more if your family or friends are going.
Exactly what I was going to suggest. Ask for a small table, then just as soon as you board, head for the maitre-d and check to see if you got a table that suits your needs. If not, he or she can probably help you, IF you go there early. Some ships have only a few small tables, so be sure to check early.

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Old February 15th, 2008, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
Quote:
I suspect most people would prefer to eat with family or friends only.
The cruise lines canvas on this topic often.

There has been a rush by some lines to jump on the bandwagon. Some have had mixed results. Like Princess who offers both a traditional and any time option. Traditional dining time is ALWAYS waitlisted, and guest forced to go with anytime. So at least in that situation it demonstrates most of those people prefer traditional dining... if given the choice.

I think if "the freestyle" approach is what's appealing to you, you should most certainly book on a cruise line that offers it!

It's the same as any choice... when booking a cruise pick a line that matches what you want in a cruise, DON'T just choose one, and expect to make it meet your preferences..... and be disappointed when it doesn't.
Kuki -

Don't ask me why - well, maybe, someday I will tell you - but I feel compelled to complement you on the tone and syntax of this response, especially the last paragraph.

We sail Carnival because it originally met our needs and, even though they no longer meet those needs entirely, they remain our line of choice because of the people we have encountered over the years on board - both staff and passengers.

If I were to consider another cruise line, I would most certainly take the advice of your last paragraph.

Thanks

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Old February 16th, 2008, 12:56 PM
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i love carnival!!!! i have no dislikes about it, but i wish they had resteraunts jhonny rockets and ben and jerrys inside it like royal carribean1 i <3 jhonny rockets!!! but for now i love my carnival.. it's probebly easier for me though since i've always sat with my family and never strangers.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 01:21 PM
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I personally would hate to see Carnival go to Freestyle only . Our 1st cruise it was just me & DH. We ate in the dining room one night. We enjoyed the food but was very uncomfortable trying to make small talk. I can usually talk to a wall (or so DH says), but not with our tablemates . We ate at the upper dining the rest of the week & loved the food and casual astmosphere. Our 2 other cruises, we had groups of 10 & 8, we ate at formal dining every night & loved it . You really DO have a choice on where to eat on Carnival... formal or casual. Food has been good at both places for me. Would not change a thing about Carnival dining.


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Old February 16th, 2008, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: Why doesn't Carnival move to Freestyle Dining?

Quote:
Originally Posted by conversationist
Please do not give us politically correct comments about how you loved your table mates and made life time friends. While some Carnival Cruisers may have experienced this, I suspect most people would prefer to eat with family or friends only.

Why doesn't Carnival get with the 21st Century and move to Freestyle Dining?
princess has both freestyle and traditional. Ever go to those boards and see all the folks complaining about having to be wait listed for traditional. Some of us dont want free style or anytime dining.....sorry for the "politically correct" answer. We enjoy eating at the same table with the same people. Only last cruise did we have one family who wouldnt talk to anyone except themselves.

Many Princess cruisers get stuck with anytime dining who didnt want it...ever wonder why traditional is wait listed and unless you book very early you cant get it?
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Old February 16th, 2008, 03:26 PM
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Sounds like an opportunity for a poll.

The last cruise my DW and myself went on we only ate in the dining room once (newly weds) We did enjoy the company of our tablemates and had a great time.

Our next cruise we will have our 4 year old with us.(see what happens when you only go to dinner once) He is pretty well behaved most of the time but I don't think I would want to put the table through one of his "bad" moments and with traditional seating not much of a choice.

We choose Carnival mainly because they are less expensive than the other cruise lines and because we have cruised with them before. Since we have only been on one cruise before this one I'm not sure if the food served in the dining room is served any place else on the ship the lobster the prime rib etc but I would not want to put the table through an episode and not knowing how long it would last would not want to miss dinner either.

So the "freestyle type" dining would be great, and if the price was right we would book with one that has that type of dining plus if we are having a great time on a beach or shopping it would be nice to not have a time constraint. With that being said I did request that we be seated at a smaller table for 5 (2 other people we know are going). and we will check once on the ship about our seating.

While I love Carnival, I love money more so there is really no loyalty factor to my choices. I guess the other option would be to drop him off at Camp Carnival.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
While I love Carnival, I love money more so there is really no loyalty factor to my choices. I guess the other option would be to drop him off at Camp Carnival.
There's more choices.. Norwegian Cruise Lines.. who have total "freestyle" dining with 10 restaurants, and excellent new ships... who I think you'll find are very price competitive with Carnival.

And even Princess, which offers it's version, "Anytime Dining". If you shop you'll often find cruises competitive with Carnival pricing.

I think it's actually a myth that Carnival is going to be cheaper every time.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
Quote:
While I love Carnival, I love money more so there is really no loyalty factor to my choices. I guess the other option would be to drop him off at Camp Carnival.
There's more choices.. Norwegian Cruise Lines.. who have total "freestyle" dining with 10 restaurants, and excellent new ships... who I think you'll find are very price competitive with Carnival.

And even Princess, which offers it's version, "Anytime Dining". If you shop you'll often find cruises competitive with Carnival pricing.

I think it's actually a myth that Carnival is going to be cheaper every time.
True,

This cruise wanted to try Carnival again had a bad debarkation last time and wanted to give them a second chance to redeem themselves.
We will possibly be booking a Dec or Jan cruise and will look at prices for that time frame last I looked I think Carnival was the least expensive, don't like to use the words cheap cheaper or cheapest because cruising may be less expensive that other vacations it's not free by any means 8).

Thanks Kuki for your input to my post.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 04:14 PM
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I haven't figured out if you want freestyle for the anytime dining, or the wish to eat by yourself.

I have no desire to have to wait for a table. I like the idea of a completely stress free vacation. The dining options are included in there.

So why not just choose a line that offers what you're looking for. And if you want to sail CArnival, ask for a small or smaller table, or do the supper club thing. This way, it will work FOR YOU.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 05:17 PM
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personnel i hope carnival does not go to freestyle dinning don't feel
like spending extra money when the food is all ready includ in the price of the cruise
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Old February 16th, 2008, 05:30 PM
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Carnival is really big on passenger comraderie and "one big happy vacation family" type atmosphere. On freestyle there is less opportunity to meet and talk to your fellow passengers or even to see the same people over and over.

Carnival will never go totally freestyle because it kills the group feel of the cruise.

I did NCL America which has freestyle and I hated it. I doubt if I do another NCL cruise because of the freestyle dining. It is a lot harder to get seated at the restaurant of your choice when you are ready to eat than the commercials lead you to think.

I would rather know that I am expected at the dining room at 6:30 or 8:00 and be seated immediately with my familiar waitstaff ready to commence my meal than to have to wait outside the restaurant for 20 or more minutes waiting for a table to open up.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 06:06 PM
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Perhaps, "C", on your next cruise, you can have a table to yourself as my new bride and I did on the Conquest. Our tablemates never appeared and we were really entertained by the wait staff.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 08:57 PM
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We prefer the Traditional. We have a son with autism and must have a private table at 5:45pm.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 11:56 PM
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this has been one of my biggest fears on cruising to tell the truth.

I'm soooooooo afraid i'll get stuck at a table with really rude people or smelly people or a table full of people who dont speak english. I've seen it btw. Last cruise we sat next to a larger 8 person table with 4 people having around 8 teeth btw all of them and on couple with a child who were just normal nicely dressed people. The 4 people came in jeans and well what appeared to be dirty clothes and cursed a lot and drank A LOT.

I felt sorry for the couple and child, who after 2 days we never saw them again, i had hoped they would get a new table.

I traveled with cruisemates in Sept, and my dinner companions ROCKED, but ofcourse they were other cruisemates, and we already had stuff in common etc. This last cruise we were to sit at a table for 10 and chickened out and asked for a table for 4 so we would be alone. And yes it was a bit boring.

Its like a box of chocolates, you never know what you might get, but i know i DO NOT want to be run out of the dining room, because its my fave thing lol
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Old February 17th, 2008, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nurseypoo5
this has been one of my biggest fears on cruising to tell the truth.

I'm soooooooo afraid i'll get stuck at a table with really rude people or smelly people or a table full of people who dont speak english. I've seen it btw. Last cruise we sat next to a larger 8 person table with 4 people having around 8 teeth btw all of them and on couple with a child who were just normal nicely dressed people. The 4 people came in jeans and well what appeared to be dirty clothes and cursed a lot and drank A LOT.

I felt sorry for the couple and child, who after 2 days we never saw them again, i had hoped they would get a new table.

I traveled with cruisemates in Sept, and my dinner companions ROCKED, but ofcourse they were other cruisemates, and we already had stuff in common etc. This last cruise we were to sit at a table for 10 and chickened out and asked for a table for 4 so we would be alone. And yes it was a bit boring.

Its like a box of chocolates, you never know what you might get, but i know i DO NOT want to be run out of the dining room, because its my fave thing lol
That is a legitimate concern. One suggestion is that if you can meet up with some folks on your roll call, that you do want to dine with and you all want to eat at the same time...Carnival can LINK your cabins...so you know who you will be dining with.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 03:41 PM
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I just had a thought... Someone has to be different in the cruise world, otherwise, they would all be like that television commercial where the passengers are all tied to certain times to do things.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mehawk
I just had a thought... Someone has to be different in the cruise world, otherwise, they would all be like that television commercial where the passengers are all tied to certain times to do things.
I just want my table mates to be tied to the same language, deoderant and some symblance of ettiquite (like not getting smashed over appetizers or blowing your nose on your napkin)
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Old February 17th, 2008, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nurseypoo5
this has been one of my biggest fears on cruising to tell the truth.


Its like a box of chocolates, you never know what you might get, but i know i DO NOT want to be run out of the dining room, because its my fave thing lol
In all of our cruises, we have, only once, had to ask to be moved to another table. We were seated with a family of 6,,,,and us. Of course, we had absolutely nothing in common with these folks, so we asked to be moved, and found another large table with great folks. Dinner is one of our favorite times aboard ship as well, and the others at the large table are what make it special.

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Old February 17th, 2008, 08:32 PM
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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.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 08:39 PM
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In this discussion it's also important to note that if you find your assigned tablemates to be unsuitable, a short trip to the Maitre D will get you a new assignment.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paddletoe53
personnel i hope carnival does not go to freestyle dinning don't feel
like spending extra money when the food is all ready includ in the price of the cruise
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Old February 17th, 2008, 10:13 PM
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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
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Old February 18th, 2008, 03:13 PM
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I have done freestyle with other lines and did not like it
it seemed to me the service is not equal to assigned seating...
+ I enjoy meeting new people and having conversations about ones day and the fun things everyone did
I also like the fact that my wait staff knows my name and is concerned to my needs and ready to offer their best for that extra tip which of course i never mind to offer for good service
Carnival offers small tables if you wish to dine alone I always request the bigger ones and from them have made friendships that have lasted years now....
as well if you dont wish to dine assigned there are plenty of places to find food on a carnival ship and if all else fails order room service
If carnival started freestyle Im not so sure I would book again....
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Old February 18th, 2008, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nurseypoo5
Quote:
Originally Posted by mehawk
I just had a thought... Someone has to be different in the cruise world, otherwise, they would all be like that television commercial where the passengers are all tied to certain times to do things.
I just want my table mates to be tied to the same language, deoderant and some symblance of ettiquite (like not getting smashed over appetizers or blowing your nose on your napkin)
Acccck! I hate it when someone does that. A short quick trip to the restroom is what is needed. Actually we were worried about those kinds of things before our first cruise but when we arrived at the dining room we were pleased to find that we were seated at a table for two in the midst of several larger tables, so we were able to people watch and listen and enjoyed it a lot. I don't think I would enjoy "freestyle" type of dining in the main dining room. That's why the other dining options are called "alternate" dining. See, we DO have a choice. Just my two cents worth.
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Old February 18th, 2008, 06:34 PM
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This has been a very interesting thread
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Michael

Cruised more times than I can remember.

Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

Courage and perserverance have a magical talisman; before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into the air.

Pick your company wisely! Hang around people who are going to help you become all God created you to be.
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