You know those commercials on TV where they show a herd of people being told when to play and when to eat? Then they talk about eat and play when you want? That in a nutshell is HAL tradition vs the new HAL open seating.
We were given the choice on our cruise next year to take an assigned table and time or to take open seating. The way I understand it open seating is like eating on a restuarant. You get in line (like lunch on a HAL ship in the dining room) and wait your turn for an open table but you can show up whenever you are hungry and the dining room is open. Because we are anal-retentive and like to be told when to play and eat,,we choose the assigned seating option.
I think the though process is more people want to have their freedom and since you probably didn't make a choice, a choice was made for you.
HAL Volendam 2004
HAL Maasdam 2006
HAL Zuiderdam 2007
HAL Eurodam 2008
CCL Paradise upcoming 2010
from what i glean through my ta and reading, open seating applies to one level of the dining room and assigned seating to another. all hal ships except prinsendam have two-level dining rooms. anyone know more details. i am going to hawaii next week on zaandam, which does not yet have the open seating option; hal is phasing this in.
We were on the Oct. 11th sailing on the Ryndam to the Mexican Riveria. This was the 1st week that you could choose the Open Dining Option. We choose the 8:00 assigned seating. Yes, the lower level was for the Open Dining and the Upper level was for assigned seating. Because it was the first week, I don't think they had their act together. Our waiter was really not on the ball because his help was helping on the lower level. We received items we didn't order, and didn't get things we did order. This was over the entire 10-day cruise.
Here is how it works for open seating as I just got off the Ryndam and as it was a last minute booking I was given the open seating.
On the lower level ( deck 7) there are two podiums set up with a computer and a DR host at each. The left side will be for those who are just dropping in to eat and the right side is for those who made a reservation ( if you want to eat at a particular time you must call ext 88 and make a reservation for the open seating every day ). They will ask your room number and if you are willing to sit with others. They now ask your room number in each dining venue so they can keep track where folks are choosing to dine.
When DH and I ate at a table for two we were served and finished eating in about 45 min with this new policy. When he ate in the Lido and I dined with others ( usually 2 couples ) it would take the normal 1.5 to 2 hours.
I do prefer the traditional dining. I can see where it might be a problem for those traveling solo to not get stuck with couples all the time at the table.
cruisin'fool....... What were the general comments about AYW dining? Did most people like the way it was working?
According to the Hotel Manager and the Food and Bev manager over 90% of those who try the new dining are very happy with it.
There was a comment card on the table for each diner the second evening for us to fill out reqarding how we liked the AYWD. I wrote that I did not like it and was approched by the DRM on my way out the door wanting to know why I didn't care for it and offering to switch me to traditional.
The general comments from pax that I spoke with were on the whole favorable towards the AYWD.