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Old January 14th, 2011, 11:58 AM
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Happy New Year! And nice to see you posting somewhere. Like many others, I was wondering if you were alright or if you felt somehow driven away. In years of experience with bulletin boards, I've noticed that some people attract a noisy following bent on taking issue with virtually anything they write. Most of the time, it is undeserved. It borders on the surreal when these self-appointed critics stop reading what is actually written, responding to what they want to think was meant, and proceed to get themselves and others up in arms about something never said or implied. Voluminous complaints to board admins invariably follow even the most innocuous of posts. More often than not, it is because the targets are popular and their critics are jealous. Then again, some people just like controversy.

WRT: Around the world cruise: You and my brother have the same dream (and the same concern about financing it ;-) ). Unfortunately for my brother, my sister-in-law does not. Doing a world cruise sounds fun to me too, although there are a couple of destinations I admit I'd prefer by-passing altogether. (As the odds of me being disciplined enough to save the money to do one are somewhere between nil and none, worrying about those ports is a purely academic exercise.)

All the best to you in 2011, Greg!
Thanks! I appreciate the kind words and the analysis.
As for the World Cruise in my future ... yes, indeed, it will take much saving and much planning to make it possible. And, who knows, perhaps I'll be able to save up enough money to take someone with me and even book a Verandah or a Suite! I doubt it ... but it's possible. Thus far my plan for piling up the cash specifically for this trip is working quite well. The longer I hold off on a new car and the longer my current car holds out without needing lots of work, the better. Regardless, it's going to be EXPENSIVE. In that sense, it's a good thing that I have to wait until retirement to make that particular voyage. I can do a 30-35 day cruise while in active ministry ... I have 5 weeks of vacation each year and if I take them all at once I can do a month-long voyage. If/when I take Sabbatical leave I can do up to about 60 days. But to manage 100+ days over Lent and Easter I'll absolutely HAVE to be retired.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 12:21 PM
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Question Fixed vs. Anytime

You know, we pretty much took the attitude that fixed dining worked for our first 25 cruises so why try anything else!

However, on a couple of cruises we did try the Anytime dining, and actually were very surprised to find that it worked well for us. These days we always book that way.

Of course we do miss getting to know the wait staff. That is something of a minus. The flexibility and chance to try new waiters is a plus. So it sort of balances out. Actually, on one ship, we were especially fond of a particular waiter and had his table two or three nights. The next night we arrived early for dinner, asked for him, and were told that he was serving in the buffet and wasn't scheduled to be in the dining room for another hour, but that they would send for him! He actually hurried down from the buffet to serve us! So in general, the anytime dining maitre d' is extremely cooperative.

The biggest problem with anytime dining is that the shows are still pretty much scheduled around the traditional dining so if you particularly want to go to the main show you lose your flexibility.

And -- let me see --- I am counting on my fingers here -- how many different topics have we discussed on this thread???
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Old January 14th, 2011, 01:29 PM
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You know, we pretty much took the attitude that fixed dining worked for our first 25 cruises so why try anything else!

However, on a couple of cruises we did try the Anytime dining, and actually were very surprised to find that it worked well for us. These days we always book that way.
And right there that says it all: do what works well for you and that which you enjoy/prefer/with which you are comfortable. That's what I tend to tell people when they ask this particular question; there is no one "right answer" for everybody, nor even for any one person/couple all the time. Again, I'm willing to try Open Seating again at some point, but I prefer Fixed Main Dining.

Quote:
And -- let me see --- I am counting on my fingers here -- how many different topics have we discussed on this thread???
! Thread drift. Or is it. The title of the thread is: "Have a great new year!" That is, in effect, a catch-all topic. I might try Open Seating in this "great new year." Who knows?
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Old January 15th, 2011, 12:31 PM
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I'm a fixing seating kind of guy myself, and have no desire for open seating. It's like having a reservation for dinner every night at 6. :-D
The conversations are great. We can compare notes on the day's activies. Another nice thing is when I'm late, someone will miss me and be concerned that I might not show up.
It's nice being missed !
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