We have now actually taken the freestyle concept to the next level. We have just completed a trial installation of a dining room management system on the Spirit. This system displays the wait time and table availability on plasma screens along with a beeper system to let you know when your table is ready. Begining with the Pride of America and all new ships after her, the system will not only feature all of that, but the beepers will be interfaced with the ships radio system repeaters so you can be anywhere on the ship and get paged for your table. Also once the system is fully operational, you will be able to make dinner reservations at the main dining rooms or specialty restaurants from the interactive tv system in your room. From the service end of things, this should speed up turn around times thereby reducing wait times by allowing the system to let the maitre'd know via a palm pilot like device that there is a table availabe for seating.
maybe it works like so many of the restaurants now: it actually is more like a vibrator and the lights turn color; there really is no actually page. One of our Vegas Time Shares has this. Instead of having our unit ready upon check in if it is early. we just let them know we are in town and they give us the pager. We can go anywhere and do anything (within a certain distance) and will be paged when our unit is ready for occupancy. Hope that is what it is. NMnita
Also NCL is installing a telephone system on their ships that will allow you to use your own cell phone to make calls to the mainland...(of course you have to bring your own phone with you).. So you can just sit in the bar, or on the deck of the ship by the pool and call your friends on your own cell phone and tell them what a nice time you are having.. (or not having)...Neat...OM
We were just on the Spirit's repositionong cruise La to Vancouver and loved free style. We ate early between 5:30 and 6:30 most nights. Breakfast we treid to eat before 9 or it did look like the lines got long.
We sailed on the Sun in Nov. My Fiance and I usually eat around 7:30 -8:00. We had to wait about 15-20 each night to be seated. That was fine with us though. Its the same as going to a restaurant anywhere else. You have to wait. In my area of the country the wait is usually closer to an hour to get a table for dinner.
Freestyle cruising is the best. We said the Dawn twice and never had a problem, never had to wait. One time we went to the dining room and they told us we had an hour waitt and that was because we requested a specific waiter. So we went to the casino and came back in an hour. One thing that I did like was that we tried to schedule our meals around the shows. I didn;t want to be running to catch a show. You can see by my signature that I do not primarily cruise Norwegian. I thought the food on the Dawn was excellent. Maybe they have a new chef, but I found it to be very good overall.
I just came back from the Voyager of the Sea on 5/15 and would describe that food as adequate at best. Have a great cruise.
Horizon 1990, 1992, 1999
Crown Dynasty 2000
Century 1996, 2001
Explorer of Sea 2003
Norwegian Dawn 2004,2005
Voyager of the Sea 05/05
Celebrity Zenith 1/23/06
Celebrity Century 11/13/06
Norwegian Dawn DD cruise 10/14/06
Celebrity Constellation TA 9/15/07
Norwegian Dawn 10/25-26 Nowhere
Many thanks for ALL of you who replied to my query!! Your experiences were most helpful--I think we will LIKE free-style cruising!!
1965 S.S. United States
1974 Sitmar Fairwind
2003 HAL Volendam
2003 Mississippi Queen
2004 HAL Westerdam
2005 Norwegian Jewel
2007 Norwegian Sun
2009 HAL Westerdam
2010 RCI Vision Of The Seas
2011 HAL Nieuw Amsterdam
2014 Norwegian Jewel
Cruised with Norwegian in January and again last week... We absolutely love the freestyle dining.... Reason being we are late eaters and being able to go to dinner at around...9p-930pm is perfect for us.... Also we have never had to wait for a table..AND have never had to share a table... It is ok as well to be casual...jeans and a nice shirt are accepted....
We have just experienced our first cruise on NCL and had a wonderful time. We enjoyed the relocation cruise from LA to Vancouver with a unique itinerary... cruising into San Francisco under the Golden Gate bridge was an awesome experience.
The free-style dining suited us very well. No, you won't have to wait more than a few minutes to be seated, because there are ten choices of restaurants for everyone. Choosing the time we went to dinner was so much better for us, to plan the rest of the evening. If you like to dress formally one night, that option is still available. The food was excellent, including chateaubriand, filet mignon, shrimp cocktail, escargot, etc.