I'm considering going on a 7day Bermuda cruise on the Dawn August of 2008. Our group will probably be around 18 people, so I was just wondering if it's possible to eat together. I think we ALL prefer assigned seating times. Getting to know your waiter is just fun! Do they have traditional dining? Any info would be appreciated...I'm a pretty experienced cruiser, but this freestyle stuff just doesn't seem right to me!
about all you can do is contact the ship coordinator and see what she/he has to say. If you want to eat together of course you will have to eat at the same time each night and as Kuki said, there are practically no cruise ships regardless of the line that will be able to sit you together. When we did our granddaughter's wedding on Celebrity 2 years ago, the most they could seat together was 12 and they didn't want to do that. usaually 8 to 10 is it. they can get you in the same general area in the dining room, but you wouldn't even have the same wait staff most likely.
AS for freestyle not seeming right, do you have any idea how many lines are introducing some form of freestyle. I predict in 5-7 years all lines will have open dining.
That being said, if you are already deciding you will not like Freestyle and it appears you are, I would suggest you choose another line, one that will give you the traditional dining.
thanks for the info. our large group just got back from the carnival glory, we had three tables of 10 which was great. different staff, same area, tons of fun. being my fifth cruise, fourth with traditional dining, i have really grown to like knowing my waiters and them knowing my lemon and shrimp nightly requests. i do admit that my one freestyle cruise on the grand princess was exceptional, though i was only travelling with one other person and we actually began to request the same waiters.
for this cruise we're just looking for something different...possibly bermuda or southern caribbean; but with the large group comes different incomes so the southern flight from chicago is a big limiting factor whereas the drive to boston or nyc is easy.
I found the staff exceptionally helpful in the dinning area and with making group tables for a group dinner as well as our reservations for our small group as well. Yes you can make reservations on freestyle, and you can also just come and go as you please. We never had any problem making reservations in the main dinning rooms. They will in fact keep a specific table for you at the same time every night if you wish this and we knew of two couples who did this on our New Years Eve cruise , they ate at the same table every night at the same time. Free style means you choose what you want to do..............
"If your number one goal is to make sure that everyone likes and approves of you, then you risk sacrificing your uniqueness and, therefore, your excellence."
They will in fact keep a specific table for you at the same time every night if you wish
They've changed this policy as well. (Does it seem like they change their policies on a whim with everything )
On our May/June cruise on the Jewel they told us the "new policy" is 24 hr advance reservations for any of the "alternate restaurants", and no reservations accepted in the 2 "main" dining rooms; just first come first served.
If you booked mini suites you could likely get some help with reservations from the concierge.
But... by the time you sail, who knows what their policies could be. They could change them again.
Just got back from a cruise on the Dawn with a group of 26. It was tough getting that many seats together in the main dining rooms (Aqua and Venetian) but we did manage it on two nights. As soon as we boarded the ship we made a reservation at Venetian for 8 PM that night then again we were able to all eat together at the Venetian later in the week.
If you want to make Reservations at the specilaty restaurants do so in smaller group. My immediate family of 4 made a reservation at Cagney's Steakhouse when we boarded the ship for the next night, no problem.
When we tried again later in the week we realized that peoiple we getting up at 6AM and making reservations for the following night at the speciality restaurants.