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claudiniusmaximus

Anytime dining query

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Hi 

 

We’ve booked a guarantee inside and I think we are going to end up with freedom dining allocated to us. Last time we did freedom was also a guarantee inside. 

 

That time, we always asked for a table for two and usually had a wait to be seated which meant we missed the shows/entertainment we had planned to watch. 

 

If we say we are happy to be seated with others, how does it work. Let’s say we get put on a table of 8 and we are the first to be seated on that table. Do we have to wait for the table to fill up before we can order and be served? Is it the case we might be placed on a table where one couple is on dessert, another on starter, another on main course etc and potentially some people finish and leave and others join? 

 

Thanks 

Edited by claudiniusmaximus

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They fill a table and you all order together. Sometimes some people will order soup as well as a starter and you will wait for them to finish and the main course is served to you all at the same time. It can be slow at times if you have a slow eater but if we really want to see a show, we will skip desert and politely excuse ourselves. We really enjoy freedom dining, you meet all sorts of interesting people 

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Thanks Crystaltips

 

Yes we like meeting people at dinner too, one of the nice things about cruising. We book a large table if we go fixed seating. 

 

Hmmm but I’m not that keen on possibly sitting at a table for who knows how long waiting for it to fill up before we can order. Dinner can take up to two hours as it is, even longer under that system. 

 

We’ll probably suss it our night by night and see if there are any tables waiting for just two more to fill it so we’d be the last to join. Or we’ll wait on a table for two (if we have to wait in a bar with a buzzer versus waiting at a table for it to fill up we’d probably rather soak up the atmosphere in one of the lounges than just wait for diners to join us). 

 

But thanks v much for the info - much appreciated. 

 

Btw what’s the longest you’ve waited for a table to fill up?

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On a related note - I can’t work out if there’s a beach house on Oceana? Is it just in the horizon grill area (ie outside?)

 

How does cafe jardin compare to the glass house? I’ve found a menu for it here https://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/articles.cfm?ID=3280

and the mains sound quite similar to what you might expect in the MDR. Does the menu change nightly/every other night like in some specialty restaurants or is it fixed like the beach house and glass house menus seem to be? 

 

Many thanks 

Edited by claudiniusmaximus

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Only once or twice have we had to wait for a table to fill. On one occasion, as there was no one coming in, they moved us to a two table. Believe me, they’re very organised and the tables fill very quickly. You won’t know if there are any tables waiting for two people to fill it, all that organisation is done behind the scenes. I’m sure you’ll have no problems. Enjoy. 

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We rarely have to wait more than a couple of minutes for the table to fill, if we opt for a larger table. The only times we've waited was when we went in quite late and no tables for 2 were available. Less people come in after 8:30 so the table can be slow to fill 

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We always opt for freedom dining as we like to eat early, enjoy dinner and then get on with the evening without waiting for other people. We arrive as the dining room opens and never have trouble getting a table for two. At breakfast we take whatever table is open as they serve people as they arrive.

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On 12/6/2018 at 4:31 PM, claudiniusmaximus said:

On a related note - I can’t work out if there’s a beach house on Oceana? Is it just in the horizon grill area (ie outside?)

 

How does cafe jardin compare to the glass house? I’ve found a menu for it here https://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/articles.cfm?ID=3280

and the mains sound quite similar to what you might expect in the MDR. Does the menu change nightly/every other night like in some specialty restaurants or is it fixed like the beach house and glass house menus seem to be? 

 

Many thanks 

The Beach house is open on a night time and is at the right hand side only of the buffet restaurant and it is part of the buffet up to 7pm.

We just got off a 2 night Oceana cruise and Cafe Jardin  was the same menu each night.

They had 2 menus on the board but only 1 was available to us.

Edited by grapau27

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On 12/6/2018 at 3:46 PM, claudiniusmaximus said:

Let’s say we get put on a table of 8 and we are the first to be seated on that table. Do we have to wait for the table to fill up before we can order and be served? Is it the case we might be placed on a table where one couple is on dessert, another on starter, another on main course etc and potentially some people finish and leave and others join? 

My understanding is that waiters wait a maimum of 15 minutes from the first people to be seated and then take orders even if the table is not full. No further passengers are then added to the table.

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As well as being first and having to wait we have had it where we have been last to a table of 8 and the orders have already been taken.

 

On that occasion we asked to be moved as we didn't want to be pressured or keep others waiting.. We were moved, but only begrudgingly.

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9 hours ago, Thejuggler said:

As well as being first and having to wait we have had it where we have been last to a table of 8 and the orders have already been taken.

 

On that occasion we asked to be moved as we didn't want to be pressured or keep others waiting.. We were moved, but only begrudgingly.

 

The first year we did set dining. Great table for 8

 

The second cruise, we did freedom. Early in the cruise we shared, were put on a table for 4. It was hell.  The other couple had obviously had an argument, were not talking to each other, she seemed totally pissed off when we arrived.  They’d ordered already so we felt pressured to be very quick. We asked if they’d ordered soup as well as starters, ‘no’ was the answer, so we didn’t... then soup did come for him, so we had to wait whilst he ate that!   I can’t remember much of the rest, but she ignored us.  After a little while, he  ‘warmed up’ and tried and be polite and have a conversation.  It was very very awkward.   This put my husband off sharing for the rest of the cruise. His (little) confidence back then was totally knocked 😞  we asked for tables for 2 afterwards.  

 

We’ve always gone freedom since, and I now ask for a ‘large table’ if we agree to share (I persuaded my husband to give it a try again, and it’s almost always been a great table, sometimes fantastic with much laughter). I will never have a table for 4 again.  A table for 6 can leave one couple ‘left out’ if two couples mainly talk together.  I find a table for 8 is the most amenable, communicative and friendly (with only a few exceptions who can be politely put up with).  

 

My husband was seriously ill 7 years ago, had a cardiac arrest with no heart beat for nearly 2 hours, followed by a miracle recovery.  It took a few years for his confidence to grow to where it is now, to happily share a table with strangers.  (Ironic as he’s always really good at making conversation once he’s sat with them). Sharing tables has been great for this process.  Now we’ve got to the stage where even an unusual couple on a table provides a laugh or talking point for us afterwards, rather than him retreating back to the ‘safety’ of tables for 2.  

 

We’ve been the first to a table for 8, but it always filled within a few minutes only.  Never been an issue.

 

In the future if we get a table that’s ordered, I *will* ask to move. 

 

GBM

Edited by Goosebear Mum

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1 hour ago, Goosebear Mum said:

 

The first year we did set dining. Great table for 8

 

The second cruise, we did freedom. Early in the cruise we shared, were put on a table for 4. It was hell.  The other couple had obviously had an argument, were not talking to each other, she seemed totally pissed off when we arrived.  They’d ordered already so we felt pressured to be very quick. We asked if they’d ordered soup as well as starters, ‘no’ was the answer, so we didn’t... then soup did come for him, so we had to wait whilst he ate that!   I can’t remember much of the rest, but she ignored us.  After a little while, he  ‘warmed up’ and tried and be polite and have a conversation.  It was very very awkward.   This put my husband off sharing for the rest of the cruise. His (little) confidence back then was totally knocked 😞  we asked for tables for 2 afterwards.  

 

We’ve always gone freedom since, and I now ask for a ‘large table’ if we agree to share (I persuaded my husband to give it a try again, and it’s almost always been a great table, sometimes fantastic with much laughter). I will never have a table for 4 again.  A table for 6 can leave one couple ‘left out’ if two couples mainly talk together.  I find a table for 8 is the most amenable, communicative and friendly (with only a few exceptions who can be politely put up with).  

 

My husband was seriously ill 7 years ago, had a cardiac arrest with no heart beat for nearly 2 hours, followed by a miracle recovery.  It took a few years for his confidence to grow to where it is now, to happily share a table with strangers.  (Ironic as he’s always really good at making conversation once he’s sat with them). Sharing tables has been great for this process.  Now we’ve got to the stage where even an unusual couple on a table provides a laugh or talking point for us afterwards, rather than him retreating back to the ‘safety’ of tables for 2.  

 

We’ve been the first to a table for 8, but it always filled within a few minutes only.  Never been an issue.

 

In the future if we get a table that’s ordered, I *will* ask to move. 

 

GBM

We always get a table for 2 but most tables for 2 are very close to other tables so it is easy to talk to neighbouring tables.

Sorry to hear about your husband's heart attack but it is marvellous he made a miraculous recovery.

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We always opt for freedom dining and generally ask for a table for 6 or 8, the latter can be more sociable but my hearing's not what it was so the smaller 6 top is my favourite.

We have experienced problems with tables being slow to fill up, or joining a table where some passengers have already ordered, but this is generally at quiet times, or overnight or late departures when the MDR is not full.

As for difficult table companions we have met very few and sometimes even the most uninspiring companions, at first sight, can turn out to be the most entertaining.

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