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IntheWaySide...

 

Would you consider posting the HAL e-mail to a brand new thread & label it as an e-mail from HAL explaining the New Dining Concept.. It is so informative & self explanatory..I even downloaded it to my computer...

 

There are at least three different new threads where CC people are asking the same question & they haven't read your post..I've been calling it the Dual Dining Concept & have been referring people to your post..

 

Thanks for posting the e-mail... :) Betty

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IntheWaySide...

 

Would you consider posting the HAL e-mail to a brand new thread & label it as an e-mail from HAL explaining the New Dining Concept.. It is so informative & self explanatory..I even downloaded it to my computer...

 

There are at least three different new threads where CC people are asking the same question & they haven't read your post..I've been calling it the Dual Dining Concept & have been referring people to your post..

 

Thanks for posting the e-mail... :) Betty

 

And this is why I've asked why there isn't a FAQ thread for HAL -- and it's still not there...:rolleyes:

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And this is why I've asked why there isn't a FAQ thread for HAL -- and it's still not there...:rolleyes:

 

Are you referring to the HALWEB site or to the Cruise Critic WEB site?:confused: ..

 

There is FAQ's on HAL but it's not easy to find..And you are correct, this new dual dining concept is not on HAL's FAQ site..I spent almost an hour reading HAL's entire FAQ web site tonight....Betty

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we just returned from a ncl freestyle cruise two weeks ago and did`nt care for the anytime dining at all. there seemed to be alot of staff running all over the place with nothing getting done. we`ve been cruising hal since 1997 and became very use to traditional dining and sincerely missed it but wanted to try something different and that it was. our 14 y/o daughter even commented on the difference and she even preferred hal. i hope it`s a fad that does`nt last but we are now booked on another hal cruise and can`t wait to see how the dining is.

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NMnita,

Your post made me chuckle....The expression, I think, is "dyed in the wool" ... What made me chuckle is that some would rather "die" than except Anytime, so your expression might actually work better.:)

 

Tin - "Your post made me chuckle," too. I would have thought that anyone correcting someone else's use of a homophone (dyed/died) would have used the correct one themselves (accept/except).

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Tin - "Your post made me chuckle," too. I would have thought that anyone correcting someone else's use of a homophone (dyed/died) would have used the correct one themselves (accept/except).

 

Good catch.:)

 

I wasn't trying to be "smart" about it or correct someone....just thought her version was more accurate in this case.:)

 

Accept/except really made you chuckle? Why? I don't get the joke.:)

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Accept/except really made you chuckle? Why?

 

Because I have a weird sense of humor.

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After almost three years since our last HAL cruise, I cannot say how excited we have just booked our February 6 Noordam sailing today!!

 

Our travel agent told me HAL is offering 2 dining options:

 

Upper Dining Room @ 8pm, traditional, same waiter etc

 

or

 

An "As you Please" option starting at 6:15pm to 9:00, lower dining room, may have to wait for table, probably not have the same waiter each night.

 

Just wondering if any one has any news on how this may be working out.

 

Our agent has booked us for the 8pm traditional but we can change if we want.

 

Any news about this would be great to hear!

 

Now...to start counting down the days......

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Scroll down the first couple of pages and you should find several mentions of this topic. It's been chewed over quite a bit lately.

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After almost three years since our last HAL cruise, I cannot say how excited we have just booked our February 6 Noordam sailing today!!

 

Our travel agent told me HAL is offering 2 dining options:

 

Upper Dining Room @ 8pm, traditional, same waiter etc

 

or

 

An "As you Please" option starting at 6:15pm to 9:00, lower dining room, may have to wait for table, probably not have the same waiter each night.

 

Just wondering if any one has any news on how this may be working out.

 

Our agent has booked us for the 8pm traditional but we can change if we want.

 

Any news about this would be great to hear!

 

Now...to start counting down the days......

 

 

See post No. 12 on this thread which explains the new dual dining featuring "anytime dining" & fixed dining & when it will be implemented on each ship..

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=582072

 

Enjoy your cruise..Betty

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Thanks Betty!!

 

From what I've read, I think we'll be staying with the traditional seating and if one night we decide to try the AD, we'll give it a try.

 

I'm so excited, this will be our first sailing out of New York....no flight down to Florida this time, just a casual two hour drive to NYC...I really looking forward to embarkation and seeing the Manhattan skyline as we sail away.

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Q. Can I make reservations for specific dining time in the open seating?

A. Once onboard, the ship has a Dining Reservations Line where reservations can be made for same day dining. Reservations will be taken on a first come, first served basis for preferred times and table sizes. The reservations line will generally be manned between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. Although reservations are taken, a reasonable inventory is reserved to accommodate our walk-up guests.

 

This is the part I do not like. I was quite curious about how the new system on HAL would work. I understand that flexibility in dining times is a popular issue these days but I am not sure I like the fact I have to "call in a reservation for dining" each and every day or have to wait up in line for the chance to eat. Reserving a spot should not be a sporting event or something I should have to deal with. I'd be more open to "As You Wish Dining" if it was a case of flexibility in times to eat but still with the ability to retain a spot/table for the entire voyage.

 

If I was to sail on HAL again I'd be choosing my chances on waitlisting for fixed dining. At least I know I have a table with my name on it and where I will be throughout the trip. There are a number of HAL cruises I'd like to try out but this info will be something I will have to keep in mind.

 

I see a lot of enthusiasm on the HAL boards though so it'll be interesting to see where this experiement goes. Maybe I too will change my mind as time goes on but I'm relunctant to embrace the concept with open arms at this time.

 

David

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If you request 5:45 or 8:00 then you clearly wish that time.

 

If HAL can't give it to you (say you book last minute or the time is JUST THAT POPULAR) you have the option of going...

 

...at 5:45...

 

...or 8:00.

 

Just when you wished!

 

I don't follow why you're upset about that...?:confused:

Ruth is like me ... she travels solo quite often. "As You Wish" is gonna to be a pain in the you know what for solos. They will be "dumped" on large tables where everyone may know each other, and the solo is basically the outcast. Or, the solo may very well wind up eating alone every night if there are no large tables available to accommodate them with another group. Remember, the stated benefit of "freestyle" type dining is "dine when and with WHOM you wish." If there is no group that wants a solo being stuck in with them, then Ruth will wind up eating alone. No fun. Best case scenario for the solo is that they can be accommodated at larger tables every night, and the diining experience is a good one. However, even in that case, the solo is never gonna have a decent opportunity to meet and get to know her dinner companions because every single night she will have new ones. Dinner will be exactly like having lunch or breakfast in the dining room. A different set of table companions ... everyone eats and runs ... no time to make acquaintances as you would have with fixed seating over the course of a week or more.

 

What I am going to have to do in the future is anytime I sail alone try to get a guaranteed commitment for fixed seating, and if I can't get that on a particular sailing, then I'll just have to choose another. No way would I do "As You Wish" as a solo cruiser ... not unless I knew I had friends onboard to dine with.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

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I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would have any problem at all with sharing a table with so called "strangers". Part of the reason we go on a cruise is to meet people.

 

If we want to dine alone, there are alternatives now on the ships. People haven't changed all that much since we started cruising in the early 80's. No one ever had a problem with it in the past.

 

You don't have to be cruising solo to enjoy meeting new people at your table who you get to know really well because you dine with them every evening. Years ago, we also shared the same table at breakfast and on sea days also at lunch. It not only didn't bother any of us ... we loved it.

 

For shy people like myself, traditional is a Godsend. It breaks the ice and leads to more friendships on board. We just love it.

 

For those of us who want traditional dining on HAL, I sure hope it doesn't go the way of the washboard (some of you won't know what that is but I suspect anyone who likes "traditional" does;) )

 

For us, "As You Wish" is "As It Was":D .

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As im reading all of your comments on here about the "as you wish" dining experience, its really not that bad... im an NCL cruiser, and it was very hard to get used to not sitting at your regular table, not having your regular waiters, and not having all the nice conversations with them, getting to know each other and having them "know" exactly what you are gonna drink, or how much butter you want, and bringing extra dinner rolls...they make you feel sooooo special.

 

I DO have to say, I have gotten used to the "Freestyle" dining..you dont have to rush back to your cabin in order to get to your early seating, from an excursion, or have to wait till 8 pm to dine. Its like going to a restaurant. If there is seating open, you will be seated immediately. If not, you may have to wait a few mins to be seated...you will not have the same waiter/table each time, although you CAN request the same waiters/waitresses. they usually have the same stations/tables each night. If their tables are full, you will have to wait untill a table is cleared and reset. you can always walk around, take up a little bit of time. "As you wish". its not bad, really it isnt. One more thing too, you CAN make reservations also.

 

now if you want to have the same table, and same time, that can always be arranged to your liking...thre is no problem with that...just talk to the M'aitre D about it.. he will arrange it for you. and your waiter will tell you, also, where he/she will be the next night, IF they are floaters. Otherwise, you can get their tables for the week.

 

one thing to be aware about with the "as you wish" dining. TIPS. thats one thing i dont like about the freestyle with NCL.... there is a 10.00 a day,pp fee added to your end of cruise bill. I always have that taken off at the front desk,, and give personally to the waiters/waitresses, cabin stewards etc, that bent over backwards to help me.

 

Other than that, i love the "as you wish" dining experience.. its not bad at all, its an "adjustment" to what we are used to... things change, but Iwill agree with you, I like the personal touch to regular dining.

 

there is good and not so good about everything.

 

Happy Cruising to you all,

enjoy,

Diane

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DH and I cruise Princess mainly because of Anytime dining. We've considered HAL because it appears to be better in most other ways, but fixed dining is an absolute deal breaker. It is good to know that in a few months we'll have another viable option. Based on what I've read about the quality of food (and the emphasis on children) on NCL, it isn't an option for us. Also, NCL doesn't have lounge chairs on the promenade deck - I need a place in the shade where I can view the ocean - HAL offers this (Princess does too, but only on some ships). And I hear the bedding on HAL is better (Princess bedding is almost insulting). HAL also offers full menu room service (:) hot breakfast); Princess has a very limited room service menu - you better like carbs if you order Princess room service breakfast.

 

I hope having fixed seating available on the upper level will work out for those who want a more traditional experience. I often travel alone for business, so I understand the dining concerns of a solo traveler. I would think that as long as there is more than one solo traveler per cruise, these people could share a table.

 

DH and I don't vacation to meet new people. We have stressful jobs and we vacation to relax and spend quality time with each other (and dine at a table for 2). I understand that the day may come when I'm a solo traveler - that makes the time I have with DH more valuable and that is one reason why fixed seating is a deal breaker. We don't enjoy the buffet, so being forced to go there just to get a table for 2 does not seem reasonable - especially with the very limited buffet (and Bistro) hours.

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We just returned from our first cruise on the Volendam and I loved the traditional dining. Although not single, my husband and I did not know anyone else on the cruise and thoroughly enjoyed having the same two couples eat with us each evening. We then had friends to share the land based part with and did not feel like "strangers".

Having not been on a cruise with freestyle dining, I can only say that might be nice if you are in a group coming, but for those of us who like to meet new people, we'd have missed out on one of the best parts of the cruise.

Our relatives who went on a NCL freestyle dining cruise had the experience of long lines which gave them a choice of waiting for long periods of time or being forced into the restaurants that had a surcharge. They took the latter option which tells me that although it seems a lot of people like freestyle, that there is a profit motive for the lines to it as well.

I hate to see HA give up what it does best, apparently.

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About the tips....HA also has the $10 per day. They told us how much went to the steward and the waiter at the table with the rest divided among others. So many other crew members served us well that would have been left out otherwise or we would have been tipping constantly. This turned out to be a guilt-free convenience for us.

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Ruth is like me ... she travels solo quite often. "As You Wish" is gonna to be a pain in the you know what for solos. They will be "dumped" on large tables where everyone may know each other, and the solo is basically the outcast. Or, the solo may very well wind up eating alone every night if there are no large tables available to accommodate them with another group. Remember, the stated benefit of "freestyle" type dining is "dine when and with WHOM you wish." If there is no group that wants a solo being stuck in with them, then Ruth will wind up eating alone. No fun. Best case scenario for the solo is that they can be accommodated at larger tables every night, and the diining experience is a good one. However, even in that case, the solo is never gonna have a decent opportunity to meet and get to know her dinner companions because every single night she will have new ones. Dinner will be exactly like having lunch or breakfast in the dining room. A different set of table companions ... everyone eats and runs ... no time to make acquaintances as you would have with fixed seating over the course of a week or more.

 

What I am going to have to do in the future is anytime I sail alone try to get a guaranteed commitment for fixed seating, and if I can't get that on a particular sailing, then I'll just have to choose another. No way would I do "As You Wish" as a solo cruiser ... not unless I knew I had friends onboard to dine with.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

Rita, you are right, anytime dining doesn't work as well for solos, but I do know a few who actually love it.

 

Nita

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most lines are going to the set gratuity plan which really is a great way in my opinion.

 

Now for those who prefer traditional dining, I do see the good points, but after experiencing "freestyle" it is our favorite for many reasons.

 

Yes, it can be fun to sit at a table with the same group for a week or longer as long as you have something in common with them, but if you don't and we have had a couple of horrible experiences it can almost ruin your cruise. Sure, you can asked to be moved, but that can be embarrassing when you run into the "old" table mates. On our last HAl cruise we had a great group of people. None of us became great friends, exchaning emails or anything but the 10 days was very pleasant.

 

Nita

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.................

Yes, it can be fun to sit at a table with the same group for a week or longer as long as you have something in common with them, but if you don't and we have had a couple of horrible experiences it can almost ruin your cruise. .......................Nita

 

We are either the luckiest people on the planet or just have a ton of interests. In all our cruises over the past 25 years we have never been at a table with people that we couldn't share some interest with ... just the fact that we share a love of cruising is a great start.

 

What I learned early on about traditional dining is that you really can get along with almost anyone if you give them a chance. Some people who you might not have bothered to come to know otherwise can end up being someone you're close to forever.

 

People close their minds and hearts too quickly sometimes and traditional dining gives you the opportunity to get to know yourself better as well as others.

 

I don't agree with people who say "things change", we "have to adjust and adapt". We really don't. If I like something a certain way, I stick with it. If HAL and other lines want to open up other possibilities for others, I'm fine with that of course. But don't take away what isn't broken for many of us. That's all I ask.

 

As for the auto-tipping, I think it's convenient. We just give a little extra to those who have earned it. I would have been equally happy to continue tipping the old fashioned way, but this is a change I can understand.

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Sometimes I think it is the "new cruisers" who object to sharing the table with others.

 

On our first cruise Mr. Gizmo was not thrilled with the idea. After boarding we managed to change to a table for 2. LOL at the table for 2, it was no more than 3 or 4 feet from a table for 6. We all struck up a conversation and had a grand time. I think some people just don't always give it a chance.

 

I feel bad for the solos. Cruising was a vacation where they could share meal with others.

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As im reading all of your comments on here about the "as you wish" dining experience, its really not that bad...

 

...one thing to be aware about with the "as you wish" dining. TIPS. thats one thing i dont like about the freestyle with NCL.... there is a 10.00 a day,pp fee added to your end of cruise bill. I always have that taken off at the front desk,, and give personally to the waiters/waitresses, cabin stewards etc, that bent over backwards to help me.

 

Diane

 

 

Diane,

 

If you take off the autotip on HAL whatever you pass out personally has to be put into a pool that will be divided just as the autotip is.

 

Here's an issue I see affecting the wait staff compensation: Many people keep the autotip in place and give more to their wait staff - which they can keep. But if you don't opt for traditional dining and thus usually have a different wait staff each night, I believe people would probably not offer an additional tip.

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Sometimes I think it is the "new cruisers" who object to sharing the table with others.

.

 

This maybe true. DH and I cruised for the first time almost 20 years ago. We swore we'd never do so again because of fixed dining. Being told when to eat and being denied a table for 2 is not a vacation for us. Thanks to Princess we are cruising again.

 

Many people say they like meeting new people at dinner, but this sometimes sounds like rationalization. I don't know of a single land-based restaurant that seats people with others who are not in their party. If this really were highly desirable, I'm sure someone would have tried this concept in a land-based restaurant and, presumably, they'd be making a fortune.

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