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As You Wish Dining - Opinions, Comments and Discussions

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Are you saying you didn't cruise for 18 years because you would have to eat with other people? :confused:

To some people, a main part of any vacation is to RECONNECT with those close to you in life. You cruise together as a family or as a couple specifically so that you can spend lots of time one-on-one with those people ... folks that maybe you rarely get a chance to dine alone with at home due to conflicting schedules, busy lives, whatever. I can well understand someone not cruising for 18 years because cruising did not lend itself to this sort of thing.

 

Believe me, I have friends ... other couples ... who only get the opportunity to vacation maybe once every three to five years ... due primarily to finances. When they vacation, they are very, very careful to go only with those they are very close to and want to spend some much-needed time with. While they are not cruisers, I have no doubt that not being able to eat together ... exclusively in their own group ... would definitely be a deal breaker. In some respects, I can understand their feelings on that subject.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

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So it's good to have choices. And the great thing now on HAL (and so many other lines) is that even if you don't get AYW dining, there are always the alternative restaurants. I hope you have a wonderful cruise if you go on HAL in '08:) .

Yeah, but if you're a solo, you'd be dining there alone too. So what's the difference? You'd have a better chance of having table companions by going to the main dining room, even if you were stuck in AYW because, perhaps, traditional was full.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

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Rita, the quote in your post just above mine was directed specifically to Judy. I wasn't referring to everyone in general.

 

I'm not sure what you're saying in your other post about families and bonding because I said something very similar either earlier in this thread or the other one very much like it. Families and groups can easily be seated together with traditional dining.

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u4ea.

 

Thanks for the link. Well, we know it was coming and now we know when. Sure hope that next year when I sail solo and in a OV stateroom for the first time, I'll still have the traditional main seating that I prefer. It would be ironic if the majority of passengers chose traditional dining and were disappointed because of this new program.:( Time will tell.:)

 

Carole

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I think it is about time that HAL got a little more modern. I suggested this years ago and it was not very well received by some on this forum. Now we have a choice. Thanks HAL. Happy Cruising!!!!

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On the ships that tested the As You Wish dining, how was the service in both the traditional dining areas and the As You Wish Dining areas? Did tradtional cruisers pre-pay their tips also or just the As You Wish diners. thanks

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On the ships that tested the As You Wish dining, how was the service in both the traditional dining areas and the As You Wish Dining areas? Did tradtional cruisers pre-pay their tips also or just the As You Wish diners. thanks

 

 

We were on Oosterdam's January 6, 2007 Mexican Riviera cruise and chose As You Wish Dining's open-seating option. We had no waiting to be seated, service was excellent and we did not pay tips until the end of the cruise.

 

Fred

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We were on Oosterdam's January 6, 2007 Mexican Riviera cruise and chose As You Wish Dining's open-seating option. We had no waiting to be seated, service was excellent and we did not pay tips until the end of the cruise.

 

Fred

thanks --

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On the ships that tested the As You Wish dining, how was the service in both the traditional dining areas and the As You Wish Dining areas? Did tradtional cruisers pre-pay their tips also or just the As You Wish diners. thanks

 

If this works like Princess, our cruise line of choice because of this option, where we always choose anytime, we always prepaid our tips and left them in place. On the cruises that we found a favorite wait team and requested them for the rest of the cruise, we gave them extra at the end. On the couple of Princess cruises that we had different servers each night, because we never had a team we liked well enough to request again, (unusual) we just left the auto tips in place and were done.

 

On Princess, we have never had to wait more than the time it takes for a before dinner drink, just like at a popular restaurant at home.

 

We are now considering Holland, for the itinerary and change, even with assigned dining (if we can get a table for two) but the possibility of the anytime makes it that much more appealing for us.

 

There are lots of us "we only want a table for two, whenever" cruisers out there, and, my opinion only, a lot of "we did the share a table because we had no choice, but would rather be by ourselves, whenever" so Holland is expanding their potential customer base by offering this option. It's great news for us, 20+ cruises, looking for options.

 

It's a good thing......

Judy

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Why can't a ship operate like a quality restaurant and let you make reservations as you wish. I might like a table for 2 at 7 pm one evening and then for 4 at 7:30 another night or just book at 7:30 every night for 2 or 4 depending who we are traveling with. I never go to early seating and 8 is a little late as we can end up having too many cocktails before dinner. If the dining room can't make your requested time then they can offer alternates or other dining rooms.

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My wife and I prefer what we understand "anytime" dining to be... Is there a thread where we can get more details about "anytime" dining, though, rather than just discussions about whether or not people like it? I'm specifically interested in things like how much of the dining rooms are allocated for each, how much of tables available for "anytime" dining is available for advance reservation versus for walk-ups, how tables are arranged, typical wait-times for walk-ups, typical times for when the advance reservations book-up, whether earlier times book up as fast as later times, any staff-related considerations, etc.

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I think that information should be coming shortly.

There was one post where a person discribed it and it was negative. Something about being seated but not getting served until an entire area filled up. It was in the middle of one of those long threads on this subject.

One piece of information I can give you is the entire lower dining room is allocated for AYW.

If you actually get to eat WHEN YOU WISH remains to be seen. :rolleyes:

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Yes, I've think I've seen that one... It read more like a vent than an informational message, though... I'm hoping we can have like a FAQ or something -- an informational thread about "Anytime Dining".

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Yes, I've think I've seen that one... It read more like a vent than an informational message, though... I'm hoping we can have like a FAQ or something -- an informational thread about "Anytime Dining".

That's not a bad idea, but it probably will have to wait until the AYW system is implemented on a broader basis; the bugs have been worked out of it (let's hope); and more people have had an opportunity to experience it. In the meantime, all we can do is hope that HAL implements it in a way that permits people to have real choices, rather than being forced either way into a dining situation they don't want. Feedback to HAL on the implementation will be critical in this regard, and people should be sure to fill out their comment cards on the subject, whether positive or negative.

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Having sailed on NCL approx. 1 month ago I thought I would express my dining opinion.

I have always traveled in a large group. The NCL was the first cruise for my fiance and our first cruise together. This in itself was a new experience for me.

 

A table for 2 was nice and we often had no wait. Occasionally there was nothing on any menu that was appealing to us, so we litterally walked into one of their nominal fee restaurants one night and were seated without a reservation. It was great since we were a party of 2. I heard that many people were unable to dine where and when they wanted because reservations were full by 8 am the morning before. The funniest thing I discovered was that we always went to dinner around the same time each night to catch the one show.

 

I did not care for the varied waitstaff, we tried requesting a waiter more than one night and were never able to sit in his service area. The waiters were rushing around with no time to talk to anyone. People were hurried in and out to accomodate everyone. I did not care for this.

 

IMO it isn't relaxing to have to get up extra early to make a reservation for the next day nor is having a rushed dining experience.

 

On HAL I love how the waiters take time to get to know you and you get to know them. It isn't that they are overly friendly or annoying. They don't interupt your table conversation, but they do interact, smile and making the dining experience better.

 

That is one of the reasons I am returning to HAL. I missed the atmosphere and relaxed dining. Even with an early table seating I never felt rushed to make room for the later diners.

 

I made sure to request my traditional dining and hope I get it. It is also nice to talk to people during dinner. To discuss what experiences you have had in port this trip or if you have been there before or what you reccommend. We are a party of 4 (with me being the most experienced cruiser) and I love to meet new people.

 

I was kind of disappointed to hear that HAL was switching, I hope they don't change entirely in the future.

 

Cheers!

Laura

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We're on the Volendam on their first AYW sailing - we are thankfully booked for late dining on that sailing since I'm afraid that first time will be utter chaos. We have tried NCL and while the flexibility is nice, not having the same wait staff who know what you want to drink the minute you sit down was lacking. We have met some great folks dining even tho on many sailings we have gone with a group and eaten with friends or relatives.

I think the AYW is a nice alternative, but I hope that they continue to offer assigned dining as well for those who prefer the traditional dining.

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We were on the 7/15 Noordam cruise. We booked traditional dining at the late sitting. Although our request was honored, we were seated on the lower dining level where the AYW tables are. The atmosphere and service suffered despite having the same wait staff each night. The service was as cold inpersonal as a busy chain restaurant. The formal nights were particularly disappointing as we received poor service from the wine steward both nights.

We were moved to the upper dining level on the last night and received the attention and service we had expected all week.

 

Maybe we just had a weak wait team, but I believe the problem was the confusion created by mixing AYW and traditional dining on the same level.

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My wife and I sailed last year on the Noordam. We like traveling by ourselves and always ask for a large table so we can meet new people. Last year our table was amazing and we had a great time. Everyone was from a different part of the country or world. By the end several of our tablemates bought drinks for the entire table, After a few nights we did not even seat next to our spouses- as one couple said "I sit next to my wife everynight." Many of us went to the show together and we all met at least once at the piano bar late at night. We still email some of our table mates.

 

We went on NCL and becuase of their seating arragement we really did not have the opportunity to develop any type of relationships (it also did not help that the food in our local high school was better).

 

Does anyone know if they are still arranging large tables for guests who did not book with others?

Is there anyone else out there who travels like us? For those of you that are solo I understand your situation and it is the same if you are just two who want to meet others.

 

Irv

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Bungalow Bill,

 

Thanks for you information. I was afraid something like this was going to happen.

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Bungalow Bill, very discouraging news. The whole issue really becomes whether they can handle this change. I'm sure there are many who are perfectly happy with that level of service and it's fine with me if I'm on land at a chain restaurant. It's what I know I'll get.

 

But on a cruise, I like a more intimate, drawn out dinner with Stewards who remember me after a couple of days.

 

Maybe in time they'll get used to it, but only time will tell.

 

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

Does anyone know if they are still arranging large tables for guests who did not book with others?

Is there anyone else out there who travels like us? For those of you that are solo I understand your situation and it is the same if you are just two who want to meet others.

 

Irv

 

Yes, Irv, many of us are like you. We always ask for a large table and we're just 2 people. As I've said many times on this board, one of our favorite parts of cruising is the people we have met at dinner.

 

For our upcoming Veendam cruise we're requested a table for 8. They haven't yet started the AYW dining, I don't think, so hopefully it will work out.

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A little further detail on our situation - On the first formal night, a supervisor (wait captain?) interceded on our behalf and at least got our drink orders completed, although one glass of wine didn't arrive until we had been seated for 55 minutes. He dropped by our table every night the rest of the week and it was he who offered to move us the last night. His body language throughout the week suggested he wasn't pleased with the level of service either. With the exception of the wait captain and the harried wine steward, there was little communication from the staff other than that necessary to obtain our orders. Despite that, I really believe every employee was doing the best they could under the circumstances, but either the system is flawed or the staff hasn't adjusted to it as yet.

 

If HAL is committed to AYW dining, they really need to keep the two types of dining separate. The difference in the atmosphere between the upper and lower dining levels was striking. If I had to do it over again, I would have requested a move to the upper dining room after the second dinner (first formal).

 

I'd be interested to hear the views other cruisers who have had traditional tables on the AYW dining level to see if our experience was the norm or an isolated problem.

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