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

One final question: how can the new dining scheme offer the "best of both worlds" when one of the worlds is unavailable?

 

Bob, this is absolutely mind boggling to me!!! I couldn't agree more and of course I'm a broken record about this. I know I must annoy people, but what the heck is going on here?:eek:

 

Waitlisted for Traditional 8 months out???? And we're told that the majority are clammoring for As You Wish/Open/Freestyle, etc.?????

 

I DON'T THINK SO, HAL!!!!!

 

In Ms. Brown's article here on CC she states that people don't like being "forced" to eat at a certain time. Well, my reply is that people don't like being "forced" to accept AYW dining!!!!

 

Someone has got to get a grip and figure out the percentages here because right now they are royally s****ing things up for an awful lot of people.

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Further to my post yesterday regarding my booking on Zuiderdam’s March ’08 crossing, my TA has just forwarded the following from HAL:

 

Good Morning,

At this time the ship has not released all of the dining to me for confirmation. Based on the total number of seats available and the number of guests that are already on the waitlist, I would recommend open dining for your guests. (emphasis added)

Please let me know if you questions or need additional information.

Warm Regards,

Margaret Knight

Ship Services Coordinator

ms Zuiderdam

 

TA has again informed HAL that her client wants traditional dining and told them that this is affecting future booking decisions; don’t know if it will do any good – won’t hold my breath!

 

If HAL doesn’t care enough to fulfill a 15-year customer’s dining preferences 8-1/2 months before departure, they obviously don’t care to keep me as a client. So, this has made one decision easy for me – no further consideration of HAL, including the Noordam’s October ’08 crossing.

 

Only thing keeping me from canceling the Zuiderdam booking immediately is my love of the Harry James Orchestra.

 

One final question: how can the new dining scheme offer the "best of both worlds" when one of the worlds is unavailable?

 

Good question. I don't see the "best of both worlds" being offered either. :rolleyes:

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Bob, this is absolutely mind boggling to me!!! I couldn't agree more and of course I'm a broken record about this. I know I must annoy people, but what the heck is going on here?:eek:

 

Waitlisted for Traditional 8 months out???? And we're told that the majority are clammoring for As You Wish/Open/Freestyle, etc.?????

 

I DON'T THINK SO, HAL!!!!!

 

In Ms. Brown's article here on CC she states that people don't like being "forced" to eat at a certain time. Well, my reply is that people don't like being "forced" to accept AYW dining!!!!

 

Someone has got to get a grip and figure out the percentages here because right now they are royally s****ing things up for an awful lot of people.

 

You are not annoying me. ;)

 

I don't get it either. If this is so popular why the wait list 8 months out ?

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Thank you, Gizmo;) ... I guess we can only annoy some of the people some of the time ....:)

 

It gets you to thinking after awhile about who exactly they're really doing this for. It's perfectly possible that they've gotten such a clammoring for a freestyle type dining venue that they felt forced to step in and provide it.

 

But there's always also the possibility that they see it as a savings in some way for themselves in the long term. I'm not sure how, but I'm always a bit cynical about these things.

 

But what do I know:rolleyes: ?

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Why can't HAL be flexible? After final payment couldn't HAL set up the dining based upon reservations? Who ever books after final payment gets whatever is left. If only 1/3 of passengers want As You Wish, set the dining room up that way. I have lots of sea days with HAL, but I will be booking (perhaps) 45 days of cruising with HAL on our Nov. cruise, but if I can't get traditional dining, I will NOT wait in line to go to dinner. I don't do it at home. At home I can go have a drink in a lounge while I wait. To me dinner is an IMPORTANT part of the cruise experience, and if I find it to be not enjoyable I will go back to Celebrity.

I also would not like to sit at a table where others are on their main course, and I am just ordering.

Right now from what I am reading about As You Wish Dining, I am VERY disappointed in HAL. I have sent HAL's CEO an Email stating my disappointment.

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Bob, this is absolutely mind boggling to me!!! I couldn't agree more and of course I'm a broken record about this. I know I must annoy people, but what the heck is going on here?:eek:

 

Waitlisted for Traditional 8 months out???? And we're told that the majority are clammoring for As You Wish/Open/Freestyle, etc.?????

 

I DON'T THINK SO, HAL!!!!!

 

In Ms. Brown's article here on CC she states that people don't like being "forced" to eat at a certain time. Well, my reply is that people don't like being "forced" to accept AYW dining!!!!

 

Someone has got to get a grip and figure out the percentages here because right now they are royally s****ing things up for an awful lot of people.

I wrote a comment to Ms. Brown yesterday asking if she ever READ Cruise Critic [after all she is the editor in chief], in as much as MANY/ MOST posters [at least on HAL, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean boards] seemed AGAINST open or flexible dining.

 

I cruised on NCL ONCE, and while I was NOT a fan of their open dining, it seems like HAL and Princess have succeeded in making it even worse. The extremely early bookers are hogging the fixed dining seats, and then [based on the Princess reports] often going to some flexible venue, leaving many people who were not able to get fixed dinning many months in advance left with no choice but flexible dining, while there are many empty seats on any given night in fixed dining.

 

.... But there's always also the possibility that they see it as a savings in some way for themselves in the long term. I'm not sure how, but I'm always a bit cynical about these things.

 

But what do I know:rolleyes: ?

The company can make a savings in the long run by putting smaller dining rooms on new-builds. With traditional dining they have to have a seat for everyone in the main dining room, even though quite a number of these go empty any given evening due to people eating elsewhere [specialty, casual, room-service, ashore, etc].

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Why can't HAL be flexible? After final payment couldn't HAL set up the dining based upon reservations? Who ever books after final payment gets whatever is left. If only 1/3 of passengers want As You Wish, set the dining room up that way.

 

That, vbcruisers, would just be too sensible. HAL has long shown a tendency toward fumbling on such simple, straight-forward ideas.

 

This is PRECISELY what I was concerned about ... HAL screwing up the implementation of the AYW vs Traditional Dining system. They're doing it ... they're screwing it up and trying to force people into AYW in order to then justify the move. And it is so WRONG.

 

As for Traditional being Waitlisted 8 months in advance ... I suspect that what they have done is automatically waitlist the entire Traditional venue so as to "encourage" (read: "force") as many people as possible into choosing AYW. Then, those who are willing to be "waitlisted" will then be assigned to Traditional. Their hope is that this will reduce the number of people who want Traditional, and will then allow them to say "but see how MANY people chose AYW?"

 

Asinine.

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Greg, I'm booked on the 10/1/08 Eurodam Atlantic Coast cruise and they have me "Confirmed" for Traditional. So it looks like at least up to a certain point, they don't waitlist you. If I were waitlisted, I would cancel. It's that important to me.

 

vbcruisers, you make an excellent point!!! As Greg says, that would be way too sensible ... not to mention fair and equitable. We can have that!!!:D

 

Thom, excellent points as well. And part of what you say reminds me of my suggestion of an "opt out" for dining (when only Tradional, Lido and Specialty were offered). There was a time when people were forced to choose a seating whether they were planning on using the main DR or not.

 

But with the new AYW, I would hope people who aren't sure what they want to do would simply choose AYW. They can then go to the Lido, the Specialty/ies or AYW. And Traditional could be reserved for those who enjoy that most of the time.

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Heather, were you booked aboard that cruise before the official announcement of AYW?

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Taking cash with you on shore excursions is an automatic given because your ship ID card can't be used to make purchases on land as it can aboard ship.

 

So then you have cash with you, which proves my point. You are not in a totally cashless society. You just need to plan ahead. If you can do it for shore items, then you can plan ahead for onboard tipping.

 

As for the ship's casinos ... I just put it on my shipboard account.

 

Maybe :o we spent more in the casino then anticipated, so having an ATM was convenient. While we could have used our onboard account, we didn't see the point of having to pay credit card interest rates on that money.

 

I almost never carry cash around with me aboard ship ... why should I? You can't buy anything aboard ship with cash. The only time I take cash with me aboard ship is when I'm going to eat in the Pinnacle Grill or if it's the last night of the cruise and I'm tipping my stewards.

 

So if you can bring it to the Pinnacle Grill, why not to the main dining room?

 

If I get stuck with AYW I'll have to do that every night. I know I will ... but people will be people, and many will not. That's not a stab at AYW diners ... it's a stab at ALL people, based upon my observation of what we do.

 

I tend to agree with you, however, improper tipping is a pet peeve of mine. That is also why I mentioned they began the autotipping pools.

 

 

Nope ... not on HAL. Or, at least, not yet. You've not been on HAL in 12 years, so apparently you don't realize that. You'll find out when you board the Noordam in 5 months.

 

That is why I said I could only base this upon my last NCL cruise. would be why I asked if there was an ATM on board. It is convenient, however we needed cash in the morning for a ferry and had none, so we had to find an ATM on the way from Charlotte Amalie to Red Hook.

 

Yes, of course, and that's where I keep my cash while aboard ship ... not in my pocket.

 

So if you already have cash with you, bringing cash to the dining room isn't that hard to do...it isn't like it weighs a lot. Will it really put a damper on your vacation if you have to bring cash to the dining room? If you stay in a hotel you still have to tip when you dine.

 

Again I am for cash tipping, not auto. And traditional dining not AYW. I think they go hand in hand. However if the cruiselines are going to change, then I will have to be flexible and go with the flow. Carrying cash to the dining room will not ruin my vacation if I have to do AYW dining.

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Further to my post yesterday regarding my booking on Zuiderdam’s March ’08 crossing, my TA has just forwarded the following from HAL:

 

Good Morning,

At this time the ship has not released all of the dining to me for confirmation. Based on the total number of seats available and the number of guests that are already on the waitlist, I would recommend open dining for your guests. (emphasis added)

Please let me know if you questions or need additional information.

Warm Regards,

Margaret Knight

Ship Services Coordinator

ms Zuiderdam

quote]

 

I absolutely agree with you all ...Those who want traditional should get traditional, & those who want Any time Dining should be able to get that..However I believe her e-mail is emphasizing what might be the way HAL is actually confirming tables...She says:

 

"At this time the ship has not released all of the dining to me for confirmation."

The question that should be asked is, why are they holding back & not releasing all of the traditional seating for confirmation.. Especially since the HAL press release stated that everyone would get what they wanted!

I wonder if those who want traditional will actually be confirmed closer to or at final payment...I actually believe that the ship has not released any tables to her for confirmation & will do so at a later date..I'ts also quite possible that she is only permitted to confirm Suite Passengers at this time?

It really would be interesting to find an answer to these questions & also see if this is true as we get closer to departure.. Perhaps Your Travel Agent could delve further into this situation..JMO

 

I wish someone from HAL would get on here & clarify this!

Betty

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WHAT A TEMPEST IN A TEA POT HAL HAS!

I have not chimmed in on this one. :o Maybe I should not have taken so much for granted that I should expect to continue receiving the same service as when I started cruising with HAL. I did of course understand the price increases.

New age thinking is definitely changing all of the wonderful nostalgic days of yesteryear.

Since HAL has to make a profit, why not give us the option of keeping our yesteryears in tact! Retain us - our numbers are increasing - and let the nontraditionalist younger crowd have their own way...on another ship!

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RevNeal..A question...You mentioned that you put your casino $$ on your shipboard account..Doesn't HAL charge you 3% for this service?

 

We put most of our cash in the safe, but I always carry my gambling $$ fun money..I would never trust myself to put my gambling $$ on our account;) especially if they charge for the service.. And DH always carries extra $$ in his wallet..

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I wish someone from HAL would get on here & clarify this!

Don't count on it. :)

 

Your best bet is to politely inquire by telephone. Even then, you may not find anyone willing to discuss such matters, cased in that manner.

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I booked the Westerdam Panama Canal repositioning from Seattle in Sept. '08 last month. I booked through a TA and was waitlisted for the second early seating (1815). I called HAL and was told I was #3 on the waitlist and would definitely be confirmed for this seating. The HAL rep did not say when this would happen, but with such a low number felt I would be granted my request.

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So then you have cash with you, which proves my point. You are not in a totally cashless society. You just need to plan ahead. If you can do it for shore items, then you can plan ahead for onboard tipping.

 

Aboard ship one is in a cashless society. One cannot buy anything in the shops ship aboard with cash. One cannot buy a drink with cash. One cannot buy a Pinnacle Grill dinner with cash. The onboard account is designed to make carrying cash with you UNNECESSARY, hence HAL proclaims the ships a "cashless society." WHILE ABOARD SHIP one doesn't need cash. PERIOD. HAL makes that clear in their Know Before You Go booklet and on their website. One can use cash to tip staff extra, above and beyond the onboard account ... but that's not required.

 

As for planning ahead ... watch your use of pronouns. I plan ahead ... but, unfortunately, lots of people don't ... and won't. Even though it's a hassle for me to have to think about carrying money around with me while aboard ship, when I have a reservation at the Pinnacle I always do remember to take a couple of $5s with me. It's not hard to remember, since I only eat there (at most) once or twice a cruise. By having to tip people every night at dinner I will have to carry money with me every night, hence nullifying the convenience of being able to put my purchase on my ship-board ID. It's a HASSLE that I don't like.

 

Maybe we spent more in the casino then anticipated, so having an ATM was convenient. While we could have used our onboard account, we didn't see the point of having to pay credit card interest rates on that money.

 

That makes sense. But ... HAL doesn't have ATMs aboard ship. Not yet, at least. And, I'm sure, if they did the fee for using them will be HIGH. It's cheaper just to take Travelers Checks and cash them at the front desk (for free) and get cash that way for shore excursions and such.

 

So if you can bring it to the Pinnacle Grill, why not to the main dining room?

 

I can ... and, if I get stuck with AYW dining I will. But it's an inconvenience for me to have to carry cash with me every night ... one that I'd rather not have to "put up with" while aboard ship. I have gotten used to leaving my wallet in my cabin's safe during cruise-days and during the evenings. I like not having to carry my wallet around with me ... it is so much easier just to slip my ship's ID card into my breast pocket or jacket pocket and GO. It's an unnecessary hassle that I can avoid by having Traditional dining and tipping my stewards extra on the last evening. It's how I prefer to do things. It's As I Wish things to be. Why is it that I can't have things As I Wish, but those who want things changed do??

 

So if you already have cash with you, bringing cash to the dining room isn't that hard to do...it isn't like it weighs a lot. Will it really put a damper on your vacation if you have to bring cash to the dining room? If you stay in a hotel you still have to tip when you dine.

 

It's not hard, but it's a hassle. It doesn't weigh much, but it's a hassle. Over the years on HAL I have grown accustomed to not having to carry money around while I'm aboard ship. If if I get stuck with AYW, I will have to further inconvenience myself and start carrying my wallet around aboard ship. I prefer to keep it in my safe and not bring it out until I go ashore. It is how I prefer to do things. And ... just because I would have to do it at a Hotel is NOT a justification for saying I should have to do it aboard a SHIP! It's one of the nice touches that I've become accustomed to while being aboard SHIP ... not having to carry cash around with me.

 

Again I am for cash tipping, not auto. And traditional dining not AYW. I think they go hand in hand. However if the cruiselines are going to change, then I will have to be flexible and go with the flow. Carrying cash to the dining room will not ruin my vacation if I have to do AYW dining.

 

It won't "ruin" my cruise either. But I would RATHER NOT HAVE TO DO IT. Is that really so unreasonable on my part???????

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RevNeal..A question...You mentioned that you put your casino $$ on your shipboard account..Doesn't HAL charge you 3% for this service?

 

We put most of our cash in the safe, but I always carry my gambling $$ fun money..I would never trust myself to put my gambling $$ on our account;) especially if they charge for the service.. And DH always carries extra $$ in his wallet..

 

Yes, they charge. But ... I limit myself in that manner so as to control my "playing." I don't allow myself to go over a set limit, and I set that up with the front desk. I've also carried cash for that purpose, but I prefer not to do that too ... it's easier to spend it in the Casino if one has cash on their person. :)

 

I also prefer to not carry around my wallet while aboard ship. It's freeing not to have that in my pocket.

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This As You Wish Dining is still brand new and in the experimental, or learning, stage. Could it be that, while the staff are adjusting to the new dining arrangement, HAL is waitlisting requests in order to give the Maitre d'Hotel some flexibility to tweak the seatings closer to departure? I don't interpret "waitlisted" to mean "closed".

 

Karin

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As for Traditional being Waitlisted 8 months in advance ... I suspect that what they have done is automatically waitlist the entire Traditional venue so as to "encourage" (read: "force") as many people as possible into choosing AYW. Then, those who are willing to be "waitlisted" will then be assigned to Traditional. Their hope is that this will reduce the number of people who want Traditional, and will then allow them to say "but see how MANY people chose AYW?"

 

Asinine.

 

 

Greg, I agree with you completely on this. They are trying to sell this Big Time or I they think (note key word think) that many want this but they have to sell it to them and convince them they want it and they again THINK they will like it and will continue to book it in the future. Many who book a cruise do not cruise as often as so many of us here and do not really understand this new concept so they will say YES if persueded. When I first booked our upcoming Noordam just a week after our last Noordam the end of June we were number 250 on the waitlist, the very next day I was 200. Just today I spoke with my TA and we have dropped to 180. Now yes I know that is a lot ahead of us but I got bets they will continue to talk to talk some into AYW but if not and we have AYW we will make it work and I will report what we think:)

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I don't interpret "waitlisted" to mean "closed".

 

Karin

 

 

Karin, I think you may be on to something here. That is very possible. They guarantee a very small number and then tweek it for each sailing depending supply and demand.

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Heather, were you booked aboard that cruise before the official announcement of AYW?

 

No. I booked just a week or so ago. Eurodam will be AYW from the start so when I booked, that was already set up. And my reservation definitely says "Confirmed" for Main/Upper. Of course, it is 14 months out! I would certainly hope I'd be confirmed!!! :)

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Now yes I know that is a lot ahead of us but I got bets they will continue to talk to talk some into AYW but if not and we have AYW we will make it work and I will report what we think:)

 

The sad irony is that if you happen to get AYW instead of Traditional, you will not be getting As You Wish ... for what you Wish is Traditional, not AYW. It's an interesting semantic problem for HAL. If people don't get what they wish, and have to take "As You Wish" they will not be getting things as they wish them. :) This is going to make for fun semantic gymnastics.

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Aboard ship one is in a cashless society. One cannot buy anything in the shops ship aboard with cash. One cannot buy a drink with cash. One cannot buy a Pinnacle Grill dinner with cash. The onboard account is designed to make carrying cash with you UNNECESSARY, hence HAL proclaims the ships a "cashless society." WHILE ABOARD SHIP one doesn't need cash. PERIOD. HAL makes that clear in their Know Before You Go booklet and on their website. One can use cash to tip staff extra, above and beyond the onboard account ... but that's not required.

 

Cashless unless you tip or use the casino. My point is you have cash with you. If you are in a hotel you still tip in cash even with a keycard, or at least I do, for bar purchases, restaurants, etc.

 

As for planning ahead ... watch your use of pronouns. I plan ahead ... but, unfortunately, lots of people don't ... and won't. Even though it's a hassle for me to have to think about carrying money around with me while aboard ship, when I have a reservation at the Pinnacle I always do remember to take a couple of $5s with me. It's not hard to remember, since I only eat there (at most) once or twice a cruise. By having to tip people every night at dinner I will have to carry money with me every night, hence nullifying the convenience of being able to put my purchase on my ship-board ID. It's a HASSLE that I don't like.

 

It was a general YOU. Not a personal attack (not my style). As I said I agree with you.

 

That makes sense. But ... HAL doesn't have ATMs aboard ship. Not yet, at least. And, I'm sure, if they did the fee for using them will be HIGH. It's cheaper just to take Travelers Checks and cash them at the front desk (for free) and get cash that way for shore excursions and such.

 

For example on NCL the bank owning the ATMs were from FL. So no international charges were applied even international ports/waters. The fee was approx. $5.00 per transaction. However if you have a CC attached to your ship account, with an 18% interest rate, plus the 3% onboard charge, 21% or $21 for every 100 used is more money. That to me is higher than the transaction fee. It is too bad they don't have them, that is good information for me though, so thank you!

 

 

 

I can ... and, if I get stuck with AYW dining I will. But it's an inconvenience for me to have to carry cash with me every night ... one that I'd rather not have to "put up with" while aboard ship. I have gotten used to leaving my wallet in my cabin's safe during cruise-days and during the evenings. I like not having to carry my wallet around with me ... it is so much easier just to slip my ship's ID card into my breast pocket or jacket pocket and GO. It's an unnecessary hassle that I can avoid by having Traditional dining and tipping my stewards extra on the last evening. It's how I prefer to do things. It's As I Wish things to be. Why is it that I can't have things As I Wish, but those who want things changed do??

 

As I said I am not a proponent of AYW dining. I was sad to hear HAL was converting. I wonder if someone starts a petition to send to HAL if it would cause any changes to stop?

However if not then adjusting is a part of life. The cruiseline is going to do what is most cost saving and money making for them.

 

 

 

It's not hard, but it's a hassle. It doesn't weigh much, but it's a hassle. Over the years on HAL I have grown accustomed to not having to carry money around while I'm aboard ship. If if I get stuck with AYW, I will have to further inconvenience myself and start carrying my wallet around aboard ship. I prefer to keep it in my safe and not bring it out until I go ashore. It is how I prefer to do things. And ... just because I would have to do it at a Hotel is NOT a justification for saying I should have to do it aboard a SHIP! It's one of the nice touches that I've become accustomed to while being aboard SHIP ... not having to carry cash around with me.

 

Again I agree with you, you should have the option.. I hear Royal Caribbean offers prepaying tips versus cash tipping and the prepay goes to the steward directly. Maybe this is a better option for HAL to explore.

 

It won't "ruin" my cruise either. But I would RATHER NOT HAVE TO DO IT. Is that really so unreasonable on my part???????

 

No and my inital comments were not directed toward anyone. I am just saying if I have to adjust, then I will. Maybe slipping the Maitre D some cash in the beginning of the cruise will get you a reserved table if you end up with AYW. Or contact the cruise line.. ask questions.. the worst they can do is say no.

 

Laura

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The sad irony is that if you happen to get AYW instead of Traditional, you will not be getting As You Wish ... for what you Wish is Traditional, not AYW. ..............If people don't get what they wish, and have to take "As You Wish" they will not be getting things as they wish them. :) This is going to make for fun semantic gymnastics.

 

ICAM!!!! That is exactly it. Well said, Greg.

 

Because then it will end up being what THEY wish ......... and then we'll be back where this all began:) .

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The point of As You Wish Dining is that you can choose the schedule for your meals as you go along, rather than be locked into one fixed dining time.

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