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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.

 

 

And HAL hopes it works out that way but..... what if everyone wants to dine at 7:00 and you get to the dining room at 7:15. They hand you a beeper and the next thing you know is your waiting for 30 minutes to sit down for dinner so it no longer is Dine As You Wish, because you wanted to dine at 7:15 not close to 8 PM Now it is my understanding that the earlier you want to dine the less problems but..... I also prefer to have the same Dining Room Stewards and same table location and actually the same tablemates. So if I cannot have thos it will not be Dine As I Wish. I think in theory this is good and there are many folks that will love this because they do not care about where they sit or who the stewards are but I on the other hand usually request a particular table number and location and we enjoy getting to meet up with out table mates thru the week. In all honesty if I was brand new to cruising and had never experienced traditional I would not know any different and the AYW Dining would probably be just fine. So as years pass and the new cruisers become frequent cruisers I am sure there will start to be far more that want it for now I hope HAL knows how to adjust this so they can accomidate as many of their pax as possible.

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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.

 

It's a ship, not a Hotel.

 

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!

 

Better yet ... pay your onboard account with CASH via depositing Travelers Checks. Then, there's no interest charge for one's CC.

 

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.

 

Correct ... nothing we say or do will stop the change other than an en-mass exodus of EVERY Mariner, immediately. I don't think HAL could easily survive that. Not given that better than 60% of their current passenger base is made up of Mariners.

 

And, you are correct ... HAL will do what saves and makes money. If this new scheme does that, they'll do it no matter what their passenger base wants. To find more passengers, and hence more turn-over income, HAL is shifting their market sights SOUTH to a lower common denominator than they've previously marketed themselves. Hence, changes like these ... and many more ... are on the way.

 

Change is not automatically a bad thing ... indeed, it's sometimes a very good thing. However, when it destroys the product that we love it is, indeed, sad. Throwing away the elegance and historic continuity of their many nautical traditions will, eventually, destroy HAL. There may come a day when the line is entirely indistinguishable from other Lines in he mass market. Without knowing what ship you're on, or without looking at logos on name tags, one won't be able to tell.

 

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.

 

The auto-tip is divided up among each passenger's staff plus a general pool for those "behind the scenes." If one wants to increase the gratuity amount on their account, one may do so. HOWEVER, that defeats the Traditional practice of tipping one's stewards directly, and in person, which is an aspect of Traditional dining that becomes MUCH harder to maintain under AYW ... which is the whole point of our discussion here.

 

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.

 

I agree, Laura. And, based upon past experience, "no" is the answer we'll get.

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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:) .

 

Perhaps we should start calling it "AHW" ... "As HAL Wishes." :D ;)

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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.

 

I couldn't agree more with Lisa's post above RevNeal's. She has explained very well the issues all of us are concerned about. And she's right that as time goes on new cruisers will undoubtedly have no problem with the new system. And of course there are those who are clammoring for it now.

 

But in the meantime there are those of us who are used to the way it has been and we like it. As Lisa pointed out, many of us really enjoy meeting new friends (which they invariably become) and getting to know them well throughout the cruise. Along with that, we are at the same table with the same Stewards. It's very intimate and a lot of fun.

 

So while we understand the concept of "As You Wish", the point is that if they don't provide enough space for Traditional Dining, many of us will be forced to accept As You Wish.

 

And when that happens, it's no longer as we wish ... it becomes what HAL has chosen for us. And that is definitely going to cause problems for many of us. Only time will tell how big (or small) a problem it is.

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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.

 

Yes, indeed ... that is the point. But if, the schedule someone chooses is the traditional schedule (with the same table, same time, same stewards every night) and that someone can't get it because the ship hasn't set aside enough space to allow all those who want it to choose it, then it's NOT "As You Wish."

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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. 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.

 

I don't think it solves the "semantic gymnastics", but As You Wish Dining (Oosterdam, Jan 2007) has two options, traditional and open-seating.

 

It seems to me that if HAL confirmed at booking traditional and open-seating dining as passengers wished, then HAL could configure the dining areas as necessary at sailing.

 

Fred

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I don't think it solves the "semantic gymnastics", but As You Wish Dining (Oosterdam, Jan 2007) has two options, traditional and open-seating. It seems to me that if HAL confirmed at booking traditional and open-seating dining as passengers wished, then HAL could configure the dining areas as necessary at sailing. Fred

 

You're right, of course. I don't think any of us would have a problem with the addition of AYW as an option, if it were really an option, and everyone who wants traditional could rely on getting it.

 

BUT - and this is a BIG but - the problem is that if you read the posts on the current thread, and on this one: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=601536 ,

that does not seem to be what's happening. Rather, HAL is refusing to confirm traditional dining, sometimes even for passengers who book well in advance. Thus, it does not appear that HAL is in fact configuring the dining room on a cruise-by-cruise basis to meet the demand. Rather, they are reserving only a small section for traditional on every cruise, regardless of the number of pax who want it. Plus, on some cruises, large groups are being assigned all of the available traditional dining slots.

 

For me, at least (and I've said this before), it's not the concept of AYW to which I object. It's fine to offer it to those who want it. It's forcing it down the throats of people who still want traditional that is going to come back to haunt HAL - unless they wise up and start doing it right! (And soon, I hope!)

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You're right, of course. I don't think any of us would have a problem with the addition of AYW as an option, if it were really an option, and everyone who wants traditional could rely on getting it.

............................it's not the concept of AYW to which I object. It's fine to offer it to those who want it. It's forcing it down the throats of people who still want traditional that is going to come back to haunt HAL - unless they wise up and start doing it right! (And soon, I hope!)

 

Yes:D :D :D !!! That is exactly it. I agree.

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I don't think it solves the "semantic gymnastics", but As You Wish Dining (Oosterdam, Jan 2007) has two options, traditional and open-seating.

 

Fred, as it is being implemented throughout the fleet there are two dining schemes: "As You Wish" and "Traditional." Under "Traditional" there are two seatings and people have assigned tables and the same stewards every night. Under "As You Wish" people may dine "as they wish," within the constraints of availability but there's nothing to enable people to get the same tables every night unless, apparently, one makes advanced reservations (when they board) for the same table, same time, every night. IF this is possible, circumventing AYW, then at least some aspects of Traditional could be maintained even under AYW.

 

It seems to me that if HAL confirmed at booking traditional and open-seating dining as passengers wished, then HAL could configure the dining areas as necessary at sailing.

 

The problem, Fred, is that HAL is telling us "we're sorry, but Traditional is now wait-listed for your cruise." And they're saying this for a lot of cruises as many as 8 months, or more, in advance of the sailing. AYW is available for confirmation (it doesn't ever seem to be "wait-listed"), but "Traditional" is not available regardles of of the wishes of those booking. This tells me either (1) that HAL isn't setting aside enough space for those who want Traditional, or (2) HAL is waitlisting Tradititional WAY AHEAD of it filling up so as to encourage (read "force") people to select "AYW."

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BUT - and this is a BIG but - the problem is that....

 

It's always the "big buts" that are the problem ... both in life and in such arguments.

 

For me, at least (and I've said this before), it's not the concept of AYW to which I object. It's fine to offer it to those who want it. It's forcing it down the throats of people who still want traditional that is going to come back to haunt HAL - unless they wise up and start doing it right! (And soon, I hope!)

 

I whole heartedly agree ... with this caveat: unless Mariners quit the line in droves (at rates higher than HAL picks up people to replace us), they won't care. It's the bottom line ... always ... that the "buts" care about. :)

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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.

 

Alternatively, HAL may be keeping all it's options open to accommodate groups that may or may not book the cruise. I find this a far more reasonable ( not necessarily a good ) explanation than HAL intentionally forcing people into AYW.

 

See Carol's (Jazzsea, a real class act) posts # 23,24 and 28, below:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=573437&highlight=dixie+jazz

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Advertising heavily the benefits of As You Wish I can see but.........blocking off traditional dining from day one to force one towards AYW is sneaky at best. I agree with those who say that one does not really have much of a choice if they are gently pushed into the inevitable and yet be told "You really do have a choice".

 

I would like to think that when I consider booking another HAL trip that I get a good chance at getting what I am booking since I do book many, many, many months in advance. A waitlist from day one is rather bizarre as far as I am concerned unless there is a real reason for it.

 

While single seating has its benefits it should be something one has to freedom to choose if the label is to be applied correctly. And should it digress to standing in lines with a beeper and making reservations on a daily basis (Am I the only one to find this rather bizarre if you are on a cruise for a set period? Like I want to wake up each and every day and make my daily reservations a routine!) I know which of the two options I prefer.

 

It can succeed but the question is whether or not HAL is handling any of this transition reasonably well. Again, only time will tell.

 

David

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Alternatively, HAL may be keeping all it's options open to accommodate groups that may or may not book the cruise. I find this a far more reasonable ( not necessarily a good ) explanation than HAL intentionally forcing people into AYW.

 

See Carol's (Jazzsea, a real class act) posts # 23,24 and 28, below:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=573437&highlight=dixie+jazz

 

Could be ... though groups should be assigned AYW ... they can coordinate they groups as they like.

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Fred, as it is being implemented throughout the fleet there are two dining schemes: "As You Wish" and "Traditional."

 

Excerpt from James Deering's letter for Oosterdam's 1/6/07 Mexican Riviera cruse: "As You Wish Dining offers two distinct dining options. The upper level dining room Deck 3 features our traditional fixed dining schedule; early seating is at 5:45pm and main seating is at 8:00pm. If you are assigned to traditional fixed dining, please arrive at the upper dining level at your scheduled time.

 

"The lower level dining room on Deck 2 features open dining. You may choose to dine anytime between 5:15pm and 9:30pm."

 

In my previous post, I was suggesting that HAL confirm upon booking dining as requested. Assuming, for example, that there are more requests for traditional dining than tables available on Deck 3, HAL could set aside the appropriate number of tables on Deck 2 for traditional dining. It seems to me that both the traditional and open-seating options could coexist in the same dining room.

 

What HAL is now apparently doing doesn't make sense to me.

 

Fred

 

Fred

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In my previous post, I was suggesting that HAL confirm upon booking dining as requested. Assuming, for example, that there are more requests for traditional dining than tables available on Deck 3, HAL could set aside the appropriate number of tables on Deck 2 for traditional dining. It seems to me that both the traditional and open-seating options could coexist in the same dining room.

 

What HAL is now apparently doing doesn't make sense to me.

 

FredFred

 

This is exactly how it was handled on the Noordam, in May. I really do believe that groups are a huge factor in the uncertainties, especially with early seating. And being waitlisted does not mean being denied.

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In my previous post, I was suggesting that HAL confirm upon booking dining as requested. Assuming, for example, that there are more requests for traditional dining than tables available on Deck 3, HAL could set aside the appropriate number of tables on Deck 2 for traditional dining. It seems to me that both the traditional and open-seating options could coexist in the same dining room.

 

What HAL is now apparently doing doesn't make sense to me.

 

I agree with you, Fred.

Indeed, I've suggested precisely what you state above. Sadly, it doesn't look like HAL is going to do that.

 

As for what Deering's letter stated this last January ... it sounds like during the Oosterdam Test in January they were calling "As You Wish" the whole scheme, with Traditional and Open. But that's not how HAL's press release talks about it. As it's being articulated now, it's "As You Wish" and "Traditional." At least, that's what I've gathered.

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As it's being articulated now, it's "As You Wish" and "Traditional." At least, that's what I've gathered.

 

This press release seems consistent with Mr. Deering's letter.

 

"Holland America Line launches As You Wish dining, an innovative program that allows guests to choose from the best of both worlds -- either traditional pre-set seating and dining times, or a completely flexible dining schedule. One level of the two-tiered restaurant will offer a flexible/open dining service from 5:15 to 9 p.m. daily, and the other will host two seatings, an early and main seating."

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/070716/aqm514.html?.v=5

 

Fred

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RY = Ryndam 10/11/2007

 

VO = Volendam 11/13/2007



SA = Statendam 12/18/2007

 

OS = Oosterdam 1/5/2008



RT = Rotterdam 1/27/2008



ZA =Zaandam 2/3/2008

 

WE = Westerdam 2/24/2008

 

ZU =Zuiderdam 3/15/2008

 

VE = Veendam 4/6/2008



MA = Maasdam 4/24/2008



AM = Amsterdam 5/16/2008



PR = Prinsendam 5/23/2008

 

EU = Eurodam 7/5/2008 (implemented on its inaugural voyage)

 

NO = Noordam Has been offered on every sailing since the beginning of Alaska season this year



 

and by the way the memo was designed to be sent to travel agents and it is also the guide reservation agents at Holland were given to help us answer the questions we knew would arise about as you wish dinning:rolleyes:

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Advertising heavily the benefits of As You Wish I can see but.........blocking off traditional dining from day one to force one towards AYW is sneaky at best. I agree with those who say that one does not really have much of a choice if they are gently pushed into the inevitable and yet be told "You really do have a choice".

 

I would like to think that when I consider booking another HAL trip that I get a good chance at getting what I am booking since I do book many, many, many months in advance. A waitlist from day one is rather bizarre as far as I am concerned unless there is a real reason for it.

 

David

First people complained about not getting early dinning, now when alternatives are given to make it possible for more people to eat early without having to resort to the lido you complain.

 

reason dinning is waitlisted from day one is people who are opposed to change panic and complain to the agent who takes out a group dinning request immediately, and puts people who in no wa are associated with each other into this group just so they can get the dinning the agent wants them to have.

 

Hal is not forcing you into as you wish dinning. in order to facilitate the new dinning though the lower level dinning times had to be cut, and this can result in more waitlisting on the remaining times, and third be glad you can even make a reservation during as you wish. This was a concession made from the original plan after the outrage HAL phone staff got while explaining the dinning test on the Noordam. There is more to your cruise than just your dinning time, dont like the arrangement, then dont eat in the main dinning room.

 

I believe in tradition to an extent, but to do nothing but post messages on here trying to scare people out of cruises b/c the dinning has moved forward to reflect the general trend of the industry (pioneered by princess and NCL which everyone on here seems to practically worship) is dumb.

 

And in closing I have taken far too man calls in the past about how people wished the dinning was like Princess's to believe you guys are that opposed to it, I think you just are bored or angry and want to complain about something

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(above in bold added by this poster)

Doesn't sound like it's as I wish. How does HAL dare call it As You Wish if I am assigned something I don't wish? :mad:

If I can't be confirmed to late, fixed seating then it's a deal-breaker for that sailing. HAL has the responsibility to make that arrangement up front so I can make the best booking for me. :rolleyes:

 

hey HAL has more than just you to accommodate on any given sailing, and taking it out on the people who are just messengers of the info, is not a good option, my feeling is dont cruise then , see if a resort will guarantee you every desire is met up front

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<long whistle>

Boy, we really are naughty.

Watch out, or the next time we show our faces on a damship someone from HQ is going to slap us in the face. :)

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First people complained about not getting early dinning, now when alternatives are given to make it possible for more people to eat early without having to resort to the lido you complain.

 

reason dinning is waitlisted from day one is people who are opposed to change panic and complain to the agent who takes out a group dinning request immediately, and puts people who in no wa are associated with each other into this group just so they can get the dinning the agent wants them to have.

 

Hal is not forcing you into as you wish dinning. in order to facilitate the new dinning though the lower level dinning times had to be cut, and this can result in more waitlisting on the remaining times, and third be glad you can even make a reservation during as you wish. This was a concession made from the original plan after the outrage HAL phone staff got while explaining the dinning test on the Noordam. There is more to your cruise than just your dinning time, dont like the arrangement, then dont eat in the main dinning room.

 

I believe in tradition to an extent, but to do nothing but post messages on here trying to scare people out of cruises b/c the dinning has moved forward to reflect the general trend of the industry (pioneered by princess and NCL which everyone on here seems to practically worship) is dumb.

 

And in closing I have taken far too man calls in the past about how people wished the dinning was like Princess's to believe you guys are that opposed to it, I think you just are bored or angry and want to complain about something

 

Whoa..This is pretty rough! :( You do not seem to be understanding what the folks on this board are talking about & are under-estimating what you think most of us want!

 

First of all, you claim to be in Customer Service with HAL, but the tone of your post is mean-spirited & not what we would expect from a Customer Service Agent...

 

No one here is complaining about As you Wish Dining per se...

 

The complaints are strictly about HAL not giving them what they want...Hal's Press Releases & notices to Agents stated that all cruisers will get their CHOICE of either traditional Dining if they want it...The folks who want As You Wish Dining will also get their choice..It does not seem to be working that way though... Those who want traditional don't seem to be getting their Choice & the question is why..

 

I honestly don't think you have been tuned into this thread long enough to really understand what many of the posters on this thread want... Most of them want Traditional & HAL is not giving them what they want... Yet all of HAL's press releases claim that those that want traditional Dining will get it..

 

I agree, many people are speculating about why HAL is not confirming their choice & not waiting to see what will happen..If HAL wanted to nip the rumors in the bud & really cared about their Mariners, someone from Management would get on this board & explain it clearly & concisely...

 

Accusing people of being complainers is counter productive & should not be done by a Representative of HAL's Customer Service...It does not make HAL look good by your telling them that we are bored or Angry & are just complainers..To many of HAL's Mariners the Dining part of the cruise is extremely important...

 

Just a note about your previous post, everyone on this thread is aware of the implementation Schedule for each ship, as it was posted on previous pages of this thread..Perhaps you missed it.....

 

Betty

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This press release seems consistent with Mr. Deering's letter.

 

"Holland America Line launches As You Wish dining, an innovative program that allows guests to choose from the best of both worlds -- either traditional pre-set seating and dining times, or a completely flexible dining schedule. One level of the two-tiered restaurant will offer a flexible/open dining service from 5:15 to 9 p.m. daily, and the other will host two seatings, an early and main seating."

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/070716/aqm514.html?.v=5

 

Yes, Fred. The difference is mostly one of semantics, as I've already said.

If HAL's implementation really allows the choice between "AYW" and "Traditional," then there's no problem. Sadly, thus far all the wait-listings do nothing to assure us that such will be the case. I HOPE our fears are unfounded.

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<long whistle>

Boy, we really are naughty.

Watch out, or the next time we show our faces on a damship someone from HQ is going to slap us in the face. :)

 

Maybe Luckiest Lady 21 is just plain tired and worn out from a tough day dealing with the over-reaction to the As You Wish Dining. Maybe she wishes somebody would cut her and the other customer service agents some slack, because they're just trying to do their best with a new situation. Maybe it's time for all of us to take a deep breath and calm down, and reserve judgment until we've actually experienced As You Wish Dining.

 

Karin

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