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hammybee

As You Wish Dining - What and How

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This is from poster Whyme:

 

YOUR WAY DINING- Noordam

The new dining "your way " is not making friends. Since Hal allows reservations for open seatings at 8 and 8; 15 pm. many tables sit idle for up to 1 1/2 hours before the reservation time, because they allow an 1 1/2 to 2 hours for serving. So no one can use those tables after 6;30 pm, we had to wait up to 30 minutes for a table for 4 at about 7 pm.. and then sat down and watched many tables stay empty til the 8 pm people showed up..

This is stupid, to have open seating and make people wait because there are tables being held for late reservations

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I'm not sure I understand that one -- was there more to the comment? My confusion is with regard to whether the person making the comment was advocating that Holland American should ignore reservations they take, or simply refuse to take reservations and make everyone wait for a table, ... :confused:

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I'm not sure I understand that one -- was there more to the comment? My confusion is with regard to whether the person making the comment was advocating that Holland American should ignore reservations they take, or simply refuse to take reservations and make everyone wait for a table, ... :confused:

 

No confusion here...They are advocating that HAL do not take reservations for AYWD...Some who have had open dining on other cruiselines feel it would work better if there were no reservations...Others feel differently...I like open dining...However if I am going to have to make a reservation I might as well choose traditional.

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That's how I read it too. I also think it makes sense. If it's open dining, let it be open dining.

 

If HAL wants to reserve a few tables for Deluxe Suite guests, or otherwise provide for their every whim, I could understand that.

 

But making tables off limits at 6:30 pm because of 8:00 pm reservations would sort of throw everything into turmoil. At a regular fancy restaurant that is fine, but then you can decide to go to one of the other 100 fancy restaurants in town instead.

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That's how I read it too. I also think it makes sense. If it's open dining, let it be open dining.

 

If HAL wants to reserve a few tables for Deluxe Suite guests, or otherwise provide for their every whim, I could understand that.

 

But making tables off limits at 6:30 pm because of 8:00 pm reservations would sort of throw everything into turmoil. At a regular fancy restaurant that is fine, but then you can decide to go to one of the other 100 fancy restaurants in town instead.

 

 

I'm in total agreement on this one. I'm looking forward to AYW dining, but not if held reserved tables keep us from being able to eat when we wish! I don't mind waiting a few minutes, but not 30 minutes or more! :eek:

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I'm in total agreement on this one. I'm looking forward to AYW dining, but not if held reserved tables keep us from being able to eat when we wish! I don't mind waiting a few minutes, but not 30 minutes or more! :eek:

 

I want to set the record straight here on AYWD on the Volendam last month. (this cruise was sold out) We had a group of 6 and we had chosen AYWD. On the Volendam reservations could be made for prior to 5:45 or after 7:30. The longest we had to wait for a 7:00 table was 5 minutes on the 3 nights we just walked into the DR. For the balance of the cruise (7 nights) we made 7:45 reservations and got seated at 7:30 every time.

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And this is what is wrong with AYW, Personal Choice, Anytime Dining, Freestlye or whatever a cruise line calls it.

 

One person has no wait for a table and another has a long wait. I do not believe this has anything to do with this being new and they are getting a handle on it. I have read this on the Princess board and the NCL board. It is never consistent and both these lines have been doing it a long time.

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That's pretty much the same as what we don't like about traditional seating: Restriction to eating at one of two times, and worse, often relegated to a different seating than our preference. :eek:

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I was referring to having to wait, not being restricted to 2 times (4 on Hal).

 

If my preference is 7:00 and I have to wait until 7:30, I don't see this as an advantage. Going to the dining room and NOT KNOWING if you can be seated or not is a big disadvantage to me.

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If you want a full-service dining experience at at time other than the official seating times for traditional, you're out of luck with traditional as well.

 

Both ways have their advantages and disadvantages. That is why it is good to have both.

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This is from Sparkle's Noordam cruise:

 

We had the As You Wish Dining. I "Wish" it was set up a little better. Once I figure out that the reservations line opened at 8:00 a.m. I usually made a reservation for 5:30 or 5:45 - they were they only times they offered. I might as well have selected the Fixed Seating, but I thought it would be too early. We didn't want to go later because we didn't want to have to wait. I have to admit, though, when we did go later and wait it wasn't for more than 10 or 15 minutes. I don't think any cruise lines are really set up to handle this type of dining option. So many people want tables for 2 or tables for very large parties, and the dining rooms just aren't set up for this. The service was usually pretty good.

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And this is what is wrong with AYW, Personal Choice, Anytime Dining, Freestlye or whatever a cruise line calls it.

 

One person has no wait for a table and another has a long wait. I do not believe this has anything to do with this being new and they are getting a handle on it. I have read this on the Princess board and the NCL board. It is never consistent and both these lines have been doing it a long time.

 

Gizmo, sorry but I have to disagree. HAL has done it right with both traditional seating and open (AYWD) being offered so everyone is a winner and gets the dinning choice they want. The problem with skeptics like you you is that you do not want the choice of AYWD for those of us who preferr it over only traditional seating. Until you have the expierience of it first hand do not be so quick to dismiss AYWD.

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From lvdavy's 12/13 Ryndam cruise:

 

We had open seating dining and didn't think the service was very good on a number of occasions (i.e. long waits for food, slow response for water refills, etc.) We did find one waiter who was exceptional (Gede) and tried to get his section each evening (not always successfully). It is apparant that with open seating dining we trade service for convenience. The upside was that we were able to sit with different people each evening and met some really nice folks that we wouldn't have met if we had assigned seating.

Perhaps another way of looking at this is that one might have been stuck with slower service or fortunate enought to have Gede, for the duration of the cruise, if this had been fixed seating. There are good and not so good servers in both dining rooms.

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Gizmo, sorry but I have to disagree. HAL has done it right with both traditional seating and open (AYWD) being offered so everyone is a winner and gets the dinning choice they want. The problem with skeptics like you you is that you do not want the choice of AYWD for those of us who preferr it over only traditional seating. Until you have the expierience of it first hand do not be so quick to dismiss AYWD.

 

Saying that I do not want the choice of AYW for those who prefer it is not true.

 

Yes, I have ojections which I stated many times. I do not want to wait, I do not like the idea of sitting on a phone every day trying to make a reservation. And as far as reservations go , only being able to make them at 5:30 or 5:45 is a joke.

 

If AYW is so popular why can't people get Traditional ? Let those that want AYW have it but why pentalize those that want Traditional?

 

As far as Hal doing it right, I have not seen the proof yet. Nothing is perfect including Traditional. I don't see how everyone is a winner. If you don't get the dining you wish, you loose.

 

BTW I had "open seating" on Hal a couple of years ago when the ship was repositioning to Balitmore. I had NO problem with this. There were very few on board, so whenever you showed up you could get seated.

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gizmo, terrydtx, bicker,

 

Hammybee has twice recently brought this thread back to factual information about AYWD. She was polite and subtle, but I am a former Master Chief Petty Officer (and am neither): Your opinions are fascinating, and I enjoy reading them, but please post them on the opinion thread.

 

Dave

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That sounds good to me. In my defense, I only posted replies to other opinions that were posted -- it doesn't make sense to have only one side of an issue expressing opinions; either both or neither.

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bicker,

 

Yes, I agree, and seeing differing opinions is a great draw of this whole forum! (I think you and I both have not generally been shy about sharing ours :) . )

 

This particular subject has touched a spot for a _lot_ of people, and the first thread quickly generated a ton of opinions. But, (I believe so at least) hammybee started this second thread to try to break out the Sgt. Friday portion ("just the facts, ma'am") of the discussion. That way, there is a relatively short thread that people could go to learn fairly quickly what AYWD is, and just how it physically works -- do you make reservations, or wait in line, etc., and how it may be a bit different in small detail among the ships.

 

Hopefully, they will read this first, to see what it is, and then go to the other thread and see what we shy HAL CC'ers think about it!

 

Bottom line -- please DO keep telling us what you think, but please do it on the opinion thread. I check that one every time I log on as well!

 

Thanks,

Dave

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Just got off Ryndam and the problem already well stated is that People are not getting the dining they want. I had my booking for 6 months and was waitlisted for early traditional--I was quite surprised and extremely disappointed to arrive at embarkation and be told I have AYWD. A visit to the Dining Room Manager got me Late fixed and a visit to the Guest Relations Manager got me Early Fixed on day 4--too much hassle for me. The Early Seating had %30-40 chairs empty every night.

 

I would be very happy if HAL were indeed giving people a choice--but they are not. Many people were forced into AYWD on my cruise and HAL will use that to justify getting rid of Traditional dining altogether--believe me that was a big topic of conversation on my cruise.

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From Carpe Diem Cruiser's recent Noordam cruise:

 

On our Noordam cruise just before Christmas, my husband and I had opted in advance for the AYW dining. We did not make reservations...just showed up each day at about 5:30 or 6 pm and requested a table for two. In every case, we were shown to our table immediately. Maybe being early diners is a good thing in this case.

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Hello,

We have just received our documents for our Jan 19 sailing on Statendam. After being waitlisted for Late fixed we are now confirmed AYW.

We enjoy being on a large table with the same people each night. This was the primary reason we originally changed from Princess to Holland America.

 

We are not happy about this. What are our best options now?

 

Thanks

Chris and Steve.

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Hello,

We have just received our documents for our Jan 19 sailing on Statendam. After being waitlisted for Late fixed we are now confirmed AYW.

We enjoy being on a large table with the same people each night. This was the primary reason we originally changed from Princess to Holland America. We are not happy about this. What are our best options now?...

 

Very sorry to hear of your disappointment. I sympathize. I can't speak from experience, but from what I've read, your best bet is to speak with the Dining Room Manager as soon as you possibly can after boarding, and let him know that you would like to switch. Plead your case urgently but politely, and hope for the best.

 

Also, if there is a roll call for your cruise, maybe you can find some like-minded fellow cruisers who are also assigned to AYWD but would prefer to dine with the same tablemates nightly, and just agree to go to the dining room with each other every night. Good luck, and I really hope this doesn't spoil the cruise for you.

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We have an upcoming cruise on the Noordam and when I called Hal I requested ASYW. He told me that you can make the reservation once you board the ship and you can make the res for the same time for the rest of cruise if you like, or if you want different time on different days you can book it instead of calling everyday. This is what I was told

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Very sorry to hear of your disappointment. I sympathize. I can't speak from experience, but from what I've read, your best bet is to speak with the Dining Room Manager as soon as you possibly can after boarding, and let him know that you would like to switch. Plead your case urgently but politely, and hope for the best.

 

Also, if there is a roll call for your cruise, maybe you can find some like-minded fellow cruisers who are also assigned to AYWD but would prefer to dine with the same tablemates nightly, and just agree to go to the dining room with each other every night. Good luck, and I really hope this doesn't spoil the cruise for you.

 

Thanks for your suggestions. It is a shame to have to 'plead our case' when we first board. One of the reasons we like to cruise is to 'go with the flow' and not have any stressfull decisions or altercations. Still, it's worth a try.

 

On our last Princess cruise we were forced into Personal Choice. We tried a few nights, but got sick of the 'first night' conversations again and again on the big tables.

We tried tables for two, for which we had to beg and wait, but after so many years together it's a bit boring dining alone;) . So we ended up eating in the buffet most nights. (not our finest hour!)

 

Thanks for raising the second suggestion. We might have considered that if we had a lively roll call. Unfortunately it is very quiet, and we certainly don't want to appear 'desperate' to our fellow roll callees.

 

I'm sure I've read posts here about expanding the fixed dining area to suit the requests. Maybe we'll be lucky.

 

One interesting extra point was that our cruise documents said that it was not possible to change from fixed to AYW once the cruise has started. I don't recall seeing that before.

 

Cheers,

Steve.

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Thanks for your suggestions. It is a shame to have to 'plead our case' when we first board. One of the reasons we like to cruise is to 'go with the flow' and not have any stressfull decisions or altercations. Still, it's worth a try.

 

On our last Princess cruise we were forced into Personal Choice. We tried a few nights, but got sick of the 'first night' conversations again and again on the big tables.

We tried tables for two, for which we had to beg and wait, but after so many years together it's a bit boring dining alone;) . So we ended up eating in the buffet most nights. (not our finest hour!)

 

Thanks for raising the second suggestion. We might have considered that if we had a lively roll call. Unfortunately it is very quiet, and we certainly don't want to appear 'desperate' to our fellow roll callees.

 

I'm sure I've read posts here about expanding the fixed dining area to suit the requests. Maybe we'll be lucky.

 

One interesting extra point was that our cruise documents said that it was not possible to change from fixed to AYW once the cruise has started. I don't recall seeing that before.

 

Cheers,

Steve.

 

Steve,

Have you contacted HAL or your TA to request the change. We had requested traditional 2nd seating and when our doc's arrived a few weeks ago, it said AYW confirmed. We booked thru a TA and requested that this be changed. But before we could get a reply, I did some investigating on my own. Being very curious, I decided that I'd try to make a new booking for our cruise on-line and when I did, you guessed it, I had the option of selecting traditional 2nd seating or open/AYW seating!

So, my suggestions is, get it straighten out by HAL before you cruise!

If HAL wants this to be successful, then they need to be more flexible. Traditional seating is one of the reasons I keep choosing HAL

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Steve,

Have you contacted HAL or your TA to request the change. We had requested traditional 2nd seating and when our doc's arrived a few weeks ago, it said AYW confirmed. We booked thru a TA and requested that this be changed. But before we could get a reply, I did some investigating on my own. Being very curious, I decided that I'd try to make a new booking for our cruise on-line and when I did, you guessed it, I had the option of selecting traditional 2nd seating or open/AYW seating!

So, my suggestions is, get it straighten out by HAL before you cruise!

If HAL wants this to be successful, then they need to be more flexible. Traditional seating is one of the reasons I keep choosing HAL

 

No, I haven't, but I will now.

So, have you had any luck changing yours?

We booked though an internet agency, but will give it a try anyway.

Thanks a lot.

Steve.

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