Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Cruise Critic News & Feature Articles
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Cruise Critic News & Feature Articles Up-to-the minute News & Feature Articles from Cruise Critic

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old June 23rd, 2009, 04:00 PM
LauraS's Avatar
LauraS LauraS is offline
Sr. Manager, Community
Cruise Critic
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Pennington, NJ
Posts: 13,029
Post Celebrity Cruises Confirms Flexible Dining is Coming

Cruise Critic has just posted the following news:

Celebrity Cruises Confirms Flexible Dining is Coming

Read the entire news article...
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #2  
Old June 23rd, 2009, 05:24 PM
jac69 jac69 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Victoria BC area
Posts: 20
Default anytime dining

To have anytime dining really work the way passengers want it to work is to offer more tables of two. My partner and I have cruised many times and the one thing we want in a flexible dining schedule is to have a table tourselves so we dont have to be "on" every night!
__________________
Westerdam 1991 Vancouver-SanDiego
Celebration 1992 Eastern Caribbean
Westerdam 1992 Eastern Caribbean
Norway 1993 Eastern Caribbean
Maasdam 1993 Southern Caribbean
Regal Princess 1994 Vancpouver-San Francisco
Fair Princess 1995 Mexican Riveira
Rotterdam 1995 Pacific Coastal
Golden Princess 1995 Bangkok - Sydney (19 days)
Star Princess 1996 Vancouver - Acapulco
Canberra 1997 Vancouver - Southhampton (26 days)
Rhapsody of the seas 1998 Miami - San Diego
Splendor of the Seas 1999 Sothern Caribbean
Volendam 2000 Ft Lauderdale - San Diego
Mercury 2001 Alaska Inside Passage
Dawn Princess 2002 Vancouver - Hawaii
Zaandam 2003 Alaska Inside Passage
Summit 2003 Eastern Caribbean
Serenade of the Seas 2004 Hawaii - Vancouver
Diamond Princess 2004 Vancouver - Los Angeles
Empress of the Seas 2005 Southern Caribbean
Veendam 2005 Southern Caribbean
Infinity 2006 Vanc- Inside Passage- San Fran
Radiance of the Seas 2008 Hawaii - Vancouver
Noordam 2008 Eastern Caribbean Christmas
Millenium 2009 Vancouver- Seward Roundtrip
------------------------------
Noordam 2009 20 day Caribbean
Regatta 2010 12 day Eastern Caribbean
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old June 23rd, 2009, 05:26 PM
Catnip's Avatar
Catnip Catnip is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Northeast Florida
Posts: 3,211
Default

I had a feeling it was only a matter of time..........well, as long as they still provide the "traditional" dining, I'm happy.
__________________
(45 prior cruises. Too long and boring to list them all, and who really cares, anyway?!)

"My husband and I are either going to get a dog or have a child. We can't decide whether to ruin our carpets or ruin our lives." --Rita Rudner

DOLPHIN- A FREE roaming mammal found throughout the world's oceans. There are no confines large enough to justify CAPTIVITY. Just say NO to "Dolphin Encounters/Swims"!

http://www.inkokomo.com/dolphin/captivity.html
http://www.bluevoice.org/news_captivity.php
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old June 24th, 2009, 12:09 AM
HeinBloed's Avatar
HeinBloed HeinBloed is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 8,829
Default

FINALLY... I am more than happy... Hope it works properly until January 2010.

On NAVIGATOR OF THE SEAS it was from the organisation a desaster.

Some of the waiters did not understand that gratuities are paid and they thought that we are guests who are choosing it because they do not want to pay the gratuities...

Last day you got the coupons - but whom should you give them if you have every night a different waiter???

Regards
HeinBloed
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old June 25th, 2009, 11:02 AM
mkirch72 mkirch72 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 292
Default

Bad news. Traditional dining is what makes Celebrity great. I have cruised on all the majors and the idea that you can "eat whenever, wherever you want" is a complete fallacy. Good luck getting a reservation on Princess for BOTH the time and restaurant you want. I was forced to use the anytime dining option versus traditional because there was a waiting list for traditional 4 months before the cruise.

If anytime dining is so popular, how does that explain that Princess had over 400 passengers on the waiting list for traditional dining on my last cruise?? And eating "any time, any where" is completely false --- look at the lines for dinner between 5pm and 6pm at the anytime dining room onboard Princess. It's a madhouse.

Traditional dining means you know you will never have to wait for a table and you will never have to worry about waking up in the morning, and waiting on hold for 45 minutes trying to get a reservation for a table.

The service gets worse because the staff know they'll probably only see you once. They don't know your wants and needs like traditional dining server would (e.g. you have to explain every night how you want certain things). And if you aren't at a table for 2, you have to go through the entire uncomfortable "get to know you" conversations every time you want to have a meal.

Part of why I love cruising is that I have been seated, for the most part, with some wonderful people who I've gotten to know over dinner every night of a cruise. I am still friends with, and often visit, some of them. Anytime dining completely destroys that aspect of cruising.

I think it's awful and it doesn't match up with Celebrity's reputation.
Reply With Quote

  #6  
Old June 25th, 2009, 02:08 PM
Catnip's Avatar
Catnip Catnip is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Northeast Florida
Posts: 3,211
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkirch72 View Post
And eating "any time, any where" is completely false --- look at the lines for dinner between 5pm and 6pm at the anytime dining room onboard Princess. It's a madhouse.


Part of why I love cruising is that I have been seated, for the most part, with some wonderful people who I've gotten to know over dinner every night of a cruise. I am still friends with, and often visit, some of them. Anytime dining completely destroys that aspect of cruising.
I gave the "anytime" dining a try on 2 different Princess ships and it was a total bust! We ALWAYS had to wait for a table. Then, you have to re-introduce yourself night after night to different people at your table. I don't care for it and always request the traditional dining now.
In my many years of cruising, we have only had to ask to be moved one time. We have always had nice, fun people at our table and still keep in touch with many of them!
Alas, the anytime dining seems to be very popular. As long as the cruise line offers both, then I will continue to cruise on their cruise line. But if they only go to "anytime" (like NCL), then I won't be cruising with them.
__________________
(45 prior cruises. Too long and boring to list them all, and who really cares, anyway?!)

"My husband and I are either going to get a dog or have a child. We can't decide whether to ruin our carpets or ruin our lives." --Rita Rudner

DOLPHIN- A FREE roaming mammal found throughout the world's oceans. There are no confines large enough to justify CAPTIVITY. Just say NO to "Dolphin Encounters/Swims"!

http://www.inkokomo.com/dolphin/captivity.html
http://www.bluevoice.org/news_captivity.php
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old June 26th, 2009, 01:26 PM
scapel's Avatar
scapel scapel is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: NORTH EAST LOUISIANA USA
Posts: 3,947
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkirch72 View Post
Bad news. Traditional dining is what makes Celebrity great. I have cruised on all the majors and the idea that you can "eat whenever, wherever you want" is a complete fallacy. Good luck getting a reservation on Princess for BOTH the time and restaurant you want. I was forced to use the anytime dining option versus traditional because there was a waiting list for traditional 4 months before the cruise.

If anytime dining is so popular, how does that explain that Princess had over 400 passengers on the waiting list for traditional dining on my last cruise?? And eating "any time, any where" is completely false --- look at the lines for dinner between 5pm and 6pm at the anytime dining room onboard Princess. It's a madhouse.

Traditional dining means you know you will never have to wait for a table and you will never have to worry about waking up in the morning, and waiting on hold for 45 minutes trying to get a reservation for a table.

The service gets worse because the staff know they'll probably only see you once. They don't know your wants and needs like traditional dining server would (e.g. you have to explain every night how you want certain things). And if you aren't at a table for 2, you have to go through the entire uncomfortable "get to know you" conversations every time you want to have a meal.

Part of why I love cruising is that I have been seated, for the most part, with some wonderful people who I've gotten to know over dinner every night of a cruise. I am still friends with, and often visit, some of them. Anytime dining completely destroys that aspect of cruising.

I think it's awful and it doesn't match up with Celebrity's reputation.
I'll go along with those comments. On the cruises that I have been on, there is an alternative dining as well as the specialty dining in addition to the traditional dining. I like having a table assignment. It seems on the cruises we had just enough time at our assigned table to make friendships. If you meet someone else you would like to eat with make a reservation at the alternative dining area or the speciality dining.
We had a family cruise and if it wasn't for the assigned dining I don't know how we could have gotten all 14 people together for one meal a day.
__________________
Send email to your HTML Guide
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old June 26th, 2009, 08:36 PM
Cruise Junky's Avatar
Cruise Junky Cruise Junky is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 13,561
Default

Traditional dining isn't going anywhere guys, they're just adding another option.

Awesome for Celebrity! Not a fan of fixed time dining.
__________________
Coming next
Nov14...European Christmas markets. Paris, Munich, Salzburg, Vienna
Dec 14...Christmas and New Years in Hawaii
April 15...Hawaii Land trip
Oct 15...Celebrity Equinox. Spain & Portugal cruise
May 16...Santorini and Crete Land trip



Hawaii - VCR Celebrity Solstice 2014/Paris Land Trip/Hawaii Land Trip X 2 - 2013/Grand Med. - Ruby Princess/South of France 2012/Hawaii - Land Trip 2012/Hawaii - Land Trip - 2011/Panama Canal and Florida Keys - Coral Princess - 2011/Eastern Caribbean - Ruby Princess - 2010/France 3 Week Land Trip - Burgundy/Loire/Normandy/French Riviera/Provence 2010/Mexican Riviera - Sapphire Princess 2009/Coastal - Sapphire Princess 2009/Alaska - Voyage of the Glaciers - Zuiderdam - 2009/Greek Islands cruise + Monaco and Paris by land - Grand Princess - 2008/Land Trip - Maui - 2008/3 Week Land - Paris to Rome - 2007/Hawaii - Pride of America - 2007/14 Day Caribbean - Sea Princess - 2006/Coastal - Dawn Princess - 2006/Barcelona to Venice - Millennium - 2005/UK & Ireland - Land Trip - 2004/AI Mexican Riviera -2003/Coastal - Island Princess - 2002/Maui - Land Trip x 2/Alaska - Dawn Princess - 2001/UK Land Trip x 3/11 Day Circle the Caribbean - Splendour of the Seas - 2000/Mexican Riviera - Rhapsody of the Seas - 1999/2 Week Land Bermuda - Girls Trip - 1997/Married - Maui - 1997
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old July 2nd, 2009, 12:57 PM
Trude Trude is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: U K
Posts: 6
Default

We will wait and see what happens, if they can get it to run smoothly.
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old July 3rd, 2009, 06:05 PM
JohnMarshall12 JohnMarshall12 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1
Default

If traditional dining is still available, I think most everyone should be happy with this change. The last poster is right, we will just have to wait and see.
__________________
Today Is A Great Day!
Make The Most Of It!!
Christmas Facts
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old July 4th, 2009, 01:22 PM
AlinaMaria's Avatar
AlinaMaria AlinaMaria is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 219
Default open seating: works sometimes....

I've only tried the open seating in Princess and NCL, the experience has been very, very different.

First time I tried the "open seating" was in 2002 on Grand Princess, it was wonderful! However, on Dawn Princess last year (Alaska 2009) was horrible, the worst experience ever...it made dining a total ordeal every night, the restaurant manager was not friendly (I'm been generous) and the service from the staff was fair to poor most nights.

However, in my experience, NCL is a winner. I've been on the NCL Jewel and the NCL Sky and the system works perfect. Never waited more than 3-5 minutes for a table and the staff is great at all times!

Because of this "luck of the draw", we have decided to stick with traditional dining, this way we get to eat early (my mother must take her meds at a certain time every night) and we know we will have the same table and same staff every night! The service is always nicer and the experience enjoyable.

AlinaMaria
__________________
12/11 Celebrity Equinox - Ultimate Caribbean
12/10 Celebrity Constellation - Exotic Southern Caribbean
05/10 Norwegian Sky - Bahamas
04/09 HAL Eurodam - Eastern Caribbean
12/08 Celebrity Infinity - Western Caribbean
11/08 Norwegian Sky - Bahamas
05/08 Dawn Princess - Alaska
04/07 Norwegian Jewel - Eastern Caribbean
09/06 Carnival Elation - Eastern Caribbean
12/05 Costa Magica - Bahamas
11/04 HAL Zuiderdam - Eastern Caribbean
02/04 HAL Rotterdam - Panama Canal
09/03 RCI Majesty of the Seas - Bahamas
04/03 RCI Navigator of the Seas - E. Caribbean
06/02 Grand Princess - Western Caribbean
05/98 Celebrity Mercury - Western Caribbean
07/97 Celebrity Century - Western Caribbean
06/96 Celebrity Century - Eastern Caribbean
05/95 Celebrity Zenith - Western Caribbean
06/82 Premier Dolphin - Bahamas
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old July 4th, 2009, 06:37 PM
flashdog_1's Avatar
flashdog_1 flashdog_1 is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,033
Default

I hope they can get a system that actually works.

I am an X die hard, as is my daughter. We love traditional dining and getting to know our servers. But DH does not like sitting with strangers or formal nights, so when he wants to cruise, we do NCL. There is NO problem in getting a table for two to please him since their dining rooms were designed with many two tops. But even then, sometimes you might have to wait, like on lobster nights. Some ships work more smoothly than others.

Freestyle Dining on NCL is not just dining when you want. They have so many restaurants that those who choose a surcharge restaurant are not in the main dining rooms, therefore eliminating some of the crowd. But the Freestyle Dining concept does not work well on their older ships which were not designed for it (like X's ships, or Princess').

I would not want to be present on any of X's early trials of Select Dining!
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old July 4th, 2009, 09:50 PM
BarbaraB2 BarbaraB2 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Coastal North Carolina
Posts: 355
Default Finally!

Now, if they just relax their dress code we'll return! Our very first cruise was on the Celebrity Zenith in 1992 and we adored the food, the service, and the entire 'traditional experience'. However, after nearly twenty cruises on various lines, we realize that those days are gone forever. Mediocrity has taken over as the cruise lines fight to make a profit in a very competitive field and Celebrity is no different. Times have changed and we have learned to adapt to it and make the most of what is offered. We tried flexible dining on both NCL and Princess (regardless of the cruise line's terms) and found it suited our style as do informal dress codes. Unlike some others, we never had to wait very long for a table and when we hit it off with a particular waiter, we requested him and was seated at his station each time.
Celebrity must have a reason to change their position on traditional dining after resisting it for so long. They certainly changed thier position on 'fine cuisine' a long time ago!

Last edited by BarbaraB2; July 4th, 2009 at 09:51 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old July 5th, 2009, 12:52 AM
more cruises's Avatar
more cruises more cruises is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 1,071
Default

I sure hope they don't do it the way RCI does - where you are forced to prepay gratuities AT THE TIME OF BOOKING! I've seen people who had to take the Open Dining because Early and Late were both full and all of a sudden the price of the cruise went up - to cover those gratuities. Sure, you'll pay them anyway when you get on the ship but why should you have to pay them months before you even receive the service.
__________________
33 cruises, 228 nights. Ahhh, this is the life.
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old July 5th, 2009, 02:19 AM
HeinBloed's Avatar
HeinBloed HeinBloed is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 8,829
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by golden egg View Post
I sure hope they don't do it the way RCI does - where you are forced to prepay gratuities AT THE TIME OF BOOKING! I've seen people who had to take the Open Dining because Early and Late were both full and all of a sudden the price of the cruise went up - to cover those gratuities. Sure, you'll pay them anyway when you get on the ship but why should you have to pay them months before you even receive the service.
They took the money in advance at time of booking...

but did not give us the flexible dining...

The best is not to book in advance and do it on the ship.

You fill out the form that you will pay gratuities by shipboard account and you'll get it.

So you do not need to finance the new ships by giving them a credit.

Regards,
HeinBloed
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old July 6th, 2009, 07:23 AM
doktor's Avatar
doktor doktor is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Florida, Space Coast
Posts: 1,259
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkirch72 View Post
Bad news. Traditional dining is what makes Celebrity great. I have cruised on all the majors and the idea that you can "eat whenever, wherever you want" is a complete fallacy. Good luck getting a reservation on Princess for BOTH the time and restaurant you want. I was forced to use the anytime dining option versus traditional because there was a waiting list for traditional 4 months before the cruise.

If anytime dining is so popular, how does that explain that Princess had over 400 passengers on the waiting list for traditional dining on my last cruise?? And eating "any time, any where" is completely false --- look at the lines for dinner between 5pm and 6pm at the anytime dining room onboard Princess. It's a madhouse.

Traditional dining means you know you will never have to wait for a table and you will never have to worry about waking up in the morning, and waiting on hold for 45 minutes trying to get a reservation for a table.

The service gets worse because the staff know they'll probably only see you once. They don't know your wants and needs like traditional dining server would (e.g. you have to explain every night how you want certain things). And if you aren't at a table for 2, you have to go through the entire uncomfortable "get to know you" conversations every time you want to have a meal.

Part of why I love cruising is that I have been seated, for the most part, with some wonderful people who I've gotten to know over dinner every night of a cruise. I am still friends with, and often visit, some of them. Anytime dining completely destroys that aspect of cruising.

I think it's awful and it doesn't match up with Celebrity's reputation.
I couldn't agree more. Part of cruising is making friends at the dinner table. It is hard to do with different people every night.
__________________
  • Celebrity's Infinity Antarctica, February 16, 2014 14 nights, Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas 4 nights Bahamas, Celebrity Century 14 nights, Vancouver, and the Pacific Coast, Caribbean Princess 7 nights Nov/12 Southern Caribbean, Diamond Princess 18 nights Australia and New Zealand Jan/12 night cruise plus land tour, Celibrity Equinox, March /2011,12 nights W Carib, Panama Canal, Costa Rica, Columbia, Monarch of the Seas Sept 2010,4 day Bahamas,Eclipse May 3-May 21,2010 B-T--B, 18 days Cork & Baltic, Monarch of the Seas Sept 2009, 4 days Bahamas, Diamond Princess May, 2009, 27 days Asia-Alaska, Monarch of the Seas New Years, 4 days 2008 Bahamas, Disney Sept, 2008, 4 days Bahamas, Brilliance of the Seas May, 2008 10 days Southampton- Barcelona, Carnival's Freedom March, 2007 12 days Rome-Rome, Carnival Glory August, 2006 7 days Eastern Caribbean, Caribbean Princess New Year's 2005 7 days Eastern Caribbean, Celebrity Infinity February, 2005 14 days Valparaiso, Chile-Ft Lauderdale, Sovereign of the Seas January, 2003 3 days Bahamas, Sovereign of the Seas January, 2002 3 days Bahamas, Carnival Fantasy December, 2001 3 days Bahamas, Sovereign of the Seas July 2000 3 days Bahamas, Premier Cruise Lines March, 1989 3daysBahamas
183 Day at sea excluding pre and post tours
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old July 6th, 2009, 10:47 AM
tom_uk tom_uk is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sheffield, UK
Posts: 4,138
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by doktor View Post
..... Part of cruising is making friends at the dinner table. It is hard to do with different people every night.
I have to say, that's part of the attraction of cruising for us - we wouldn't ever want a table for two. That's what we do most nights of the year! But I also recognise that other people feel differently and would prefer these other things. I think that as long as the traditional way is retained as well, that's fine....
__________________
Coming up:
Azura 2014 - Baltic
Arcadia 2014 - Christmas, N Sea & Baltic
Azura 2015 - W Mediterranean
-------------------------
Already enjoyed:
MSC Sinfonia (2005), Norwegian Jewel (2005), Galaxy (2006 & 2007), Braemar (2007), Oriana (2008 & 2012), Ventura (2008, 2010, 2011 & 2013), Celebrity Solstice (2009), Arcadia (2010 & 2012), Black Watch (2011)

My Blog: http://tomscruiseblog.co.uk
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:13 AM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.