We are just thrilled that Orient will be back!
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Of course, the best of both may be what HAL offers: a choice of open or fixed seating. With multiple restaurants on the Marco Polo II, perhaps the good folks at Orient (are you listening Mr. Heller?) could provide both options based on availability at time of booking, and then allow for on-board adjustments, where feasible, just as has been done in the past for folks wanting to change seatings or dining partners.im-a-going, This, in fact may be the solution Thanks
Orient Lines have kindly given me permission to post a contact email for anyone wishing to gain further information and for booking enquiries but who are outside the US and Canada.Why only outside the US and Canada? Are these not the same for us?
Why only outside the US and Canada? Are these not the same for us?Because they only have an office in the US, they cannot take agent bookings from outside North America, they can only deal with direct bookings from guests.
Doug, I understand your point, however, I do not agree. If this is going to be the way of all ships, cruising would have to be a past activity for me. The open dining is precisely the reason that I will not cruise on Oceania.Fran, I agree 100% (Except, make that 90% of my MP/OL cruises - 15 of them). Traditional dining is part of the cruise experience for me too and I LOATHE open seating for dinner. It's a deal breaker. I've met some wonderful people at the dinner table that I probably never would have met without traditional seating. If you're not going to keep things, like traditional dining that make it a "cruise experience" why do a cruise? Cruises are social and travel events. Without the "social" part, you're just staying in a floating hotel - it looses a lot of it's charm and romance. (Can you picture one of those lovely old cruise ships back in the glamourous age of cruising with open seating?).
... More than 50% of my MP cruises were the social aspects which the new Orient Lines will diminish if they instill these programs. Making friends over a good meal is not just an ideal but did happen and I am still in contact with many of them. I hope that Mr. Heller takes this into consideration.
Hurray! Today, Aug. 30, we received a four-page flyer from Orient Lines with info on the Marco Polo II. Itineraries, prices,etc. Evidently this was sent to Polo Club members to give them "first crack" at reservations.Brigitte, That sounds wonderful. Unfortunately I will have to wait a while until Canada Post decides they have stored my mail sufficiently.
Franu - I hope you'll give the new MP a try despite the new dining arrangements. You loved the old MP so much that it would be worth trying the "new" one, don't you think?I have been reassured by Sharon Harlow that there will be a choice to have set dining or open dining. This is great as it covers all of the bases. I am presently making my choices regarding itineraries and prices.
Ok - I just checked out the new Orient Lines Website - and I'm a little confused. I don't see anywhere where they state it's "Open Seating" all it says is the main dining room is "Open" (ie available) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.... In fact they say "single sitting"... which usually means Traditional... maybe they reconsidered?Lydia, It is not from the OL website that I have garnered this information. It is from the Seatrade Insider News which reported on the press conference given by Wayne Heller CEO and Bruce Nierenberg,EVP to announce the purchase of the Maxim Gorkiy. Although I do not have a copy of the exact wording, he stated that there would be open-dining.