Latest survey - question about freedom dining


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#1
Scotland
848 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Just had the latest survey and it was all the usual questions about price, dress code etc etc most Inhave seen several times before but a new one on me was a question re dining.

In the usual loaded P & O way they were asking about fixed sitting v freedom dining. I can't remember the exact wording but I would not be at all surprised if there is less club dining availability in future depending on who answers what. Pure speculation on my part but we all know that theses surveys are used for "customer demand for change"

Anyone else had theirs?
#2
1,328 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Well there is definitely a far more significant demand for Freedom over Club, but Club is a cheaper option to deliver.

Therefore if it is a loaded question it will be to support the retention of Club.
#3
1,323 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
They may move more towards Princess. Freedom dining in any freedom restaurant where there are more than one on a ship and the ability to book a time.
#4
North Yorkshire, UK
276 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
Originally posted by Thejuggler
They may move more towards Princess. Freedom dining in any freedom restaurant where there are more than one on a ship and the ability to book a time.
Surely if it’s freedom dining, then booking a time makes a mockery of it?
#5
West Yorkshire UK
3,270 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by Thejuggler
They may move more towards Princess. Freedom dining in any freedom restaurant where there are more than one on a ship and the ability to book a time.
I believe you can book a time now if you wish, but as Goosebear Mum says what's the point, the whole idea of Freedom is surely to turn up when you want. Picking a table and time just restricts the freedom of others, especially if you turn up late.
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Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the observance of fools. (Douglas Bader 1910-1982)
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. (Winston Churchill 1874-1965)
Future cruises --- Feb 2018 Ventura - Caribbean & USA., June 2018 Ventura - W. Med. Sept 2018 Azura - Canaries. Jan 2019 Ventura - Caribbean. April 2019 Aurora W Med.
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March 92 - Carnival's Carnivale - Bahamas . October 97 - Thomson's Emerald, Med. Nov 2000 - Superstar Gemini, Straits of Malacca. Jan 2004 - Coral Princess - Panama-Carib. June 2005 - Island Princess - Alaska. Jan 2006 - P&O Arcadia - East/southern Carib. Feb 2007 - Celebrity Millenium - Eastern Carib. June 2007 - Tahitian Princess - Honolulu to Papeete. Feb 2008 - Sapphire Princess - Sydney to Auckland. Sept 2008 Emerald Princess - Mediterranean. March 2009 - Coral Princess - Panama Canal. Feb 2010 Celebrity Solstice - Eastern Caribbean . Aug 2011 P&O Azura- Canaries. June 2012 P&O Ventura Iceland & Fjords. Sept 2012 Celebrity Eclipse - Western Med; Apr 2013 P&O Azura Western Med. June 2013 Celebrity Eclipse - Baltic. Oct 2013 P&O Azura - Central Med. May 2014 Emerald Princess N. Spain & France. Sept. 2014 Celebrity Eclipse-Canaries & Azores, Apr 2015 P&O Britannia - W Med. June 2015 Celebrity Eclipse - Iceland & Fjords. Sept 2015 Celebrity Eclipse - Canaries & Azores. Jan 2016 P&O Ventura - No Fly Caribbean. Jun 2016 Eclipse - Baltic. Aug 2016 - Britannia Fjords, May 2017 - Azura W. Med. Sept 2017 - Navigator OTS Canaries & N Africa.



#6
Staffordshire
1,068 Posts
Joined May 2011
Originally posted by Goosebear Mum
Surely if it’s freedom dining, then booking a time makes a mockery of it?
We have often booked a time in freedom dining on Princess because it is the surest way of getting a table for 2 at the time that we prefer to eat. If we are on long day out then we book for a later time than if we are at sea or expect to be back on board early.
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#7
Lancashire, England
883 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by terrierjohn
I believe you can book a time now if you wish, but as Goosebear Mum says what's the point, the whole idea of Freedom is surely to turn up when you want. Picking a table and time just restricts the freedom of others, especially if you turn up late.
When freedom dining was first introduced, on Oceana many years ago, you could book a table and a time in advance. I understand that this was discontinued because of diners turning up late or not at all, leaving others on the table and waiting staff to twiddle their thumbs whilst waiting for their arrival.
#8
Stoke on Trent, England
5,061 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
We've had ours -- makes me smile that they actually think that we don't know what their agenda is when they set the questions. Like every company they set them in such a way that they get the answers they want and then say that they are making changes as a result of the surveys.

Or is it me being cynical??!!!

They are really working on the type of dining options and dress code at the moment --------- coming soon ------ changes 'because of the survey results' for both. And, gosh, golly it will be OUR idea. ....

They haven't asked about embarkation as they daren't ....

Mmmmmmm
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#9
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
709 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I never seem to get these any more. I think it is because they don't want to hear my views as it won't suit them...
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Andrew

Past: Cunard QE2 & Queen Elizabeth; P&O Victoria, Oriana, Arcadia, Aurora, Oceana, Azura; Sea Princess; Celebrity Summit; Fred Olsen Black Watch, Saga Ruby, Portuscale MV Funchal, MS Mayfair (Nile River Cruise).

Future: Thomson (Marella) Discovery 2, Cuba & Caribbean; CMV Marco Polo to Iceland.
#10
Gt Britain
132 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
I usually get these surveys but I haven't received this one. I've never tried freedom dining and don't want to. I do hope they don't get rid of club dining.
#11
Kent, England
6,276 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by Denarius
When freedom dining was first introduced, on Oceana many years ago, you could book a table and a time in advance. I understand that this was discontinued because of diners turning up late or not at all, leaving others on the table and waiting staff to twiddle their thumbs whilst waiting for their arrival.
I understand the main dining room capacities are sufficient to seat all the passengers in 2 sittings. with club dining the times are usually 6.30 and 8.30 giving 2 hours between sittings.

If you have bookable 'freedom' what happens if someone wants a 7.30 time? The table can't be used before they sit down as eating dinner can take over 1.5 hours. This means that table may not be available until 9.00 or later.

What happens if diners turn up late or not at all?

It might work on Princess but that does not mean it would work on P&O. what are the dining preferences of Princess cruisers? Is the buffet heavily used freeing up capacity in the mdr's?

for me no booking on freedom dining and no unofficial reserving of tables for 'favoured' customers in the hope of getting a good tip at the end.
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#12
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
709 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
In the main 2018/19 brochure, it says that you can dine in the Freedom Dining venues between 6.00 & 9.30. I suspect however that the most popular times might be 7.00 and 8.00.
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Andrew

Past: Cunard QE2 & Queen Elizabeth; P&O Victoria, Oriana, Arcadia, Aurora, Oceana, Azura; Sea Princess; Celebrity Summit; Fred Olsen Black Watch, Saga Ruby, Portuscale MV Funchal, MS Mayfair (Nile River Cruise).

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#13
dundee
26 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
I was on the Oriana in Nov. and by 5.45 pm. there was always about 40 people waiting for the dinning room to open
don't know what it was like later if you turn up and they cant seat you they give you a bleeper to let you know when your table is ready
#14
Cambridgeshire
2,657 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
I remember being on Oceana where a significant number on "Freedom" seemed to want to dine as soon a sthe restaurant opened. On the first day, I assume some were unsuccessful in getting through by a reasonable time. On subsequent days the queues got earlier and longer day by day.

The only way around this as I see it, bearing in mind that if people are permitted to chose time and table size is to increase capacity to 125% or more to prevent disappointment. This can only be done by opening at 5pm and staying open later than currently and putting an increased number of tables in the restaurant.

The problem as I see it is that it is more efficient to put two complete full loads of people in the restaurant sequentially.

Regards John
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John Watson

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#15
West Yorkshire UK
3,270 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by snee
I was on the Oriana in Nov. and by 5.45 pm. there was always about 40 people waiting for the dinning room to open
don't know what it was like later if you turn up and they cant seat you they give you a bleeper to let you know when your table is ready
I can only assume that those queuing are seeking tables for two, we have never had to wait for a sharing table. Similarly I can understand passengers who prefer tables for two wanting to pre-book these, but since we rarely seek a table for two it would be no problem for us if there wasn't one available, we would simply share.
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Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the observance of fools. (Douglas Bader 1910-1982)
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. (Winston Churchill 1874-1965)
Future cruises --- Feb 2018 Ventura - Caribbean & USA., June 2018 Ventura - W. Med. Sept 2018 Azura - Canaries. Jan 2019 Ventura - Caribbean. April 2019 Aurora W Med.
Previous Cruises
March 92 - Carnival's Carnivale - Bahamas . October 97 - Thomson's Emerald, Med. Nov 2000 - Superstar Gemini, Straits of Malacca. Jan 2004 - Coral Princess - Panama-Carib. June 2005 - Island Princess - Alaska. Jan 2006 - P&O Arcadia - East/southern Carib. Feb 2007 - Celebrity Millenium - Eastern Carib. June 2007 - Tahitian Princess - Honolulu to Papeete. Feb 2008 - Sapphire Princess - Sydney to Auckland. Sept 2008 Emerald Princess - Mediterranean. March 2009 - Coral Princess - Panama Canal. Feb 2010 Celebrity Solstice - Eastern Caribbean . Aug 2011 P&O Azura- Canaries. June 2012 P&O Ventura Iceland & Fjords. Sept 2012 Celebrity Eclipse - Western Med; Apr 2013 P&O Azura Western Med. June 2013 Celebrity Eclipse - Baltic. Oct 2013 P&O Azura - Central Med. May 2014 Emerald Princess N. Spain & France. Sept. 2014 Celebrity Eclipse-Canaries & Azores, Apr 2015 P&O Britannia - W Med. June 2015 Celebrity Eclipse - Iceland & Fjords. Sept 2015 Celebrity Eclipse - Canaries & Azores. Jan 2016 P&O Ventura - No Fly Caribbean. Jun 2016 Eclipse - Baltic. Aug 2016 - Britannia Fjords, May 2017 - Azura W. Med. Sept 2017 - Navigator OTS Canaries & N Africa.



#16
Scotland
848 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Originally posted by john watson

The problem as I see it is that it is more efficient to put two complete full loads of people in the restaurant sequentially.

Regards John
It is unless you factor in the fact that people on freedom often take less time at the table that those on club do. Just my opinion but there seems to be longer conversations and more lingering over the coffee on club than in freedom.

We have often noticed if we at a table for 2 on freedom that tables around us hoover up their food and are gone in half the time we are so the turnover is quicker.

P&O will also have to consider the general customer demand and if more people are requesting one dining type over another regulalry then they will take that into consideration, hence the survey.
#17
Dorset, UK
8,859 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by Eglesbrech
It is unless you factor in the fact that people on freedom often take less time at the table that those on club do. Just my opinion but there seems to be longer conversations and more lingering over the coffee on club than in freedom.

We have often noticed if we at a table for 2 on freedom that tables around us hoover up their food and are gone in half the time we are so the turnover is quicker.

P&O will also have to consider the general customer demand and if more people are requesting one dining type over another regulalry then they will take that into consideration, hence the survey.
I too think turnover is faster in Freedom. We prefer Freedom Dining and to eat early. As we have usually vacated our table by around 7.15, I have always assumed that table could be used 3 times during the evening. Theoretically I would imagine they could deal with a greater number dining in Freedom compared with Club for dining rooms of equivalent size.

I'm sure they have a breakdown of numbers which is likely to drive their decision making along with the implications for waiting staff and the galley. Customer preferences may influence them along the line but I don't have much confidence in the surveys. The style of questions often doesn't give scope to really get to the crux of issues then we're not party to the replies/analyses/conclusions so could be fed anything such that, as has been said before, they lead us to believe their decisions are driven by us. However if there is a significant mis-match in what passengers want, I think in the longer term they will make changes - perhaps retain Club but in a smaller, designated area of one dining room? Much will be determined by the practicalities and logistics I imagine.
#18
1,081 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Perhaps it's just us, but my wife and I do freedom dining, go to the restaurant about 8, and ask for a table of 6 or 8. We would normally be one of the last tables to leave, aroundv10:30. Why do people want to rush through dinner. As much as anything else, we don't want to drink a bottle of wine in 60 minutes, and we never 'keep' an opened bottle for the next night!

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#19
Solihull
2,213 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
Originally posted by Britboys
I never seem to get these any more. I think it is because they don't want to hear my views as it won't suit them...

Might be in your junk mail, that’s where mine usually go to.


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#20
bucks
665 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by wowzz
Perhaps it's just us, but my wife and I do freedom dining, go to the restaurant about 8, and ask for a table of 6 or 8. We would normally be one of the last tables to leave, aroundv10:30. Why do people want to rush through dinner. As much as anything else, we don't want to drink a bottle of wine in 60 minutes, and we never 'keep' an opened bottle for the next night!

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I agree we want to linger over dinner as well
However many passengers want to go to the theatre thus the rush

I like on Celebrity when the early show is at 7pm - we tend to go to that if we want to see the show followed up by a drink and dinner. I never want to rush to a show at 10.30