Does any cruise line match Norwegian with its "freestyle" dining options.

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#1
Good ole USA
26 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
We've been on about 4-5 Norwegian cruises recently and 2 Royal Caribbean many years ago. We love Norwegian because of the freestyle dining. We can go when we want, don't need to be dressed, etc. Was just wondering if there is any other cruiseline that offers as many freestyle dining options as Norwegian does? Thanks in advance.
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#2
Petaluma, Ca. 94954
32,545 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Several luxury lines...but I suspect the food is far better.

Most cruise lines have relaxed their dress codes, and have open seating in one form or another.
#3
Connecticut
13,826 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Pretty much all lines offer “any time”, “as you wish”, or comparable dining options . They also offer traditional assigned dining as an option. While NCL seems to have more alternative venues than others, it strikes me that they offer better service and food in their main dining rooms - which means that the alternatives are not as necessary as they are on NCL.
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#4
Philly burbs, PA.
12,809 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
RCI and Celebrity offer similar dining options with a number of venue options. Typically more venues on their larger and newer ship classes.
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#5
262 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Most cruise lines have added versions of "anytime dining", and their newer, larger ships have many venues available that you can go to at anytime. But, I doubt that most of them are as relaxed as NCL is with their dress codes. NCL is more like a casual beach town when it comes to what you can wear in restaurants, but many of the other cruise lines are more like upscale beach resorts, and expect people to at least wear decent clothes for dinner. No need to dress up too much, but sandals, worn shorts and tank tops aren't acceptable clothing like on NCL.
#6
San Mateo, California
5,890 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
If you are happy with NCL, you can go on any line and be satisfied. We have been cruising for 30+ years, 60+ cruises, on 9 different lines... we did 3 cruises on NCL. 2 before freestyle, 1 after.
#7
19,461 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I think that most main stream lines offer an any time dining option, but NCL does it the best. NCL also seems to have the largest variety of restaurants.
#8
Long Island,NY
4,263 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by cruiseagona
We've been on about 4-5 Norwegian cruises recently and 2 Royal Caribbean many years ago. We love Norwegian because of the freestyle dining. We can go when we want, don't need to be dressed, etc. Was just wondering if there is any other cruiseline that offers as many freestyle dining options as Norwegian does? Thanks in advance.
Having been on 6 different cruise lines I find they are all nearly the same.
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Lenny
#9
Florida
4,631 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Since most lines offer a version of 'any time' dining, it comes down to what you mean by 'not dressed up'. Most lines require long pants/skirts/dress, no athletic/beach wear, no flip-flops, probably no jeans in their dining rooms. Buffet is more casual but still no bathing suits except at the pool bar/buffet.
#10
Sweden
2,859 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Originally posted by CruiserBruce
Several luxury lines...but I suspect the food is far better.

Most cruise lines have relaxed their dress codes, and have open seating in one form or another.
Interesting.

Can you mention a luxury line which has as many freestyle dining options as NCL? I thought that all luxury lines have fewer restaurants than NCL on their ships.
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2012 Norwegian Epic, Eastern Caribbean, 7-nights, The Haven Courtyard Penthouse (17002)
2011 Norwegian Epic, Eastern Caribbean, 7-nights, The Haven Spa Suite (14145)
2009 Norwegian Jade, Ireland, 5-nights, Penthouse (8632)
2008 Norwegian Jewel, Transatlantic, 11-nights, Balcony (10034)
2006 Norwegian Dawn, Western Caribbean, 11-nights, Balcony (9576)
2004 Norwegian Wind, Hawaii, 11-nights, Superior Oceanview (0010)
#11
Texas
4,570 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by sverigecruiser
Interesting.

Can you mention a luxury line which has as many freestyle dining options as NCL? I thought that all luxury lines have fewer restaurants than NCL on their ships.
Can't compare ships with 750 or fewer passengers with those with 2500 and more. Totally different animals.
#12
Nova Scotia Canada
4,891 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Here is one example. Azamara has three ships which carry fewer than 700 passengers. You can eat anytime in the main dining room, the windows buffet and the barbecue on the pool deck. There are also two specialty restaurants requiring reservations. That is a lot of choice for a small ship.
#13
GTA, Ontario, Canada
37,236 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Oceania have open dining in the GDR but do have a minimum dress code for dinner ...long pants & collared shirt for men

They have 2 sizes of ships four ships same size as Azamara mentioned above & 2 larger with 1250 pax 4 specially restaurants GDR, Buffet & a pay venue La Reserve that includes wine pairing menus
#14
Sweden
2,859 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Originally posted by Texas Tillie
Can't compare ships with 750 or fewer passengers with those with 2500 and more. Totally different animals.
If the question is about how many options different lines have the size of the ships aren't relevant.

Bigger ships can have more restaurants, I agree with that. That means that the lines with smaller ships most likely have fewer options.
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2015 Norwegian Breakaway, Southern Caribbean, 12-nights, The Haven Penthouse (12706)
2012 Norwegian Epic, Eastern Caribbean, 7-nights, The Haven Courtyard Penthouse (17002)
2011 Norwegian Epic, Eastern Caribbean, 7-nights, The Haven Spa Suite (14145)
2009 Norwegian Jade, Ireland, 5-nights, Penthouse (8632)
2008 Norwegian Jewel, Transatlantic, 11-nights, Balcony (10034)
2006 Norwegian Dawn, Western Caribbean, 11-nights, Balcony (9576)
2004 Norwegian Wind, Hawaii, 11-nights, Superior Oceanview (0010)
#15
Pa, NJ
19,619 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Originally posted by leaveitallbehind
RCI and Celebrity offer similar dining options with a number of venue options. Typically more venues on their larger and newer ship classes.
The only difference is that in their MDRs you can’t wear shorts in any of the dining rooms except the buffet.
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#16
Cumbria,U.K.
6,159 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
I've been on NCL Jade twice, and also on three ships of around her size, all different lines, which didn't have the choice of restaurants of Jade. Apart from pizza and burger stalls, they usually seem to offer a more up- market venue and a grill/diner type one.
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#17
Florida
4,631 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by sverigecruiser
If the question is about how many options different lines have the size of the ships aren't relevant.

Bigger ships can have more restaurants, I agree with that. That means that the lines with smaller ships most likely have fewer options.
It's about the space and number of restaurant seats per passenger … most of all the quality of the food.
#18
Sweden
2,859 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Originally posted by Floridiana
It's about the space and number of restaurant seats per passenger … most of all the quality of the food.
No it's not! Not if the question is how MANY options there is.

The quality of the food has nothing to do with how many options there are on the ship.

Is one option with excellent food better than 10 options with okay food? Yes, I think.

Does a ship with a few excellent restaurants has as MANY options as a ship with many restaurants? NO!
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2015 Norwegian Breakaway, Southern Caribbean, 12-nights, The Haven Penthouse (12706)
2012 Norwegian Epic, Eastern Caribbean, 7-nights, The Haven Courtyard Penthouse (17002)
2011 Norwegian Epic, Eastern Caribbean, 7-nights, The Haven Spa Suite (14145)
2009 Norwegian Jade, Ireland, 5-nights, Penthouse (8632)
2008 Norwegian Jewel, Transatlantic, 11-nights, Balcony (10034)
2006 Norwegian Dawn, Western Caribbean, 11-nights, Balcony (9576)
2004 Norwegian Wind, Hawaii, 11-nights, Superior Oceanview (0010)
#19
Point Richmond CA
6,952 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by sverigecruiser
Interesting.



Can you mention a luxury line which has as many freestyle dining options as NCL? I thought that all luxury lines have fewer restaurants than NCL on their ships.


Of course, smaller ships are what you'll find in the premium and luxury industry segments. So, the number of venues is not as useful a figure as is the availability to dine in them.
That said, you could use Oceania (which is known for its emphasis on excellent dining experiences) as a comparison.
On their two "larger" 1100 passenger ships (Marina and Riviera) you'll find "no reservation necessary" options including the Grand Dining Room and the Terrace Grill as well as Waves on the pool deck. To that add four specialty restaurants, which (at no extra charge) you can dine at as often as you like. Pre-cruise you are allotted a number of reservations (depending on cabin category and cruise length). But, each day while onboard, you can request additional specialty reservations for that evening. And, if you are flexible time wise and willing to share a table, you could eat wherever you want from among a total of six dinner venues.
As for dress, Oceania is always "country club casual." No jeans/shorts/etc at dinner but, also, no "formal" nights either.
BTW, for folks who prefer longer cruises, Oceania's menu rotation often exceeds a three week interval.
#20
Sweden
2,859 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Originally posted by Flatbush Flyer
Of course, smaller ships are what you'll find in the premium and luxury industry segments. So, the number of venues is not as useful a figure as is the availability to dine in them.
That said, you could use Oceania (which is known for its emphasis on excellent dining experiences) as a comparison.
On their two "larger" 1100 passenger ships (Marina and Riviera) you'll find "no reservation necessary" options including the Grand Dining Room and the Terrace Grill as well as Waves on the pool deck. To that add four specialty restaurants, which (at no extra charge) you can dine at as often as you like. Pre-cruise you are allotted a number of reservations (depending on cabin category and cruise length). But, each day while onboard, you can request additional specialty reservations for that evening. And, if you are flexible time wise and willing to share a table, you could eat wherever you want from among a total of six dinner venues.
As for dress, Oceania is always "country club casual." No jeans/shorts/etc at dinner but, also, no "formal" nights either.
BTW, for folks who prefer longer cruises, Oceania's menu rotation often exceeds a three week interval.
I don't say that it's better with more options but the question was about that so that's what I wrote about.

I don't need many options. One good restaurant is enough for me.
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Booked:
2019 MSC Divina, Caribbean, 11-nights, MSC Yacht Club deluxe suite (15004)

Completed:
2017 MSC Meraviglia, Mediterranean, 7-nights, MSC Yacht Club deluxe suite (15013)
2015 Norwegian Breakaway, Southern Caribbean, 12-nights, The Haven Penthouse (12706)
2012 Norwegian Epic, Eastern Caribbean, 7-nights, The Haven Courtyard Penthouse (17002)
2011 Norwegian Epic, Eastern Caribbean, 7-nights, The Haven Spa Suite (14145)
2009 Norwegian Jade, Ireland, 5-nights, Penthouse (8632)
2008 Norwegian Jewel, Transatlantic, 11-nights, Balcony (10034)
2006 Norwegian Dawn, Western Caribbean, 11-nights, Balcony (9576)
2004 Norwegian Wind, Hawaii, 11-nights, Superior Oceanview (0010)